Tag: Tour de France

24 Sep

Kaizen: Change for the Better

Paul Emile Trudelle General Interest Tags: , , , 0 Comments

Recently, I came across the Japanese term “kaizen”. The term means change for the better, or continuous improvement. The concept envisages constant self- or organizational review in order to make large or small improvements.

A similar concept is explained in James Clear’s book, Atomic Habits. There, Clear explains how small (atomic) changes can make substantial improvements to all aspects of our lives.

My favourite anecdote from Atomic Habits relates to the British Cycling team. The team had historically performed poorly. Then, Sir David Brailsford came on board and implemented his theory of “marginal gains”. Under this theory, a 1% improvement in a number of areas will lead to substantial cumulative gain. In implementing the theory, Brailsford had the floors of the team truck painted white, so that any dust that might impair bicycle maintenance could be seen. He retaught the riders how to wash their hands properly, so as to avoid illness. He had the riders’ sleep habits studied and made changes to their bedding and sleep schedules. He implemented numerous other changes affecting every aspect of the cycling program.

The results from Brailsford’s small changes led to the British Cycling team winning 16 gold medals over 2 Olympics, and 6 Tour de France wins in 7 years. Individually, no change led to the result, but taken together, the small changes resulted in a big gain.

Thanks for reading.

Paul Trudelle

27 Jul

Legal Fees as a Settlement Consideration

Nick Esterbauer In the News, Litigation Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , 0 Comments

This weekend marks the end of the 105th Tour de France.  This year’s race has been full of controversies, first as a result of allegations of doping by pre-race favourite and four-time winner Chris Froome (and a related threatened cyclist strike) and subsequently ranging from disqualification of one cyclist for punching another to the inadvertent tear-gassing of cyclists by French police.

This spring, news surfaced regarding a settlement negotiated in respect of the claims against controversial cycling figure Lance Armstrong.  Armstrong’s former teammate, Floyd Landis, had commenced proceedings against him in 2010 under the False Claims Act.  The United States government became involved in the fraud proceedings in 2013 after Armstrong admitted to using performance-enhancing drugs after years of public denial.

The litigation commenced by Landis was settled earlier this year.  Terms of settlement were reported to involve a payment by Armstrong of $5 million (of the $100 million claimed against him), as well as a payment to Landis of $1.65 million in legal fees.  Accordingly, Landis’ one-quarter share in the settlement payment is less than what he will receive in legal fees.

It is not unusual in our work to see settlement terms involving the payment of one or more party’s legal fees as part of or in addition to a settlement payment.  Especially where litigation spans the better part of a decade, the legal fees incurred can rival or exceed the quantum of the settlement payment itself and may form an important part of negotiations.

Have a great weekend,

Nick Esterbauer


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