In its inaugural Asia Super 50 TMT Lawyers list, Asian Legal Business puts the spotlight on standout lawyers in the technology, media and telecommunications space in the region, when it comes to client service. The list is in alphabetical order, and certain lawyers have been profiled.
MARK FRASER, managing partner, Frasers Law Company, Vietnam
Fraser is a barrister and solicitor of the High Court of New Zealand, and also admitted before the Supreme Court of New South Wales. He focuses on corporate and commercial, technology, media and telecommunications, banking and finance, capital markets, competition and antitrust, dispute resolution, employment, insurance, intellectual property, international trade, investigations, mergers and acquisitions, project finance, projects and energy, real estate, restructuring and insolvency and tax matters.
Fraser had earlier worked with Freshfields. In 1994, Fraser began advising clients on transactions in Vietnam when he established the Ho Chi Minh City office of Freshfields. A decade later, he launched Frasers Law Company, the first foreign law firm to be granted a foreign law company license in Vietnam.
Among Fraser’s notable work, he has advised a large telecommunications company on its proposed acquisition of the Vietnam-based assets of one of the world’s largest telecommunications companies. He has also assisted a global media group in relation to its proposed acquisition of an interest in a Vietnamese media company.
Furthermore, Fraser has acted for a leading Australian software company as Vietnam counsel in relation to all aspects of its large-scale software development operations in Vietnam. He also advised a global electronics manufacturing services (EMS) provider on its acquisition of an electronics robotic equipment manufacturer located in a Hi-Tech industrial park in Vietnam. He has also co-authored numerous publications on doing business in Vietnam.
Fraser is “very calm and professional,” says a client. “Provides creative and innovate legal solutions and advice. Reliable and always provides assistance as and when required.”
SHEENA JACOB, partner, CMS Holborn Asia, Singapore
Jacob is the head of the highly ranked and leading TMT practice at CMS Holborn Asia. A technology, cyber-security, media, data protection expert, Jacob is qualified in Singapore, New York and England & Wales. With more than 25 years of experience in Asia, she works closely with a team of technology lawyers and advises on regulatory issues in the media, telecoms and fintech sectors in Southeast Asia.
Holding double international privacy certifications from the International Association of Privacy Professionals (IAPP), Jacob has been active in the privacy field for more than 10 years. She also represents numerous industry players in the entertainment and media industry and has strong experience with cybersecurity and data localisation issues across Asia.
Jacob has acted for Equinix (the world’s largest data centre provider headquartered in the US) as the lead regulatory counsel in the Asia Pacific across eight countries. She has also worked as lead external counsel for Disney in the launch of both Disney+ streaming service as well as the launch of its South-Asian content OTT Channel, Hotstar.
Additionally, Jacob was the lead partner in litigation strategy for Cisco in a dispute in Singapore against a leading Singapore-based company and successfully reached a resolution for the client involving the application of some unique strategies involving multi-jurisdiction litigation including US and Asian litigation.
Besides this, Jacob is a member of the Global Board of iTechlaw and has written numerous articles on privacy and AI. She was also invited to join the inaugural Asia Advisory Board of the IAPP in 2016.
“Sheena has strong TMT and data protection capabilities and knowledge,” says a client. “She is charismatic, dynamic, highly experienced and approachable.”
RAKESH KIRPALANI, director, dispute resolution & information technology; chief technology officer, Drew & Napier, Singapore
An expert in arbitration, automotive, commercial litigation, corporate litigation, corporate restructuring and workouts, employment, information technology and international arbitration, Kirpalani has worked in the legal field for nearly 15 years. He was appointed as the chief technology officer of Drew & Napier at the age of 37 years.
Kirpalani leads the information technology practice at Drew & Napier. Combining his knowledge in technology and his background in commercial dispute resolution, he advises on risk avoidance, risk management and dispute resolution in matters concerning technology, data, commercial and employment issues. He also assists on cyber and digital business issues, including compliance with technology regulations and cybersecurity.
Kirpalani has advised numerous clients on various matters. Among them, he has represented a group of investment companies in an arbitration brought by its information technologies contractor over the failed deployment of its IT systems in a failed joint venture project.
He has also acted as an international counsel to a reputable multi-national regulated institution in connection with a ransomware attack which impacted services in numerous jurisdictions.
Kirpalani’s clients include China National Petroleum Company Performance Motors, Tractors Singapore, CIMB, Mizuho Asia Partners, Cabot Microelectronics, AIA Singapore, Dynapac Road Equipment Asia Pacific and J. Safra Sarasin. Furthermore, Kirpalani also leads DrewTech, Drew & Napier’s technology practice.
“Rakesh is fast, practical and solution-based with the ability to achieve a good response combining technical knowledge and legal ability,” says a client.
CHIA-LING KOH, managing director, OC Queen Street, Singapore
Koh, who started his career in 1998 at Bih Li & Lee, is a regulatory and intellectual property lawyer and has advised numerous TMT and fintech clients. He joined Bird & Bird in 2001, where he spent 15 years focusing on IP litigation, TMT and financial technology work.
In 2016, Koh co-founded OC Queen Street, which became a member firm of Osborne Clarke.
Koh is trained in building expert systems and cybersecurity. He obtained his Master of Technology degree from the National University of Singapore and Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP) certification while at all times practising law.
In addition, he also advises clients on the law in new technologies like artificial intelligence, blockchain, cryptocurrency and digital payments.
Koh was the lead counsel for 99.co, a geospatial search engine for property. The team successfully represented the company in a case dealing with inter alia the issue of copyright infringement in the context of copyright being claimed by PropertyGuru over watermarked photographs loaded onto the PropertyGuru website by property agents.
Koh and his team also represented SingTel and its subsidiary SingNet in proceedings for various applications under section 193DDA of the Copyright Act to block flagrantly infringing online locations (such as an application by the English Premier League).
Koh holds varied roles apart from being a TMT lawyer. He was an independent non-executive director of listed entity Synagie, an eCommerce enabler. Koh is currently the Singapore editor of Stanford’s RegTrax Blockchain Initiative.
“Chia-ling is very sharp with detailed domain knowledge, and possesses excellent drafting and negotiating skills,” says a client.
LIM CHONG KIN, managing director, corporate & finance; head, TMT; co-head, data protection; co-head, competition law & regulatory practice, Drew & Napier, Singapore
Apart from heading three class-leading practices at Drew & Napier, Lim also serves in a leadership role as the firm’s managing director in the corporate & finance department.
Among many landmark matters that Lim advised on, he assisted in the liberalisation of the telecommunications, media and postal sectors in Singapore, the establishment of Singapore’s Next Gen NBN and the auction of 3G, 4G and 5G spectrum. Lim continues to be relied upon by the regulators to assist on milestone developments. His recent matters include assisting in a comprehensive review of Singapore’s Telecom Competition Code (TCC) and Media Market Conduct Code (MMCC), and to draft and implement a harmonised competition code for the converged sectors.
Lim’s clients include Singapore’s Infocomm Media Development Authority/Personal Data Protection Commission, Brunei’s Authority for Info-communications Technology Industry and many of the top technology MNCs hailing from the U.S., EU and China. They seek him out for his keen insight on market access and deep understanding of the licensing and regulatory frameworks in Singapore and the ASEAN region.
He also established the Drew Data Protection and Cybersecurity Academy in 2020, a first of its kind that offers clients value-add services including training data protection and cybersecurity officers.
“Chong Kin is an exceptional lawyer who approaches legal and regulatory issues with a business-centric and practical mindset,” says a client. “It is easy to quote the law and tell your clients to comply. It takes a skilled and experienced lawyer to apply knowledge of the law to a specific scenario and to counsel on various different ways to reach compliance.”
JOHN PHILIP SIAO, co-managing partner, Tiongco Siao Bello & Associates, the Philippines
With more than 18 years of experience in the legal industry, Siao is a corporate law and special projects, intellectual property, labour, taxation and litigation expert.
Notable work for Siao includes acting as a counsel with a team of lawyers in the arbitration case of RCBC Capital Corporation vs. Equitable PCI Bank (Banco de Oro Universal Bank) conducted under the Rules of Conciliation and Arbitration of the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC).
Furthermore, Siao provided support and assistance to the PIK Group in establishing its operations in the Philippines. The lawyers of the firm provided and continue to provide legal support and assistance to the company in its creation, implementation, and introduction of its e-commerce platform in the Philippines. Aside from providing counsel to one of Asia’s Super Apps, he also represented, advocated, and provided counsel to one of the leading finance and lending companies in the e-commerce space, which was one of the first to introduce and operate a mobile lending application in the country.
Additionally, Siao provided support and assistance to Novateur Coffee Concepts during the pandemic.
According to Siao, one of his significant career achievements is “creating together with my partners a full-service law firm which operates and has an active presence nationwide or in Manila, Cebu, and Davao. This is significant considering that there are only a handful of law firms in the Philippines that provide nationwide coverage.”
Says a client: “John combines a best-in-class wealth of experience in complex licensing and regulatory matters in the Philippines with a pragmatic, solution-oriented approach that is grounded in a deep understanding of the regulatory framework and the dynamics of dealing with local regulators.”
DOIL SON, partner and co-head of technology & IP practice, Yulchon, Korea
Son, who has more than 25 years of experience, heads the technology practice of Yulchon. He is serving as senior vice-chair, the Technology Law Committee of the International Bar Association. He has also been the vice-chair of the TMT committee of the International Pacific Bar Association since 2017.
Among his notable work, Son has worked with Agoda, a global e-commerce company for hotel reservations, as the lead partner on numerous matters since 2013. His team and he successfully assisted Agoda in obtaining a payment gateway (PG) license, which enabled Agoda to implement a more efficient payment system for its customers and merchants. Agoda’s was the second instance where a foreign company was able to receive a PG license by establishing a Korean subsidiary. He is now advising two top global fintech companies for similar projects.
Besides this, Son advises Facebook on various regulatory matters including the Korean new regulation on SNS platform (Telecommunication Business Act) and privacy issues. He has also counselled LG CNS, various financial institutions and pharmaceutical companies on their big data projects. Additionally, Son has advised SK Hynix, a top semi-conductor producer, on AI-related matters. Cisco and SBS Media Holdings are his long term clients.
From 2019 to 2020, he was deeply involved in the 4th Industrial Revolution Committee established by the Korean government. He is also serving on various government committees relating to data privacy and artificial intelligence issues.
“Doil Son takes interest in understanding our business and issues, and intelligently and resourcefully supports us in protecting our interests legally. He is very accessible, knowledgeable and open to trying creative ideas,” says a client.
LUKY I. WALALANGI, managing partner, Walalangi & Partners (in association with Nishimura & Asahi), Indonesia
Luky Walalangi, who has a career spanning more than two decades, specialises in mergers and acquisitions, real estate, TMT and financing.
Walalangi has advised various clients including Mitsubishi Corporation, Nippon Steel Corporation, Mitsui & Co, Mitsubishi UFJ Lease & Finance, Mitbana Juring, Daimler AG, Airbus, Roblox, Capcom Inc, Toyota Tsusho Corporation, Marubeni Corporation, Tokyo Gas, Orient Corporation, MUFG Bank, Tokyo Tatemono and Tokyo Tatemono Asia, PT Dhost Telekomunikasi Nusantara, DeClout, Showa Leasing, Otsuka Holdings, SMBC Nikko Securities, GS Yuasa Corporation, After Fit KK and Hitachi Transport System.
Some of the matters that Walalangi advised on include counselling one of the most rapid-growing companies based in the U.S. providing global gaming and social media platform in San Mateo, California, on gaming regulations, gaming applications rating, registration requirements, content requirements and restrictions as well as personal data protection. He also represented PT Dhost Telekomunikasi Nusantara in its financing and acquisition process of indoor telecommunication infrastructure assets from PT XL Axiata Tbk, one of the largest publicly listed companies in cellular telecommunications networks and services providers in Indonesia.
In addition, Walalangi also acted for Tokyo Gas Asia, a wholly-owned Singaporean subsidiary of Tokyo Gas in the acquisition of PT Super Energy Tbk (SE).
“The experience I have of working with Pak Luky is very gratifying,” says a client. “I always feel like he will protect my interest and guide me and support my company optimally under any situation.”
BAHARI YEOW TIEN HONG, partner, Gan Partnership, Malaysia
Yeow, who focuses on intellectual property, TMT and dispute resolution, has been in the legal industry for more than 20 years, and is a qualified patent, trademark and industrial design agent.
Along with his partner Lim Zhi Jian, Yeow is currently representing one of the largest mobile network operators in Europe on a dispute in Malaysia as well as assisting an MNC, a leading IT, digital infra, technological solution provider, digital strategic investment and an e-wallet company on digitalisation and transformation of its online platform.
Yeow is also advising a multi-country project in relation to regulatory compliance for an international MNC with respect to its new online products involving in, amongst others, mobile, landline and all email types validation, data maintenance, data quality and accuracy checks, identity and data verification.
In addition, Yeow is representing a large U.S. technology company in a global trademark dispute against the world’s largest watchmaking group and also acting for a Malaysian subsidiary of Japanese telecom giant Nippon Telegraph and Telephone in a claim for alleged breach of a technology agreement.
Yeow is also assisting a cloud-based practice management and accounting system company in its agreement to be used by the owner and its customers in countries across Asia.
Besides this, Yeow also sits as a panellist at the Asian International Arbitration Centre. He currently serves as a member of the Group Standing Committee for Copyright of the Asian Patent.
“We are impressed with Bahari Yeow’s knowledge, work and service,” says a client. “Bahari Yeow is a very impressive litigator and well-respected in the IP and TMT space in Malaysia. He is highly experienced and well-respected by the judges.”
GV ANAND BHUSHAN
DONG SHIK CHOI
JUNE YOUNG JANG
DARREN KOR YIT MENG
LIM CHONG KIN
KWANG BAE PARK
PROBIR ROY CHOWDHURY
KWANG HYUN RYOO
JOHN PHILIP C. SIAO
GREG JOSEPH SJ TIONGCO
VU THI QUE
LUKY I. WALALANGI
BAHARI YEOW TIEN HONG
To contact the editorial team, please email ALBEditor@thomsonreuters.com.