1 ASIAN LEGAL BUSINESS – JULY 2023 WWW.LEGALBUSINESSONLINE.COM COVER STORY 16 What young lawyers want Already grappling with high stress, mental health issues, and a lack of meaningful mentorship at work, young lawyers today are facing new challenges unique to the time they live in. ALB talks to junior lawyers across the region who share their experiences, aspirations, and obstacles when making their mark in a legal industry reshaped by three years of pandemic and the advent of AI. By Sarah Wong FEATURES 14 ALB Hong Kong Firms To Watch 2023 In its inaugural list, ALB shines a spotlight on emerging law firms that have stood out from the crowd and continued to make an impact on the market. 20 ALB Asia Super 50 Disputes Lawyers 2023 In its third annual list, ALB reveals top-notch dispute lawyers in the region known for their exemplary client service. Plus: - Jun He Law Offices 26 All systems go The post-pandemic boom in tourism and hotel construction and expansion in Asia has created fresh momentum for hospitality companies and evolved responsibilities for their in-house legal departments. GCs in the hotel sector discuss what they have been busy with and how their roles are becoming increasingly multifaceted as these companies navigate the challenges and opportunities presented by the post-pandemic hospitality landscape. 30 Moving forward on ESG Environmental, social and governance (ESG) considerations are essential to businesses for the opportunities they bring, and for the reputational and economic risks that arise from making the wrong decisions. In light of the growing interest and scrutiny in ESG matters from within Japan and abroad, the Japanese government has been pushing a range of measures to implement ESG initiatives. 34 Cracking the kingdom China has embarked on new diplomatic outreaches in the post-pandemic era, and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is beginning to play an increasingly important role, becoming a new destination of choice for Chinese companies keen to invest overseas. Legal experts, however, caution that despite the abundant opportunities there, prospective investors must prepare early for risks. 36 SE Asia Law Awards celebrates region’s return from Covid Winners, photos, quotes and more from the 19th ALB SE Asia Law Awards, which was held on May 23 in Singapore. BRI EFS 3 The Briefing 4 Forum 6 Explainer 7 Deals 8 Appointments 11 Q&A CONTENTS 16 What young lawyers want Image:

2 ASIAN LEGAL BUSINESS – JULY 2023 WWW.LEGALBUSINESSONLINE.COM Asian Legal Business is available by subscription. Please visit for details. Asian Legal Business has an audited average circulation of 11,402 as of 30 September 2016.Copyright is reserved throughout. No part of this publication can be reproduced in whole or part without the express permission of the editor. Contributions are invited, but copies of work should be kept, as Asian Legal Business can accept no responsibility for loss. MCI (P) 003/02/2023 issn 0219 – 6875 KDN PPS 1867/10/2015(025605) Thomson Reuters 18 Science Park Drive Singapore 118229 / T (65) 6775 5088 / F (65) 6333 0900 10/F, Cityplaza 3, Taikoo Shing, Hong Kong / T (852) 3762 3269 RANAJIT DAM Managing Editor, Asian Legal Business, Thomson Reuters Voices of youth Welcome to the July issue of ALB magazine, where we delve into a topic at the heart of the legal profession’s future. Our cover story uncovers the intriguing findings of a recent survey conducted by ALB, focusing on junior lawyers across Asia. The results shed light on the shifting priorities and aspirations of these talented individuals who form the backbone of the legal industry. In an era of profound societal and technological transformations, it comes as no surprise that the survey reveals a significant shift in what young lawyers prioritise. Gone are the days when a hefty salary was the sole driving force behind their career choices. Instead, they emphasise the importance of work-life balance, hybrid working arrangements, and mentorship. The notion of work-life balance has gained substantial traction, as young lawyers seek to maintain harmony between their professional commitments and personal lives. They recognise that true success lies in the ability to find fulfilment beyond billable hours, nurturing their passions, relationships, and overall well-being. Moreover, the rise of hybrid working models in the wake of the global pandemic has reshaped the expectations of the younger generation. The flexibility to work remotely, coupled with opportunities for in-person collaboration, is seen as a key enabler for productivity and job satisfaction. Young lawyers yearn for an adaptable work environment that empowers them to deliver their best while accommodating personal circumstances. Mentorship emerges as another vital factor for junior lawyers. They value guidance from experienced practitioners who can shape their professional development, offer insights into navigating the legal landscape, and provide support during the formative years of their careers. In the feature, we also interview young lawyers who exemplify these priorities. We hope that their stories and perspectives will inspire and guide both the next generation of lawyers and the industry as a whole. HEAD OF LEGAL MEDIA BUSINESS, ASIA & EMERGING MARKETS Amantha Chia MANAGING EDITOR Ranajit Dam ASIA JOURNALIST Sarah Wong RANKINGS AND SPECIAL PROJECTS EDITOR Wang Bingqing COPY & WEB EDITOR Rowena Muniz SENIOR DESIGNER John Agra TRAFFIC/CIRCULATION MANAGER Rozidah Jambari SALES MANAGERS Hiroshi Kaneko Japan (81) 3 4520 1192 Jonathan Yap Indonesia, Singapore (65) 6973 8914 Krupa Dalal India, Middle East, Singapore (91) 22 6189 7087 Romulus Tham Southeast Asia (65) 6973 8248 Steffi Yang South and West China (86) 010 5669 2041 Steven Zhao China Key Accounts (86) 10 6627 1360 Yvonne Cheung China Key Accounts, Hong Kong and Korea (852) 2847 2003 SENIOR EVENTS MANAGER Julian Chiew SENIOR EVENTS MANAGER, AWARDS Tracy Li

3 ASIAN LEGAL BUSINESS – JULY 2023 WWW.LEGALBUSINESSONLINE.COM THE BRIEFING: YOUR MONTHLY NEED-TO-KNOW APAC GCs SAY LEGAL DEPARTMENTS According to Axiom’s APAC General Counsel Survey Report: Managing the Unmanageable, which surveyed 300 GCs based in Hong Kong and Singapore across a wide range of industries, heads of in-house legal departments are facing a parallel crisis of budget cuts and increasingly complex workloads. Ninety per cent of APAC GCs say their legal department budget has been cut because of economic conditions and ongoing volatility. On average, APAC budget cuts represent 3 percent of company revenue. Singaporebased GCs have seen their budgets shrink by $3.7 million, and their HK peers have experienced budget cuts averaging $1.7 million. This is even though approximately half (45 percent) of APAC GCs report that their department is seeing an increase in both the volume and complexity of legal matters. In fact, the vast majority of APAC GCs (92 percent) say their department does not have the necessary staffing resources. And 35 percent feel they do not have the necessary expertise in their teams. Percentage of Australian in-house lawyers who believe that they’re completely ready to defend against cyberattacks and cybersecurity breaches, according to a report from ACC Australia and Wolters Kluwer. ARE TOO UNDER-RESOURCED 25 PERCENT Linklaters has signed up for DHL’s GoGreen Plus service in an effort to reduce carbon emissions associated with shipments across its Asia-Pacific and UAE regions. In 2021, the firm adopted firmwide carbon reduction targets to meet by April 2030 IN THE NEWS Singapore Supreme Court Justice Kannan Ramesh has become the first Asian, as well as the first judge, to be named president of the International Insolvency Institute. Ramesh succeeds the outgoing president, Norton Rose Fulbright partner John Martin. U.S. district judge P. Kevin Castel fines New York law firm Levidow, Levidow & Oberman for submitting a ChatGPT-written brief that included false citations. “THERE IS NOTHING INHERENTLY IMPROPER ABOUT USING A RELIABLE ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE TOOL FOR ASSISTANCE. BUT EXISTING RULES IMPOSE A GATEKEEPING ROLE ON ATTORNEYS TO ENSURE THE ACCURACY OF THEIR FILINGS.” QUOTE UNQUOTE (Reuters) More law firm mergers were completed in the first half of 2023 than in the same period in 2022 and 2021, according to data released on Monday by legal consultancy Fairfax Associates. Twenty-eight law firm mergers took effect in the first six months of this year, compared with 25 deals each in the first halves of 2022 and 2021, according to Fairfax, which tracks mergers by effective date. Fairfax reported 11 deals in the second quarter of 2023 after the first quarter saw a flurry of mergers between large firms. Eleven mergers were also completed in the second quarter of 2022, following a slower start to the year. Law firm mergers are rebounding after deals dropped off during the COVID-19 pandemic; however, the 28 mergers of 2023 are below the historical first-half average over the past 10 years, which is 32 combinations. Proportion of U.S. lawyers who feel law firm staffers involved in knowledge management and research could be replaced by generative AI, according to a survey by Wolters Kluwer and Above the Law. U.S. LAW FIRM MERGERS TICKED UP IN FIRST HALF OF 2023

4 ASIAN LEGAL BUSINESS – JULY 2023 WWW.LEGALBUSINESSONLINE.COM BRI EFS MARCO CHUNG, group head of legal and managing director, CLSA GC’s role has always been about being a solution provider to the business and assessing the associated risks. Whilst the type of relevant risks evolves over the years, most strikingly in recent years, geopolitical risks almost trump everything else in big decisions. This is especially so when it comes to capital allocation decisions, which could take years to general return, and the geopolitics could change dramatically during this period. This risk could present itself in different shapes and forms, such as data law, privacy law, national security law, foreign investment law, sanctions law, and others. So, in order to assess the direction of various laws, understanding the geopolitics between the countries is important. Whilst there is no one size fits all approach, awareness, and education of these issues at the Firm are key, especially since most people are not historically accustomed to thinking of these issues when making business decisions. Even our lawyers need to see beyond the most immediate black letter of the law. This can be achieved in a couple of ways. Firstly, sufficient training at the Firm from top to bottom, so hopefully, this gets factored into their decision-making. Secondly, given that our lawyers would typically be across all key transactions and decisions, I would expect them to be the gatekeepers and flag these issues when they see them. Thirdly, I would expect us to bring in an external consultant when the issue is sufficiently thorny. I am increasingly seeing nonlaw firms, which are staffed with former government officials to provide these consultancy services. In my view, to successfully navigate this, the calculus in people’s decision-making will need to evolve. DANIEL LO, chief legal officer, Cake Group Operating within the nascent Web3 industry means we are highly susceptible to geopolitical events, especially with crypto regulation and markets. This is especially so since the fallout from FTX, Terra FORUM CERTAINTY IN AN UNCERTAIN WORLD As the Sino-U.S. tech war shows no signs of letting up, the conflict in Ukraine grinds on, and new terminologies, including “friend shoring” arise, knowledge of geopolitical events and trends increasingly becomes necessary for in-house lawyers to provide advice beyond business strategies. ALB talks to GCs in Asia about how they are steering their companies steadily through the stormy geopolitical landscape. MARCO CHUNG DANIEL LO AS THE SINO-U.S. TENSIONS PERSIST WITH MOUNTING SECURITY RISKS IN EUROPE, HOW ARE YOU PLANNING TO MEET THE CHALLENGE OF THE EVER-CHANGING GEOPOLITICAL LANDSCAPE IN ORDER TO CHART A SOUND LEGAL STRATEGY TO HELP YOUR ORGANISATION STAY COMPLIANT WHILE ACHIEVING BUSINESS GOALS? Image: Yurchanka Siarhei/

5 ASIAN LEGAL BUSINESS – JULY 2023 WWW.LEGALBUSINESSONLINE.COM BRI EFS Luna and Three Arrows Capital. Staying updated on upcoming digital assets legislation in key web3 jurisdictions such as the U.S., EU, the UK, Hong Kong, and Singapore is an ongoing task that my team and I undertake to decide on digital assets licensing plans. Developing and nurturing relationships with financial regulators, Web3 lawyers and compliance professionals, and industry associations is vital. Not only does it grant me insight into where the market is headed, but there is strength in solidarity when responding to regulators on proposed regulations with industry players. This is important because our input now can have an impact on what becomes industry standards going forward. All this information feeds into how I approach the next few years of legal strategy in uncharted waters, especially considering a company’s ambitions to expand globally and pursue a potential public listing. Deciding on whether to actively market a decentralised finance product in a jurisdiction or listing a particular token that may be scoped as a security is a constant challenge as governments and regulators decide on their stance. Learning how to balance the likelihood and severity of enforcement against the potential to succeed with a blue ocean strategy is a part of the regular risk consideration that a legal strategy for a Web3 company must include. YI WONG, general counsel, Lum Chang Holdings First and foremost, one must put into perspective that the Sino-U.S. tech war is but a chapter in the larger looming prelude of a “cold war,” driven by both parties’ diametrically opposed political systems and associated values. This is further compounded by each side’s sense of exceptionalism, and a clash in pragmatic strategic ambitions. Specifically on technology, the limitations and restrictions in investments in technology, and declining cooperation between parties will translate to less compatibility of tech systems, differing sets of compliance checklists, which in turn give rise to uncertainty and higher business costs. As lawyers, it affects all levels and layers of the value chain - from critical security infrastructure to general supply chains to transnational payment systems, to specific industries (e.g., agritech, greentech, AI, biotech, etc.). So, in terms of procurement, vendor selection and management, and executing contracts in such scenarios must allow for flexibility in exiting (if not technically feasible to carry on), step-in rights to be thought through and costed in carefully, and ancillary business continuity plans to cater for these seismic shift possibilities too. We must also regularly screen ever-changing sanctions lists, and the resulting steps to be undertaken if a counterparty our organisations work with becomes untenable. Ultimately, one must acknowledge that geopolitical risks are here to stay and become a new reality of constant. Thus, as lawyers, we must brace for more export controls, sanctions and economic warfare affecting international risk exposure (currency control, taxation treaties being withdrawn) and bear these in mind when advising on transactions. Also, navigating the geopolitical situation moving forward requires a lawyer to have increased sensitivities towards cultural norms which form the basis for decision-making because blocks and groups of nations and economies may have taken sides in the cultural aspect of the cold war (Chinese Confucianism versus Western free market capitalism versus Indian nonalignment). However, the silver lining is that there are always opportunities that belie risks. Investing in, hedging for, and finding good bargains from the current status quo are options forward, where organisations can take this opportunity to secure shorter-term contracts, better exit scenario clauses, and remain nimble and flexible in these times and beyond. WINNIE MA, general counsel and company secretary, Hang Lung Properties Keeping up with legal developments is no longer sufficient. To stay ahead of the game, it is crucial to understand the geopolitical landscape and anticipate its impact on legal and regulatory developments. This foresight is necessary to help businesses prepare for what lies ahead. Interpreting laws requires delving into the underlying intentions, addressing social, economic, and even political issues, as well as discerning their desired outcomes. In some countries, the geopolitical landscape may also influence how laws are interpreted and applied. To be effective advisors, legal teams must possess knowledge beyond the realm of laws. There is no magic formula for success; it requires a proactive and diligent approach. While individuals are increasingly sharing their lives on social media, countries are becoming more protective of their information, be it technological or personal. The security assessments that Chinese companies have been required to conduct since earlier this year have prompted businesses to reevaluate their management practices, including their legal teams. For instance, is it still optimal for a U.S. organisation to have a centralized legal team in the U.S. with minimal support in China when transferring information to the home office becomes more challenging? Should certain legal decisions be made domestically to avoid the need for transferring sensitive information overseas? These are just a few of the many questions that legal teams may be contemplating. YI WONG WINNIE MA

6 ASIAN LEGAL BUSINESS – JULY 2023 WWW.LEGALBUSINESSONLINE.COM BRI EFS EXPLAINER CAN THE PHILIPPINES’ MOST RECENT LIBERALISATION PUSH REVIVE FDI? In a bid to revitalise its economy by boosting market competition, the Philippines has taken a major step towards granting full foreign ownership in certain public infrastructure sectors, including airports, railways, expressways, and telecommunications. The government hailed the implementing rules and regulations (IRR) for the law amending the Public Service Act (PSA) as a “landmark reform” set out to transform the Southeast Asian country into an “ideal investment hub” hoped to create more employment opportunities and economic benefits for Filipinos. Previously, foreign ownership in those industries was limited to 40 percent. Lawyers in the Philippines have generally welcomed the IRR for providing better clarity in the government’s approach to foreign investment in public sectors. However, they are also cognisant of Manila’s objectives in prioritising national interest, which is believed to call for closer examination of crossborder transactions involving foreign elements. WHAT ARE THE NOTABLE CHANGES? Joselito Bautista, a corporate partner at Manila-headquartered Angara Abello Concepcion Regala & Cruz (ACCRALAW), says the IRR has showcased the government’s commitment to striking a balance between its economic objectives and the protection of national interests. “This commitment is manifested in two ways: first, by liberalising foreign ownership in key public sectors to stimulate market competition and generate employment opportunities; and second, by implementing safeguards to address national security concerns,” notes Bautista. He highlights the clear distinction between eligible public services from public utilities as one of the most significant reforms set by the new regulations. The Philippine Constitution binds foreign ownership in public utilities at 40 percent. Public utilities, defined by the amended PSA, “as a public service operating in identified sectors like electricity transmission and distribution, water pipeline distribution, petroleum pipelines, seaports, and public utility vehicles,” explains Bautista. However, the Amended PSA lacks a specific definition of “public services,” which could create ambiguities as to in which public sector full foreign ownership is allowed under the current law. “The IRR addresses this by referring to CA 146, the original law, which enumerates what falls under ‘public services’ such as telecommunications systems and railways. This clarification indicates that the foreign equity limitation will continue for public utilities as defined in the Amended PSA, while public services not classified as public utilities will enjoy liberalised foreign ownership,” notes Bautista. HOW DOES NATIONAL INTEREST COME INTO PLAY? Apart from the much-needed clarification, the Philippine government has also heightened scrutiny on investment elements concerning national security, in a move in line with the strategies of many Western jurisdictions, including the U.S., amid rising geopolitical tensions. Specifically, although the IRR enables full foreign ownership of some public services, it prohibits investments from an entity controlled by or acting on behalf of a foreign government or state-owned enterprises. The IRR also has provisions protecting investments from national security concerns that may arise from these cross-border transactions. “The IRR specifies that the president’s powers to suspend or prohibit transactions or investments shall be based on the review, evaluation, and recommendation conducted in accordance with the national security review by the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) either motu proprio or upon request by the relevant administrative agency,” Bautista points out. “Investment transactions in public services will undergo a national security review if they involve granting control to a foreign entity with national security implications, such as classified contracts, critical infrastructures, sensitive technologies, or proximity to areas of national security significance, while considering the investor’s background, relevant legal cases, and similar circumstances,” he adds. To effectively guide clients through the updated regulatory landscape, Bautista believes law firms should first identify public services that now can enjoy full foreign ownership, conduct in-depth due diligence on foreign investors, Image: joyfull/ u u

7 ASIAN LEGAL BUSINESS – JULY 2023 WWW.LEGALBUSINESSONLINE.COM BRI EFS DEALS $6.4 BLN Japan Investment Corp’s acquisition of JSR Deal Type: M&A Firms: Anderson Mori & Tomotsune; Davis Polk & Wardwell; Mori Hamada & Matsumoto Jurisdiction: Japan $2.4 BLN Lotte Chemical’s development of Indonesia naphtha cracker project Deal Type: Project Firms: White & Case Jurisdictions: Indonesia, Korea $1.3 BLN BPEA EQT’s acquisition of IMG Academy Deal Type: M&A Firms: Latham & Watkins; Linklaters; Ropes & Gray Jurisdictions: Hong Kong, U.S. $1.1 BLN BPEA EQT and ChrysCapital’s purchase of stake in HDFC Credila Deal Type: Project Firms: AZB & Partners; J Sagar Associates (JSA); Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas; Wadia Ghandy & Co Jurisdictions: Austria, Japan $881 MLN Amman Mineral Internasional’s IPO Deal Type: IPO Firm: Assegaf Hamzah & Partners; Hiswara Bunjamin & Tandjung; Milbank; Sidley Austin Jurisdiction: Indonesia $678 MLN Dentsu’s takeover of Tag from Advent International Deal Type: M&A Firms: DLA Piper; Weil, Gotshal & Manges Jurisdictions: Japan, UK $621 MLN Zensho Holdings’ acquisition of Snowfox Group Deal Type: M&A Firms: DLA Piper; Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher Jurisdictions: Japan, UK $473 MLN Mitsui’s acquisition of stake in Nutrinova from Celanese Deal Type: M&A Firms: Clifford Chance; Shearman & Sterling Jurisdictions: Japan, The Netherlands, U.S. investment structures and potential risks, and provide tailored advice on investment structuring within the public service sector. HOW HAS THE MOVE BEEN RECEIVED BY CLIENTS? As a result of the promulgation of the IRR, Bautista has observed an uptick in legal demands pertinent to operations and transactions within the public service sector. “We have been receiving queries from clients seeking guidelines on restructuring their companies within the public service sector. This restructuring primarily aims to accommodate increased foreign investments above the previous 40 percent limit,” says Bautista. “We have also received inquiries from foreign clients seeking legal opinions on various matters, including the legality of their proposed business ventures in the public service sector, the prerequisite licenses and approvals under the Amended PSA, the necessary permits for their intended transactions, and relevant legal restrictions,” he adds. Going forward, Bautista expects more legislative complementation to the IRR to provide more clarity, including the reclassification of a particular public service as a public utility, which falls under the scope of the new regulations. In addition, “We anticipate that legislative developments in relation to the IRR will tackle the introduction of new investment promotion initiatives, incentives, or tax reforms aimed at encouraging foreign direct investment,” says Bautista. “Law firms in the Philippines can strengthen synergies with inhouse legal departments by fostering open communication channels and organising regular strategy sessions,” he adds. u

8 ASIAN LEGAL BUSINESS – JULY 2023 WWW.LEGALBUSINESSONLINE.COM BRI EFS APPOINTMENTS ANDREW BATTISSON LEAVING Norton Rose Fulbright JOINING Linklaters PRACTICE International Arbitration LOCATION Singapore ROGER CHENG LEAVING Securities and Futures Commission JOINING Linklaters PRACTICE Corporate/M&A LOCATION Hong Kong YUKO INO LEAVING Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe JOINING Greenberg Traurig PRACTICE Real Estate LOCATION Tokyo ANGELIA CHIA LEAVING Mayer Brown JOINING Simmons & Simmons PRACTICE Trade Finance LOCATION Singapore VANESSA DUFF LEAVING Withers JOINING Charles Russell Speechlys PRACTICE Family Law LOCATION Hong Kong EIJI KOBAYASHI LEAVING Greenberg Traurig JOINING Mayer Brown PRACTICE Corporate/M&A LOCATION Tokyo AFRIYAN RACHMAD LEAVING Roosdiono & Partners JOINING Nusantara DFDL Partnership PRACTICE Corporate/M&A LOCATION Jakarta TARUN WARRIAR LEAVING Varde Partners JOINING Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld PRACTICE Insolvency & Restructuring LOCATION Hong Kong RADEN AJI WIBISONO LEAVING Kuncie JOINING FKNK Law Firm PRACTICE Corporate/M&A LOCATION Jakarta JAPAN’S ANDERSON MORI & TOMOTSUNE EXPANDS IN VIETNAM BY OPENING HANOI OFFICE Anderson Mori & Tomotsune has opened an office in Hanoi, its second in Vietnam after Ho Chi Minh City. The Hanoi office will be led by cross-border M&A partners Yasufumi Miki and Kazuhiro Fukuda, who were based in HCMC earlier. With the new office, Anderson Mori joins the ranks of other Japanese law firms that have offices in the Vietnamese capital, including Nishimura & Asahi, TMI Associates, Mori Hamada & Matsumoto and Nagashima Ohno & Tsunematsu. The opening comes when Vietnam is recovering rapidly from the COVID pandemic. Its GDP in 2022 grew by 8.02 percent, the highest annual increase in the last ten years. Japan is currently the third-largest source of FDI in Vietnam, and a Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) report earlier this year found that 60 percent of Japanese investors in the APAC region were keen to expand their business in the Southeast Asian country. “The further expansion and diversification of Japanese companies’ business in Vietnam” has “led to an increase in the need to hold talks with government agencies and the State Bank” based in Hanoi, AMT said in a statement. With travel restrictions having eased in the past few months, several Japanese law firms have opened new overseas offices. In March, TMI Associates opened an office in Paris, while Miura & Partners expanded its overseas presence by establishing new offices in Jakarta, London and San Francisco. Anderson Mori opened its Ho Chi Minh City office in May 2015.

9 ASIAN LEGAL BUSINESS – JULY 2023 WWW.LEGALBUSINESSONLINE.COM BRI EFS Image: NINA IMAGES/ As the Asian region witnesses a spike in investible assets, with its number of billionaires outstripping all other regions, Singapore and Hong Kong have been keen to hold on to some of the wealth that might have otherwise made its way to offshore jurisdictions. In 2020, Singapore introduced its Variable Capital Companies (VCC) framework, which has been hailed as a “game changer” by the asset and wealth management industry. Meanwhile, Hong Kong tried to one-up the Lion City with its “open-ended fund companies” regime, which has also been gaining momentum. Possibly alarmed that Asia’s superrich and hedge funds might not need to look to the Caribbean any more for tax structuring, one of the offshore haven OGs, the Cayman Islands, is accelerating its foray into the region, aiming to establish a presence here. Officials from the Cayman government and institutional players, led by Financial Services and Commerce Minister Andrew Ebanks, visited both cities in May in a bid to scour a location to anchor the offshore financial centre’s Asia offerings. Gene DaCosta, the Cayman Islands government representative to Asia, tells ALB that the Asia office of the Cayman Islands is intended to collaborate with and support stakeholders in the region. “The office will also offer additional support, in Asian time zones, to the service providers and their clients in the region who use our financial services products; as well as to provide industry stakeholders with updates and insights on new legislative changes, evolving standards and other relevant developments,” says DaCosta, adding that meetings with public sector officials and industry stakeholders in Asia have been “overwhelmingly supportive and positive.” Anthony McKenzie, Singapore managing partner at Carey Olsen, says his firm was amongst the offshore practices engaging with the Cayman government on its Asia trip. “The opening of a Cayman representative office in either Singapore or Hong Kong will be a positive development for the Cayman Islands as a jurisdiction, and for our firm offering in Asia,” says McKenzie, who worked at Carey Olsen’s Cayman office for several years and now heads the firm’s corporate practice in Asia. “In addition to supporting stakeholders in the region, the Cayman office will be tasked with broadening and strengthening its links with Asia, raising Cayman’s regional profile and helping Asian investment managers and investors better understand the Islands’ offering,” he adds. McKenzie feels that despite Hong Kong and Singapore emerging as formidable alternatives to the Cayman Islands as the destinations of choice for wealth stewardship, the two cities are not likely to reduce the popularity and relevance of Cayman’s portfolio of investment structures, with evolving laws in that country catering to the needs of both Asian clients and international players. “Cayman’s ability to complement such onshore structures, its proven track record in Asia and its commitment to keeping pace with global standards will mean that it will continue to be a jurisdiction of choice in Asia and have a central role in regional and global deal flows,” adds McKenzie. The Cayman government says the discussions as to where exactly to put its pin are still ongoing. However, there are reports suggesting that the offshore jurisdiction is leaning towards setting its foot on Singapore instead of Hong Kong – a move, if confirmed, exemplary of the shifting geopolitical and economic favour from China’s commonlaw enclave. A recent report also found that some nine percent of the world’s family offices are located in Asia, with 59 percent in Singapore, giving the island nation an upper hand in securing an onshore Cayman presence. More regional, international, and offshore law firms and their clients have been fast expanding their footprint in Singapore, a city increasingly seen as the Switzerland of Asia. But what’s more consequential to the positioning of both cities and thus the offshore advisory work in asset management is likely to be external contagions, says McKenzie. “Asian fund launches and deals have recently been threatened by geopolitics, interest rate hikes, inflation, supply chain disruption, and slowing growth, especially in China,” he notes. Despite geopolitical uncertainties, however, McKenzie continues to perceive Hong Kong as an essential contributor to a successful play in China, which with its enormous potential for wealth creation, remains quintessential for the offshore legal world. IN THE FACE OF ASIAN COMPETITION, CAYMANS SET UP REGIONAL PRESENCE

10 ASIAN LEGAL BUSINESS – JULY 2023 WWW.LEGALBUSINESSONLINE.COM BRI EFS HAN KUN OPENS SINGAPORE OFFICE, TROWERS UNVEILS PLANS UK law firm Trowers & Hamlins has applied to open an office in Singapore, which, if approved, will be the firm’s second in Southeast Asia. The firm is also eyeing a collaboration with local dispute resolution boutique Braddell Brothers. Trowers set up its office in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, in 2012. That office now has four partners, including Geoff Allen, who joined the firm in September last year. Abdulhaq Mohammed, a former international managing partner at Trowers, will lead the Singapore office. He specialises in sectors including real estate, hospitality and transportation, advising on projects across the Middle East and investment by overseas clients into the UK. When Trowers does open its Singapore office, it will be the latest international entrant after PRC firm Han Kun Law Offices set up shop in the city-state in June. The Singapore office became Beijing-headquartered Han Kun’s seventh location, and its first overseas branch. The office is manned by managing partner Chen Dafei, who was earlier splitting his time between the firm’s Beijing and Hong Kong offices, and Yu Lan, who was most recently a partner at Singapore’s Duane Morris & Selvam. Chen, who joined Han Kun in 2006, mainly provides legal services in capital markets, life sciences and healthcare, mergers and acquisitions, and offshore investments. Meanwhile, Yu focuses on private wealth management, financial services, and cross-border transactions. She acts for high- and ultra-high-net-worth individuals, family offices, and multinational companies. In a statement, Han Kun said that the Singapore office would work closely with the firm’s other offices to meet the demand for cross-border investments between China, Singapore, and Southeast Asia. The Singapore office will also provide services to Han Kun’s Chinese clients investing overseas and investors from Singapore looking to tap into the Chinese market. A&G DISPUTES QUARTET BREAKS AWAY TO SET UP SINGAPORE BOUTIQUE Four disputes lawyers have left Singapore Big Four firm Allen & Gledhill to set up a new boutique firm called Chua & Partners. They are led by Chua Kee Loon, former co-deputy head of international arbitration at A&G. Chua will be managing partner of the new firm, with the other partners being Nicholas Tan, Sheryl Koh, and Ng Si Ming. Both Tan and Ng were partners at A&G, while Koh was a senior associate. Specialising in international arbitration with a focus on commercial, energy and building disputes across the Southeast Asian region, Chua’s practice experience spans more than two decades. His experience also includes investor-state arbitrations. He joined A&G in 2013 from Rajah & Tann, and previously also worked at Jones Day. Tan specialises in international arbitration, international litigation, and arbitration-related litigation across industries such as hospitality, technology and media, energy, construction and engineering, private equity and banking and financial institutions. He joined A&G in 2013, and became a partner in 2019. Tan was at Baker McKenzie earlier in his career. Ng, who spent a decade at A&G after a short stint at Rajah & Tann, primarily focuses on international arbitration in the infrastructure, construction, and energy sector, as well as in finance and Web3. Meanwhile, Koh has experience in international arbitration and litigation across company and shareholder disagreements, construction disputes, defamation, employment issues, insolvency proceedings, investment conflicts, joint venture clashes and Web3 disputes. She had been at A&G since 2014. The establishment of Chua & Partners provides yet more evidence of the continued vibrancy of Singapore’s legal industry, particularly in the disputes space as the city-state steps up efforts to make itself a regional dispute resolution hub. Image: Natnan Srisuwan/

11 ASIAN LEGAL BUSINESS – JULY 2023 WWW.LEGALBUSINESSONLINE.COM BRI EFS Q&A “WE ARE RIGHTLY PROUD OF OUR RECORD IN ENHANCING D&I” Hannah Ha was appointed chair of Mayer Brown’s Asia Board in June, taking the reins of the U.S. firm’s operations in markets including China, Singapore, Japan and Vietnam. She tells ALB about her priorities in the new role, her plans for the firm’s Asia and global development, and the impact she aspires to have as a female law firm leader. ALB: Tell us about your new role and strategic priorities for the first year or two. What are some immediate challenges you’re looking to tackle? Hannah Ha: Mayer Brown is unique as a truly integrated global law firm with a long-established and significant presence in the Americas, EMEA, and Asia. Combined with our recent investments in key global markets, the positive challenge we face is to optimise the benefits of our global platform for our clients in the PRC, Southeast Asia, Japan, and other global clients who have presence in Asia. This will be my focus as the Asia chair and a member of the global management committee. ALB: What will be some of the areas that your firm will bolster investment in during your tenure? In October last year, you entered into a JLV in Singapore. Are there other jurisdictions you are eyeing? Ha: Globally, the firm has invested in key markets relevant to our product and sector focus, such as New York, Salt Lake City, the Middle East and, obviously, Singapore. We will continue to focus on our growth in these markets while consolidating our established position in offices such as Hong Kong, where we see vast potential locally and globally through the development of the Greater Bay Area. While we don’t envisage opening new offices in the region, we will focus on developing our three regional hubs in Asia - Hong Kong, Singapore, and Tokyo – to optimise our existing platform across the region in important markets such as the PRC and throughout Southeast Asia. ALB: What are some of the trends you are predicting in the Asian legal market, and how are you positioning your firm to rise to some of the challenges presented by the macroeconomic headwinds in the global economy? Ha: The Asian legal market has developed to become much more intraregional, particularly with the expansion of PRC and Japanese law firms into the global financial centres of Hong Kong and Singapore. I think this is a positive trend reflective of the market’s growing maturity, and also the opportunities it presents and will likely continue despite current global economic uncertainty. ALB: As a female leader in the profession, what steps will you be taking to enhance diversity and inclusion in the legal industry in Hong Kong and Asia more broadly? Ha: At Mayer Brown, we are rightly proud of our record of enhancing diversity and inclusion. Earlier this year, we launched a report in conjunction with Women in Law Hong Kong (WILHK) called the Everyday Behaviour Project, which highlighted the behaviours women in the Hong Kong legal industry have to deal with, including gender biases and micro-aggressions. The response from the legal community has been overwhelming, and I hope it helps drive continued change as we explore undertaking similar reports or projects in other jurisdictions across Asia. “The Asian legal market has developed to become much more intra-regional. I think this is a positive trend reflective of the market’s growing maturity, and also the opportunities it presents and will likely continue despite current global economic uncertainty.” HANNAH HA Image: Klaus Vartzbed/

12 ASIAN LEGAL BUSINESS – JULY 2023 WWW.LEGALBUSINESSONLINE.COM Almost six decades since the passage of the Women’s Charter in parliament, like many other Asian countries, Singapore is still grappling with one of its most entrenched socioeconomic challenges – gender inequality. More than half of Singapore’s companies have less than 20 percent of women in leadership positions as of 2020. And even today, women held fewer than 30 percent of seats in parliament. It’s then of little doubt that the traditionally male-dominated legal industry has had a fraught relationship with female practitioners. The situation is even more dire when it comes to the practice area of litigation. Only a handful of the 98 senior counsel listed in the Singapore Academy of Law directory are female. Marina Chin, one of the few notable female senior counsels on the list, believes the reasons behind the lack of female representation in the private litigation practice could vary. “Most women lawyers practice in non-contentious fields. Only a minority choose to do battle in court, and so only they have a shot at being appointed senior counsel,” says Chin, who is also joint managing partner of local firm Tan Kok Quan Partnership. “There is also attrition over the years. The reasons could range from losing interest to challenges faced in practice and pressures on the family front,” she adds. Another senior counsel, WongPartnership partner Koh Swee Yen, is amongst those who had to deal with the challenges of juggling family life and a dedicated work presence. “As a young mother, you would want to spend much time with your child, yet work is equally demanding. Given that there are only 24 hours in a day, it is critical to work efficiently, multi-task and compartmentalise,” says Koh, who considers herself fortunate for having the support system she needs from home and at work. But disparities resulting from gender stereotypes proved a sticking point of contention. “Clients, opposing counsel, adjudicators, counterparties may have a subconscious perception that a female litigator is not as effective, as she has less of a presence in the courtroom, and her feminine nature may lead her to be more docile and easily concede points,” notes Koh. However, “If a female litigator is confident, assertive, and tenacious, some others may perceive this as being too aggressive. At the end of the day, you have to find what works best for you, and let your work speak for itself,” she adds. Chin, who started her practice more than 30 years ago, says female litigators were a rare sight back in the day. “There was no discrimination before the courts, but not all clients accepted that the female litigator could effectively fight for their cause,” recalls Chin. But she is convinced that sound legal logic and persuasive argument is not, and never has been, the exclusive remit of the male litigators. “I was fortunate that the senior lawyers trusted me to do the job, and I was equally determined to prove to the doubters that I was more than worth my salt. Over time and with some perseverance, I won over clients,” Chin says. On the upside, there seemed to be more female lawyers making a foray into litigation. “More women are prepared to get into the arena, as they have found litigation work to be interesting and stimulating. At the same time, there is increasing acceptance that women should be entitled to career satisfaction – that it should not always be the case that women are to be defined only by their roles as wife, mother and daughter,” notes Chin. Koh believes young female disputes practitioners who start out in Singapore today will face fewer challenges than those who started decades ago. “One of the key factors driving this is the conscious effort made by all stakeholders in the disputes sphere to change mindsets and erode gender inequality. Efforts are being taken at all levels, whether at the law firms when it comes to hiring and promotion, at the arbitral institutions when it comes to arbitral appointments, at the judiciary when it comes to appointments, and even when it comes to the clients, who are prepared to appoint a female lead counsel and/or female arbitrator,” says Koh. In addition, in the past ten years, “there are many gender equality pledges such as the Equal Representation in Arbitration Pledge, which have made a positive difference, by focussing on equal representation,” she adds. Chin believes domestic support, workplace allyship, and societal acceptance play a crucial role in encouraging more women to take up the litigation practice. Furthermore, it’s equally important, if not more so, for female litigators and women, in general, to lift each other up. “It is not just about what should be done to help break the glass ceilings, but also what should be done to get off the sticky floor,” adds Chin. “Women should stand up for themselves.” FEMALE LITIGATORS PRESS FOR CHANGE AS GENDER EQUALITY LAGS IN PRACTICE AREA Image: melitas/ BRI EFS

Joint Ventures and Alliances – Guide to Negotiating Commercial Terms, Legal Structures and Documentation ALB VIRTUAL TRAINER & TESTIMONIALS WHAT YOU WILL ACHIEVE AGENDA REGISTRATION INFORMATION Virtual Workshop: Delivered via 2-Part Webinar 7-8 September 2023 3:00pm to 6:00pm (Singapore/Hong Kong/China Time) GMT +8 12:30pm to 3:30pm (India Time) GMT+5.5 11:00am to 2:00pm (UAE Time) GMT+4 OVERVIEW Joint ventures, or commonly known as ”mergerless merger” are popular options for businesses to consider when planning to expand into international markets. Companies need to evaluate the key commercial reasons and corporate objectives behind entering into joint ventures and understand how these can be reflected in the legal structure and documents. In addition, they must be willing to share the overall risks, costs, management, and success of the venture with the local partners. This 2-part virtual workshop will equip delegates with the essential knowledge and understanding of legal and commercial issues driving the setup of international joint ventures. Participants will look at case studies, examine sample documents and receive checklists to assist them with dealing with joint ventures following the course. • Recognise the commercial and legal problems that regularly arise during the life cycle of a joint venture • Understand the often sensitive issue of pre contract documents including the differences in common and civil law • Examine the different options of legal structures that can be selected depending on the commercial objectives and address the advantages and disadvantages of each option including limited companies, partnerships and contractual joint ventures • Overcome the challenges of decision making in a joint venture where parties are working to a common end but have different ultimate interests including minority shareholders, deadlock and options such as ‘Russian Roulette’ and Texas Shoot Out’ • Benefit from case studies, examine sample documents and receive checklists to better deal with joint ventures PRICING Early Bird Rate (Ends 7 August 2023) USD 810 (Before GST) USD 874.8 (After GST) Standard Rate USD 920 (Before GST) USD 993.6 (After GST) CONTACT Romulus Tham (65) 6973 8248 / REGISTER WEBSITE GROUP PRICE SAVE AN ADDITIONAL 20%. Register five participants from your organisation and the 5th person attends for free! “Arun conducted the course well blending theory and practical needs” “He has excellent communication skills and extensive international experience to share as well as real world situations” “Always pleased to take questions and gives relevant examples with his answers and useful workable advice on drafting” Arun Singh (Prof) OBE, FRSA is an international lawyer and consultant to an international law firm. He was formerly a partner and head of commercial law at KPMG Legal and partner at Masons (now Pinsent Masons). Arun has advised on disputes and collaborations in a wide range of jurisdictions including Europe, countries in West and East Africa, India, Bangladesh, China, Hong Kong, Saudi Arabia, UAE, Qatar, Pakistan, Libya, Jordan, Syria, the US, Caribbean, Russia, Israel, Lebanon, Egypt, Thailand and Singapore. Arun is cited and ranked in the Chambers Guide to the world’s leading lawyers. He concentrates on international investment, joint ventures, licensing of technology, research and development, M&A, energy, outsourcing and corporate governance in developed and emerging markets; he also handles international legal risk management matters. Arun advises a range of international organisations and is a visiting professor in International Business, Leadership and Negotiations at Salford University Business School, senior associate at Oxford University’s Institute of Legal Practice and teaches international leadership and negotiations at the University of Cambridge. He has facilitated programmes in Europe, Asia, the Middle East and the US. He is a recognised corporate educator and a non-executive director of two international investment companies – one of which is listed on the London Stock Exchange, chairing the Audit Committee and Investment Committee. He was appointed an OBE by HM the Queen in January 1999 for services to international trade, investment and intercultural management. Arun is an editor and contributor to a number of publications including Business and Contract Law (a Thorogood Special Report) and How to Lead Smart People – Leadership for Professionals (Profile Books), a facilitator for company programmes and an experienced speaker at international corporate conferences. Participants who wish to obtain CPD Points are reminded that they must comply strictly with the Attendance Policy set out in the CPD Guidelines. For this activity, this includes logging in at the start of the webinar and logging out at the conclusion of the webinar on each day of the activity, and not being away from any part of the webinar for more than 15 minutes on each day of the activity. Participants may obtain 3 Public CPD Points for each day of the event on which they comply strictly with the Attendance Policy. Participants who do not comply with the Attendance Policy will not be able to obtain CPD Points for attending the activity. Please refer to http://www. for more information. 6 Public CPD Points (3 Public CPD Points Per Day) Practice Area: Corporate /Commercial | Training Level: General • Introduction • Pre-Contract Documents – Heads Of Terms/MoU With Sample Document • Selecting the Legal Structure that Reflects Commercial Objectives – Key Determinants • Main Joint Venture Structures – Advantages & Disadvantages • Decision Making • Deadlock & Default • Transfer of Shares • Exit, Termination and Change • Case Studies • Sample documents and checklists