July 1, 2016

RHTLaw Taylor Wessing Managing Partner Tan Chong Huat featured in The Business Times, The Edge Markets Singapore, Lianhe Zaobao, The Global Legal Post, The Lawyer, The Legal Business (UK) and Yahoo Finance

RHTLaw Taylor Wessing Managing Partner Tan Chong Huat was featured in The Business Times, The Edge Markets Singapore, Lianhe Zaobao, The Global Legal Post, The Lawyer, The Legal Business (UK) and Yahoo Finance. All these articles covered details on RHTLaw Taylor Wessing merger with Vietnamese based law firm PBC PARTNERS & RHTLaw, to form RHTLaw Taylor Wessing Vietnam. The new outfit, located within the commercial centre of Ho Chi Minh City's District 1, will have presence across Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi, with 25 lawyers covering a full suite of practice areas. RHTLaw Taylor Wessing Vietnam will be led by Tran Thanh Hai as Managing Partner and Benjamin Yap as Senior Partner. Mr Hai has over 20 years of legal experience and is well-regarded in the areas of mergers and acquisitions, banking and finance, telecommunications, employment, land, taxation, technology and commercial law. Benjamin Yap, a Vietnam-registered foreign lawyer who is called to the Singapore and English Bar, has extensive experience in corporate and commercial transactions. Chong Huat’s comments on the launch of the Vietnam office, "The merger signals our commitment to intensify our ASEAN growth strategy via our 'ASEAN+' network. What started out as an alliance of like-minded law firms has now grown into a pre-eminent legal firm in Vietnam. Vietnam is one of the fastest growing emerging markets in the world and is poised to play an important role in the ASEAN economy. Our base in Vietnam allows us to actively serve our clients' business needs across the region, providing on-the-ground counsel to guide them through the legal challenges posed by cross border transactions and operations." Chong Huat’s full features can be found in the following news reports: “RHTLaw Taylor Wessing merges with Vietnam law firm to deepen reach” – The Business Times, 30 June 2016 “RHTLaw Taylor Wessing expands into Vietnam” – The Edge Markets Singapore, 30 June 2016 “瑞信德泰乐律师事务所 与越”– Lianhe Zaobao, 1 July 2016 “RHTLaw Taylor Wessing merges with Vietnamese ally” – The Global Legal Post, 30 June 2016 “RHTLaw Taylor Wessing merges with Vietnamese ally” – The Lawyer, 30 June 2016 “Making it official: Taylor Wessing deepens Vietnam reach with local merger” – The Legal Business UK, 30 June 2016 “RHTLaw Taylor Wessing Deepens Integration with Vietnamese Firm, PBC PARTNERS” – Yahoo Finance, 30 June 2016
June 30, 2016

RHTLaw Taylor Wessing’s Merger with Vietnamese Law Firm PBC PARTNERS highlights commitment to the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC)

The merger with Vietnamese based law firm PBC PARTNERS & RHTLaw signals the Firm’s drive towards a seamless regional legal platform through integrating brand, technology and knowledge across ASEAN. Move in line with establishment of the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC), a major milestone in the regional economic integration agenda in ASEAN, offering opportunities in the form of a market of US$2.6 trillion and over 622 million people. RHTLaw Taylor Wessing LLP is set to further strengthen its regional cross-border practice with the merger with PBC PARTNERS & RHTLaw. The firm today announced the launch of RHTLaw Taylor Wessing Vietnam bringing together PBC PARTNERS & RHTLaw, and RHTLaw Taylor Wessing, the 6th largest law firm in Singapore, into a seamless integrated service network. The merger is in line with the AEC Blueprint 2025 which is aimed towards achieving the vision of having an AEC by 2025 that is highly integrated and cohesive; competitive, innovative and dynamic; with enhanced connectivity and sectoral cooperation; and a more resilient, inclusive, and people-oriented, people-centred community, integrated with the global economy. The move comes soon after RHTLaw Taylor Wessing’s alliance with PBC PARTNERS in early 2014 to form PBC PARTNERS & RHTLaw. Today, the two firms deepen their integration to offer clients seamless cross border services. The new outfit, located within the commercial centre of Ho Chi Minh City’s District 1, will have presence across Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi, with 25 lawyers covering a full suite of practice areas, including foreign direct investments, mergers and acquisition, real estate, energy, hospitality, healthcare, construction, banking & finance, international trade, telecommunication, taxation, employment, and dispute resolution. Commenting on the launch of the new office, RHTLaw Taylor Wessing’s Managing Partner, Tan Chong Huat noted, “The merger signals our commitment to intensify our ASEAN growth strategy via our “ASEAN+” network. What started out as an alliance of like-minded law firms has now grown into a pre-eminent legal firm in Vietnam. Vietnam is one of the fastest growing emerging markets in the world and is poised to play an important role in the ASEAN economy. Our base in Vietnam allows us to actively serve our clients’ business needs across the region, providing on-the-ground counsel to guide them through the legal challenges posed by cross border transactions and operations.” Azman Jaafar, Deputy Managing Partner of RHTLaw Taylor Wessing and Chairman of the ASEAN+ Group, added, “Launching a new office in Vietnam is part of the series of the strategic growth initiatives we have planned to bolster our presence across ASEAN. In addition to the considerable business opportunities present in Vietnam, the country also serves as a gateway to the Indochina region, potentially opening up avenues for us to service clients in the promising Laos, Cambodian and Myanmar markets.” RHTLaw Taylor Wessing Vietnam will be led by Tran Thanh Hai as Managing Partner and Benjamin Yap as Senior Partner. Mr Hai has over 20 years of legal experience and is well-regarded in the areas of mergers and acquisitions, banking and finance, telecommunications, employment, land, taxation, technology and commercial law. Prior to forming PBC PARTNERS and RHTLaw, he was with Courdert Brothers, Deasons Vietnam and PwC Legal Vietnam where he worked across a wide range of sectors with both local and international clients. “I am indeed excited by RHT’s model of combining strong local knowledge with international expertise. Our partnership will allow us to leverage the brand, platform and technology of RHTLaw Taylor Wessing and transform ourselves into a regional and global player. We look forward to working with the Singapore team to build a market-leading office in Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi”, Mr Hai remarked. Benjamin Yap, a Vietnam-registered foreign lawyer who is called to the Singapore and English Bar, has extensive experience in corporate and commercial transactions. He has more than 20 years of experience handling mergers and acquisitions, real estate, corporate compliance and governance, and employment matters for local and international clients. The months ahead will also see Partners from the Singapore office being seconded to Vietnam and vice versa, a move aimed to boost knowledge transfer and capacity building. The latest venture in Vietnam is consistent with RHTLaw Taylor Wessing’s strategy to bolster its service offerings across the region. In the last few years, the Firm has forged strategic alliances with leading Indonesian law firm, Hanafiah Ponggawa and Partners, and South Korean firm DR & AJU, together with several other leading firms in Asia under the ASEAN Plus Group.
June 30, 2016

RHTLaw Taylor Wessing Deputy Managing Partner Azman Jaafar quoted in The Straits Times

RHTLaw Taylor Wessing’s Deputy Managing Partner, Azman Jaafar, was quoted in The Straits Times article titled “Asian businesses rush to get advice from their lawyers” The article was first published in The Straits Times on 30 June 2016.    Asian businesses rush to get advice from their lawyers There will be a lot of work in the years ahead to deal with the consequences of Brexit. Source: The Straits Times © Singapore Press Holdings Ltd Date: 30 June 2016 Author: Yasmine Yahya Not just for the British government and European Union negotiators, but also for international law firms across the world. Even here in Asia, lawyers say work has begun piling up in the wake of Britain's shock vote last week to leave the EU. The potential departure of Britain from the EU single market, coupled with the sharp fall in the pound, has got corporate clients re-examining their business models, contracts and currency strategies. Ms Sandra Seah, joint managing partner of Bird & Bird ATMD in Singapore, said businesses are still taking stock of the situation. None of the law firm's clients are in a rush to pull out of Britain or renegotiate ongoing deals that involve European or British parties, she said. But they are keen to make sure that their contracts now include clauses that take Britain's eventual secession from the EU into account. "Clients are instructing us to review contractual provisions more closely: Are there rights to terminate for convenience? What are the consequences of pre-termination? Are there options such as escrow arrangements to protect their investment?" Ms Seah said. Hong Kong-based Linklaters partner Clara Ingen-Housz said the rise in client queries about Brexit was marked. "Pre-referendum, interest in the topic was lukewarm in Asia. Since the Leave vote, however, we've seen a sharp increase in the number of clients reaching out to understand Brexit's impact on their business," she said. "We advise our clients to start without delay scanning through their business to map out their exposure in areas such as tax, contractual provisions and intellectual property, and consider mitigation measures where appropriate." The pound's sharp decline to 31-year lows against the US dollar over the past few days is also of great concern to clients, especially those in the finance sector, Ms Ingen-Housz noted. "However, it is too early to tell the impact it will have in terms of contracts on mergers and acquisitions," she said. At RHTLaw Taylor Wessing in Singapore, deputy managing partner Azman Jaafar said there will be a lot of deals that will have to be reviewed as the outcome of Brexit becomes clearer over time. "In practice, Brexit will require negotiation of a wide range of new arrangements with the EU and other countries," he said. His firm's clients have begun asking a long list of questions, ranging from "What regulatory changes are likely to occur in our sector?" to "Should our strategy on currency risk and hedging change?" and "What are our options for an investment, merger or joint venture and should it be in Britain or the EU?" These are all good questions to ask. As Pinsent Masons MPillay partner Jon Howes noted, Brexit will likely have a significant impact on the operations of any company based in or doing business with Britain, from its commercial contracts to intellectual property, data protection, funding, employees and how it is affected by competition law. "Any Britain-based business relying on a regulatory passport to operate in other EU states, or vice versa, is likely to be particularly affected," he said. "Asian investors in the infrastructure sector will also be interested to see how Brexit will affect the procurement regime in Britain." A number of businesses have Brexit-related clauses in their contracts, while some held back on inking deals until the results became clear, Mr Howes added. Still, not many businesses prepared proactively, and his firm has been fielding a significant number of calls since the vote, he said. The firm has even prepared for clients a checklist of issues that companies based in or doing business with Britain can think through. Baker & McKenzie has done the same, offering corporate clients a six-page list of questions they should be asking themselves now that Brexit is a reality. For example: Who pays taxes and duties in the contracts you have? Does your business' supply of goods or services into the EU require establishment in the EU? Does your business receive any grants or subsidies from the British government and/or the EU? These are all issues that will be affected by Brexit and could lead to higher costs or greater regulatory hurdles once Britain leaves the EU, the firm warns. But for Asia on the whole, all the work stemming from Brexit could be a boon, noted Clyde & Co's managing director for Asia, Mr Chong Ik Wei. "Asia-Pacific is a growth area for London and the Lloyd's insurance market. It is therefore entirely possible that, in the circumstances, British insurers will look to execute a meaningful pivot away from the EU towards Asian markets. That will provide enormous opportunities for brokers and intermediaries in the region," he said.
June 30, 2016

RHTLaw Taylor Wessing Managing Partner Tan Chong Huat quoted in The Business Times

RHTLaw Taylor Wessing’s Managing Partner, Tan Chong Huat, was quoted in The Business Times article titled “RHTLaw Taylor Wessing merges with Vietnam law firm to deepen reach” The article was first published in The Business Times on 30 June 2016.    RHTLaw Taylor Wessing merges with Vietnam law firm to deepen reach Source: The Business Times © Singapore Press Holdings Ltd Date: 30 June 2016 Author: Claire Huang RHTLAW Taylor Wessing LLP has further strengthened its regional cross-border practice with the merger with PBC Partners & RHTLaw. The firm on Thursday launched RHTLaw Taylor Wessing Vietnam. The merger is in line with the Asean Economic Community (AEC) blueprint 2025 and follows RHTLaw Taylor Wessing's alliance with PBC Partners in early 2014, when they formed PBC Partners & RHT Law. The new outfit, located within the commercial centre of Ho Chi Minh City's District 1, will have presence across Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi, with 25 lawyers covering a full suite of practice areas, including foreign direct investments, mergers and acquisitions, real estate, energy, hospitality and construction. Said Tan Chong Huat, RHTLaw Taylor Wessing's managing partner: "The merger signals our commitment to intensify our Asean growth strategy via our "Asean+" network. What started out as an alliance of like-minded law firms has now grown into a pre-eminent legal firm in Vietnam." He noted that Vietnam is one of the fastest growing emerging markets in the world and is poised to play an important role in the Asean economy. "Our base in Vietnam allows us to actively serve our clients' business needs across the region, providing on-the-ground counsel to guide them through the legal challenges posed by cross-border transactions and operations," said Mr Tan. RHTLaw Taylor Wessing Vietnam will be led by managing partner Tran Thanh Hai and senior partner Benjamin Yap. Mr Hai has over 20 years of legal experience and is well-regarded in the areas of mergers and acquisitions, banking and finance, telecommunications, among others. Mr Yap, a Vietnam-registered foreign lawyer who has been called to the Singapore and English Bar, has extensive experience in corporate and commercial transactions. He has more than 20 years of experience handling cases in the areas including mergers and acquisitions, real estate and corporate compliance. The law firm said that partners from the Singapore office will be seconded to Vietnam and vice versa, in the months ahead - a move aimed to boost knowledge transfer and capacity building. The latest venture in Vietnam is part of RHTLaw Taylor Wessing's strategy to bolster its service offerings across the region. In the last few years, the firm has forged strategic alliances with leading Indonesian law firm, Hanafiah Ponggawa and Partners, and South Korean firm DR & AJU, together with several other leading firms in Asia under the Asean Plus group.