March 9, 2017

RHTLaw Taylor Wessing is proud to host the Interlex Group Asia-Pacific Regional Meeting 2017

RHTLaw Taylor Wessing is delighted to be the host firm for the Interlex Group Asia-Pacific Regional Meeting 2017 held over two days from 5-6 March 2017 in Singapore. At the welcome dinner, Deputy Managing Partner Azman Jaafar opened with a speech, followed by a specially selected modern Chinese cuisine dinner at The Fullerton Hotel. The two-day meeting focused on the legal climate within the region and the role Interlex plays. Over 40 Interlex delegates from 23 law firms across 24 different cities such as New Zealand, Indonesia, Austria, USA, Hong Kong, Canada and UK attended the event. Prior to the closing dinner, the Firm invited the delegates over to our office for a cocktail session. It was an excellent opportunity for Partners to meet with fellow Interlex members to forge new and better business relationships.   The Interlex Group is an association of leading global law firms that provides a range of international legal and business services to clients.
March 6, 2017

“Views are the bases of ideas and innovation. Plurality of views engenders more options for business ideas and innovation”, shares Managing Partner Tan Chong Huat in the Business Times’ Views from the Top

RHTLaw Taylor Wessing’s Managing Partner Tan Chong Huat shared his views in this week’s topic in the Business Times’ weekly column, Views from the Top. This article was first published in The Business Times on 6 March 2017. In the driver's seat March 6, 2017 - 05:50 THIS WEEK'S TOPIC: How far do you as a corporate leader take in views from others in running your business? How do you draw from the latest and best out there? Tan Chong Huat Managing Partner RHTLaw Taylor Wessing LLP Views are the bases of ideas and innovation. Plurality of views engenders more options for business ideas and innovation. I am agnostic when taking in views that are constructive and instrumental in running my business profitably and sustainably. I seek out views from key stakeholders (customers, co-workers, businessmen and my partners) by asking questions. Then I listen intently. If I don't understand, I ask more questions. My learning orientation often elicits positive responses from them. As they see how some of their views are adopted, they entrust me with more views. This would likely result in more ideas.
March 1, 2017

RHTLaw Taylor Wessing Subhas Anandan Award Supports Pro Bono Initiatives By NUS Law Students

RHTLaw Taylor Wessing Founder-Senior Consultant Mr Rajan Menon presents the NUS Criminal Justice Club with the 2017 RHTLaw Taylor Wessing Subhas Anandan Pro Bono Award at the NUS Pro Bono Awards ceremony, Wednesday 1 March 2017. Leading international law firm RHTLaw Taylor Wessing is pleased to announce that it has awarded the NUS Criminal Justice Club (“CJC”) the RHTLaw Taylor Wessing Subhas Anandan Pro Bono Award (“the Award”) at the NUS Law Pro Bono Awards Ceremony 2017. The Firm’s Founder-Senior Consultant Mr Rajan Menon presented the Award to the CJC at the event today. The RHTLaw Taylor Wessing Subhas Anandan Pro Bono Award seeks to encourage NUS Law students to embrace the pro bono spirit and to be torchbearers of pro bono work. It provides S$25,000 over a period of five years from 2016 to 2020, to fund worthy pro bono projects initiated by NUS Law students. Into its second year, the Award was launched in 2016 as a tribute to the late Mr Subhas Anandan, Singapore’s most outstanding criminal lawyer and a Senior Partner at RHTLaw Taylor Wessing. Mr Anandan was a champion of pro bono work and a tireless supporter of a fair and just society, whose legacy the Firm is continuing to honour and celebrate. Set up to raise awareness about criminal law in Singapore and to inspire positive change within the criminal law scene, the CJC best reflects Mr Anandan’s own advocacy for the criminal justice system in Singapore. The Club has helped provide recourse for individuals who believe they have been wrongfully convicted of crimes and led efforts in exploring potential improvements to the military justice system. To this end, the Firm is pleased to present the CJC the RHTLaw Taylor Wessing Subhas Anandan Pro Bono Award for the second year running. Commenting on the value of pro bono work in a speech delivered to NUS Law students at the event, Mr Rajan Menon, Founder-Senior Consultant of RHTLaw Taylor Wessing said, “For lawyers getting into or just starting out in their careers, pro bono work provides exposure to a broad spectrum of legal work that they might otherwise not encounter in their practice. Many of our volunteer lawyers have also found their lives enriched by a sense of fulfilment in knowing their pro bono work has directly touched someone’s life in a meaningful and lasting way.” “We look forward to seeing many more good works done by you in the coming years. As students on the cusp of entering the legal profession, we hope that you will continue to embody and strengthen the pro bono spirit even as you progress through your careers,” Mr Menon added. The importance of pro bono work, and of giving back to the community, has always been part of the RHTLaw Taylor Wessing culture. The RHT Rajan Menon Foundation, set up to enable the Firm and the RHT Group of Companies to contribute to charitable endeavours, has raised more than S$400,000 over the past two years for beneficiaries including The Straits Times School Pocket Money Fund, the World Wide Fund for Nature, the National Galley Singapore and the Red Cross Home for the Disabled. Volunteer lawyers from the Firm are regularly involved in pro bono work as well, participating in legal clinics and the Criminal Legal Aid Scheme (CLAS) and assisting the Action Community for Entrepreneurship Ltd as the legal service provider to the start-up community at JTC LaunchPad@one-north. --- The RHTLaw Taylor Wessing Subhas Anandan Pro Bono Award is featured in the following news reports: "Pro bono award winners lauded for making a difference" - The Straits Times, 2 March 2017
February 21, 2017

Chairman of RHT Rajan Menon Foundation Tan Chong Huat shares with The Business Times that “One of the main tenets of RHT’s belief is that when we do well, we must do good”

RHT Rajan Menon Foundation was featured in The Business Times article titled “Doing well, doing good”. The article was first published in The Business Times on 16 February 2017. It was also published in The Business Times Wealth Magazine February 2017 Edition. Doing well, doing good Source: The Business Times © Singapore Press Holdings Ltd. Date: 16 Feb 2017 Author: Genevieve Cua Veteran lawyer Rajan Menon was about to retire from KhattarWong, after a career spanning three decades, when the idea to found a law firm took fire. He hosted some colleagues at his home and turned to his wife. “I asked, should I be doing this at this age? She was perceptive. She said, your colleagues have fire in their belly.” To his astonishment, nearly 100 people – 49 lawyers and 50 employees – resigned from KhattarWong to join the new firm even as the founding partners were scrambling to secure premises. RHTLaw Taylor Wessing, which started in 2011, broke even within its first month of operation. Today it boasts core legal services in the areas of banking, corporate and intellectual property advisory, among others. It even offers a slew of ancillary services, such as Big Data and compliance solutions, corporate secretarial, media and family office services. A good part of the drive to succeed may be traced to Mr Menon’s firm admonition to the firm’s partners at the outset. “I told my colleagues two things. One is to never forget what the staff did. They have mortgages, families, household budgets. To resign from a place where you were employed to move to an unknown quantity – most people don’t realise how important those big moves are. I told my partners – we should remember this, cherish it and develop the company from there. “The second thing is that one of our cornerstones must be that we need to reach out to the unfortunate, the ones who are deprived and need help.” Thus the idea of setting up a foundation to formalise the firm’s giving took root. Says RHT partner and cofounder Tan Chong Huat: “We felt we had to give back to society. One of the main tenets of our beliefs is that when we do well, we must do good. Instead of CSR (corporate social responsibility) on an ad hoc basis, we wanted to do it through a foundation in a more focused fashion.” Planning for the RHT Rajan Menon Foundation began in 2013 and it was incorporated in 2015. Mr Tan is the foundation’s chairman and associate professor Ho Peng Kee its patron. The foundation was recently registered as a Grant-making Philanthropic Organisation. This means it is able to issue tax deduction receipts to its donors. Mr Tan says: “The vision of the foundation is to establish and encourage a philanthropic culture of giving back to the community, among the corporate and legal fraternity. There isn’t an organisation out there established as a corporate foundation to do this. “We believe the legal community can be a catalyst to do more, with their expertise and intimate knowledge of the community. We want to excite this group to go forth and contribute.” Both Mr Menon and Mr Tan have had a long commitment to public service. Mr Menon says he is passionate about pro bono work. “Two to three years after I joined KhattarWong in 1981, the first person who called me was (then-president) Devan Nair. He said – you should help the unions. They were the first group I was involved in; they were very poor.” His service to organisations included the labour foundation and trade union, including work for SLF Properties and SLF Management Services; NTUC Fairprice and the Hindu Endowments Board for whom he helped with the construction of and fundraising for the Sri Sivan Temple at Dhoby Ghaut. In 1993 he was conferred the Public Service Medal, and the Friends of Labour Award by the National Trades Union Congress. Mr Tan is council member of a number of organisations including the Football Association of Singapore, the Singapore Red Cross and the Singapore Road Safety Council. He has established a National University of Singapore bursary for needy students, the Tan Han Boon Bursary, named after his father. Last year, the foundation hosted two major fund raisers, galvanising the firm’s wide network of clients and associates. It raised some S$450,000 through two charity golf events in May and October. Beneficiaries for the May event included the Straits Times School Pocket Money Fund, the World Wide Fund for Nature and the National Gallery Singapore. The October event’s beneficiaries included the Red Cross Home for the Disabled. Says Mr Tan: “What I can see is that corporations are coming forward and affirming that they like the causes we support. In these bad economic times, to raise S$450,000 over four to five months is pretty credible. “I think the level of awareness of philanthropy or giving is rising. It’s quite clear that donations and contributions have gone up over the past five to 10 years. Can corporates do more? Yes, the legal community can do more with their specialised knowledge. We created this foundation to promote awareness and establish programmes that can be actualised and help entrench this community.” To further the cause of pro bono work, the foundation has launched the RHTLaw Taylor Wessing Subhas Anandan Pro Bono Award to recognise and fund the best pro bono ideas. The foundation also partnered the Singapore Management University’s School of Law to launch the RHT Tan Chong Huat Corporate Crime Award, recognising the best students in corporate crime.