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 22, 2017

Litigation Partner Eugene Quah shares with The Straits Times alternative options artists and storage warehouses may take in the case involving Mandala Fine Art, a Singapore art gallery who has ceased operations

RHTLaw Taylor Wessing Partner Eugene Quah was quoted in The Straits Times article titled “Storage company holding more than 100 pieces of art hopes to recover $36,000 debt owed by Mandala Fine Art”. The article was first published in The Straits Times on 22 February 2017. Storage company holding more than 100 pieces of art hopes to recover $36,000 debt owed by Mandala Fine Art It is the second warehouse that shuttered Singapore art gallery, Mandala Fine Art, owes money Source: The Straits Times © Singapore Press Holdings Ltd. Date: 22 February 2017 Author: Nabilah Said Storage company Alliance Logistics hopes artists will come forward to claim more than 100 pieces of art stored in its warehouse and help settle a $36,000 debt. The company is owed more than a year's rent by shuttered Singapore art gallery, Mandala Fine Art. When The Straits Times visited the warehouse in Yishun two weeks ago, the company was taking stock of the art pieces - stored in two wooden crates - which have been in its possession since October 2015. Alliance Logistics does not know who these artists are, but hopes they will come forward so that it can recover the rent owed by Mandala Fine Art. The Straits Times reported on Feb 8 that the gallery had ceased operations here and owed more than $18,000 to another storage company, Oceanic Logistics, in Jalan Pemimpin. There are up to 100 art pieces stored there. To date, up to 41 artists await the return of their artwork - estimated to be worth more than $1million. Alliance Logistics has asked to be paid numerous times and sent a letter of demand to Mandala Fine Art in December, but it has gone unanswered as Mandala's Sri Lankan owner, Mr Vitharana Mudiyanselage Hemasiri Vitharana, has left Singapore. If an artist is willing to pay off Mandala's debt, "we will definitely release all those paintings to them (after) proper procedures are done," says Mr Benson Toh from Alliance Logistics. Since The Straits Times' report, nine more artists have come forward to say they also have unreturned artwork, some of which have been held by the gallery since early 2015. These artists hail from all over the world, including the most recent claim by Ukrainian artist Alexander Belozor, whose paintings were exhibited by the gallery in Singapore in April last year. Singapore-based Polish artist Kasia Pawlak, 40, says she has been waiting for the return of her three paintings, valued at $6,700, since July 2015. She filed a police report against the gallery in February last year. She also filed a claim at the Small Claims Tribunal in April, but it was found to be "outside the jurisdiction of the tribunal" and discontinued. Her appeal in May was also discontinued. "I don't know what my possibilities are and what I can do, so I am waiting," she says. According to the State Courts, even if claims are discontinued, the claimant "can consider filing a civil suit in the courts". At least three former gallery employees have also told The Straits Times that they are owed salaries amounting to $17,000. The Ministry of Manpower and Central Provident Fund Board say they are taking enforcement action against the company. Mr Vitharana says in an e-mail to The Straits Times that he is working towards paying off the company's debts and returning the paintings. But for now, the artists may have to resort to other options. They could sue the storage companies for their works if they "have not consented to Mandala storing the artworks with the storage companies", says Mr Eugene Quah, partner, litigation and dispute resolution practice, at law firm RHTLaw Taylor Wessing. He adds that the storage companies may also sue Mandala, but even if successful, receiving payment would depend on whether "Mandala has assets in Singapore that the judgment can be enforced against". Ms Emi Eu, president of Art Galleries Association (Singapore), advises artists to "carry out due diligence before signing up with any gallery", such as looking up gallery associations "where they could consult or find more information on the specific galleries". She adds: "I hope that this unfortunate incident can be resolved in a fair manner for (all) parties."