July 11, 2016

RHTLaw Taylor Wessing adds Hong Kong capabilities with addition of Hong Kong law firm H.M. Chan & Co

RHTLaw Taylor Wessing LLP (“the Firm”), the sixth largest law firm in Singapore has boosted its presence in Hong Kong and Greater China following an official association with local firm H.M. Chan & Co in Hong Kong. This association in Hong Kong is the latest addition to RHTLaw Taylor Wessing’s rapidly growing ASEAN Plus Group, a Pan-Asian grouping of leading legal firms. By being an integral part of ASEAN Plus Group, H.M. Chan & Co opens up unprecedented opportunities for cross-border collaboration between Hong Kong / Greater China and the rest of the Pan-Asian offices in the ASEAN Plus grouping which was launched in 2014. Launching a new office in Hong Kong is part of a series of strategic growth initiatives the firm has planned to bolster presence across ASEAN and North Asia. Today’s association with H.M. Chan & Co also adds Hong Kong and Greater China capabilities to the network’s increasing bench strength and reach across the whole of Asia. This latest association with H.M. Chan & Co comes soon after RHTLaw Taylor Wessing’s successful merger with PBC Partners & RHTLaw on 30 June 2016 to form RHTLaw Taylor Wessing Vietnam. The months ahead will also see Partners from the Singapore office being seconded to Hong Kong and vice versa, a move aimed to boost knowledge transfer and capacity building. The industry areas that will see secondments include: Banking & Finance Regulatory Governance Private Wealth Intellectual Property and Technology Through the association, RHTLaw Taylor Wessing and H.M. Chan & Co will continue to deliver corporate advisory work with a focus on assisting clients in multi-jurisdictional transactions, a core competence of the team.  Commenting on the association, Tan Chong Huat, Managing Partner, RHTLaw Taylor Wessing said, “This is a very exciting move for our firms and draws on our combined and recognised strengths. We are very pleased to welcome H.M. Chan & Co into the Taylor Wessing and ASEAN+ network. With the growing volume of transactions flowing between Hong Kong and Singapore, RHTLaw Taylor Wessing sees exciting opportunities for both firms to serve the legal needs of international clients with strategic and business presence in Hong Kong and China. In addition, with this development, we are also now able to seamlessly serve clients in Singapore with a local Hong Kong and Greater China team. We will also be seconding our Partners to Hong Kong to boost our knowledge and capabilities. This is in line with our aim of helping our clients succeed. I am pleased that this development comes quickly after the successful launch of RHTLaw Taylor Wessing Vietnam.” The new Hong Kong office further strengthens RHTLaw Taylor Wessing's already extensive capability across Asia, which comprises a network of more than 1050 lawyers in South East Asia operating through its ASEAN+ Group. Internationally, the firm has 33 offices, operating in 20 jurisdictions, across Europe, the Middle East and Asia, with representative offices in the US (Palo Alto and New York).  The latest venture in Hong Kong 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. This story is featured in the following news reports: "RHTLaw Taylor Wessing Adds Hong Kong Capabilities with Addition of Hong Kong Law Firm HM Chan & Co" - Yahoo Finance, 11 July 2016 "RHTLaw Taylor Wessing ties up with Hong Kong law firm" - The Edge Markets, 12 July 2016 "Taylor Wessing expands its reach to HK through HM Chan tie-up" - Asian Legal Business, 13 July 2016
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.