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.
June 27, 2016

RHTLaw Taylor Wessing Managing Partner Tan Chong Huat shared his views on “Welcome to the internet of money” in this week’s 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 27 June 2016. Welcome to the internet of money JUN 27, 2016 5:50 AM THIS WEEK'S TOPIC: How do you think fintech innovations can potentially impact your business, and your life? Tan Chong Huat Managing Partner RHT Law Taylor Wessing  LLP AS a global financial node with high number of technology users, Singapore is already on the global radar as a major international fintech hub. It is therefore not surprising that fintech's disruptive potential has been in sharp focus here. Fintech promises the delivery of more efficient, customer-centric and transparent financial services. Fintech platforms are also more nimble, able to adapt and customise the delivery of services quickly. Fintech platforms, must, however, not forget the "fin" in fintech - they are delivering financial services and will succeed only if they have a robust governance, risk management and regulatory compliance framework.
June 22, 2016

RHTLaw Taylor Wessing congratulates Taylor Wessing UK on its move into East London

RHTLaw Taylor Wessing congratulates Taylor Wessing UK on its move into East London Taylor Wessing UK is relocating its dedicated Tech City office from Great Eastern Street to Second Home, London’s most high-profile community of entrepreneurs and creative businesses in the heart of London’s tech cluster in Shoreditch. The Taylor Wessing Tech City team focuses on UK and international tech start-ups and more established tech companies, with representation from the firms’ Technology, Venture Capital, Intellectual Property, Tax and Incentives, Inward Investment and Employment groups. The Firm has offices in all the major technology centres around the world, including London, Cambridge, Paris, Berlin, Singapore, New York City and Palo Alto. Second Home, the flexible members-only workspace was launched in 2014, in a former carpet factory just off London’s Brick Lane. Since then, it has become renowned for being a hub for fast growing creative companies. Commenting on the move to Second Home, Adrian Rainey, Partner in the Corporate Technology team at Taylor Wessing said: “London’s tech sector has grown and internationalised enormously since we became the first City law firm to open an office in Tech City in 2011. Our office is at the heart of that community and we can benefit from the ideas and innovation spilling out of it.” Simon Walker, Partner in the Corporate Technology team added: “For us, it’s about new ways of thinking and change, being a part of that discussion and being as close as possible to the industries we’re expert in.” Josh Rivers, Head of New Membership at Second Home said: “We think Taylor Wessing’s great work in supporting entrepreneurs is a perfect fit for Second Home. We’re really thrilled to welcome them to the space.” Taylor Wessing’s Tech City team moved to Second Home on 20 June 2016.