At the heart


Time to give key issues the intense coverage they deserve

This issue of Asia Business Law Journal is packed with excellent content that gets to the heart of issues that are weighing on the minds of in-house counsel throughout the region and beyond.

Asia Business Law Journal June 2017Our cover story exclusive, NY state of mind, is a look at the Commercial Division of the New York State Supreme Court, courtesy of Janet DiFiore, Chief Judge of the State of New York and Chief Judge of the Court of Appeals, the state’s highest court. The Commercial Division has proven to be a shining light in terms of how a commercial court should operate, and has seen delegations visiting from across Asia and around the world, all keen on exploring its administrational and operational systems.

Chief Judge DiFiore’s insights into the workings of this successful commercial court are especially poignant at a time when the establishment of commercial courts throughout the world is on the increase for solving complex international business disputes.

The big build is the second in our series on the Belt and Road initiative, this time exploring projects that are already underway and those that are “shovel ready”. We separate the hype from the reality, looking at areas that are likely to play a pivotal role and also issues that could be stumbling blocks for this massive undertaking.

Not all nations have embraced this initiative, and a strategy of this size will naturally strike political and cultural, as well as legal and contractual, pros and cons. Still other nations are vying for principal status as co-ordinators in key areas such as arbitration.

Still on the hot issue of infrastructure, Need for clarity looks at whether the investment treaty arbitration regime has lived up to hopes of creating a more secure system for foreign direct investment. In particular, public private partnership (PPP) projects are examined following recent criticisms from some sovereign states about the fairness of international arbitration.

The International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID), for example, has been criticized for disproportionately emphasizing commercial and private interests. Our story gets to the core of what is needed for greater confidence in the system from sovereign states and commercial interests alike.

We also present the first article in a series on technology, which we all know is a crucial topic for in-house counsel, law firms and the entire legal community. Our first article explores fintech, the buzzword for new business that is beginning to feed through the region.

In Press for profit, it is evident that fintech’s rapid rise has mirrored the lightning-strike advance of technology and its impact on a legal sector that is struggling to keep up with change. This is evidenced by the fact that fintech is still virtually an unknown concept is many parts of Asia, despite already transforming the economic landscapes and lives of people in the region.

Our story looks at how monetary exchanges work, what buzzwords like blockchain mean, and the impending invasion of artificial intelligence. Spin-offs such as insurtech and regtech are also explored in this must-read upgrade for your clients or legal department.

Moving on to antitrust, and The squeeze looks at this active sector and how an international focus on tougher regulation and scrutiny is combing with increasing M&A and business activity to put the heat on in-house counsel and law firms.

Compliance is key and we explore the state of play in regions around the world, and also wrap up developments in Asia-Pacific for a comprehensive cross-section of relevant developments. Also don’t miss our Head-to-head section, which looks at how top law firms see developments in anti-competition law in jurisdictions across the region.

And of course check out our regular sections such as In-house Agenda, which rounds up the news from our partner in-house counsel associations around the region. Subscription