The best intelligence


Good intel is hard to find, and with changes in the region often so dramatic and rapid, keeping up to speed on legal developments is crucial.

Asia-Business-Law-Journal-July-August-2018Malaysia is a nation on the cusp of change following the end of six decades of rule by one political party. The new ruling Pakatan Harapan (PH) alliance has the job ahead, and legal experts in the country point to the judiciary as a sector in need of reform. New appointments at the very top of the courts seem encouraging, and a new attorney-general has garnered wide support.

But perceptions will be hard to remove. And institutions from the courts to bureaucratized and corrupt government departments, to the government-linked companies that suckled from them with favoured status on projects and schemes, will need more than a change of faces at the top to meet this challenge. “Standards have to be raised, and that will be an evolutionary process that will take time,” notes one lawyer.

New Coat summarizes the views of lawyers on what changes are afoot with the new government, and what more needs to be done in order to revive foreign investment and transparency of government.

This issue’s Head to Head series is a timely one for all our readers attending the AIPPI conference in Cancun, Mexico in September. As international boundaries become smaller and evolutions in the technology space increase in ever tighter time spirals, keeping control of your IP is ever more crucial. Here we assess some of the latest developments in patent law from key jurisdictions in Asia.

In the world of tech, more specifically data security, David White is somewhat of a guru, having investigated financial fraud as part of the US Department of Justice’s multi-agency bank fraud taskforce, and having served as special e-discovery counsel for numerous multinational Fortune 100 companies.

In Data driven, we Q&A with the guru. Want to know about data localization, how it may apply to your company, and why in-house counsel and law firms need to be familiar with its implications? White touches on this and many other issues, including tighter requirements on investigations, disputes and compliance, Europe’s General Data Protection Regulation, hacking and cyberattacks, and more.

In Singapore, progress goals are measured not by if, but by when. A single-party mechanism, which may carry negatives in other channels, brings only good news for investors, with quick policy enactment and up-to-the-minute regulation on issues like fintech that neighbouring states can only envy. The fact that Singapore has also liberalized its legal services regime effectively has helped it become one of the easiest places in the world to do business. All about action looks at the hows and whys of Singapore’s rise.

While on Singapore, check out our A-List of the city-state’s top 100 lawyers. You need to be an “outstanding lawyer with cost-effective solutions”, and “always generous in providing insight and expertise in all matters (even unbillable ones)” to rate in the list.

Comments such as these, submitted to Asia Business Law Journal by the clients of Singaporean lawyers, suggest that they not only look for lawyers with an extensive knowledge of the law, but also those who can provide cost-effective solutions, are highly ethical and super client-friendly. For the A-List, we turned to in-house counsel in Singapore and around the world, as well as Singapore-focused partners at international law firms outside of Singapore, and asked them to nominate private-practice lawyers, including foreign legal consultants, advisers and counsel for the list of Singapore’s top 100 lawyers.

Finally in this packed issue, don’t miss our Asia Business Law Directory, profiling key firms in Malaysia for your perusal.

Best wishes,
John Church
Editor, Asia Business Law Journal
Editor-in-chief, Vantage Asia