Lim Chong Kin, Managing Director of Corporate & Finance, quoted in ALB Japan article on the trend of setting up Japan Desks among Asian law firms

09 Feb 2023

Lim Chong Kin, Managing Director of Corporate & Finance, has been invited by Asian Legal Business (ALB) to contribute to their cover story, “Building Bridges”, which featured leaders from Asian law firms as they share insights on the trend of setting up Japan Desks to cater to the growing demand for legal expertise.

Chong Kin shared that Drew & Napier’s Japan Desk was established in 2000 to provide focused support to the Japanese business community in Singapore. Since its inception until today, our Japan Desk has ridden on various notable trends, each propelling us to greater success.

In terms of differentiation, Chong Kin said, “Singapore is a well established hub for international arbitration, and we have successfully represented our Japanese clients in many international arbitration matters. Drew & Napier is also part of Drew Network Asia (DNA), a blue-chip legal network consisting of the most influential leading law firms in Southeast Asia. As a ‘firm of firms’, our network operates as a cohesive and integrated team, and we are able to seamlessly represent our Japanese clients’ interests throughout the Southeast Asian region. For example, we often assist Japanese companies on their competition law compliance programs across Southeast Asia. In recent times, we have been busy assisting Japanese companies on asset acquisitions, as well as data protection compliance, across Southeast Asia.”

Chong Kin also shed light on some of the challenges faced. Cultural and language barriers are more pronounced as some of our Japanese clients are companies that operates mainly in their own domestic markets. However, our Japan Desk has found ways over the years to ensure that we can still build a strong relationship with this group of clients.

“Drew & Napier regularly welcomes fully qualified Japanese lawyers as secondees from Japanese law firms. Through our secondees, we can foster stronger and long-term connections with Japanese law firms, which leads to more opportunies with Japanese companies. We have found this to be a mutually beneficial collaboration as we are also able to act a bridge for our Japan partners clients to the Southeast Asian market. In addition, we have several Japanese-speaking support staff and lawyers in the firm to boost our communication and outreach capabilities,” Chong Kin explained.

You may read the full article on p.2 of ALB Japan’s February 2023 issue here.

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