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Kusnandar & Co.

Work +62 21 5140 2020
Jakarta, Jakarta

Mr. Arno D. Rizaldi Setiawan, ACIArb as a Partner of the firm

Mr. Arno D. Rizaldi Setiawan discusses how the firm is adapting to clients' changing needs.

What do you see as the main points that differentiate from your competitors?

Kusnandar & Co. is a unique firm in Indonesia because we are a one-stop service firm that is fluent in all areas of the law from maritime and corporate to family and real estate. Even though we are not the largest firm in the country, we are proud to be one of the oldest and strongest firms in Indonesia having been founded in 1980 and having established a flawless track record with our high profile clients worldwide. We hear of many clients complaining about firms being dissolved, merged, and/or moved thus jeopardising confidentiality, continuations, and regularities, Kusnandar & Co. has continued to maintain its legacy from day 1 of its establishment to serve its clients in a reliable consistency whether in legal service as well as management.

Which practices do you see growing in the next 12 months? What drives this?

Given its relatively young age, Indonesia is still discovering itself legislatively and thus in the spirit of paving itself a solid foundation for a strong nation, many aspects of the laws, its regulations and directives are still being developed. Nevertheless, some areas of practice that we foresee will be growing will include taxation, intellectual property, foreign investment, and cyber especially with regard to e-commerce in all those fields, Kusnandar & Co. is also conversant.

The notoriously hot topic of automatic exchange of information incepted by members of the OECD will definitely create a deluge of taxation restructuring of various clients for corporate and personal reasons. This will, in time, generate changes in foreign investment strategies of clients. We believe that we will also foresee foreign clients, from within or beyond ASEAN, establish footings in Indonesia as the ASEAN economic community is set to commence and Indonesia constitute of 40% of its population. The steady rise of e-commerce in Indonesia will also see a growth of clients seeking advice on the establishment of electronic transaction based companies along with all other derivatives that these may entail thus, a command for clear and direct interpretation of the laws and regulations which govern this industry will be in demand. With the government’s intent focus on modernising the country’s infrastructure, we believe that we will also see a new foreign investments looking for opportunities in this initiative as well as industries benefiting from its lucrative spin-off offerings.

What's the main change you've made in the firm that will benefit clients?

Kusnandar & Co. is perpetually evolving. Starting with our commitment to providing our lawyers with continuing education through various programs, seminars, trainings, etc. locally as well as internationally, to continually updating our back office with cutting-edge technology, so as to be able to remain current at the disposal of our clients.

Is technology changing the way you interact with your clients, and the services you can provide them?

We have not exactly changed the way we have been interacting with our clients due to technology. Other than making use of a webcam and internet telephone services, we have, by in-large, maintained the bulk of our communications with our clients as we always need to weigh and consider the confidentiality of any data transfer, documents dispatch, etc. With regard to our services, we have always worked together with technology in providing clients with the most secure and reliable corporate secretarial services. In other words, even though our offices and personnel are technologically equipped, we have to always anticipate and be aware of how to best serve our clients, even if they don’t know it yet.

Can you give us a practical example of how you have helped a client to add value to their business?

Kusnandar & Co. prides itself in having perpetual relationship with its clients. Growing old with our clients only to be regenerated by each of our counterparts has not only proven to be rewarding but also fulfilling. Knowing that our clients’ interests are looked out for by our own prodigies is re-assuring. One of our strongest policies has always been to maintain a simple policy of loyalty. By treating our clients’ interests as our own, we not only save guard our clients to the best of our abilities, but also create cost and expense savings both at a third party level as well as within our own invoices to client. Therefore, by maintaining this policy, Kusnandar & Co. has certainly enjoyed an understated reputation of sustaining our clients’ developments resulting in parallel growth with our own operations.

Are clients looking for stability and strategic direction from their law firms - where do you see the firm in three years’ time?

We definitely see clients looking for stability and strategic directions from their law firms, which is especially evident to us after mostly having dealt with foreign clients doing or intending to do business in Indonesia. Clients in new jurisdictions such as Indonesia, especially foreign, in many cases require hand-holding, thus implicit trust and reliability is not only key but the ultimate way to do business. We are continually challenged by our clients to be the sensitively aware of all aspects of doing business in Indonesia especially with regard to the legal, social and political aspects of this country. In return, time and again, we are pleasantly surprised to welcome back long absent clients, and/or even its new officers, intending to start a new business or re-establish a different enterprise in Indonesia, while reminiscing working together with our firm back in the day.

In three year’s time, Kusnandar & Co.’s goal is not only to maintain and retain its established reputation and operations in Jakarta and Bali, but to also be able to open new frontiers in new jurisdictions in order to accommodate and cater to the ASEAN market as a whole as the gateway for doing business in Indonesia. Kusnandar & Co. also geared towards providing various training including legal training for young generation. 

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