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Lia Alizia, Managing partner

Managing partner Lia Alizia explains how Makarim & Taira S. is adapting to clients' changing needs.

What do you see as the main points that differentiate Makarim & Taira S. from your competitors?

Makarim & Taira S. has been established for 37 years as an independent and domestic law firm. Being one of the oldest firms in Indonesia, there is no doubt that the firm is well acquainted with the development of Indonesian law. The length of its practice has given the firm valuable experience in how to deal with the Indonesian government’s policies and practices.

The firm applies open and dynamic management. Open management means that everyone has an equal opportunity to become a partner, subject always to their level of competence. The firm is considered dynamic due to the constant regeneration of its management over the years it has been practicing law. This also shows that the firm has been constantly developing its practices due to inevitably changing of industries in particular enormously competition in the law industry.

In providing its services, it has kept up to date with recent developments to serve its client’s needs which are becoming more varied and complex. In addition, we always promptly respond to our clients’ questions and needs as a matter of principle.

When providing the advice clients ask for, the firm does not just consider the theory; we also look at it from the commercial perspective so we help clients make well informed decision on the matters which require our advice.

The firm also preserves a high standard of ethics in providing its services and complies with all the anti-corruption/bribery regulations, especially its litigation and dispute resolution team. Our firm is the only representative of Indonesia to the anti-bribery organization, TRACE International.

Which practices do you see growing in the next 12 months? What are the drivers behind that?

The firm sees that this year the infrastructure, project financing, construction and real estate sectors have grown and are most likely to continue to do so next year. The reason for this is the program of the current Indonesian government, led by President Joko Widodo, develop infrastructure in general and to increase the number of power plants and roads in the provinces.

To support the above program, the Indonesian government is trying to improve the foreign investment climate and raise Indonesia’s world investment ranking by simplifying procedures and adjusting limits on foreign shareholdings in certain business sectors to attract more investors.

Further, currently, the Indonesian government is actively promoting the tourism sector which it is believed can encourage foreign investment, especially in the accommodation business, eg hotels and resorts. Many provinces are now updating their procedures for obtaining the licenses or permits required to build hotels or resorts to make them less complicated.

In light of the improvement of our foreign investment climate, the development of human resources is also part of the Indonesian government’s program. It is expected that more qualified and trained human resources will be available since investment will provide employment opportunities. Employment issues exist in every business, so this sector is seldom without opportunities. Our employment practice group has been growing rapidly to respond to needs of our clients in upgrading their employment related issues.

Lastly, the issuance of the new IT related regulations by the Indonesian government to respond to the establishment of start-up companies and the growth of online based applications for transport etc. has definitely created work in a market which the firm can participate in.

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

The firm is upgrading its systems so that communications with clients and third parties are much smoother and more convenient, therefore taking less time and incurring less cost. Recently, the firm upgraded its information and technology system significantly (for example, we now use skype call). Clients can now receive a response or advice sooner than before while the firm maintains its quality of services.

The firm intends to obtain a certificate from the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) to improve work system, so that our clients can feel more confident about the firm as an independent party within the ISO will assess and evaluate the firm’s performance.

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

Yes, absolutely. Innovation and development in the information and technology industry are making communications much is easier. Communications with the clients can be conducted everywhere at any time, which is positive and beneficial for clients as they can get the feedback they need from the firm promptly. This innovation and development is also facilitating our lawyers, paralegals, and librarians to find the information they need to respond to our clients’ questions and provide them well informed advice.

In addition, social media support the firm to circulate or distribute memoranda and articles on new regulations and provide clients up-to-date information which may be relevant to their businesses or help the make important decisions. By way of social media, the clients are also able to see the firm’s other activities such as its corporate social responsibility.

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

As part of our services to the clients, the firm regularly delivers presentations or holds trainings or seminars for clients’ employees at a certain level (mostly managerial and up) to update them on the latest developments in the laws, codes of ethics, and other matters to add to their knowledge and understanding of current legal and practical issues.

The firm also engages with the clients through a secondment arrangement for long standing clients and for particular projects to provide them the assistance they need on a daily basis.

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

Yes, they are. During its 37 years in practice, the firm has kept loyal clients because of the firm’s ability to maintain their trust in the quality of the firm’s output.

The firm also makes every effort to maintain a good relationship with its clients. The firm and its clients advise each other on not only legal matters but also commercial, cultural and other matters. The firm is positive about the future and expects to continue to provide the same quality of services and thereby expand its client base.

We also plan to develop new practice areas to keep up with current developments in business. The firm aims to maintain its flexibility and remains open to new ideas which can help it to achieve these ambitions.

Legal Developments by:
Makarim & Taira S.


    In Indonesia, despite it being generally accepted that a foreign employee is by nature a fixed term employee, recent rulings of the Industrial Relations Court or the Supreme Court have given rise to some arguments among scholars, legal practitioners and jurists since the rulings have recognized foreign employees as ‘permanent’ employees and therefore entitled to severance pay upon termination of their employment in Indonesia.
    - Makarim & Taira S.

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