Event Report

The Legal 500 hosted the APAC Disputes Summit: Singapore 2024 on Thursday 19 March, providing a platform for legal experts to delve into pressing issues and emerging trends in the Asia-Pacific region.

The event commenced with a welcoming note from Nathalia Lossovska, head of legal at WTW and vice-president of the ACC’s Singapore chapter. Her remarks set the tone for the day’s discussions, emphasising the importance of collaboration and knowledge sharing in navigating the evolving legal landscape.

The first panel of the day, moderated by Leow Jiamin (Wong Partnership), explored significant developments in crypto-asset disputes, including valuation challenges, enforcement issues, and unique considerations for stablecoins and crypto insolvency. The panellists, which included Daniel Chan (WongPartnership LLP), Lionel Leo (WongPartnership LLP), Kwok Yi Wen Mildred (Bitdeer Technologies Group), Collin Cheong (Coinhako), and Kang Junwei Benjamin (BVNK), shared practical insights and experiences, shedding light on the complexities of navigating this rapidly evolving area.

In the following session, Jack Mullan and Patricia Astorga (Mintz Group), discussed with Johnny Lim (Reed Smith LLP) and Bernard Yee (Resource Law LLC) about the risks and rewards associated with transactions in Southeast Asia, addressing regulatory challenges, market trends, and cultural considerations. They offered strategic advice to navigate complex transactions successfully, drawing on their extensive experience in the region.

Nicolas Tang (Farallon Law Corporation), then chaired a discussion providing valuable insights into best practices for conducting internal investigations. Alongside Ben Ee (RSM Singapore) and Carlos Estrada (The Adecco Group), he discussed risk mitigation, the safeguarding of a company’s reputation, and gave precious takeaways. The panel also analysed the best way to manage communications within and outside organisations so that internal investigations do not develop into present dangers.

In the subsequent panel, Danny Ong and Victoria Ting (Setia Law) delved into the domain of fraud within the APAC region, exploring emerging facets of fraud, technological solutions, and legal tools to combat fraudulent activities. The discussion was greatly enriched with the excellent contribution of Lily Tsen (Amcor Flexibles), Jarrod Baker (Deloitte Southeast Asia), Anushka Chandra (Bosch), who provided strategic approaches to managing fraud risks effectively in the current global business landscape.

The morning concluded with a thorough presentation by Peter Doraisami (PDLegal) on litigation management.

The afternoon part of the Summit started with a panel exploring shareholder activism. Mark Lee (WMH Law Corporation), Sarah Yeo (WMH Law Corporation), Stanley Park, independent consultant and member of the board of directors of the Singapore Corporate Counsel Association), and Owen M. Hawkes (KPMG) explored how shareholders safeguard their interests through litigation and the exercise of legal rights. The discussion extended beyond legal aspects, drawing from our speakers’ experience in cross-border shareholder disputes and transactions, providing an analysis of the impact shareholder activism has on directors, and examining how they can engage with shareholders.

Gilbert Leong (Dentos Rodyk), then sat with Foo Maw Jiun (Dentons Rodyk), Veronica Lai (Starhub), Nihal Karakoc (Johnsonville), and Sam Chung (Agilent) to discuss emerging cybercrime trends, security challenges, and the role of general counsel in responding to cyber incidents. The session provided valuable insights into preparing for and mitigating cyber risks in today’s digital age.

In the third session of the afternoon, Wei Ming Tan (CMS), Anthony Woo (CMS), Wei Ming Tan (CMS), Lakshanthi Fernando (CMS Singapore), Anthony Ellwood-Russell (Omni Bridgeway), Piyush Gupta (Singapore Airlines), Anya Bailey (FTI Consulting) offered a comprehensive exploration of the evolving landscape surrounding the recognition and enforcement of foreign judgments and arbitral awards across borders in Asia. Attendees gained valuable insights into the latest developments, challenges, and innovative solutions that are actively shaping the region’s legal framework.

For our second fireside chat of the day, Monique Wan (Wee Swee Teow), examined trade finance security, addressing key challenges and potential vulnerabilities in trade finance transactions. Her presentation provided practical insights into strengthening security measures and mitigating risks in trade finance operations.

The last session of the day was presented by Danuel Chia (Herbert Smith Freehills Prolegis). Yanguang Ker (Herbert Smith Freehills Prolegis), Gitta Satryani (Herbert Smith Freehills Prolegis), Arjun Agrawal (Chevron), Jackson Eng (Deutsche Bank), Jeanette Wong (global healthcare company) joined him for a discussion on effective collaboration among in-house, local jurisdiction, and international lawyers in complex cross-border disputes. The speakers shared insights into fostering a successful partnership between private practice and in-house practitioners in light of GCs’ expectations and discussed practical solutions from all three perspectives.

The Summit concluded with closing remarks from Maree Myerscough, COO and general counsel at Aquila Clean Energy Asia Pacific, reflecting on the day’s discussions and highlighting key takeaways for attendees.

Many thanks to CMS, Dentons Rodyk, Farallon Law Corporation, Mintz Group, PD Legal, Herbert Smith Freehills Prolegis, Setia Law, Wee Swee Teow LLP, WMH Law Corporation, and Wong Partnership for partnering with us on this successful event. We extend our sincere appreciation to all speakers and attendees.

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