Event Report

The Legal 500 returned to Singapore with a bang at the Marina Bay Sands Convention Centre, with the first of our disputes-focused GC Summits since the end of the pandemic. Head of business development for Asia Ben Lovell and global editor for Legal 500 Powerlists Joe Boswell oversaw proceedings alongside the nine leading law firms who partnered with us for this event: Allen & Overy, Dechert, K&L Gates Straits Law, Reed Smith, Schellenberg Wittmer, WongPartnership, RPC, Ashurst and Eugene Thuraisingam LLP.  

The 150 GCs in attendance were treated to an enthralling lineup of eight separate sessions; panel discussions and shorter fireside chats, covering a wide breadth of disputes challenges in Singapore.  

From the start, this was one of the highest quality events in terms of content that I can remember. First on the agenda was a panel discussion in association with Schellenberg Wittmer, ‘How can GCs add value to dispute management and what do in-house counsel expect from external firms during the arbitral process?’ This highly practical session was helmed by Julie Raneda and supported by Nathalia Lossovska, Doris Chen, Andrew Haynes and Maija Burtmanis. 

Foreign investment naturally comes with risks, especially now with geopolitical tensions and the pandemic debt burden potentially setting the stage for further, and bigger, problems.  

Our next panel, alongside Allen & Overy, took a deep dive into these concerns, outlining ‘the state of the nation in managing foreign investment risks in Asia Pacific’. John Rainbird, Jae Hee Suh, Steve Wilford, Howard Wallis and Chee Chong Lau put their minds to this key topic.  

After a coffee break, delegates were welcomed back to a scintillating and unique session alongside Dechert and including the leader of their International Arbitration Team of the Year award-winning arbitration team, Mark Mangan. As well as practical advice on cross-examination, the panel discussed preparing witnesses from their own vast experience.  

Our first fireside chat, alongside RPC, and featuring Yuankai Lin and Russell Pereira on stage, dealt with a potentially groundbreaking new piece of technology But how much of a gamechanger is GPT-4 for the legal world? As it turns out, potentially a significant one. During the Q&A, many in the audience admitted to trying out GPT-4 for some of their more mundane legal tasks, and being surprised with its efficacy.  

After lunch, the schedule moved over to the world of crisis management alongside Wong Partnership. During a conversation moderated by the highly charismatic Koh Swee Yen, Chou Sean Yu, Monica Chong Wan Yee, Gladys Chun, Chen Xinping and Kapil Kirpalani looked in detail at how to avoid, manage and resolve disputes, including a robust Q&A session. 

The second fireside chat, alongside Allen & Overy, saw speakers Chris Mainwaring-Taylor of A&O and Tejus Chauhan of the ICC look at alternative dispute resolution in the context of the arbitral process. This session led to a lot of conversation during the networking sessions. 

Reed Smith took charge of the next panel, with their highly regarded international arbitration barrister Timothy Cooke taking the stage alongside Jasmine Chin-Sabado, Mitchell Dearness and Philip Lomax. A highly practical session which led to many in the audience realising the potential of litigation funding, litigation insurance and other possibilities relating to commercial dispute funding.   

Finally, those in attendance were able to enjoy another highly practical session in association with K&L Gates Straits Law. Effortlessly mixing crisis management advice with lessons on marshalling an in-house legal team to respond to impending litigation, this highly distinguished panel of Muralli Rajaram, Joan Lim-Casanova, Piyush Gupta, Jayne Kuriakose and Matthew Kasdin expertly handle the room.  

Networking drinks followed this highly educational, practical and entertaining agenda. As always, it was a huge honour to work with so many talented people on this event, and we look forward to our next event in Singapore! 

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