What are the biggest challenges facing firms in Asia Pacific and specifically the market in which you operate in?
To continuously improve the capability and expertise of associates and partners, and the operating efficiency of the whole firm, in order to sharpen the competitive edge.
The global pandemic has clearly changed the way in which organizations tend to operate. What impact has this had on your clients and your approach to advising clients?
During the first half of this year, the pandemic indeed forced us to change the way in which the firm operated and in which we connect with and advise clients. Remote and on-line work and communication was essential. The whole adapted to this working mode successfully. China is the first out of the pandemic, since early June, office working and business travel started to return to normal and now is completely normal. So in the second half of this year, things are back to normal.
What do you do differently from other firms? What do you think separates you from your competitors?
First, we were confident that the pandemic would be under control soon, the latest by May of this year. So we saw the light at the end of tunnel at the very beginning. The confidence and morality of the whole firm have been great.
Second, we projected that before the pandemic under control, work would be slow as most of the projects and deals which clients already approved could not kick off, and courts could not process litigations as fast as before, but these work would not vanish, rather they were delayed and postponed. Once we are out of the pandemic, work, project, transactions and litigations would rush in and we would be kept very busy. Before we start to be busy, we made ourselves completely prepared. Our projection turned out to be correct.
Third, a strong and experienced leadership is essential. Our leadership has experienced Asian financial crisis in 1997, SARs pandemic in 2003, worldwide financial crisis in 2007-2008. The firm weathered successfully during these difficult times. Confidence of the leadership, the ability of the leadership to unite the firm, to keep the confidence and morality of the firm, the ability to make projections on how business would progress are significant.
Are clients looking for stability and strategic direction from their law firms – where do you see the firm in three years’ time?
We do not foresee a large change of what clients expect from us, and best quality of legal advice and responsiveness at a competitive price have been and will remain as the things our clients expect the most.