For the first time since 2018, The Legal 500 highlights the most impressive, the most innovative, the most irrepressible in-house legal teams in Southeast Asia! After 2019 and 2022 editions focusing on individual general counsel, it is by popular demand that we are returning to our teams format, a transition which allows us to shine a light on in-house legal team members beyond the top dogs, but who nonetheless contribute hugely to the success of their organisations.
As we continue to roll out the GC Powerlist to ever-more destinations, this year’s edition capitalises on the excellent research done by our team for events in the Philippines, Malaysia, Thailand and Vietnam, by featuring a greater proportion of teams from those countries than ever before. We also have entries from Myanmar and Cambodia this year, hopefully emphasising The Legal 500’s commitment to cover the in-house legal community worldwide. We’re proud to say that Southeast Asia is becoming something of a home market for us, given the connections and friendships we have made over many years with the legal community here.
Producing a Teams Powerlist also gives us a chance to look at the strategies employed to build a high performance in-house legal department, by those who have had success. Apart from displaying essential qualities such as mutual respect and open communication, these first-class departments have a gone step further in creating an inclusive environment that guarantees success, healthy competition, and growth, both in professional and personal areas. Echoing the words of the legal team at CP Axtra, “It is not the sheer number of individuals that comprises our team; rather, it is the way we work together that determines the way we succeed.”
It is always important to have a team that is a representation of their clients, and society at large. In line with this need for diversity, Veronica Lai, on behalf of StarHub’s legal team, states: “We firmly believe that a well-balanced, diverse and inclusive team contributes positively to our work, bringing fresh perspectives and innovative structuring of solutions to the StarHub group.”
A high-performance team is one that does not limit itself. The legal function continues to evolve, and legal departments must remain varied in their skillsets to keep up with these changes. Cathay United Bank’s Ho Chi Minh City Branch have proactively taken steps to address this development and widen their scope:
“We never set a boundary for legal work only, because legal professionals can do a lot more than just function within a very narrow legal framework. A business-legal mindset enables us to work with everyone in the organisation from different angles to ensure goals are successfully and efficiently achieved.“
The Mercedes-Benz Malaysia Legal Department succinctly states, “The legal department should be a department of how instead of a department of no.”
An empowered legal team can be an unstoppable force that drives a company’s unprecedented growth, while protecting it from unnecessary risk. Hence, it is important for these highly competent departments to remain committed to what makes them so efficient.
At Prolintas, this means that “Everything about the team must exude openness, a sense of transparency, to build trust and dialogue. We incorporate this philosophy into every aspect of our work, right down to our choice of colours and shoes!”
As always, thank you to everyone who responded to us to help us with the research in any capacity, and especially thanks to the law firms that sponsored the research: Jones Day, Mohanadass Partnership and Frasers Law Company.
Most importantly, though, congratulations to all the successful legal teams who made it into this edition!
Global Editor: The Legal 500 Powerlist Series
For the first time since 2018, The Legal 500 was delighted to highlight the most impressive & innovative in-house legal teams in Southeast Asia at Singapore’s world-famous Raffles Hotel. Taking place in the sumptuous East India Room, we welcomed around 150 in-house counsel to the drinks reception and award ceremony alongside our event partners Jones Day, Mohanadass Partnership and Frasers Law Company.
As we continue to roll out the GC Powerlist to ever-more destinations, this year’s edition capitalised on the excellent research done by our team for events in the Philippines, Malaysia, Thailand and Vietnam. This year’s list featured a greater proportion of teams from those countries than ever before, and were happy to see individuals from across Southeast Asia in attendance, including our sole entrant from Myanmar.
Producing a Teams Powerlist gives us a chance to shine a light on in-house legal team members beyond the general counsel who nonetheless contribute hugely to the success of their organisations. It also allows us to discuss the strategies employed in building a high performance in-house legal department, and (in terms of work talk anyway), this covered much of the discussion in the room.
After the award ceremony, festivities carried on long into the night alongside some of our favourite GCs, and people who have supported The Legal 500’s efforts in Southeast Asia over many years.
We look forward to our next event in wonderful Singapore.