Interview with: Dr. George C.H. Lin, Managing Partner
Lin & Partners Attorneys-At-Law | View firm profile
Dr. George C.H. Lin, Managing Partner at Lin & Partners, shares his experience in managing a tier-1 law firm and his views on the Taiwan legal market.
Our editorial group notes that Lin & Partners is a mid-sized local law firm in Taiwan, yet it has been ranked and recognized as a Tier-1, leading law firm in several practice areas for many years. This is quite an extraordinary and exceptional case for your market. Who is Lin & Partners?
Thank you for your compliments. Indeed, I think this is an extraordinary accomplishment in 10 years by our team of talented professionals.
Lin & Partners is a boutique, independent and powerful full-service law firm in Taiwan. Most lawyers in Lin & Partners come from a diversified background and experience which, in addition to having attended the most prestigious law schools in Taiwan and internationally, can provide in-house and outside counsel perspectives on client matters. This enables us to deliver our clients comprehensive and high-value added legal services at very reasonable fees and to distinguish ourselves from other traditional law firms. We endeavour to be client-oriented and objective-oriented by always bridging the gap between a legal solution and a commercially-sound solution in our services to clients in a cost-effective manner.
At Lin and Partners, we always strive to keep abreast of new and emerging areas of the law while strengthening our core practice. Since as early as 2001, our firm became the pioneer law firm in the field of credit card payments and insurance, subsequently assisting the government in the drafting of the “Financial Consumer Protection Act” (Taiwan’s first financial service ombudsmen scheme) in 2008-2009. At the same time, during 2001-2007 our Corporate and M&A practice successfully assisted several clients in cross-border complex M&A transactions. In 2014 we further dived into third party payment services; in 2017 we were already in the field of Blockchain and Fintech and in 2018-2019 we excelled in robot banking. In addition to our Banking and Finance practice group, we have established a strong presence in the gaming field since 2011, as well as in the energy and renewable energy field since 2018. Recently, we have also leveraged our extensive knowledge and experience in dispute resolution into the telecommunications sector.
What makes the Lin & Partners team stand out from other law firms in Taiwan?
At Lin & Partners, our people are our biggest assets. Our firm had successfully and steadily recruited and retained top multinational talent since the 2008 financial crisis, when top–Taiwanese talent successively returned to Taiwan looking for challenging and professionally rewarding positions.
Our talents have established our full-service law firm with practice areas ranging from Banking and Finance, Capital Markets, FinTech, M&A, Labour and Employment, Litigation, to Construction, Energy, Insurance, Public Procurement, Hospitality & Entertainment, Aviation and Shipping Law and other specialized areas.
Our team is comprised of multicultural and multidisciplinary attorneys and other professionals coming from different educational and professional backgrounds, both locally and from abroad, and are admitted to appear in courts throughout Taiwan, Hong Kong, England & Wales, and parts of the United States. The attorney team is comprised of MBAs, CPAs, AML specialists, securities and futures specialists and other professional backgrounds, and our working language include Mandarin Chinese, Taiwanese, English, Spanish, Arabic and Japanese.
The team’s hard work and dedication has resulted in our firm to be constantly recognized by leading international ranking institutions as one of the top law firms in Taiwan in Dispute Resolution, Shipping, Insurance, Projects and Energy, and other practice areas. Accordingly, we are well positioned and capable to provide comprehensive and business-oriented soultions to clients across the board.
What advice would you give to your younger self?
To always be passionate in your goals and challenge yourself, yet be flexible in your strategy and allow yourself to think outside the box and be creative. Like any other industry, the legal profession is always evolving, discipline in staying updated and creativity are important elements in adapting to new trends and innovative emerging business types.
Passion will encourage you to perfect your craft and deliver comprehensive yet easy to understand solutions while enjoying the daily challenges of the job. Creative thinking will help you adapt and respond to the rapidly changing legal and commercial developments.
Can you give me a practical example of how you helped a client add value to the business?
Lin & Partners provides high value-added legal services to clients, every time. We are a one-stop solution provider for the clients’ legal matters by leveraging our full-service and multidisciplinary advantage to quickly grasp the essence of every clients’ business needs and objectives, and integrate cross-practice and cross-disciplinary perspectives and assessments into the advice we provide to them, from pre-transaction to dispute resolution.
A good example of our high-value added legal services is our recent engagement with a multinational corporation in medical device and pharmaceutical products where, in addition to providing traditional legal and regulatory advice, we also delivered policy, stakeholder engagement and lobbying risk assessment to the client, successfully assisting the client to identify the relevant legal, regulatory and political risks in the proposed transaction.
Within your sector, what do you think will be the biggest challenge for clients over the next 12 months?
Financial regulation and de-regulation would remain a hot topic. This would apply to FinTech/blockchain, offshore/online platform trading and sharing-economy cross-border payment issues, as well as currency control and exchange policy matters.
Taiwan has relatively well-managed COVID-19 pandemic and therefore the local currency, New Taiwan Dollars, is becoming a safe-harbour currency for hedging currency exchange risks, making the government to adapt a stricter interpretation of the law and enforcement of monetary policies to prevent drastic monetary fluctuation. Accordingly, bankers should avoid being seen as manipulating currency exchange and businesses should refrain from currency speculation.
Other challenges for clients over the next 12 months would be the adjustment of the business due to the global impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. Particularly, the renegotiation of contractual obligations and/or its ensuing dispute resolution or settlement would be expected to rise in the next 12 months. Furthermore, corporate restructuring and the slowing down of M&A transactions may also play an important part in clients potential challenges.
Are clients looking for stability and strategic direction from their law firms – where do you see the firm in three years’ time?
At Lin & Partners, we strive to become clients’ long-term strategic legal advisors. We do so by providing high value-added legal services and maintaining our firm at the front end of developments in the legal industry.
In the next 3 years, we expect to continue to maintain our independent law firm position while excelling in our services to expand our international presence. Because very few international law firms have a physical presence in Taiwan, we are keen in building up professional relationships with international law firms to form strategic partnerships and collaboration based on our strengths and position ourselves as their best strategic choice in Taiwan.