I have more years of international and multinational legal experience than I care to mention. But my interests are most definitely not restricted to ‘big business’. My 12 years of in-house experience, my 10 years with an international law firm, my Australian background, my work in the US, my last 22 years living in Singapore and working across the Asia Pacific region: all this combines to make me a most unusual Singaporean lawyer.
If you’re a start up, if you are a small SME, if you are an entrepreneur, if you are a large SME or if you work for an MNC, I have ‘walked in your shoes’. I speak the language of your business. I like to help you solve your problems and figure out how to do things so that they work in your business. All this, and cost-effectively too.
Privacy / Data Compliance Review (PDPA)
Data protection/privacy and information security/cybersecurity are inextricably linked – there cannot be privacy without security. And contrary to the impression given by many news reports and by complicated reports issued by prominent professional firms and consultants, getting these things right doesn’t need to be expensive or obstruct you in getting on with your business.
If you are a local organisation you should hire me if you do not want lawyers who mire you in theory and complications. Or if you have received a long, long GDPR questionnaire, I can help you respond to it. If you are an MNC I am expert in harmonising your existing privacy/data protection policies and procedures to comply with Singapore law. I do not seek to ‘reinvent the wheel’.
I understand business processes and requirements and the realities of internal politics. I work with you to embed data protection into your existing business processes effectively and use the data protection law to build trust with your customers and other stakeholders. Above all, I understand that the data protection/privacy law, together with information security/cybersecurity should serve business. Compliance can and should be consistent with business needs. ‘The tail should not wag the dog!’
Setting up a business
Are you an investor or entrepreneur looking to startup a new business in Singapore? Are you a foreign company, large or small, planning to establish a Singapore business operation, maybe as a springboard into the rest of Asia?
I can help you with what you need to know legally and with much of what you may find helpful culturally too. I speak the language of business in Asia and I also speak the language of business outside Asia - it's far harder than you might think, but I've been doing it for a long time.
Do you need help through the maze of regulation? Help with employment law? Help with taking on foreign employees in Singapore? Figuring out website terms and conditions or terms and conditiions for your online product or service? Do you need to set up sound governance, risk and compliance structure for your new business here in Singapore? A founders' shareholder agreement perhaps? Or a structure to bring in new investors in your venture?
If your answer to any of these questions - or to anything similar to them - is 'yes', let's chat.
Any contract always fits into one of two different buckets. The first bucket has contracts that are always more or less the same - standard contracts, except for names, dates, money amounts and similar things. Any commercial lawyer can provide standard contracts. So can I, though I'll do it without charging you as if the contract is rare and exotic.
The second bucket has contracts that don't often go so far as being rare and exotic, but are certainly not standard contracts. They are tailored to a specific set of business circumstances, taking into account business risks, operations and ongoing relationships. My philosophy is that contract negotiation is not a battlefield ... with no benefit to anyone except the lawyers for 'each side'. (Need I say that a good business deal should have businesses who agree how to work together for their mutual benefit, not 'my side' and 'your side'?)
Contracts are an opportunity to set out clearly the parties' shared expectations, reducing the risk of future misunderstandings and disputes. Contracts should foster business relationships. They should not sour them at the outset by including unrealistic terms that try to eliminate all risks for 'one side' at the expense of 'the other side'. I will work with you on the AART of risk management and you will make business decisions about risk: A=accept the risk; A=avoid the risk; R=reduce the risk; T=transfer the risk.
Same, same - of course - for reviewing draft contracts, such as where another business provides you with their contract and asks you to sign it. Or where you generate a draft yourself by using online software but you're not quite sure if you have the document you need for your business deal.
Media & Publications
I’ve been a regular contributor to ‘Boardroom Matters’ in The Business Times, writing on a range of topics connected with business, including compliance with regulations and business processes and approaches that can turn compliance requirements into business opportunities.
I am a co-author of ’88 Privacy Breaches to Beware of: Practical Data Protection Tipcs from Real-Life Experiences’, Marshall Cavendish, 2016 – http://www.marshallcavendish.com/marshallcavendish/genref/88-Privacy-Breaches-to-Beware-of_B970_Singapore.aspx and its Second Edition – https://www.marshallcavendish.com/docs/default-source/default-document-library/sample-page/9789814794640.pdf?sfvrsn=54ee72f3_2.
Services & Fees
Value for money – no surprises – no fobbing you off on trainee lawyers: these are the cornerstones of my low-cost, personal service business model.