The Rise and Fall and Rise of Heritage Law Firms – Lessons from Rodyk: 150 Years

 

I am in the midst of reading books relating to law firms. I am now re-reading the book Rodyk: 150 Years, published in 2011. An excellent read.

The book documents the 150-year history of the Singapore heritage law firm, Rodyk & Davidson. The firm lost some of its lustre and then entered a historic merger with HelenYeo & Partners, a mere 10-year old law firm. It was a merger of equals and transformed the firm.

In a series of posts, I will feature some of the extracts from the book of Rodyk: 150 years. I weigh in with lessons for law firms, professional practices and for businesses. 

I start with the book’s introduction penned by Chan Sek Keong, who was then the Chief Justice of Singapore. It was also published in the Singapore Business Times.

 

LAW firms with a long historical lineage during the period of colonial rule in Singapore are a rarity. Singapore became a British territory in 1824, and English law was introduced into the colony in 1826 through the Second Charter of Justice. From 1826 to 1963, Singapore was the legal capital of the Straits Settlements in terms of the volume and quality of legal work and disputes. Many law firms were born and died. Many ceased to exist because of the Japanese Occupation in 1942 and were never revived after the British returned. Many others did not survive their founding partners, who did not care to let their names continue as brand names for the sake of their partners. Continue reading

Largest Law Firms in Malaysia 2020: Domestic and Foreign Firms

This is our third year listing the largest law firms in Malaysia. You can also read the 2019 edition and the original 2018 edition.

Like in our previous editions, we take the number of lawyers based on the Malaysian Bar legal directory website as at the time of writing. We total up the number of lawyers for the law firm, including its branch offices. Continue reading

PEMUDAH Webinar – Post Covid-19: Options for Companies to Emerge Stronger

On Thursday 23 July 2020 at 2.30pm, I will be moderating this webinar on restructuring and corporate rescue. The webinar is organised by PEMUDAH, Malaysia’s Special Task Force to Facilitate Business.

I will be joined by the speakers PohPoh Khoo of Ernst & Young and Kumar Kanagasingam of Lee Hishammuddin Allen & Gledhill .

We will cover strategy and insight from the perspective of an insolvency practitioner and legal practitioner. Companies can consider the options to restructure its debts, maintain a good financial position, and emerge stronger in the COVID-19 environment.

Registration is free and you can register here. Seats are limited.

Lessons from Lockdown: How COVID-19 and remote working have changed the way we work

2020 has been the year of COVID-19. The pandemic has affected every aspect of life in almost every corner of the globe. Apart from the devastating impact on health and lives, and the effect on economies everywhere which may take years to recover from, COVID-19 has changed the way we work. Malaysia’s Movement Control Order (“MCO”) meant that from 18 March, most businesses had to cease on-site operations. Many other countries also enforced similar restrictions.

As a result of restrictions, people the world over have had to get used to working from home. While the concept of remote working isn’t new (it may come as a surprise to many that Tim Ferriss’ classic “The 4-Hour Workweek” was published 13 years ago), before these restrictions most industries had resisted the shift to working away from the office. The COVID-19 restrictions have forced even the staunchest luddites to adopt remote working.

We sought the views of the following four individuals with links to the legal industry across Asia-Pacific to hear about their work-from-home experiences:

  1. Crystal Wong, a partner in the Energy, Infrastructure & Projects and International Arbitration Practice Group at LHAG.
  2. Gaythri Raman, the Managing Director, Southeast Asia at LexisNexis.
  3. Jeannette Tam, a Senior Managing Associate at Bird & Bird Hong Kong.
  4. Zamir Hamdy Hamdan, the Asst Vice President for Stakeholder Management in Astro Malaysia‘s Human Capital Division.

We’re sure you’ll enjoy reading their insights.

Continue reading

Largest Law Firms in Malaysia 2019: Domestic and Foreign Firms

Last year, we featured the largest law firms in Malaysia. We continue with this feature this year and update the numbers for 2019. We total up the number of lawyers of each law firm, including the firm’s branch offices.

In summary, the largest law firm in Malaysia is Zaid Ibrahim & Co with 160 lawyers, spread across offices in Kuala Lumpur, Penang, Johor Bahru and Kota Bahru. In joint second are Skrine and Lee Hishammuddin Allen & Gledhill with 126 lawyers.

The headcount is based on the Malaysian Bar directory listing at the time of writing. All images are from the firms’ website. Continue reading

Malaysian Law Firms on Instagram

In our earlier post, we had featured Malaysian law firms which are active on LinkedIn. Malaysian law firms are also taking to another social media platform, Instagram. It is a largely photo and video-driven platform, and with a large number of users. There are estimated more than 1 billion monthly active Instagram users and more than 500 million daily active users.

The law firms below have slightly different approaches in utilising Instagram. It may be a combination of sharing knowledge or legal updates, giving an insight into the firm culture or firm activities, or something unique altogether.

We feature below the firms with a higher number of followers. Do drop a comment if you think there are other firms we should feature. Continue reading