16 Nov 2018

Rajah & Tann Asia Launches Legal Technology Business

Rajah & Tann Asia, one of Southeast Asia’s largest legal networks, has officially launched Rajah & Tann Technologies (R&T Technologies), a company set up in response to the impact of technology on the way legal services will be delivered in the digital economy.


R&T Technologies offers technology-enabled legal solutions including electronic discovery (e-discovery), cybersecurity, data breach readiness and response, and other legaltech and regulatory technology services, to clients and the member firms of the Rajah & Tann Asia network.


R&T Technologies, located at Collision 8 in High Street Centre, is led by Rajesh Sreenivasan and Steve Tan, both partners in Rajah & Tann Singapore’s Technology, Media and Telecommunications practice. They are supported by Chief Operating Officer Michael Lew, who has extensive consulting experience in technology risk management, cyber forensics, electronic discovery and legal artificial intelligence, Technical Director Wong Onn Chee, who specialises in information leakage protection, web security and security strategy, and Chief Technology Officer Ong Ba Sou, who has expertise in executing and driving technological change for multinational companies.


Rajah & Tann Asia Chairman Lee Eng Beng SC said: “R&T Technologies is the clearest statement yet of how all 700 fee earners in the Rajah & Tann Asia network intend to use technology to evolve our practice and help our clients meet the demands and challenges of the new economy.


“The technology will not replace our lawyers and other fee earners. It will, instead, enable them to work at unprecedented speed and scale, and to tap other disciplines to solve complex legal challenges for clients. The future is exciting and we believe our investments in R&T Technologies will help us stay at the vanguard of change in a rapidly changing world.”


Mr Sreenivasan said: “Lawyers are often accused of being digital dinosaurs. With R&T Technologies, we show that we can take bold steps to harness advanced technologies in multiple and innovative ways, such as how we interact with clients, automate processes, analyse and extract data or help clients manage cyber and regulatory risks.

“We believe R&T Technologies will show how lawyers, instead of being disrupted by technology, can be part of the disruption. It will pave the way for lawyers who want to be part of the legaltech transformation to pursue new career paths.”


To this end, the first initiative by its virtual law academy is a training and certification programme that the firm will be launching, in partnership with Singapore Academy of Law Ventures. The Certified E-Discovery Management Specialist professional qualification allows lawyers and non-lawyers looking to specialise in e-discovery to be trained and certified for the purpose.


R&T Technologies Director Steve Tan said: “Through Rajah & Tann Technologies, we move away from just traditional legal services to multi-disciplinary services that would be of immense value to a client in operating in a digital world.
“It is about the value we are able to bring to a client that allows them to better operate amidst the myriad of regulations, in a connected digital world.”


In another initiative, R&T Technologies last month acquired LegalComet, a firm which offers various legaltech advisory services including e-discovery, forensic technology and data governance. LegalComet, founded by Mr Lew, provides AI-driven solutions that allow litigators and arbitrators managing large amounts of evidence to speedily and conveniently sieve and extract specific data from mountains of documents.


Other initiatives include a one-stop shop client portal for an array of services – legal documentations, correspondences, working drafts, and invoices, among them. The portal, made available on mobile devices and web browsers, will also offer relevant e-learning modules containing training, seminars, and workshops for various legal issues.

Click here to read the article.

 

 About Rajah & Tann Asia – www.rajahtannasia.com

Rajah & Tann Asia brings together leading law firms and lawyers in Cambodia, China, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Myanmar, Singapore, Thailand, Philippines and Vietnam, with each offering the highest standards of service to locally-based clients while collectively having the capacity to handle the most complex regional and cross-border transactions and to provide excellent legal counsel seamlessly across the region. With around 700 fee earners, all working towards one shared goal, we are lawyers who know Asia and who give our clients home advantage. 

 

16 Nov 2018

Rajah & Tann Technologies and SAL Ventures launch first e-discovery certification in Asia

Rajah & Tann Technologies (R&T Technologies) and SAL Ventures, a subsidiary of the Singapore Academy of Law, have agreed to launch a certification programme for e-discovery management for lawyers and non-lawyers, the first of its kind in Asia.

The Certified E-Discovery Management Specialist (CEMS) programme is a part-time continuing education course for those who wish to be trained to use legaltech tools to conduct discovery, an essential pre-trial procedure in a lawsuit in which each party, following the law of civil procedure, can obtain evidence from the other party by requesting answers to interrogatories, release of documents or taking of depositors.

Traditionally a labour-intensive process involving many lawyers and man-hours, discovery can now be done electronically by machines trained to identify and extract mountains of relevant information in a matter of hours rather than months.

Under a Memorandum of Understanding to be signed at a cocktail tomorrow to launch R&T Technologies, the latter will develop and deliver the course, which will comprise four modules including the fundamentals of e-discovery processes, e-discovery readiness, project management, and hands-on training on legal analytics and artificial intelligence. It will involve classroom theory sessions, self-study e-learning lessons, and practical workshops on navigating various legaltech tools.

This practical skills-based programme will give participants the knowledge and expertise to work across boundaries and position Singapore as a regional hub for e-discovery projects.

R&T Technologies Director Rajesh Sreenivasan said: “E-discovery increases speed and efficiency and reduces costs. There is little choice for lawyers serving clients in a digital economy except to turn to legal tech tools like e-discovery to get the job done.

“But even as technology disrupts the way legal services is delivered, programmes like CEMS will help create a new career path for lawyers threatened by technology as well as those who have left the profession.”

SAL Chief Operating Officer and SAL Ventures Executive Director Paul Neo said: “Sharpening our human capital through continuing professional development is key to helping our legal professionals stay ahead of the game and increase their value-add to clients. In this regard, SAL has launched the LIFTED competency framework and Specialist Accreditation Scheme to help lawyers build domain expertise for the future. This partnership with R&T Technologies to launch Asia’s first certified e-discovery management programme builds on these efforts and is also aligned with SAL Ventures’ focus on supporting the development of “future law” enterprises.”

R&T Technologies Director Steve Tan said: “With the need to be ever more time and cost efficient, e-discovery will eventually become de rigueur in the discovery process. It would be unthinkable when that happens to proceed by way of traditional discovery methods just like it is unthinkable now to utilise a typewriter as your default tool, as opposed to a word processing software on one’s computer.”

The e-discovery market in Asia is poised for strong growth. According to a 2017 report by US research firm Global Industry Analysts, the worldwide e-discovery market is expected to be worth $11.6 billion by 2020, with much of the growth coming from Asia Pacific. Between 2015 and 2020, the region is expected to have a compound annual growth rate of 22.5%, making it the fastest in the world.

The partnership with SAL Ventures is the second initiative for R&T Technologies after its acquisition of LegalComet, an AI driven e-discovery solutions and legaltech start-up providing advisory services including e-discovery, forensic technology and data governance.

The CEMS training programme, expected to commence in the second quarter of 2019, will tap on LegalComet Founder and R&T Technologies Chief Operating Officer Michael Lew’s in-depth expertise in e-discovery consultancy and his credentials as a co-author of the book – A Practical Guide to E-Discovery in Asia.

LegalComet Founder and R&T Technologies Chief Operating Officer Michael Lew said: “E-discovery multi-lingual managed review is possibly one of the fastest growing areas in legal gig economy that offers unprecedented flexibility and rewarding income while working from virtually anywhere at any time.”

The CEMS programme will be offered under SAL’s Legal Industry Framework for Training & Education (LIFTED), which aims to make continuing education relevant and accessible.
R&T Technologies offers multidisciplinary solutions including data breach readiness and response, cybersecurity, a virtual law academy, as well as other legaltech services and solutions.

SAL Ventures was founded as a subsidiary of the Singapore Academy of Law in 2017. It runs the Future Law Innovation Programme, a strategic initiative to create a legaltech ecosystem in Singapore and to help the legal community innovate new ways of delivering legal services in the future economy.

Click here to read the article.

 

About Rajah & Tann Asia – www.rajahtannasia.com

Rajah & Tann Asia brings together leading law firms and lawyers in Cambodia, China, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Myanmar, Singapore, Thailand, Philippines and Vietnam, with each offering the highest standards of service to locally-based clients while collectively having the capacity to handle the most complex regional and cross-border transactions and to provide excellent legal counsel seamlessly across the region. With around 700 fee earners, all working towards one shared goal, we are lawyers who know Asia and who give our clients home advantage. 

 

15 Nov 2018

Rajah & Tann Wins Work-Life Excellence Award

Rajah & Tann Singapore has been recognised for a supportive culture that promotes work-life harmony for its employees. It has won the Tripartite Alliance (TA) Award 2018 for Work-Life Excellence, the fifth time in the last decade and the only law firm this year.

Among the firm’s initiatives to retain its talents are flexible work arrangements, overseas training, healthy lifestyle activities and open communication channels between management and staff.

The TA Awards were announced at a gala dinner and award presentation ceremony yesterday organised by the Tripartite Alliance for Fair and Progressive Employment Practices (TAFEP), comprising Singapore National Employers Federation, National Trades Union Congress and the Ministry of Manpower.

The Awards are given to exemplary organisations that have implemented fair, responsible and progressive employment practices. The Work-Life Excellence category commends companies with strategies that maximise employee and business performance while helping them manage their work-life harmony.

Rajah & Tann Singapore Deputy Managing Partner Rebecca Chew said: “We are honoured to receive this award which reaffirms our continuing effort to constantly drive change to create work-life harmony for our colleagues while ensuring greater work efficiency and business continuity.

“Our policies and practices are premised on the belief that our people are our human capital rather than our human resource. We don’t want to lose talented people to whatever personal challenges they may encounter at different stages in life, so we constantly look at customising work arrangements for these individuals to retain them.”

Rajah & Tann’s emphasis on work-life strategy began more than two decades ago. The mindset of the firm at that time allowed a senior associate to take her child to weekday therapy appointments with flexible working hours. The flexibility allowed her to work as and when she could. She is today an equity partner and head of a practice group.

Another partner was able to work from overseas when her husband had to relocate for a temporary assignment. Japan Desk Manager Megumi Arima could work part-time offsite to pursue an overseas law degree, after being sponsored by Rajah & Tann for a diploma course in paralegal studies.

She said: “Rajah & Tann’s flexible work arrangement has helped me to pursue my passion in law while working part-time. I am grateful to the partners for their unwavering support in developing my career; the fact that they have made all these investments without requiring me to sign a bond, is itself a motivating factor for me to do well.”

Among other initiatives, the firm’s subsidiary R&T Asia Resources, which provides legal resource service, assists lawyers looking for contract work, short term or project specific roles, to secure such roles with the firm’s clients.

Being part of Southeast Asia’s largest legal network, Rajah & Tann is also able to second lawyers to Rajah & Tann Asia offices spread out in 10 regional cities, giving them valuable on-the-job training and exposure to new cultures, industries and jurisdictions.

Rajah & Tann was also commended for its dedicated in-house ombudsman, a rarity among law firms. The ombudsman, who is a senior partner, encourages freedom of expression and provides a safe channel of feedback for staff.

Gym allowances, movie nights, health and wellness workshops, sporting events, overseas trips and retreats for both staff and lawyers are also organised to promote team camaraderie. This coming Sunday, 18 November 2018, will see some 85 lawyers and staff participating in The New Paper Big Walk together.

Rajah & Tann is a member of TAFEP’s Human Capital Partnership Programme, a community of employers with progressive employment practices and policies to develop their human capital.

The TA Awards has a rigorous six-month judging process which includes site visits, interviews with senior management, as well as employee opinion surveys and focus groups. Winners are assessed by the extent and effectiveness of the various policies implemented, as well as management’s commitment to improve these strategies.

Rajah & Tann Singapore is a leading full-service law firm in Singapore and one of the largest in South East Asia, with market leading practices in dispute resolution, international arbitration, shipping, insolvency, restructuring, corporate & commercial, tax & trust amongst others. Through Rajah & Tann Asia, it is a member of one of the largest legal networks in Southeast Asia with over 700 fee earners.

Watch the live stream of the award presentation here

For more information about the TA Awards, please click here.

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About Rajah & Tann Asia – www.rajahtannasia.com

Rajah & Tann Asia brings together leading law firms and lawyers in Cambodia, China, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Myanmar, Singapore, Thailand, the Philippines and Vietnam, with each offering the highest standards of service to locally-based clients while collectively having the capability to handle the most complex regional and cross-border transactions and to provide excellent legal counsel seamlessly across the region. With over 700 fee earners, all working towards one shared goal, we are lawyers who know Asia and who give our clients home advantage.

07 Nov 2018

Rajah & Tann Technologies acquires LegalComet

Rajah & Tann Technologies (R&T Technologies), a unit of Singapore’s leading law firm, Rajah & Tann Singapore, has acquired LegalComet in a major step forward in using technology to deliver legal services at unprecedented value and efficiency to clients.

Helmed by legaltech veteran Michael Lew, LegalComet offers clients legaltech advisory services including electronic discovery (e-discovery), forensic technology and data governance. The company’s artificial intelligence driven solutions allow litigators and arbitrators managing large amounts of evidence to speedily and conveniently sieve and extract specific data from mountains of documents.

The acquisition positions Rajah & Tann Singapore among the first in Asia to launch a full service e-discovery practice at a time when technology is rapidly disrupting large swathes of industries and the way goods and services are delivered to customers.

LegalComet provides complementary forensic technology services which includes data acquisition and preservation, recovery of deleted data and passwords, cyber breach investigation, as well as mobile and cloud forensics.

R&T Technologies Director Rajesh Sreenivasan, who is also Rajah & Tann’s Head of Technology, Media and Telecommunications, said: “Michael is a former colleague and a leading e-discovery practitioner in Asia and we are excited to have him back at Rajah & Tann.”

“Rajah & Tann Technologies recognises that advances in technology have enabled lawyers to do many mundane, repeatable tasks at incredible speed and accuracy.”

“Michael and his team at LegalComet will help Rajah & Tann Technologies to make a leap forward in delivering legaltech services and solutions to clients across the region, and in strengthening our market position.”

LegalComet was founded by Mr Lew who has over 17 years’ experience in technology risk management, forensic technology and e-discovery consultancy with top legal and advisory firms, including his previous role as the head of discovery for a Big Four advisory firm before striking out on his own. He is also a qualified digital forensics investigator who had provided expert testimonies in several high-profile cases and is the immediate past president of the High Technology Crime Investigation Association, HTCIA (Singapore Chapter).

Mr Lew graduated from the London School of Economics with a Masters in Information Systems. He started his career at a Barristers Chamber in Lincoln’s Inn, before joining Rajah & Tann in the year 2000, where his role was to identify better ways to manage and review electronic evidence.

LegalComet has a diverse team of e-discovery consultants, legaltech lawyers as well as a data science advisor. They have combined experience of over 40 years in legaltech advisory services and solutions.

Mr Lew said: “The legal industry is traditionally seen to be slow to embrace technological innovation because a lawyer’s competitive edge is supposedly built on his or her ability to consume, synthesise and analyse vast amounts of complex information; so it is refreshing and exciting to be part of a leading law firm that believes technology in general and artificial intelligence in particular, can work with lawyers to achieve high-value outcomes for clients.”

“We are confident that the expertise and experience that the LegalComet team has built up over the years will help Rajah & Tann to also be at the cutting edge of technology.”

The e-discovery market in Asia is poised for strong growth. According to a 2017 report by US research firm Global Industry Analysts, the worldwide e-discovery market is expected to be worth $11.6 billion by 2020, with much of the growth coming from Asia Pacific. Between 2015 and 2020, the region is expected to have a compound annual growth rate of 22.5%, making it the fastest in the world.

R&T Technologies offers multidisciplinary solutions including data breach readiness and response, cybersecurity, a virtual law academy, as well as other legaltech services and solutions. It is a new vehicle for Rajah & Tann Asia to adapt itself and provide new legal delivery models and deliverables to meet clients’ demands in the digital economy.

Click here to read the article.

About Rajah & Tann Asia – www.rajahtannasia.com

Rajah & Tann Asia brings together leading law firms and lawyers in Cambodia, China, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Myanmar, Singapore, Thailand, Philippines and Vietnam, with each offering the highest standards of service to locally-based clients while collectively having the capacity to handle the most complex regional and cross-border transactions and to provide excellent legal counsel seamlessly across the region. With around 700 fee earners, all working towards one shared goal, we are lawyers who know Asia and who give our clients home advantage.