09 May 2023
Rajah & Tann wins FT Innovative Lawyers Award for Cybersecurity & Data Governance and ranks most innovative Southeast Asia law firm
Rajah & Tann (R&T) has clinched the Most Innovative Lawyers in Cybersecurity & Data Governance accolade at this year’s Financial Times (FT) Innovative Lawyers Asia-Pacific awards for its pioneering work in advising Bayer, the German life sciences company, on the use of drones to collect agriculture data that helped farmers in Southeast Asia target their pesticide spraying with precision, thereby increasing crop yields.
In 16th place, the firm is also the only Singapore and Southeast Asia law firm to be ranked in FT’s league of the top 20 most innovative law firms in the Asia-Pacific region, marking its 10th consecutive year on the list.
In the winning deal, R&T advised Bayer on the local regulatory requirements in different Southeast Asian countries, as well as on the commercial aspects of collaborating with various drone technology partners. The advice delved into novel aspects of the collection of agricultural data and getting the necessary consent from numerous government agencies. FT has cited that this is one example of how the legal sector in the Asia-Pacific region has to think more inventively.
R&T was also shortlisted for several categories including Most Innovative Lawyers in Digital Assets, Innovation in Training & Development and Innovative Individual Leaders.
In the Digital Assets category, R&T was approached by the US counsel of a US citizen in Mexico who had his cryptocurrency stolen. The firm successfully argued to the Singaporean courts that the cryptocurrency amounted to property subject to trust and that, as the coins passed through crypto exchanges based in Singapore, the courts could freeze the assets.
R&T also scored points in the Innovation in Training & Development category for its creation of a professional development course for arbitration work. The course is delivered using several methods, including live virtual training and group analysis of case studies, and the training model will be extended to other practice areas.
R&T’s Managing Partner Patrick Ang was among the law firm leaders who demonstrated a blend of empathy, dynamism and vision. FT noted that since his appointment in 2019, Mr Ang has focused on promoting young lawyers into leadership roles, which he said keeps the firm vibrant and dynamic.
The majority of people on the R&T executive committee are now in their early to mid-forties, which is unusual for law firms worldwide. Each member is tasked with advancing a specific strategic goal for the firm. Under Mr Ang’s leadership, FT said the firm has pursued expansion and invested in offices in Vietnam and Indonesia, which have seen double-digit revenue growth in the past two years despite the impact of the pandemic.
On R&T’s outstanding achievements in this year’s FT rankings, Mr Ang said: "The recognition from FT, one of the world’s top business publications, is testament to R&T’s commitment to innovation and excellence in the practice of law.
“Rajah & Tann is one of the first, if not the first law firm in Southeast Asia, to embrace tech innovation because we have long recognised that legal tech would transform the practice of law. Our tech savvy lawyers work closely with allied professionals skilled in data and cybersecurity, and are well placed to advise clients in the fast-evolving digital economy across the region.”
FT's Innovative Lawyers Asia 2023 rankings report uses a scoring methodology devised by FT and its research partner RSGI to evaluate lawyers, law firms, and in-house legal teams on their ability to deliver exceptional value to society using technological advancements and innovative approaches.
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, providing legal counsel seamlessly across the region. With over 970 fee earners, all working towards one shared goal, we are lawyers who know Asia and who give our clients home advantage.