29 Mar 2019
Patrick Ang to take over as Managing Partner of Rajah & Tann Singapore
• Lee Eng Beng, Senior Counsel, remains as a Senior Partner and Chairperson of Rajah & Tann Asia as firm’s regionalisation efforts intensify
• Patrick to train and mentor young partners to prepare for leadership renewal
• Rising investments in technology to deliver legal services in changing landscape
Rajah & Tann Singapore announced today that the firm’s Deputy Managing Partner, Patrick Ang, will take over from Senior Counsel Lee Eng Beng as Managing Partner with effect from 31 March 2019.
Mr Lee hands over the reins of Singapore’s leading law firm after nine years at the helm. He will remain as Senior Partner as well as Chairman of Rajah & Tann Asia, one of the largest legal networks in Southeast Asia.
Mr Lee said: “I am proud to have Patrick succeed me. He is a very capable, well-liked and trusted leader in the firm and, as Deputy Managing Partner, has been closely involved in day-to-day management as well the driving force behind many of the firm’s key projects and initiatives. At the same time, he has built up a strong professional reputation as an eminent insolvency and restructuring lawyer globally.
“In his new role, Patrick will not only bring the firm forward but will also give priority to training and mentoring our young partners and prepare them to take on leadership roles within the firm.
“Rajah & Tann has a culture of embracing change and having each generation of partners investing in and building up the firm for the next generation. We believe that at this time when various market forces and the advent of technology will drive significant changes in the way legal services are delivered, this is critical for the firm to evolve and flourish.”
Mr Ang said: “Under Eng Beng’s leadership, Rajah & Tann has transformed from a Singapore-centric firm to one that is regional in scope and scale. The success of Rajah & Tann Asia is testament to his vision and his ability to catalyse cooperation among lawyers from diverse backgrounds and regulatory environments. It is also a reflection of the unwavering support from our clients for which we are very appreciative, and which motivates us to continue to grow and innovate so we can serve clients better.”
Mr Ang noted that with the rapidly changing legal landscape and rising demands from clients to do more for less, law firms have to be agile and plan strategically for the future. One of his immediate priorities, besides grooming partners in their 40s, is to oversee the firm’s move to a new office at Marina One at the end of the year. “This won’t just be a physical move but a shift in mindset,” he said.
The new office will adopt a more open concept, which will see equity partners switch from working in enclosed rooms to semi-open modular pods with high partitions, sharing resources and collaborative spaces, and using more technology tools to improve productivity and reduce costs. Mr Ang said that the open concept will promote a less hierarchical organisation, enhance optimisation in planning and organising resources, and ultimately make the firm more flexible in the way it adapts to a dynamic business environment.
Mr Ang is considered one of the top 25 thought leaders globally for restructuring and insolvency by Who’s Who Legal, a UK-based leading publisher of legal directories known for its annual listings of global leaders in business laws. He has also received accolades in his area of practice from other publications such as Chambers Asia Pacific, IFLR1000 and The Legal 500 – Asia Pacific.
He was the first Singaporean and the fourth lawyer from Asia to be inducted into the American College of Bankruptcy, a prestigious organisation for leading bankruptcy and insolvency practitioners globally. He acted in some of the biggest corporate failures globally and in Singapore including Lehman Brothers, Sogo Department store, Nortel Networks, China Aviation Oil, Asia Pulp & Paper, and Swiber Holdings.
Mr Lee was appointed Joint Managing Partner in March 2010 and became sole Managing Partner in October 2010. He spearheaded Rajah & Tann’s regionalisation and led Rajah & Tann Asia’s emergence as the leading legal brand in Southeast Asia, from 591 fee earners in 2015 to 762 today, up nearly 30%. Rajah & Tann Asia has over 1,250 fee earners and employees across the region.
Regional-sourced business now comprises more than half of Rajah & Tann Singapore’s revenue.
“We’ve succeeded in our regionalisation efforts and people recognise it,” Mr Lee noted. He believes that contributing to Rajah & Tann Asia’s success is its different philosophy of partnership. “We took the view that we were not going out, we were inviting people in.”
After five years of working as a team on cross-border transactions and getting to know one another at retreats, Rajah & Tann Asia has been able to forge an effective regional brand recognised by many regional and international legal counsels based in Singapore. It has fuelled referrals and provided ease of access for clients who prefer to brief and manage one team rather than assorted teams in multiple jurisdictions. It worked not only for Rajah & Tann Singapore but also in spades for firms in the network which were experiencing stronger growth. “Indonesia was one third the size when they joined us, now they are the biggest there,” Mr Lee noted.
In Singapore, Rajah & Tann Technologies, the firm’s legal tech subsidiary, and R&T Asia Resources, which procures short term or project specific in-house legal help for clients, were established in recent years to help the firm respond to a more digitally-driven economy and pressures from clients facing cost-cuts.
Rajah & Tann Singapore is one of the largest full-service law firms in Singapore and South East Asia, with market leading practices in M&A, dispute resolution, international arbitration, shipping, insolvency, restructuring, capital markets, competition law, corporate and commercial, technology, media and telecommunications, among others. Through Rajah & Tann Asia, it is a member of one of the largest legal networks in ASEAN with over 750 fee earners.
From left: Lee Eng Beng SC, Patrick Ang
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 750 fee earners, all working towards one shared goal, we are lawyers who know Asia and who give our clients home advantage.