08 May 2023

Rajah & Tann Asia sets up data and digital economy group to support clients’ foray into the digital era
  • New regional group brings together law, technology and cybersecurity in collaborative, multi-disciplinary approach
  • Lawyers to work with allied professionals in technology and cybersecurity

Rajah & Tann Asia said today it has set up a Data and Digital Economy (DDE) regional sector group, bringing together its legal, technology and cybersecurity services in a multi-disciplinary approach that supports clients in the digital economy.

In this differentiated offering, Rajah & Tann Asia lawyers will collaborate with allied professionals including data analysts, legal engineers and cyber forensic experts from Rajah & Tann Technologies and Rajah & Tann Cybersecurity.

The group offers a full spectrum of DDE services, focusing on transactions and disputes involving technology, data privacy and protection, cybersecurity, fintech, blockchain and smart contracts, e-commerce and trade and consumer protection.

To showcase the DDE group’s capabilities, Rajah & Tann Asia will host a forum titled “Data and Digital Economy Revolution: Reengineering Businesses for Success” on 9 May 2023. It will bring together a panel of lawyers, professionals and sector experts to discuss acquisition and expansion in the digital age, due diligence for intangible assets, as well as risks and challenges such as digital fraud, data breaches and cyber crime. Mdm Rahayu Mahzam, Senior Parliamentary Secretary, Ministry of Health and Ministry of Law, will give the keynote address.

The forum will set the stage for a series of 10 Masterclass seminars on topics such as AI, cybersecurity and cybercrime, DDE disputes and crisis management, and the valuation and integration of intangible assets and intellectual property, to commence in late May this year.

Lee Eng Beng SC, Chairman of Rajah & Tann Asia, said: “We have always placed our clients’ interests first, and this grouping of various capabilities across our regional firms is yet another step to ensure that we stand ready to support our clients in the new economy.”

Patrick Ang, Managing Partner of Rajah & Tann Singapore, added, “Today’s digital economy is dynamic and throws up many issues that require a cross-border and multi-disciplinary approach, not just among lawyers from different practices but also with other allied professionals like technologists, legal engineers, data analysts, accountants and valuers.

“Our value proposition for our clients is being able to offer holistic solutions even while technology is moving at lightning speed, and to assist them as they expand beyond borders.”

Rajesh Sreenivasan, Head of Rajah & Tann’s Technology, Media and Telecommunications practice, explained that the latest grouping was a “redefinition of legal service” and “recasting of deliverables.”

He said: “Lawyers can no longer be one-trick ponies operating in silos. Our clients are digitally transforming and their intangible assets are increasingly becoming as valuable as their physical assets. Changes in their business model require us to know not only the law and understand the legal risks facing clients in the real world, but also the commercial challenges they face in the digital economy and virtual domain.”

Mr Sreenivasan added that the world is on the brink of a seismic shift as businesses start to tap into generative AI models to create value. The application of AI brings about new challenges in determining intellectual property, liability and accountability.

“With our DDE sector group, we will be able to draw on specialised regional legal and technical skills to deliver solutions to clients that carefully consider legal, commercial and technological aspects,” Mr Sreenivasan explained.

Citing an example of how digitalisation will change the way lawyers practice, Mr Sreenivasan noted that Rajah & Tann is well known for its Shipping & International Trade and Restructuring & Insolvency practices. “My colleagues in those practice groups have been arresting ships. It’s become a very visceral task for them. But things have changed; they must now figure out how to go about securing digital assets,” he said.

The DDE regional service group was set up at a time when  Southeast Asia has become one of the world’s fastest growth engines for the data and digital economy, with total value of e-commerce sales growing fivefold, or 40% annually, from 2016 to 2021, according to management consultant McKinsey & Company.


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 800 fee earners, all working towards one shared goal, we are lawyers who know Asia and who give our clients home advantage.