05 May 2022
Rajah & Tann marks 45th anniversary with $450,000 donation to two charities, unveils book on firm’s history
- The Straits Times School Pocket Money Fund and Dementia Singapore each receive $225,000 at a celebratory dinner
- “Duty of Care+” traces Rajah & Tann’s growth from two-man entity to Southeast Asian legal powerhouse
Rajah & Tann Singapore (R&T) celebrates its 45th anniversary today with a $450,000 donation to two charities – The Straits Times School Pocket Money Fund and Dementia Singapore – as well as a commemorative book that traces the firm’s growth from a two-man partnership to Southeast Asia’s legal powerhouse.
Mr Ang said: “The spirit of caring and giving back to society is part of R&T’s DNA which we inherited from our founders T T Rajah and Tann Wee Tiong. We are delighted to support The Straits Times School Pocket Money Fund and Dementia Singapore, which have helped thousands of people over the years.
“In addition, the book we are launching today, “Duty of Care+,” traces the improbable beginnings of Rajah & Tann and how it has survived the vicissitudes of time to chart a unique path to regional leadership.
“The R&T story is essentially about how a group of talented lawyers came together to build a top-rated indigenous Singapore law firm while holding fast to the principle of excellence with heart in the way they practised law and cared for others.”
Former Managing Partners VK Rajah and Justice Steven Chong, former Deputy Managing Partner Justice Quentin Loh, Deputy Managing Partners Ng Kim Beng and Kelvin Poon, and Benjamin Tann, son of co-founder Tann Wee Tiong, unveiled the book alongside Mr Ang and Ms Chew.
R&T was founded in 1976 by TT Rajah and Tann Wee Tiong, who were deeply involved in Singapore’s fight for independence. Both men were also heroes to the ordinary people, many of whom they defended without being paid. Through the rough and tumble of politics and the practice of law, they became the best of brothers.
VK Rajah, Mr TT Rajah’s son, took over the reins of R&T in 1986 and ushered in a period of hyper growth and inflow of top talents. Among its notable alumni are Chief Justice Sundaresh Menon, former Attorney-General and current Judge of Appeal Justice Steven Chong and current Judge of the Appellate Division Justice Quentin Loh. The firm also has the most number of senior counsels.
Mr Ang said “Duty of Care+” was commissioned partly for the benefit of younger partners, associates and staff who have often asked questions about the firm’s origins and its famous founders. The “+” sign in the title of the book signifies the firm’s long-held mission of going beyond the legal duty of care to clients to caring for colleagues and the community.
“We wanted “Duty of Care+” to remind everyone of the firm’s core values and culture, and to reinforce the idea that Rajah & Tann isn’t just a business. I hope this sense of stewardship that is a hallmark of our past leaders will always be the defining quality that guides R&T now and in the future.”
In a foreword for the book, Mr VK Rajah, who was Attorney-General from 2014 to 2017 and a former Judge of Appeal, wrote that a crucial reason for R&T’s success is its leadership. “They inspired and continue to inspire one another. Trust from colleagues had to be earned and not demanded. Its leaders while they hold office see themselves as stewards of that trust. Leadership is viewed as service and not as a platform for personal advancement and enhancement.
“Sundaresh inspired his colleagues to excel and regionalise. Steven stabilised the practice and untiringly led by example. Eng Beng and Patrick weathered the constant changes and have creatively collaborated in reshaping R&T and innovating its practice.
“Above all, R&T is what it is today because of the collective effort of all who have been part of its family. It exemplifies the placing of collective interests above the self.”
About Rajah & Tann Asia – https://www.rajahtannasia.com
Rajah & Tann Asia brings together leading law firms 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. The network’s geographical reach also includes Singapore-based regional desks focusing on Brunei, Japan and South Asia. With over 800 fee earners, all working together towards one shared goal, we are lawyers who know Asia and who give our clients home advantage.