Mergers and acquisitions (M&A) deals picked up steam throughout Asia Pacific during the first half of 2021, in no small measure due to a rebound from the worst economic ravages of the COVID-19 pandemic through 2020. With vaccine rollouts continuing and border restrictions being gradually loosened, M&A lawyers can look forward to an upswing in work in 2022 and beyond.
As face-to-face meetings are reduced to a distant memory and continue to be substituted by video and phone calls in some offices, the global pandemic remains an unmistakable challenge for law firms. And legal networks are stepping in to help them out during an uncertain time.
It’s no secret that Asia is emerging as a top choice for arbitration and dispute resolution, and with such developments come opportunities and access for Asia-based businesses to world-class dispute resolution mechanisms, and plenty of work for lawyers in the region. But the pandemic has had a significant impact on the way disputes across Asia are carried out. In order to get the best out of dispute resolution mechanisms, digital transformation is key, say lawyers.
Japan has had an up-and-down year so far, with the COVID-19 pandemic continuing to disrupt life and business, even as the country successfully hosted the Olympic and Paralympic Games. Leaders of law firms in Japan say that while they had to institute new ways of work in order to adapt to this “new normal,” they have been heartened by the resilience shown by their firms, which will hold them in good stead going forward.
Indonesia is shaking up its listing rules as it seeks to attract start-up giants and cultivate a reputation as an IPO hub. The new regulations, which relax a number of curbs and allow ﬁrms to go public with multiple classes of shares with different voting rights, are a long time coming, say lawyers.
In 2019, Cambodia had its best year in terms of foreign direct investment. According to the 2020 World Investment Report by UNCTAD, Cambodia saw $3.7 billion of FDI, a rise of 16 percent compared to the $3.2 billion it received in 2018.
As lawyers in Asia continue to work hard under the challenges of a sustained global pandemic, the pressure is on managing partners to guide their teams through a rapidly changing landscape.
Since the military coup earlier this year, devastating scenes of brutal violence and deep civil unrest have continued to emerge from Myanmar, along with allegations of human rights breaches and telecommunication blackouts.
Data has become an increasingly critical part of the way law firms do business, with difficult decisions now being weighed using analytics and information. While lawyers are united on the fact that data is the way forward, firms take different approaches in how they get the best out of the information at hand.
COVID-19 has taught us new ways of working remotely. However, while working remotely, one of the challenges we encounter is ensuring that legal agreements and other documents are signed properly. Though the practice of electronic signatures has been widely adopted and accepted by majority, however, there is always a question as to whether the electronic signing of legal agreements is duly recognised under Indian law.
In June, India’s Ministry of Consumer Affairs proposed new e-commerce rules that are expected to have an impact on online marketplace operators such as Amazon and Flipkart. These rules include limiting flash sales, reining in a private label push, compelling e-commerce companies to appoint compliance officers, and impose a fallback liability.