Lin Shi, former director of Association of Corporate Counsel Hong Kong
Can you tell us a little about ACC and its role in Asia?
This is the second year we have been hosting the Hong Kong chapter of ACC. It is very exciting to be a part of a global organisation with over 40,000 members, and over 700 members in Hong Kong. It is great to see all the new resources that ACC has been bringing to corporate counsel in Asia. This conference is just one of the resources that ACC has been able to deliver. We are an organisation that is for in-house counsel, and run entirely by in-house legal counsel. So the advantage with us is we actually see the problems and by networking with others, we can leverage on our relationships to solve the same problems that we are facing and to learn more about the best practices globally.
What are the biggest challenges in businesses across Asia and emerging trends that you see in Asia?
The first keynote speaker we had was about geopolitical risk and more than ever, politics has been the headline, whether it is Brexit, the US trade talks, we have to do business in a changing legal environment and because we are in-house counsel, we are at the forefront representing our organisations in terms of how to solve those problems. So, the conference today really focuses on these macro risks as well as specific substantive issues such as cyber hacking.
We also want to discuss subjects that can relate to all in-house counsel, particularly with legal innovation and the change in management. Legal tech is a huge discussion because businesses look at the legal department as part of the business. They do not want it solely to be a cost-centre but to add value to the bottom line, and they are asking legal department to demonstrate their value.
So, more and more, we are asking ourselves on how can we streamline the tasks, how can we leverage on technology to deliver a higher value with less resources, and to use AI, to use other software in order to do that.
The ACC conference is very unique because it goes not only into substantive issues but also into legal management issues. I think that is a piece that missing from a lot of other conferences, which is usually tend to be very specific like M&A conference or capital markets conference. I think this runs the gamut, so there is something for everyone and also much more global.
When you look at the delegates that are here today, we heard this morning that there are people from Canada, the UK, all around Asia-Pacific. I see people from Japan, which is very unusual for a regional conference like this. So I think that the opportunity to learn from your peers is far greater than in other conferences and (the conference) is about substantive as well as management issues to help you as a leader. And I think that we need to focus on our leadership role as in-house counsel and how to make the most of that to effect change.
The Association of Corporate Counsel (ACC) hosted its inaugural APAC Meeting at the Island Shangri-la, Hong Kong, on 11 April. More than 240 in-house counsel delegates attended from locations across the Asia-Pacific region including Hong Kong, China, South Korea, Japan, Australia, Singapore, Thailand, India and the Philippines. Read our coverage here