PwC’s Taiwan managing director looks for silver linings

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Taiwan PricewaterhouseCoopers Kent Chong
Kent Chong

PricewaterhouseCoopers Legal, the PwC network’s Taiwan member firm, has promoted Kent Chong from senior manager to managing director from 1 July. Chong has been with PwC Taiwan since 2008. A specialist in cross-border corporate and M&A transactions, he is the lead legal contact for PwC’s Southeast Asia and India practices.

With more than 10 years of experience, he has advised numerous Taiwanese and multinational corporations on domestic or cross-border M&A, international corporate restructuring, and general corporate and commercial transactions.

Chong told Asia Business Law Journal he sees the ongoing pandemic as a good opportunity for companies with a strong cash balance or financial position to take advantage of this uncertain time and expand or diversify, through acquisition or entering into joint venture with third parties, both domestically and internationally.

“Despite doubts about a deep recession and the volatility caused by the pandemic, we expect buyers or investors to be in a better position to negotiate more favourable terms, especially in this unprecedented time,” he said.

“We also see a surge of interest from Taiwanese companies in undertaking cross-border M&A, although the social disruption caused by the pandemic has challenged the way that a transaction has traditionally been handled.”

Chong said the pandemic’s travel restrictions had seen clients’ increased reliance on his firm to support them through the life cycle of a cross-border transaction, from evaluation and planning to negotiation, due diligence and all the way to signing and closing.

“Our clients appreciate the convenience and reassurance of having us as a single point of contact, able to mobilize resources from across the world and guide them through a potentially distressed deal process to completion,” he said.

“In this pandemic era, we find that clients have generally become more cautious and value-driven in their search of trusted professionals. Going beyond just lawyers who offer legal advice, clients are now looking for all-rounded legal advisers who can solve complex business problems for them, in addition to providing the legal framework and the do’s and don’ts.

“They also prefer firms that embrace technology and provide innovative solutions. Inevitably, legal firms will face ongoing pressure to innovate, transform and adapt to this new norm.”

At PwC, Chong regularly represents clients seeking multi-jurisdictional corporate restructuring and M&A transaction counsel on transactions in the US, Europe, China and Southeast Asia.

He is admitted to practice law in Australia and is a registered foreign lawyer approved by the Ministry of Justice in Taiwan.