On 25 October 2018, TSMP celebrated its 20th anniversary at the newly opened Capitol Kempinski Hotel. Held at the bar and restaurant, the event saw hundreds of friends sharing drinks, including champagne and bespoke TSMP gin cocktails, and gourmet food while being entertained by a six-piece band.
Friends, ladies and gentlemen
Thank you for sharing this celebration with us.
In 1998, we were a start-up, before start-ups were sexy.
Our senior founders, Dr Thio Su Mien and Ms Tan Bee Lian, left the comfort of a large firm to embrace a flexible, client centric and value driven set up dedicated to delivering legal services with excellence and integrity. Dr Thio retired a few years ago but is here tonight. Ms Tan, or Auntie Bee Lian (as I get to call her), is still to this day a partner. I want to acknowledge their pioneering spirit and the legacy of excellence that they have imparted to the next generation.
1998 was a terrible time to start a law firm. We were deep into the Asian Financial Crisis. Then we got hit with Y2K, 911, SARS in 2003 and the GFC in 2008. We’re still standing, but we didn’t do it alone, and we owe a debt of gratitude to many.
Even in a high tech and digitised world, the business of law is an irreducibly human one. It’s all about the people who are at TSMP, or who have passed through our doors as our then colleagues, and now friends and clients. And I am happy to see old colleagues, old friends. Without them, without you, we are nothing.
We all started in big firms. We were good legal technicians. Now at TSMP, we’ve become fixers and closers. What we enjoy most is investing in the client relationship, fixing problems, finding solutions, closing and getting clients across the finishing line of a major deal. It’s not the business of law, but the people of law, that is at the heart of what we do. So thank you for being part of our story, and thank you for letting us share in your triumphs and successes.
And I cannot not mention my joint managing partner Stef (she’s not wearing red tonight). We guys like the big stage, but she does the directing, stage management, front of house, back of house – she runs the show. She just lets me think that I do. She’s unequivocally, the best possible partner I could ask for. Thank you for putting so much of your DNA into the firm, it is a more compassionate, more happening, more enlightened and crazier place because of you. And we wouldn’t have it any other way.
With so much to be grateful for, we’ve always seen it as part of our calling to give back. And our CSR ideas have grown and matured over time. Last night, we won the President’s Volunteerism and Philanthropy Award. We’re the first law firm to win in its history. On this 20th anniversary, we intend to make our charitable giving of 10% partnership profits more systematic and sustainable, and have launched the TSMP Foundation as a charitable Institute of Public Character. This also means that 3rd parties can donate to it and get tax benefits if they agree and trust our CSR strategies.
Thank you for allowing us to doing a job that we love, to practice with purpose and passion, and to use our words and ideas to nudge the world a little.
May I invite each of the members of TSMP to raise your glasses in a toast to our gathered friends, who have supported us, inspired us, and given us purpose in one way or another. We drink to your health and happiness, and to the hope that you’ll be here to celebrate our 25th, 30th and 40th anniversaries, because, we’re just getting started. Cheers.