TSMP featured in BT article: “China calling – and Singapore lawyers heed with ni hao!”

CLOSE

Directory

Thio Shen Yi, SC

Joint Managing Partner

Litigation

Stefanie Yuen Thio

Joint Managing Partner

Corporate

Derek Loh

Partner

Litigation

Jennifer Chia

Partner

Corporate

Melvin Chan

Partner

Litigation

Ian Lim

Partner

Litigation

June Ho

Partner

Corporate

Kelvin Koh

Partner

Litigation

Ong Pei Ching

Partner

Litigation

Mark Jacobsen

Partner

Corporate

Felicia Tan

Partner

Litigation

Jeffrey Chan, SC

Senior Director

Litigation

Prof Tang Hang Wu, PhD

Consultant

Litigation

Prof Hans Tjio

Consultant

Corporate

Kenneth Chua

Director

Litigation

Mijung Kim

Director

Litigation

Tania Chin

Director

Litigation

Leon Lim

Director

Corporate

Nanthini Vijayakumar

Director

Litigation

Nicholas Ngo

Associate Director

Litigation

Kevin Elbert

Associate Director

Litigation

Timothy Yong

Associate Director

Litigation

Eugene Neo

Associate Director

Litigation

Benjamin Bala

Associate Director

Litigation

Vu Lan Nguyen

Associate Director

Litigation

Stephanie Chew

Associate Director

Litigation

Ernest Low

Associate Director

Corporate

Elizabeth Tan

Associate Director

Litigation

Crystal Tan Shi Ying

Associate Director

Litigation

Brenda Chow

Senior Associate

Corporate

Heather Chong

Senior Associate

Corporate

Nicole Lee

Senior Associate

Corporate

Tay Quan Li

Senior Associate

Litigation

Lyn Toh Leng

Senior Associate

Corporate

Angela Chai Rui Min

Senior Associate

Litigation

Arthur Chin Yen Bing

Senior Associate

Litigation

Joshua Phang Shih Ern

Senior Associate

Litigation

Chow Jian Hui

Senior Associate

Corporate

Jeanne Goh Enchi

Senior Associate

Litigation

Lau Tin Yi

Senior Associate

Corporate

Phoon Wuei

Senior Associate

Litigation

Terence Yeo

Senior Associate

Litigation

Juliana Lake

Senior Associate

Litigation

Kashib Shareef bin Ahmad Hussain

Associate

Corporate

Goh Min Yi

Associate

Corporate

Sherlyn Lim Li Xuan

Associate

Litigation

Vanessa Cheong Shu Qi

Associate

Corporate

Lee Shu Zhen

Associate

Corporate

Nikita Garg

Associate

Litigation

Annabelle Lee Jia Xin

Associate

Corporate

Ang Kai Le

Associate

Litigation

Glenn Ng Qiheng

Associate

Litigation

Isaac Tay Zhuo Yan

Associate

Litigation

Markus Low Yu Wen

Associate

Corporate

Nicholas Fu Wei Jun

Associate

Litigation

Krisly Aw Jiaxin

Associate

Corporate

Shawn Tan Yi Wei

Associate

Corporate

Stasia Ong Pei Qi

Associate

Litigation

Sarah Kim Mun Jeong

Associate

Litigation

News

28 November 2018

TSMP featured in BT article: “China calling – and Singapore lawyers heed with ni hao!”

Features Thio Shen Yi, SC, Stefanie Yuen Thio

TSMP was featured in a story about lawyers taking Chinese lessons in order to better service Mainland clients published by the Business Times on 28 November 2018. The full article may be found here (BT Paywall), containing this excerpt:

Two years ago, when candidate Donald Trump was declared the winner in a key state in the US Presidential election, his victory interestingly led a law firm 15,000 km away in Singapore to roll out Chinese lessons for its lawyers.

TSMP joint managing partner Stefanie Yuen Thio recalled that when she learnt of Mr Trump’s win, she decided that her firm “needed to be more China-ready”.

She explained: “A Trump in the White House would give the Chinese, who had been working hard to build their standing as a global power, the opportunity to steal the world stage and assume a position of leadership.”

Her husband and fellow managing partner Thio Shen Yi would also laugh at Mr Trump’s campaign slogan “Make America Great Again”, and quipped that Mr Trump was “Making China Great”.

To Mr Thio, Mr Trump’s extreme rhetoric and volatile presidential style made China look moderate and reasonable by contrast. Mr Trump’s anti-free trade stance would also mean that countries that believe in free trade would need to find new global partners.

TSMP wanted to be better prepared to service Chinese as well as Singaporean clients eager to do business with China, if China were to be on the ascendant.

It had the Chinese classes structured in workshop and role-play formats to give more hands-on practice to its 40 lawyers, who were divided into groups based on their language proficiency and their areas of practice. The lessons included how to break down contractual terms, describe business reorganisations and discuss the dispute resolution process in Mandarin.

Ms Yuen Thio said: “We also needed to know how to do ‘beauty parades’ and pitch our firm’s credentials in a way that would be informative and yet strike the right tone.”

For some partners such as Mr Thio, who are extremely busy, they were given one-on-one lessons so that they would get more targeted coaching.

Mr Thio was pleased that his Chinese proficiency had gone from “zero to terrible”. Ms Yuen Thio said that the lessons have lifted their confidence and exposed them to the Chinese history and culture, all of which form the PRC (People’s Republic of China) business mindset. “Singapore aims to be a financial and legal hub, and our ability to communicate and get deals done is a key part of the value proposition. More than the pure communication of information, we have a better grasp of non-verbal cues. The Chinese lessons have also made us more confident in working with PRCs and Mandarin-speaking clients.”