Cybersecurity takes centre stage at Singapore's TechLaw.Fest 2021

The free-to-attend virtual event take place in September with speakers from all corners of the globe

The global legal community’s response to cybersecurity threats posed by accelerated adoption of technology during the pandemic is set to take centre stage at TechLaw.Fest 2021, which will take place online from 22 to 24 September. 

This year’s edition of the three-day conference, organised by the Singapore Academy of Law (SAL), Singapore’s Ministry of Law and MP International and supported by The Global Legal Post, has topped last year’s record attendance figures with more than 6,000 registered attendees set to take part in the predominantly virtual free-to-attend event. 

Face-to-face networking events will also be held in Singapore with limited capacity to adhere to Covid-19 guidelines. 

Topics on the docket include the possible legal and regulatory responses to cybersecurity threats including ransomware attacks, fake news and hacking, as well as emerging issues around the law of technology, intellectual property matters surrounding alternative assets like non-fungible tokens and the effect of the shift away from third-party cookies. 

Leaders in the legal, tech and government arenas will also discuss trends, challenges and opportunities relating to legal operations, legatech, laws governing the technology space, and access to justice. 

The speaker lineup includes Edwin Tong, Singapore’s minister for culture, community and youth and second minister for law; Edward Hartman, partner at Simon-Kucher; John Knox, partner and global and APAC legal managed services leader at EY; and Loretta Yuen, general counsel and head of group legal and regulatory compliance at OCBC Bank.

Day one will kick off with an examination of how Covid-19 has accelerated digital transformation, courtesy of an interview with Tong, moderated by Steven Miller, professor emeritus of information systems at Singapore Management University.

Representatives from Google and Facebook will feature on the main stage on day two for a debate on adtech and privacy with Charmian Aw, a counsel at Reed Smith, and Gibson Dunn & Crutcher partner Alexander Southwell, while day three will feature a panel on alternative legal service providers moderated Gladys Chun, general counsel of ecommerce giant Lazada Group.

The full roster will be completed in the coming weeks on the event’s website

Rama Tiwari, chief executive of SAL, commented: “The acceleration of technology adoption during the pandemic carries with it different risks. TechLaw.Fest continues to be the forum to keep up with new technology and the legal risks they pose. It is also a forum to allow lawyers to access legal technology developments to improve their existing processes and operations.”

Last year, the conference was successfully carried out virtually for the first time, which meant leaders from all around the world were able to connect and share ideas relating to the intersection of technology and the law. 

“The pandemic has hammered home the centrality of technology in legal work," Serene Wee, who was succeeded by Tiwari as SAL’s chief executive, said at the time.  “Be it harnessing technology to improve access to justice or the regulation of technology, these issues affect multiple jurisdictions.” 

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