06 Jan 2021

Rajah & Tann Singapore opens sustainability practice amid growing ESG compliance needs

New regional practice group will be led by banking and finance partner Lee Weilin

Singapore supreme court fake news law

Parliament, Old Supreme Court and New Supreme Court Building at Boat Quay in Singapore Shutterstock

Rajah & Tann Singapore has launched a sustainability practice amid increased regulatory focus for businesses in Asia around environmental, social and governance standards.

The new practice group will be led by banking and finance practice partner Lee Weilin, and be supported by a multi-disciplinary team of lawyers across the firm, including specialists in infrastructure, M&A, trade and environmental law.

Patrick Ang, Rajah & Tann Singapore’s managing partner, said: “As sustainability has become an important area of focus for many businesses, sustainable business models and risk management amidst a growing web of ESG regulations and considerations, are no longer just a management preoccupation but also one that concerns investors.”

Ang said the new sustainability group will help streamline resources across the firm’s practice areas, which have been increasingly advising clients on sustainability issues. 

“This collaborative approach is part of Rajah & Tann’s DNA and puts us in a good place to provide a high standard of service to clients,” he added.

Other key lawyers in the practice group include Kala Anandarajah, head of the firm’s competition, antitrust and trade practice, and also lead partner for corporate governance. She is joined by Soh Lip San, who heads up construction and projects, and Sandy Foo, a member of Rajah & Tann’s executive committee and an experienced M&A lawyer.

This core team will be supported by an additional 13 partners in Singapore and across the Rajah & Tann Asia network of law firms.

ESG issues that the practice will advise on include anti-bribery and corruption, business conduct and ethics, impact investing, sustainability-linked finance, supply chain management and sustainability reporting.

Lee said: “Sustainability issues can inspire greater confidence and loyalty in investors and customers. As such, many companies are now actively integrating ESG principles into their operations. Of late, an area of strong growth for us has been in green and sustainability-linked loans as countries and corporates in the region ramp up efforts to mitigate the adverse effects of climate change and other ESG related risks.”

In November, Clifford Chance set up an ESG taskforce led by senior partner Jeroen Ouwehand to boost its client work in the field as well as its own sustainability efforts. A month earlier, Baker McKenzie appointed senior Paris-based luxury law partner Alyssa Auberger as its first chief sustainability officer.

And in April, Wachtell Lipton Rosen & Katz hired former Delaware chief justice Leo Strine – a leading proponent of governance reform – as a consultant.

Further reading

Doing the right thing will also be good business - Tony Williams on why law firms should embrace an ESG agenda which has been supercharged by Covid-19

Top