In Dentons' recent foray into the Land of Smiles, our partners co-hosted, at the invitation of the Stock Exchange of Thailand (SET), a successful seminar which drew positive responses from over 230 Thai legal luminaries who attended the event in Bangkok at the SET.

Our speakers Senior Partner Valerie Ong, Partner Ira L. Kotel and Partner Eunice Yao presented an interactive and engaging session on the topic "Working with Outside Counsels". Valerie and Ira led the session and provided practical insights on the subject matter to the audience from the perspective of Singapore and the US.

Interactions amongst three jurisdictions

The seminar presented an excellent opportunity for interaction amongst the lawyers from Singapore, New York and Thailand, seeing how the laws and trends from three different jurisdictions shared common ground, and was extremely insightful.

The opening address was delivered by Mr. Rongrak Phanapavudhikul, Executive Vice President of SET, Head of Legal Division. In addition to Valerie and Ira, Mr. Seri Chintanaseri, past president of the SET, and Mr. Prasobsuk Boondej, former Appeals Court President, Chief Judge of the Intellectual Property and International Trade Court and the Senate President, elaborated on their experiences in enhancing the collaboration between in-house counsels and outside counsels.

Working with Outside Counsels

In-house counsels work closely with external counsels through the corporate life cycle, from start-up funding rounds to trade sale, to IPO and ultimately becoming global multi-nationals.

The seminar started off with an emphasis of the partnership and synergy between in-house counsels and external counsels. Presenters Valerie and Ira encouraged the in-house counsels in attendance, drawing from their practice experiences in Dentons, to engage with and communicate often with outside counsels as part of a healthy extended partnership.

Funding and effective partnerships at various stages of the corporate life cycle

Valerie and Ira expounded on how at all stages of the corporate life cycle, in-house counsels and outside counsels can, and do, effectively work together to enhance the value and importance of outside counsel engagement to in-house counsels and the value in-house counsels bring to their own organisations.

Walking through the continuum of aspiring start-ups to the phase of more mature enterprises, Valerie illustrated how Dentons' relationships with in-house counsels evolve. She also gave a synopsis of the funding environment in Singapore, while Ira focused on the US stock market and US foreign direct investment.

Corporate Governance Trends

The speakers then shared their experiences working with companies as well as serving as independent directors on the boards of listed companies, noting how good corporate governance is key and beneficial to businesses. Valerie and Ira gave an overview of the best practices, and trends in, corporate governance for public companies on the Singapore and New York stock exchanges. They talked about recent developments, such as board diversity and the rise of activist investors, foreshadowing the need to seek outside counsels' guidance and counsel in their interactions with shareholders and global investors.

Looking ahead

The seminar highlighted the different challenges which in-house counsels face in this new age, wherever their organisations are located. With the ever-evolving demands of stakeholders in relation to financial performance or to comply with sustainability standards, companies and their boards have to adapt their businesses and refresh their strategies continually. These issues are not isolated to any specific jurisdiction but will impact all companies, big or small, in our increasingly connected global ecosystem.

Dentons Rodyk thanks and acknowledges senior associate Yu Herng Lim for his contributions to the seminar and this article.

About Dentons

Dentons is the world's first polycentric global law firm. A top 20 firm on the Acritas 2015 Global Elite Brand Index, the Firm is committed to challenging the status quo in delivering consistent and uncompromising quality and value in new and inventive ways. Driven to provide clients a competitive edge, and connected to the communities where its clients want to do business, Dentons knows that understanding local cultures is crucial to successfully completing a deal, resolving a dispute or solving a business challenge. Now the world's largest law firm, Dentons' global team builds agile, tailored solutions to meet the local, national and global needs of private and public clients of any size in more than 125 locations serving 50-plus countries.

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