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Interview Series

Christian Teo

Christian Teo & Partners, Indonesia

09 Oct 2020

As a member from Asia, we actively appreciate any [Legalink] client building initiatives in the region.

What is new with your firm?

2020 has indeed become a challenging year for everyone and our Firm included. We have just moved to our new premises in early 2019 and the plan was, once we have settled in our new office, to embark on a two years’ expansion plan.  We started that plan in late 2019 but then came to a grinding halt in early 2020. We have to put the expansion on the shelf and continue with the resources we currently have, which in a way is a “blessing in disguise” because of another challenge in terms of business slow down.  

However, the current situation also provides a new perspectives as to how we see our practice is evolving. For years we have been resisting the idea of working remotely and would only allow that to happen when our lawyers have to work during travel, at clients’ office or other special circumstances, but not in terms of establishing a “semi-permanent” work station at home. This is due to some confidentiality issues in bringing files home or taking them out of the office, or sharing files electronically without proper protocol. Interestingly, the social and physical distancing, and to some extent lock down requirements, have forced us to think hard about our position and pushed us to accept the possibility that our lawyers (and staffs) may be able to set up their work stations at, and work from home. Albeit not permanent.  

We are still learning and adjusting to this new approach of practicing law but with most of our lawyers coming from the Millennial group of age, the transition has been quite smooth with only a handful of Gen-Xers (and one Baby-boomer) trying to catch up.           


Which practice areas are the most in demand in your firm?

Our practice areas remain mostly in what we call the General Corporate/Commercial areas, with emphasis in Hospitality/Lifestyle,  TMT (Technology, Media and Telecoms) andNatural Resources industries, and niche areas such as Financial Technologies, E-commerce and Sports/Entertainment.

The current economic situation has also created increasing demand in areas such Employment, Merger & Acquisition and Corporate Dispute.         


Can you share an example of cross-border work with another Legalink member?

From time to time we have received referrals and/or work together with Uryu & Itoga.  We are currently representing a property group from Hong Kong in negotiating a potential joint venture in Indonesia, and our referral came from Francis Tan of Azman Davidson.  We have also received referral from Alfonso López-Ibor of López-Ibor Abogados.


What are your views on Legalink expansion?

I am supportive of the expansion and appreciative of the Committee’s efforts in this important aspect of our Network and would be happy to assist in expanding the network in Asia. I also look forward to work more closely with colleagues from Asian members.


As regards to Legalink, are you happy about your firm’s membership? What can we do better?

I am quite happy with the membership and, as a member from Asia, we actively appreciate any client building initiatives in the region.


What is your favourite thing to do in your spare time?

I am an introvert so my favourite things to do is to enjoy good books or movies, or doing some “me time” exercise like leisure walking or swimming.  Currently I am still indecisive to choose between Star Trek or Star Wars.