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Interview Series

Edmund Kronenburg

BRADDELL BROTHERS LLP, Singapore

05 Aug 2019

Singapore

What is new with your firm?

Our firm continues to grow with three young disputes lawyers joining us in August 2019, two of whom just completed their professional training with us. We have also been seeing a steady influx of high-quality work involving commercial, telecommunications, media and energy disputes between foreign corporations whose only connection to Singapore is a Singapore dispute resolution (arbitration, litigation, or mediation) clause.  This strongly indicates that our little island nation (a small “red dot” on the world map) is indeed gaining traction as a regional (if not, global) dispute resolution hub.  In line with that growth, and the 200th anniversary of the founding of modern Singapore by Sir Stamford Raffles in 1819, the United Nations Convention on International Settlement Agreements Resulting from Mediation (to be named the Singapore Convention on Mediation) will be signed in Singapore on 7 August 2019, two days before the 54th anniversary of Singapore’s independence on 9 August 2019.  This momentous occasion will be marked with a slew of events, talks and seminars on dispute resolution, mediation and other forms of Alternate Dispute Resolution, many of which our lawyers will be speaking at, or attending (given our specialisation in this field).  

 

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

We are a Singapore-based boutique disputes practice specialising in international arbitration and litigation. International arbitration work from regional clients has been steadily on the rise since 2012, and it is this practice area that is most in demand. We believe that we are well-positioned to take advantage of Singapore’s ever-increasing inroads into the arbitration and mediation space with several of our lawyers being qualified arbitrators and mediators themselves. 

 

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

Having joined Legalink relatively recently i.e. in mid-2017, we have not yet had the opportunity to work alongside another Legalink member on a disputes case but have been referred a significant Singapore-seated arbitration by Bell Nunnally (who was asked for a referral from another United States firm).  We have also referred some transactional work involving a loan under Californian law (and security for that loan) to Lindborg & Mazor. 

 

What are your views on Legalink expansion?

We fully support Legalink expansion, not only in terms of jurisdictions, but also in terms of specialist practice areas within each of those jurisdictions.  Internationally, the practice of law is gravitating either to large, multi-disciplinary practices or smaller, boutique practices specialising in a particular area of expertise e.g. disputes, shipping, construction, intellectual property, cross-border investments, banking & finance.  It would be useful for clients to have a choice – within each country jurisdiction – whether to work with a Legalink multi-disciplinary practice or a Legalink specialist practice, depending on the specific needs of a particular case.  There is a place for both types of practices within Legalink.

 

As regards to Legalink, are you happy about your firm’s membership? 

It is a privilege and honour for our small Singapore firm to be a member of Legalink. The high degree of camaraderie, collegiality and professional rapport between Legalink’s members is unique and exceptional.  I also deeply treasure the personal friendships that I have made, and sought to renew, at every Legalink meeting. The practice of law is often a lonely business, and therefore, it is heartening to know that we have a strong worldwide network of trusted colleagues and friends in Legalink who we can always reach out to, and rely on, when faced with a complicated (and often urgent) cross-border case.  If Legalink could do anything better, it would be to boost membership in Asia, which is now the fastest growing economic region in the world.  Legal networks such as Legalink thrive wherever economic growth exists.

 

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

Apart from sleep, give me the sun, the sea and my camera.  Despite living in an extremely sunny and warm country, I don’t get enough sunlight on my face, being stuck indoors in the office, or in court, most of the week. I also enjoy capturing interesting events, people and landscapes with my camera.  I suspect that my father’s passion for photography rubbed off on me when I first visited Germany as an exchange student in 1986 when I was 15, wielding with my father’s trusty Nikon FG and taking photos of Berlin before the Wall came down.  Some people like taking videos, but I much prefer still photography as it has the ability to preserve a single, unique moment in time, forever.