Nov 21, 2020
Welcome to the inaugural issue of the Centre for Asian Legal Studies (CALS) newsletter!
For several years, CALS has considered starting a newsletter to better connect with our followers and supporters, reach out to the Vancouver and Canadian legal and business communities interested in Asian legal developments, and nurture a more vibrant exchange of ideas about Asian law at the University of British Columbia. When COVID-19 arrived, our teaching and research seminars moved online; many of us started to read even more about happenings elsewhere in the world; and the cornucopia of video and messaging apps reminded us of the ease of connecting with our friends and colleagues far away. It seemed that if we were ever going to launch a newsletter, the time to do it was now!
You are now looking at the first installment of this experiment. Our first issue features a short report about a book that Professor Pitman Potter has contributed to, along with three interviews about cutting-edge developments in Asian law and legal practice. The first interview is with Ruth Chen, a 2008 alumna of our LLB program, who chose a job in Hong Kong over articling opportunities in Vancouver when she graduated. She is now the Associate General Counsel (Competition and Regulatory) for Facebook based in Hong Kong. Although the competition law issues raised by tech giants like Facebook seem to be in global news headlines every week, Facebook has just over a dozen in-house competition counsels across the globe. One of our own graduates is now on this elite team, and we are incredibly grateful to Ruth for taking the time to talk about her work and career.
We also interviewed Winston Kiang, another alumnus of our J.D. program, for another perspective on competition law in Asia. Winston was a Vancouver-based partner at Davis and Company; his childhood experience living in Japan and a unique career opportunity led him to take up a senior executive position with Intel in Tokyo. He is now Intel’s Asia Pacific Regional Competition Law Counsel based in Hong Kong. His experience leading both legal and business divisions at Intel is truly impressive. And his expertise in Asian competition law, alongside that of Ruth’s, suggests that Allard alumni possess quite a “market share” in this field!
Coincidentally, our third interview is also about a technology company—this time, legal tech. When Tianpeng Wang gave a talk at Allard Hall in early 2017, he had just joined a Canadian venture capital firm as a partner. This year, he started Trustiics, an Ottawa-based online marketplace that provides high-quality legal advice to small- and medium-sized businesses engaged with the Chinese market. In just its first year of operation, Trustiics has been endorsed by the Canadian Trade Commissioner Service as a legal service provider in relation to China, and received the Exceptional SME Silver Award from the Canada China Business Council. Tianpeng talks to us about his new company, and what it is like to transition between the roles of legal professional, investor, and entrepreneur.
I hope you enjoy this issue, and would love to hear your thoughts and suggestions about our stories and the newsletter—please reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org!
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