RHTLaw Asia LLP traces its beginnings to May 2011 when a group of lawyers led by founding fathers Rajan Menon, Tan Chong Huat and the late Subhas Anandan (1947-2015) took the bold decision to form RHT Law LLP. The vision of our founding fathers was to build a local law firm that can deliver international capabilities and create opportunities for both our clients and staff.
The early years saw our founding partners fervently working to build a sustainable and successful law practice in Singapore. Operating out of a meeting room with two phone lines at 6 Battery Road, the pioneer batch of staff and lawyers banded together to weather the difficult early days of the firm. The founding partners included:
• Rajan Menon (retired 6 June 2016)
• Tan Chong Huat
• Subhas Anandan (1947-2015)
• Azman Jaafar
• Chew Kok Liang
• Ch’ng Li-Ling
• Kaylee Kwok
• Nandakumar Renganathan
• Wun Rizwi
• Sandra Han
• Amita Dutt (retired 2016)
• Anne Chua (retired 2013)
Building an Asia-centric cutting-edge firm with global aspirations
Between 2012 and 2019, RHTLaw Asia was part of the Taylor Wessing Group and operated as RHTLaw Taylor Wessing LLP. After 8 years, both firms decided to move towards a collaborative relationship in place of their formal links to enable both businesses to pursue longer term objectives in accordance with their respective strategies. On 24 January 2020, our firm was renamed as RHTLaw Asia LLP. The firm continues to forge ahead with its strategy to build an Asia-focused network in new jurisdictions beyond Singapore, together with a suite of complementary businesses. This strategy is reflected in the firm’s past and current efforts.
In 2014, the firm embarked on an ASEAN Plus strategy. We partnered with leading law firms in Asia, Oceania, Middle East, and Africa to offer clients clear and practical country experience. With a network covering Australia, Bangladesh, Cambodia, China, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, South Africa, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, United Arab Emirates and Vietnam, we aim to offer the highest standards of service to clients with the collective capacity to handle the most complex regional cross-border transactions. Together, we have several leading lawyers listed in Chambers & Partners, IFLR1000, Asialaw Profiles, Legal 500 Asia Pacific, Asian Legal Business and Benchmark Litigation Asia Pacific. ASEAN Plus firms offer the best of local business and cultural knowledge with international capabilities for our clients.
On 30 June 2016, the firm achieved another milestone by forming a joint venture with Vietnam law firm PBC Partners which would operate as RHTLaw Taylor Wessing Vietnam. We welcomed 25 more lawyers to the network as the firm continues to sharpen its focus on the region. It is now known as RHTLaw Vietnam.
The firm continues to expand its Asia-focused network with the establishment of RHTLaw Cambodia on 15 July 2019.
With our growing Asian network and the ASEAN Plus Group, we are right where you need us. Our clients can expect intelligent and innovative legal and business solutions from the right team that is attuned to the nuances of working in Asia.
Growing the Right Expertise
We have proactively grown our practice in tandem with regional and international fast-growing industries like Consumer Brands, Education, Energy and Environment, Financial Institution and Services, Life Sciences and Healthcare, Real Estate and Infrastructure and Technology, Media and Communications. These industries complement our core areas of practice in Banking and Finance, Corporate and Capital Markets, Intellectual Property and Technology, Litigation and Dispute Resolution, and Real Estate.
We were also given numerous awards by leading publications such as Legal 500, Deal Makers, IFLR 1000, Dispute Resolution and Asian Legal Business. These awards recognise the quality of our work and the standing of our partners in their respective fields.
The RigHTLaw Model
As the firm grew, the pioneering partners believed that size isn’t everything and that it was crucial for the firm to develop an additional engine of growth that would also benefit clients. The RigHTLaw model was developed to use technology and optimise resources to build an independent regional professional services ecosystem that would complement the firm’s legal services.
This model was realised with the establishment of the RHT Group of Companies in 2012, led by independent teams of industry experts and practitioners. The Group’s growing suite of services complement RHTLaw Asia to provide clients with a wide spectrum of professional services to increase the added value of the services rendered to our clients and deliver the right solutions.
It’s the Right Thing to Do
RHTLaw Asia is a firm that is committed to giving back to society. Named after RHTLaw Asia’s Founder-Senior Consultant Rajan Menon, RHT Rajan Menon Foundation was set up in 2015 to enable RHTLaw Asia to do right and do good through various charitable endeavours.
The Foundation seeks to establish, inspire and encourage the right philanthropic culture among the corporate and legal fraternity of giving back to the community in a focused, hands-on and meaningful manner. The Foundation supports beneficiaries involved in education, the environment, disadvantaged groups and the arts. In 2017, the Foundation launched its five-year partnership with Singapore Management University (SMU) Pro Bono Centre to cultivate pro bono spirit among law students and within the legal fraternity. Other major programmes include Ageing RigHT and Greening Asean: Initiatives & Leadership (GAIL) to promote successful ageing and sustainable practices respectively.
On 3 February 2016, the Foundation announced the appointment of former Senior Minister of State for Law and Home Affairs, Associate Professor Ho Peng Kee as its Patron.
On 7 January 2015, the firm lost one of its leading lights. With a career spanning 44 years, Mr Subhas Anandan (1947-2015) had established himself as one of the most outstanding criminal lawyers in the Singapore Bar. Subhas was known to be a man of integrity, boundless energy, passion, compassion, generosity and a staunch defender of the rule of law. Subhas will be remembered as a kind and warm man who gave wholeheartedly to everyone. RHTLaw Asia LLP will continue to honour the memory of Mr Subhas Anandan and look to continue his work.
The Right Team Forward
Over the years, we have built a team of talented practitioners as well as a strong and trusted brand in Singapore and the region. Just three years after its establishment in 2011, RHTLaw Asia LLP was ranked as Singapore’s 6th largest law firm.
On 3rd January 2012, the firm welcomed former Court of Appeal and High Court Judge, Mr. LP Thean to the firm as Senior Consultant. Former Attorney-General Professor Walter Woon, Senior Counsel was appointed as Chairman of RHTLaw Asia LLP on 19 January 2015.
On 1 May 2016, we announced the appointment of distinguished legal practitioner Senior Counsel, Roderick Martin, as head of our Litigation & Dispute Resolution Practice. He currently sits on the firm’s Supervisory Council along with Rajan Menon and Tan Chong Huat.
On 6 June 2016, Mr Rajan Menon moved on from his Senior Partner role into a new role, that of Founder-Senior Consultant of the firm. He will continue to be in full-time practice and remain as the firm’s pillar of strength and knowledge.
In 2019, RHTLaw Asia unveiled The Right Team Forward to bolster its management team as the firm entered a new phase of growth after marking its 8th anniversary.
As part of its succession and leadership plan, RHTLaw Asia appointed a new Management Board on 1 April 2019 with the addition of three new members: Ch’ng Li-Ling, Erwan Barre and Yang Eu Jin, joining current members Nandakumar Renganathan, Tan Chong Huat and Azman Jaafar.
On 1 July 2019, Azman Jaafar was appointed as the firm’s new Managing Partner. He succeeded Tan Chong Huat who has been at the helm of the firm since its establishment in 2011.
Upon relinquishing his appointment on 1 July 2019, Tan Chong Huat assumed his new role as Chairman of the firm’s Management Board and Supervisory Council.
Despite the external headwinds brought about by COVID-19 in 2020, RHTLaw Asia forged ahead with its growth plans by investing in talent to further enhance the Firm’s offerings for clients. On 1 April 2020, RHTLaw Asia welcomed Professor Leslie Chew, SC as a Senior Consultant. The addition of a third Senior Counsel to the team brings RHTLaw Asia team closer to the top of the legal industry leader board with only a handful of firms with three or more Senior Counsels.
The vision of our founding fathers has propelled RHTLaw Asia to greater heights from our humble beginnings in 2011. The many milestones over the years could not have been achieved without the support of our clients and staff. We look forward to having you as part of our future journey.