Back In the Region Again (Hello Cambodia)

Glad to return to the region last week with Eugene Thuraisingam to build more relationships with lawyers, this time in Cambodia. We met some amazing commercial lawyers, arbitration practices and human rights lawyers, including the Cambodian Law Firm of the Year. On Saturday, we had an exciting discussion with Virak Ou who runs a think tank and Ray Leos, Dean of the Media Faculty of Pannyasastra University. They provided some valuable insights on the socio-political and economic environment in Cambodia.

We had a productive meeting with the Cambodian Bar President at the Association’s office. We look forward to doing some joint training with the Bar Association for local lawyers. We also met with some of Cambodia’s leading human rights lawyers working at the Cambodian Centre for Human Rights. I am learning to find a harmonious balance between my passion for human rights law with business law and have discovered along the way that some of the biggest atrocities handed down to humanity has come not just from governments, but also from unscrupulous businesses that put profits before heart. Their money-making schemes endanger communities, the environment and animal habitats. This is all new ground for me and one which I am thoroughly enjoying. Anyway, I believe in doing everything with my heart and soul whether it is human rights or corporate/commercial law.

Another new and exciting ground is the shift in focus from litigation to arbitration. Through these international trips, I have discovered the prominence arbitration and insolvency restructuring are taking in resolving disputes at the international and cross-border level. There were moments when I found myself fervently promoting Singapore’s arbitration edge and it being the center for arbitration and mediation in the region. We also shared with our regional colleagues how foreign lawyers can use the Singapore International Commercial Court and bring their cases here to litigate more effectively and solve the client’s problems efficiently. No, this is not a declaration that I am stepping away from my role as an international human rights lawyer, but rather that I am adding and learning as I discover issues relevant to today’s society.

The region is pregnant with opportunities. All it needs is the first step. You may want to start with your LinkedIn, as I did, in building a rich network of like-minded professionals …

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