Ever wonder what does the legal practice of capital markets and mergers and acquisitions entail? Ryan Lin, director of ZICO Insights Law LLC, draws attention to the importance of knowing your clients and their businesses.
Ryan advises on a wide variety of corporate and commercial matters, with a particular expertise in mergers and acquisitions and capital markets transactions. Prior to joining ZICO Law as a Director, Ryan was head legal of a multinational company listed on the London and Dublin stock exchanges, overseeing mergers and acquisitions transactions in Asia Pacific, Middle East and Africa.
ZICO Law is the first network of leading independent local law firms with a full presence in 18 cities in all Southeast Asian countries.
What made you choose to be a lawyer, and what drives you today?
My grandfather wanted me to be one.
The rigours of corporate legal practice requiring one to structure and execute transactions within the legal framework that is constantly changing with the times keeps me motivated.
I understand that your expertise is in capital markets transactions and mergers and acquisitions. Why did you choose to focus on this area of law?
The main reason is because I like to understand how businesses work.
Capital markets transactions are extremely interesting as you get to foster long-term relationships with the clients in the course of the matter and you get to understand the businesses of the clients very well.
Similarly, for mergers and acquisitions, one will need to know the business of the clients well enough to avoid the pitfalls of providing legal advice in a vacuum. For example, for a company to provide certain warranties in a sale and purchase agreement, the lawyer should be kept abreast of the nature of the business of the company to question whether it can comply with such warranties.
All in all, although working on challenging deals and helping clients structure their transactions are tedious and arduous, their eventual successful completion is immensely satisfying for me.
What is the most significant case in your legal career thus far?
It would be the initial public offering of KrisEnergy Ltd, an independent upstream company focused on the production and development of oil and gas in the basins of Southeast Asia. It was the very first listing under the new minerals, oil and gas Mainboard Listing Manual Rules introduced by the Singapore Exchange to attract minerals, oil and gas listing aspirants.
As this was the first entity to be listed under the newly introduced minerals, oil and gas Mainboard Listing Manual Rules, we had to navigate around the uncertainties surrounding the new requirements and provide meaningful feedback and practical constraints to fulfill the same.
Having to work with clients of international or regional presence, how do you keep yourself dated to the changes in the laws of different countries?
Being actively involved in cross border legal matters provides natural exposure to the laws and the changes to those laws of the different countries.
Being in a network of firms with strategic offices across all Southeast Asian countries helps tremendously too, as there is plentiful interaction with different partners of the various jurisdictions in which we have a presence.
What are the advantages of having an international network of law firms, as compared to a conventional law firm?
Clients appreciate the benefits of a one-stop shop where they liaise with you while you consult with the relevant foreign lawyers in the other offices and provide practical legal solutions across jurisdictions. A network allows such legal advice under a single brand which typically is more cost efficient and convenient.
What is your advice for aspiring lawyers who are interested in M&A and capital market?
The hours may be long and the transactions may be intense, but the end results (when companies list on the securities exchange or successfully purchases target(s)) are deeply satisfying. Hold on tight and never give up because legal practice is a marathon, not a sprint.
Could you share with us three fun facts about yourself?
I hold a black belt in taekwondo*.
I slay on the mahjong table and get slain on the football pitch.
I have three princesses.
*Note: A useful alternative dispute mechanism on the negotiating table
This article does not constitute legal advice or a legal opinion on any matter discussed and, accordingly, it should not be relied upon. It should not be regarded as a comprehensive statement of the law and practice in this area. If you require any advice or information, please speak to a practicing lawyer in your jurisdiction. No individual who is a member, partner, shareholder or consultant of, in or to any constituent part of Interstellar Group Pte. Ltd. accepts or assumes responsibility, or has any liability, to any person in respect of this article.