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This report, the fourth in our Asia Pacific Business Renewal Series, explores how businesses are now fortifying their ESG efforts and pivoting from strategy to action. As businesses integrate ESG action into business renewal, there is an imperative to mitigate risks and pre-empt regulatory and compliance complexities amid uneven recovery and progress across jurisdictional and sectoral landscapes in the region.

Key highlights include:

  • the uneven jurisdictional and sectoral ESG landscape
  • the ESG risks that are top of mind for businesses
  • key forces propelling ESG action in the region
  • how advancing ESG is now intertwined in business renewal strategies

 
About the Asia Pacific Business Renewal Series

Over a year into the global pandemic, businesses have had to pivot to survive and adjust to new ways of conducting business. Now, more than ever, Asia Pacific business leaders are making the necessary strategic changes to meet the needs of a vastly changed business landscape — and deciding where legal expertise may be needed most to limit and manage disruption and soften risks.

This series of four reports unpacks the hypercomplex nature of business in 2021. Understand the momentum and mindset of business leaders and decision-makers in the region as they navigate challenges relating to four main areas of business: Supply Chains, New M&A Landscape, Digital Transformation and Sustainability ESG.

Each report is based on a custom survey of 800 respondents, in partnership with Acuris. Reports feature key considerations and action points to helping businesses to understand the horizon ahead as they make strategic decisions, pursue growth and secure lasting success.

Author

Ilona Millar is a partner in the Environmental Markets team at Baker McKenzie's Sydney office. Ilona is an environmental and projects lawyer with a diverse range of experience in domestic and international climate change, carbon markets, environmental law and policy, and a strong background in all aspects of water management, planning and projects. She joined the Firm in 2008 from the Foundation for International Environmental Law and Development, and International Institute for Environment and Development, in London. Ilona regularly writes, teaches and presents on environmental topics — she has lectured on environmental law, environmental markets and international climate change law at UNSW, Sydney University and University College London and for the past six years has co-coordinated the international climate change law course at ANU where she is a visiting fellow at the College of Law. Ilona's extensive pro bono work includes advising a number of developing country governments and non-government organizations on international climate change negotiations, and advising the Wentworth Group of Concerned Scientists on water and natural resource management law. She is listed among the best lawyers for Climate Change by Best Lawyers Australia 2016.

Author

Elisabeth White is a partner in Baker McKenzie's Sydney office. Elisabeth has over 15 years' experience as an intellectual property and regulatory advisor, focusing upon IP protection and enforcement with a particular emphasis on regulated industries and related disputes. Elisabeth is described in Asia Pacific Legal 500 as providing “decisive expert opinion and a pragmatic approach”. She has been featured in Best Lawyers - Intellectual Property listed annually since 2013.

Author

Gavin Raftery is a partner of the firm's Banking & Finance group, and he is currently a member of the Tokyo office Management Committee. Gavin is also one of the heads of Baker McKenzie's Global Fintech Initiative. He has extensive experience practicing finance law in Australia, the UK and Japan. He is listed as a leading lawyer for Banking and Finance in Japan by Chambers, Legal500 and IFLR.

Author

Kiyoshi Endo is a member of the Firm’s Corporate/M&A Practice Group in Tokyo. He has experience working as a secondee at the London subsidiary of a Japanese securities firm. Prior to joining Baker McKenzie, he worked as a managing associate at Linklaters.

Author

Mini vandePol is the Head of Baker McKenzie's Asia Pacific Compliance & Investigations Group, after successfully completing three years as the Global Chair. Mini focuses on anti-bribery and corruption, trade sanctions, fraud and other senior executive misconduct investigations across Asia but most particularly in Hong Kong, China and India. Mini has more than 30 years' experience and is the trusted advisor to the boards and audit committees of the Firm's most significant global clients — assisting them to establish and enhance their risk management programs, assess risks in transactional opportunities and credibly investigate transgressions to support a strong commitment to a culture of compliance. In her previous Global Chair role, she led a team of 900+ compliance and investigations practitioners in Asia Pacific, EMEA, Latin America and North America, which was ranked amongst the Top 10 global investigations firms by Global Investigations Review in 2016, 2017 and 2018. Mini herself has recently been awarded "Woman Lawyer of the Year" in The Macallan ALB Hong Kong Law Awards and "Best in White Collar Crime" Euromoney Asia Women in Business Law Awards in 2019. She is also named as one of the "Top 100 Women in Investigations" by Global Investigations Review. Mini is the Firm's representative assisting the World Economic Forum's Partnering Against Corruption Initiative (PACI) and a member of the WEF's Global Future Council.

Author

Nadia Soraya is a partner in the Finance & Projects Practice Group with many years of experience handling a wide range of finance and corporate transactions including project finance, general banking and finance, and mergers and acquisitions.

Author

Robert Wright is a senior lawyer in the Baker McKenzie Asia Pacific M&A group and is a lead member of the Hong Kong office Private Equity team. Robert has significant experience in advising financial sponsors and multinational corporates across a range of corporate transactions, including mergers and acquisitions, capital markets, corporate restructurings and strategic investments for listed and unlisted companies.

Author

Anne has been with Baker McKenzie since 2001. Prior to that, she spent four years with the Australian Attorney-General's Department/Australian Government Solicitor mostly working on large IT projects. In her time at Baker McKenzie, Anne has spent 18 months working in London (2007-2008) and more recently three years working in Singapore (2017-2020).

Author

Cahyani Endahayu is a partner in the Mergers & Acquisitions Practice Group. Her work includes handling the corporate/licensing, compliance and day-to-day work of several of the Firm’s major clients and providing corporate, compliance and advisory support services to other clients in relation to corporate/commercial issues. She has advised a wide range of domestic and international clients across various industry sectors, including pharmaceutical and retail/trading.

Author

Yee Chung Seck leads the Firm’s Mergers & Acquisitions, IT/C, Pharmaceutical and Healthcare Practices in Vietnam. Chambers Global (2014, 2013) and Chamber Asia (from 2010 to 2015) rank him as a leading lawyer in the field of Corporate M&A and TMT in Vietnam. He is a member of the Singapore Bar Association and serves as vice president of the Singapore Business Group. He also serves as AmCham's IT/C Sub-Committee Co-Chair. Mr. Seck is fluent in English and conversational in Mandarin.

Author

Kana Itabashi is a member of the Corporate / Mergers & Acquisitions, Environmental and Labor / Employment practice groups in the Firm’s Tokyo office and has over ten years of legal experience. From 2007 to 2009, she was seconded to the principal investment department of a Japanese securities company, and engaged in a variety of investment matters including corporate rehabilitation, private equity investment, emission trading and non-performing loan investments. Ms. Itabashi is a native Japanese speaker and is also fluent in English.

Author

Riza Buditomo is a partner in Hadiputranto, Hadinoto & Partners' Tax & Trade Group in Jakarta. He focuses on corporate commercial and tax, and trade matters including export/import, customs, supply chain, food industry, direct-selling, anti-dumping, and corporate commercial work.

Author

Tracy Wut is a partner in Baker McKenzie's Hong Kong office. She is experienced in mergers and acquisitions and foreign direct investments in China. She regularly acts for clients in complex cross-border transactions, in particular in the pharmaceuticals and healthcare sector, and navigates clients through various issues relating to investments in China. She has been recommended as a leading lawyer in Corporate/M&A by Chambers Global, Corporate/M&A and Life Sciences by Chambers Asia and M&A and private equity by IFLR1000. She is the co-head of the Pharmaceuticals and Healthcare Industry Group in China and Hong Kong.

Author

Loke-Khoon Tan is a partner and head of the IPTech Group in Hong Kong and China. He is currently on the Global Firm’s Steering Committee for the Consumer Goods & Retail (including Luxury and Fashion) Industry Practice. He is also on the Steering Committee for the regional IPTech Group. Mr. Tan is the author of various IP publications including the trilogy of "Pirates in the Middle Kingdom: the Art of Trademark War" books. Mr. Tan is an active member of the Firm's Global Diversity & Inclusion Committee focusing on LGBT. As an integral part of the Firm's Corporate Social Responsibility Program, the Committee has broad oversight for the strategic development and implementation of the Firm's diversity activities. Mr. Tan was also complimented in Chambers Asia Pacific 2020. It reads: "Head of department Tan Loke-Khoon is highly praised by clients, with one stating: 'He's extremely kind, intelligent and has a very strong network; he can basically co-ordinate and refer anything anywhere in the world. He puts a lot of potential into every client he takes care of.' He advises on various elements of brand protection strategy including registrations, enforcement of IP rights and infringement litigation. He is particularly experienced in representing clients from the retail and consumer goods sectors."

Author

Akifusa Takada is seasoned in domestic and cross-border M&A transactions, reorganization transactions as well as in securities transactions. He also has extensive experience in general corporate matters, including corporate governance and compliance. He has been working for the Firm's Chicago office and is knowledgeable in M&A and securities practice in the United States. He regularly provides lectures to clients on key issues involving corporate law, M&A and the Financial Instruments and Exchange Law.

Author

Bee Chun Boo is a partner in the Firm’s Mergers and Acquisitions group and practices mainly in the areas of M&A, venture capital and private equity. Prior to joining Baker McKenzie’s Beijing office in 2007, Ms. Boo served as a partner in the Firm’s Singapore office. She is listed as a leading lawyer by IFLR 1000 in the areas of mergers and acquisitions, private equity and project finance.

Author

Kate Jefferson joined Baker McKenzie’s Sydney office in 2005 and worked in the Firm’s New York office in 2007 and 2008. Kate also undertook a four month secondment to at a global investment bank. Kate previously worked for Herbert Smith Freehills from 2001 to 2005 and as a management consultant to the London Stock Exchange from 2000 to 2001.

Author

Adrian Lawrence is the head of the Firm's Asia Pacific Technology, Media & Telecommunications Group. He is a partner in the Sydney office of Baker McKenzie where he advises on media, intellectual property and information technology, providing advice in relation to major issues relating to the online and offline media interests. He is recognised as a leading Australian media and telecommunications lawyer.

Author

Ken Chia is a member of the Firm’s IP Tech, International Commercial & Trade and Competition Practice Groups. He is regularly ranked as a leading TMT and competition lawyer by top legal directories, including Chambers Asia Pacific and Legal 500 Asia Pacific. Ken is an IAPP Certified International Privacy Professional (FIP, CIPP(A), CIPT, CIPM) and a fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators and the Singapore Institute of Arbitrators.

Author

Paolo Sbuttoni is a partner in the Hong Kong office of Baker McKenzie and a member of the Firm's IT & Communications Practice Group. He focuses on technology agreements and transactions, e-commerce, telecommunications regulatory matters, and data privacy. Paolo has presented on a number of topics relevant to his field including cloud computing contracts, data privacy, and social media.

Author

Stephanie Magnus co-heads the Asia Pacific Financial Institutions Group and heads up the Financial Services Regulatory Practice Group in Singapore. Stephanie is ranked Band 1 for FinTech in Singapore by Chambers FinTech 2020. She is also ranked as a Leading Individual for Financial Services Regulatory: Local Firms in Singapore by Legal 500 Asia Pacific 2020. She is recognised as a leading lawyer for Banking & Finance: Regulatory in Singapore by Chambers Asia Pacific and Chambers Global 2020. Stephanie was quoted in Chambers Asia Pacific for her "timely, practical and business-oriented" advice, with a "deep understanding of the regulatory regime." She is also recognised as "very business-savvy and brilliant every time," and is admired for her "very strong grasp of the legal issues from both a technical and practical perspective."

Author

Yaeko Hodaka has over 25 years of legal experience in the areas of corporate law, including mergers and acquisitions, corporate restructuring and reorganization, internal investigation, litigation and dispute resolution. She is a partner in the Corporate/M&A Practice Group, with a focus on the automotive sector and serves as the Regional Chair of Industrial, Manufacturing and Transportation Group in Asia Pacific.

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