1. You are a dual-qualified lawyer in New York and Israel and also the Head of the Legal Department for one of the region’s prominent technology and e-commerce groups, which serves over 50 million people through an e-wallet app and 88,000 agent networks. Tell us what inspired you to focus on this career and how qualifying in New York help your career development?
I had worked in private practice for many years; both in Israel and in South East Asia (SEA), where I had advised for large corporations worldwide. One of the main aspects that pushed me to move and become an in-house lawyer, was the challenges it posed and the satisfaction I derive when given the chance to get myself familiarized with a the company’s business, policies, and modus operandi, inside-out; versus advising various clients on a specific transaction. When shifting to an in-house legal career, I believed that I would be better able to serve the interests of the company and be an integral part of the group’s growth. Further, I find the field of financial technology (fintech) fascinating. This is an evolving field, especially in terms of law, regulations and the need for legal creativity. I find it a very rewarding thing to enable so many people in this part of the world to access financial services to improve their lives. That is the inspiration behind my career.
As I have already mentioned, the field of fintech is evolving rapidly. I believe that operating in SEA under such circumstances and facing challenges, requires a strong adaptation to international standards, notably to the US standards. In addition, I work with foreign parties and stakeholders and many of them are from New York. Therefore, having a New York qualification would certainly develop my professional career.
2. You have an extensive experience in complex (and non-standard) transactions and contract drafting (with a special emphasis on competition (anti-trust), compliance and regulations, such as FCPA, UK Bribery Act, SOX), investments, M&As, data privacy, pharma, IT & technology, automobiles, joint-ventures, energy, property as well as labor (employment) matters. What is your current role and what do you enjoy most about it? What advice would you give aspiring lawyers that are trying to develop an international legal career?
In my current role, I lead the legal department of our group of companies, as I work as the group’s chief legal officer. What I enjoy most about it, is seeing my people, being our legal counsels; grow, act and contribute directly to the group’s business operation and success. I am so happy to mentor and share my knowledge with others. When my influence has a positive outcome on the businesses, it gives me a very satisfying feeling.
I am originally from Israel, where I advised Multi-National Corporations (MNCs) and dually-listed companies, but I have been living and working in SEA for many years. My advice for an aspiring lawyer would be ‘Never give up!’ No matter how far opportunities may seem, it is still worth trying. Always expand your horizons. Have an open mind to learn about new cultures and respect them and their legal systems. Always act ethically and again, never give up. Good things will come, though may not at your first attempt.