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Kai Hsien Yang

Counsel - International Capital Markets (ICM)

I joined A&O as an associate in 2011. Prior to that, I spent a couple of years in private practice and in-house in a conglomerate in Singapore. It was during my tenure as an in-house counsel when I worked with a number of capital markets transactions with A&O. Although A&O acted for the arrangers/bookrunners and not the group I represented in those transactions, the A&O teams left a deep impression on various business heads of the group, due to their ability to understand the commercial aspects of the transaction. In contrast with some other firms the group worked with that were overly legalistic, the A&O teams helped navigate complex issues which helped the transactions get completed by offering practical solutions while protecting their clients’ interests at the same time. In fact, I was very frustrated at times at how some other international law firms which represented the group almost derailed transactions by being overly legalistic and failing to focus on matters which could practically affect the group adversely. I recall telling myself during those times that I was wasting my time unless I learn from the best, and the rest is history.

Since joining A&O, I have worked on a variety of transactions such as IPOs, offerings of debt and equity securities, takeovers, reverse takeovers, M&A transactions and corporate advisory work. There are unlimited opportunities to work in some of the most complex transactions, which allow me to continuously increase the depth of our knowledge and skills as a corporate lawyer. One of the key differences in my working experience before and after joining A&O, is the work we undertake tends to involve multiple jurisdictions. A&O provides an unparalleled platform for international minded lawyers to be engaged in cutting edge international work. This allowed me to have the opportunities to work with and learn from the most talented and forward-looking group of lawyers across multiple offices in Asia-Pacific, Europe and the US.  As we constantly import and export know-hows between different offices, the work we do helps shape many practice areas, especially in the Asia-Pacific region.

A key strength of A&O which continues to fascinate me is how the people within are always eager to help one another succeed, no matter where they are based in. While many of our lawyers have leading practices in their respective jurisdictions or regions, the cohesiveness of the people makes it easy for any lawyer within the network to draw on the collective strengths and experiences of the entire firm. This is also why every one of us can be proud to say that we are part of the A&O family, no matter where we are.