Alexander Yap
Singapore
  • PositionPartner
  • FirmAllen & Gledhill LLP
  • Age38
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Alexander Yap

Alexander Yap

Singapore
  • Position: Partner
  • Firm: Allen & Gledhill LLP
  • Age: 38

What do you do?

My practice has always dealt with data in a transaction and licensing context. The focus on data has sharpened especially since an overarching data protection law fully came into effect in Singapore in mid 2014.

Career highlights?

From a data law perspective, the recent transaction where Allen & Gledhill acted as transaction counsel for Grab on its acquisition of the south east Asian operations and assets of Uber. From a more general perspective, I have since 2008 been involved in advising on various aspects of the arrangements through which the Formula 1 race has been hosted in Singapore. Owing to the subject matter, doing this work always seems very interesting and a bit of a “highlight”.

Influences and mentors?

I’ve been very fortunate to have Tham Kok Leong as my “pupil master” and as the head of the firm’s technology practice. It’s no exaggeration that part of the reason I have continued in practice is his intelligence, guidance, patience and support.

If you hadn’t been a lawyer...

Probably a programmer – but I believed (when I was 18) that if I was serious about programming, a move to Silicon Valley was necessary, and I did not want to make that move.

What will data lawyers be advising on in 10 years?

Advice on legislation that governs the manner in which AI may be deployed and relevant related-controls, and agreements for the exploitation of AI.

Most significant current trend in your jurisdiction?

The number of, and the success of, initial token/coin offerings launched from Singapore has resulted in the creation of a far larger group of clients who are start-ups. This is especially interesting as their business models tend to be very novel, and require input from specialists in quite a few disparate legal areas.

What do you do to relax?

I used to play first-person shooters, most recently Overwatch, as a team game with friends and colleagues. Having said that, just the concept behind the current leading game in this genre – a battle royale where the aim is to be the last survivor – does not seem particularly relaxing. My next project is to regain some mastery of the piano – I haven’t owned one for some years.