Charmian Aw
Singapore
  • PositionDirector
  • FirmDrew & Napier LLC
  • Age35
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Charmian Aw

Charmian Aw

Singapore
  • Position: Director
  • Firm: Drew & Napier LLC
  • Age: 35

Professional history

I started out my legal career focusing on telecommunications, media and technology work. About seven years ago, I started delving into data work, and this eventually culminated in my current specialisations in data privacy and cybersecurity work. So much has changed in terms of that landscape, and all within the past decade. Today, we see convergence in ICT and media – the latter of which encompasses online streaming and social media – as well as technology and digitalisation being firmly embedded in various sectors and businesses globally.

What do you do?

I am actively involved in assisting companies on data privacy compliance, as well as advising on issues relating to information governance, enforcement, breach management and notifications, security, monitoring and surveillance, and cross-border transfers.

What drew you to your area of practice?

Data privacy and cybersecurity are ever-evolving areas of law and practice, and relevant to nearly all organisations with a digital footprint. This makes working in this space very exciting indeed!

Influences and mentors?

I would have to say all of my former and present teachers, from those who taught me at school, to my friends, peers and colleagues today from whom I continue to learn, and who have taken the time to share their invaluable experiences, knowledge and wisdom with me.

Advice for young lawyers?

Always be curious and willing to learn. In this field, youth can be an asset, as young persons tend to be well-­connected with technology and up-to-date with trends and developments in the digital world. Seek out a worthy mentor with whom you can engage in meaningful discussions on the subject. Also, look globally and be prepared to step out of your comfort zone.

If you hadn’t been a lawyer...

Possibly a food critic, wine connoisseur, writer and/or podcaster.

What’s everyone talking about?

Distributed ledger technology and the blockchain, and the opportunities and disruption it poses. Also, how robots may soon take over all our jobs – albeit with certain exceptions.

What’s your favourite restaurant?

If I am feeling fancy, Spago at Marina Bay Sands or Luke’s Oyster Bar and Chop House. Otherwise, give me a bowl of Katong laksa any day.