First virtual meeting of Asia-Pacific Impact Lawyers

esela Online Meeting, 11 June 2020

esela Online Meeting - Asia-Pacific Impact Lawyers
By ESELA Posted 16/06/2020

On 11 June 2020, lawyers joined the first online meeting of Asia-Pacific Impact Lawyers, held during the week of the AVPN Virtual Summit.

The energy for the topic was palpable and the perspectives shared were an energising reminder that impact practitioners in different countries are not in this alone.

As the group indicated interest in learning more from each other, as a next step, esela is forming a small working group of APAC lawyers to agree the content for a next meeting. Programming will be developed in response to feedback from the wider group.

SUMMARY: Asia-Pacific Impact Lawyers online meeting, 11 June

Discussion points

  • How to build an impact practice of fee-paying work, alongside pro bono.
  • Common obstacles – capacity and workload, generating a steady flow of transactions to create a sustainable practice.
  • The role of lawyers in impact measurement and standards setting.
  • How to convey the value/importance of impact beyond fees generated, for lawyers based within commercial firms/practices.
  • The role of the lawyer in removing regulatory barriers, such as barriers to donations by private foreign foundations in China.
  • The difference in understandings of impact in APAC countries, and approaches to educating others through your work.
  • How to balance tackling urgent problems during Covid while not losing sight of changing underlying regulations and structures to create a fairer system.

It was encouraging to see that, despite common obstacles, there was a real sense of potential. As one participant put it, ‘for the growth of impact in legal practice in Asia and the Pacific, we need the ability to be a part of a community even as a specialist practitioner’.

Where to look next

For a deep dive into some of the issues raised at the meeting, take a look at the virtual series of events in July 2020 at

The slides from the event capture the notes of the small group discussions and areas of interest for a next meeting.

How to get involved

  1. Get in touch to join the small working group of Asia-Pacific Impact Lawyers to contribute to the shape of the community and future events
  2. Register interest here to receive details of future Asia-Pacific Impact Lawyers events.


SPEAKERS: Asia-Pacific Impact Lawyers online meeting, 11 June

  • Ranajoy Basu – Partner and Head of India practice at McDermott, Will & Emery LLP
  • Jon Cheung –  Partner at Prolegis Lawyers, Australia
  • Sarah Dobson – Executive Director of esela – The legal network for social impact
  • Giana Lin – Partner and co-founder of FuGuan Law Firm, Shanghai
  • Roberto Randazzo – President of esela – The legal network for social impact and a Partner at R&P Legal, Italy
  • Vivien Teu – Founder & Managing Partner at Vivien Teu & Co LLP, Hong Kong


  • Tze-Wei Ng – Consultant (ESG & Impact Practice) at Vivien Teu & Co LLP and member of the board of esela – The legal network for social impact

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