Recently I had the opportunity to sit down with Barry Wong, Founder and Director of Hong Kong-based LawTranslate (@lawtranslatecom) – to discuss the company and its core services offer and plans for the future. LawTranslate is a newly formed company focusing on translation services to the legal services sector globally, with a particular emphasis on the APAC region, and a focus on quality translation provided by trained lawyers with high language and subject matter proficiency.

In particular, LawTranslate provides Translation, Editing/Proofreading and Transcription services in Traditional Chinese, Simplified Chinese, English and Japanese – as well as a number of other languages. As Barry, a PRC lawyer himself told me, the company is at present focused on the APAC region – and in particular Greater China, but the plans are for global expansion in the future. He said the company’s unique strength is that it is staffed by trained lawyers with subject matter expertise. Here’s our interview:

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Barry Wong, Founder and Director, LawTranslate

Grimley: “What inspired you to found LawTranslate?”

Wong: “Before embarking on a legal career, I was a journalist and experienced translator, and I noticed that there are very few specialist legal translation firms in the Greater China region and across the globe, yet the demand for expert quality legal/technical translation is ever-growing due to the faster pace of globalization, advancement of technology, more and more outsourcing needs and the growth of China/Asian economy. I think it makes much sense to have lawyers/technical specialists to translate legal/technical documents rather than leaving them to the generalists. And I am very glad that I am surrounded by a group of lawyer-linguists locally in region and overseas who has the expertise and share the same vision.

Also I am a big fan of technology, and I found the translation industry, by its virtual business nature, is actually a pioneer in adopting a range of latest technologies and concepts, like cloud, mobile technologies, social media and big data. I regard my business venture is more than just another conventional translation agency; I see it as a sort of online legal startup offering globally accessible legal support services.

By utilizing legal expertise, profound language skills and cutting-edge technology, LawTranslate.com aims to offer high quality multilingual translation services for legal/financial/business organizations and professionals.”

Grimley: “What makes LawTranslate unique in the translation industry?”

Wong: “There are many generalist translation companies out there in the market, but with much fewer specialist players and even fewer legal translation companies backed by a large team of lawyer-linguists (and legal translators with profound legal training) across different legal jurisdictions. Our lawyer-linguists are qualified to practise their own domestic laws (or even some foreign laws). Many of them are non-practising and now focus solely on legal/technical translations, and all of them are native speakers. Besides having a global pool of expert talents, we are competent in adopting latest translation and communication technologies to help boost productivity, enhance quality and shorten delivery time. Thus we are able to produce top quality legal translation for lower cost and faster turnaround time.

In addition to document translation, we offer multimedia solution too, including DTP, website/app localization and audio/video transcription and translation as well. Looking further, we might extend our service offerings to patent translation and filling, document review and drafting, and E-Discovery support and so on.”

Grimley: “What markets are you most focused on in the Asia Pacific Region?”

Wong: “In fact, we don’t limit ourselves to the APAC market only. As the translation process can be carried out purely online, the service can actually be extended to the global legal community. But, yes, our preliminary and prime focus now will be in the APAC region, especially in the Greater China region. However, our longer-term goal will be serving the global legal community.

As our brand name, LawTranslate.com, suggests, our targeted markets will be the legal services sector (including corporate legal departments, law/IP firms, government and judicial systems) — but we are also very good at financial, patent and medical translations as well. In short, we aspire to be a leading specialist translation firm in the market powered by global legal talents and latest technology.”

For more information about LawTranslate, please see the company’s website at: http://www.lawtranslate.com. And Founder and Director Barry Wong’s LinkedIn profile is located here: hk.linkedin.com/in/barrywlm

Posted by John Grimley

John Grimley edits and publishes Asia Law Portal and is the author of A Comprehensive Guide to the Asia-Pacific Legal Markets. He specializes in providing writing, editing, research and strategy services to the corporate and professional services sectors. Between 2002 and 2008, he established and directed the European representative business development office of US AmLaw 100 law and public policy firm Patton Boggs LLP. At the inception of his career, he served as a writer to the President of the United States in the White House. A licensed American lawyer, he holds a Juris Doctor from the University of San Diego School of Law.

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