The importance of legal innovation in the Asia-Pacific region is growing rapidly. And many women are leading legal startups, incubators, tech-enabled consultancies, and legal tech initiatives throughout the APAC region.  Asia Law Portal has reported on and interviewed many of these legal innovators.  With this in mind, here’s our list of 30 women legal innovators in Asia to follow in 2022.  

  1. Namita Shah, India — In 2017, Namita Shah Co-founded Mumbai-based Presolv360, an online alternative to traditional dispute resolution systems.  In an interview with Asia Law Portal, she explained Presolv360’s services offer and detailed her extensive involvement in the ongoing expansion of legal technology and legal innovation in India. Shah is also Co-Founder of LegalTech.Asia, which she describes as: “energising a movement of legal innovation, entrepreneurship and technology”.
  2. Jennifer Lim Wei Zhen, Singapore. Jennifer Lim Wei Zhen is among the most active legal innovators in the Asia-Pacific region. Bilingual in English and Mandarin, Jennifer has worked at various leading law firms and was listed in Asia Law Portal’s Top 30 in the business of law to watch in 2019.  Passionate about law and technology, she co-founded LawTech.Asia and eTPL.Asia.  She also sits on the founding steering committee of ALITA; and is a chapter organiser for Legal Hackers Singapore.  She is part of the faculty at the Legal Innovation & Technology Institute and is regularly invited to speak on issues relating to technology and innovation such as the role of lawyers in light of technology, AI & Ethics, ODR, NFTs, etc. In an interview with Asia Law Portal, Jennifer detailed her views on Singapore’s present and future role as a legal innovation hub – and what inspired her to be an integral part of this ecosystem.
  3. Irma Surya, Indonesia — In 2018, Irma Surya founded PLATO, a “one-stop-shop legal platform” focused on helping small businesses navigate Indonesia’s legal landscape.  A lawyer with extensive experience assisting businesses expand in Indonesia, Surya detailed what inspired her to found PLATO and what’s in store for the company’s future in this interview with Asia Law Portal.
  4. June Low, Malaysia. In 2016, June Low Founded EasyLaw.  The app is now used by 1 out of 4 lawyers in Malaysia.  In an interview with Asia Law Portal, Low details the story of this remarkable legal startup and what inspired her to pursue a career in legal tech.
  5. Zolzaya Mundur, Mongolia. Legal technology company CodeLex is a developer of legaltech projects as part of the Irbis Ventures (formerly ‘M Lab’​) ecosystem. Incorporated in Mongolia and Singapore, and with a core team based in Ulaanbaatar, Singapore and Tokyo, CodeLex projects aim to streamline and add value to the practice of law and delivery of legal services.  In an interview with Asia Law PortalCodeLex Founders Zolzaya Mundur and Maizorig Janchivdorj explain the inspiration for the founding the company, their future plans, how they help lawyers streamline their practices and what inspired them to pursue careers in legal tech.
  6. Sacha Kirk, AustraliaSacha Kirk is Co-Founder and Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) of Australia-based legal startup Lawcadia.  Named to Asia Law Portal’s 12 legal tech startup founders to follow in the Asia-Pacific region in 2020 – Kirk explained in an interview with Asia Law Portal what inspired Lawcadia’s founding, its’ services offer, the details of its’ recent funding round, it’s geographic focus and future goals, the unique role of the legal startup CMO, predictions for the future of legal startups in the Asia-Pacific region, and her advice for aspiring legal startup entrepreneurs.
  7. Cherilyn Tan, Singapore – In 2016, Asia Law Portal interviewed Cherilyn Tan, Founder of Singapore’s AsiaLawNetwork.com.  As the Straits Times outlined then, a “tech enthusiast”, Tan “founded Asia’s first legal interactive database last August”, which helps clients “get an objective assessment and price quotation.”  Since its founding, “more than 2,800 lawyers have registered with AsiaLawNetwork.com (ALN), including around 1,000 lawyers based in Singapore.” 
  8. Rieke Caroline, Indonesia. Rieke Caroline is Founding CEO, KontrakHukum. As Indonesian Tatler reported: KontraHukum is “a digital platform focused on protecting the business-legal side of small- to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).  Rieke Caroline explained in Tech in Asia that she founded KontrakHukum “with the aim[of making] legal services more reachable to…society at large, thus in the long run [helping make] legal services…[not something that’s] viewed as ‘exclusive’”.
  9. Queenie Chong, Brunei.  Queenie Chong is CEO and Co-Founder of Memori – an online legacy planning platform Memori helps customers engage certified professionals to write their wills. Chong told Biz Brunei that: “Memori was set up to democratize the legacy planning space which has traditionally been expensive and difficult to navigate”.  Memori plans to scale their business in Brunei, Singapore, and Malaysia, where an estimated 33 million adults are without a will. E27 reported in 2019 that Memori raised an “undisclosed amount of funding…from members of an Asian royal family”.
  10. Roslyn Lai, Hong Kong, SAR, China. Roslyn Lai previously served as Asia Pacific editor for the Legal Technologist and co-founded the student start-up, Let’s Chat Law.  At The Legal Technologist, Roslyn regularly profiles some of the leading legal tech entrepreneurs in the Asia-Pacific region. Let’s Chat Law is a bi-monthly chat for legal-focused topics, ranging from job applications to contemporary legal developments. Roslyn also served as Research Assistant at LITELab@HKU, an inter-disciplinary and experimental programme led by University of Hong Kong’s Faculty of Law and the Department of Computer Science. She now serves as editor for the State of Legal Innovation in Asia 2022 Report (2020 report can be found here) to be issued by the Asia Pacific Legal Innovation & Technology Association (ALITA) in December 2022.
  11. Sarah Mateljan, Australia.  Sarah Mateljan is Co-Founder & Director at LawCPD & CourseGenius. As she details on her LinkedIn profile: “I’m the co-founder of two tech startups – LawCPD and CourseGenius. LawCPD was the first company to provide online CPD to lawyers on any device – smartphone, desktop or tablet – and continues to be an industry leader. CourseGenius was launched to make the custom online learning platform created for LawCPD accessible to a wider range of industries and organisations. CourseGenius is now one of the leading online learning platforms used by organisations to train their staff or to sell courses to the broader public.” Mateljian detailed her thoughts about legal technology use among lawyers in a recent article on Asia Law Portal.
  12. Katherine Thomas, Australia. Katherine Thomas is CEO, Free Range Lawyers, which was founded in 2019 to help empower remote working lawyers and law firms seeking flexible work arrangements.  In an interview with Asia Law PortalThomas details the inspiration behind — and the future plans for — this groundbreaking legal services company.
  13. Narae Lee, Korea. Narae Lee is General Counsel of Blockchain Accelerator Blockcrafters, and Organizer of Seoul Legal Hackers, Korea. In a recent interview with Asia Law Portal, Lee explained the current state of legal entrepreneurship in South Korea and the role of Seoul Legal Hackers in that ecosystem; the current state of blockchain in South Korea, legal tech and legal entrepreneurship as an alternative career path; and how the practice of law in South Korea will be changed by technology over the next ten years.
  14. Adeline Chin, Malaysia. Adeline Chin is Founder & CEO, Law Asia 365. Beginning in 2012, Adeline Chin launched a career as a legal knowledge management (KM) expert while working within a leading Malaysian law firm.  This experience ultimately led her to found Law Asia 365, a comprehensive legal KM and management consultancy, based in Kuala Lumpur. In an interview with Asia Law Portal, Chin detailed her extensive experience in legal tech and legal innovation both in Malaysia and the wider APAC region, and her predictions for the future of the region’s legal tech and innovation ecosystem.  Chin is also a Co-Founder of LawTech Malaysia and a Steering Committee Member of Asia-Pacific Legal Innovation & Technology Association (ALITA).  In this YouTube interview with Startups Zone, Chin explains the inspiration for her focus on legal technology.
  15. Jiang Fengwen, China. Jiang Fengwen is Senior VP and Senior expert, docQbot. Fengwen left a role as Sr. VP-Region General Counsel and Head of Legal & Integrity-Asia, Middle East and Africa (AMEA) at ABB (China) Limited – to join, as InHouseCommunity detailed in November 2020: “AI legal solutions provider docQbo, the leading provider of technology-supported legal solutions in China”.  Fengwen told InHouse Community: “I was attracted to docQbot because of my great interest and prior achievements in legal digitisation and contract standardisation (as stated above), and I view my new role as Senior VP and Senior expert at docQbot as the continuation of that work, and as an opportunity to further legal AI development and leadership. In this role, I help the in-house corporate law departments to design and implement legal-tech solutions utilising docQbot’s cutting edge tools.”
  16. Christy CL Ng, Hong Kong, China, SAR. Christy CL Ng is Legal Data Consultant / ISDA Negotiator, D2 Legal Technology LLP. As her LinkedIn profile details: Ng “is a legal technologist with a particular focus on the digitalization of financial services and derivatives documentation negotiations. She has been involved in various projects to structure legal data and innovation initiatives within the documentation outfits of major banks. She has a particular research focus and pragmatic interest in vertical AI applications in the legal profession and financial services. She has advised on a range of documentation and innovation initiatives within the derivatives industry and fintech space. She is a consultant at D2 Legal Technology LLP and its Hong Kong subsidiary where she has worked on projects on legal data for machine learning and digitalisation of financial services. She has worked with banks, investment firms, governments, asset managers and law firms in an external and in-house capacity in Toronto, Hong Kong and London. Through her unique experience she has gained a broad picture insight into the current state and upcoming trends in the financial industry from a documentation and legal-tech perspective. She is an author in the LegalTech Book, published by Wiley & The Fintech Circle.  She detailed her experience in legal tech and innovation in a November 2020 interview with Roslyn Lai in the Legal Technologist.
  17. Yolanda Chan, Hong Kong, China, SAR – YolandaChan is Managing Director, Asia-Pacific, Axiom, Asia’s pioneer NewLaw firm named Chan General Manager for Asia-Pacific in December, 2018. “Chan brings a strong managerial and technology background to her new role, with more than 20 years of APAC experience with industry-leading brands including Fitbit, Promethean, and Microsoft”, as the firm detailed in announcing Chan’s appointment.
  18. Ying Mei Lum, Malaysia. Ying Mei Lum is Chief Technology Officer, MahWengKwai (MWKA), and Director, MWKA Technologies. MahWengKwai & Associates’ recently “set up its own technology research and development arm based in Singapore, under MWKA Technologies Pte Ltd, a member of ACCESS (the Singapore Cryptocurrency and Blockchain Industry Association) and Singapore Fintech Association. The research and development team, specialising in mobile strategy, digital transformation and the crossroads of fintech + law is led by Ying Mei Lum” (a Big4 management alumnus who recently was MWK’s COO and continues to remain the firm’s CTO). MWKA Technologies also offers advisory and project management services to the firm’s clients “who wish to explore these technologies to maintain or increase their competitive advantage.”
  19. Santhi Latha, Malaysia – Santhi Latha is Dean of the Rajah & Tann Asia (RTA) Academy, where she curates the RTA Academy’s in-house training content related to legal tech and practice innovation. She has worked with the Association of Women Lawyers in Malaysia for over a decade, helping initiate events and activities geared toward the empowerment of women and female lawyers specifically. She continues to contribute to the Malaysian Bar through the Common Bar Course Committee and the Innovation & Future of Law Committee.
  20. Rasmeet Charya, India – Rasmeet Charya is Chief Innovation Officer of Algo Legal, a new age technology backed law firm focused on venture capital and private equity firms, VC-funded start-up companies and corporate businesses. The firm is Headquartered in Bangalore and has offices in Mumbai and Delhi. In an interview with Asia Law PortalCharya explains what inspired the firm’s founding, it’s tech-enabled services focus on private equity and venture capital, and what inspired her to pursue a career as a lawyer, legal technologist and legal services sector entrepreneur.
  21. Anoosha Shaigan, Pakistan — Anoosha Shaigan is an international human rights and technology lawyer and a certified legislative drafter, having worked on various legal, policy and political reforms in human rights, international law, gender justice and legal innovation for over 13 years. As she detailed in an interview with Asia Law Portal: She has served as the Editor & Vice President of Courting The Law, Pakistan’s leading legal analysis platform with various award-winning initiatives leveraging technology to enhance legal services and access to justice. She has worked with various government ministries, judicial bodies and international organizations in reviewing Pakistan’s commitments to international treaty obligations. She has also had the honour of being elected as a member of the Governance and Accountability Council of the Global Shapers Community of the World Economic Forum. Nominated as a Fellow of the American Council of Young Political Leaders by the US Department of State, she was appointed as the honorary Deputy Secretary of State in Indiana during the 2016 US Presidential Election. Ms. Shaigan has also authored the Legislative Brief on the Right to Information law for the Parliament of Pakistan and frequently conducts legal tech training for senior judiciary in Pakistan.
  22. Bhagyashree Pancholy, India – Bhagyashree Pancholy founded All Remotely, where she helps co-located and office-based teams transition to remote and helps remote teams understand their teams better with the help of proprietary assessments. She is also General Counsel at Lano, where she helps clients expand internationally by hiring and retaining talent in a compliant manner. In an interview with Asia Law Portal, she explains how remote work is impacting legal services in general and in India in particular, her legal background and how it led her to a career as a remote legal entrepreneur – and how others might also become remote lawyers.
  23. Shreya Vajpei, India — Shreya Vajpei is a legal innovator, legal technology writer and advisor, and practice development professional – having begun her career as a lawyer.  In an interview with Asia Law Portal, she details the journey that led her to her focus on legal innovation – and how the law students of today might engage with non-conventional roles.  Her interviews of legal innovators on ProLawgue are a must-watch for anyone interested in legal innovation in India and the greater APAC region.
  24. Catherine O’Connell, Japan — A former in-house counsel in Japan, Catherine O’Connell is originally from New Zealand. In 2018, she founded her own law firm focused on providing flexible legal services to businesses in Japan. In an interview with Asia Law PortalO’Connell details the inspiration that led her to found her own firm, her practice focus, what impact technology has had on her practice, how she uniquely markets her firm (including as  host of the Lawyer on Air podcast), as well as her insights into what it’s like to practice law in Japan.
  25. Mariyam Shunana, Maldives – Mariyam Shunana is Managing Partner of leading Maldives law firm Shunana & Co. LLP, where she specializes in litigating and negotiating complex business transactions. In an interview with Asia Law Portal, she details her eleven years of legal experience in representing the Government of the Maldives, Government companies, and major private corporations including foreign investment companies, and individuals. Mariyam also explains how she has helped clients establish foreign investment companies, engaged in extensive pro-bono legal work, become a legal technology entrepreneur – all while navigating the unique competitive challenges of a changing legal market.
  26. Khushbakht Shah Jillani, Pakistan. Pakistan High Court Advocate Khushbakht Shah Jillani is the youngest lawyer in Pakistan to build a career independently in litigation pertaining to family laws, domestic violence, human rights and women’s rights advocacy.  In an interview with Asia Law Portal, she explains her practice, her involvement in Pro Bono work on behalf of domestic violence victims, her advice for law students interested in a career in legal advocacy, and Adal Aur Sehat Project, an online-based platform, composed of a small team of dedicated and passionate individuals aiming to impart legal and health awareness and literacy in Pakistan.
  27. Nan Yadanar Lin, Myanmar — Law Student University of Mandalay, Founder, JusWise, Directs Human Resource Management and Community Outreach Department.
  28. Sandar Lin, Myanmar — Law Student University of Mandalay, Founder, JusWise, Head of Legal Research and Product Operations.
  29. Pixie Cigar, Malaysia – Chapter Co-Head, Legal Hackers Kuala Lumpur (one of Asia’s most important ecosystems of legal innovation) explains that: “My goal is to develop the legal Tech Community in Malaysia and enhance the innovation & efficiency of Law through technology.”
  30. Sreypeou Chaing, CambodiaSreypeou Chaing is Managing Partner of CSP & Associates and Legal Advisor with Cambodia Startup Advisers.  In an interview with Asia Law Portal, she details the current startup environment in Cambodia, including what venture capital investors should be thinking about when investing in Cambodian startups, the work of Cambodia Startup Advisors, and the changing competitive climate for law firms in the country, including the impact of legal tech.

Posted by Asia Law Portal

A forum for discussion of news, information & opportunity in the Asia-Pacific legal markets

Leave a Reply