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Website addresses multi-country needs

Website addresses multi-country needs

COMPETITIVE ADVANTAGE: The new antitrust site Gilbert + Tobin has set up an online information source on competition law covering

COMPETITIVE ADVANTAGE: The new antitrust site
Gilbert + Tobin has set up an online information source on competition law covering nearly 20 Asia-Pacific jurisdictions, in response to the needs of clients involved in merger and cartel matters that relate to multiple countries.

The firm obtained legislation directly from each relevant country's regulators and then approached local law firms to check translations.

Nick Taylor, partner at Gilbert + Tobin, said the inclusion of local firms into the project was essential. "It's a real problem getting authoritative and well thought through translation into English of the [foreign] law, and that's critical for advising. In this area, so much turns on what's an understanding, what fixing a price means, that sort of thing, so you need a really good translation," he said.

"They also bring into the site - through the market overview section - a good feel for the culture of enforcement and the culture of enforcement is not really written anywhere and that is very important for a business to get a proper idea of the culture in a particular country [and] on how the provisions are enforced."

Taylor points out that the website, called AntitrustAsia.com, has been designed with two audiences in mind. "One is general counsels who just need some basic information such as 'Does the country have a competition law? Does it have a leniency policy? Who can I turn to for advice? Who really is a practitioner in that country?'," he said.

The second audience targeted is competition law professionals from Europe and America.

Angie Ng, lawyer at Gilbert + Tobin, who was heavily involved with liaising with local firms, said the website helped develop international relationships.

"We've formed a good competition law network with other firms ... [and we] really see the advantages of getting to know them and the possibility for writing joint articles, sharing ideas on competition law, as well as possibly referring international competition-type work to each other and actually getting to know them as people," she said.

Taylor adds that the next step is to provide service delivery jointly with the firms, who come from countries that include China, Thailand, Vietnam, Laos, Singapore, India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Hong Kong, Japan and South Korea.

- Sarah Sharples

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