Two high-profile laterals to join tech, media and comms expert law firm

OC Queen Street has strengthened its service offerings with the addition of a distinctive competition practice that prides itself on an unrivalled competition enforcement experience in both traditional and digital markets. The competition practice comprises Harikumar Sukumar Pillay and Poh Lip Hang who between them share a combined experience of 16 years at the Competition and Consumer Commission of Singapore (CCCS), formerly, the Competition Commission of Singapore.

Harikumar joins OC Queen Street having helmed the Enforcement Division at the CCCS. He joined the CCCS in 2009 as a junior Assistant Director and rose through the ranks. Over the course of more than nine years at the CCCS, he worked on and supervised notable investigations and decisions involving cartel conduct, abuse of market power, and mergers and acquisitions.

As Director of the Enforcement Division, Harikumar further supervised the Intelligence Unit and IT Forensics Taskforce, was responsible for managing leniency applications made to the CCCS, overseeing the secret complainant and reward schemes, planning and executing dawn raids, and recording investigative statements of persons under investigations. He also led teams involved in defending appeals brought against the CCCS’s decisions before the Competition Appeals Board. Prior to joining the CCCS, Harikumar served as a Justice’s Law Clerk between 2006 to 2007 and worked at Drew & Napier LLC between 2008 to 2009.

Newly appointed OC Queen Street Counsel Harikumar Pillay commented, "Setting up this competition practice could not have come at a better time, given recent market transformations and the growing importance placed on the enforcement of competition law in Singapore, ASEAN and the wider APAC regions. As enforcement of competition law intensifies, our practice is well-placed to offer a more complete suite of services with the distinctive perspectives of the competition enforcer. OC Queen Street and the wider Osborne Clarke network provide the ideal platform from which to do this.

"Lip Hang and I are excited by the possibilities and look forward to joining OC Queen Street and working with our colleagues in Osborne Clarke’s wider international network."

Lip Hang joins from Drew & Napier LLC where he was assistant head of its Competition & Regulatory Economics practice. He has extensive competition law and economics experience, having also worked at the CCCS, where he was principally responsible for conducting economic analysis for investigations, market studies and merger applications. He also advised government agencies on the impact of their policies on market competition. His work experience spans a broad spectrum of industries, including aviation, e-Commerce, financial services, healthcare, manufacturing, shipping and tele-communications. Lip Hang is also an adjunct faculty member at the Singapore Management University, where he teaches the Economics of Competition Law module.

Chia-Ling Koh, Managing Director of OC Queen Street, whose practice in cybersecurity, AI and Fintech have been noted by Chambers, commented: "We continue to build strength and depth in our team, having recently appointed special counsels Valerie Kwok, a banking and finance expert, Benjamin Ang, cyber and data protection specialist. Now with Hari and Lip Hang as well, we are a small but highly-focused team of 12-fee earners specialising in tech, media and comms, which is quite unique in the Singaporean market. Hari and Poh Lip Hang both bring strong reputations in antitrust and competition, which is increasingly important to both our local and international client base."

Simon Beswick, International CEO at Osborne Clarke, commented: "September is always an exciting time of year for our business. We've had a strong six months to start off the year, and are well-positioned to continue that growth in the second half. We continue to expand our business in sectors and legal expertise where we have both strong international opportunities and client demand. It's a pleasure to welcome Harikumar, Lip Hang, Job and Laurens to Osborne Clarke."

The addition of the competition practice to OC Queen Street is timely as competition authorities in the ASEAN are focussing on competition issues arising out of the proliferation of digital businesses in their economies. Of note, the ASEAN Experts Group on Competition has identified anti-competitive practices in the tech, media and comms sector as an area of priority for its work under the ASEAN Economic Community Blueprint 2025. Closer to home, the CCCS launched a market study of online travel platforms in April 2018 (see media release). The competition practice thus serves to strengthen OC Queen Street’s service offerings to our clients who are expanding their operations in tech and digital markets.

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