In-House Lawyer Profiles
Lawyer's Details
Dick Thurston



December 2011


Dick Thurston is Senior Vice President and General Counsel of Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company, LTD. Dick heads up a multidisciplinary legal team based in HsinChu, Taiwan, along with in-house legal staff located in China, Japan, U.S., and Europe.  He is responsible for the provision of legal support, advice and counsel to all aspects of the Company's global operations, which includes manufacturing operations in Taiwan, China, Singapore and U.S.  Dick is also the chief compliance officer of TSMC and is responsible for the protection of trade secrets and other proprietary information.


Dick graduated from Alma College (Michigan) in 1971 and later earned both a MA and Ph.D. from the University of Virginia and a JD from Rutgers School of Law, New Jersey.  He was later admitted to practice in the U. S. in the states of New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Texas.  Before joining TSMC, Dick spent six years as a senior partner in the Dallas-based law firm of Haynes and Boone, and earlier was an Assistant General Counsel at Texas Instruments, Dallas, Texas.


What is your sector?


Technology and electronics manufacturing.


How many employees are in your company?


Around 33,000 people worldwide.


What are your company’s main location(s) of lawyers?


Taiwan, U.S., China, Europe and Japan.


How often do you outsource legal work?


We work with our law firm partners on a regular basis when we need additional resource or expertise.


What was your biggest challenge so far as an in house legal counsel?


Developing and maintaining a world-class intellectual property program in Taiwan.


What are the biggest regulatory issues you are facing at the moment?


Increasing compliance requirements exist in the areas of data privacy, anti-corruption, export control, and competition law.


What area(s) of law do you practice?


As General Counsel, I have to practice a little bit of everything, but I started my career as a corporate lawyer. High-tech law and intellectual property are key components of the practice as well.


What main law firms does your company use?


White and Case, Jones Day, Keker and VanNest, Haynes and Boone, Duane Morris, Slater and Matsil, Baker & McKenzie, Lee & Li, Tsar & Tsai, Pamir Law Group, DeHeng.


How often do you revise your external panel?


We review our panel annually.


Do you feel that there is or will continue to be pressure to put together panels/preferred supplier lists (PSLs) for vendors (including external law firms) with a view of reducing costs?


We are not under pressure to put together vendor lists. However, we are always trying to reduce legal costs.


What are your views on such panels/PSLs?


Needs to be customized approach for each corporation because of differences in business models and legal needs.


What do you feel will be the major trends in the legal sector both in the Asia Pacific over the course of 2012?


Regulatory compliance, intellectual property issues especially trade secrets and patent infringement, corporate governance, and risk management.