In-House Lawyer Profiles
Lawyer's Details
Elvin Wan




March, 2012



Elvin Wan is the Chief Regional Counsel, Asia Pacific of Orange Business Services.  He leads a diverse legal team situated in Hong Kong, Australia, India and Singapore since 2006.  Elvin is a member of the Orange Business Services Asia Pacific regional management team and is also a member of Global Legal and Regulatory leadership team.  He is responsible for all legal aspects of the enterprise telecommunication business activities in Asia Pacific.  Prior to this role he was the Legal Counsel, South East Asia of Orange Business Services and was in charge of all legal and regulatory matters pertaining to the business operations in the region.
Elvin has been in the telecommunications industry for the past 15 years.  He started his career in telecommunications in Hong Kong in 1997 working as the Legal Counsel in New World Telephone Limited (a Hong Kong new entrant at that time during the liberalisation of the telecommunications market in Hong Kong).   He later joined MCI WorldCom Asia Pacific as Commercial Counsel, Asia Pacific for another 3 years before leaving Hong Kong and returning to Singapore to join Orange Business Services.  
Elvin graduated from the National University of Singapore with a Bachelor of Law (Second Class Upper) in 1992 and is admitted to the Singapore Bar as an Advocate and Solicitor in 1993 and was a litigation lawyer for 3 years in Khattar Wong and Partners before moving to Hong Kong to take up an in-house counsel role.
What is your sector?
How many employees are in your company?
Around 170,000 worldwide.
What are your company’s main location(s) of lawyers?
What main area(s) of law do you practice?
Most In-house counsels are generalist by nature, so having a basic understanding of all areas of laws is necessary.  However, most time in our role it is contract law and labour law that are the main area of law that we deal with. 
What was your biggest challenge so far as an in house legal counsel?
Developing and retaining legal talent in the team.
What are the biggest regulatory issues you are facing at the moment?
The slow liberalisation of the telecommunications market in the South East Asia region.    Compliances issues relating to export/import control, data protection and anti-corruption.   For the compliances issues, the challenge is incorporating the compliances requirement into the business operations.
What main law firms does your company use?
We have a panel of law firms in each country that we have a presence.
How often do you outsource legal work?
We outsource legal work only in areas like dispute resolution or labour dispute, otherwise most legal work are done in-house.
How often do you revise your external panel?
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?
It is actually not costs that is the main driver but the quality of the legal advice we get.   It make no sense to get generic or inept legal advice for a low cost.   As in-house counsels, we are pressed for time and the quality of the legal advice we get from external law firms are crucial for us to decide on our advice to our company.   
What are your views on such panels/PSLs?
Such panels are definitely helpful to the in-house counsel.  However, the panels need to be reviewed at least once a year to ensure it is still the right decision for the company to continue engaging the external law firms in the panels.
What do you feel will be the major trends in the legal sector both in the Asia Pacific over the course of 2012?
There will be more focus on incorporating compliance requirements into the business operations.