The Future of Remote Working – Does it have one?

Jeffery Tan, Group General Counsel, Jardine Cycle & Carriage Limited, Singapore

In July 2021, Morgan Stanley’s chief legal officer, Eric Grossman, indicated in a memo to law firms his organisation instructed, that those who maintain remote working practices instead of returning to the office, will be at a disadvantage. In issuing this warning, Grossman cited his personal experience, “as we are already largely back in the office at Morgan Stanley, it is now clear to me that a hybrid meeting of live participants and Zoom participants is challenging at best.” In the memo Grossmann stated that as a 'general rule' Morgan Stanley would not facilitate the use of Zoom for ‘critical’ meetings, with a minor concession that it would deploy some technology innovations. Perhaps the most financially pertinent point in the memo to outside counsel was contained in these sentences: “We choose to hire you all because of the quality of your lawyers and the product they deliver. I strongly believe that firms that return to the office will have a significant performance advantage over those that do not.”

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Singapore Management General April 2022 Vol.15, No. 59, Spring 2022

Jeffery Tan

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Jeffery is the Group General Counsel; Chief Sustainability Officer, Director, Group Corporate Affairs; and Group Company Secretary of Jardine Cycle & Carriage Ltd. He is responsible for legal, compliance, company secretarial, communications and public affairs at the Group level. Before joining Jardine Cycle & Carriage, he was the Group General Counsel, Chief Compliance Officer and Board Secretary for UTAC Holdings Ltd. Prior to that, he has over 20 years of private practice and in-house legal experience with international law firms and multinational companies such as Allen & Gledhill, DLA Piper, Siemens and Motorola. He also served in a business capacity as President of Motorola Singapore for five years. Jeffery has an LLB (HONS) from the National University of Singapore. He is a senior Advocate & Solicitor of the Supreme Court of the Republic of Singapore and a Solicitor of England & Wales. He has completed the Senior Executive Management Program, at Northwestern University – Kellogg School of Management and the Driving Strategic Innovation Program at MIT Sloan School of Management. Jeffery serves on the board of the Singapore International Chamber of Commerce.

Jardine Cycle & Carriage Limited

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Jardine Cycle and Carriage Limited is a leading Singapore listed diversified conglomerate and a member of the Jardine Matheson Group. With a market cap of US$13.9 Billion, it is a component stock of the bell weather FTSE Straits Times Index which employs over 250,000 people across Indonesia, Singapore, Malaysia, Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam. JC&C has a strategic interest in Astra International, the largest independent automotive group in Southeast Asia. Astra International has further interests in financial services, heavy equipment, mining, construction & energy, agribusiness, infrastructure & logistics, information technology and property.

Singapore Management General April 2022 Vol.15, No. 59, Spring 2022

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