Laura Collins Scott
Hsiang Low's journey from Linklaters to SeedLegals
10 months ago, Hsiang Low was a senior lawyer at Linklaters.
Now, he is part of a legal tech team that has helped startups close US$1.2 billion in funding.
What has he learned so far?
I sat down with Hsiang last week and put this question to him.
Here are 4 insights he shared with me:
1/ Following your curiosity leads to great places
Hsiang’s legal tech curiosity began while reviewing due diligence reports at 3 am.
He knew there had to be a better way.
Online research led to self-taught coding skills. He began making processes more efficient and became the go-to person for legal tech.
Later, he helped set up Linklaters’ legal tech venture, Nakhoda, and led its expansion into Asia.
“I fell into legal tech because I was curious”.
2/ Leading a legal tech business is a practical MBA
Last year, Hsiang was weighing up his options, including pursuing an MBA.
He chose to join SeedLegals instead.
10 months in, he’s living an MBA. His days are spent developing go-to-market strategies, negotiating partnerships, hiring and running a team, and operating the business in multiple markets.
“Once you go outside of legal practice, you quickly realise there’s a lot more to learn. No two days are ever the same.”
3/ There’s more to business than the law
If Hsiang could go back to his early lawyer days, he would carve out more time to learn about his clients.
He always knew this was important, but junior lawyers famously don’t have spare time or headspace.
Now he sees that lawyers must be purposeful in dedicating time.
For legal to reach its maximum potential within the broader context of the business, it’s not enough to be experts in the law. The legal team must keep commercial goals front and centre of the advice given.
“You have to see the bigger picture. If I were a chef at a Michelin-star restaurant, a dish wouldn’t succeed unless it complements the courses served before and after.”
4/ A lawyer must be more than their legal credentials
When Hsiang hires lawyers now, he looks beyond their legal skills and experience.
He wants to hear about their curiosities, passions, and interests outside of work.
It’s not easy for lawyers to protect their personal time and pursue their curiosities. But it’s more important than ever for lawyers to be multi-faceted.
“To be a disrupter, you have to think differently from the people you are disrupting.”
Hsiang is the Head of Asia-Pacific for SeedLegals, a one-stop platform for all the legals you need to start, raise and grow a company.