With a population of 5.9 million in 281 square miles, Singapore is the second most densely populated microstate. It’s a diverse city-state, with a mix of Chinese, Malay, and Indian residents. This diversity is reflected in ACC Singapore’s 400 members.
To learn more about the legal world in this cultural hub, ACC Docket spoke with the chapter president, Jasmine Karimi, AGC – regional counsel, APAC at FMC Corporation.
In the interview, Karimi discusses hosting events with live bands and stand-up comedians, volunteering to help immigrants impacted by COVID, and building chapter camaraderie over WhatsApp.
Can you tell us a little bit about the ACC Singapore chapter and what makes it so great to be involved in?
The ACC Singapore Chapter was formed in 2012 and now serves over 400 members from the Singapore in-house community.
We provide our members with networking opportunities, knowledge sharing, and continuing legal education.
Personally, and professionally, it is truly a terrific chapter to be involved in for so many reasons:
ACC Singapore Membership
- Individuals: 400
- Companies: 140
- Largest corporate members: Changi Airport Group, Nanyang Technological University, Google Asia-Pacific
- As Singapore serves as a regional hub, the diversity of our members makes the exchange so rich and varied.
- The camaraderie among the member base allows one to leverage the network to seek answers to pressing issues, without always having to check with external counsel first.
- As many of our members work either as sole counsel, or in small teams, the chapter becomes an extended family of people to bounce ideas off.
- Sub-industry platforms sprout organically or via our committees.
- Friendships form and strengthen over lunches, drinks, dinners, and, more recently, Zoom calls!
How did you first become involved in ACC Singapore, and how has it helped you in your career?
I was previously president of the Hong Kong Corporate Counsel Association (now ACC Hong Kong), so I was intimately familiar with ACC. I moved to Singapore from Hong Kong six years ago and joined ACC Singapore. However, an intense travel schedule didn’t permit me to get involved in its leadership until October 2019, when I was elected to the board of the Singapore chapter. Last year, I assumed the role of vice pesident, and in June of this year, I accepted the role as president of the ACC Singapore board.
Working with a diverse board comprised of smart, collaborative, and forward-thinking individuals has allowed me to continue my journey of learning and growth. My fellow board members inspire me and provide me with valuable insights into different leadership styles. In turn, this allows me to nurture how I engage with my leadership at FMC Corporation, while inspiring me to be a better leader to my work team.
How does your chapter promote meaningful connections and provide value to its members, particularly during the current COVID environment?
The ethos of serving our members remains steadfast, and the chapter leadership continues to seek out meaningful ways to increase value for our members. As such, with the continued support of our sponsors, we’ve successfully navigated away from our usual in person offerings to online webinars, fireside chats, panel discussions, and even our summer and holiday parties.
ACC Singapore Events
- Annual CPD/CLE events: 20
- Annual social events: 4
- Most popular social event: ACC Singapore Summer Party
One of our more recent initiatives involved the creation of a WhatsApp chat group for chapter members. The forum enables members to pose questions on areas of law, seek referrals for law firms, share job opportunities, as well as provides an additional platform for us to promote our upcoming events. The forum has also resulted in members forging personal ties outside of work matters.
Given the prolonged work from home environment, we also coordinated casual meet the board lunches in groups of five or eight, depending on prevailing government guidelines. This was particularly well received as there is some degree of longing for in-person connections. We recently held our annual Summer Party, again virtually, which featured an award-winning stand-up comedian as well as a live band, along with drinks, and canapes delivered to the door of our attendees.
Our Pro-bono Committee also hosted a few memorable events that created a sense of deep fulfillment. Members volunteered to pack and distribute food rations to a care facility in China Town, while another event helped migrant workers impacted by COVID. The committee continues to be active in pro-bono activities.
ACC Singapore Committees
- Women’s Committee
- IP/Tech Committee
- Young Lawyers Committee
- Pro-Bono Committee
How can ACC members in Singapore become involved in the ACC Singapore chapter?
Members can volunteer on our committees, working groups, come forth with ideas for events, contribute content, or engage with other members via the Chat Group. The possibilities are limitless. In fact, we actively encourage our members to sign up to serve on any of our four committees.
How have connections made through ACC supported you as an in-house lawyer?
Every encounter with another ACC member enriches me as a person as everyone brings their own unique perspectives and experiences. As Singapore serves as a regional hub, the diversity of our members adds to the richness of the exchange. I strongly believe that for so long as we are living and breathing, we continue to learn, grow, and evolve into better versions of ourselves.
Can you tell us a little about your role at FMC Corporation and some of the challenges associated with the role?
At FMC, I have the privilege of leading the Legal and Compliance teams in the Asia Pacific (APAC) region. The team is spread across multiple countries and navigates a plethora of issues associated with supporting a highly regulated crop protection business.
Whether assisting the regulatory team in obtaining registration for a new product, working with the commercial team in closing a deal, the operations team in consolidating manufacturing plants, the R&D team in defending our IP, or the overall business in embedding compliance across 19 countries in the region — there is never a dull moment.
In addition to the formal APAC general counsel role, I also lead the APAC Gender Equity Workstream at FMC as well as serve on our APAC Leadership Team. The breadth of work and opportunities provided makes FMC a truly wonderful corporation to be part of.