The Legal Cheek View
This year Helmsman launched a trainee solicitor programme in Hong Kong, initially recruiting one trainee. It’s a tell-tale sign of growth for the firm, which is headquartered in Singapore and launched in Hong Kong through an association with local law firm Tang & Co in 2019.
New practice groups in commercial disputes, employment and corporate, banking and finance were also launched this year, steering the shipping and commodities specialist into a multidisciplinary law firm. Though maritime work is still the firm’s mainstay and inspired its name (helmsman being the title given to a person who steers a boat or ship).
Helmsman was founded by two shipping and trade specialists, Ian Teo and Tang Chong Jun, and now has about 18 lawyers working across the maritime hubs of Singapore and Hong Kong. The firm represents clients in high-value transactions and disputes around the world, particularly in Asia and Europe. The shipping practice services clients ranging from shipowners to charterers, marine insurers and banks, and its lawyers are well-versed in adapting to global trading trends such as new technologies and the drive towards sustainability.
The office is located in Tower One of the Lippo Centre in Admiralty — a rather convenient location for a firm with deep shipping roots (Admiralty is a former dockyard!). It’s also directly above Admiralty MTR station, close-by to the Central business district and in walking distance from the High Court of Hong Kong. We hear the firm has recently expanded and upgraded its office premises.
Helmsman asks training contract applicants to submit a CV, academic transcripts and cover letter, and to “put forward their best self”.