Axiom appoints Yolanda Chan as General Manager for Asia Pacific

24 December 2018 4 min. read
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Global legal-tech services provider Axiom has appointed Yolanda Chan as its new General Manager for the Asia Pacific.

With current APAC offices in Hong Kong and Singapore – among 16 further locations spread across North America and Europe – Axiom is a globally operating alternative legal services firm providing tech-driven solutions in the area of legal, contracts and compliance for some of the world’s leading firms, including clients such as tech companies Salesforce, Hewlett-Packard and Dell along with over half of the Fortune 100.

Founded at the dawn of the new millennium by executive chairman Mark Harris, and led since 2016 by current CEO and former Deloitte and Andersen (now Accenture) senior consultant Elena Donio, Axiom has over time grown to a headcount of more than 2,000 lawyers, legal professionals, process engineers and technologists among others. Joining them will be Yolanda Chan, as the firm’s new General Manager for APAC.

“We are very excited to welcome Yolanda and I am confident she will be an excellent leader and addition to our APAC efforts. Her expertise and background will help support our APAC clients and Axiom’s growth objectives in the region.” Axiom Senior Vice President, International (UK & Asia) Barry Quinn said of the appointment. Chan responded; “I’m excited to spearhead Axiom’s efforts in the APAC region. I look forward to leveraging my expertise in conjunction with the firm’s already-established success to support our client roster and our strategic priorities in the region.”Axiom appoints Yolanda Chan as General Manager for Asia PacificA seasoned professional in the business and technology space, Chan crosses after a one and a half year stint as Vice President and General Manager of connected health platform Fitbit in the Asia Pacific, where from her base in Hong Kong Chan helped drive business into China, Japan, South Korea and Southeast Asia among other markets. Prior to Fitbit, Chan spent five and a half years as APAC VP at tech-ed platform Promethean, and nearly twelve years as a regional sales director at Microsoft in Hong Kong.

Chan will now be tasked with driving growth for the ambitious firm in a local legal services market which is rapidly heating up, thanks to aggressive maneuverings into the domain by the Big Four and a series of counter-responses from the traditional local law firms, such as the regulatory consulting arm recently set up by Allen & Gledhill in Singapore. Axiom, however, is well placed to take advantage of a shifting market, having expressly established itself ahead of the pack as a pure-play legal-tech services firm.

“Crushed by the weight of a century of precedent, the legal industry lumbered into the millennium. The burden of the billable hour, the partnership pyramid and an economy in flux had left associates tired, partners spooked, CEOs in open revolt, and GCs scrambling,” reads Axiom’s website. “Some chose to stick to their guns and press forward as they always had. Others saw an opportunity for innovation. After all, with industry after industry being reborn through tech-led thinking and business acumen, why not legal services?”

From her base in Hong Kong, where Axiom has been operating since 2010, Chan’s other area of stated focus – attracting and retaining talented professionals – will also come with challenges, amidst a growing global skilled talent shortage which, regionally, the human capital consultancy Korn Ferry predicts could cost companies in Hong Kong, Singapore and Indonesia alone a collective wage premium of close to $120 billion by just 2025, with Hong Kong projected to face a crippling 44 percent skilled talent deficit by 2030.

For Axiom, Chan’s appointment signals a slight change of leadership tack in the region, her professional background in business and technology and Master’s degree in Computer Science a deviation from previous regional managers Mark Velthuis and Giuliana Auinger who had each joined from a more explicit strategy and management consulting background; Velthuis, at Boer & Croon in the Netherlands, and Auinger, who currently serves as a partner in KPMG’s strategy group in Hong Kong, previously spending time at the New York office of Booz & Company (now Strategy&) and PwC in the UK.