I was privileged to give an online lecture at Kobe University’s Online Webinar on 6 March 2021, held in memory of Professor Oliver Williamson, the 2009 Nobel Economics Laureate, who passed away in May 2020.
In 2003, I was invited to join the Centre of Legal Dynamics For Advanced Market Societies (CDAMS) at Kobe University as a research affiliate and the only practicing business lawyer in the program.
CDAMS was one of 6 Centres of Excellence in Japan under a interdisciplinary research program sponsored by the Japanese Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT) and led by the late Stanford University Emeritus Professor Masahiko Aoki, a New Institutional Economist who was also a Tsinghua University Visiting Professor in 2009.
We researched the work of Professor Oliver Williamson on Law, Economics and Governance, New Institutional Economics, Transaction Costs Analysis and value creation by business lawyers from 2004 to 2008.
In 2009, after winning the Nobel Economics Prize for his work on “Law, Economics and Governance”, Professor Oliver Williamson visited Japan for Nobel Prize Lectures in Tokyo and also at Kobe University. I was fortunate to hear his Nobel Prize Lecture in person and spent a few days with Professor Akira Saito and him during which I was able to understand more about his research work.
During and after my research activities at CDAMS, I developed a strategic interdisciplinary and cross cultural approach for my own work as a lawyer and problem solver, advising on and solving legal and business issues ranging from structuring M&A transactions, resolving disputes, managing belt and road projects and disputes to mediation and contractual renegotiations, often with an added cross cultural approach as business, transactions and disputes cross physical and cultural borders in Asia.
When the Covid 19 pandemic struck in 2020, the applicability of Professor Oliver Williamson’s interdisciplinary and analytical tools became immediately apparent, proving themselves useful in Covid 19 contract renegotiations, mediation of Covid 19 contractual disputes and other post pandemic governance and structuring issues.
My own alma mater, the National University of Singapore, launched a new interdisciplinary humanities college in December 2020, to “radically transform itself as its students will be graduating into a world of wicked problems that are ill-defined and mutate all the time”:
Together with Professor Akira Saito, we decided to host a Kobe University Online “Law, Economics and Governance” Webinar in memory of Professor Oliver Williamson in recognition of his excellent research work and its continued application in a world vastly disrupted by the Covid 19 pandemic.
A small snippet of the lecture, focusing on Legal Realism and Pragmatism in the Post Covid 19 Disorder and how to resolve the disrupted environment with the tools and analytical framework of “Law, Economics and Governance”, can be viewed here:
A full length paper on the subject of “Law, Economics And Governance In The Post Covid 19 Disorder” and the edited full length lecture video will be published at a later date.
B-11-8, Level11, Megan Avenue II, Jalan Yap Kwan Seng, 50450 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Phone : (603) 2203 3388
Fax : (603) 2203 3399
” Meeting Your Legal Needs Online “