Interview with Dr. Michael Tan, Taylor Wessing



Taylor Wessing is a full-service forward-thinking international law firm, working with clients in the world’s most dynamic industries. When the company asked VIRTUARCH to design the new 600 sqm office in the Raffles City office Tower in Shanghai, they had a clear understanding of what they needed: An innovative working environment with open space and privacy, enabling people and teams to choose whatever way suits them best. We talked to Dr. Michael Tan, Partner at Taylor Wessing about how he feels in his new office.

How did you get in contact with VIRTUARCH?

Dr. Michael Tan: Well actually, VIRTUARCH has a very good reputation in the German speaking Community. This we knew. We reached out to them and our first impression was great, so we continued our talks and ended up here, in our new office.

Why did you decide to move to a new office?

Honestly, the building and the offices spaces we had been in for years were very old. We wanted a change, but we did not feel it was enough to just renovate the place. We wanted to have a fresh start, so we moved to the new location in the Raffles City office tower in Changing District. Over there, the tenant just newly did a renovation which we would like to make best use of to stay environmental friendly. As a consequence, VIRTUARCH needed to make the best of the existing space according to our demands. I guess, this was quite a challenge.

What did you expect from the new office, what did you expect from VIRTUARCH?

Taylor Wessing has a German flavor, but we are very much an international law firm. We think of ourselves as an international, forward-thinking modern, technical-driven company. Our team members are young, energetic open-minded people. Having said that, our working environment definitely needs to reflect and support this matter of fact. Our office should be a constant source of inspiration. This is what we hoped for, and this is what VIRTUARCH actually created.

What do you like most about the new office?

When it comes to design and function, VIRTURACH really did a great job in converting an ordinary space into something special. Their designers created an atmosphere for open communication and at the same time our lawyers find privacy for confidential conversations. We do not have an office with luxurious space, so it was important that VIRTUARCH managed to literally make use of every corner in the office. They proposed small phone booths for phone calls, integrating glass walls to separate space for different activities and so on. We also have an entertainment and recreation center where we sit together or do activities in larger groups. Overall, I must say, VIRTUARCH found a good balance.

How has the new office decoration affected your work?

We moved into the new environment with the goal to benefit from an open office communication. We wanted to connect people and work in a pleasant environment. All this came true, and I feel that our efficiency, speed and the overall atmosphere has moved up to another level since we moved in. We also get positive feedback from clients and visitors. When hosting client events, our guests are also impressed by the innovative feeling and thinking conveyed by this new office.

How did VIRTUARCH’s team managed your office decoration project?

Easy to answer: They did a great job. Actually, for this kind of decoration project, we fully understand the coordination effort it takes, we fully understand the complexity of connecting all working interfaces such as contractors, suppliers, building management, etc. in an effective way. We did not feel that VIRTUARCH took much of our time. They were so well prepared and made our decision-making quick and easy. That saved us a lot of time and energy which we could better spend on serving our clients. You can say that the complex organization of the project behind the scenes was virtually invisible for us. And this is the best compliment I can make.

Would you work with VIRTUARCH again?

Sure, if they continue with the same quality and their competitiveness. For refurbishment I can strongly recommend VIRTUARCH as a highly reliable partner with a deep understanding of Western demands and the capability to implement local factors. So, yes. We would work with VIRTUARCH again.









Dr. Michael Tan

Michael Tan has more than 20 years of experience advising international companies’ operation in and with China. He has profound experience advising industrial clients in various sectors, which covers all legal aspects of a typical investment deal like market entry and joint ventures, M&A restructuring and exit. Michael is now heading the firm’s TMC practice for China. Besides his expertise regarding the general corporate and commercial matters, he specializes in IT regulatory and data/privacy protection areas. Michael holds CIPP/E certification as granted by the International Association of Privacy Professionals (IAPP). Michael is National Chair of the Legal & Competition Working Group under the European Chamber of Commerce. He also serves as an arbitrator of the Shanghai International Arbitration Center.

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Taylor Wessing

Taylor Wessing is a global law firm that serves the world’s most innovative people and businesses. Deeply embedded within our sectors, we work closely together with our clients to crack complex problems, enabling ideas and aspirations to thrive. Together we challenge expectation and create extraordinary results.

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