GC Spotlight: Tanveen Singh discusses how leading a legal team in a not for profit organisation presents unique challenges.

Tanveen is an experienced legal counsel, with an expertise in technology. Having practiced in law firms & corporate organisations, she has over 15 years of legal experience in structuring and negotiating deals, data protection, regulatory matters and compliance across industries in India,  Australia, Africa and Singapore where she is currently based. 

As Head of Legal & Data Protection Officer, Tanveen brings leadership and legal proficiency to IRD. She provides the strategic legal vision and capabilities to minimise risk, ensure compliance and data privacy management.

1. Hi Tanveen, can you tell us a little about your role and journey into law? What excites you outside of work? 

I currently lead the Legal Team at Interactive Research Devlopment (IRD) Global, a not-for-profit organisation dedicated to enhancing healthcare accessibility in under-resourced regions of Asia and Africa. My journey into law began in a prominent law firm in Bangalore, India, where I initially immersed myself in litigation before transitioning to corporate practice. In 2013, my relocation to Singapore marked a pivotal moment in my career, leading me to explore in-house legal roles.

Over the years, I've found excitement and fulfillment in diverse sectors, including commodities trading, cloud security, technology, and healthcare. The opportunity to contribute to such varied industries has been both challenging and rewarding.
Dancing is my passion. It is liberating, therapeutic and keeps me young. I'm constantly looking out for new dances to learn and enjoy with my two boys. 

2. As a Head of Legal, what are some of the challenges that keep you up at night? How are you addressing them? 

As the Head of Legal, concerns that often keep me awake at night revolve around people and their health. Leading the legal team in a not-for-profit organisation presents unique challenges, particularly in the realm of regulatory compliance. The onset of the COVID-19 pandemic brought about significant shifts in protocols, spotlighting the healthcare sector and necessitating agile responses to regulatory changes.  To address these concerns, I invest considerable time in humanising our work environment and maintaining open lines of communication with my team, especially during periods of heightened stress or workload.

Another huge challenge lies in safeguarding sensitive patient data. In my role as Chief Data Protection Officer (DPO), I frequently engage in cross-border conversations regarding data mobilisation and privacy. Striking a balance between business interests and the associated risks is crucial. Effective communication on these matters has proven instrumental in navigating these challenges seamlessly.

3. What do you think about the use of LegalTech, data analytics and process optimisation to improve your legal department's value? 

The implementation of the Plexus contract management system has orchestrated a paradigm shift in our organisational approach to approvals, compliance, signatures, and data analytics. Within the context of our overarching emphasis on compliance at IRD, this tool serves as a pivotal mechanism, fostering an unwavering concentration on internal compliance and rigorous audit processes.

4. Where do you see NewLaw/ALSP fitting in the matrix of your legal department? 

The emergence of NewLaw and ALSPs presents a spectrum of possibilities, enabling our legal team to navigate complexities more efficiently. The shifting landscape allows us to reevaluate traditional models and embrace innovative approaches that align with the evolving needs of the business. By integrating these novel resources, we position ourselves to not only meet but exceed the expectations of a dynamic and rapidly changing legal environment to support healthcare.

5. Your favourite tune? And why? 

My favourite question and toughest to answer, Dancing Queen by  ABBA for reasons mentioned above :) AND Bollywood song, Love you by Zindagi as it makes you want to love and live life to the max! 

Lily Evans and Tanveen Singh