LexTalk World Interviews Miriam Shastri. Top Beraten founder Miriam Shastri (LLB, LLM) helps executives solve challenging problems with confidence. She helps her clients setup, hire and develop talented teams to run at full capacity. In her previous roles, Miriam Shastri held advisory roles at the Malaysian-German Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the International Committee of the Red Cross, and the German professional services firm, Roedl & Partner. As a bilateral trade expert and market entry specialist, Miriam is a trusted advisor on business strategy and offers broad support across a range of solutions including leadership selection, various legal subjects, financial services, CEO succession, team effectiveness and practical organisational success.
Host: Miriam, can you tell us a bit more about your background, especially in the legal field? What would you say are your main achievements?
Miriam: I read law in Wales, at Cardiff University and later in Germany at Johannes Gutenberg University in Mainz where I did a Masters in German law.
For the past decade I’ve been assisting investors from mostly EU countries like Germany, Austria and Italy. I’m proud of having set up over 100 companies for our clients.
On a personal level, my other passion is human rights and humanitarian law. I was a legal advisor for the International Committee of the Red Cross. I drafted the curricula for undergraduates and postgraduates for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law. It was a good way to engage my passions, which I still like to do to this date. In light of the recent events in the European continent, this area of law is more relevant than ever.
Host:What is it that your firm does, how are you of help to foreign investors in Malaysia?
Miriam: Since I speak German, I’ve helped many European companies with their company set-ups in Malaysia to enter into the Asian and specifically ASEAN market.
My firm, TOP Beraten, is their one-stop solution center. We do everything from HR recruitment to accounting, payroll and various other legal and financial services.
It’s always nice to see companies that I have helped set up grow from the ‘baby’ stage to full- fledged, larger companies. We feel like part of the team and have grown with them.
Host:During the pandemic, what was your experience in terms of demand for your services?
Miriam: The Covid-19 pandemic was not easy to weather, but we managed it because we still had a consistent demand for our services. However, the pandemic did change the type of services that were more in demand. There was more demand for HR consulting, company sales, mergers & acquisitions and the like.
Host:How would you describe the access to justice for foreigners and what are your experiences about this?
Miriam: In the pre-Covid times, access to justice for foreigners in Malaysia was pretty good. Foreigners could attend court in person if they needed to.
I’d strongly recommend anyone who wants to conduct a business transaction in Malaysia to consult a lawyer or tax expert before conducting the transaction.
Host:In closing, what do you think is an area that lawyers of the future should look out for?
Miriam: I advocated for this before Covid, though the recent crisis has made it all the more relevant. My firm partnered with a cloud accounting software company, Xero. Having cloud solutions should be something future lawyers should look at because it can help their company run better – even in a working from home scenario - and lower their operating costs.
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