Courtroom dramas such as Matlock and L.A. Law, John Grisham books and “a love for argument” are what inspired Paul Tan, partner at Rajah & Tann, Southeast Asia’s largest law firm, to enter the legal sector. “Although the practice of law is very different from the fictional accounts, I have no regrets,” says the former national debater and National University of Singapore Law alum, whose areas of practice include commercial litigation, appellate and international arbitration — his favourite because of its opportunities to “work in new environments and learn about new cultures”. His passion for what he does has paid off: He was recently included in the Best Lawyers guide — a peer review publication — for his work in commercial litigation and international arbitration, and was praised in the Global Arbitration Review. Despite these accolades, Tan believes “commercial success is only one way of defining accomplishment”. Outside of practicing law, Tan is an adjunct lecturer at the Singapore Management University where he nurtures young, aspiring lawyers.