Q1: You are a criminal litigator and competition lawyer, with a particular focus on complex white-collar crimes, competition law and securities regulatory matters relating to listed companies, international financial institutions and multi-national corporations. What inspired you to this career focus?
Two decades ago, I embarked on my career as a general criminal practitioner handling a wide array of cases, ranging from petty theft to sizeable corruption investigations. Frequent “combat” against investigation authorities and criminal court appearances gave me an immense sense of satisfaction.
White-collar crime and financial regulatory work gradually became a booming area of practice in Hong Kong and Asia before 2010, and the enhanced challenges of acting for multinational corporations and financial institutions undeniably added to the attraction of this practice. I vividly recall the fabulous times I had when defending a listed company chairman in mutual legal assistance proceedings in Westminster Magistrates Court in London, and subsequently in Munich in the same summer.
Thereafter, I spearheaded the competition law practice in my firm since I foresaw sheer opportunities in this practice area upon the enactment of the Competition Ordinance in 2015. Also, the focus of my Master of Laws was in EU and UK competition law.
Q2: You qualified in Hong Kong, England & Wales and Dubai International Financial Centre. How does qualifying in all three jurisdictions help you to navigate your legal career and what is your secret to becoming a successful partner?
Holding practising certificates in Hong Kong, England and Wales and Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) means much more than “CV boosters”, which make you look good. From time to time, I have been asked by my clients and friends to provide swift practical advice on matters relating to England and Wales and DIFC and certify their documents for legal purposes. Business nowadays has become increasingly international and having the ability, knowledge and business acumen of numerous jurisdictions offers a better experience to my clients.
Secret of success – strong passion and commitment in your practice areas.
Q3: Asian Legal Business Law Awards has previously named you as “Young Lawyer of the Year”, and you have been recommended in Chambers & Partners Asia-Pacific, Who’s Who Legal, Benchmark Litigation Asia-Pacific and China as a notable practitioner. Everyone knows that the legal services market is well known as highly competitive and the job of the partner can be particularly difficult. With this in mind — what unique challenges and opportunities do you currently see the firm facing in light of the pandemic and current geopolitical situation?
The global pandemic has transformed various networking, marketing and training opportunities from personal interaction to virtual settings, and has brought a lot of court proceedings and investigation work to a hiatus for a substantial period of time.
Technology presents both opportunities and challenges to modern day lawyers at the same time – recently I presented a career webinar to students while I was physically in Toronto, and handled client work remotely from Amsterdam. I also handled two securities investigation interviews in Hong Kong via virtual conference facilities with regulators based in Toronto and Vancouver.
That said, I am certain that I am not the only one who is getting slightly weary of regular Zoom calls, webinars, Linkedin marketing posts and even virtual networking over a glass of wine. With the relaxation of Covid-19 travel restrictions, I will resume my personal attendance in, for example, International Bar Association (IBA) annual conference, this year in Miami.