1. What made you leave the more ‘conventional’ legal practice to join the ‘Gig Economy’ as a Consultant?
I wanted more flexibility with my time – so I could focus more on taking care of myself and family. As a perfect example, right now I am working for a UK client, acting as their in-house counsel for Asia… while in Toronto! Now that is flexibility.
2. How has your experience outside law helped your legal skills as a consultant? - What have you found is the "value add" or "special skills" that you bring to a client as a legal consultant?
Prior to practicing law, I was a social worker (child protection services). Social work practice not only helped me be a better listener, it also helped me “see” issues from multiple perspectives and at different levels.
These skills are valuable – they help me better understand and appreciate clients’ needs and objectives, adopt a solutions-based approach to the legal consulting service.
3. Can you tell us more about the lows and highs of your career in Law so far?
Lows – soon after I obtained my qualifications in Canada, I moved back to Hong Kong (after having been away from this city for over a decade). Even though I grew up in Hong Kong, for the first 6 months, I had a hard time adjusting to the pace of the city and I was bored with the work (e.g. IPO, corporate restructuring, etc). I had wanted to do China work (that’s the reason why I moved back), and eventually got the partner agreed to let me move to the Shanghai rep office. But the first 2 years in Hong Kong were quite “unpleasant”.
Highs – other than the first couple of years, I have always enjoyed practicing law. I had good colleagues, interesting and engaging work, and was well compensated. Really, no complaints.
4. Any surprising or juicy anecdotes of your experience being a legal Consultant?
I just started my first assignment last month, so it’s too early to say. Ask me again in 6 months! : )
5. What would you say to lawyers in private practice or in-house who are considering a more flexible workstyle?
If having more flexibility is truly what you want, then go for it!
6. Tell us two interesting truths and one white lie
I was a 10.5lbs baby
I study the I-Ching and practice Taoism
I broke my wrist and arm in a horse riding accident once
Last months white lie: Annalise - I have been a professional snowboarder
Read our next feature to find out the one white lie.