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Keeping you informed on the latest NewLaw thinking and insights

Tessa Whittle - Our Featured Consultant.

This month's featured Consultant; Tessa Whittle - Managing Consultant at KorumLegal.

 1. What made you leave the more ‘conventional’ legal practice to join the ‘Gig Economy’ as a Consultant?

I moved from London to Hong Kong in July 2017. Coming to Hong Kong I left an organisation where I had a successful career for the previous  8 years. The move came with a fresh start - I didn’t know how I wanted to position myself in the Hong Kong market so thought I would try consulting in the meantime while I figured what “proper” job I would apply for. I quickly found that I loved consulting - the flexibility of working style and diverse nature of work suited me.

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?

I am a working mother of two young children. The challenge of juggling being a hands-on mum and maintaining a career in the law has taught me to be more efficient and ultimately more productive. Two skills that set me up well for consulting and providing my clients with more for less.

3. Can you tell us more about the lows and highs of your career in Law so far?

My high is the same as my low. When I moved from private practice to in-house it was at the peak of the Global Financial Crisis. I was advising on a large-scale divestment project. It was aggressive in terms of challenging timeframes and breadth of scope - the project involved businesses across Europe and the Asia Pacific. The demands on me personally and professionally were tough. Ironically, I had moved in-house for a better work/life balance but quickly found work was more intense than working for a corporate team of a London City firm. Despite the challenges, this period is what I am most proud of; it taught me a lot about how to identify and manage risk.  Key skills when advising any client.

4. Are there any surprising or juicy anecdotes of your experience being a legal Consultant?

I had assumed working as a consultant would mean I would be treated as an outsider. In reality that is not the case. Clients want to know you and develop a relationship even on short-term assignments.

5. What would you say to lawyers in private practice or in-house who are considering a more flexible work style?

Your legal career does not need to be defined by or limited to, traditional paths. The market for legal services is changing which creates more opportunities to practice law in an environment which you can control. I am grateful for my private practice and in-house experience as that has shaped the lawyer I am. However consulting has given me greater ownership of my work environment which is rewarding - professionally and personally.

6. Tell us two interesting truths and one white lie

I love to cook!
I have practised the martial art Zen do Kai
My first job was working in a meat pie factory where my job was to take the freshly cooked (and super hot) pies out of the oven to cool

Last months white lie: Anna Kim - I was a regional ping pong champion during high school

Read our next newsletter to find out Tessa's one white lie.