Senior Associate, Banking and Finance
Bachelor of Commerce/Laws, The University of New South Wales
My first Deacons Encounter
Joining the firm as a Vacation Student
Although I grew up outside of Hong Kong, I had always wanted to return to the city of my birth to pursue my career. Hong Kong is a unique city, both a crossroads for world commerce and a gateway to the fastest growing economies of the world.
And it was Deacons’ deep history in, and connection with, Hong Kong, and its wide range of legal service offerings as a full-service commercial law firm, that especially appealed to me.
Deacons is especially well-placed to take advantage of the opportunities that Hong Kong provides – just like the city, Deacons is an exciting place for a young lawyer to develop and build on his/her career, and I am delighted to have returned to Hong Kong, and to have chosen Deacons.
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I am a senior associate in the banking and finance team of Deacons’ Corporate Finance department – our team’s work encompasses both the regulatory and compliance aspects of finance and banking, as well as the transactional side, in the form of facilities and syndicated loans. Although we all do work on both aspects, I primarily advise on licensing, regulatory and compliance matters for financial institutions, such as banks, money lenders, money brokers, money service operators, and stored value facility operators.
Our work includes advising on licence applications, compliance matters, and preparation of terms and conditions. I also advise on a range of licensing, regulatory and compliance matters for FinTech companies and businesses, particularly relating to regulatory requirements for such businesses and start-ups in Hong Kong.
At university, I completed degrees in both law and finance. As such, working in an area of law which involved finance seemed like a natural fit! The potential developments in this area of law, both in the changing regulatory landscape for financial institutions and in the new areas of finance, such as FinTech, presented a unique opportunity and challenge that I could not resist.
The culture of Deacons is a collegial one. Partners and supervisors are happy to provide guidance and support to associates where the time allows, and all staff members trust and work well together to complete the tasks at hand. Being a full-service commercial firm, there is also a lot of co-operation between the various departments, and the collegial atmosphere and sense of teamwork certainly help everyone.
Over the years at Deacons, I have done many things I am proud of. On the work side, each task is its own unique challenge, and I am proud of each and every task completed. If I had to choose a few, it would be in those tasks which presented the most interesting challenges, such as applying for a money service operator license for a currency exchange operator within a strict deadline, and advising on incredibly new products in FinTech before they took hold of everyone’s imaginations. Being invited to the opening of the currency exchange and seeing that business at the airport, and seeing those products we advised on later developed into world changing concepts, is a great vindication of our work and our achievements.
Additionally, as a member of Deacons Cares, our firm’s corporate social responsibility committee, I am just as proud of the work we do in the firm and for our community, from legal awareness and education programs, to green initiatives both inside and outside the firm.
Starting here as a trainee, I have always been impressed and supported by every supervisor I have had. As noted previously, the supervisors are happy to help and guide junior staff through any issues with work and projects, where time allows. Additionally, our supervisors value us not just as workers, but as colleagues and teammates. It is always reassuring to know that we can call upon our supervisors’ experience and knowledge if we come across any challenges, and with their support and guidance I have been able to develop myself further as a solicitor.
I think it is understandably difficult to ask a trainee to decide on the path for the rest of their career so early in that career. As such, I am always grateful for the support and guidance that Deacons provided me over the years, both through the Graduate Recruitment Team and Partners, who were always there to discuss any thoughts or plans for my career choices, and from my supervising partners and fellow colleagues, who are always happy to discuss the various aspects of their practices and share their thoughts and experiences. Having so many various departments and service offerings also meant that there are a number of different paths you can pursue in your career at Deacons, and the amount of opportunities have certainly helped in allowing me to find the right path and goals for myself.
Start of the work day. Settle in, check overnight emails from overseas counsels and clients
Respond to request for advice on banking regulatory matter
Take call from regulator about an ongoing licence application, smoothing out issues and details, and then reporting the call to the client
Discuss a regulatory advice with supervisor, exploring potential solutions to the problem, and drafting the advice
Lunch time meeting with Deacons Cares to discuss new initiatives and programmes
Review and draft a set of general terms and conditions for a client, in relation to their account and other services
Respond to follow-up questions from client who asked for advice on the banking regulatory matter earlier in the day
Follow-up and review any outstanding matters of the day, set reminders, and then head home
Became a senior associate
Conducted my first individual client seminar on FinTech
Joined Deacons Cares
Joined the Finance and Insolvency department of Deacons as an associate
Completed P.C.LL at City University of Hong Kong, and joined Deacons as a trainee solicitor
Joined the Deacons dragon boat team, Deacons Dragons, for the first time
Graduated from the University of New South Wales with a Bachelor of Laws and Bachelor of Commerce majoring in Finance
Joined Deacons as a vacation student