Sarah Lau

Associate, Financial Services


Education

Juris Doctor, The University of Hong Kong
Bachelor of Science in Management, The University of Warwick

My first Deacons Encounter

Joining the firms as a Vacation Student

I Chose Deacons

I chose Deacons for two main reasons – diversity and career development opportunities. As a junior starting my legal career, the Deacons name not only represents a prestigious heritage in Hong Kong but a house of opportunities to explore a diverse range of widely recognised practice areas to match your career interest. Partners and the graduate recruitment team take an active interest in trainees’ career development. I was impressed with the level of dedication of resources to nurturing future talent of the firm into well-rounded respectable professionals, from running language courses to lifestyle workshops and business development networking events at the very start of your career.

At Deacons, the traineeship experience is never just about a job but a unique multi-dimensional career development plan backed by a strong support system from associate to partner level who are willing to listen to your career needs and give you advice along the way.

Click here to start your journey with us.

My Role

My area of focus is in investment funds and my work is predominantly in relation to the private funds practice. On a daily basis I assist and advise clients on the structuring and establishment of different types of private funds such as hedge funds, private equity funds, credit funds and hybrid funds covering both the Hong Kong and offshore spectrum. Our practice tracks market trends closely, and we regularly work closely with clients and counsels from other jurisdictions to comply with and tackle latest regulatory requirements and market challenges.

How has my experience outside of financial services affected the way I approach my role at the firm?

Every type of work or personal experience will compliment and contribute towards your professional career development. For me, experience outside of my legal career equipped me with both soft and hard skills to become a well-rounded professional. My auditing and tax background in other sectors allowed me to develop a foundation of financial literacy and shaped my business mind-set. This enhanced my ability to better understand commercial transactions and to identify practical issues and challenges. It also served as an important stepping stone to enhance my communication abilities with corporate clients by being able to think from their commercial perspectives and to better understand the “business language”. My work and personal experience in working within close teams also allowed me to fit in comfortably within Deacons’ strong team culture so that I was ready and willing to contribute as a valued team player.

Opportunities for women in Deacons

At Deacons the firm is a strong supporter and leader in gender equality and values talent. There is no shortage of opportunities offered to women at the firm and the partners strongly encourage individuals to pursue their interests and career aspirations both within the firm and the wider community. There is plenty of career advancement opportunities at all levels and partners are proactive in discussing how the firm can support your career development. As a testament to this fact, Deacons has one of the highest proportion of female partners of any major law firm in Hong Kong.

My experience working with senior-level women at the firm

Deacons holds an open and supportive culture. Many senior-level women I have worked with during my time at the firm have demonstrated that they are not only leaders in their specified areas of practice and a role model for junior female lawyers, but they are also a mentor in matters beyond work and are willing to share their personal experience and advice with juniors such as myself who are still finding our paths.

The most fulfilling part of my work at Deacons

There are many aspects as to how working at the firm is fulfilling, whether this is from working with a great team and great people, the breath of career exposure or from a personal development perspective. For me, one of the most fulfilling experience I have had is the opportunities that I have been offered during my time here to work on exciting and novel projects, whilst being given the strongest support to explore these opportunities and my interests from partners and seniors.

How do I approach a more challenging day at work?

Preparation is the key. For example, if I am attending an important client meeting, I would make sure that I have read through all background information and documents well in advance and speak to seniors or partners about any issues I have identified. In anticipation of a challenging task ahead, I would also ensure that any other deadlines or work for other client matters have been completed in advance or that I would be able to meet the required deadlines whilst allowing for sufficient time to handle the work at hand.

AM

A Day In The Life

9:00am

Arrive at work, check emails and set my daily plan

9:30am

Attend to client calls and client requests

10:00am

Prepare draft offering documents and other legal documents based on client’s instructions for partner’s review

PM

A Day In The Life

2:00pm

Discuss and update partner on status of different matters and legal issues

3:30pm

Attend potential client meeting with partner for establishing new funds

5:00pm

Attend monthly team meeting to discuss latest issues encountered

8:00pm

Wrap up tasks and circulate latest deliverables to client; head home to have dinner with family

2018

My Story

Admitted as a Solicitor in Hong Kong and worked as an Associate in Deacons’ Financial Services team

2016

My Story

Joined Deacons as a trainee solicitor

2015

My Story

Completed my Juris Doctor programme at the University of Hong Kong

2014

My Story

Joined Deacons as a summer vacation student

2013

My Story

Qualified as a Hong Kong Certified Public Accountant

2009

My Story

Graduated from University of Warwick with Honours Degree in Management

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