5 THINGS ALEX WONG HAS LEARNT ABOUT A LIFE IN THE LAW
The office managing partner at Hogan Lovells Lee & Lee and Senior Accredited Specialist in Building and Construction Law looks back on a two-decade career and the lessons it has brought.
1. IT REMAINS CHALLENGING, 20 YEARS ON
Two decades in, Mr Wong admits that work still challenges him. “The resilience required to survive modern practice is the most challenging. There is a constant need to be on your toes and being at the forefront of not just legal and practice developments but also the understanding of the client's business and expectations.”
2. FIND SATISFACTION WHERE YOU CAN
“Job satisfaction is not easy to find in legal practice generally,” says Mr Wong. But that just means you have to look harder to find it. For him, he derives it from seeing the physical manifestations of his labour: “It’s when I see the actual power stations, airports and railways for which I had drafted or negotiated contracts being built." In recent years, Mr Wong also finds satisfaction in his efforts to build a more sustainable planet through his work on renewable energy projects.
3. DON’T BE AFRAID TO SWITCH THINGS UP
He began his career in litigation and dispute resolution but quickly decided that the field was just not a fit. “I moved on to work in the transactional energy and infrastructure practice. Given that construction is also a large part of that, it was an almost natural transition for me to focus on the construction aspects of that work.” He hasn’t looked back since and is now one of the region’s leading energy and infrastructure lawyers. In recognition of his mastery of the practice area, he was appointed a Senior Accredited Specialist in Building and Construction Law by SAL earlier this year.
4. PREPARATION DOES COUNT
As part of the accreditation process, Mr Wong had to sit for an interview. The process, he reflects, was a reminder that experienc wasn't everything. "Your desire to constantly improve and learn through participation in professional development is also important." With this in mind, he didn't miss out on preparing for the interview: “I would be lying if I said I didn't have a look through some of the most recent developments in construction law over the years just in case I had missed something significant over the course of my practice. Thankfully, I hadn't.”
5. FIND YOUR NICHE
Mr Wong has built a unique practice that is entirely based on transactions and doesn’t involve any disputes work. He understands that this may put him at odds with others in his field, but he sees this as an advantage. “I hope I have a lot to contribute in terms of market evolution and market positions on different forms of construction contracts across market sectors,” he explains.
The latest round of applications to be accredited as a Senior Accredited Specialist in Building and Construction Law are now open. Accredited specialists form a select group of experts that is widely recognised for its practice, skills and knowledge. Applications close on 31 August 2020.
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