Hong Kong secondment story

Hong Kong is an unusual mixture of city skylines, hiking, goldfish markets and champagne brunches – meaning there is never a dull moment. Even the weather will keep you on your toes, one moment it is beautiful sunshine with levels of humidity that would leave even those with the tamest of hair resembling Diana Ross – and the next minute you’re diving for shelter from the so – called “black rain” and hiding under the kitchen counter because a typhoon is on its way.

Steph and I were seconded to Hong Kong together and during our six months we have met so many great people and toured Asia on numerous weekend trips (including visits to the Philippines, China, Vietnam, South Korea, Borneo, Indonesia, Singapore and Japan). Weekends in Hong Kong are usually spent in a large group on the firm’s Junk, often with the speedboat in tow for some afternoon wakeboarding. Other highlights of our time here include paddling as part of the firm’s dragon boat racing team (we managed to come last out of about 300 boats, which is no mean feat) and the Hong Kong Sevens tournament.

Obviously, we do some work too – the Hong Kong office is much smaller than One Bunhill Row and, as such, our multi-specialist approach is perhaps even more prevalent here. The size of the office means that you get to know your colleagues well, and everyone is very welcoming and friendly. Going for lunch with the local trainees is an experience not to be missed – whilst we still do not know what half of the dishes were, we can vouch for them all being delicious.

Getting to grips with a new jurisdiction is an excellent challenge but, at times, a steep learning curve. However, an English law background will be invaluable, particularly where legislation in a certain area is untested or still developing, as the local lawyers’ expectations of how it will be applied is usually guided by the English law position. You are afforded the opportunity to take on greater levels of responsibility and my time in the Hong Kong office has definitely enhanced my legal knowledge and skills.

For all these reasons and more, I cannot recommend a secondment to Hong Kong enough.

Francesca Parker
Trainee secondment to our Hong Kong office