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Charles Chiu is an associate at the International Capital Markets department. He received his BBA (Law) & LLB and PCLL from The University of Hong Kong, before joining A&O as a trainee solicitor.

Why I am with A&O

One thing that I have been very grateful for throughout my time at A&O is having met and worked with team members who not only invest time and effort in my roadmap of learning, but also go through thick and thin together in my navigation and growth. Admittedly, the nature of work could be challenging and demanding at times. Nonetheless, people recognise these junctures and do not hesitate to work with you in facing the challenges, thinking on our feet and reaping the rewards of our hard work. I look back on these times as invaluable learning opportunities and memorable moments.

Undoubtedly, life at A&O is not all about work. We find joy in connecting with each other in various social activities, such as monthly birthday celebrations, festive / junk gatherings, dragon boat, volunteering, and even times like cheering together while watching Olympic Games as well as random drinks on Friday nights with a few colleagues.

I am also glad to see the firm’s ongoing appetite for pro bono and community investment, and have collaborated with passionate lawyers in assisting people walking through difficult situations in their lives. Since my traineeship, I have supported two refugees on their applications or renewals for permission to work in Hong Kong. During my London secondment, I was able to continue my involvement in these types of initiatives, by volunteering in one of the local free legal advice clinics.

An extrAOrdinary London secondment

My secondment to our London office happened during the start of the Covid-19 pandemic. The experience exceeds what I could have possibly imagined it to be. In addition to working alongside some outstanding members of the Banking team, I also had the opportunity to explore, participate and experience different aspects of A&O. 

I had the chance to get a sneak peek, and be part of the testing and development of, some of our legal technology resources. As legal technology becomes more widely discussed, it was intriguing to have real and meaningful engagement with some of the new technologies being introduced at A&O.

I also got to know some great peers by joining the Trainee Mental Health and Wellbeing Group. The group is a testament to the firm’s openness and value for promoting the well-being of trainees. I very much appreciated the opportunity to be able to expand the London-based network to other A&O offices including Hong Kong, and to bring in fresh perspectives for the benefit of the Hong Kong’s trainee experience.

What to prepare

Starting a career is not straightforward, and there is so much to grasp, learn and be exposed to along the path. Therefore, I believe it is important to be refreshed before you join and get a real taste of life at A&O. I took some time out to travel, relax and enjoy my vacation time prior to starting my training contract; this meant that I was fresh, keen and ready to be at my best for my journey with A&O!