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Joanne Lau

Associate, Arbitration

I did a vacation scheme at A&O in 2010 and joined as a trainee in 2012. After completing my two-year training contract, of which six months were spent in the London office, I qualified into the International Arbitration group in Hong Kong in 2014.

Our firm specialises in both international commercial arbitration and investor-state arbitration. Our work is varied, but some typical tasks include interviewing witnesses, analysing legal issues, dealing with client queries, drafting submissions, preparing for and attending hearings. In many of our cases, our team would also handle the advocacy at the hearing. This is a multi-cultural practice, as the parties, counsel, arbitrators and experts are from different places, and we work across offices in the vast majority of our cases. I travel a lot as part of my job and have enjoyed meeting people from diverse backgrounds. One particular experience that I enjoyed very much was being part of the team in providing arbitration-related training workshops for the Myanmar judiciary.

Other than the fascinating work, what makes A&O stand out for me personally is its progressive culture. A&O is always at the forefront, for example, in relation to legal technology, gender equality, flexible working, pro bono work, etc. I like how the firm constantly seeks improvement and responds to changing needs and circumstances.

Last but not least, and as cliché as it may sound, a real attraction of A&O is its people. The people are down-to-earth and approachable, so even though we are given quite a lot of responsibilities from an early stage in our career, I always felt that there was someone I could turn to for guidance. It is a pleasure to be able to work alongside so many talented lawyers, who share the same enthusiasm for the intellectually stimulating work and the same commitment in delivering quality work for our clients.