I was born and raised in Beijing, China and I developed an interest in law when I was reading my first degree in International Trade BA (Hons) while in university in China. In my previous career, working in International Trade and Logistics, I had opportunities to assist the legal department of the company I worked for in the process of resolving its trade dispute. Through this work, I grew a stronger interest in legal practice and decided to pursue a career in law.
Following my first degree, I studied an LLM in International Commercial Law with a focus on international sale of goods and maritime law, which complimented my work in International Trade. After I decided to pursue a legal career, I studied law at BPP in London.
When I was studying the BVC (now known as the BPTC), I attended a number of advocacy training sessions at my Inn (Lincoln’s Inn), which I found extremely useful in honing skills in this area. Now I am practising at the Bar, the Inn regularly organises seminars on professional topics, which I always find worthwhile attending; the library and the librarians of the Inn are always there providing great support for research.
I currently practise in commercial law, company law, private international law and litigation/ADR. Since I began my legal career, my practice has developed in the sense that I have discovered areas of law which I am keen to develop in the future and grow my client base further; I am also constantly honing my skills and acquiring new knowledge in the relevant areas. Practising as a barrister is a fulfilling career, especially since the Bar now faces many challenges ahead, which require the profession to become more adaptive, driven and to keep an open mind. Having worked in industries previously, I believe that my career at the Bar offers prospects and depth which another career may not be able to offer.
I think that at the self-employed Bar, it is always important to work hard. Equally, it is important to learn to have discipline and switch off when you need to. The profession is also a marvellous platform and constantly offers inspiring and stimulating opportunities to discover new things. My interests outside of work link to my professional life, not only in enhancing my own wellbeing but also in terms of understanding and interacting with people, and keeping abreast of what is happening in the real world and in my profession.
Seeing my clients doing well is an extremely rewarding experience, particularly when they have taken my advice on board. One particular highlight was when I initially advised a corporate client on a point of law; the client has since given me further instructions and seeks my advice for their continual business growth. Another example is when I was representing a client in court: I persuaded the judge with my arguments and also did a powerful closing: as a result, the client got what it was seeking.
For aspiring barristers, it is important to develop an inquisitive mind and ask questions. Grow and keep an interest in what you would like to do. When you do anything, use your best ability and do everything with diligence. Learn from others who are more experienced than you. Understand yourself and what you want to achieve. Have a long-term plan of what you want to achieve in life and your career. Talk to people, attend seminars and participate in activities, find out as much as you can about the profession and make informed decisions. Persevere and keep your spirit high.