Quick Glance

  • 38-year professional accounting and management career across Asia, Australia and Middle East
  • Senior leadership and executive roles with global law firms Allen & Overy and Baker McKenzie.
  • Strong mentoring and people management skills, arising from hands on work related situations coupled with being Hong Kong cricket captain (1986 – 1988), as manager and national selector, and representing Hong Kong internationally (1974 – 1995)

The Opportunity

  • I bring a strong record of success in implementing key financial, operational and structural changes to make law firms more efficient, profitable and collaborative
  • I have earned the trust of senior partners and executives, providing strong leadership and mentorships of individuals across different levels of organisations and across cultures
  • I am adept at working within large global organisations and national firms to advise on strategic positioning and future-proofing businesses for market competitiveness, acquisition and growth

Career History

Law Firm Management Roles

BAKER MCKENZIE. (International Law Firm) 2010 – 30 June 2017

Regional Operating Office and Chief Financial Officer, Asia Pacific (based in Singapore)

Baker McKenzie. is one of the world’s largest law firms with revenues of US$ 2.8B. Its APAC business comprises 17 offices in 15 countries across the region employing 3,400 staff and with revenues of approximately US$725m

My role

  • I was employed as an advisor to equity and managing partners, CFOs and directors across the Asia Pacific businesses in all aspect of finance, operations and strategy
  • I was the only non-lawyer on the APAC regional board, supporting the two Asian representatives on the global executive board to ensure that global and regional strategic initiatives were implemented consistently across the region
  • I was the most senior non-lawyer in the region, with COO and CFO responsibilities resting with me, together with leadership and mentorship of the region’s diverse professional staff

Key Achievements

  • I led the Integration management office in the full integration of two of the firm’s major business units (Hong Kong, PRC, Vietnam and Korea with Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia) creating one business unit with revenues of US$400m and 2,000 staff representing 55% of the APAC business. The integration commenced in January 2016 and reached a steady state in Q1 2017.
  • I instituted regular financial and operational audits and reviews of the APAC offices to make the more profitable and financially savvy
  • I oversaw a major repositioning of support functions as respected professional advisors to the business

ALLEN & OVERY (International Law Firm) 1999-2010

Director, Chief Operating Officer, Asia and Middle East (based in Hong Kong and Singapore)

Allen & Overy is a pre-eminent global law firm and a world leading advisor in banking and finance law employing 5,500 people in 22 countries. The Asian/ME business had nine offices and employed approximately 770 staff with an annual turnover of US$300m

My role

  • As COO, I reported directly to the managing partner, Asia, and managed the entire finance, administration, HR, marketing and IT functions across Asia, UAE and Saudi Arabia. The position was director level (partner equivalent)
  • I was the only non-lawyer on the Asian management board (that reports to the main board in London) I was one of only five directors managing the global support functions and the only director outside London

I provided mentorship to partners and regional support heads on financial, operational and strategic matters

  • I was responsible for developing, implementing and monitoring a five-year strategic plan for Asia/ME

Key achievements

  • I was a key member of a world-wide project team involved with the conversion of A&O to an LLP
  • I negotiated and managed the set-up of joint ventures in Singapore, Tokyo and Saudi Arabia
  • I rationalised legal and support functions resulting in a 10% annual cost savings. This included outsourcing document production to Indian, and establishing an Asian Shared Service Centre in Singapore providing, finance, IT and a business acceptance unit
  • I established new compliance policies and corporate governance regime in Asia including the Asian disaster recovery process and advised on tax and foreign exchange issues in China and India
  • I revamped the financial reporting structure in Asia that was adapted and used by the firm globally

Previous Roles

SOTHEBY’S, Hong Kong (International Auction House) 1995 – 1998

Operations and Finance Director – Asia (based in Hong Kong)

HAMPTON, WINTER & GLYNN, Hong Kong (Large Local HK Law Firm) 1993 – 1995

Director – Finance & Administration (based in Hong Kong)

MOORE STEPHENS, Hong Kong (Ranked 12th Largest Global Accounting Firm) 1982 – 1993

Audit Senior to Partner (based in Hong Kong)

ERNST & WHINNEY 1980 – 1982

Audit Trainee to Audit Senior (based in Hong Kong)

Education

  • 1980 Leeds Polytechnic, United Kingdom – ACCA Professional exams
  • 1974 King George V School, Hong Kong

Professional Memberships / Training

  • 1983 Fellow, The Chartered Association of Certified Accountants (FCCA)
  • 1984 Fellow, Hong Kong Institute of Certified Public Accountants (FCPA)
  • 1990 Fellow, Australian Society of Certified Practising Accountants (FCPA)
  • 2013 Graduate, Centre for Creative Learning (Colorado Springs, USA) Business Leadership Program
  • 2013 – 2015 Completed Asia Pacific Corporate Coach Institute (ACCI) Module 1 – Basic coaching techniques and Module 2 – Profitable leadership.
  • 2017 Successfully completed the Vistage Chair Mentoring Course.