The Hong Kong Corporate Counsel Association joined the Association of Corporate Counsel global network and rebranded as ACC Hong Kong in 2017. This decision was taken to ensure members had access to a range of global resources and research that reflected the global in-house profession, while also ensuring members would continue to benefit from local events and resources.
Today, ACC Hong Kong members form part of a global network of more than 45,000 in-house counsel employed by over 10,000 establishments in more than 85 countries. ACC Hong Kong continues to proudly represent the interests of lawyers working for corporations and government throughout Hong Kong.
ACC Hong Kong President Sandra Wu, Treasurer Eddie Bao, and Committee Member Vincent Ng share more about what the chapter has to offer and how to get involved.
How did you first become involved with ACC? And what made you interested in taking a role with ACC Hong Kong?
Sandra Wu: I’m a firm believer in paying it forward. I want to contribute in impact roles, and I feel that as the president of ACC Hong Kong, I can truly make a difference. I believe it’s important to support in-house lawyers to be the best version of themselves, and ACC Hong Kong is constantly developing resources to professionally upskill the in-house community, while also empowering our members to make a difference in their respective communities.
Eddie Bao: I moved from Australia to Hong Kong seven years ago. It’s a great city to meet people, and it was very easy to grow my social network. The main reason I joined ACC was to grow my professional network as I didn’t have the university or law firm contacts compared to growing up in Australia. ACC Hong Kong has provided a platform to connect with other in-house counsel and a broad range of law firms who I would not normally work with.
How has your involvement in the chapter leadership supported your career?
SW: My experience at ACC has allowed me to flex my creative muscles in helping design ways for gain sponsors to ensure that we have funds to continually deliver high quality monthly seminars, annual conferences, and local networking sessions for our members. My time as president and chair of the Hong Kong Chapter has allowed me to further refine my leadership skills in leading an executive team of directors in serving and supporting our members' needs and the profession's changing landscape.
The Hong Kong Chapter leadership team are currently reviewing their chapter goals and objectives. Tell us more about them.
SW: The chapter's 2021 goals and objectives are split into four categories: mission for members, diversity in leadership, stronger alliance with our sponsors, and collaboration through innovation.
Mission for members
We have safely transitioned our meetings, seminars, workshops, and events from in-person to online. This serves the goal of being proactive during these challenging times and also allows us to serve a wider audience unbounded by geography. We always work to provide members with excellent value and unique opportunities for networks and professional growth.
Diversity in leadership
We value diversity and will continue to stress the need to develop leaders with different backgrounds to bring different voices and perspectives to the leadership team, allowing us to better serve our diverse membership base.
Stronger alliance with our sponsors
We will continue to uphold the generous support of our sponsors and funders. Our goal is to develop a stronger alliance with our sponsors and deliver more value to them, creating the right opportunities for their business to grow.
Collaboration through innovation
Innovation is critical to our profession or we will get left behind. We want to support our members and sponsors by building our online community.
EB: As treasurer, my two key objectives are to ensure the chapter is financially sound and to ensure our member offerings are relevant, interesting, and engaging. These are obviously linked. If we work hard to engage members, provide interesting professionally development opportunities and other networking opportunities, then I’m sure the first goal of financial strength and sustainability will be achieved.
What are the essential skills the next generation of in-house counsel will need in order to be successful?
Vincent Ng: Resilience is a critical skill for in-house lawyers. In a changing world, resilience is often required to apply legal solutions to business problems and to effectively achieve the optimal outcome. Embracing innovation and identifying opportunities to innovate are other essential skills for successful in-house lawyers.
How does ACC Hong Kong foster these skills in its members and promote meaningful connections?
VN: ACC Hong Kong provides opportunities for in-house lawyers to connect, discuss new ideas, and exchange current best practices. ACC Hong Kong seminars are heavily geared towards innovation, the application of legal operations, and emerging technologies. These seminars provide critical insights for our members on how the delivery of in-house legal services and the wider legal landscape is changing.
How can members become more involved with the chapter and ACC in general?
EB: ACC Hong Kong is always happy to welcome members! We have various subcommittees for industry groups and occasionally board vacancies. From my personal experience, it was great to start with the Tech & Innovation subcommittee and then progress to a board member and then treasurer. Members interested in becoming more involved in ACC Hong Kong are invited to contact us.