Twenty years of practicing #family law and walking through the landscape of clients’ lives has taught me a lot. I learnt the meaning of fragility, persistence, conflict, and nuance – I learnt how to navigate through the complexities of life.
Working at two wonderful law firms, under an exceptional mentor, taught me a great deal about the law, managing, and running a business – I learnt to lead with heart.
Living through SARS in 2003 (when I was a newly qualified lawyer) and now COVID-19 – I learnt about the certainty of uncertainty, and so the importance of following my passions. And in starting RKS, I am putting all my lessons and a lot of my passions into creating a new space.
Rather than any negative impetus, RKS is about pursuing more positivity and intentionally building an aspirational organization that suits the interests of the people connected to it.
It’s difficult to leave the success, familiarity, and infrastructure of a fantastic global law firm, but I am leaving to pursue three objectives about which I am deeply passionate: my clients, the profession, and my community.
Progress is sometimes a paradox in a legal career. As you become more senior, you tend to spend more time managing the business, and in the process, step further away from the central reason for your success – your clients.
I love working with my clients – irrespective of their objectives – and I want to spend more time with them. Practicing family law means people come to you at their most vulnerable time. And being able to help clients through that difficult phase of their lives is extraordinarily rewarding. It’s a fulfillment beyond any remuneration. RKS will give me more time to focus on my clients, caring for their needs, and finding solutions that best suit their unique situations.
A few years ago, I was invited to a client’s fortieth birthday with my mentor. In the client’s speech, he said he invited us because we were the only two friends with whom he went through the most difficult time in his life. Connections like that are life-long, and part of the joy and mission of practicing family law. As I always say to my associates, to be successful in what we do, you need to pay passionate and equal attention to all clients, big or small, as they are relying on our support.
More competitive and therefore more sustainable
Like in almost all areas of our lives, COVID-19 has changed a lot in family law. Perhaps the starkest difference is a palpable increase in risk aversion. Clients, irrespective of wealth, are avoiding litigation wherever possible – as the outcomes can be unpredictable. Their risk aversion also manifests in a new price sensitivity.
Part of caring for your clients is being responsive to their changing contexts. RKS, being smaller and nimbler, is able to rapidly respond to market conditions, including changing client behavior and price sensitivity. Our ability to adapt also means that we are more sustainable in the long term.
Going beyond family – more practice areas
Spending time with my clients, their need for solutions beyond family law has become apparent. People also need help in other areas of their lives, so RKS is offering a full suite of life solutions to address our clients’ ‘life needs’. In addition to family related areas, RKS will be providing services to manage, amongst other things, death and incapacitation, trusts, wills, mental health, and elder protection. We will also deliver solutions that keep your family and business in harmony. In short, we take a holistic approach to our clients’ lives and needs, and all solutions will work in strategic synergy.
Mentorship and succession
I hadn’t planned on practicing family law when I began my legal career, but the choice was made easy. Not only did I deeply engage with the client cohort, but I was also truly fortunate to meet my mentor, Ms. Sharon Ser.
Sharon, who is undoubtedly the leading family law practitioner in Hong Kong, took me under her wing, and has been a dedicated and generous mentor ever since. I am the lawyer I am because of Sharon’s guidance. And now, it’s my turn to be a safe pair of hands and mentor the next generation.
In RKS, I am not only creating a team dedicated to life solutions, including family law, but I am building an intentional path of skills, experience, and clear succession planning for all the lawyers to come. In other words, RKS will explicitly offer what came to me only fortuitously. RKS lawyers will excel in what they do because they practice in excellence.
Sharing a passion
When asked what ‘good’ looks like at RKS, the picture in my mind is clear. We will feel like a family with a shared passion – to deliver the best life solutions to all our clients. Like all happy families, we will communicate openly and be proud of our collective output.
Welcome Mr. Dennis Ho
Part of building excellence is, of course, the hope of attracting excellence. So, I am exceptionally pleased and proud to announce, Mr. Dennis Ho, a leader in Hong Kong family law is joining RKS as a consultant. With more than 30 years of experience, Dennis is a solicitor, a mediator, and a part-time lecturer. He is the Chairman of the Family Law Committee of the Law Society of Hong Kong, and he also chaired the Domestic Violence Subcommittee and Enforcement of Maintenance Subcommittee.
Whenever advantageous to our clients, RKS will work in association with Ho & Ip, the firm Dennis founded in 2002. We will share our collective resources and expertise to serve our clients.
I want to take this opportunity to acknowledge and appreciate the enormous trust Dennis has vested in me by joining RKS. It really is no small thing. Thank you, Dennis – I fully appreciate your support and vote of confidence.
Serving my communities
RKS is also about building a platform from which I can give back to society and advocate for the causes close to my heart.
I want to have a bigger impact on the rights of the children, women, elderly and the LGBTQ communities; make myself more useful to those without a voice. I joined #Zonta International in 2021 to help advance the status of women and I am in the process of joining #Rotary to generate public awareness and solutions on other issues about which I am passionate. I also want to give more as a donor and RKS will help me do that.
I want to thank everyone who has been part of the journey to RKS. The decision to build an organization was recent, but the ingredients have been collecting for a long time. By ingredients, I mean the people. My family, friends, peers, and clients not only sparked the idea, but have supported me with enthusiasm, trust, kindness and more importantly, their action.
Thank you, for all your robust opinions, wisdom, and support. It has been overwhelming and incredibly touching; you have given me even more motivation to make an exceptional firm and a trusted provider of life solutions.
RKS has been created in the confluence of my experiences, professional success, intellect, and energy; it is truly a project from the heart.