ALB: What kind of work have you occupied in the past year?
Anthony Oakes: Much of our work over the past year has been about reviewing existing lending operations from lenders, e.g. modifications, waivers, extensions, additional guarantees, etc. In 2021, there have been more new currency transactions and the outlook generally looks more positive, but there will almost certainly be large-scale restructuring / insolvency work in the sectors most affected by COVID. We have also seen opportunistic mergers and acquisitions, some of which involved troubled assets.
ALB: Can you describe a recent case or two where you’ve gone the extra mile for a client?
Oakes: While our work demands are usually not as extreme as those of lawyers in international firms, the same principles of moving deals forward and meeting client deadlines prevail. BVI and Cayman are respectively twelve and thirteen hours behind Hong Kong. This tends to lead to a night shift, to undertake urgent research or deposits so that transactions can be completed the next day Hong Kong time.
ALB: What principle or what motto do you live by when it comes to customer service?
Oakes: Early in my career, I had the good fortune to work in-house and receive legal advice from several large law firms. In this role, I quickly learned the value of clear, concise and practical legal advice. That is, tips that are easy to understand and point the way forward. As a result, I always try to put myself in the customer’s shoes. I also try to understand not only the question the client is asking, but also the context and the reason for it. This way I can provide a more complete and useful answer.
Partner and responsible for banking and finance in Asia
E: [email protected]
11th Floor Central Tower, 28 Queen’s Road Central,
Central, Hong Kong E: [email protected]