The Legal Genie Podcast

Episode 6 with Annie and Chris Tang of Star Anise Group

March 13, 2021 Lara Quie Season 1 Episode 6
The Legal Genie Podcast
Episode 6 with Annie and Chris Tang of Star Anise Group
Chapters
The Legal Genie Podcast
Episode 6 with Annie and Chris Tang of Star Anise Group
Mar 13, 2021 Season 1 Episode 6
Lara Quie

This week in Episode 6 of the Legal Genie Podcast, your host, Lara Quie, is in conversation with a sister and brother team of legal recruiters. Annie Tang and Chris Tang are the co-founders and co-Managing Directors of the Star Anise Group, a specialist legal and compliance recruitment agency, flexible outsourcing company, and leadership and training provider based in Hong Kong. 

Annie and Chris are both former practising lawyers and working parents. 

Annie read English at the University of Lancaster in the UK and qualified as a solicitor specialising in dispute resolution with an international law firm in Hong Kong. After practising for a number of years she switched into legal recruitment in 2005. 

Chris read law at the University of Exeter in the UK and qualified as a corporate solicitor with Irwin Mitchell. He went on to practice in corporate M&A and private equity until he moved to Hong Kong in 2010 and co-founded Star Anise with Annie. 

In this episode we discussed:

·         Chris and Annie’s background

·         Their journey into law and training

·         Moving to Hong Kong

·         Their legal career and subsequent switch into legal recruitment 

·         Starting Star Anise 

·         The main challenges of being business owners

·         Developments in legal recruitment and what firms are looking for

·         Lateral hiring

·         Advice for young lawyers

 

Learn more about Annie and Chris:

·         Connect with Annie on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/annie-tang-0374892/

·         Connect with Chris on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/tangchris/

·         Their website: https://www.staranise.com.hk/about-us/team.html

Also:

·         If you liked this episode, please do rate the show and leave a review wherever you listen to your podcasts to help the Legal Genie reach a wider audience.

·         Look out for the next episode coming next week and have a great day.

·         You can connect with Lara on LinkedIn at https://www.linkedin.com/in/laraquie

·         Website: https://www.laraqassociates.com

·         If you have a question or guest idea please do drop Lara a line: : [email protected]

 

 


Lara Q Associates
A boutique business and executive coaching consultancy

Show Notes Transcript

This week in Episode 6 of the Legal Genie Podcast, your host, Lara Quie, is in conversation with a sister and brother team of legal recruiters. Annie Tang and Chris Tang are the co-founders and co-Managing Directors of the Star Anise Group, a specialist legal and compliance recruitment agency, flexible outsourcing company, and leadership and training provider based in Hong Kong. 

Annie and Chris are both former practising lawyers and working parents. 

Annie read English at the University of Lancaster in the UK and qualified as a solicitor specialising in dispute resolution with an international law firm in Hong Kong. After practising for a number of years she switched into legal recruitment in 2005. 

Chris read law at the University of Exeter in the UK and qualified as a corporate solicitor with Irwin Mitchell. He went on to practice in corporate M&A and private equity until he moved to Hong Kong in 2010 and co-founded Star Anise with Annie. 

In this episode we discussed:

·         Chris and Annie’s background

·         Their journey into law and training

·         Moving to Hong Kong

·         Their legal career and subsequent switch into legal recruitment 

·         Starting Star Anise 

·         The main challenges of being business owners

·         Developments in legal recruitment and what firms are looking for

·         Lateral hiring

·         Advice for young lawyers

 

Learn more about Annie and Chris:

·         Connect with Annie on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/annie-tang-0374892/

·         Connect with Chris on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/tangchris/

·         Their website: https://www.staranise.com.hk/about-us/team.html

Also:

·         If you liked this episode, please do rate the show and leave a review wherever you listen to your podcasts to help the Legal Genie reach a wider audience.

·         Look out for the next episode coming next week and have a great day.

·         You can connect with Lara on LinkedIn at https://www.linkedin.com/in/laraquie

·         Website: https://www.laraqassociates.com

·         If you have a question or guest idea please do drop Lara a line: : [email protected]

 

 


Lara Q Associates
A boutique business and executive coaching consultancy

Episode 6 of the Legal Genie Podcast

[00:00:00] Lara Quie: [00:00:00] Hello and welcome to the Legal Genie Podcast with me, Lara Quie. Why am I the Legal Genie? Because I bring out the magic in you and help you make your wishes come true. I practiced as a corporate lawyer in London for a number of years before leaving the law to become an entrepreneur and co-founder of a successful designer kitchen business. Upon selling the business 10 years ago, and moving to Asia, I moved back into law, but not as a lawyer. 

[00:00:27] Most recently, I was Asia Pacific head of business development for a leading international law firm. Due to an unexpected life event in 2020, I discovered the power of executive coaching and recently launched Lara Q Associates, a boutique consultancy, which enables me to work with fun and inspiring people across the globe.

[00:00:48] This podcast explores the fascinating world of the legal ecosystem and the people within it. From rainmakers at global elite firms to trainees, just starting to get their feet [00:01:00] wet from Queen's counsel, barristers, in-house counsel and the judiciary. To legal tech, innovators, pricing specialists, HR managers, business development and marketing professionals, legal headhunters, and everyone else who is a mover and shaker in this space.

[00:01:17] My goal is to help you see your world differently. What insights can you gain from hearing others share their experiences? What action can you take as a result? I hope that you will be inspired and learn a lot from this episode, please enjoy the conversation.

[00:01:34]Welcome to Episode Six of the Legal Genie podcast. I'm excited to have with me today, a sister and brother team. Annie Tang and Chris Tang are the Co-Founders and Co-Managing Directors of the Star Anise Group, a specialist legal and compliance recruitment agency, flexible outsourcing company and leadership and training provider based in Hong Kong.

[00:02:00] [00:01:59] Annie and Chris are both former practicing lawyers and working parents. Annie read English at the University of Lancaster in the UK, and qualified as a solicitor specializing in dispute resolution with an international law firm in Hong Kong. After practicing for a number of years, she switched into legal recruitment.

[00:02:19] Chris read law at the University of Exeter in the UK and qualified as a corporate solicitor with a Erwin Mitchell. He went on to practice in corporate M&A and private equity until he moved to Hong Kong and co-founded Star Anise with Annie. Welcome to you both and thank you so much for joining me on the podcast today.

[00:02:38] Annie Tang: [00:02:38] Thank you for having us, Lara. 

[00:02:41]Lara Quie: [00:02:41] So, let's start right at the beginning. And I'll start with Annie, because I know that she's the older sibling.  Annie, tell me a bit about where you grew up and what life was like as a child. 

[00:02:53]Annie Tang: [00:02:53] I grew up in the UK, both Chris and I were born there actually, and I was educated there and [00:03:00] I basically grew up and then came over to Hong Kong after graduation.

[00:03:07] Lara Quie: [00:03:07] What about you, Chris? Can you tell us a little bit about, what your aspirations were as a young boy? 

[00:03:14] Chris Tang: [00:03:14] Yeah, Annie and I had quite different routes to becoming lawyers. So  our first careers were as lawyers. I qualified in England and worked for various national firms. Honestly, when I was about 12 that's the first thought of having a career in law began. And so  I was probably  somebody who had the aspirations to become a lawyer. And my A-levels were geared towards a broad degree and eventually a career in law. 

[00:03:44]Lara Quie: [00:03:44] I think you mentioned when I've spoken to you before that you both grew up in the family business. Tell me a bit about what you learned from your parents.

[00:03:53]Annie Tang: [00:03:53] We learned that you have to work hard to succeed. And I think amongst all of us, we did start [00:04:00] working quite early on. When we were teenagers would be having part time jobs and then summer jobs. And so we worked quite hard, I think, through our teenage years and then through university as well, and then afterwards, so we just, we were very determined to make our careers successful in whatever we did.

[00:04:18] Chris Tang: [00:04:18] It's funny because the number of people who we have spoken to who are lawyers in Hong Kong and presumably in Singapore those who are of Asian descent and were either born or grew up in Australia or the UK. So many of them have actually come through a similar growing up process as we have with the family business. And more than likely it's got to be a fast food business whether it's a restaurant or take out business. 

[00:04:49]Lara Quie: [00:04:49] Yeah, that's a lot of hard work, but it means that you had a very entrepreneurial family right from the get go. And so it's interesting that you chose law. So Annie, [00:05:00] what was it that made you want to do law? 

[00:05:02] Annie Tang: [00:05:02] I think my primary goal was to actually help people. And I'm quite lucky that even now in my current career, I'm helping people find jobs or helping companies find people. So I think in some respects all the way through, even my legal career and before , I selected that to be my career and I was very determined to go into a career where I could help people.

[00:05:22]So I think with the law we could help clients obviously resolve their legal problems, but I felt that there was some more people interaction and I wanted out of my career. So that's why I switched into recruitment. 

[00:05:33]Lara Quie: [00:05:33] What about you, Chris, when you were doing, your legal degree compared to practice, what did you think about, the transition into the practical side of it?

[00:05:43]Chris Tang: [00:05:43] My reasons for studying law may have arisen from reading lots of detective stories and watching lots of TV dramas, I was a telly addict when I was a kid. And watching shows like Ally McBeal and other shows like [00:06:00] that, maybe influenced me to want to study the law. And yeah, initially I wanted to I was thinking that criminal, would be of great interest.

[00:06:11]Then, after I studied or during my studies, at my degree level. I came to realise from having spoken to law firms who visited the campus, that actually being a commercial lawyer was more rewarding financially, compared to being a criminal lawyer. So then during that time, I then switched my focus  to applying for training contracts with commercial law firms instead.

[00:06:32]Lara Quie: [00:06:32] Yes. I know that, it's very tough at the criminal bar in particular. And I was actually just talking about that this week.  With , a lawyer who's hadto struggle very much. But I'm wondering about, Annie, your career.  You came to Hong Kong and qualified there, but tell us a bit about your early career and why it was that you actually moved out of law.

[00:06:53]Annie Tang: [00:06:53] I trained with an international law firm and qualified with them. So it was actually I felt quite [00:07:00] diverse and wide exposure because obviously I met a lot of people. Clients and colleagues who were from different countries. So it was very international in that respect. And the work was interesting.

[00:07:12]I think it touched on a lot of different diverse practice areas, because as some clients will have different issues that we can handle as a lawyer. It could be on one hand they might have insurance issues or employment issues or other issues if it was a corporate. So it was actually very interesting in that respect.

[00:07:27]I did enjoy it. But I think towards the, when I was mid-level it was, Oh, do you want to be a partner? Do you want to pursue that career path? Or do you want to go in house or do you want to do something else? So at that point, I think the decision would made for me because my international law firm actually withdrew from Asia.

[00:07:44] And at that point I had to decide  continue pursuing a legal career, or should I try something different? And yeah I decided to pursue my entrepreneurial side and to focus more on people as I mentioned. And this is how I ended up in recruitment. 

[00:07:59]Lara Quie: [00:07:59] What about you [00:08:00] though, Chris? Cause there you were in the UK and practicing as a corporate lawyer. What about your journey leaving the law? 

[00:08:06]Chris Tang: [00:08:06] For me, I was at the point where I would have been happy, continuing as a lawyer progressing on towards partnership. I was just one step away from that. And I have to say I've really enjoyed doing the nitty gritty of an M&A deal and particularly working with clients as well, I had a whole lot of fun working with the clients that I did. A lot of those were owner managed businesses who were quite inspirational, you know, people who had  just left  secondary school, and basically worked  their way up and set up a business and then were at a point in their life where they were able to sell off the company, and it just gave me a lot of joy and satisfaction actually acting for these types of clients, as well as new clients who were the opposite end of the spectrum, where they were starting out their business and [00:09:00] looking out for investors and those who were established large companies where they were looking for management to buy out the existing owners.

[00:09:09]Those types of deals were my bread and butter as well as acting for large blue chip companies. But for me, I think the trigger for me was during the 2008 financial crisis as an M&A lawyer a lot of deals were continuing up until the summer of 2009. And at that point it was then things started to look a lot more different from six months before and that coincided with my annual trip to Hong Kong to go visit family and friends. Particularly my sister, Annie and her family. And we were having a discussion then about what we wanted in our lives and she mentioned that she was thinking of setting up her own business. And so we started to talk and throw some ideas here and there and the conclusion was that with Annie's network and her history of a very successful history of recruiting [00:10:00] for organizations, that it would make sense for us to continue that and spin off into a boutique recruitment firm. And so that summer was when the seeds of the idea can about. 

[00:10:12]Lara Quie: [00:10:12] And so for you, Annie, moving from a large recruitment company into your own business, tell us a bit about that entrepreneurial journey. 

[00:10:22]Annie Tang: [00:10:22] Yeah, because actually most lawyers  are risk averse. So at that point it was a big decision whether to leave a comfortable, stable,  big organization you know there's a lot of brand in there back up and colleagues to do something on your own or with a business partner, it was a big step for me personally.  But I believed that I had the ability and the experience  because by then I'd had more than ten years of experience, including in the law firm and in recruitment. So I was, well established in, in my own. And so I felt comfortable to  believe in myself. And then to take this big step and with Chris, [00:11:00] obviously I was even more emboldened to do so because it's always easier when you have a business to actually share the ideas, the risks, the liabilities, and hopefully the rewards. 

[00:11:12]Lara Quie: [00:11:12] Absolutely. And so tell me a bit Chris, about what it's like working with your big sister? 

[00:11:17]Chris Tang: [00:11:17] Strangely, I think we compliment one another fairly well, and the fact that we had X number of years apart with Annie leaving for Hong Kong much earlier compared with me. There's that sort of big gap where we've both worked in professional services and legal services, and we've had that different experience. Me working in England and Annie working at that point all of her career in Hong Kong, as still is the case. And so we had diverged from that. Our parents' food and beverage business. And then also the corporate world. And so because of that, we have that [00:12:00] different experience the way in which we worked together actually was pretty good because we had different ideas, different ways of working, but a mutual understanding of what we wanted to achieve out of this business.

[00:12:12]Lara Quie: [00:12:12] So what are you seeing in the market, Chris, with regard to law firms looking for, new recruits for their firms? What are they particularly looking for in terms of the general skills apart from obviously the strong legal skills? 

[00:12:27]Surprisingly, when it comes to interviewing candidates and job descriptions the requirements have been broadly the same in terms of whether they have a replacement role or a new headcount, it's all for the purposes of either consolidating or expanding their team.

[00:12:45] Chris Tang: [00:12:45] And surprisingly, despite having emerged, or we're still emerging through a pandemic. The big clients still remain the same. There aren't any additional requirements that are as a result of the pandemic you would [00:13:00] expect the job descriptions to have some additional descriptions relating to flexibility in terms of their approach and working style, or building a lot of resilience.

[00:13:11] Now, I suppose those sorts of questions might be inferred during the responses to questions during the interview. There's not explicit there in job descriptions or requirements instructions given by clients. So over and above the legal skills and the experience. I can't say that there's anything over and above what's being required. It's just the same requirements that they need people who can do the job, but at the same time are good communicators and are able to express themselves confidently and clearly, and concisely.

[00:13:45]Lara Quie: [00:13:45] And how about Annie, for in-house positions? Is that a similar picture or are you noticing any changes at all? 

[00:13:52]Annie Tang: [00:13:52] I do think there's a particular change. I think it's more, the focus has always been that they need somebody with really good [00:14:00] people skills and sometimes people skills are even more important in-house than certain technical skills. Because technical skills you can acquire, adapt depending on the requirements of the role or the company. So I think that hasn't changed in terms of, they've always seemed looking for people who will fit, who are the right cultural fit and, obviously experience and technical and otherwise is very important and languages, obviously in Hong Kong, Chinese languages are becoming very important because they've always been important. But now that a lot of the roles will demand it in the first instance with obviously depending on the company's coverage, if it's a regional APAC role, they may not need the Chinese language skills as much. But in Singapore, some of the roles need, Chinese language skills, as well. 

[00:14:43]Lara Quie: [00:14:43] And if you were talking to some junior associates and they were thinking about moving in-house at some stage, what would be your advice in terms of, number of PQE or certain experience? What do you advise them?

[00:14:59]Annie Tang: [00:14:59] I [00:15:00] would advise definitely mid level five to eight years of experience would stand them in better stead in terms of their technical experience would be more solidified and more grounded in terms of, how much they know about the law and how much it applies to business. To move in house definitely they should have at least five plus years PQE, ideally. Because the employers would be definitely more favorable to that. 

[00:15:24]Lara Quie: [00:15:24] You mentioned the people skills, what kind of opportunities would they have in private practice to demonstrate those people skills? 

[00:15:32]Annie Tang: [00:15:32] It could be a mixture of things, the communication between their colleagues or with their clients, and  also the ability to be able to handle different  situations. So culturally networking have they been doing business development even during private practice, for example? Yeah. These are all skills that would help them improve their people skills. 

[00:15:55] Lara Quie: [00:15:55] And Chris, when it comes to lateral hires of partners, what sort of [00:16:00] process is involved and generally, how long is it taking these days to go from  expressing an interest to actually getting a job?

[00:16:08]Chris Tang: [00:16:08] Quite often, we need to establish that there is a business need for a particular role. And so quite often the decision-making can be outside of the office in which I'm trying to place a partner. For example, with many international law firms, having overseas headquarters ultimately they need approval from their head office whether it be  in New York or in London.

[00:16:36] And that can take quite a while. So some firms have taken the approach that instead of seeking the official green light from head office, why don't we search for suitable candidates first? And then once we are convinced as an office as a whole, and that we would like to hire this person, we then go back to the office to seek approval.

[00:17:00] [00:16:59] So there are two distinct approaches. You'll either seek approval initially, or seek approval afterwards once you've gone through that search process and interviewed various candidates. Once you've found that once you've interviewed the candidates, that's a much more rigorous due diligence process involved and that essentially is a process that requires the law firm to understand the business, the scope of the business and the revenue history of that partner, as well as its collections history, and also understanding their client base because there may actually be conflicts between the clients that the partner candidate acts for and the law firm that wants to employ him and so there are lots of areas in which the process could trip up. And that's all part of the due diligence process. And so [00:18:00] for me,  it comes naturally to me in terms of adopting this process because as an M&A lawyer, one of the things that you always have to do whether you are acting for a seller or a buyer is to be involved in that due diligence process.

[00:18:12] And I just see that as a natural extension of what I used to do so when I'm advising partners, I'm also advising them of the processes involved and what sort of questions, documents and information is usually required from law firms. 

[00:18:31]Lara Quie: [00:18:31] How long is it usually taking these days? 

[00:18:33]Chris Tang: [00:18:33] Traditionally it is quite long anyway. It can take, anywhere between four months and say nine or 10 months it's probably now taking more often than not six to 12 months to actually get things over the line. Unless the law firm in question really  has placed a priority in terms of hiring for that space. In which case on the rare occasion, or they expedite the process. 

[00:18:59]Lara Quie: [00:18:59] We've seen a lot [00:19:00] in the news about Hong Kong and things that are changing there has that had any effect on the legal community and jobs?

[00:19:07]Obviously the pandemic's had a huge impact and you alsoChris Tang: [00:19:12] have to consider that we just came off the back of six months of civil unrest in Hong Kong And that also dented the confidence among the legal community. And, some firms have actually ridden over the challenges and have had  spectacular financial years over the past year or two, whereas other firms have been hit harder.

[00:19:32]When it comes to revenue, generations and collections, and particularly when it comes to collections, they may be busy and have done a lot of work, but when it comes to asking the client to pay up. that could actually be a different matter altogether. And so I'm hearing anecdotally that collections is more of a challenge than it was say, 18 months or two years ago when things were a lot more peaceful and a lot more economic and more dynamic. With [00:20:00] this year coming up with the advent of the vaccine coming in to the the city, there's news that the rollout will commence in the next week or two there's a lot more confidence compared with say a year or even six months ago.

[00:20:14]Lara Quie: [00:20:14] That's good to hear.  Annie, what advice can you give to younger lawyers thinking about a long-term career in law? What sort of tips have you got for them? 

[00:20:23]Annie Tang: [00:20:23] I think that all lawyers who qualify don't necessarily as pursue law they may go into a different area. So I think they should be open-minded as to whether they going to continue to be  lawyer for the rest of their lives? Or are they better suited into a different role? So I think these are things goals, short term, to be medium goals that they can look at themselves instead of being tied down to, Oh, I'm always going to be a lawyer. And, I often had these conversations with my ex colleagues when I was working in a law firm.

[00:20:53]They always said,  what can I do ? There's nothing else I can do.  But, we, you, me and Chris has proven that we can do something else. We have [00:21:00] capable transferable skills. So I think young lawyers should look at , not just only their longterm goals, but also their short term goals as. What do they want to consider acquiring in terms of skillsets and knowledge, which may set them up to do something else in the future. 

[00:21:15]Lara Quie: [00:21:15] How about you, Chris? What sort of tips have you got?

[00:21:20]Chris Tang: [00:21:20] In terms of the junior to mid-level?

[00:21:22]Lara Quie: [00:21:22] Or any lawyers who may be listening right now  what kind of advice can you give them? 

[00:21:27]Chris Tang: [00:21:27]  Perhaps, maybe  some of my experiences as I rose through the ranks and I can share some of my insights. And I found that in terms of upward career mobility, developing skills, as early on as possible are key to improving your chances and you got to treat it like building blocks. One, one building block could be in relation to business development. Another could be in terms of training, a junior member, such as a trainee or a paralegal. And even if you're an [00:22:00] NQ or one year PQE lawyer, you can still do that and developing those skills in terms of teaching others or communicating with others. And as you step up through the ranks, you're developing your technical skills at the same time. So come through year four PQE you should be able to handle your own case load or run your own deals. And at that point, once you're buzzing with the ability to actually run your own matters. You then start to develop your management skills or team management skills.

[00:22:33] And you then progress beyond the trainees and paralegals and move on to the junior associates that you could be managing and training. And then you started looking at finances, in terms of of your own team's, billings, and your own team's collections, as well as your personal collections. And once you start to understand financial management, then you start, whether you keep built up the key blocks of [00:23:00] what is required to become a partner in a law firm. Now as Annie mentioned just now those are the skills which are freely transferrable into different industries and sectors and jobs. And so I think it's great that somebody not necessarily a career in a law firm or in-house will be the be all and end all for them.

[00:23:25] There's a wealth of different opportunities and options for them to consider. If they were to think about a different step in their career. 

[00:23:35] Annie Tang: [00:23:35] And also the junior to mid-level or even senior people  should always have a mentor or several mentors to guide them through their careers and even their personal lives.

[00:23:44]Because there's no better experience than those who've experienced it. they've already trodden the path down the line so you can get different perspectives  from different people. 

[00:23:55] Lara Quie: [00:23:55] Absolutely. Having a mentor is a fantastic way of gaining some [00:24:00] really great insights into the path ahead. And what about coaching? I know that you've had some experience of coaching. Chris, what do you think that coaching can bring for lawyers? 

[00:24:12] Chris Tang: [00:24:12] One of the key reasons for me making that transition out of legal services and into a different industry. Was as a result of having a coach. My last firm that I worked in that year, leading up to my, moving out of England. I did have an in-house coach who was helping me     move on to the next step, which at the time it was, the aim was to work towards partnership. As my discussions progressed, I realized that partnership wasn't necessarily the only option that I had, even though that was something that I was pursuing at the time and with the financial crisis then that was a intervening event, which gave me some food for thought and gave me time to consider whether. [00:25:00] I really need to stick with my game plan or whether I should consider other options. And for me, that was my personal experience of using a coach. 

[00:25:09] Now, other people may use coaches for different purposes and the best analogy I can bring with that is in relation to sports, the premier league football players and NBA basketball players, they would all have individual elite coaches to help them to become the performers that they all just because they've just joined one of the top tier sports teams in that country doesn't necessarily mean that their training and their development ends far from it. And one of the things that I encourage lawyers to do is seek out a coach, particularly somebody who can help them improve their performance even more.

[00:25:52] Lara Quie: [00:25:52] Absolutely. I think everybody, even the most experienced people can always get better and always [00:26:00] have some support. And it's a tough life as a lawyer. And certainly at the moment, the pandemic has brought to light, lots of struggles with mental health, and it's an area I'm very passionate about and I particularly feel for lawyers because it's a very tough industry, long hours, culture, et cetera. And as lawyers love certainty. They like to have things under control and the situation is very uncertain and no end in sight at the moment. So it's a tough time for people. What kind of words of encouragement have you got for lawyers right now, Annie? 

[00:26:35]Annie Tang: [00:26:35] I think the main thing is to stay positive. And to obviously get everything in order, in terms of the physical wellness, the mental wellness, and if you get enough sleep and all the usual sort of medical situations, which tell you that you should look after yourself. I think, obviously the after yourself and this won't last forever, the situation, the challenging situation that we are facing it is longer than it has been for SARS [00:27:00] and other economic crises in the past. But I'm sure that we'll get through this all together and hopefully  as Chris and I both mentioned businesses have been thriving, law firms have been thriving even despite the pandemic. And I imagine, yes, there are some, obviously some businesses haven't survived. But a lot of businesses have. So I think we just have to stay positive. 

[00:27:20]Lara Quie: [00:27:20] That's good news. I think there are a number of people considering whether now is a good time to move. So  it's good to hear that opportunities are out there, that you are busy working with law firms to find some new hires. So it's very positive that people shouldn't put their lives on hold. They should continue to look for opportunities and work hard to get to the next level in their business as well. 

[00:27:46]Chris Tang: [00:27:46] If I may add in the name of the very famous chocolate brands take a break. And the reason why I say that is that I've spoken to a number of lawyers and [00:28:00] asked them given that we've had so many travel restrictions. 

[00:28:04]   Have you managed to take some time out to go on staycation in your own jurisdiction, your own territory?. And I'm just really so surprised that so many people haven't taken a break and there's that fear that if they're not in the office, then they are not just the assistants in that firm. And in that way, by, by doing that, s e all sorts of mental problems and issues, further down the line and.

[00:28:32] If they don't take a break, they're not going to have some downtime, which is really needed. Even when we've had pandemics times people would take breaks anyway and automatically people think taking a break means going abroad  somewhere, but having that going on a camping trip or staying in a hotel for a couple of nights stay. Will do you a world of good. And having some of those frequently over the past year [00:29:00] could make a big difference 

[00:29:04]Lara Quie: [00:29:04] Absolutely I think the risk of burnout because of this extended period of working from home. Plus the stresses that has involved has meant that it's been a very difficult time for many lawyers, juggling many priorities, and also not being able to clearly delineate between work and home life. So  many people I think, are going to find coming to the end of the road in terms of their energy. And so I hope that people will remain positive and take your advice to take a break and to, really practice good. Self-care. Ensuring good sleep, keep your immunity levels high, ensure that you are striking a work-life harmony, even though you may be not going into the office as much as before, but thank you both very much for your time and your insights today. And so if people want to connect with you, where could they find you?

[00:29:57]Annie Tang: [00:29:57]  Definitely on LinkedIn, our favorite [00:30:00] platform and on our website, of course, which is www . staranise.com.hk 

[00:30:04] Lara Quie: [00:30:04] Great. I will be putting the links in the show notes. And thank you very much again, and thank you to everybody for listening to the Legal Genie podcast.

[00:30:16]Chris Tang: [00:30:16] Thanks so much.

[00:30:17]Lara Quie: [00:30:17] Thanks for listening. If you've enjoyed this episode of the Legal Genie podcast, please go to Apple podcasts and give it a rating and review to help others find it. Please do subscribe so that you don't miss the next exciting episode of the legal genie podcast. Thanks for listening. Have a magical week ahead.