Jo Lit, Counsel in Appleby's Hong Kong office takes the
hot seat and talks to us about her career
and working life at Appleby...
What was your first ever job?
[Jo] My first ever job was as a summer clerk in the insurance department of a local bank, one of my daily duties involved using a typewriter to manually type up invoices!
What did you want to be when you were at school?
[Jo] I wanted to be a Journalist.
What do you love doing in your spare time?
[Jo] If I’m not looking after my three year old son, I’m either reading or Salsa dancing!
When did you join Appleby?
[Jo] I joined Appleby's Hong Kong office in February 2012.
What qualifications/training do you need for your job?
[Jo] I trained to be a Hong Kong solicitor for five years before switching over to offshore practice and have acquired my offshore legal knowledge on-the-job.
What is the most important quality needed in your role?
[Jo] Integrity. To me, Integrity underpins all of Appleby’s values. It means that we do what we say we will do, we keep things confidential when we are supposed to, we treat people fairly and we never waver in our ethical standards. Integrity is all about earning trust and respect with both internal and external stakeholders.
What were your first impressions of the firm?
[Jo] Appleby is a collaborative culture with an open-door policy.
It’s also truly bilingual (English and Chinese) office.
How has the firm supported your development?
[Jo] When I first joined Appleby I was not practising Bermuda law but through a strong team of support from Appleby and with colleagues sharing their knowledge and expertise, I was able to pick up the Bermuda law practice much quicker than anticipated.
In addition, with support from the firm, I have managed to progress quickly from associate to counsel within just four years.
What’s the most exciting/interesting deal you’ve acted on whilst at Appleby and why?
[Jo] There are many interesting cases that I have been in involved with: one was acting for a Chinese land developer to acquire Swiss sports marketing firm, Infront Sports & Media AG. Infront was awarded by FIFA, the exclusive sales rights to broadcast packages of its events from 2015 to 2022, which would include two soccer World Cups. Initially I was surprised to hear that a land developer in China would be interested in the sports entertainment business in Europe, and so I felt honoured to have been a member of the team that made it happen.
Another very interesting case was acting for a food supplier in its spin-off listing in Hong Kong of its animal feed manufacturing operation. The client was and is one of the biggest food suppliers to Tesco supermarkets. Through the power of globalisation – the management is in Thailand, the operation is in China and their animal feed and food products are sold to UK and other parts of around world, including Hong Kong. It gave me a lot of satisfaction when I stumbled across their products in supermarkets after the deal had taken place. I am now a loyal customer to the brand!
When did you become Counsel and how did this feel?
[Jo] I became Counsel in 2015. The role comes with more responsibilities, but at the same time I am working on more transactions and it means more fun! I really enjoy my current practice, and I am proud to be a member of Appleby.
What words of wisdom/advice would you give to anyone considering a career in law?
[Jo] You need excellent problem-solving ability and you be prepared to hit-the-ground running straight away!