Fern Choo is a corporate and commercial lawyer who advises clients on corporate structuring, commercialisation, and market expansion. She joined mdp Law in February 2019.
What made you choose a career in law?
The law is so intertwined with everyday life, which piqued my interest in understanding how the law works and is applied. My favourite part about working in law is problem-solving and crafting practical advice for clients, and of course, no two scenarios and clients are the same, so there will always be a need to consider how to adapt the advice to each client.
What is the most memorable case you have been involved in?
I was involved in a few company restructures in the past year. These matters can often take a few months to complete, and they usually involve various responsibilities in addition to providing legal advice, such as strategic planning and project management. It requires a more rounded approach to advising on a legal matter which is always interesting.
What is your favourite part of working at mdp Law?
We have been working at a co-working space twice a week and from home three days a week. This flexibility works well for us and allows us to collaborate in-person on ‘office’ days and focus on work that requires deep concentration on ‘work from home’ days. At smaller firms like mdp, everyone plays an important role. You feel like you are very much part of the team, your feedback is valued, and you contribute to shaping the firm’s culture.
What has been your proudest accomplishment in the last year or so?
A personal accomplishment of mine in the last year was picking up a new fitness hobby of jump rope tricks. Jump rope tricks require quite a bit of mental focus and a good sense of rhythm and coordination. Learning a new trick can take some time and can certainly be frustrating, but it is very rewarding once everything clicks.
Describe the biggest lesson you learned in the past year and what advice you can give colleagues about it?
Own your mistakes and learn from them. Everyone makes mistakes; we are only human. Being open to admitting that you have made a mistake and taking responsibility for it is, in my view, an important trait, especially when working in a small team. Working closely with team members who share this approach makes it easier to work towards a solution and mitigate any damage.
What was the biggest success or challenge you faced amid the pandemic?
A challenge that turned into a success was planning a wedding in between lockdowns. Our original plan for an overseas wedding with family was called off and, after several unsuccessful attempts and postponements, we decided to have a micro wedding. So, we got married in Melbourne and celebrated with an intimate lunch together with just a handful of friends, and it was a lot of fun! It almost made me forget how stressful the lead up to the day was as there was always a risk that a lockdown could be announced at a moment’s notice. Another lockdown was implemented two weeks after our wedding day, so we were lucky we made it.
What are you looking forward to the most in the coming year?
If all goes well, I am looking forward to spending some time with family overseas after what has been a completely virtual two years of seeing them on a small screen!
Staff Profile Fern Choo
— Read on www.mdplaw.com.au/insights-publications/profile-fern-choo