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Partner Profile: Sandy Mak

Partner Profile: Sandy Mak

Every week we ask a law firm partner a series of rapid-fire questions about their career. This week: Corrs Chambers Westgarth's Sandy Mak.

Which firm are you with? 

Corrs Chambers Westgarth.

When did you join that firm? 

September 2008.

When were you made a partner of that firm? 

September 2008.

Which firm were you at most recently prior to this? 

Prior to Corrs I was at Freehills and before that I spent six years at Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer in London and Hong Kong.

What practice group are you with? 

I am a partner in the corporate advisory group, specialising in M&A and capital markets work.

What has been the most significant change to your practice area during your career? 

The technological advancements that have changed the pace at which we do deals. But this isn’t specific to just M&A – it applies to the legal profession generally. Email, BlackBerries, telephone and video-conferencing facilities combined with a huge spike in cross-border transactions have transformed the legal landscape and turnaround times. 

What has been a major career highlight for you? 

My first major victory in a contested takeover. It was for a relatively small deal that would not have been of particular significance to the market, but for me (and the client) it was a tremendous achievement. I was on a high for weeks! 

What do you like about being a lawyer? 

I have always enjoyed solving legal problems. However, what I love most about this job is the team and firm that I work with.  It is the most humbling experience to work with such a wonderful, supportive bunch of individuals who (together with my family) are the reason that I can do what I do.

What do you find challenging? 

As chair of the Diversity Council of Corrs, I think the most challenging issue facing the legal profession today is finding ways to provide our staff with flexibility in their working arrangements, an engaging and fulfilling career, and providing our clients with world-class service that meets their needs.  As a firm, it is something we strive to do on a daily basis and we’re very proud of the achievements we’ve had so far, but we recognise there is still a lot more to do.

What do you enjoy doing when you are not working? 

Spending time with my family. At the behest of my two children (soon to be three) I spend a lot of time pretending to be a dinosaur/ Thomas the Tank Engine/ Cinderella, and I am a guest at a never-ending stream of tea parties.

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