ALB: What kind of work has kept you busy in the past year?
Anthony Oakes: Much of our work last year related to lenders’ re-visiting existing loan transactions e.g. amendments, waivers, extensions, extra security and the like. In 2021, there have been more new money deals and the outlook generally looks more positive but there will almost certainly be large scale restructuring/insolvency work in the sectors impacted most by COVID. We have also seen opportunistic M&A, some of which has been in relation to distressed assets.
ALB: Can you describe one or two recent instances where you went the extra mile for a client?
Oakes: While our work demands are generally not as extreme as for lawyers in international law firms, the same principles of moving transactions forward and keeping to client’s timelines prevail. BVI and Cayman are twelve and thirteen hours respectively behind Hong Kong. That tends to lead to late-night work undertaking urgent searches or filings so that transactions can close the next day, Hong Kong time.
ALB: What principle or motto do you live by when it comes to client service?
Oakes: Early in my career, I was lucky enough to work in-house and received legal advice from a number of leading law firms. In that role, I quickly learnt the value of clear, concise and practical legal advice. That is, advice that is easy to understand and sets out a way forward. Accordingly, I always try to put myself in the shoes of the client. I also attempt to understand not only the question the client is asking but the background and reason for them asking. That way, I can provide a more complete and helpful response.
Partner and Head of Banking and Finance in Asia
11th Floor Central Tower, 28 Queen’s Road Central,
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