I am a lawyer,
writer, teacher and
a strong advocate of mediation as a way of resolving disputes.
Welcome to my blog; no holds barred and all rights reserved.
My journey in the legal profession began in 2001 and has since led me down scenic and diverse paths, from private practice to academia to corporate counselling, across different countries and cultures. I like sharing thoughts and stories from my point of view, both in the written and visual format. I think that makes me a storyteller, but of my own life and experiences, without representing any other individual or entity. (Said I was a lawyer, didn't I?)
As the managing partner of a boutique law firm CJ Liew & Co located in the beautiful city of Kota Kinabalu, I spend most of my working hours creating innovative, legally sound solutions to issues arising from cross-border transactions, or land and construction disputes or corporate-related conundrums. The role seems only vaguely similar to my last one, which was as regional counsel in a US MNC, based in Singapore but both relied heavily on lateral-thinking and problem-solving skills. I couldn't love my job more and I am thankful everyday for the opportunity to do it.
Beyond my day job, I serve on the Board of Directors for the Singapore International Mediation Institute (SIMI), and as Mediator and Adjunct Faculty for the Singapore Mediation Centre, the Fiji Mediation Centre, the Asian International Arbitration Centre (Malaysia), the Hainan International Arbitration Court (China) and the Asia Mediation Centre (the last one located in tropical Sabah!)
You can probably tell I do a lot of talking in my work, and in my non-paid work. Much of that is in the teaching space, in subjects ranging from negotiation, communication and mediation, to legal ethics and values. In a university setting, I have taught International Trade Law, and Contracts, among other esoteric subjects that could lull most people to sleep, but hopefully not when I am teaching them!
I have also had the privilege of working with schools, universities and government bodies in creating motivational programs targeted at the youth population. Being able to speak several Asian languages fluently has been enormously helpful, because it enables me to share with different groups of people and to engage with them in rewarding ways.
I am passionate about connecting with people to bring about new ideas and to influence for change. I am especially interested in contributing to the development of women in leadership roles, particularly in industries or positions not traditionally helmed by women. My current passion-project involves the setting up of the region's first Mobile Mediation Unit to improve access to justice for those living in rural or disadvantaged communities in Borneo. When we do our part to lift others, we can all rise together.
This website was set up to introduce my professional history, past experience, passions and the topics close to my heart. It is constantly evolving so come back and visit from time to time! I hope to insert language options for this space soon, both in Malay and Chinese. If you have a question for me or would like to know more about any of these topics, do drop me a note in the contact link or connect with me through my LinkedIn page. If you want to walk with me visually there's always my Instagram page. Talk soon!