Alumni - After Allens
Zhong Lun law firm
This interview was conducted in May 2020.
Admitted in the Peoples' Republic of China (PRC), Hong Kong and Australia, Wayne worked at Allens from 2006–2014 in both Shanghai and Hong Kong. Now dividing his time between the Hong Kong and Guangzhou offices of PRC firm Zhong Lun, Wayne looks back fondly on his time with the Allens team.
Wayne's career story…
After completing my degree and being admitted as a lawyer in the PRC, I studied and worked in Australia for four years. After I was admitted as a solicitor of the NSW Supreme Court in December 2005. I sent my CV to Allens which was my dream place to work. I was fortunate to be invited to meet with Nigel Papi who offered me a job in the Shanghai office. I signed the offer letter without hesitation, sold my furniture and moved to Shanghai in early 2006. The work was focused on Australian companies investing in China, particularly on M&A and corporate/commercial matters. In April 2011 I moved to the Allens Hong Kong office where the focus of my work shifted to China outbound investments.
I'm now a Partner at Zhong Lun and continue to work on China inbound and outbound M&A, cross border financing and energy and resources projects.
A typical day at work involves…
Lots of emails! I spend a lot of my time on business development and talking to my clients. I take team management really seriously, so I spend a lot of my time working with my associates, helping them progress their careers. I also play a role in recruitment.
In my firm of 300+ partners I am the only one who is qualified as an Australian solicitor and has worked in a top tier Australian law firm, so all Australian related matters of the firm are typically referred to me.
The thing that gets me out of bed is…
Creating value for my clients, securing interesting work for my team and watching the growth of my two daughters motivate me every day.
The best advice I have ever been given is . . .
Have confidence in what you know and your ability.
My time at Allens gave me…
Insight into how you treat the people with whom you work. I loved the Allens culture – you weren't just an employee, you were part of a family. It's something I have taken with me. While I may have left Allens, the friendships I gathered there have come with me.
While I was at Allens I also developed an interest in Australian rugby, thanks to many of the Allens lawyers I worked with who were big fans. I was interested in watching the game but never had the courage to actually play.
I'm passionate about…
Spending time with my family, travelling and eating good food. I also try and stay healthy and have been playing golf and going to the gym. As I get older, I'm more conscious that I need to take care of my health.
From my time at Allens, the people I remember most are…
Nigel Papi ,who interviewed me and brought me into the Allens family, and Kate Axup, who was part of the firm's China Group while I was there and provided lots of guidance. Other former partners with whom I worked include David Wenger, Seamus Cornelius, Niranjan Arasaratnam and Campbell Davidson.