Pansy Leung Sun-chun: 'I make sure I keep to my diary'

Legal adviser has many different roles

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 07 November, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 07 November, 2012, 3:14pm

Pansy Leung Sun-chun wears many different hats in her career - as a solicitor, as a civil celebrant and as a mediator. "I enjoy all my roles. I am happy to be able to help others," she says.

A typical work day starts at 9.30am or earlier, depending on whether she has to attend a court hearing or meetings, preside over a wedding ceremony, perform her role as a mediator or go to her office in Central.

As a legal adviser to the Hong Kong Breast Cancer Foundation and the Caring for Children Foundation, and a member of the Zonta Club of Hong Kong that seeks to advance the status of women, and a committee member of the Hong Kong University Museum Society, she has to meet with the groups regularly.

"I prioritise my tasks and schedule them in advance. I make sure I keep to my diary," says Leung, who is partner of Pansy Leung Tang & Chua Solicitors. The firm handles conveyancing work, and landlord-tenant and matrimonial cases, among other issues.

She works alone for at least two hours, uninterrupted, every day in order to focus on paperwork. Ploughing through legal documents is part and parcel of her job, as is meeting clients to hear their stories.

"As a solicitor you need to be very patient and meticulous. You also need a high EQ [emotional quotient]. You come across different people and you have to learn to speak their language," she says. Leung finds helping her clients settle thorny issues most satisfying. "Some of them even pay me a visit after all the matters have been resolved."

More often than not, lawyers have to race against time to come up with a feasible business solution for their clients. Over the years, Leung has learned how to reduce stress in the face of intense time pressures through regular exercise, such as running on a treadmill or taking an aerobics class, listening to music and travelling.

Perhaps a tad less stressful than being a solicitor is the role of a civil marriage celebrant. Before the big day, Leung meets with the couple who must sign documents including the notice of intention to proceed with the marriage.

Leung takes the opportunity to find out more about the couple and understand what they want to mention in their vows. "Some couples keep their vows short and simple such as 'Yes, I do' or 'I am willing to marry so-and-so as my husband or wife'.

"Others prefer longer ones so that they can express their feelings more fully. It depends entirely on the individuals, their customs and their religion," she says. Leung writes the vows for each couple, modifying them based on their feedback before the wedding day.

"I enjoy the work as a civil celebrant as I like to see people getting married," she says. "It's always a very touching and memorable occasion." NT