PATRICK CHAN SIU-OI, 48 Called 'the nicest man in the courts'. Has been praised as the best possible choice for the post of High Court Chief Judge. Was among the first batch of local law graduates to make his mark in Hong Kong. Graduated from Hong Kong University in 1975 with a postgraduate law degree and was called to the Bar the following year. Left private practice in 1987 to sit as a District Court judge and became a High Court judge in 1992. Has won praise from lawyers for the 'competent and quiet' way he handles his cases and was described by one senior lawyer as the best person to lead the High Court. Was the chairman of the steering committee on the Use of Chinese in the Courts. A devout Catholic. Known for his extensive charity and social work, especially with the Po Leung Kuk. Over the past decade, has served on many welfare agencies on legal and advisory matters. Also lectures in social work at the Chinese University. Well-known for his sense of humour and lecturing skills. Says he has always been aware of the need, as a High Court judge, to remain disinterested. Married to a primary school teacher to whom he was introduced by a friend, and leads a quiet life in southern Hong Kong Island.