Work for a legal counsel involves a lot of time and scrupulous attention to detail, according to Andrew Kwong, director of legal services, express and logistics for Greater China at DHL DHL, a subsidiary of Deutsche Post, runs three business divisions in Asia-Pacific - express, freight forwarding and supply chain. My role is to provide proactive legal and strategic advice, and support to the leadership teams of the three divisions in Greater China on mergers and acquisitions (M&As) and business development opportunities. For large M&As and special projects, I am the 'go to person' for engaging and managing legal and financial advisers in identifying and negotiating with M&A targets. We have dedicated staff engaged in government affairs, so I am often involved in building strategic partnerships with regulators of our industry and the state-owned Asset Supervision and Administration Commission, which regulates the top state-owned companies in China, including our joint-venture partner there. I also perform the role of what we call the regional lead counsel for global customers, and manage the overall legal risk position by ensuring our global and regional framework agreements reflect best practice. As the director of legal services for Greater China, with a team of 17 lawyers, a key mandate is to provide commercially oriented and service focused leadership and development to the team. Last but not least I need to ensure the internal and external resources of the legal team are aligned and organised to most effectively meet the needs of the company. Advising my business partners on initiatives under the backdrop of a rapidly changing regulatory environment in China can be quite a challenge. Often these new regulations have yet to be officially tested, leaving much room for government discretion. The challenge is to balance the needs of my business partner based on sound legal advice before investing millions of dollars in a particular project under the conditions of sometimes less than clear-cut laws and regulations in China. The mainland is an important part of the global strategy of any multinational company. Deutsche Post is a large organisation employing 520,000 people worldwide. I have been fortunate to have opportunities to work for the company and learn from our global management team about various China projects. I had a tough boss when I was in private practice, which required me to be 100 per cent switched on instead of just cruising. That experience drove home the meaning of complete attention to detail, which is a key attribute of being a good lawyer. Like anything in life, you need to be reasonably interested in something you are good at. People interested in making legal counsel as their profession should talk to lawyers and legal practitioners and, if possible, get some work experience in a law firm or at chambers of barristers. My view is that law is a useful degree to have because it trains a disciplined mind and instils a degree of objectivity in your analytical ability, even if you end up choosing another career path. People in the legal field work hard. It is not unusual for top law firms to ask their associates for 2,000 billable hours per year. That would mean you would be tied to your desk or at meetings eight hours per day, 52 weeks per year, so there are many personal sacrifices. Organisational cultures focus increasingly on teamwork so a high level of emotional intelligence will make you a strong collaborator. These attributes will help you build and manage broad-based business relationships, influence peers and colleagues, and contain and resolve conflicts internally and externally.