Part­ner at Wong Part­ner­ship LLP and mem­ber of the Coun­cil of the Law So­ci­ety of Sin­ga­pore

CLEO (Singapore) - - BEAUTY -

Sim­ran is a Part­ner in the Spe­cial­ist & Pri­vate Client Dis­putes Prac­tice and the Crime: Lit­i­ga­tion, In­ves­ti­ga­tion & Pros­e­cu­tion Prac­tice at Wong Part­ner­ship LLP. Her main ar­eas of work in­clude high-proile white col­lar fraud and inan­cial crime mat­ters.

When did you de­cide this was the ca­reer for you?

I’ve al­ways liked writ­ing, lan­guage, logic and anal­y­sis, and prac­tic­ing law rolls all of those into one con­ve­nient pack­age. I knew this was the ca­reer for me when on Sun­day evenings, as my friends com­plained about the week­end end­ing, I was in­stead look­ing for­ward to what the new work week might bring. The only thing I’ve never looked for­ward to on Mon­day morn­ings is the traf­fic!

Did you ever doubt your­self in your job?

I started out work­ing as a crim­i­nal pros­e­cu­tor at the At­tor­ney-Gen­eral’s Cham­bers, and I found a lot of mean­ing in the work I did there. Af­ter about ive years, I left to join a pri­vate law irm to get ex­po­sure to dif­fer­ent kinds of le­gal work.

While I en­joyed the work, I spent the irst cou­ple of years won­der­ing if I should re­turn to the pub­lic sec­tor as I missed be­ing able to di­rectly give back to so­ci­ety. One of my col­leagues then sug­gested I vol­un­teer at the Law So­ci­ety (re­spon­si­ble for pro bono ini­tia­tives for the pub­lic, and the in­ter­ests of lawyers). So in 2010, I ran for elec­tions to join the Coun­cil, and I’ve served on it ever since. I haven’t had a sin­gle thought about leav­ing pri­vate prac­tice since then.

What ad­vice would you give young women who might find be­ing in a male-dom­i­nated in­dus­try chal­leng­ing?

Within the irst few weeks of start­ing work, I was leav­ing the court build­ing when a se­nior lawyer ap­proached me to say hello, as I was the new kid on the block. He asked why I – a woman – had cho­sen to be­come a crim­i­nal lit­i­ga­tor. He told me I prob­a­bly wouldn’t suc­ceed as it was largely a man’s world, and sug­gested I try other ar­eas of law. Although this conversation ini­tially caused me some con­cern, I put it out of my mind and kept on do­ing what in­ter­ested me.

Some 15 years later, I’m one of the few fe­male white-col­lar crim­i­nal de­fence lawyers in Sin­ga­pore. So this just goes to show that if you stick with what you en­joy and not let oth­ers dis­cour­age you, you [can ind suc­cess].

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