Partner at Wong Partnership LLP and member of the Council of the Law Society of Singapore
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-proile 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].