Janie Wong 1997
Janie Wong 1997, recipient of the 2019 Dr. Susan Ditchburn Young Alumna Award, exemplifies the characteristics of an Old Girl who is truly making a difference in the lives of others. At Havergal, Janie attended both as a Day student and a Boarder. She played an active role every year, making sure everyone felt welcome in the Boarding School. In her final year, she was a natural as Boarder Captain. She always had time for others and still does! Her humble nature, generosity and ability to make each one of us feel special are just a few of the qualities that set Janie apart.
After graduating from Havergal, she attended Queen’s University and received a BA in Psychology. During her second year, she attended Herstmonceux Castle in East Sussex, England. She went on to study Business Administration and then Law at the University of Hong Kong. Janie’s interest in the law led her to specialize in the areas of international arbitration, complex commercial litigation and cross-border investigations, with an emphasis on Asia. She has been shortlisted for numerous professional awards, including “Rising Star” in Dispute Resolution (Litigation) at the China Law & Practice Awards in 2015. At Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP in 2016, she was awarded the Talkington Mentoring Award. This award is given annually to honour a lawyer who has made a significant contribution to helping more junior lawyers find success and gratification in the practice of law at the firm.
Co-workers say, “She demonstrates a consistent commitment to promoting ongoing learning and growth among junior lawyers and to motivating and inspiring them.” While at Orrick, she made critical connections and through pro bono work, participated in efforts to help local lawyers set up a national bar in Myanmar and develop Myanmar’s legal framework. She has had the experience of mentoring Myanmar’s lawyers, as opposed to just coming in and setting things up for them. She has also travelled to the country to visit orphanages, and helped to make local connections so that the foreign founders could explore how to set up a non-profit organization locally.
Janie currently practices law with Addleshaw Goddard LLP and chairs the Asia Associate executive. One of her initiatives is to develop for offices in the Asia region a community and social responsibility program that is in line with the global firm’s focus of unlocking young potential. Its initiatives aim to help young people receive access to education, the legal profession and work. This year, Janie has been selected to participate in Flourish, a female lawyer development program. Launched by her firm in 2012, this innovative program addresses the pertinent issue of gender disparity at senior levels. Participants include nominated lawyers at the firm and inhouse lawyers. With this experience, she aims to continue to help drive change in the workplace through contributing to the development of female talent. She also mentors law students at the University of Hong Kong in her spare time.
In addition to her duties at her firm, she is a member of the Law Society of Hong Kong’s Arbitration Committee to promote Hong Kong as a centre for arbitration. This is particularly significant given that Hong Kong offers an ideal platform for resolving disputes relating to China’s Belt and Road Initiative. Always willing to go the extra mile, in 2018 she became a registered Civil Celebrant in Hong Kong to preside over her sister’s civil ceremony! She has since helped legally marry quite a few friends, including one from Havergal.