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  • Peter Kam Fai Cheung SBS

A Professional Way

I was called to the Hong Kong Bar today 33 years ago. Mr Joe Duffy, the then Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) was moving me, relaying my story that I began working earning HK$6 a day as a hotel waiter. Among those in support was Mr Jeremy Mathews who in 1988 became the last Attorney General of Hong Kong.

I was one of the few serving civil servants who were screened in under a Government Legal Scholarship Scheme and admitted by the Law School to read LLB and PCLL in Hong Kong. Upon graduation, we were under a performance bond to work for the Government for five years. DPP bet:"All of you will leave Government within five years."

While his predictive inference was based on similar fact evidence, I took it to heart. In 1986, I won the Foreign Office Scholarship which supported me fully to read my LLM at University College London. I was happy to sign another three-year performance bond to be served consecutively - setting a civil service precedent on reasonable restraint of trade!

Having discharged my obligations, I continued working as a Government lawyer until I reached the retirement age. Coincidentally, today is also the last day of my first-year private practice at the Bar. Through experiential learning, I have become conversant with practice and procedures again, optimizing value for my clients in a professional way!

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