As part of our commemoration of the firm’s 40 years in Asia-Pacific, we interviewed Constance Choy, the managing partner for the Asia-Pacific region and the senior partner in the Hong Kong office. She is the global leader of our multidisciplinary China Corporate and Finance practice, and a member of Sidley’s Management Committee and Executive Committee.
You have been a lawyer with Sidley since 2000. Do you remember what first lured you to join the firm?
CC: Before I joined Sidley, I had practiced in equity capital markets for about 10 years. Sidley did not have a Hong Kong practice. So, I thought this was a great opportunity for me, particularly given the development of the capital markets in Hong Kong.
Over the course of your career at Sidley, what has been most attractive to you about the work? What intrigues you most about your practice?
CC: My work is really a reflection of the development of Hong Kong. It has given me a front-row seat to witness the evolution of this city from a manufacturing-based economy into an international finance centre.
The firm’s offices worldwide all encompass Sidley’s core culture and values—but each also has unique attributes of its own. What’s distinctive about the Hong Kong office?
CC: The office mirrors the cosmopolitan nature of Hong Kong, which is, of course, an international city. We have colleagues from different countries including Australia, Canada, Malaysia, Singapore and the UK.
In thinking about your more than two decades with the firm in Hong Kong, how has the business landscape changed?
CC: 20 years ago, we were a tiny office. There were about four lawyers here at that time. Eric Ho, a founding partner of the office, and I were the only Hong Kong partners. Not many in the legal community in Hong Kong had heard of Sidley. Flash forward to today. We have over 100 lawyers with broad service offerings. In 2021, we were ranked number one in the IPO market by the number of deals, in the high-yield bond market by deal count and proceeds raised in China and Asia Pacific (ex-Japan), and as the Borrower’s Counsel by loan amount and deal count in Asia (ex-Japan). We are also one of the top three legal advisors in mainland China and Hong Kong by announced M&A deal count.
Looking forward, what would you like the firm to focus on in terms of the work?
CC: I would like to see our culture and platform stay attractive to attract talent. It is important to have an environment that is supportive, where your colleagues are collegial and inspire you to succeed.
What are some of your goals for the Hong Kong office?
CC: I hope that for every case that we take on, the client on the opposite side wishes that they had hired Sidley as their counsel. And for every colleague of ours that leaves Sidley, I hope they always have fond memories of the firm.
When you’re not at work, what do you do for recreation—just for fun?
CC: I play the piano. I also enjoy movies a lot. My favorite movie genres are thrillers and detective mysteries.