Lawyer Monthly - Legal Awards 2022

Lawyer Monthly Legal Awards 2022 General Counsel at Mercantile & Maritime Tracy Wong IN-HOUSE GENERAL COUNSEL OF THE YEAR When did you first know that you wanted to practice law? I have always been drawn to a career in law. It has been on my radar for as long as I can remember. Growing up, I always wanted to be on the winning team. My mother called me ‘the determined one’ out of my siblings, which sometimes became ‘the argumentative one’. I am sure she would have predicted a career for me in this profession even back then. I put this aspiration into practice when I was 13, enrolling in a US magnet school programme designed for individuals with an interest in a career in law. I embraced the practical aspects of the programme, which gave me exposure to experiences and fresh thinking that I would not have received in the traditional school system. From there, I went on to study Political Science and Business Administration before sitting my LSAT and Law Degree at FIU’s College of Law. The route into this profession is notorious for its intensity, but it set me up well for my career in the industry. How have your skills and practice developed in the past year? Last year we expanded our global footprint into new territories, which was a big milestone for the business. With this growth naturally come some unique challenges, from complex and multi-faceted rules to the intricacies and idiosyncrasies that come with new jurisdictions. As General Counsel in a multijurisdictional group, you have to embrace the challenges that come with change. It is a prerequisite. You also need to be across many things simultaneously, knowing enough to ask the right questions to right people in order to mitigate risk for the company. This is an area where I feel I have grown a lot over the last year. I have been supported on that journey by some exceptional partners: DLA Piper, Schillings, Hill Dickinson, Mischon, HSF, Selvam, Scordis, Papapertou and Paul Hastings. What drives you to achieve success for the people you work with? I joined my current business when we were 35 people working out of a single location. Today the Group has eight offices worldwide and employs over 350 people. While a lot has changed, we still operate in many ways like the fast-paced and entrepreneurial team that I first joined. That modus operandi will always be a big part of our DNA, and is a big driving force and motivator for me. What does this award mean to you? This award is a sign of the growth that we have experienced as a business – both physically and culturally. Personally, it means a lot to have colleagues recognise your contribution and put you forward for awards such as this. Particularly when working in-house as GC, when your work is not front-and-centre and the day-to-day focus of the business, it is easy to underplay your contribution to the business’s milestones. I am very thankful to the team who nominated me for this. 153 SINGAPORE

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