Name: Teresa Ko
Position: Chairman, China – Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer
Location: Hong Kong
What was your first-ever job? (prior to becoming a lawyer)
A Saturday job clearing tables in a restaurant in London at 16.
Where did you study? (dates)
University of Westminster and Jesus College, Cambridge.
Where did you train?
Nicholson, Graham and Jones in the City of London.
Have you lived or worked outside your home jurisdiction? What did you learn from it?
I spent four years working in London in the 80s and did stints in Singapore and Tokyo in the early 90s. I remember London was quite slow in those days; Singapore was very humid and I was very happy to live near Roppongi when I was in Japan.
When did you become partner?
What deal/case in your career stands out the most and why?
I enjoyed acting for PetroChina to privatise Jilin Chemical because it was the first three-way privatisation to delist a PRC company from the Hong Kong Stock Exchange, Shanghai Stock Exchange and New York Stock Exchange simultaneously. It involved three different sets of sometime conflicting rules which made it particularly challenging.
What have been your recent deals?
Acting for Alibaba group on its privatisation of Alibaba.com and on the Hong Kong law aspects in connection with its repurchase of part of Yahoo stake, and also advising PepsiCo on its strategic alliance with Tingyi as well as acting for Sunshine Oil – the first Alberta incorporated company and the first oil sands business to list on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange.
What is the biggest challenge facing your market at the moment?
Continued market volatility coupled with increased competition and pricing pressures.
If you hadn’t been a lawyer, what would you have been?
A fashion designer and perhaps a mother of four (I am a mother of two)
Which country do you travel to most frequently and which country do you like the best?
China and the UK. I like both countries as they have different things to offer and the combination offers me balance, and different perspective and ideas.
What is your favourite book?
I can re-read Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austin many times.
What is your favourite restaurant?
Tsui Wah on the Peak!