#10QuestionswithMaxwell Interview Series: Mee Foo Moh
We had the opportunity to interview one of Maxwell Chamber’s Board of Directors, Mee Foo Moh. She is a Senior Consultant with the Singapore office of Luther LLP Law Firm. She also sits as nominee director in various European companies.
Mee Foo has significant global legal experience obtained from private and in-house practice, acting for private as well as public listed companies that operate in highly regulated industries operating in Asia, Middle East and Africa. She has also led significant M&A transactions focusing on deal structuring and execution, which included new market entries and country exits. She was the first woman Council Member with the Singapore Institute of Arbitrators and co-founded the Singapore Chartered Institute of Arbitrators. She is an accredited Mediator and an experienced Arbitrator on the panel of various international arbitral institutions.
In this interview, Mee Foo shares one of the most memorable experiences throughout her legal career, the best work-related advice she has ever received, her biggest inspirations and more!
Read her full interview below:
Q: What inspired you to join the legal profession?
A: I never thought that being a lawyer was my calling card. I just thought I’d give it a go and see if it’d be a good fit for me. My career trajectory has been quite serendipitous. I am just so grateful for all the opportunities, because I enjoy my work, really.
Q: Share with us one of your most memorable experiences throughout your legal career.
A: I have worked in the middle of a civil war and had to fly out “mission impossible” style out of the country in question after we had executed some documents over shooting bullets…. (laughs). I can laugh about it now because I live to tell the tale, but the reality was quite harsh. What has been particularly memorable for me was the resilience of people affected personally by the circumstances they are dealt with and their abilities to somehow turn their pain into possibilities. I have travelled to places I never dreamt of going, learned so much and have built a very supportive community. All these experiences have been memorable.
Q: How would you describe your daily routine at work?
A: I am very fortunate that I have a lot of flexibility in terms of how I get things done at the moment, and that I am working with brilliant lawyers in Luther LLP. Working with many companies starting up in Singapore have meant no fixed daily routine. I start early and spend a lot of time on my phone. I miss talking with clients face to face on unplanned issues, the spontaneous learning through seeing up close how people approach their work, and listening to whatever it is that they want to tell me. This was the daily routine I was used to before the pandemic. I am definitely having a big learning experience from working remotely but I do like that it translates to being super organised with my time.
Q: What do you think is the most aspiring aspect of your job?
A: Serving as a trusted advisor to people who pushes me to do better. I am learning all the time – that is aspiring.
Q: What’s the best work-related advice you’ve ever received?
A: You cannot please everyone and no one will remember what you say, but will always remember how you make them feel. But generally speaking, I grew up with a large extended family and I find that what works at home, works well for work too – just surround yourself with people that will push you to do better. Be kind. Have fun and positive energy will automatically gravitate.
Q: Throughout your career, who was (or were) your biggest inspiration(s)?
A: My three elder sisters and in recent years, my daughter.
My sisters and I grew up in an era well before the Me Too movement. You could say that they paved the path for me. They taught me not to be defined by setbacks and to embrace ambition as a positive thing. When I see my daughter now, I see that she has a sense of entitlement in a good way and she expects equality. She understands that the only person who has authority over her identity is her. She is naturally empowered. I am very inspired by that.
Q: What is one major development you are anticipating in the new ADR space?
A: Technology. I am amazed at the pace. We recently discussed what this means for Maxwell Chambers and I am very excited about its plans. I expect that there will be much learning on how we track and maximise value from technology, what the governance around that will look like, how we deal and manage data, and the security around that. The bulk of disputes often result in negotiated settlements and I expect that technology, in particular AI, will eventually be part of this process. ADR users want reduced costs, time efficiencies and more control over disputes and are constantly looking to address these factors. It would not surprise me if technology provides a means for disputants to agree to an AI calculated outcome.
Q: After the pandemic, which country (or countries) would you like to travel to?
A: Anywhere where friends and family are! But my husband’s family is in Germany and I have some assignments there that have been postponed because of the pandemic, so that’s where we will go first. My daughter is also starting college in the UK soon, so it will be good to be part of that journey.
Q: What do you like about Maxwell Chambers? Share with us your favourite corner(s)!
A: I particularly like that there are many quiet corridors and generous spaces linking the hearing rooms, much like pockets of contemplative spaces, which are of course very conducive to the purpose of that place.
Q: Lastly, tell us 3 fun facts about you!
A: I am not sure if these are fun facts but… I am very interested in Climate Action and ESG investment, learning a lot about it from experts and trying to get involved in any capacity. I enjoy watching and supporting performance arts, and always had aspirations to be in a rock band… still have.