Lawyer Monthly - April 2022

Coming from a metropolis of more than 20 million people, my first thought on arriving in Regina was: “Where are all the people?” The next day, my sponsor took me for a drive around his “city”. When we stopped at a garage sale, the burly proprietor greeted me kindly in that down-home Saskatchewan manner I will never forget, asking me: “Hey there, where are you from?” I only knew enough English at the time to tell him that I just arrived from Beijing the day before and, recognising the puzzled look he gave me, quickly added, “China”. During this exchange the garage owner also noticed I had my eyes fixed on an old bicycle tucked away in the corner of the garage and asked: “So you like that bicycle?”. When I responded with an enthusiastic “Yes”, he said; “Well then, it’s yours – welcome to Canada.” What initially attracted you to corporate law? After completing my master’s in Sociology, I received a scholarship from the University of Pennsylvania to seek a Sociology PhD. However, my professors convinced me otherwise. Given my Chinese background, English language skills and contacts at home, combined with rapidly increasing Sino-Canadian investment and trade, they suggested it would be more helpful for my career development to stay in Canada and study law. I am glad I followed their advice. After graduating with a Juris Doctor of Law from the University of Windsor, I was immediately hired by a large law firm in Regina. Regina is the Capital City of Saskatchewan, the Canadian Province which is a major exporter to China of mining products (potash), as well as food and agricultural products such as wheat. With no practising lawyers who spoke Mandarin in Regina at that time, I soon became a treasure trove of information for my colleagues and their clients. In return, their connections throughout MY LEGAL LIFE - HONG GUO APR 2022 | WWW.LAWYER-MONTHLY.COM 33 Saskatchewan provided me with a vast array of professional opportunities and the benefits of an entirely new business network. As a result, I gained specialised legal expertise in corporate law, including a myriad of business and real estate transactions such as intellectual property, branding, M&A and export trade. But despite many new friends and colleagues throughout Eastern Canada, I decided to move west. Combined with Chinese immigration opportunities facilitated by the BC Busines Immigration Program (“BCPNP”), the increasing trade between China and Canada began pulling me towards Canada’s Pacific Rim Province of British Columbia. It was time to take my career to another level in Vancouver. Located on Canada’s west coast, I foresaw niche possibilities to build transPacific links focused on the economic and cultural exchanges between Canada and China and opportunities to provide legal services which were not addressing the needs of many Chinese-Canadian clients. I was absolutely right about the need to develop cross-cultural understanding

RkJQdWJsaXNoZXIy Mjk3Mzkz