Dean Collins, managing partner at Dechert (Singapore), One George Street, One George Street, talks about what motivates him and makes his work exciting.

Photo: Dechert (Singapore)

I love seeing my junior colleagues develop into highly accomplished lawyers.”

1.  I came to Asia 11 years ago to join a law firm that did not have an established client base in my area of expertise, private equity fund formation. Since then, with the help of many talented colleagues, I have helped build what is regarded as a leading practice in the wider Asia-Pacific region — an achievement of which I’m very proud.

2.  People often think the work we do is dry and involves focusing on boring regulations. While this may be true to some extent, it is only a small part of what we do. In fact, we get to work on fun, high octane deals involving negotiations with multiple parties from across the globe.

3. To me, being a leader is about setting the direction but leaving the details to others. Even our most junior lawyers get to work directly with our partners and interact with clients. I try to empower them to do as much as they can to contribute to producing exceptional results for our clients. 

4. I believe in mentoring my younger colleagues to enable them to make the most of their talents. When our clients compliment them, it’s a great indicator that I must be doing something right.

5. I would tell someone starting out in an international law firm to treat the opportunity as a sponge. Take in all that you can and use it to boost your learning.