From a young age, I was exposed to a business environment. My father ran his own factory manufacturing aluminium containers and lids. I remember helping him outside term-time with basic administration. At 16, I started my own business, buying and selling concert tickets, but what fascinated me was the legal aspect of running a business. This prompted me to study law at A-level. A law degree and the Legal Practice Course at BPP Law followed.
After completing the LPC, I joined a magic circle firm as a paralegal and subsequently qualified with a West End firm in London. Due to my business experience, it was natural for me to specialise in commercial law and dispute resolution. In addition, being of Chinese heritage, I had an interest in overseas inbound investment into the UK which led me to practise business immigration. I specialise in high-net-worth individuals and companies from the far east and south-east Asia investing in England and Wales. The areas of law that I practise allowed me to provide my clients with a full range of legal services from migrating into the UK, through to setting up a business, and to assisting with any disputes that they might encounter.
Within the British Chinese communities, there were no law firms that really specialised in commercial law and dispute resolution. Most of them tended to focus more on immigration and conveyancing law. Based on feedback from our clients and other law firms in the communities, it appeared that there was a demand for a law firm specialising in these areas. As I have always considered myself to be quite entrepreneurial, I set up my own law firm, Jackson & Lyon LLP, with my partner, Jackson Ng, in 2019. Our goal was to provide high-end commercial law, dispute resolution and business immigration services and advice, catered to Chinese communities, family offices, businesses, and investors from Asia.
Setting up a law firm during the best of times is challenging enough but setting one up just months before a worldwide pandemic made things even harder. In fact, just a month before Covid-19 hit China, we were in preliminary discussions with a ‘Red Circle’ Chinese law firm based out of Beijing to serve their clients as a satellite office; that obviously fell away as the world changed.
Being of Chinese heritage, I had an interest in overseas inbound investment into the UK which led me to practise business immigration
From the outset our firm’s focus was to provide our clients with a high-end customer-driven and knowledgeable service. This led to more referrals and an increased reputation both locally and internationally. Our firm prides itself on knowing the English legal system well and having an extensive network of chambers of barristers with which we work closely. More importantly, we are able to overcome and bridge the language and cultural obstacles that come with the nature of our clientele.
Since we set up two and a half years ago, we are now considered to be one of the leading law firms in the British Chinese communities for our areas of work. Our firm is now regularly competing for instructions alongside bigger, more established and traditional law firms in the City.
Due to our firm’s reputation and our specialist area of law, we were also instructed by the appellant to appeal the decision of the Upper Tribunal, Immigration and Asylum Tribunal in the case of R (Wang & Anor) v Secretary of State for the Home Department  EWCA Civ 679. The appellant was one of many granted entry clearance as a Tier 1 (investor) migrant and obtained a loan of £1m for her investment. Her extension was refused by the Home Office, a decision upheld in the Upper Tribunal. Our firm was successful in overturning the Upper Tribunal’s decision in the Court of Appeal which is currently subject to an application for appeal in the Supreme Court.
Throughout my career, I have always been committed to giving back to society, particularly my community. I was previously a volunteer adviser for the Chinese Information and Advice Centre, which assists the Chinese community with a range of services, including legal advice.
I helped Citizens UK on their ‘Say no to gambling’ campaign to prevent further betting shops opening in London’s Chinatown. This is an issue close to my heart, having witnessed how gambling addictions have impacted many within my community. Being part of Jackson & Lyon provides me with a platform to continue providing more pro bono assistance to charities and the vulnerable.