Five minutes with… Veronica Siow

Veronica Siow, partner at Allens, tells Australasian Lawyer why her mum’s place is the best place in town to eat.

Five minutes with… Veronica Siow
Veronica Siow, partner at Allens, tells Australasian Lawyer why her mum’s place is the best place in town to eat.

What made you decide to become a lawyer? 
I grew up wanting to be a doctor or a nurse, but was terrible at science subjects.  When I was in high school, I participated in the inter-school mock trials competition and it was the coach of our team who first suggested that I might enjoy a career in law. Since I enjoyed reading, economics and history, and was a fan of the tv show, LA Law, I thought I'd give law a go.

How long have you worked at Allens, and what brought you to this position?
15 years and sheer hard work.

What’s the strangest case you’ve ever worked on/been involved with?
Terminating the employment of a senior executive in Thailand, who had a personal arsenal of firearms in the office. It was pretty intense with the police on standby but fortunately for all, proceeded without incident.

If you could invite three people for dinner, dead or alive and excluding family and friends, who would they be and why? 
Roland Griffiths-Marsh (author of "I was only Sixteen").  He was a great Australian story-teller, an unsung hero and had such an interesting life.
Lee Kwan Yew – I think it would be interesting to hear his perspectives on leadership, courage and conviction.
Stana Katic (of Castle fame).  She would add a lot of style and if her stories of what she eats on her travels are anything to go by, she would be brave enough to eat the meal I prepare.

You’re based in Sydney – where’s the best place to go for a drink and/or dinner after work?
My mum's – she makes the best bowl of laksa in town.

What’s the best advice you’ve ever been given (work or personal)?
Be true to yourself, play to your strengths and be prepared to work hard.

Do you have any hobbies/interests outside of work?
Would spending time with family and friends count as a hobby/interest? That's my favourite use of my leisure time.
I love all things related to food – discovering greasy-spoons serving up great, authentic ethnic food, cooking, learning new recipes, shopping for ingredients and kitchen utensils… you get the idea.
I also love to travel (especially to visit family and friends, and if it involves great food).
I am told by family and friends that I am a shopaholic – which I deny of course.

Complete this sentence: If I wasn’t a lawyer, I would be…
A food or hotel critic/reviewer.

What do you think will be single biggest issue facing the employment space in Australia in 2015?
The Productivity Commission's report and the Intergenerational Report put significant focus on the need to drive initiatives that increase productivity, in particular to encourage employers to employ/retain mature age workers in the workforce. 

If you had Tony Abbott’s job for one day, what would you do?
It's an unenviable job.  I think the temptation to declare a public holiday would be difficult to resist. 

What do you love about your job?
I am very fortunate – I have lovely clients, the people I work with are great (in particular my fabulous team) and I enjoy partnering closely with my clients to develop strategies that result in engaged and productive workforces.

What would you change about your job right now if you could? 
Not much – I am pretty happy with my lot right now!

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