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our alumni

Xia Li | Counsel, Carey Olsen

  • LPC, The University of Law 2006-2007
  • BA Hons Law, University of Cambridge 2003-2006
  • Counsel, Carey Olsen
  • Senior Associate, Walkers, 2018-2021
  • Senior Associate, Dechert LLP, 2017-2018
  • Associate, Debevoise & Plimpton LLP, 2012-2017


ULaw alumna Xia Li studied the LPC with us and has gone on to become counsel at offshore law firm Carey Olsen. We caught up with Xia to discuss her career progression and how her time with us set her up for success.

I joined The University of Law after I was offered a training contract with Allen & Overy. At the time, they had arranged for a bespoke Legal Practice Course (LPC) at ULaw for its trainees, focusing on commercial and financial areas of law.

ULaw offers courses that are commercial and pragmatic, which is very useful for those going into commercial law firms, because it provides a good foundation of knowledge and skills.

I have always loved the humanities subjects, such as history, sociology and literature, so choosing law as a career was a logical step, since it involves many similar skills, such as reading, analysis and evaluation of situations.

I am currently counsel at the Hong Kong office of the offshore law firm, Carey Olsen, which advises on the laws of offshore jurisdictions such as the Cayman Islands, BVI, Bermuda, Jersey and Guernsey. The work I do includes litigation work, e.g., for companies, shareholders and directors, restructuring advice for corporates and a wide range of legal advice to individuals and families, including trusts and estates planning.

After my training contract with Allen & Overy in London, which I was offered when I was still studying at university, I went on to work in many places around the world, including in Beijing, Singapore, Hong Kong, New York, the Cayman Islands and BVI. I joined my current law firm because I had already been working in the Caribbean, advising on offshore law matters.

Many people inspired me during my studies – I have been fortunate to have been mentored by many individuals who have been helpful, welcoming and generous with their time and knowledge.

I am proud of an accumulation of moments spanning my career rather than a single event. Over the years, I am grateful to have had the opportunity to work in many places, become qualified to advise in various jurisdictions, work on complex and interesting litigations, arbitrations and investigations, and gain many valuable experiences.

In the next few years in my field, I’m expecting developments in financial services and technology, such as cryptocurrency and fintech that may trigger updates to legislation and developments to case law, as well as the way that legal tools are used. I think we will also increasingly see legal matters that span multiple jurisdictions and involve a greater level of complexity.

If you are keen to work at Carey Olsen see if you enjoy working in a law firm and, if so, think about whether practising offshore law would be of particular interest. One of the perks about advising on offshore law matters is the possibility of working in the Caribbean, such as in the Cayman Islands, BVI or Bermuda. Some of the skills you will need are curiosity, perseverance and a positive attitude.

If I could go back and talk to my eighteen-year-old self, I’d say go for it and don't look back.


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