Alumni Spotlight: Wataru Kawai

Name: Wataru Kawai

Current role: Global Compliance Senior Legal Counsel, ByteDance

Years at Hogan Lovells: 8 years (2012 – 2021)

What were your roles at Hogan Lovells?

From Trainee in the London office to Associate and Senior Associate in the Singapore office.

Tell us about your current role.

I manage the APAC / ANZ region for the Global Legal Compliance team at ByteDance.

What is your favorite aspect of working at Bytedance?

The product, the speed, the innovation and the highly complex / multi-disciplinary challenges.

How has your time at Hogan Lovells supported your in-house career?

At Hogan Lovells, I learned how to cultivate a culture of excellence, stay calm under pressure, lead through a crisis and work on the most complex, high-stakes legal issues - all enormously beneficial to my current role.

What determines who you use as external counsel?

Practicality, commerciality and the ability to see round corners. It's not sufficient for outside counsel to be just legal advisors; they need to be excellent all-round strategic advisors too.

What would you tell young or experienced solicitors thinking about a move in-house?

Ply your trade in BigLaw first and get exposed to a variety of work; then choose an industry you are either passionate about and/or an industry you personally see some wider purpose.

If you could describe in one emoji your time at Hogan Lovells, what would you type?

🙏 gratitude for the opportunity to grow as a person and a lawyer, work with some great people and the character-defining experience of various wins and challenges.


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