"I’m often asked why I have stayed with one firm for so long. Reflecting back, in the early days it was in large part due to Bob Shelston. He was an extraordinary mentor who taught me a lot about work ethics and client service. He even gave me away at my wedding."
I arrived in Australia from Hong Kong on 5 February 1975 and started working at Shelston IP (then known as Shelston Waters) on 24 February 1975.
When I started the firm only employed 30 people. I joined as Personal Assistant to the senior Partner, Robert C Shelston. I worked for Bob for five years before being promoted to manage the patent administration department. In effect, I became a paralegal, leading a team of six or seven support staff, and responsible for filing, policing and prosecution of all Australian and foreign patent and design lodgements.
In 2001 the firm, recognising how much knowledge I had about local and foreign processes, asked me to implement and customise a case management system. That system, Inprotech, is widely used in the IP industry, and the way we have adapted it to our needs is a distinguishing feature of Shelston IP.
My current role is very challenging because I have to keep abreast of intellectual property legislation – locally and around the world. Whenever something changes I have to update our system.
I’m often asked why I have stayed with one firm for so long. Reflecting back, in the early days it was in large part due to Bob Shelston. He was an extraordinary mentor who taught me a lot about work ethics and client service. He even gave me away at my wedding.
For the most part I’ve learned on the job but over the years I’ve also formalised my qualifications. In 2004 I completed the Graduate Certificate in Trade Mark Law and Practice through the University of Technology Sydney. I’m very happy in my role looking after the system and for as long as I can make a contribution, I’ll keep working here.