May 2021 | Lisa Zhou | Allens

May 2021 | Lisa Zhou | Managing Associate, Allens  


The best advice I have received from a mentor is...

Come to work not just to work, but take every opportunity to get out from behind the computer screen and build relationships. As a result of that advice, I've formed many networks and friendships over the years at Allens and with clients. This has been essential to success on transactions, building connections with clients and the continuing personal satisfaction that I get out of practising law and being part of the firm's community.

What I love about practising law is...

As a banking and finance lawyer, I am often asked "what is market?" The interesting and unique transactions that I've been involved in at Allens have provided the immensely enjoyable opportunity to play a pivotal role in answering that question.

Many of those transactions have shaped the market and frequently involved assisting clients with bespoke transaction structuring and negotiation strategies. From that experience, I have appreciated gaining both legal and commercial insights across a range of specialisation areas such as renewables, infrastructure, real estate and corporate finance.

As part of those insights, it has also been enjoyable to learn about the nuances of different projects such as the logistical considerations for building and financing a submarine cable network!

A career highlight has been..

Recently marking my 13th anniversary at Allens which is a great highlight on its own!

During that time, there have been many other highlights. One transaction that stands out was being part of the Allens team who advised the financier group on a landmark renewables financing of a portfolio of the Whitsunday, Gannawarra and Hamilton solar farms in Queensland.

At that time, the transaction was market leading in many respects, including the debt and offtake structure. The deal provided an invaluable opportunity to work with the financiers and sponsors to navigate and solve for unique and challenging issues. Through that process, a significant contribution was made to the renewables landscape and market precedent for a number of transactions that followed.

To me, leadership means..

Growth as a person as well as inspiring and supporting growth in others. Being genuine is one of the most important guiding principles for my own leadership style. That has been key to using my experience, ability and personality to create the best impact in any situation as an effective leader.

Leadership also means never backing down from tackling complex issues and not being afraid to put forward innovative ideas and solutions.

Finally, I see leadership as teaming up with my colleagues and contributing to the firm's role as one of the leaders in the legal and business community, and as part of that, supporting and bringing through the next generation of senior lawyers.