Asni Che Abd. Aziz

Tell us a bit about your background?
I initially grew up in Kota Bharu, Kelantan and later, at a tender age of 13, attended Tunku Kurshiah College, a secondary boarding school in Seremban, Negeri Sembilan. I graduated from International Islamic University Malaysia with a Bachelor of Laws, followed by a Postgraduate Diploma in Syariah and Legal Practice and consequently, a Master of Laws (Business) from the same institution. In 2015, I moved to London for about a year to pursue my second Master of Law at The London School of Economics & Political Science. I returned to Malaysia for approximately 5 years and migrated to the United Kingdom again in 2021. I am currently based in Newcastle upon Tyne. I have just started my doctoral studies (Ph.D. Law) at Durham University in January 2023 and I am also in the midst of working towards gaining a dual qualification as a solicitor in England & Wales.

Overall, I have approximately 17 years of PQE with a broad range of experience as an in-house legal counsel in multiple industries, ranging from telecommunication, broadcast and media, information & communication technology, tech-hub enabler, airport management, oil & gas to engineering. My professional credentials also include my experience as a corporate practicing lawyer with AzmiLaw and a brief stint with a regulatory body, Bursa Malaysia.

What was your proudest moment or greatest achievement while at AzmiLaw?
As a young lawyer then, I was very fortunate to have been given valuable opportunities to undertake domestic and cross-border transactions as well as to manage people at various levels including board of directors, top management, stakeholders, lawyers, regulators, financiers and clients from local and abroad. However, if I were to pick one, my proudest moment would be when I had the privilege of giving back to my state, Kelantan by rendering legal services to several government agencies and authorities such as Perbadanan Menteri Besar Kelantan and Air Kelantan.

Describe your present job and position in more detail.
I am currently working for WSP in the UK as Commercial Advisor (UK Legal Team), based in Newcastle. WSP in the UK is a leading engineering professional services consulting firm which supports significant projects in both the built and natural environments and serves public and private sector clients in transportation and infrastructure, property and buildings, environment services, water, energy and industry as well as strategic advisory offering.

What aspect of your current job do you like the most?
I love the nature/subject matter of assignments/work, learning curve, time flexibility, hybrid working approach, empowerment and support that it offers.

How has your time at AzmiLaw benefited your professional life?
In addition to a good education, I strongly believe that a solid foundation and right mentor(s) are essential in building a successful career. Again, I was lucky to kick-start my legal profession by doing pupillage at AzmiLaw under direct supervision of Dato’ Azmi Mohd Ali, the Senior Partner. At AzmiLaw, I was not burdened with administrative or clerical duties but was trained as a proper lawyer from the beginning – the quality and volumes of work given, the trainings provided, the knowledge/skills shared by the senior lawyers and the work ethics/values instilled by the firm had all laid strong fundamentals for me to advance further in this field.

Why do you believe it’s crucial for AzmiLaw alumni to be a part of the network?
It would be very important for AzmiLaw alumni to be part of the network as it offers opportunities for knowledge/idea/information sharing, career building, business connections and long-lasting personal relationships.

What advice would you give others about the value of being part of an alumni network?
Michelle Obama, in her book, Becoming said this, “I’ve been lucky enough now in my life to meet all sorts of extraordinary and accomplished people – world leaders, inventors, musicians, astronauts, athletes, professors, entrepreneurs, artists and writers, pioneering doctors and researchers. Some (though not enough) of them are women. Some (though not enough) are black or of color. Some were born poor or have lives that too many of us would appear to have been unfairly heaped with adversity, and yet still they seem to operate as if they’ve had every advantage in the world. What I’ve learned is this: All of them have had doubters. Some continue to have roaring, stadium-sized collection of critics and naysayers who will shout I told you so at every little misstep or mistake. The noise doesn’t go away, but the most successful people I know have figured out how to live with it, to lean on the people who believe in them, and to push onward with their goals.”  So I believe that this alumni network would be the perfect circle for us to lean in, be it for personal development or professional growth.

How do you contribute to creating a better workplace?
I contribute to creating a better workplace by exercising kindness and empathy. Too often we underestimate the power of these values!

What do you want to be remembered for? Is there some sort of legacy you want to leave?
Have you ever watched Legally Blonde and its sequel, Legally Blonde 2: Red, White & Blonde? If yes, you would be familiar with Elle Woods, the main character of the films, which was successfully portrayed by a brilliant American actress, Reese Witherspoon. Elle Woods is a member of a sorority, an informal female network or sisterhood whose purpose, amongst others, are to find intellectual and social companionship among each other. Legally Blonde ultimately centered around female friendship, from Delta Nu to Neptune’s Beauty Nook, the movies illustrate how magical and positive women’s presence and the bond of sisterhood can be. I personally share the same view. Growing up, I spent approximately 11 years in all girls schools, from I was 7 years old up until 17 years old. Therefore, this cause of female empowerment is very dear to my heart. What’s more, I now have two daughters myself. As such, I would like to continue contributing to women and society as a whole, especially in Malaysia, by consistently advocating for women empowerment through my legal expertise or otherwise.