Meet a Committee member: Hanh Nguyen, member of the Finance and Risk Committee

What is your career background?

My parents were Vietnamese boat people/refugees and landed in Australia a month and a half before I was born. Whilst they spoke no English, they always worked hard to ensure my older brother and I had a good education. For my part, that resulted in me getting my commerce and law double degree from the University of Sydney and ultimately qualifying as a lawyer in a boutique law firm in the city.

After a few years as a commercial litigator, I swapped sunny Sydney for English winters and moved to London at the end of 2007, which fortuitously coincided with the global financial crisis. I landed a solicitor role at Salans and was thrown to the deep end doing both contentious and non-contentious insolvency work. Having enjoyed rescuing businesses and jobs, and pursuing the likes of rogue/delinquent directors, I continued to broaden my experience and joined Speechly Bircham.

Suffice to say 13 years on I have not quite made it back to sunny Sydney but I am now fortunate enough to be a Partner at Charles Russell Speechlys working with colleagues and clients on interesting and complex restructuring and insolvency matters.

How did you join the Finance and Risk Committee?

Having worked for ten years in the insolvency community, I was keen to get more involved with the regulator and understand how the regulator worked. I was given an opportunity to join and participate in the Committee, then known as the “Finance and General Management Committee”, which was a great place to do just that, and that was four years ago.

What is the value to you of being on this Committee?

Within insolvency we are in the unique position of having a voice in how the regulator is run and its strategic direction to ensure that it is achieving its objectives. Sitting on the Committee has given me the opportunity to see the challenges that the regulator faces on a day-to-day basis and what can be done in order to overcome such challenges. It also provides a unique insight into the running of the organisation.

Serving on the Committee has also enabled me to have a much broader knowledge of the various aspects of insolvency and its stakeholders. I have learnt a lot from those I have served with about areas of insolvency previously outside my expertise.

If you weren’t a Partner at Charles Russell Speechlys, what would you be doing?

I always enjoyed working in the hospitality industry and meeting people from all different walks of life, so if I wasn’t a Partner, I would run my own little café or a small bed and breakfast, preferably close to the sea. I’ve always been attracted to Italy although I don’t speak the language and haven’t factored in Brexit, so it looks like, if that dream ever comes to fruition, it is more likely to be Whitstable (as nothing beats fresh oysters).