Mitchel maintains a family tradition

Q&A with Mitchel Chua (BSc Law 2013) who will be starting a new role as a Partner at Gateway Law Corporation in Singapore.

What did you study at Murdoch? What do you do now?  

I studied Law at Murdoch, and I will soon be taking on the role of Director (i.e., Partner) of the Litigation and Intellectual Property Practice Groups at Gateway Law Corporation. 

What do you think is Murdoch’s point of difference compared with other universities?  

I think Murdoch has an uncanny ability to foster its students’ passions.  For example, I wasn’t quite sure which area(s) of Law I was passionate about when I first entered Law school. That all changed when I took my first module on Intellectual Property (“IP”) Law, and I grew to love it more with each lecture. After scoring well in my IP modules, I was encouraged by my professors and various other faculty staff to write my thesis on IP. I think it was because they saw that I was passionate about the subject and encouraged me to take a deeper dive into it. 

Well, the rest is history, as almost 10 years on, a large part of my legal practice and career still revolves around IP. 

What motivates you at work, especially while working on your career progression over the years?

I think I am quite a self-motivated individual. My desire to excel and pursue my passions; that drives me and spurs me forwards.  

However, much of the credit goes to the amazing family, friends and mentors that I have. They energise me when I get exhausted (and that happens a lot in legal practice) and they also remind me to take breaks and time off to celebrate my victories (no matter how big or small). My wish to make them proud also contributed largely to my decision to come back to legal practice. 

What drew you to working in this role?


I think ‘lawyering’ has always been in my blood. I come from a family of lawyers (my dad, and my two older brothers), and I always felt like that was the most natural progression for me in my career. 

When I was a fresh Associate out of law school, I was passionate about handling pro bono criminal cases. The experience of helping my clients, especially those from socio-economically challenging backgrounds, gave me a lot of fulfilment and purpose. Sadly, I have not handled such cases in a while, but I intend to again once I get more settled into my upcoming role as a Director at Gateway. 

What have been some of the big changes in your line of work? 

As I alluded to previously, there was a period where I left legal practice and transitioned into several in-house roles. I wore different hats (Legal Counsel, IP Manager and IP Specialist) in different companies, spanning across a variety of industries like pharmaceuticals, luxury fashion to technology/social media.  

Now, I’ll be re-entering legal practice again at a management level. That to me would have been the biggest change by far. Going from being an individual contributor to a people manager has taught me a lot and instilled in me a desire to be better and lead well. 

What is the best piece of advice you’ve received? 

I have received so many over the years, and I feel that legal practice is one of those industries where everyone knows each other and looks out for one another. I have had amazing mentors over the years, and some, sadly, are no longer with us now. It’s hard for me to pick one piece of advice as being the best – but I think one that I hear often and that is necessary for daily life as a lawyer would be: “Be meticulous; you’ll never go wrong if you show up over-prepared.” 

I think this applies to many facets of life and not just a professional context. 

Who inspires you? 

Hands down, the biggest inspiration to me would be my older brother, Keith. He studied at Murdoch too and was my senior in Law School. He subsequently started his legal career ahead of me, and he then went into the civil service (given our diverging interests in different areas of the law).  

Keith is able to juggle both his career and family pursuits, thanks greatly to his time management skills. He inspires me in both my professional and personal life. He also got me into Brazilian jiu-jitsu and regularly mauls me during sparring (which is expected with him being a brown belt, and me being a purple belt.) 


Posted on:

30 Jan 2023

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