Pacific Personalities - Elsa Freitas
Managing Associate, Wong Alliance
What is something that surprised you about practising in the Pacific?
The diversity of legal matters that come to your table and the different cultures you come across!
If you could travel back in time and observe any legal trial or event, which one would you choose and why?
My legal background is European civil law, so although the USA would have many interesting and famous legal contemporary trials, the whole procedural aspect and even applicable legislation would differ from my legal background. For this reason, I would probably choose a historic European figure such as Joan of Arc from the XV century where in her public trial she defended herself against what was mostly religious and political accusations at the time. That would be interesting to watch!
What made you pursue a career in law?
I always knew I wanted a career in law, since I was a child. If you ask me why, I was maybe influenced by my Dad who always had good lawyers and would always have good experiences and results from them. I guess what I felt as a child was that they solved problems and made my Dad happy, so I wanted to be like that! If you ask me if I have achieved that in my career, I will say yes. Our Wong Alliance Timor-Leste office has put a smile on many client's faces and I guess that is the best part of this profession, when you know your hard work has made your client happy.
How do you stay current with legal developments and changes in the Pacific?
It is important to keep up with what goes on in the Pacific, as it does affect this little island nation of Timor-Leste, in many ways, as we recently realized with the Covid-19 pandemic. Our Timor-Leste Wong Alliance office is closely connected with the Wong Alliance Singapore office, which provides us support in staying current with developments and changes in the region.
If you were a superhero, what would your superpower be and how would you use it in your legal work?
I would love to have a magic wand that would create in a very clear and simple way, all missing legislation, and regulations in the Timorese young legal system, allowing it to function fully and efficiently!
What is your favourite way to unwind/relax or favourite leisure activity?
To unwind I will do the laziest thing ever…..go for an 1h30 Balinese massage. I also like to travel whenever I have time and love decoration…my home will normally have its furniture re-arranged in times of stress!
What is your favourite bar or restaurant?
Right now, my favourite bars are located on the Atlantic seaside on Madeira Island (where my family lives) where we can have the most amazing local regional cocktails (called Nikita and Poncha) while watching the sunset on the horizon.