Arthur Loo and Ken Koo co-founded Loo & Koo in 1995 to cater to a growing New Zealand Chinese community. Even back then the two lawyers had a bigger vision: to be a law firm that would foot it with the best in New Zealand.
From the start, the two founding partners set high standards for the firm to ensure its place in the mainstream of New Zealand’s legal profession. This is reflected in the firm’s extensive level of practice and expertise.
Today Loo & Koo’s original focus on accessibility has evolved from being Chinese-oriented to that of a cornerstone firm philosophy that now applies to and appeals to the wider New Zealand community.
The idea for the firm was seeded over the Christmas New Year holidays in 1995 when Arthur received a phone call from Ken, a former legal colleague with an entrepreneurial flair. Ken was excited and told Arthur the time was right to set up on their own.
Chinese immigration was booming and there was no law firm properly focusing on the needs of these new migrants and the Chinese community in general.
We decided to have a true focus on Asians, understand them, talk to them in their own language and provide some cultural understanding as well.— Arthur Loo
Arthur knew first–hand how important it was to provide this service and why communication is the key to assisting this community. He was working then as a partner with a firm of Queen St lawyers and had built up a large Chinese client base.
He decided to take the entrepreneurial plunge with Ken. The next step was to find suitable premises and from the start the two lawyers thought of the firm’s long term strategy.
They looked around for offices in a central location with good parking facilities. They finally found a floor in an office building in Newmarket that fitted the bill, except it had a floor space of 4,000 square feet.
“It was far too big but we decided to bite the bullet and ended up partitioning part of the floor and sub–letting to the architect who designed our fit–out.”
Their instincts proved sound. Today Loo & Koo operates from its original premises and has expanded to fill the entire floor.
The firm opened its doors with nine staff – four lawyers, a legal executive, two secretaries, a receptionist and an accountant and has since more than doubled its staff. Its turnover has tripled and the firm continues to grow.
“We just grew and not long after we set up we added a Korean liaison officer and a litigation expert to the team,” Arthur says. “Basically our work expanded and later on we brought in younger lawyers to assist with property and business work.”
Ken, ever the entrepreneur, ensured the firm was poised to handle future growth by embracing new technology from the start, investing in setting up an electronic office.
For personal reasons, Ken retired from the partnership in 2001 to relocate to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Ken was anxious that a suitable person replace him in the partnership. He was quick to identify someone who in his view would meet the standards of Loo & Koo and would lead the growth of the firm. Ken identified Fui Loong as the suitable candidate and invited him to replace him in the Partnership.
Today, his replacement, Fui Loong Chan is firmly embedded in the partnership and at the forefront in ensuring the growth and expansion of the firm. Fui Loong brought with him a different discipline and skill set to the Partnership. He receives his early legal training in top national law firms in New Zealand. With his sound experience and broad legal skill set, he is well regarded by other professionals as the lawyer who can handle high level and complex transactions and deliver the result.
Since its establishment, the firm has experienced significant growth as news of the firm’s services has spread, mainly through word–of–mouth. Now, Loo & Koo boasts both a local and international client base. Many of its clients are from other countries including China, Malaysia, Singapore, Australia, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Korea, French Polynesia and other Pacific Islands.