Freshfields junior lawyer to compete in Tokyo Olympics

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By Aishah Hussain on

Caroline Chew, 27, is set to become the first Singaporean to compete in equestrian at the Games

Caroline Chew — credit: Equestrian Federation of Singapore/Facebook

A junior lawyer at Freshfields is to compete in the Tokyo Olympic Games this summer.

Caroline Chew, 27, has qualified for the 2020 Olympics following a last-minute withdrawal by New Zealand’s competitor. The lawyer of two years post-qualification experience posted a personal best score of 69.674 at a qualifier in Le Mans, where New Zealand’s replacement was decided, surpassing the 66 needed to qualify.

In doing so, she is set to become the first Singaporean to compete in equestrian at the Olympics.

Chew had been second in line to fill the vacated spot, but Malaysia’s Qabil Ambak, who was the first reserve, finished with a score of 64.

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Speaking to Legal Cheek, Chew said: “Qualifying for the Tokyo Olympic Games feels incredibly surreal — I still haven’t fully processed it.”

Chew, who started riding at the age of six, has competed in a range of tournaments, including at the 2018 World Equestrian Games and the 2014 Asian Games in dressage, and at the 2010 Youth Olympic Games in show jumping.

She read law at Bristol University and went on to train at Freshfields, where she now combines work as an associate specialising in antitrust in the magic circle firm’s London office, with horse-riding.

On how she manages to juggle both careers, she told us: “I’ve balanced competitive horse riding alongside my legal work since I started at Freshfields over four years ago, and this has been singularly the most challenging, as well as fulfilling, endeavour of my life.”

Chew continued:

“Pursuing this dual-career has given me huge opportunities in both spheres, allowing me to develop as a lawyer and (quite unexpectedly!) qualify for an Olympic Games. I’m very grateful to the Freshfields antitrust, competition and trade team for their support.”

Chew told us she intends to take some time off work to travel to Tokyo, focus and prepare for the event, and to “take in the experience as much as possible!”

Tokyo 2020 will be held from 23 July to 8 August 2021 — a year behind schedule owing to the coronavirus pandemic.

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