ATTY. KENNETH R. TIU is a promising young trial lawyer. At an early stage of his legal career, he has already exhibited a natural skill for litigation. He is currently a Junior Associate in one of the best litigation firms in the country — CHAVEZ MIRANDA ASEOCHE LAW OFFICE. And although he dedicates most of his time on his legal career, he takes timeout to live a life outside the legal profession. He spends his free time on outdoor sports such as wakeboarding, mountain climbing, sports shooting and football.
This is his story.
CHOOSING THE LEGAL CAREER
Ken Tiu wanted to become a top executive in a big corporation. He took up A.B. Psychology in UP in Visayas Cebu College to further his chances of becoming one. When he graduated, he worked as a customer service representative for a corporation known as Big Foot Global Solutions. He was then the moderator for www.itzamatch.com. A year into this job, he realized that he needed to boost his career. He wanted to take up Masters in Business Administration. However, his dad convinced him otherwise. According to his father, he should become a professional instead. Then, he would be his own boss. He would be in control of his own time.
At least, that’s what his father thought.
Hence, it was a choice between being a doctor or a lawyer. But since he was the sickly type, it was really impractical to spend his entire life around sick people. The legal profession seemed like the best choice. He would be well respected and in control of his own destiny.
Or so he thought.
STARTING HIS LEGAL CAREER
In 2006, Ken Tiu entered law school. He enrolled at the University of San Carlos. There, he became engrossed in his law studies. He also joined the Militis Lex Fraternity and Honor Society. In 2008, he became the Grand Knight of this brotherhood. As such, he organized events and activities that aimed to help law students decide on their future legal paths. He graduated in 2010 and immediately passed the bar.
He was ready for the adventures that the legal profession would bring.
Ken Tiu’s first job was with the law firm of Tiongco Siao and Bello. There, he had his first taste of the litigation world. As a Junior Associate, he experienced his first court hearings, drafted his first pleadings and conducted his first client interviews.
Ken realized that he enjoyed the legal practice. Indeed, he wanted to become a litigator.
THE LAW FIRM OF CHAVEZ MIRANDA ASEOCHE
In 2012, Ken Tiu decided that he wanted a more in-depth feel of litigation. Hence, he applied for a job in one of the best litigation firms in the country — the Law Firm of CHAVEZ MIRANDA ASEOCHE (“CMALaw”). After submitting his resume, he was scheduled for a job interview with a certain trial trendy lawyer.
Since I am the most junior of partners in the firm, I was the one tasked with screening applicants. Ken arrived at my office wearing a dark blue suit and a brushed-up hairstyle. He answered my questions with a pretentious accent. At one point in time, he was suddenly the one conducting the interview and asking me questions about my personal life. My first impression about Ken is that he was one arrogant son-of-a-bitch.
And this was exactly the kind of lawyers we were looking.
Hence, a few days after, Ken started to work as one of CMALaw’s Junior Associates. There, he learned the ins and outs of the legal practice. He was involved in big and controversial cases. He got to meet high-profile clients. He was assigned to resolve complicated legal issues. And, he was mentored by no other than the firm’s renowned Founding Partner, the late great Frank Chavez.
In the three years that he was connected with CMALaw, Ken had evolved from a rookie lawyer into a full-fledged litigator.
LIFE BEYOND THE LAW
The life of a Junior Associate in a litigation firm, especially one as influential as CMALaw, could be very taxing. New lawyers are expected to be on call 24-7. They handle more than fifty active cases at a time. Junior Associates usually end work at midnight, or even beyond. Because of this, most new lawyers forget about life outside the law. Ken Tiu, however, refuses to do so.
Although, he definitely prioritizes his legal career, he makes it a point to live a life outside the legal practice.
Ken discovered wakeboarding when he was in Naga City, Camarines Sur. In CWC, he tried it for the first time. While it usually takes others to graduate from the beginner course to the intermediate one, Ken did it in one day. After a just a few hours of lessons on the basics of wakeboarding, he convinced his instructor to immediately allow him to ride the intermediate course. This one was much faster, much longer and definitely way more difficult than the one for beginners. But Ken Tiu discovered that he had a natural talent for the sport. After that, he bought his own board and spent most his weekends in the wakeboard park in Sta. Rosa Laguna. He had also travelled all over the country and visited the various wakeboard parks in the Philippines.
Today, Ken considers himself as a genuine wakeboarder. In fact, he would be joining his very first wake-boarding competition pretty soon.
JCI MAKATI UNITED
As the leading global network for young active citizens, the Junior Chamber International (“JCI”) or more commonly known as the “Jaycees” is committed to creating development opportunities that empower young people to create positive change.
In 2012, a certain trendy trial lawyer was the recruitment head for JCI’s Makati chapter (“JCI Makati”). Being a Partner in a law firm, I had the right to coerce Junior Associates to participate in my personal endeavors. Hence, I recruited Ken and other CMA lawyers to join JCI Makati.
As a JCI Member, Ken Tiu exhibited a passion for community service. He organized several community service projects and activities. In 2014, he was elected as JCI Makati’s Director for International Relations. Currently, he is group’s Internal Vice-President.
It was also in the JCI that Ken discovered football. In 2013, JCI Makati started a football club called JCI Makati United. Most of the members then had never even touched a soccer ball. But the project chairman and football coach (who also happens to be a lawyer) Atty. Xenon Rapatan, dedicated his time into molding the members into becoming proper football players. Ken Tui, as well as myself, learned how to play. When JCI Makati United joined its first football tournament in 2013, we won 3rd place. In 2014, JCI Makati won 2nd place at the JCI Metro Area Mini Olympics football competition. And partly because of this win, JCI Makati won as the overall champion for that event.
Today, Ken Tiu is one of JCI Makati United’s MVPs. The team had been consistently joining (and winning) football competitions. And Ken is definitely instrumental to all these wins.
Sometimes, the life of a litigator can be very dangerous. Inadvertently, we make enemies. There are some people who blame lawyers for their misery. Thus, most litigators carry firearms.
This was the initial reason why Ken bought a .40 caliber Sig Sauer P229R. However, he soon realized that such a tool for self-defense could also be used for recreation. Hence, he soon enrolled in practical shooting classes. He also joined PPSA accredited shooting competitions. He travelled all over the country just to compete in these contests.
Back in 2012, he joined the JCI Shoot-fest in Legaspi City and won as the 1st Runner-Up in the open category.
LIVING THE LIFE
Aside from all his hobbies enumerated above, Ken Tiu also loves to travel. He spends his free time roaming the country, climbing mountains and exploring caves. He also likes to visit exotic places abroad. He stays fit by going to the gym, boxing and dancing the salsa. Lately, he has embarked on probably his greatest adventure — he is now a father.
With respect to his legal career, Ken Tiu is at that point when choices have to be made and paths have to be set out. He had been practicing law for five years now. And it is at this point in time when anything seems possible. I highly suggest that we keep an eye on this one. For, whatever road he chooses, I am sure that, in the future, we will be seeing great things from ATTY. KENNETH R. TIU.
* Cover photo by Atty. Carlo Ybanez
* For more information on the law firm of Chavez Miranda Aseoche, visit their website at www.cmalaw.ph
* Special thanks to the operators and instructors of CWC for letting me execute my crazy concept of shooting pictures Atty. Ken Tiu wakeboard in a suit