By Elisabeth Dumais

With the burning desire to have an international career, Elisabeth Dumais, born and raised in Canada’s countryside didn’t allow having limited international exposure stop her from other opportunities.  Together with her life partner – Samuel Harvey, Director of Business Development of HLG office in the Philippines; they flew to take a chance on continuing education, after receiving a full scholarship award to study in China; mandarin and international law. With great opportunities on their lap,  she and her partner worked at developing the firm’s international presence and set up the office in the Philippines. 

Elisabeth is the Director of Operations and has seen great potential for the startups arena. 

Today, we welcome Elisabeth Dumais to The After Six Club’s Ambitious Tribe. Read on and how reliability, trust and integrity built their law firm internationally.

Elisabeth shared that since they moved in Asia; through the initial struggles, as any “startup” would, the Philippines have been a great source of positive challenges and pride.

How did you entice people into believing in and investing on your idea?

You don’t need to have been in our industry to realize the impact that our services have on our clients’ life. As a Canadian, I have a certain level of security, mobility, liberty, and opportunity that people from around the globe, by the sole fact of their nationality, don’t have. To have the chance to assist my clients in acquiring second citizenship or residency, and therefore allowing them and their family to achieve “more”, it is what drives me every day.

What kind of company culture are you implementing and what are your core values?

Reliability, Trust and Integrity; those are the core values that we apply internally – towards each other as a firm – but also with our clients. Being a law firm and being part of a life-changing process for our clients, it is imperative for them to be able to count on us all steps of the way.

What skills do you believe are necessary for handling a business?

Emotional intelligence. Whether with clients or colleagues or simply in the daily management, a cold head will always serve you better.

How do you deal with major mishaps? What would you say is one of the biggest mistakes you’ve made?

Thinking that I was invincible. Challenges cannot be faced alone all the time and learning to trust yourself and your team is very professionally and personally important.

What would you say are some dos and don’ts in starting one?

Don’t – Don’t trust everything you hear or read; make your research and build your own opinion.

Do – Keep learning; you never know everything, even in a “niche” practice.

Was there ever a time you felt afraid that this might not work? How did you manage this fear?

Taking a step back and a deep breath, and focusing on priorities. 

Describe a typical day for you.

Practice mindfulness with morning yoga, have breakfast, work from 8:30am to 7:00pm (on a good day!), have dinner with my life partner and spend time with my cats

How many hours of work a day do you put in? How many days per week?

About 10 hours a day, 5 days a week.

What can you consider is your greatest success?

The blossoming of our Manila office.

What would you say is the secret to success?

Hard work, healthy habits and a trustworthy team.

What motivates you? Who has been your greatest inspiration?

My life partner; Samuel is ambitious and authentic, a rare combination in the business field. He encourages me to surpass myself every day.

Do you consider yourself an ambitious person?

I definitely have high aspirations in all fields on my life; from business to wellbeing. I never do not do things halfway and won’t settle for the minimum. I make everything a mission that I want to accomplish. 

Do you think being ambitious helps you in business? How?

Certainly, a desire as strong as ambition will drive you in a challenging time and excite you on sunny days. 

What piece of advice can you give to aspiring entrepreneurs?

Believe in your abilities and that being different doesn’t mean not having what’s needed to succeed, it means bringing variety to an ordinary/plain world. 

Image Credit: Elisabeth Dumais


About Elisabeth  Elisabeth Dumais, full member of the Quebec Bar Association and Foreign Registered Lawyer in Hong Kong, she is the Director of Operations of Harvey Law Group in the Philippines. With Harvey Law Group since 2011, she gained considerable experience in Asia throughout the years, notably in China, Thailand, the Philippines, Hong Kong and Cambodia.

                                       Visit her profile here.

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