Mon, Dec 16, 2002 - Page 3 News List

Chen's lawyer strives to be the best of the best

FORMER CLASSMATES The president turned to Lindy Chen when the `China Times' implicated him in the Zanadau affair. Just one day after he did so, the paper apologized

By Jimmy Chuang  /  STAFF REPORTER

When President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) was hit with a front-page story in the China Times implicating him in the Zanadau scandal, he hired lawyer Lindy Chen (陳玲玉).

Chen Shui-bian moved to sue the newspaper after it ran a front-page story on Dec. 4 suggesting the president received a NT$4.5 million donation from Zanadau Development Corp majority shareholder Su Hui-chen (蘇惠珍) for his 1994 Taipei mayoral campaign. The story, whose veracity Chen denied, cited anonymous "reliable sources" and was published without a byline.

But after Chen Shui-bian threatened to sue, the newspaper printed a clarification on its front page and apologized to the president. The move prompted the Presidential Office to drop the threatened libel suit.

Lindy Chen, a graduate of the Law Department of National Taiwan University (NTU), was a schoolmate of Chen Shui-bian's. Lindy Chen graduated in 1973, while the president graduated in 1974.

As well as being a partner in the Baker and McKenzie law firm, Lindy Chen serves as legal consultant for the Taiwan High Speed Rail Corp and is the president of the Foundation for the Advancement of Media Excellence.

Baker and McKenzie is well-known for its business expertise and its major clients include many branch offices of foreign companies in Taiwan. Chen was made partner because she has strong connections with major local enterprises and has expertise in business law.

Lindy Chen's father, Chen Tu-ken (陳土根), was one of the founders of Cathay Trust Group (國泰信託集團). In addition, she has been working as a consultant for Fubon Financial Holding Co, whose vice chairman, Daniel Tsai (蔡明忠), was her schoolmate in college.

Lindy Chen began to develop her reputation while in college.

As a sophomore, Chen tried to seek support from fellow students to urge the government to allow freedom of speech on the NTU campus. Chen's push came while Taiwan was still under marshall law and behavior like hers was prohibited.

"I have been a defender of freedom of speech since I was a college student and my belief has never changed," Chen said.

Chen's behavior caught the attention of fellow student Hung San-hsiung (洪三雄), another law student one year her senior, and the two became lovers.

When they met, Hung was a student leader on campus. He was also a classmate of China Development Industrial Asset Man-agement Corp chairman Benny Hu (胡定吾), News 98 president Jaw Shau-kong (趙少康) and National Security Council Secretary-General Chiou I-jen (邱義仁).

After Hung graduated, Chen replaced him to become the chairwoman of NTU's Law School Students' Association.

The two were married after Chen graduated and Hung finished his military service.

As a senior lawyer with expertise in business law, Chen charges nearly NT$10,000 an hour. Chen defends the fee.

"Some other lawyers may charge you only NT$7,000 an hour but it will take them two hours to finish the job while I can accomplish it within an hour. Which one is more expensive?" she said.

Chen believes in the importance of the learning process, saying only those who can concentrate and stick to one subject for a long time will succeed.

"I kept notes of all the cases that I have reviewed or handled. I always learned a lot through the process. I know it is my job do things perfectly and I want to be the best of the best, which is also my faith," she said.

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