By Dixon Loi | posted on 05 September 2016

Floria is one of the Firm's longest serving staffs, having been with the Firm for 45 years. Being with the Firm for such number of years places her in a unique position to see the changes that the years brought not only to the Firm but also to the legal practice in general.


When did you join the Jayasuriya Kah & Co ("the Firm") and how many people were there at the time?
I started working in Jayasuriya Kah & Co in 1971. At the time there were only around 10 people in the Firm. The office was located at the old Great Eastern life Building which has since been torn down.


What is the biggest change the Firm has gone through in your opinion?
The biggest change I have to say is the adoption and integration of new emerging technologies. I still remember using manual typewriters when I first started and have memories of actually needing to re-type a whole page of document just because of one typo or error. I also remember using stencil machines which was a form of scanner and the telex machine which was used for sending messages.

With the introduction of the personal computer (PC), it has made typewriters and stencil machines obsolete. The PC has really made life much easier as work can now be done and completed in less than half the time required.

When typewriters were still prevalent, I remember some judges were very fierce so I had to get used to typing till the very end of each document without any typo or error to avoid having to start all over again. Otherwise, the poor lawyers, would get a scolding from these judges.

Nowadays, with the PC, people can just undo a typo or error just by clicking the "delete" button which is a luxury I was not afforded in the past.

We should therefore really appreciate and embrace the advancement in technology which has made work much simpler and quicker.


How did you deal with these changes?
To deal with these change such as the introduction of the PC in the office, I actually attended courses at Kinabalu Commercial College upstairs to learn how to use the PC efficiently.

At first, it was very hard to remember how to efficiently use a PC with its numerous functions. But after getting used to it, it really made work much easier and faster. Even now, I am still learning new things that can be done with a PC.


What is your most memorable experience or event while working in Jayasuriya Kah & Co?
I cannot think of any specific memory or experience that is most fond to me. This is because I was and still am happy working in the environment I am now in. I just enjoyed working that I don’t really think about the fact it is challenging sometimes. You just have to come to the office with the energy to work hard and it becomes something that you just do.


How was it like working directly under Tan Sri Thomas Jayasuriya?
Tan Sri was a very good boss and a very demanding boss when he was still practicing as a lawyer. One of the things I remember vividly while working for Tan Sri is that he has a very high standard when it comes to work and it was challenging working for him.

For example, I remember having to proof read every paragraph every sentence, every word, and every comma to full-stop to make sure that the work I did for him is perfect. Even if there was an error he spotted in a document, Tan Sri will not tell us where that error is and would want us to actually go through the entire document to find it ourselves. But I think this is how one learns so that one is more careful with the next document and over time, it just becomes a second nature.


Any advice you would give to young lawyers just starting out given your years of experience working with countless lawyers who have joined and left the Firm?
Over the years, I have worked with Tan Sri Thomas Jayasuriya and also, Mr Daniel Tan.

Through the many years working and learning from them, I think the best advice I can share to young lawyers is that they must be responsible and accountable in whatever they do. They should always be diplomatic and always conduct themselves properly.

To do this, I think having a good set of principles to adhere to can be very helpful and ensure that young lawyers are always on the right path.