Milton Cheng has had an unusual first year as Baker McKenzie’s global chair.

In January, barely four months into his tenure, the COVID-19 outbreak began its spread across the globe, striking first in China and Asia, posing serious challenges to businesses, including law firms. Meanwhile, global political tensions have continued to escalate since he took office in October 2019, with street conflicts in Hong Kong, with more divided domestic politics in the United States, and with bilateral relations between China and the United States hitting their lowest point in recent memory.