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Forty under 40 Award winner profile: Adrian Wan

Partner, Fasken

BIV is proud to recognize Adrian Wan, partner at Fasken, and 39 exceptional business leaders with 2022 Forty under 40 Awards.

Each recipient is featured in BIV's annual Forty under 40 Magazine, and will be celebrated at an awards gala Feb. 22. Profiles of each award recipient – originally published in the magazine – will be available at in the days ahead.

Who or what is responsible for your work ethic?

Without a doubt: My parents. My mom and late father immigrated to Canada in the 1970s as teenagers. They had nothing when they arrived and built an amazing life for our family. Watching them struggle while I was a child made me appreciate the efforts needed to create something special.

What drives you?

Personal growth and a little fear of failure. I really enjoy challenging myself and trying new things that test my capabilities, whether mental or physically. I also have a natural fear of failure and always give my best efforts when I commit to something.

A favourite book you would recommend?

The Book of Basketball by Bill Simmons. It’s a great read for any basketball fan.

Now that you are (or are close to) entering your 40s, what goals have you set for yourself?

Increase my community involvement and charitable pursuits. Help mentor the next generation of lawyers and business leaders. Be a good dad to my kids.

What was your childhood career dream?

I wanted to be a professional basketball player. Being five foot eight and 135 pounds at the age of 18 – that clearly was not going to happen.

What was your toughest business or professional decision?

Walking away from my small business and deciding to go to law school. Throughout my 20s, I ran a small produce business. I had a lot of ups and down and learned a lot about myself during that time.

What is your best habit?

I prioritize my health and fitness by exercising a few times a week. It helps to keep me focused and is a great stress reliever.

Tell us one improbable fact about yourself.

I almost died within 24 hours after I was born. The nurse in the neonatal intensive care unit at BC Children’s Hospital saved my life. That place has a special place in my heart and we’re incredibly lucky to have it in Vancouver.

Best piece of advice ever received?

Be unapologetically authentic. It took me a long time to realize this is fantastic advice. It simplifies your life for the better and leads you to the right environment and people.

What is the biggest lesson you’ve learned in business?

Your reputation precedes you whether it’s good or bad.

What career highlight are you most proud of?

Being a founding member and director of the Forward Foundation. I, along with a few other amazing people, created this charitable organization that provides young adults with serious, life-limiting illnesses a meaningful experience of connection.

What’s left to accomplish?

Way too many things to list. I feel like my career has just started and I’m excited to continue learning from my clients, colleagues, mentors and many others within my village.

Read the profiles of all 40 award recipients in BIV's annual Forty under 40 Magazine. Register to recognize this year's winner at the Forty under 40 Awards gala on Feb. 22.