Alison Tsai - Co-Chair
Asia Pacific Legal Counsel - Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group
Alison is Asia Pacific Legal Counsel at Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group and oversees and manages all legal issues affecting the Group in Asia Pacific. Alison also sits on the Group’s Sustainability Leadership Council and heads Human Rights and Inclusiveness (including Diversity and Inclusion) within the Group.
Prior to joining Mandarin Oriental, Alison worked in private practice as a corporate lawyer. She was also previously seconded to Goldman Sachs's Investment Banking Division legal team in Hong Kong.
Alison is a Hong Kong and New York qualified solicitor and is conversant in English, Cantonese, Mandarin and basic Korean.
Brooke Holden - Co-Chair
Partner - Karas LLP
Brooke is a Partner at Karas LLP. She is a commercial litigator with experience in a broad range of disputes involving or arising out of shareholder claims, joint ventures, commercial agreements, major infrastructure, construction and engineering projects, fraud and insolvency. Her experience includes disputes resolved through litigation and arbitration. She has advised and represented clients with respect to ad hoc arbitrations and arbitrations under various institutional rules, including HKIAC, ICC, UNCITRAL, CIETAC and SIAC. Brooke has lived and worked in Hong Kong for over a decade, since relocating from Brisbane, Australia in 2005. She is admitted as a solicitor in Hong Kong, Queensland, Australia and England & Wales.
Jacqueline Arena - Co Vice-Chair, Head - Social & Wellbeing, Member - Mentoring
Associate - Skadden
Jacqueline Arena is an associate in Skadden's antitrust practice group in Hong Kong. She has broad experience advising Asian companies across the APAC region and has worked on a number of merger transactions involving notifications to the European Commission, as well as multijurisdictional analyses and filings to regulators around the world. In 2015, she undertook a client secondment with a Hong Kong bank to advise on compliance with and implications of the new Hong Kong competition law regime. Jacqueline joined Skadden in 2017 after previously working at leading international law firms in Brussels and Hong Kong. She is admitted as a solicitor in Hong Kong and Victoria, Australia.
Dr. Mariel Dimsey - Co Vice-Chair, Co-Head - Partnerships, Member - Social & Wellbeing
Partner - CMS
Mariel is an international commercial and investment arbitration specialist. She has over 10 years’ experience acting as advisor and advocate in numerous international arbitrations covering a wide range of legal systems and industries. She also sits as arbitrator. One of Mariel's strengths is her ability to create pragmatic solutions for her clients in a competent and cost-efficient manner.
Mariel is an Australian Lawyer and Hong Kong Solicitor and received an LL.M. degree from the University of Cologne and a doctorate in law (Dr. iur.), summa cum laude, from the University of Basel, both in investment arbitration. She started her career in Frankfurt, working with a major international law firm and then a leading U.S. law firm in Germany and the ICC International Court of Arbitration in Paris, she then moved to Hong Kong where she has now joined the CMS International Arbitration team.
Mariel has published and spoken extensively on international investment arbitration topics.
Amy Tye - Treasurer
Diversity and Corporate Social Responsibility Manager - Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer
Amy Tye is the Diversity and Corporate Social Responsibility Manager at Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer. Prior to this role, she was the Asia Pacific CFO at Gucci Group and the Asia Pacific President/CEO at Bottega Veneta. She then took a career break and involved herself in the charity sector, volunteering in various capacities including a directorship at Cambodian Children’s Fund, before returning to the workplace. The challenges that a woman faces when reaching the top have many similarities in whichever industry. Amy was heavily involved in building and retaining talent as CFO and CEO so even though she is new to the legal industry, her past experience has been very helpful in her current role. Amy is a UK qualified Chartered Accountant and has worked in London and Hong Kong.
Maya Wodnicka - Secretary and Member, Women@Lunch
Registered Foreign Lawyer (England & Wales)
Maya studied law in Germany, France and Switzerland, before qualifying as a solicitor in England & Wales in 2012.
Barbie Ho – Secretary and Membership Development and Member, Social & Wellbeing
Senior Associate – Deacons
Barbie is a senior associate of Deacons specializing in China Intellectual Property. Barbie’s practice covers IP protection and enforcement. She advises on strategic issues in China relating to portfolio management, brand protection, copyright protection, domain name disputes, anti-counterfeiting and commercial exploitation of IP rights, as well as other commercial IP issues such as licensing, assignments and IP audits for mergers and acquisitions. Barbie has been recognised as Trademark Rising Star in Hong Kong by Euromoney Legal Media Group’s Expert Guide and Rising Star in IP in Hong Kong by Managing Intellectual Property. Barbie is qualified in Hong Kong and is fluent in English, Cantonese and Mandarin.
Helen Wang - Compliance
Counsel – Carey Olsen
Helen is counsel in the litigation, insolvency and restructuring practice team of Carey Olsen. Helen specialises in complex commercial litigation, shareholder disputes, fraud and investigatory cases and insolvency and restructuring matters. She is fluent in English, Cantonese and Mandarin. Helen has extensive experiences advising clients on cross-border litigation and handling high value disputes, covering a broad range of sectors, including banking and financial services, energy and resources, insurance and high net-worth individuals. Helen is qualified to practice in Hong Kong, English and Wales and the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court (British Virgin Islands).
Esther Yee - Member, Knowledge Empowerment and Communications
Counsel - Slaughter and May
Esther is a corporate lawyer based in Hong Kong, and is qualified as a solicitor in England and Wales and as a solicitor in Hong Kong. She advises public and private companies, financial advisers and private equity / financial investors on IPOs, fund-raisings, acquisitions and disposals, joint venture arrangements, public takeovers and privatisations, and strategic investments. She also advises public companies and financial institutions on regulatory compliance matters.
Bonnie Clarke – Member, Knowledge Empowerment and Communications
Head of Marketing & Communications - Gall
Bonnie is Head of Marketing & Communications at dispute resolution firm Gall. She grew up in Hong Kong and, after returning to the UK for university, started her career in Beijing and Singapore where she worked at PR agency FTI Consulting. Bonnie moved back to Hong Kong in 2011 and worked as PR & Communications Manager at US firm Paul Hastings for seven years before taking a brief break from the legal industry when she provided communications advice to local NGO Pathfinders. She was involved with WILHK in the early days of its founding and returns to support the Knowledge Empowerment and Communications workstreams.
Benjamin Chui - Communications
Pitch & Business Development Specialist - Skadden
Ben is Pitch & Business Development Specialist for Asia at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP and Affiliates. Ben received his Honours Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and Employment Relations from the University of Toronto. Ben has been a committee member of WILHK since 2016.
Janice Yau Garton - Industry Experts, Partnerships
Partner – Stephenson Harwood
Janice specialises in Real Estate investments and her practice focuses on cross-border real estate transactions, acting for institutional investors, funds, hospitality groups, retail brands, property developers, family offices, private equity firms and REITs, in their investments into real estate across Asia. Janice is qualified as a solicitor in Hong Kong and a solicitor and barrister in Ontario, Canada. Born in Vancouver, Janice was living in Australia before moving to Hong Kong in 2005 and was with DLA Piper for 15 years prior to joining Stephenson Harwood. She speaks English, Cantonese and French.
Eliza Jiang - Knowledge Empowerment (Head), Partnerships
Registered Foreign Lawyer - Fangda Partner
Eliza is a Registered Foreign Lawyer at Fangda Partners (a premier PRC law firm) specialising in international arbitration with a focus in institutional arbitration (SIAC, ICC, HKIAC) and ad-hoc arbitration involving Canadian, Latin American, and Chinese companies across a range of industries including oil & gas, manufacturing, and M&A. Eliza is experienced in advising Chinese and Latin American clients in the resolution of their disputes with Chinese counterparts by leveraging on her understanding of Latin America (having grown up in Panama), and on her Spanish language skills. She previously worked as an accountant for listed Canadian mortgage servicing and securitization firm, practised at a premier Canadian law firm, and managed over +200 cases as Deputy Counsel at the ICC International Court of Arbitration in Hong Kong. She is Ontario and New York qualified, and holds business and law degrees from University of Toronto, University of Ottawa, and Columbia Law School.
Maureen Ho - Mentoring (Head)
Of Counsel - Morrison & Foerster
Maureen Ho is of counsel in Morrison & Foerster’s Hong Kong office. Her practice focuses on advising private equity and real estate funds, financial and corporate investors in their private and public M&A, infrastructure investments and joint ventures as well as pre-IPO investments and corporate restructurings. Prior to joining Morrison & Foerster, Maureen was a senior associate in a leading international law firm’s Hong Kong and London offices, during which she was a secondee at The Carlyle Group for seven months advising its Asia team in their investments and disposals. Maureen is qualified in Hong Kong and is fluent in English, Mandarin and Cantonese.
Sonya Saxena - Mentoring, Pro Bono & Citizenship, Women@Lunch
Senior Associate – Walkers
Sonya is a senior associate in the finance and corporate team at Walkers (Hong Kong). Sonya has a general debt finance background and specialises in debt capital market and structured finance transactions and securitisations. Prior to joining Walkers, Sonya worked in the equity and debt capital markets team at Linklaters in Hong Kong. Prior to that, she worked in the London and Paris offices of two leading international law firms and served a secondment with the structured products group at Goldman Sachs in London. Sonya is qualified to practice in England and Wales and Bermuda and moved to Hong Kong with her family in 2017.
Jennifer Wu - Co-Head, Partnerships
Senior Associate - Pinsent Masons
Jennifer is a Senior Associate in the TMT team at Pinsent Masons. She specialises in commercial litigation and arbitration (in particular disputes in the technology and telecommunications sector). She advises on a variety of local and cross border disputes, from general company, employment, IP to data privacy and cyber fraud/ security issues. Prior to joining Pinsent Masons in Hong Kong, Jennifer worked in-house focusing on litigation and employment matters. Prior to that, Jennifer was in England – where she trained and qualified as a Solicitor.
Alice Molan - Women@Lunch (Head)
Counsel (Registered Foreign Lawyer) - Walkers
Alice is a Counsel (Registered Foreign Lawyer) in the Regulatory team of Walkers, Hong Kong. Alice regularly advises clients based in Asia on their regulatory obligations in respect of offshore jurisdictions. Prior to joining Walkers, Alice was at the Hong Kong and Melbourne offices of King & Wood Mallesons, advising on Hong Kong and Australian banking and finance regulatory regimes.
Penny Barsha - Pro Bono & Citizenship (Head), Mentoring
Corporate Responsibility Manager – Asia - Linklaters
Penny worked as a corporate lawyer advising financial institution clients in Australia and Hong Kong for over 12 years, focusing on cross-border M&A as well as IPOs. She is now the Corporate Responsibility Manager for Asia for Linklaters. She manages the social impact, pro bono, diversity and inclusion, environment and health and wellbeing initiatives across Asia for the firm. Penny moved to Hong Kong from Australia in 2007 and lives here with her husband and three children.
Tess Lumsdaine - Industry Experts, Social & Wellbeing
Senior Consultant - Herbert Smith Freehills
Tess leads Herbert Smith Freehills' employment and incentives practice in Hong Kong. She works with clients on contentious matters (incentive disputes, team moves and defending safety prosecutions and related civil claims) as well as advisory on governance and compliance issues to employee restructures in APAC. She has undertaken secondments in both Singapore and Sydney with international financial organisations and, prior to joining Herbert Smith Freehills, worked as a Research Associate in the Supreme Court of New South Wales. Tess holds a Bachelor of Laws and a Bachelor of Arts in International Studies. She is admitted to practise in Hong Kong and Australia.
Jeannette Tam - Flexible & Agile Working (Co-Head)
Senior Managing Associate - Bird & Bird
Jeannette is a senior managing associate in Bird & Bird’s Employment practice group, based in Hong Kong. She specialises in advising on all aspects of day-to-day contentious and non-contentious employment issues and employment-related immigration issues, including advising on labour tribunal disputes, investigations and multi-jurisdictional projects involving corporate restructuring, reductions in force and transfer of business. Jeannette graduated from the University of Nottingham with a Bachelor degree in Laws in 2006. She also holds a Master's degree in law from Tsinghua University. Jeannette was admitted as a solicitor in Hong Kong in December 2010. Jeannette is fluent in English, Cantonese and Mandarin.
Stephanie Szeto - Flexible & Agile Working (Co-Head) and Member, Mentoring
Peerpoint, Head of Asia - Allen & Overy
Stephanie heads Allen & Overy's Peerpoint business in Asia, the firm's flexible resourcing service. With 17 years' experience in strategic business roles at top-tier international law firms, she is passionate about working with legal professionals on their career progression, and finding solutions to clients' business needs. Originally from San Francisco, Stephanie moved to Hong Kong in 2008 and joined WILHK's Committee in 2016.
Michelle Fung - Flexible & Agile Working
Michelle is a Canadian qualified lawyer and worked for a national Canadian law firm as a securities and corporate lawyer. She graduated with a J.D. from the University of British Columbia and completed her final year of law school at the University of Hong Kong through its joint legal education program. She obtained her Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from Columbia University in New York City. Prior to law school, she worked at Turner Broadcasting in Business Development. Michelle speaks English, Cantonese and Mandarin.
Fiona Chan - Flexible & Agile Working, Women@Lunch
Partner - Appleby
Fiona Chan is a partner in the corporate department of Appleby’s Hong Kong office, advising on a full spectrum of banking, finance, corporate, technology & innovation, private client & trust and non-contentious insurance matters relating to the laws of British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands and Bermuda. Fiona has 20 years of offshore and onshore legal experiences, including 10 years at the London and Hong Kong offices of Clifford Chance. She is a regular speaker at conferences and seminars and contributor to leading journals. She leads her firm’s Female Lenders’ Network and Diversity & Inclusion initiatives in Asia.
Karah Howard - Flexible & Agile Working, Industry Experts
Partner - Pinsent Masons Hong Kong
Karah specialises in construction law and international arbitration for the infrastructure sector. She has advised on domestic disputes in relation to major MTRC projects and the Hong Kong Government's Civil and Engineering Works contracts, and on international disputes for projects based on FIDIC forms situated in Vietnam, Philippines, Thailand and Indonesia. Karah has acted on arbitrations under HKIAC domestic arbitration rules, SIAC Rules and ICC rules, and seated in Doha, Hong Kong, Singapore, South Korea and Turkey. Karah is qualified in Hong Kong, England & Wales and Western Australia, and having spent over 10 years in Japan, speaks, reads and writes Japanese. Karah co-chairs the ‘Female Futures’ group at her Hong Kong office, and is a mentor on the WiLHK mentoring programme 2021.
Lorinda Peasland - Women@Lunch, Industry Experts
Consultant - Harneys
Lorinda is a Consultant at Harneys with over 30 years’ experience in cross-border restructuring, insolvency and workouts of distressed companies and financial institutions. Over her career she has advised creditors in relation to the first global bank collapse of a bank incorporated in the Cayman Islands, acted for the Special Administrator on a Central Bank Intervention and lead the work out of the portfolio of a European bank in wind down. Prior to joining Harneys she was a partner at a global law firm in the UK where alongside her legal practice, she was a corporate responsibility champion and led initiatives in Tanzania and Vietnam. She co-authored the Cayman Islands Chapter for The Restructuring Review - 11th Edition and Global Restructuring Review: The Asia-Pacific Restructuring Review 2019 - Offshore: Cayman Islands and is an editor of Harneys Offshore Litigation Blog.