Committee

Alison Tsai - Co-Chair

Asia Pacific Legal Counsel - Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group

Alison is Asia Pacific Legal Counsel at Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group and is responsible for generally all legal aspects of the Group’s business and development activities in Asia Pacific. Prior to joining Mandarin Oriental, Alison worked in private practice as a corporate lawyer advising corporates and financial institutions on a broad range of transactions including initial public offerings, mergers and acquisitions, bond offerings and on general corporate and compliance/regulatory matters. She was also previously seconded to the legal department of Goldman Sachs (Asia) L.L.C.'s Investment Banking Division where she was heavily involved in equity and debt capital transactions in Asia (excluding Japan).

 

Alison is a Hong Kong and New York qualified solicitor and speaks English, Cantonese, Mandarin and basic Korean.

Brooke Holden - Co-Chair

Principal - Lipman Karas Hong Kong

Brooke is a Principal at Lipman Karas. 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.  

Maya Wodnicka - Secretary and Head of Sponsorship

Registered Foreign Lawyer (England & Wales)

Maya studied law in Germany, France and Switzerland, before qualifying as a solicitor in England & Wales in 2012.

Susan Wong - Treasurer

Head of Legal APAC – Intesa Sanpaolo

Susan is Head of Legal, APAC at Intesa Sanpaolo S.p.A. and oversees all legal matters across the Asia Pacific region.  Prior to that, Susan was a Senior Legal Counsel at Standard Chartered Bank (Hong Kong) Limited and advised on corporate finance transactions across Greater China and North Asia.  Susan has 15 years’ working experience in the legal industry, 10 of years of which was in private practice at Clifford Chance.  Susan is qualified to practise in both England and Wales and Hong Kong, and has worked in London, Tokyo and Beijing before relocating to Hong Kong in late 2011.

Janice Yau Garton - Member, Events

Senior Associate & Corporate Responsibility Coordinator  - DLA Piper

Janice specialises in Real Estate and her practice focuses on cross-border real estate investments, mainly acting for institutional investors, funds, hospitality groups, retail brands, property development companies and private equity firms, including 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 has been with DLA Piper ever since. She speaks English, Cantonese and French.

Dr. Mariel Dimsey - 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.

Cynthia is an associate at Ropes & Gray. Prior to working at Ropes & Gray, Cynthia has gained experience in Hong Kong, Singapore and Melbourne on a wide range of transactions including public and private M&A, private equity, joint ventures, IPOs and general corporate matters.

Cynthia Chan - Member, Knowledge, Pro Bono & Citizenship

Associate - Ropes & Gray

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.

Eliza Jiang - Member, Knowledge and Partnerships

Registered Foreign Lawyer - Fangda Partner

Jacqueline Arena - Member, Social & Wellbeing

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.

Maureen Ho - Co-Chair, Mentoring

Senior Associate - Clifford Chance

Maureen is a senior associate in Clifford Chance's M&A/private equity practice group, based in Hong Kong. She specialises in advising general merger and acquisition transactions and private equity transactions. Prior to her relocation back to Clifford Chance Hong Kong, Maureen spent time in Clifford Chance London office as a senior associate and in Carlyle as a legal consultant.  She also sits on Clifford Chance's Hong Kong Women's Network Steering Sub-committee and Technology Committee. Maureen is qualified in Hong Kong and is fluent in English, Mandarin and Cantonese.

Christine Joo - Co-Chair, Mentoring

Senior Legal Counsel - Standard Chartered Bank

Christine is a Senior Legal Counsel at Standard Chartered Bank, Hong Kong and is responsible for managing regional legal projects and advising on cross-border transactions involving Greater China and North Asia. Prior to joining Standard Chartered, Christine was a banking and finance lawyer specialising in corporate lending and other debt related matters. Christine is qualified to practise in Australia and has worked in Melbourne and Singapore prior to relocating to Hong Kong. Christine speaks English and Korean.

Jennifer Wu - Co-Chair, Mentoring

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 - Member, Women@Lunch

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.

Jacqueline Moody - Member, Women@Lunch

Associate – Harney, Westwood & Riegels

Jacqueline is an associate in the Litigation and Restructuring team of an offshore law firm, Harneys, in Hong Kong.  She specialises in Cayman Islands and BVI shareholder disputes, insolvency, receiverships, and other high value commercial disputes (including enforcement actions and injunctions).  Her cases are international in nature, often involving concurrent proceedings in multiple jurisdictions. She is currently working on an appeal to the Privy Council.  She is admitted to practise law in England and Wales (not practising), the Cayman Islands, the British Virgin Islands, New York (not practising) and Florida (not practising).

Penny Barsha - Member, Pro Bono

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.

Tinny Ip - Member, Pro Bono

Head of Business Development - Stephenson Harwood 

Tinny is the head of business development for Greater China. In this role, she is responsible for the Greater China business development team, providing effective support to all sectors, practice groups and offices in Greater China and coordinating with the Singapore and Seoul offices. Tinny looks after the whole cross spectrum of business development activity, working closely with fee earners on client development, marketing, communications and events. Prior to Stephenson Harwood, Tinny worked for seven years in the professional services sector and for more than six years in the banking industry. Tinny is fluent in English, Cantonese and Mandarin.

Sheena Loi - Member, Social & Wellbeing

Of Counsel - Herbert Smith Freehills

Sheena is an Of Counsel in the Corporate/TMT team at Herbert Smith Freehills. She has extensive experience on cross border international and Asia-regional mergers and acquisitions (public and private), joint ventures, investments, divestments, restructuring, takeovers and schemes. She also advises clients on commercial contracts, technology transactions, directors’ duties, listing rules and data privacy. Sheena has deep industry knowledge of the TMT, energy and financial services sectors, having completed secondments at major corporations Telstra, CLP and National Australia Bank. Sheena has experience working in Hong Kong, London and Melbourne, and is qualified to practice in Hong Kong and Victoria (Australia). 

Tess Lumsdaine - Member, 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 - Co-Head, Flexible Work

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 - Co-Head, Flexible Work

Peerpoint Senior Business Manager - Allen & Overy

Stephanie Szeto is Peerpoint senior business manager for Allen & Overy in Hong Kong.  She has 14 years of experience working in strategic business roles at top tier international law firms.  She currently manages Allen & Overy’s flexible legal consultant resourcing business in Hong Kong.  She was previously associate director of business development and marketing for White & Case Asia.  Stephanie is originally from the San Francisco Bay Area, and moved to Hong Kong in 2008.

Lauren Ellison - Co-Head, Flexible Work

Legal Business Partner – Asia and EMEA at Telstra

Lauren is Legal Business Partner – Asia and EMEA at Telstra, the global telecommunications company founded in Australia. Lauren leads a team based in London, Hong Kong and Singapore and supports Telstra's international enterprise and services business unit in Asia and more recently EMEA. The team were recent winners of In-House Legal Team of the Year - TMT 2018 and Asia In-House Team of the Year 2018 at the In-House Community Counsels of the Year awards. Originally from Scotland where she qualified, prior to her career with Telstra and her move to Asia, Lauren qualified in England and Wales working for a boutique law firm in London specializing in M+A and mid-market European private equity transactions, principally acting for a cohort of private equity fund clients. Lauren recently founded the Hong Kong Chapter of CLOC – the Corporate Legal Operations Consortium – bringing together in house legal professionals in Hong Kong to share insights, challenges in relation to the delivery of legal services in their respective organizations and the application of technology and different ways of working as a solution to these. Lauren is also Action Co lead for the Telstra Brilliant Connected Women network, Hong Kong branch. 

Michelle Fung - Co-Head, Flexible Work

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. 

Amy Tye - Member, Flexible Work

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.

Fiona Chan - Member, Flexible Work

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 almost 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.  

Esther Yee - Communications 

Senior Associate - 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. 
 

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.

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