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
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.
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.
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.
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, Industry Experts and 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.
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 - Co-Head, Knowledge Empowerment and Member, 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 - Co-Head, Knowledge Empowerment and Member, Partnerships
Registered Foreign Lawyer - Fangda Partner
Maureen Ho - Head, Mentoring
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.
Christine Joo - Member, Industry Experts
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-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 - 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 - Head, Women@Lunch and Member, Partnerships
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 - Co-Head, Pro Bono & Citizenship and Member, 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.
Tinny Ip - Co-Head, Pro Bono & Citizenship
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.
Tess Lumsdaine - Member, Industry Experts and 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 & Agile Working
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 & Agile Working 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.
Lauren Ellison - Member, Flexible & Agile Working, Social & Wellbeing, and Mentoring
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 - Member, 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.
Amy Tye - Member, Flexible & Agile Working and Knowledge Empowerment
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 & Agile Working and 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 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 - 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.
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.