Alison Tsai - Chair
Vice President and Senior Legal Counsel, Head of Diversity and Inclusion Council - Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group
Alison has a global remit to manage all legal issues affecting the Group worldwide, with particular responsibility and oversight for Asia Pacific. Alison advises and works closely with other business stakeholders on a diverse portfolio of matters to advance the Group’s long-term business objectives while protecting its legal rights and interests.
Alison also founded and heads up the Group’s Diversity and Inclusion Council, reporting directly to the CEO to provide strategic recommendations on the subject matter and oversees the roll-out of diversity and inclusion strategies globally.
Prior to joining Mandarin Oriental, Alison worked in a leading international law firm 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.
Jacqueline Arena - Vice-Chair
Asia Pacific Counsel - Skadden
Jacqueline Arena is Asia Pacific Counsel 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.
Amy Tye - Co-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 - Co-Treasurer, Membership and Secretary
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 – Membership and Secretary, Engagement and Wellbeing
Legal Counsel - Kerry Holdings Limited
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.
Janice Yau Garton - Thought Leadership and Workplace Culture
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.
Benjamin Chui - Communications
Senior Business Development Specialist - Skadden
Ben is a business development specialist covering the Asia Pacific region at Skadden. He received his Honours Bachelor of Arts from the University of Toronto. Ben has been a committee member of WILHK since 2016 and also sits on the committee for Affinity Networks & Initiatives at Skadden in Hong Kong.
Maureen Ho - Mentorship
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.
Jennifer Wu - Thought Leadership and Workplace Culture
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.
Penny Barsha - Engagement and Wellbeing
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.
Stephanie Szeto - Mentorship
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.
Fiona Chan - Engagement and Wellbeing, Women@Lunch
Partner - Appleby
Fiona Chan is a partner in the corporate department of Appleby’s Hong Kong office, leading the Banking and Finance, Technology & Innovation and non-contentious insurance practices in Asia relating to the laws of Bermuda, BVI and Cayman. Fiona has over 20 years of offshore and onshore legal experiences, including 10 years at a magic circle law firm as UK and HK lawyer. She is the editor of the firm’s quarterly publication Appleby Asia Alert and a regular speaker at conferences and seminars and contributor to leading journals. She sits on Appleby’s global Diversity, Inclusion and Belonging Committee and leads the firm’s Women Leadership Network and Diversity & Inclusion initiatives in Asia. She is fluent in English, Cantonese and Mandarin.
Karah Howard - Thought Leadership and Workplace Culture
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 - Engagement and Wellbeing, Women@Lunch
Partner - Appleby
Lorinda is a Partner at Appleby with over 30 years’ onshore and offshore experience in cross-border restructuring, insolvency and workouts of distressed companies and financial institutions. She has extensive experience in dealing with many types of financial instruments and structures, including asset-based lending and has significant expertise in all aspects of offshore schemes of arrangement. 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. Her practice encompasses both contentious and non-contentious finance related matters within the distressed corporate arena. Prior to joining Appleby she was a Consultant at another leading offshore law firm. Before practicing offshore laws, she was an equity 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.
Kritika Sethia - Mentorship
Associate - Tanner De Witt
Kritika is an Associate solicitor at Tanner De Witt’s Dispute Resolution practice. Kritika moved to Hong Kong in 2019 after completing the BCL programme at the University of Oxford (2018). Prior to joining Tanner De Witt, Kritika worked as a solicitor in the litigation and employment team of an established independent Hong Kong law firm. In India, Kritika had a diverse range of practice experience as an associate in the mergers and acquisitions team of a leading Indian law firm as well as a litigation practitioner before the Calcutta High Court, and the tribunals for company matters and environmental matters. Kritika is passionate about diversity, access to justice, and women’s rights. All along her career she has volunteered to provide pro bono legal assistance to women and children on issues including vulnerability to human trafficking and rights of migrant domestic workers. Kritika is qualified to practice in Hong Kong and India and is fluent in English, Hindi and Bengali.
Urvashi Salecha - Mentorship
Legal Manager - Harney
Urvashi is a member of the Litigation, Insolvency and Restructuring team at Harney, Westwood and Riegels, Hong Kong. Urvashi has diverse experience in contentious and non-contentious insolvency matters, advising and acting for liquidators, trustees, creditors and directors in winding-up proceedings, schemes of arrangement, statutory mergers, cross-border restructuring and workouts. Urvashi is also experienced in commercial arbitrations, mediation and shareholder litigation disputes. Prior to joining Harneys, Urvashi worked for an Indian top tier law firm Khaitan & Co. in Mumbai and specialised in general commercial litigation and dispute resolution. She has also worked in-house with Rochdale Spears Group in Hong Kong and managed their global legal operations across Asia Pacific, EMEA and North America.
Urvashi is dually-qualified in India and Hong Kong. Urvashi speaks English and Hindi, also conversational French.
Sonia Chan - Communications
Practice Development Manager - Denis Chang’s Chambers
Sonia joined the WILHK Committee in 2022, bringing over 17 years of communications experience from multiple fields including legal practice, trade journalism, public relations, and business support. Since 2020, Sonia has been overseeing practice development at Denis Chang’s Chambers (“DCC”), a leading set of barristers’ Chambers with over 50 Members including 5 Senior Counsel. She wears many hats in her role; in addition to managing DCC’s website and LinkedIn page as editor and graphic designer, she is chief organiser of all CPD legal seminars and other key events such as the HK45 Pub Quiz hosted by DCC during Hong Kong Arbitration Week 2022. Sonia was called to the Hong Kong Bar in 2006 and maintained a practice in commercial and public law for several years. Subsequently, she branched out into journalism, having served as Staff Writer for Asialaw magazine and Editor of bilingual trade journals China STAFF and China Tax Intelligence. During 2014 to 2018, Sonia assumed the role of Asia Communications Specialist at US Fortune 500 company Air Products, where she devised and implemented various external and internal communications programmes. Before joining Denis Chang’s Chambers, Sonia was Office Manager at financial advisory firm Armor Capital.
Tara Chan - Thought Leadership and Workplace Culture
Associate - Tanner De Witt
Tara is an Associate in the Corporate and Commercial Practice of Tanner De Witt. Tara is a member of the TMT team and has experience advising on a wide range of TMT matters and documents such as data privacy, governance, and management; software licensing agreements; terms and conditions of use and service; and various commercial agreements including system integration, SaaS, development, collaboration, distribution, and supplier. Tara has also assisted and advised on numerous venture capital transactions in respect of companies in the technology sector. Tara provides legal training sessions to numerous incubator and accelerator programmes in Hong Kong such as InnoHK at Hong Kong Science and Technology Parks (HKSTP), LEAP at HKSTP, Brinc and Betatron. Tara is from Canada and graduated from McGill University in Montreal, Canada with a Bachelor of Commerce. She then moved to Hong Kong to earn her Juris Doctor and Postgraduate Certificate in Laws from the City University of Hong Kong.
Julie Fu - Mentorship
Counsel - Clifford Chance
Julie is a counsel of Clifford Chance corporate group in Hong Kong. She specialises in M&A, PE investments and joint ventures and also experienced in other corporate finance transactions, corporate reorganisations and general corporate advisory work. She is qualified in Hong Kong and Mainland China and fluent in English and Mandarin. She is also a member of Clifford Chance's Accelerate Steering Committee in Hong Kong, promoting diversity and inclusion initiatives.