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2018 Events

WILHK co-hosts breakfast seminar with Herbert Smith Freehills and Dame Barbara Stocking of Murray Edwards College, University of Cambridge

On Friday 14 December 2018, WILHK joined forces for the third time with Herbert Smith Freehills' GEM network to host Dame Barbara Stocking, president of Murray Edwards College, the University of Cambridge. Murray Edwards College is working on a campaign to create the right climate and language to call out gender bias and improve workplace culture.

Dame Barbara unveiled the results of the college's survey of professional services firms, which included Herbert Smith Freehills and other law firms. A great Q&A followed around topics like gender neutral networking events, reverse mentoring, benevolent sexism, affinity and meritocracy bias. 

Around 80 delegates from organisations including AIG, BAML, Barclays, BNP Paribas, Christies, CLP, Commonwealth Bank of Australia, Credit Agricole, the Equal Opportunities Commission, Fox Networks, Hong Kong and Shanghai Hotels, HSBC, McKinsey, Morgan Stanley, Prudential, PwC, Sotheby's, Telstra, The Women's Foundation and Wells Fargo attended. The 'invite a male colleague' worked well, with many taking that up. Murray Edwards College's final results (from over 10,000 men and women surveyed) will be available in January 2019. For more information on the research see their earlier report andpractical guide.


Great WILHK / HULA event on 11 December celebrating ethical fashion in Hong Kong. Thank you to HULA founder Sarah Fung and her team for hosting WILHK members and celebrating pre-loved designer brands and supporting local fashion NGOs. Given fashion is one of the biggest pollutants worldwide, it's great to see second hand options grow in Hong Kong.  Thank you to special guest Rosie Lai, Fashion Editor at Hong Kong Tatler, who gave us fantastic tips on professional styling for the workplace. #fashion #branding #ethics #design #WILHK

For more information, go to:

Pro Bono Legal Guide for Hong Kong In-House Counsel Launched


WILHK was delighted to join forces with the Association of Corporate Counsel (ACC) and DLA Piper to celebrate the launch of their important new guide. This important publication  provides guidance on:

  • establishing an in-house pro bono program and the various models available,

  • the regulatory requirements in terms of professional qualifications and insurance cover,

  • the scope of services in-house counsel may provide either as a team or individually

  • appendices listing NGOs and charities in need of pro bono support; institutions supporting pro bono services in Hong Kong, pro bono policy and standard engagement letter/terms


Around 50 people drawn from across Hong Kong's pro bono and legal community, including private practice lawyers, in house counsel, NGOs, journalists and regulators attended the launch on 6 December. We commend and thank the ACC and DLA for plugging the gap and producing this much-needed guidance. WILHK was delighted to support the development of the guide and co-sponsor the launch event. Further capacity building events around the guide are planned for 2019.

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WILHK Mentoring Closing Reception

19 November 2018 marked the closing of our remarkable year 2018 mentoring programme. Our nine sponsors, our current class mentors and mentees and previous two classes of alumni gathered at Mezcalito for drinks and canapes. Jeanette Chan from Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP, our keynote speaker of the evening, shared her stories of seeking her mentor from the very beginning of her career and encouraged us all to continue giving back by acting as mentors for other people, male or female. The WILHK mentoring sub-committee - Amy Viklund, Maureen Ho, Lucy Wu, Christine Joo - also thanked all participants for their commitment to the programme, Ben Cooper, Eunice Chiu, Cori Lable and Stephen L. for their contribution in the lean-in circles, and each of Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP, Mourant, Baker McKenzie, Stephenson Harwood LLP, Norton Rose Fulbright, Latham & Watkins, Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP and Affiliates, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, Kirkland & Ellis hashtag#mentoring for their generous support to this year’s program! A few of our sponsors, mentors and mentees have done some videos with us sharing their journey in mentoring – stay tuned for the videos which will up soon.

WILHK co-sponsors landmark gender diversity debate at Herbert Smith Freehills


WILHK partnered with Herbert Smith Freehills' Gender Equity Matters (GEM) network at a client event on 23 October attended by 80 delegates. Building on WILHK's initiatives around Collaborating with Men, we included an "invite a male colleague" option and many took that opportunity (30 men and 50 women attended).


The session, Diversity and corporate culture: an honest debate, was moderated by Herbert Smith Freehills' Hong Kong corporate partner, Tommy Tong. The inspirational panel featured:

- Clarence Yang, Chief of Staff, Blackrock Asia and founder of the Male Allies programme, The Women's Foundation

- Jaclyn Jhin, MD and chief legal officer and compliance officer, CLSA

- Adrian Warr, MD, Edelman and Male Ally, The Women's Foundation

- May Tai, Greater China managing partner, Herbert Smith Freehills

The group used the recent US Tennis Open Final to introduce how emotive and polarized the issue of sexism is. Delegates were asked via a voting app: "Was Serena a victim of sexism or a sore loser?" and "Has Serena advanced the gender cause or set it back?"  In relation to both questions, the audience was evenly split. This helped open an honest debate asking: Are women treated differently in sport, work and society and if so, what can we do to change the status quo?"

The panel discussed how we can reform workplace culture to be more inclusive. This included a discussion on targets/quotas, effective mixed gender networks, mentoring / reverse mentoring, tackling unconscious bias and micro aggressions, and flexible and agile working. Behaviours outside work that affect workplace progression were also debated, including cultural expectations of men and women in Asia, the role of domestic helpers, and male empowerment.

Feedback has been very positive with several attendees describing it as "the best D&I panel discussion ever". We thank the panellists for their honesty and insights. Several organisations have reported that they are already looking to implement tips shared by panellists by way of follow up.

Anita Phillips, a professional support consultant at Herbert Smith Freehills and WILHK's vice chair, devised the event. She commented:

            "Gender is one facet of the broader diversity debate (which encompasses ethnicity, sexual orientation, age, disability, among others). The panel discussion contained a wealth of valuable insights and tips applicable across the board to help us tweak our own behaviours as well as those of others. Heightened self-awareness in terms of how we speak, how we listen and how we act, partnered with the courage to call out behaviours in others are steps we can all consider and take in our daily lives."


Takeaway tips:

  • Quotas don't necessarily change culture or improve performance

  • Soft targets are a good place to start

  • Board terms/rotation could help

  • Meritocracy remains largely a male-construct. Unconscious and conscious biases need to be identified and called out in the recruitment and promotion process

  • Alerting how we talk and listen  - meeting room cards may help to anchor and encourage appropriate behaviours of chairs and participants to overcome unconscious bias/stereotyping

  • Business networking activities often remain male-centric (certain sports, activities, venues, timings).  This can be reviewed to be more inclusive

  • A "daily questions" card, like that used by The Women's Foundation Male Allies, helps reinforce inclusive leadership and behaviour

  • "Women's" networks are rebranding / becoming more inclusive across genders. Some have a male co-chair

  • Sponsors advocate; mentors listen and encourage. Women need both to succeed

  • Flexible and agile working should be available to all: it is not just a female (working mum's) issue

  • Women benefit from male allies but women also need to support and champion each another


Euromoney LMG Asia Women in Business Law Awards 2018

When: 8 November 2018

Location: Island Shangri-La, Hong Kong


Euromoney Legal Media Group will be holding its annual Asia Women in Business Law Awards on November 8 at the Island Shangri-La in Hong Kong. Asia’s leading women lawyers will gather to celebrate those nominated for and winning awards. 


The evening will celebrate the advancement of women in the legal profession throughout the region. Supported by ACC Hong Kong, Women in Law Hong Kong, Women in Finance Asia and the Hong Kong Federation of Women Lawyers, the awards dinner will include a keynote speech from Ms. Ferheen Mahomed, group general counsel at HKEX.


For nominees in the individual practice areas, firm awards and in-house awards, please click here:


The awards will be supporting The Women’s Foundation this year where all proceeds raised will contribute towards improving the lives of women and girls in Hong Kong.

To reserve your place, please email James Murray at or call +852 2842 6936.

Women@Lunch – October Lunch 

Event details:
Location: Madame Fu, 3rd Floor, Barrack Block, Tai Kwun, No. 10 Hollywood Rd, Hong Kong
Date: Friday, 26 October 2018
Time: Lunch will start promptly at 12:30pm and finish at 2pm.


WILHK is proud to be a community sponsor of Healthy Matters' annual conference on pregnancy and parenting.

Details : Click here for event program, speakers and partners

Where: JW Marriott Hotel, Level 3, Pacific Place, Admiralty, Hong Kong

When: Saturday, 13 October, 9:30am - 4:30pm

How much: This is a FREE event but registration is mandatory (no walk-ins will be accepted).

For more details see:


About Healthy Matters

Healthy Matters is the leading source of trusted health information in Hong Kong for women and

families. They bring together expert content, informative events and a supportive community for Hong Kong parents.

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Gender Equity Conference

WILHK is proud to be a supporting organisation of the Gender Equity Conference, which this year focuses on mentoring:



WILHK members qualify for a discount: 2018GEC. The code provides a 20% off the all-day ticket. 

2018 Asia Pro Bono Conference 

Conference Dates:  25-27 October 2018

The 7th annual Asia Pro Bono Conference will be held in Hong Kong this year.

The Conference brings together lawyers, academics, law students, jurists, pro bono professionals, policy makers, civil society and non-profit representatives, and provides a unique platform for you to hear from and engage with your peers, who are inspiring others and positively impacting the lives of some of the region’s most disadvantaged individuals and marginalised communities.

Registration is now open!  Early Bird Rate is Available until 31 May 2018.  To register, visit:

Sponsorship Opportunities Available, please contact:

To find out more, contact: 


Celebrating diversity: WILHK Anniversary Party with HKGALA hosted by Akin Gump


On 18 September 2018, WILHK hosted its annual Anniversary Party at Hong Kong’s new hot spot, Madame Fu, in the newly-opened Tai Kwun area. In a celebration of inclusion and diversity, WILHK teamed up with the Hong Kong Gay and Lesbian Attorneys’ Network (HKGALA) with the generous support of Akin Gump.

This year’s Anniversary event focused primarily on networking and celebrating the achievements of the previous year. WILHK’s chair, Stephanie Sheng, and vice-chair, Anita Phillips, discussed WILHK’s activities over the past year, including the successful mentoring program, events held around current topics, such as the #metoo movement and New Law, WILHK's pro bono assistance to NGOs, Women@ Lunch series and survey on flexible and agile working in Hong Kong's legal industry. Suming Tan of HKGALA also welcomed participants, along with Kristen Chin of Akin Gump.  The focus then turned to networking and the delicious canapes and drinks.

The event was well-attended by approximately 200 people, representing not only WILHK and HKGALA, but also members of the wider HK legal community. It was a great example of different Hong Kong organisations with shared and similar values joining forces to celebrate their combined achievements and ideals.

WILHK is an official supporting organization of the ALB Hong Kong Law Awards 2018.

Nominations are now open for The Macallan ALB Hong Kong Law Awards 2018. Now on its 17th year, the event will be held on Friday, September 7, at the Conrad Hong Kong.

The event’s 46 award categories will pay tribute to the outstanding performance of private practitioners and in-house teams from Hong Kong and the region. 

Following the awards’ success in 2017, this year’s event will feature several new awards categories, including Startup In-House Team of the Year, Insurance In-House Team of the Year, Transportation and Logistics In-House Team of the Year and Aviation Law Firm of the Year.

The nominations will be judged by our selected group of impartial experts, including key in-house lawyers and selected industry specialists. For more information on the event, please click here.


To download the nomination materials:  

- Download Submission materials files in .zip – 

For law firm inquries, please contact Caryl at or call +632 982 5938.

For in-house inquries, please contact Anna at or +852 2843 1672.

WILHK is an official supporting organization of the ALB In-House Legal Summit 2018.

Asian Legal Business is proud to present the 15th Annual Hong Kong In-House Legal Summit 2018 seeks to arm In-House Counsels with updates, usable take-aways and real-life examples to help them tackle pressing legal issues facing their companies today.


This signature annual summit gathers together in-house counsels, legal practitioners and industry experts to discuss recent regulatory changes, hot pressing legal issues and best practice solutions in Hong Kong and the region.


Agenda at Glance

  • Disruption and Uncertainty: Legal Counsels as Key Drivers of Change and Global Governance

  • Re-Defining the Roles and Leadership Responsibilities of General Counsels: From In-House Lawyers to Strategic Business Partners

  • Driving Excellence and Innovation for Lawyers: How to Truly Succeed and Add Value to your Organizations 

  • M&A Strategy – What must General Counsels know about Vietnam to Deliver Quality and Value?

  • Title Insurance – Your new answer to title problems in HK

  • Economic Sanctions, Compliance and Enforcement in Hong Kong 

  • Competition & Fair-Trade Law Updates and Antitrust Enforcement in Hong Kong

  • Managing Cross-Border Commercial Arbitration and Disputes Resolution in the Greater China Region 

  • Best Practices in Implementing GDPR and Data Privacy Compliance Across Multi-Jurisdictions 

  • De-Mystifying Legal Professional Privileges - What In-House Counsels Need to Know

  • Addressing Internal Investigations and Regulatory Compliance from In-House Perspectives


To Register:

  1. Register now at

  2. Email Azrielle at

  3. Call +65 6870 3510

Proudly Presented by

Hong Kong's Alternative Legal Service Provider Market – a first of its kind event in Asia


110 men and women from a range of roles and backgrounds gathered on 11 June to learn about the growing ALSP market in Hong Kong. Flexible and agile work options in Hong Kong's legal industry are often hard to come by and this event, organised by WILHK's flexible and agile working committee, sought to raise awareness about the options and hear from those who have taken the leap into consultancy.


The evening event, held at Allen & Overy's offices in Central, was a collaboration between fours ALSPs, Peerpoint, Axiom, Lawyers on Demand and Eversheds Agile. Through a panel Q&A moderated by WILHK committee member, Michelle Fung,  four consultants, Christina Ellerker, Sandy Grieve, May Lim and Kathy Thorpe explained what led them to leave their private practice / in-house roles and try consulting. They explained how, for different lifestyle and professional reasons, they had taken shorter-term positions in-house or within firms, arranged through their ALSP. This gave them new challenges and opportunities, exposed them to different management styles, practice areas and sectors, as well as improved their range of contacts, skills and credentials. The flexibility of consulting, which was generally more project focused, gave them more time, balance and freedom to pursue passions outside of work (whether that be setting up a new business, sports, travel or spending more time with friends and family).  Personal skills required for consulting, according to panelists, included adaptability, pro-activity and resilience. The panel discussion was followed by questions from the floor addressing issues like financial security, the types of legal work suitable to consulting and whether it really was possible to work 9am-6pm (answer: yes!). The networking session afterwards allowed delegates to mingle and ask more questions of the consultants and ALSP representatives present.


Many thanks to the event sponsors, Peerpoint and Axiom, all speakers, and WILHK committee members, Stephanie Szeto (Peerpoint) and Kirsty Mastores (Axiom) for organising such a successful event. Given the popularity of the topic, WILHK will continue discussion around flexible and agile work options in Hong Kong's legal industry, next surveying men and women in Hong Kong about their views and experiences of flexible and agile working in law. Watch this space! 

Women@Lunch – May Lunch 

Location: Francis, 4&6 St. Francis Street. Wanchai

Date: Friday, 25 May, 2018

Navigating Fintech by The Bank of America Merrill Lynch LEAD for Women Network and WIT&O, APAC Chapter 

The Bank of America Merrill Lynch LEAD for Women Network and WIT&O, APAC Chapter invites you to join us for a panel discussion engaging with an esteemed panel of women leading Fintech on 11th May, 2018. The panel will discuss perspectives on the rapid evolution of Fintech, emerging trends and challenges, and the key role of diversity and inclusion in fueling innovation. Networking session with industry peers to follow the event.


8:30-9:00am Arrival and Registration (* light breakfast & refreshments)

9:00-10:00am Panel Discussion

10:00-10:30am Networking


Guest speakers are:

– Xiaomin Zhang, Head of Global Wholesale Banking Technology, APAC, Bank of America Merrill Lynch

– Connie Leung, Senior Financial Services Industry Director & Asia Lead, Worldwide Financial Services, Microsoft

– Mary McHale, Business Development Director Financial Services Asia, Equinix

– Karena Belin, Co-Founder, W Hub

– Moderator: Dino Albuquerque, Senior Treasury Sales Office, Global Transaction Services, Bank of America Merrill Lynch

When & Where

Friday, May 11, 2018 8:30-10:30am

Bank of America Merrill Lynch Hong Kong Office

55/F Rooms A-D Cheung Kong Centre 2 Queen’s Road Central Hong Kong

Women@Lunch – March Lunch 

Location: Mr. Wolf

Another fabulous Women@Lunch event yesterday at Mr Wolf. 

WILHK Diversity Event hosted by Sidley Austin

On 13 March 2018, during the Hong Kong Vis East Moot week, WILHK organized an event on the topic of Diversity in International Arbitration, which was kindly hosted by Sidley Austin and co-organised by ArbitralWomen and LILA.

The event featured a stellar list of speakers from practice and industry, namely, Kathryn Sanger, Partner at Herbert Smith Freehills and current chair of the HKIAC appointments committee, Chiann Bao, Asia Pacific Counsel at Skadden Arps and former HKIAC Secretary General) and Kellie Yi, Registered Foreign Lawyer at Allen Overy and former in-house counsel at Hyundai Heavy Industries. The panel discussion was moderated by Yan Zhang of Sidley Austin, with introductory remarks by Desmond Ang of Sidley Austin and concluding remarks by Louise Barrington, independent arbitrator and co-founder of ArbitralWomen.

The panel started with an overview of the gender diversity at a macro level, focusing not on arbitration specifically but on more general developments and the changing role of women in the workplace. Current developments in business and entertainment to empower women, such as the #metoo movement, were touched upon in explaining the current context of diversity and the momentum it is gaining.

The panel then moved to a discussion about the representation of women in international arbitration, in which a number of statistics from various arbitral institutions were examined.  Of particular mention is the Hong Kong International Arbitration Centre (HKIAC) which, since signing the Equal Representation in Arbitration Pledge, has significantly increased the number of female arbitrators it has appointed.  It was reported that the HKIAC also launched the “Women in Arbitration” initiative in China February 2018, the first group set up by an arbitral institution committed specifically to the advancement of women.

The discussion then progressed to a very interesting account of unconscious bias and how it plays out in a gender context, with the panelists reporting on their experiences in different cultural settings.  The final point addressed by the panel was how diversity could be addressed in the future to ensure that the positive momentum prevailing through current initiatives is put to good use.

The event was well-attended – fittingly for a diversity event – by a diverse group of professionals with both arbitration and non-arbitration backgrounds, including 20% male attendees.  The discussions continued at a lively drinks reception afterwards!

3rd IBA Asia-based International Financial Law Conference

To celebrate International Women's Day on 8 March 2018, WILHK has been invited by the IBA to devise and host a session. This will be titled: "Gender equality: let’s include the men". This hot topic will include an update by Dame Barbara Stocking MA DBE, President of Murray Edwards College, University of Cambridge, on the research "Collaborating with Men". This will be followed by a panel discussion moderated by Anita Phillips, WILHK Vice-Chair. Panellists include: 

  • Richard Bird Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, Hong Kong SAR

  • Angelina Kwan Head of Regulatory Compliance, Listing and Regulatory Affairs Division, Hong Kong Stock Exchange, Hong Kong SAR

  • Dame Barbara Stocking MA DBE President of Murray Edwards College, University of Cambridge, Cambridge

  • Adrian Warr Managing Director, Edelman, Hong Kong SAR

  • Clarence Yang Director, BlackRock, Hong Kong SAR

We will discuss, amongst other things: the role of men in the professional world, equality initiatives benefitting both men and women and experience sharing by male champions.


Registration is now open for the full conference (taking place 8 - 9 March 2018 at the Conrad Hotel, Hong Kong). Singapore's edition of this conference in 2016 attracted 350+ delegates from 40+ countries.

Early bird expires on 26 January 2018 - book today! #IBAFin

Corporate Governance Workshop

WILHK, PILnet, King & Wood Mallesons (KWM) and PwC co-organised the pro bono workshop - “The Global Network for Public Interest Law” on 19 January 2018 discussing corporate governance and directors duties for Hong Kong charities and NGOs. Over 70 delegates representing charities, NGOs, law firms, and in house teams attended this workshop. Hayden Flinn and Stacey Guo from KWM started by discussing the director’s duties under Hong Kong Law, followed by Duncan Fitzgerald from PwC discussing special considerations for directors of NGO’s, including good governance structures, key sensitive issues and key considerations. After that Hayden, Duncan and Stacey led a panel to have an interactive discussion with the floor. Below are some important takeaways from the workshop:


·         Directors of NGOs are essentially subject to the same legal duties as directors of commercial companies.  These duties apply even if the director is not paid any remuneration

·         Ensure the organisation actively pursues its mission / objects that are set out in the organisation’s articles or elsewhere

·         Not place oneself in a position of conflict by disclosing actual and potential conflicts of interest (including those of family members) prior to board meetings, abstain from voting where there is a material conflict of interest, not exercise powers to gain personal advantage or advantage for someone else, not accept personal benefits from third parties and to keep information received confidential

·         Breach of the duties may be subject to liabilities under both common law and statute


Thank you once again to the accomplished speakers and engaged audience for all their insights and questions. We look forward to the next workshop in the near future.

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