Samantha Gershon

Partner

  • Education: Fellow of the Institute of Legal Executives , 1995 • College of Law, 1996
  • Admitted: England and Wales, 1996 • Hong Kong SAR, 2008
  • Year joined: 2014
  • Year became partner: 2016

Overview

Samantha is recommended in the Doyle's Guide 2016 list of leading family and divorce lawyers in Hong Kong.

She has over 20 years' experience in litigation and uses her commercial litigation experience to provide a unique prospective to Family Law cases.  

She has worked on a ground breaking insolvency case, the largest in Hong Kong insolvency history. The liquidators sought to hold the Executive Chairman and CEO accountable and to recover compensation for its creditors and shareholders.  The Final Judgment awarded against him was US$1.2 billion. Akai Holdings Ltd [2015] HKCFI 2280 (December 2015)

Samantha has an established practice and a particular interest in the law concerning prenuptial agreements: an evolving area in Hong Kong both in law and procedurally. She has acted for a number of high net worth individuals in divorce proceedings where she has sought on their behalf an order in terms of Pre-Nuptial Agreements signed by the parties. She was involved in the reported case of B,L v K,WS [2015] HKCU 1832 (14 May 2015)

She has worked on a number of cases where she has had to advise on multi-jurisdictional corporate issues.  This has meant also advising on international trust structures involving the jurisdictions of Cayman, the BVI or Jersey.  With her commercial litigation experience she is able to obtain worldwide injunctive relief if required.

Samantha is able to handle complicated, complex and large cases.  Prior to moving to Hong Kong she worked as a solicitor for the Metropolitan Police Service.  She was solely responsible for an action that was to be the largest jury trial ever to be held in a County Court in London. She was awarded a police Commendation for her legal advice and case management skills in handling that action.   Whilst with the Metropolitan Police she had a special role within the department dealing with children and wardship issues.

She has acted and advised on a number of international relocation cases where one parent wishes to move abroad permanently with the children.  One case involved a parent who was an alcoholic which meant stringent measures had to be put in place before relocation could be considered and mirror orders obtained in the country of relocation.

She has successfully obtained and defended applications for maintenance pending suit and litigation funding.  She acted for one of the parties in the case where the largest award of maintenance pending suit in Hong Kong was made and was later appealed  HJFG v KCY [2011] HKCA 402 [2012] 1 HKLRD 95.   With the same parties she was also involved in an application for the appointment of an interim receiver over the Husband's worldwide assets. KCY v HJFG [2011] HKCFI 452 (12 July 2011). She also dealt with the satellite litigation that arose from the same matrimonial proceedings which resulted in a number of emergency injunctions and discovery applications being made in the High Court.

She has successfully issued Section 17 proceedings where it was discovered that a spouse had disposed of shares a month prior to asking for a divorce.

Although being a tenacious litigator, Samantha is a strong advocate for mediation.  She assists a number of parties through the mediation process in order to avoid contested proceedings and if complicated legal issues often attends mediation sessions to assist in reaching amicable solutions. Samantha is a trained collaborative practitioner and a member of the Hong Kong Collaborative Practice Group.

Samantha has brought a number of cases to a successful conclusion at the Financial Dispute Resolution. 

Samantha advises on all children issues and attends CDRs.  At times she has to deal with acrimonious and highly contentious cases where no issues can be agreed upon.

Highlights

  • Acting for a high net worth individual in divorce proceedings where we are seeking an Order in terms of the Pre-Nuptial Agreement signed by the parties. This case has just been transferred to the High Court and will be the first case where the High Court will be offering guidance on the procedure to be followed post SPH v SA [2014] HKFLR 263.
  • Advising a pilot who was fighting to prevent his spouse from relocating from Hong Kong on the basis that due to the nature of the airline's flying roster the pilot was able to split time with the children 50/50 and therefore it was not in the best interests of the children to leave Hong Kong.
  • Acting for a client where the spouse alleges that shares were held under a trust arrangement for a member of their family and they returned substantial dividends when the money came into the spouse's bank account under the same arrangement. This has led to the necessity of issuing a Section 17 application under the Matrimonial Proceedings and Property Ordinance (Cap 192). Member of the family has been added as a party to the proceedings as an intervener.

Publications and speaking engagements

  • Editorial Board of Hong Kong Lexis Practical Guidance 
  • Dispute Resolution contributing author for Hong Kong Lexis Practical Guidance
  • Co-auther, How Hong Kong's children of unwed parents miss out in a break-up - the disparity of treatment between children of unmarried parents and those of married parents, South China Morning Post, 1 December 2015
  • Speaker, Financial discovery for the globally transparent or not so transparent divorce litigants, the first C5 Fraud, Asset Tracing & Recovery Asia Conference in Hong Kong, 23 June 2015 

Memberships

  • Hong Kong Family Law Association - on Executive Committee
  • Hong Kong Collaborative Practice Group
  • International Women's Insolvency & Restructuring Confederation (HK network)
  • Mentor on the TWF Mentoring Programme for Women Leaders 2015-2016
  • Law Society of Hong Kong

On a personal note

Samantha is an active member of the lively Jewish community in Hong Kong, is a Board Member of the Hong Kong Jewish Film Festival and former Treasurer to the Ohel Leah Synagogue. She enjoys spending time with her husband and three children.

   

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