Sharon Ser

Regional Senior Partner Asia

  • Education: London School of Economics, LLB Law
  • Admitted: England and Wales, 1983 • Hong Kong SAR, 1987
  • Languages spoken: English
  • Year joined: 2010
  • Year became partner: 2010

Overview

Sharon has been in Hong Kong for some 30 years and she remains as excited by its opportunities and possibilities as she was when first coming here. The legal issues in Hong Kong are almost always complex and international in flavour reflecting the sort of people who live here whether born here or have made Hong Kong their home.

Sharon focuses on family matters and international divorce cases involving jurisdiction arguments and financial issues including, these days more than ever, the impact of trusts both those already created or to be created. This area of law also inevitably includes advising on cases involving children and the international relocation of them.

She also increasingly advises on the drafting and enforceability of pre and post nuptial agreements. Her cases often involve advising high net worth individuals where complex financial structures are involved and assets are located globally.

She has also practiced in the criminal and civil law fields but her specialty and expertise is very much family law based. She has been involved in a number of the key reported cases in the family field, many of which have fundamentally impacted on this area of the law.

Sharon is a Civil Celebrant of Marriages, and although she has conducted more divorces than marriages, she greatly enjoy the latter. She is ever the optimist.    

Awards include:

  • Sharon has been the delighted winner of the Best Family Law Practice in Hong Kong for the last 10 years. It was very exciting to win this award in the first year of moving to Withers, having been part of the winning team in my previous practice. 
  • Chambers recognizes Withers in Hong Kong as Band 1 under Matrimonial / Family Law and Sharon is personally recognized by them as a Leading Individual Ranked as Band 1. 
  • She is also recognized by Doyles Guide to Hong Kong Family Lawyers as the Market Leader.

Sharon has recently been interviewed by South China Morning Post and China Daily

Highlights

  • Leading the team on a Court of Final Appeal landmark case which changed the law in respect of prenuptial agreements in Hong Kong: SPH v SA (Forum and Marital agreements) [2014] HKFLR 286
  • Previously Sharon led the team on the leading Court of Appeal forum case in Hong Kong which is regularly quoted in the many forum disputes in Hong Kong DGC v SLC (Stay of proceedings; forum non conveniens) [2008] HKFLR 160
  • Leading the team on a Court of Appeal case which confirmed the law in respect of premarital assets: PW v PPTW (Ancillary relief: non matrimonial property) [2015] 1 HKC 450
  • Leading the team in respect of the first case post SPH v SA to consider the impact of prenuptial agreements in Hong Kong B,L v K,WS (MPS; prenuptial agreements) [2015] HKCU 1832
  • Leading the team to the Court of Appeal acting for the wife in her application for ancillary relief, including a claim for compensation: YN v NA (Ancillary relief: compensation) [2014] HKFLR 517

Publications and speaking engagements

  • She is a frequent contributor to press articles – both in being quoted and in the drafting the articles
  • She wrote the Chapter on 'Protecting Assets on Divorce' Far Eastern Edition of 'Credit Suisse Guide to Managing your wealth'
  • She was a major contributor to the Chapter in 'Family Law and Practice in Hong Kong on the International Overview of Matrimonial Finance in Other Jurisdictions' 
  • She is a frequent lecturer for the Law Society and other legal and professional institutions on family law, both in Hong Kong and overseas
  • Editor, Hong Kong Family Law Reports 
  • Author, We're fighting on finances?  But, we reached an agreement, didn't we? Pre-Nuptial Agreements – do they stick?, Lexis Practical Guidance magazine, November 2015
  • Author, Prenuptial Agreements: can we rely on them?, STEP Hong Kong branch newsletter, December 2015
  • Co-author, Forum Feud, STEP Journal, February 2015
  • Co-author, Divorce settlements: private adjudication a better way to settle financial issues, South China Morning Post, 28 September 2015
  • Co-author, Hong Kong Court of Final Appeal upholds landmark forum case involving nuptial agreements, Hong Kong Lawyer, July 2014
  • Co-author, Legal Eye: Taking care of the children should be a well-crafted will's priority,  South China Morning Post, 29 April 2014
  • Co-author, Putting more focus on children: The Children's Dispute Resolution Pilot Scheme, Hong Kong Lawyer,  November 2012

Memberships

  • She is a member of the Hong Kong Family Law Association.  She was Chairman 1992-1998, so through the "handover" period in Hong Kong.
  • She was a former member of the Hong Kong Judicial Committee for Reform of Ancillary Relief and the Hong Kong Judicial Committee concerning children's rights.
  • She is a Fellow of the International Academy of Family Lawyer, formerly known as the IAML.

On a personal note

Sharon is an active member of the lively Jewish Community in Hong Kong and was President of the Reform Congregation for 4 years. She is also a director of the Hong Kong Jewish Film Association, and the UIA, and she set up the Hong Kong Friends of Tel Aviv University, an educational and charitable institution in Hong Kong. She does a great deal of interfaith and community work in the vibrant and rich cultural life of Hong Kong.

On the rare occasion that Sharon is not working or involved in the Jewish community, she enjoys hiking the hills of Hong Kong and travel.

           

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