27 January 2021 - Article
Acting for and conducting a children’s trial on behalf of a mother in highly acrimonious divorce proceedings seeking extreme safety measures to be put in place to protect the children before the father would be able to commence access after not seeing the children for some time. This resulted in a successful Judgment which included written questions being put to the father by the children with the suitability of the answers having to be considered by child psychologists before even telephone access could commence.
Acting for a mother in the first application of its kind made to the Hong Kong Court to prevent the father who was acting in person, from cross examining her in Court whilst there was a non-molestation order in place to protect the mother and the children.
Advising the client in relation to enforcement matters such the use of Hadkinson orders to block a litigant who was in contempt of court from making further applications to the court.
Acting for a client where the spouse alleged that shares held under a trust arrangements for a member of their family which returned substantial dividends when the money came into the spouse’s bank account under the same arrangement. This led to the necessity of issuing a Section 17 application under the Matrimonial and Property Ordinance (Cap 192) and the member of the family was successfully added as a party to the proceedings as an intervener.
In the trust case outlined above, following the many preliminary issue hearings which had to take place (which included access arrangements for the children), the client required litigation funding. An application was made seeking litigation funding from a third party. This was the first time such an application had been made in a family case in Hong Kong and involved the consideration of the concepts of champety and maintenance and access to justice in Hong Kong’s Basic Law and Bill of Rights.
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 high-net-worth individual concerning premarital assets and his retirement payments which involved arguments in respect of assets accrued post separation. There were also issues in respect of his decision to change direction and take on a less lucrative role and the impact that this would have on the family’s lifestyle.
Acting for a father whose wife had alcohol addiction issues and ensuring measures were in place to protect the children whilst the children were in her care so that she could both continue to have access and recover from her addiction issues.
Acting for one of the parties in one of the most regularly Hong Kong quoted family cases relating to maintenance pending suit and litigation funding. It was the largest award of maintenance pending suit in Hong Kong made and was later appealed HJFG v KCY  HKCA 402  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  HKCFI 452.
Acting for a high-net-worth individual in divorce proceedings where we were seeking an Order in terms of the prenuptial agreement signed by the parties. This case was transferred to the High Court and was the first case where the High Court was due to provide guidance on the procedure to be followed post SPH v SA  HKFLR 263.
Working on a ground breaking insolvency case, which is 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  HKCFI 2280.
England and Wales, 1996
Hong Kong SAR, 2008
‘When Cross Examination Gets Too Tough’ - January 2021, author
‘Are you a divorcee looking to relocate from Hong Kong with your children?’ - December 2020, author
‘Third Party Funding in Hong Kong’; 9 April 2020, co-author
‘Prolonged closure of the HK Courts – Time to bring in The A-Team?’; 6 Mar 2020, author
‘Chapter 13 on Cohabitation "Family Law & Practice in Hong Kong’, Sweet & Maxwell edition 3  - co-author
‘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 - December 2015, co-author
Hong Kong Family Law Association, Chair (2018 – Present)
Hong Kong Family Law Association, Honorary Secretary (2016 - 2018)
Hong Kong Collaborative Practice Group
Member of the International Academy of Collaborative Practitioners
Prosecution Panel for Disciplinary Tribunal Proceedings for the Hong Kong Law Society (2018-2020)
Practising Solicitor Member of the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal Panel Hong Kong (2020-2023)
Editorial Board LexisAdvance HK Practical Guidance Dispute Resolution (2014 – Present)
Mentor on the TWF Mentoring Programme for Women Leaders (2015-2016)
Mentor on the Women in Law Hong Kong (WILHK) Mentoring Programme 2017
‘Financial Discovery for the globally transparent’ - joint webinar with FTI Consulting, August 2020
‘Access to family justice internationally during the Covid-19 crisis’ - Resolution, May 2020
‘What you need to know about Guardianship in Hong Kong’ - Goldman Sachs, April 2020
‘Planning for the future and keeping it in the family’ - Rotary Club of Kowloon, September 2018
‘Wills and Guardianship’ - Barclays Working Families Network, April 2017
‘Alternative Dispute Resolution for Family Matters in Hong Kong’ - ALB Asia Pacific Arbitration Conference Singapore, November 2016
‘Financial discovery for the globally transparent or not so transparent divorce litigants, the first C5 Fraud, Asset Tracing and Recovery Asia’ conference, Hong Kong - June 2015
Me in a minute
From a very young age I wanted to solve problems, and in particular, crimes.
When adults asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up they didn’t expect the answer from a 7 year old girl – ‘a forensic pathologist’. But that is what I wanted to be from a very young age. I began to realise though as I became older that I wasn’t interested in medicine – I wanted to solve problems, and in particular, crimes.
I was able to satisfy my investigative appetite once I qualified as a solicitor by becoming an in-house solicitor for the Metropolitan Police. There I dealt with a complete range of matters anything from an inquest involving UK citizens who had been killed by Chechen rebels to dealing with children who needed to be made wards of court due to their parents having been arrested.
My time with the police certainly toughened me up and nothing fazes me – something that helps me deal with the most acrimonious matrimonial disputes that I now have to deal with on a daily basis. I have a number of cases that unfortunately involve either the husband or wife having addiction issues. These cases have led to documents having been forged, my having to liaise with the local police in Hong Kong and finger prints having to be lifted from various surfaces. These are all issues that I can deal with swiftly and easily given my experience and background.
When we decided to move the family to Hong Kong in 2001, I went into private practice where I was again exposed to crime in the form of white collar crime. I also began to deal with a number of civil litigation and matrimonial cases which involved forensic evidence but this time more about tracing assets and bankruptcy. I now specialise in family work but my past experience often comes in handy. As a working mother of 3 children I am able to appreciate and understand many of the child-related stresses that my clients are going through.
Looking back, I am glad that I have had the varied career that I have had. My family and I still enjoy living and working in Hong Kong which is a vibrant and stimulating place to live.
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09 July 2020 - Article