Samantha is a partner in the divorce and family team.She has over 20 years’ experience in litigation and uses her commercial litigation experience to provide a unique perspective to family law cases. Samantha is the Vice-Chair of the Hong Kong Family Law Association (‘HKFLA’) after having served as its Chair from 2018 to 2021.She is a Fellow of the International Academy of Family Lawyers and is on its Board of Governors as an Asia Pacific Chapter Delegate. She has just been re-appointed for a further three year term by the Chief Justice as a Practising Solicitor Member of the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal Panel. Samantha was previously the Honorary Secretary of the HKFLA from 2016 to 2018 and an Executive Member of the Hong Kong Committee on Children's Rights.
Samantha advises on all children issues and has acted in a number of high conflict children cases where one parent has addiction issues. This has meant ensuring that safeguards are in place to protect children before access can take place. Prior to moving to Hong Kong, Samantha worked as a solicitor for the Metropolitan Police Service. Her background in the police assists with being able to recognise techniques used by parties who try to circumvent protective measures set by the Court. This may mean they have resorted to falsifying breathalyser/urine/hair tests or forging documents. With her background, she is able to adapt to fast changing "twists" and "turns" of a case with ease. Nothing fazes her. She has also acted and advised on a number of international relocation cases where one parent wishes to move abroad permanently with the children.
Samantha works equally on a number of complex financial disputes some involving multi-jurisdictional corporate issues and trust structures. With her commercial litigation experience, she is able to obtain injunctive relief if required whether in Hong Kong or worldwide.
Although Samantha is a tenacious litigator and at times has to deal with acrimonious and highly contested cases where no issues can be agreed upon, she is a strong advocate for alternative dispute resolution methods. She is a trained collaborative practitioner. She assists a number of parties through the mediation process in order to avoid contested proceedings and often attends mediation sessions involving complicated legal issues in an effort to reach amicable solutions. She is on the ad hoc committee (and a founder member of the company set up in Hong Kong) to promote Private Financial Adjudication ("PFA") in family cases and one of the first cohort in Hong Kong to pass the exam allowing her to be accredited as an adjudicator.
Whilst working as a solicitor for the Metropolitan Police Service, Samantha 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. This helped recently when she was asked to comment on the Hong Kong Judiciary's draft guidance notes on wardship cases.
Samantha is ranked in Chambers Greater China region in 2023, where her clients noted that "she is very numerate which, of course, is always an important asset in big-money cases" and "Samantha is a solid lawyer and she works enormously hard – not just on cases in front of her but on professional knowledge too". She has also been recommended in the Doyle's Family Law Guide for 8 years in a row.
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.