Vanessa Duff (Mitchell)

Senior Associate | Hong Kong

Vanessa is a senior associate in the divorce and family team.

Vanessa is a Senior Associate qualified in Hong Kong and in England & Wales, and is a native French speaker.

She has over 13 years of experience in advising on all aspects of family law and issues which arise from the breakdown of a relationship, including divorce, financial arrangements, and separation. She also advises clients in connection with disputes involving children, to include child maintenance, issues relating to custody, care and control and access, as well as on applications for leave to remove a child from the jurisdiction. Vanessa has experience in dealing with cases of child abduction under the Hague Convention, and the associated Court proceedings in the High Court.

Vanessa’s expertise lies in dealing with cases which have an international perspective, with a particular interest in cases having a Hong Kong-European dimension and jurisdictional disputes. She has numerous relationships with foreign lawyers and is able to manage multi-country cases and rapidly source foreign advice where necessary.

She is also a specialist in advising on and drafting prenuptial/postnuptial agreements, cohabitation agreements, and separation agreements, both domestic and international. This is an area of practice which requires sensitivity and tact and may require a good understanding of European marital regimes and marriage contracts.

Vanessa’s client base includes high net worth individuals, entrepreneurs and city professionals. She is skilled in resolving cases with complex financial and disclosure issues, including cases involving inherited wealth and family businesses. Many of her clients are expatriates, and French speaking, and she will conduct meetings in French if necessary. She always goes the extra mile for her clients.

Where appropriate, Vanessa is committed to resolving disputes outside of the Courtroom and is a keen advocate of alternative methods of dispute resolution, including mediation, arbitration and private FDRs.

Prior to joining the Hong Kong family team, Vanessa worked in the Withers London family team for over 11 years. She grew up and was educated in Belgium, and subsequently studied in London and Paris.

She has been featured in various publications to include Expat Living, Hong Kong Economic Times and Hong Kong Madame.

Secretary Jacquelina Wong

‘‘

Julian Lipson and Vanessa Mitchell have provided me with clear, direct and informed advice in a field in which I have found judgement is as important as fact. Their approach to family law has been both hugely reassuring and helpful. Highly recommended.

Property investor and developer
‘‘

Thanks to my lawyers I felt strongly supported, protected and defended during this traumatising time that a divorce can be. They helped me to keep my dignity and my self-esteem fighting to assert my rights and doing so with success and in an ethical way. They worked with great efficiency, honesty and intelligence, always available when I needed them so I never felt alone or afraid during this most difficult time of my life. I owe them a lot and I will be forever grateful.

Stay at home parent

Admissions

Publications

Talks

England and Wales, 2007

Hong Kong, 2020

‘In the best interests of the animal’, AroundDB - Sept 2021, co-author

‘Top tips when choosing a family/divorce lawyer’ , Hong Kong Madame - 15 June 2021

‘Calling it Quits: The 30-day “cooling off” period before commencing a divorce in China’ - 4 May 2021

‘International mobility in a world of Covid-19 - European opportunities and points for reflection’ , Withers - 11 March 2021

‘Preserving Wealth - What Owners, Entrepreneurs and Founders need to know’ , Italian Chamber of Commerce - 12 May 2021

‘Modern Families: Getting married, living together, estate planning and the international dynamics’ , ATT/CIOT Private Client Conference – 12 June 2018

Education


Languages


  • English
  • French

Dates


Joined

2008

Recognition


Hong Kong

30/F United Centre,

95 Queensway

View Office

Regularly works with...