Vanessa Duff (Mitchell)

Senior Associate | Hong Kong

Secretary Carol Wong


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 English & French speaker.

She has over 14 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 Lawyer, Hong Kong Economic Times, Around DB, Hong Kong Animal Post and Hong Kong Madame.

Vanessa is also a qualified Mental Health First Aider and able to assist and support clients who are experiencing emotional distress or other mental health concerns.