Vanessa Duff (Mitchell)

Senior Associate

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

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

She has over 12 years of experience in advising on all aspects of family law and issues which result from the breakdown of a relationship, including divorce, financial arrangements, and separation. She also advises clients in connection with disputes involving children, to include the financial aspects, 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 particular expertise 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 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. She also has a good understanding of European marital regimes and marriage contracts.

Vanessa’s client base primarily consists of high net worth individuals, entrepreneurs and city professionals. She is skilled in resolving cases with complex financial and disclosure issues, including trusts, and cases involving inherited wealth and family businesses. Many of her clients are expatriates, and French speaking. 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.

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




England and Wales, 2007

Hong Kong, 2020

‘Calling it Quits: The 30-day “cooling off” period before commencing a divorce in China (2), Hong Kong Economic Times – TOPICK, by Vanessa Duff (Mitchell) and Vanessa Kwan – co-author 3 May 2021

‘Calling it Quits: The 30-day "cooling off" period before commencing a divorce in China (1)’, HK Economic Times - TOPick by Vanessa Duff (Mitchell) and Vanessa Kwan – co-author 19 April 2021’ 5 Things to Consider Before Moving Overseas, Expat Living - March 2021

‘Keeping it in the Family (pre-nups, Wills and trusts: the law and practical considerations)’, ATT/CIOT Private Client Conference - 7 June 2016



  • English
  • French





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