Female Legal Leaders Seminar

Female Legal Leaders Seminar

Following the great success of Female Legal Leaders Seminars in 2019 and 2020, CUHK LAW now proudly presents the fourth Female Legal Leaders Seminar to be held at the Graduate Law Centre, 2/F, Bank of America Tower, Central on 18 November 2021, 5:00-6:30pm.

The seminar will be delivered by three distinguished female legal leaders: Ms. Sharon Ser, Partner of Withersworldwide, leading family lawyer in Hong Kong, Ms. Elsie Yiu, Vice President of ISS World Services, former barrister turned Board member of international corporation and Ms. Jennifer Ngai, Assistant General Counsel of Asian Development Bank, former international law firm private practitioner turned international organisation legal counsel.

About the Speakers:

Sharon is a partner in the divorce and family team.

She has been in Hong Kong for some 30 years and remains as excited by its opportunities and possibilities as she was when first coming here. The legal issues in Hong Kong are almost always complex and international in flavour reflecting the sort of people who live here whether born here or have made Hong Kong their home.

Sharon focuses on family matters and international divorce cases involving jurisdiction arguments and financial issues including, these days more than ever, the impact of trusts both those already created or to be created. This area of law also inevitably includes advising on cases involving children and the international relocation of them.

She also increasingly advises on the drafting and enforceability of pre and postnuptial agreements. Her cases often involve advising high net worth individuals where complex financial structures are involved and assets are located globally.

Sharon has also assisted in the criminal and civil law fields but her specialty is very much family law based. She has been involved in a number of the key reported and ground-breaking legal cases in the family field, many of which have fundamentally impacted on this area of the law.

She is a Civil Celebrant of Marriages, and although she has conducted more divorces than marriages, she greatly enjoy the latter. She is ever the optimist.

Sharon is frequently invited by various international associations, conference organisers, and banks to give talks on family law issues. She has been ranked as a Band 1 lawyer on Chambers Asia-Pacific for years, and has been recognised as a Preeminent Lawyer on Doyle’s Hong Kong Family & Divorce Lawyers since 2019. In 2020 and 2021, she is recognised by the Benchmark Litigation as one of the Top 100 Women in Litigation in Asia-Pacific.

Elsie Yiu is the Group Vice President and Head of Legal for Asia-Pacific at the world’s largest facility services company ISS, which employs 400,000 people around the world. She came to the company in 2015 as Senior Legal Counsel and is in charge of legal operations in Asia Pacific. In 2018, Elsie was promoted to be the Head of Legal of APAC and in that role, she works with colleagues around the world on a range of issues, such as resolving contractual disputes, advising business teams on various matters, negotiating contracts, managing litigation cases and training local managers in service-related compliance issues. In 2019, Elsie has also been an elected member of the ISS Board of Directors.

Elsie started her career as a barrister-at-law in Denis Chang’s Chambers in 2000 and was in practice for 15 years. Her pupillage included the memorable and colourful Fetish Fashion case on public indecency, but her practice subsequently centred on insolvency and general commercial disputes. Some of the notable cases are Joint and Several Trustees of the Property of Karson Oten Fan (in Bankruptcy) and Kong Suk Chun & Others, HCMP No. 1101 of 2011, Re Grande Holdings Ltd (Provisional Liquidators Appointed) [2013] 4 HKLRD 353, Peter Ma Ho Yin Laye v. Tam Ma Lai & Others, CACV 260/2010.

Elsie was born and raised in Hong Kong but left to study in California at age 15. After high school, she went to study politics at University of Chicago. Elsie graduated with double honours from the University of Chicago, where she majored in political science. She also holds a BA in law from the University of Cambridge. She did her PCLL at University of Hong Kong. She is on the Roll of Barrister in Hong Kong and is a certified CEDR Mediator.

Elsie currently lives with her family in Copenhagen, Denmark. She is married to Jes, a former journalist and communications director at Coca-Cola Europe, and the couple have two children, Laura, 15, and Emilie, 12.

Ms. Jennifer Ngai currently serves as Assistant General Counsel of Asian Development Bank (ADB). ADB is a multilateral development bank with 68 members, committed to achieving a prosperous, inclusive, resilient, and sustainable Asia and the Pacific, while sustaining its efforts to eradicate extreme poverty.

Ms. Ngai leads the legal team responsible for institutional and administrative matters, including privileges and immunities issues, governance, human resources policy formulation and implementation, management of external disputes and internal grievance, and information and data privacy issues.

Ms. Ngai joined ADB in 2010, specializing in sovereign operations in the Central and West Asia region and later the South Asia and Pacific regions. In 2018-2021, Ms. Ngai served as Senior Advisor to the Vice-President for Administration and Corporate Administration. In that role, she advised on a wide range of key institutional and administrative activities, including ADB’s institutional response to the Covid-19 pandemic; organizational resilience; human resources initiatives including on diversity and inclusion, and ADB’s comprehensive review of compensation and benefits in 2020; pension governance; and IT reforms.

Prior to ADB, Ms. Ngai practiced law at Linklaters and worked in its London, New York, Hong Kong, and Shanghai offices over 7 years. She specialized in structured finance and capital markets transactions.

Ms. Ngai completed her Master of Arts degree in Law with Honors at Magdalene College, University of Cambridge; Master of Arts in International Relations and International Law with Distinction at Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS), Johns Hopkins University; and Postgraduate Certificate of Laws with Distinction at City University of Hong Kong. She is an alumna of the Li Po Chun United World College of Hong Kong.

Ms. Ngai holds legal qualifications as solicitor in Hong Kong, and England and Wales, and as attorney in the State of New York.

Moderator: Professor Queenie Lai, Associate Dean of Teaching and Learning, CUHK LAW

About the Seminar:

The Female Legal Leaders Seminar invites distinguished female members of the legal community to share their professional and personal experience. The seminar aims to enhance awareness regarding gender issues. Speakers are invited to share their stories of personal growth, interest in law, career development and advice to our students for succeeding in the legal industry.

About the Female Legal Leader Seminar Series:

The Female Legal Leaders Seminar Series have been very successful in the past – distinguished members from the Hong Kong legal community have shared their professional and personal experience with our students. Our past speakers include amongst others Ms. Anna Wu, GBS, JP (Chair of Hong Kong Competition Commission), The Hononary Mrs. Justice Audrey Campbell-Moffat (Court of First Instance, High Court of Hong Kong), Ms. Emma Davies (Partner of Clifford Chance, Hong Kong), Her Honour Judge Sharon Melloy (Family Court Judge, District Court of Hong Kong), Ms. Sylvia W.Y. Siu, (Consultant of Sit, Fung, Kwong, Shum), Ms. Winnie Tam SC (former Chairman of the Hong Kong Bar Association), The Honorable Madam Justice Marlene Ng (Judge of the Court of First Instance of the High Court) and Ms. Cathy C.Y. Yeung (Partner of Latham & Watkins).

Our students were very much inspired by the stories they shared and greatly appreciated the opportunity to interact with the speakers. The Faculty believes that it is very important for our students to be inspired by positive role models, to see how each of us can live our fullest potential and see the best in ourselves.


All students (male and female), alumni and practitioners most welcome to join our discussions. Don’t miss this annual event.


18 Nov 2021


5:00 pm - 6:30 pm


The CUHK Graduate Law Centre
Graduate Law Centre 2/F, Bank of America Tower, 12 Harcourt Road Central, Hong Kong