Women In Arbitration (WIA)

HomeWomen In Arbitration (WIA)

Women in Arbitration (WIA) was launched by HKIAC in February 2018. The initiative is committed to the promotion and success of female practitioners in arbitration and other related areas.

If you are interested in hearing more, please click here to receive regular updates on WIA activities. 

WIA Committee Members (2022 - 2024)

Sarah Grimmer (Twenty Essex, Independent Arbitrator) Co-Chair 

Sarah joined Twenty Essex in August 2022 as a full-time arbitrator. She has over 20 years of experience in international commercial, investment treaty, and public international law dispute resolution proceedings. From 2016 to 2022, Sarah served in the highly public role of Secretary-General of the Hong Kong International Arbitration Centre (HKIAC) during which time it was ranked the third most preferred institution in the world. Prior to that, she spent a decade at the Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) in The Hague where she administered complex inter-State, investor-State, and contractual disputes involving States, State entities, and intergovernmental organisations. Sarah has also worked at the ICC International Court of Arbitration (ICC) in Paris administering hundreds of commercial cases under the ICC Rules of Arbitration. Prior to that she worked at Shearman & Sterling LLP in Paris and in private practice in New Zealand.


Lixia Zhang (Beijing Huamao & Guigu Law Firm) Co-Chair

Ms. Lixia ZHANG is the director and founding partner of Beijing Huamao & Guigu Law Firm. She serves as vice-chair of the China Academy of Arbitration Law, director of the Arbitration and Lawyer Mediation Committee of the All China Lawyers Association, director of Women Lawyers Sorority of Beijing Lawyers Association, representative of the Beijing Municipal People's Congress, chairperson of the Haidian Lawyers Association. She also serves as arbitrator of Hong Kong International Arbitration Centre, China International Economic and Trade Arbitration Commission, China Maritime Arbitration Commission, and the arbitration commissions in Beijing, Shenzhen, Guangzhou, Hainan and other institutions and has arbitration experience for 26 years.


Holly Blackwell (King &Wood Mallesons, Partner)

Holly Blackwell is an International Partner at King & Wood Mallesons in Shanghai, where she specializes in international dispute resolution. Holly represents clients in disputes subject to arbitration under the rules of major arbitration institutions and organizations in Asia and internationally, including the AAA/ICDR, CIETAC, HKIAC, ICC, LCIA, SHIAC, SIAC, SCC, and UNCITRAL. She has experience advising on significant disputes concerning commercial as well as energy and infrastructure related investments, as well as disputes between shareholders, joint venture partners, and consortium partners. She often advises on complex disputes involving multiple parties, contracts, jurisdictions, and forums, and on US and cross-border litigations and the enforcement of arbitral awards in China and abroad. Holly also has experience advising on international construction projects, as well as compliance with US trade laws, anti-bribery laws, and international integrity policies and related internal investigations. Holly received her Juris Doctor degree from Villanova University School of Law with honors, her Masters of Law degree in International Business Law from the National University of Singapore, and her Bachelor of Business Administration degree in Finance from Texas A&M University.


Helena Chen (Chen & Chang Attorneys-at-Law, Managing Partner)

Helena has vast experiences in arbitration, energy, infrastructure projects and cross-border investments. She is very experienced in acting as counsel in international arbitrations. She has also served as a sole, chair or co-arbitrator in nearly two hundred arbitrations and has acted as an emergency arbitrator in international arbitration proceedings. Helena has been recognized as a Global Leader in the categories of both construction and arbitration and a Global Leader in the category of construction in Who's Who Legal. Dr Chen is also recognized as one of the “Most in Demand Arbitrators” by the Chambers.


Heidi Chui (Stevenson Wong & Co, Partner)

Heidi Chui is a partner of Stevenson, Wong & Co., heading the Litigation and Dispute Resolution Department and the Banking and Finance Department. Heidi specializes in international commercial litigation, international arbitration and dispute resolution and frequently assists banks, borrowers, insurance companies, property management companies, funds, listed companies and financial institutions. Heidi is experienced and adept at providing legal advice on asset tracing, mortgage action, corporate takeover, enforcement of judgments, winding-up of companies and bankruptcy. In addition, Heidi has particular focus in high stakes cross-border litigation and international arbitration involving multiple jurisdictions.


Yin Ge (Han Kun Law Offices, Partner)

Yin Ge is a Shanghai-based partner with Han Kun Law Offices and she is a renowned legal expert on asset management and financial services in China. Yin worked at international law firms for over 10 years. Yin obtained LL.M. degrees from Wuhan University and Cornell Law School. She is admitted to the New York State Bar and PRC Bar. Yin has extensive experience in representing international asset managers, financial institutions, central banks, sovereign wealth funds and trading platforms on various cross-border investment initiatives.  As a leading expert in the asset management industry, Yin has also been deeply involved in advising on legislation and regulation of China's asset management and financial services sectors.


Ling Yang (HKIAC, Deputy Secretary-General)

Dr. Ling Yang is Deputy Secretary-General of HKIAC and Chief Representative of the Shanghai Office. Ling Yang graduated from the International Law Institute of Wuhan University with a Ph.D. and a LL.M. degree. Prior to joining HKIAC, Dr. Yang served as an Associate Professor at the East China University of Political Science and Law, where she has taught, practiced, and conducted research in international arbitration for more than eight years. Dr. Yang has published two books and more than 30 papers on commercial arbitration and investment arbitration. She was a visiting scholar at the University of Aix-en-Provence Marseille (2007-2008) as well as Boston University (2016-2017). Dr. Yang also participated as an independent observer in the activities of the UNCITRAL Working Group II and serves as the Executive Editor-in-Chief for the Shanghai International Arbitration Review. 


Weina Ye (Herbert Smith Freehills Kewei, International partner)

Weina is a leading disputes lawyer in regional and local markets, specialising in international arbitration and cross-border commercial dispute resolution. She has over a decade of experience in representing Chinese and multinational clients in international arbitration cases and advising clients on the resolution of complex and high value cross-border commercial disputes. Weina’s experience covers a range of commercial disputes in sectors including TMT, pharmaceuticals, manufacturing and energy, and relating to private equity investments, M&A transactions and joint ventures. Weina has represented clients and acted as an advocate in arbitration cases administered by Hong Kong International Arbitration Centre (HKIAC), Singapore International Arbitration Centre (SIAC), International Court of Arbitration of the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), Arbitration Institution of the Stockholm Chambers of Commerce (SCC) and China International Economic and Trade Arbitration Commission (CIETAC) and conducted under the UNCITRAL Arbitration Rules. She is also a listed arbitrator with Hong Kong International Arbitration Centre (HKIAC), Shanghai International Economic and Trade Arbitration Commission / Shanghai International Arbitration Centre (SHIAC), Shanghai Arbitration Commission (SHAC) and Hangzhou Arbitration Commission. She is dually qualified to practice in England & Wales and Mainland China and speaks English and Mandarin Chinese.


Dr. Xi Zhang (Olympus China, China General Counsel)

Dr Xi Zhang has, since 19 October 2021, served as China General Counsel of Olympus China and is based in Shanghai. Before joining Olympus China, she served as Vice President and General Counsel of iCarbonX Group. She was responsible for the iCarbonX group's legal, intellectual property, compliance, medical ethics and code compliance matters. Dr Zhang also served as VP & General Counsel of Bayer Greater China for more than 8 years. Prior to this, she was the General Counsel of Celanese Asia Pacific for three years. Dr Zhang graduates from School of Law, Peking University and she earned a LL.M and Ph.D in Law from School of Law, University Tuebingen, Germany. Dr Zhang started her career as an associate at the international law firm Beiten Burkhardt Mittl & Wegener and worked in its offices in Munich, Hong Kong and Beijing. Dr Zhang left private practice and joined in-house as the General Counsel of BASF Greater China in 1996, and she worked for BASF Group till 2008.


Huafang Zhu (TianTong Law Firm, Partner)

Ms. Zhu graduated from Renmin University of China with LL.M. in civil and commercial law. She is an arbitrator of various Chinese arbitration institutions, including CIETAC, SHIAC, SCIA and SAC. Ms. Zhu has intensive experience in managing legal risks in corporations and handling domestic and foreign-related commercial litigation and arbitration matters for over 20 years. Ms. Zhu has been accoladed as one of the “Top 15 Litigators in China 2022” by Asian Legal Business and listed as a “Leading Lawyer in Dispute Resolution/Arbitration” by Chambers Global Guide, Chambers Asia-Pacific Guide and Chambers Greater China Region Guide for consecutive years. She was also continuously named as one of “China’s Elite 100 Lawyers” (The A-List) from 2019 to 2021 by China Business Law Journal.



WIA Executive Committee Members (2022 - 2024)

Sylvia Jiang (Zhong Lun Law Firm, Partner)

In 2011, Sylvia joined Zhong Lun after graduation. Since joining Zhong Lun, Sylvia has been working at the Dispute Resolution Department, focusing on both domestic and overseas commercial arbitration and litigation at courts of different levels in China. Sylvia works in both Chinese and English, and her ability has been widely recognized by clients. She represents clients on arbitrations in Mainland China, Hong Kong, Singapore and other jurisdictions, as well as lawsuits before various people’s courts in China.


Connie Lee (Des Voeux Chambers)

Ms. Connie Lee was awarded the Bar Scholarship in 2008 before she joined Des Voeux Chambers to commence her practice as barrister in 2009. She has a broad civil and commercial practice in litigation and arbitration including those with cross-border elements. Her practice also has particular emphasis on company, shareholders’ disputes and insolvency matters. She is fluent in both Chinese and English and regularly handles litigation proceedings conducted in Chinese and provides legal advice on Hong Kong law for parties to litigations in Mainland, China. She is a fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators and the Arbitrators’ and Mediators’ Institute of New Zealand Inc. Since 2016, she has been appointed to the Competition Commission’s Panel of External Counsel. In September 2018 and 2019, she was appointed to sit as a Deputy District Judge. 


Yu Li (Shanghai Arbitration Commission, General Counsel)

Ms. Li is the General Counsel of Shanghai Arbitration Commission, and the Secretary-General of Alternative Dispute Resolution Center. She has a master's degree in law and specializes in commercial dispute resolution. Ms. Li focuses on arbitration research and practice for 20 years. She is well versed in arbitration-related laws and rules and has rich experience in domestic and foreign commercial arbitration, particularly in complex and difficult case. She has handled a large number of commercial arbitration cases in the field of international trade, investment, equity transfer, finance, real estate, construction and engineering.


Monika Prusinowska (University of Barcelona)

Dr. Monika Prusinowska is a specialist on international business law in the Sino-foreign context. Her current area of work and research includes, in particular, dispute resolution and foreign investment law.She has earned her degrees studying both in Europe (University of Lodz and University of Hamburg) and China (Tsinghua University). Her Phd focused on the state participation in international commercial arbitration in China. She has collected her experience working as an academic, as well as a lawyer in one of the largest law firms in China and a lecturer at the Polish embassy’s trade section in Beijing.


Mengyun Qiu (Allbright Law Offices, Partner)

Ms Qiu's main practice areas are export control and sanctions, and cross border dispute resolution. She joined AllBright Law Offices in 2010 and has been deeply engaged in foreign-related cases for more than ten years. She was an international visiting lawyer of a leading U.S. dispute resolution law firm in New York. In her early practice, she has advised listed companies and financial investment institutions on cross border investments assisted companies on issuance of new shares on Hong Kong Stock Exchange (HKSE and Regulation S debt offerings. With her previous compound experience s in cross-border transactions and capital markets, she specializes in solving major and complex cross-border dispute cases involving multiple jurisdictions by diversified dispute resolution mechanisms.


Angelia Thng (Braddell Brothers LLP, Partner)

Angelia is a Partner at Braddell Brothers LLP, Singapore's second-oldest independent law practice founded in 1883. She specialises in civil and commercial litigation and international arbitration, appearing at all levels of the Singapore Court and various major arbitral institutions. Angelia advises clients on all aspects of cross-border disputes (both in litigation and arbitration), including the enforcement of international arbitral awards and/or court judgments. Within her broad practice area, Angelia has specialist expertise in Employment & Labour Law, Corporate Insolvency and Medical Negligence. She also pays special focus on growing areas including the use of technology in the health sector and artificial intelligence in the employment sphere. Angelia has been praised for providing clients with strategic, practical and effective solutions. Angelia received her L.L.B degree from the National University of Singapore and is qualified in Singapore.


Alice Wang (Pinsent Masons, Senior Associate)

Alice is a senior associate in Pinsent Masons’ global international arbitration practice group. Alice is qualified in Queensland Australia and has extensive experience in a wide range of industry sectors. Before joining Pinsent Masons, Alice worked in Australia and Hong Kong with top tier international law firms, as well as with the in-house legal teams of multinational companies. Her practice area focuses on the contentious aspects of projects, acting for main contractors, sub-contractors and employers in arbitration and court proceedings on oil and gas, building and other civil engineering projects. Alice advises large infrastructure and energy projects located in Asia-Pacific, Europe, and South America. In particular, she represents clients in international arbitrations conducted in HKIAC, ICC, SIAC, LCIA, and other major arbitral institutions.


Xi Zhang (Deputy General Manager of Overseas Legal Department, Sinochem Holdings)

Ms. Zhang Xi works in the overseas legal Department of legal Compliance Department of Sinochem Holdings Co., Ltd (Sinochem). Prior to her current position, she served as senior counsel in Business Development Division/International Case Division of Beijing Arbitration Commission/Beijing International Arbitration Center (BAC/BIAC). Ms. Zhang administered over 700 domestic and international arbitration cases, participated in the drafting and publishing of BAC/BIAC Rules for International Investment Arbitration and Interpretation of the Rules, and was appointed as representative of observer in UNCITRAL Working Group II. Ms. Zhang is now responsible for management of Sinochem’s overseas legal disputes and compliance issues, as well as monitoring and researching on overseas legal and policies changes, etc.


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