Samantha Gershon

Samantha Gershon: Attorney with Withers LLP
  • Partner at Withers LLP (418 Attorneys)
  • 20/F, Gloucester Tower, The Landmark, 15 Queen's Road, Hong Kong, China 00000
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Biography

Samantha is a partner in the divorce and family team.

She has over 20 years’ experience in litigation and uses her commercial litigation experience to provide a unique perspective to family law cases. Samantha has an established team and a particular interest in the law concerning prenuptial agreements: an evolving area in Hong Kong both in law and procedurally. She has acted for a number of high net worth individuals in divorce proceedings where she has sought on their behalf an order in terms of pre-nuptial agreements signed by the parties.

Samantha has worked on a number of cases where she has had to advise on multi-jurisdictional corporate issues, which has meant also advising on international trust structures involving the jurisdictions of Cayman, the BVI or Jersey. With her commercial litigation experience she is able to obtain worldwide injunctive relief if required.

Although being a tenacious litigator, Samantha is a strong advocate for mediation. She assists a number of parties through the mediation process in order to avoid contested proceedings and if complicated legal issues often attends mediation sessions to assist in reaching amicable solutions.

Samantha has brought a number of cases to a successful conclusion at the Financial Dispute Resolution.

She advises on all children issues and attends CDR s. At times she has to deal with acrimonious and highly contentious cases where no issues can be agreed upon.

Prior to moving to Hong Kong she worked as a solicitor for the Metropolitan Police Service. She was solely responsible for an action that was to be the largest jury trial ever to be held in a County Court in London. She was awarded a police Commendation for her legal advice and case management skills in handling that action. Whilst with the Metropolitan Police she had a special role within the department dealing with children and wardship issues.

Samantha is currently the Chair of the Hong Kong Family Law Association and was previously the Honorary Secretary from 2016 to 2018.

Dates

Joined
2014

Partner
2016

Talks

‘Financial discovery for the globally transparent or not so transparent divorce litigants, the first C5 Fraud, Asset Tracing and Recovery Asia’ conference, Hong Kong - June 2015

Track record

Working on a ground breaking insolvency case, the largest in Hong Kong insolvency history. The liquidators sought to hold the Executive Chairman and CEO accountable and to recover compensation for its creditors and shareholders. The Final Judgment awarded against him was US$1.2 billion. Akai Holdings Ltd [2015] HKCFI 2280.

Acting for a high net worth individual in divorce proceedings where we are seeking an Order in terms of the prenuptial agreement signed by the parties. This case has just been transferred to the High Court and will be the first case where the High Court will be offering guidance on the procedure to be followed post SPH v SA [2014] HKFLR 263.

Advising a pilot who was fighting to prevent his spouse from relocating from Hong Kong on the basis that due to the nature of the airline’s flying roster the pilot was able to split time with the children 50/50 and therefore it was not in the best interests of the children to leave Hong Kong.

Acting for a client where the spouse alleges that shares were held under a trust arrangement for a member of their family and they returned substantial dividends when the money came into the spouse’s bank account under the same arrangement. This has led to the necessity of issuing a Section 17 application under the Matrimonial Proceedings and Property Ordinance (Cap 192). Member of the family has been added as a party to the proceedings as an intervener.

Acting for one of the parties in the case where the largest award of maintenance pending suit in Hong Kong was made and was later appealed HJFG v KCY [2011] HKCA 402 [2012] 1 HKLRD 95. With the same parties she was also involved in an application for the appointment of an interim receiver over the Husband’s worldwide assets. KCY v HJFG [2011] HKCFI 452.

Acting and advising on a number of international relocation cases where one parent wishes to move abroad permanently with the children.

Publications

‘How Hong Kong’s children of unwed parents miss out in a break-up - the disparity of treatment between children of unmarried parents and those of married parents’, South China Morning Post - December 2015, co-author

Me in a minute

From a very young age I wanted to solve problems, and in particular, crimes.

When adults asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up they didn’t expect the answer from a 7 year old girl - ‘a forensic pathologist’. But that is what I wanted to be from a very young age. I began to realise though as I became older that I wasn’t interested in medicine - I wanted to solve problems, and in particular, crimes.

I was able to satisfy my investigative appetite once I qualified as a solicitor by becoming an in-house solicitor for the Metropolitan Police. There I dealt with a complete range of matters anything from an inquest involving UK citizens who had been killed by Chechen rebels to dealing with children who needed to be made wards of court due to their parents having been arrested.

My time with the police certainly toughened me up and nothing fazes me - something that helps me deal with the most acrimonious matrimonial disputes that I now have to deal with on a daily basis. I have a number of cases that unfortunately involve either the husband or wife having addiction issues. These cases have led to documents having been forged, my having to liaise with the local police in Hong Kong and finger prints having to be lifted from various surfaces. These are all issues that I can deal with swiftly and easily given my experience and background.

When we decided to move the family to Hong Kong in 2001, I went into private practice where I was again exposed to crime in the form of white collar crime. I also began to deal with a number of civil litigation and matrimonial cases which involved forensic evidence but this time more about tracing assets and bankruptcy. I now specialise in family work but my past experience often comes in handy. As a working mother of 3 children I am able to appreciate and understand many of the child-related stresses that my clients are going through.

Looking back, I am glad that I have had the varied career that I have had. My family and I still enjoy living and working in Hong Kong which is a vibrant and stimulating place to live.

Areas of Practice (8)

  • Leaders and senior executives
  • High-net-worth individuals
  • Beneficiaries and heirs
  • Asia Pacific
  • Hong Kong
  • Families and family offices
  • Owners and entrepreneurs
  • Professional advisers

Education & Credentials

Contact Information:
+852 3711 1606  Phone
+852 3711 1601  Fax
www.withersworldwide.com/people/samantha-gershon
Law School Attended:
College of Law, 1996; Fellow of the Institute of Legal Executives, 1995
Year of First Admission:
2006
Admission:
2008, Hong Kong SAR; 1996, England and Wales
Memberships:

Memberships

Hong Kong Family Law Association, Chair (Present)

Hong Kong Family Law Association, Honorary Secretary (2016 - 2018)

Hong Kong Collaborative Practice Group

International Women's Insolvency and Restructuring Confederation (HK network)

Mentor on the TWF Mentoring Programme for Women Leaders 2015-2016

Prosecution Panel for Disciplinary Tribunal Proceedings for the Hong Kong Law Society

ISLN:
923311511

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Hong Kong, China

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