The WIA Committee aim to be at the forefront of promoting gender diversity in the field of arbitration, empowering women by developing their skills and supporting their journey through events, networking opportunities, and mentorship. The members are based in a variety of locations to extend the reach of WIA’s work.
WIA Committee’s Role and Responsibilities
- Connect, support and advance women in arbitration and promote gender diversity within the dispute resolution community in Mainland China, Hong Kong, and globally;
- Contribute to shaping policies and activities to develop the next generation of young professionals;
- Organise events addressing topical issues and provide opportunities for networking and knowledge exchange;
- Proactively build and lead a working group to run innovative programmes (research, education and/ or advocacy) to drive measurable change;
- Develop sector-specific activities to promote WIA; and
- Attend regular meetings.
The WIA Committee members for the 2022 – 2024 term are:
WIA Committee Members (2022 - 2024)
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.
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 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 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 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.
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 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.
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.
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.