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Session Speakers and Moderators

Dr Martin Abend | Vice President of The German Federal Bar (GERMANY)

Dr Martin Abend, born in Heilbronn, studied law at the universities of Heidelberg, Lausanne, Geneva and completed his studies at Cornell Law School, Ithaca, New York, with a Master of Laws (LL.M.) degree in 1989. He obtained a Doctor of Law de-gree from the University Heidelberg in 1994. His doctoral dissertation was on inter-national contract law. In 1993 he was admitted to the Saxony Bar. Since 1997 he works as self-employed lawyer in the law firm Abend & Hausö in Dresden in particu-lar in the fields of company law, commercial law, international contract law as well as architectural and engineering contract law.

In 1999 he became member of the Board of the Saxony Bar and held the office of President of the Bar from 2007 to March 2015. Since 1996 Martin Abend is a mem-ber of the Committee of European Affairs of the German Federal Bar. In 2011 he was elected Vice President of the German Federal Bar.

Ms Irum Ahsan | Office of the General Counsel | Asian Development Bank (PHILLIPINES)

Irum Ahsan completed her legal education from the London School of Economics and Political Science. Before joining the Asian Development Bank (ADB), she practiced on contentious and non-contentious legal matters in Pakistan. In addition, Irum taught law at various prestigious institutions. At ADB, she is working in the Office of the General Counsel where she advises on multi-sector projects for inclusive growth. Irum is currently leading the Law and Policy Reform Program (LPR) with her projects focused on areas such as environmental and climate change adjudication and enforcement, legal literacy for women, corporate governance, energy laws, and regional cooperation. ADB’s LPR work is based on the premise that a functioning legal system – anchored by the Rule of Law is an essential component of sustainable development. Her work led to the establishment of the Asian Judges Network on Environment, the first such network in the world, more than 6 green courts in Asia and Asia’s first Gender Based Violence Case Court in Pakistan. Irum has also organized several symposiums for Chief justices on environmental and climate change laws, and presented her work at numerous international forums. She is a member of ADB’s Governance, Gender and Environment Thematic Groups. Irum is an active advocate for gender consciousness and for women’s rights and passionately steers the gender discussion in ADB. Her work led to winning the 2018 Financial Times Most Innovative In-House Legal Team Award in Asia and the Pacific, and Innovation in Rule of Law and Access to Justice Award.

Mr Daniel Albert | Daniel & Wong Advocates and Solicitors / AIJA (MALAYSIA)

Daniel is a Barrister-at-law (Lincoln’s Inn) and was admitted to the Malaysian Bar in 2008. Daniel is a founding partner of the firm and heads the firm’s dispute resolution team.

He has appeared as counsel at all tiers of the Malaysian Courts. Daniel’s practice includes an extensive range of commercial and civil litigation involving companies, banking & finance, professional negligence, contractual, administrative law and probate disputes.

Daniel’s areas of interest are in corporate and shareholder disputes, fraud and insolvency. Daniel has notably acted in a variety of complex and high value shareholder and partnership disputes as well as derivative actions and oppression petitions. He is also regularly appointed in respect of liquidation and receivership related matters.

Daniel was previously the Deputy Chair of the Kuala Lumpur Bar Young Lawyers Committee. In 2017, Daniel was a finalist in the Young Lawyer of the Year category for the Asian Legal Business Malaysian Law Awards.

Ms Pinky Anand | Office of Additional Solicitor General of India (INDIA)

Dr Pinky Anand is a designated Senior Advocate and incumbent Additional Solicitor General of India. A Doctorate of Law, graduate of the Harvard Law School and an Inlaks scholar, Honorary Professor at Amity Law School, she is the second woman in India holding this high Constitutional Law office.

Dr Anand is the Alternate Country Councillor (India) of LAWASIA and the Chair of ADR Committee (Business Law Section, LAWASIA). She is the Vice President of Bar Association of India and Incharge International Relations Bar Association of India (IBA, Lawasia, UIA, CLA, IPBA). She represented LAWASIA as Observer to 66th UNCITRAL Conference on Working Group II (Dispute Settlement) at New York in February, 2017 and was a speaker at UNCITRAL Flagship Conference in Incheon, Korea 2016. Dr Anand handles international and domestic major arbitrations in India.

Dr Anand has led India in several international forums including BRICS Legal Forum in Brazil, China and lastly in India. As an International Member of BRICS Legal Forum Steering Committee, she was Delegation Member of MOU signing between the Law Society of Hong Kong and the Bar Association of India January 2017; Speaker at ICH conference at Harvard Kennedy School 2017. Speaker at ICH conference at Harvard Business School 2017. Delivered lecture at HLS Cambridge 2017 on “Judicial Review–Judicial Activism – Judicial Restraint”.

A versatile multifaceted person, social activist, and a leading lawyer in diverse fields, Dr Anand’s accomplishments extend from legal expertise to media to politics to social activities. She has worked tirelessly for the cause of social development and has achieved numerous milestones including development of ADR, development of the country, right of free speech, eradication of malpractices or the protection of children. The causes espoused by her have led us towards milestone changes in the legal fabric. She has been honoured with several awards for excellence in law.

Mr P.E. Ashokan | KhattarWong LLP (SINGAPORE)

PE Ashokan is a partner in the litigation and arbitration team at international law firm, Withers KhattarWong. A seasoned practitioner of close to 30 years, he has vast experience in a wide range of contentious and non-contentious matters. He has represented clients in arbitration, civil and criminal trials and appeals at all levels of the Singapore Courts.

Ashokan has a deep understanding of the interplay between law, life and business and has a keen interest in using law to find bespoke solutions to a myriad of personal and commercial issues. He is able to resolve disputes in an amicable, expedient and confidential manner, while possessing the tenacity to represent clients in court or before an arbitral tribunal should the need arise. His active involvement in the community as a District Councilor, grassroots leader and member of the Public Transport Council, amongst other established organizations, has added a great dimension to his sound appreciation of human complexities, which augments his ability to provide clients with bespoke legal advice best tailored to their circumstances. The work undertaken by Ashokan in these organizations have exposed him to a wide cross section of people, where he honed his skills of looking at issues from the establishment’s point of view, as well as understanding the individual’s needs. This has added an element of empathy that is characteristic to his advocacy.

Ashokan’s client-centric solutions are achieved through his interpersonal skills, alongside his expertise in various areas of law, including (but not limited to) Administrative Law, Bankruptcy & Insolvency Law, Corporate and Commercial Law, Criminal Law, Defamation Law, Employment Law, Family Law, Immigration Law, Insurance & Reinsurance Law, Property Law including Landlord and Tenant Law, Tax Law, Negligence including professional liability of Doctors and Lawyers.

Ashokan’s clients include multi-national corporations, individuals, statutory boards and registered societies. An advocate of pro-bono work, he has also provided free legal counselling at community centers and legal clinics for more than 27 years.

Mr Matthew Baird | Asian Research Institute for Environmental Law (THAILAND)

Mr Matthew Baird has over 27 years experience in environmental and planning law in Australia and in Asia. Mr Baird has consulted for a number of organisations including the Asian Development Bank, Vermont Law School, United Nations Development Program, IGES, Mekong Partnership on the Environment, and Earthrights International on environmental law issues.

In September 2016, he was appointed as Visiting Scholar of the Myanmar Environmental Governance Program of Vermont Law School.

He was a drafter for the Environmental and Natural Resources Code for Cambodia and the Guidelines for Public Participation and Access to Information in EIA in Cambodia.

Mr Baird was Chair of the Environment and Planning Law Group of the Law Council of Australia from 2008-2012. He is the deputy-chair of LAWASIA’s Standing Committee on Environmental Law and a member of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Commission on Environmental Law.

He lectures part-time at University of New South Wales on Sustainable Energy Law, including teaching on Nuclear Energy Law.

Two recent publications are the Environmental Impact Assessment in the Mekong Region: Materials and Commentary (First Edition), September 2016 and Draft Regional Guidelines on Public Participation in Environmental Impact Assessment, January 2016.

Ms Lorybeth R. Baldrias-Serrano | Insights Philippines Legal Advisors (PHILIPPINES)

Lorybeth is a partner at Insights Philippines Legal Advisors, a member firm of ZICO Law. She is a lawyer and certified public accountant with a sixteen-year cumulative experience in tax, customs and international trade, data privacy and technology, trade consultancy, tax management and key account management.

As a tax practitioner, Lorybeth has experienced aspects of tax practice from various perspectives: tax planning, tax advisory, tax reporting and compliance, tax processes and tax advocacy, both as an external advisor and in-house tax manager. She is also a member of the Tax Management Association of the Philippines.

As an external tax advisor in Quisumbing Torres – Baker & McKenzie, Castillo Laman Tan Pantaleon & San Jose and Sycip Gorres & Velayo – Ernst and Young, Lorybeth has participated in a number of due diligence work and advised multinational clients on cross-border tax planning and restructuring initiatives, maximizing use of tax treaties and trade agreements, contract review, tax-efficient set up of local business entities, transfer pricing, economic zone and expatriate taxation, impact of direct and indirect taxes on various business transactions and industries. She has also advised on tax implications of disruptive technologies.

As head of the tax organization of Jollibee Foods Corporation, she led the creation and implementation of new and revised tax policies and processes, in relation to new revenue issuances, results of tax assessments and recurring issues. In her role as a Tax Operations Manager in Shell, she led a team of 60 people and interfaced with stakeholders from various tax jurisdictions.

Lorybeth was a speaker on Philippine Economic Zone taxation in the 14th and 15th Philippine Tax Summits. She also spoke on latest developments on Tax, Competition and FinTech at the M&A Roundtable Discussion sponsored by the ZICO Law Network at the IPBA in Manila last March 2018.

Lorybeth joined Insights Philippines Legal Advisors in March 2017 as one of its founding lawyers. She was promoted to Partnership in the ZICO Law Network in January 2018. Joining the ZICO Law Network has helped her broaden her practice to now include Technology and Special Projects.

Professor Ben Boer | Wuhan University (CHINA)

Ben Boer was appointed as Emeritus Professor in Environmental Law in late 2008 at the University of Sydney. In 2011, he was appointed as National Distinguished Professor under the Chinese Government’s 1000 Talents Programme in the Research Institute of Environmental Law, at Wuhan University, Hubei Province. He was the Deputy Chair of the IUCN World Commission on Environmental Law from 2012 to 2016.

Between 2006 and 2008, he was the international Co-Director of the IUCN (International Union for the Conservation of Nature) Academy of Environmental Law and Visiting Professor based at the University of Ottawa. Previously, he was Professor in Environmental Law, University of Sydney (Personal Chair, 1997-2008) and the Corrs Chambers Westgarth Professor of Environmental Law, University of Sydney (1992-1996). He co-founded the Australian Centre for Environmental Law between three Australian universities in 1992.

Ben has published widely in the area of environmental and natural resources law and policy, including International Environmental Law in the Asia Pacific (with Ross Ramsay and Donald Rothwell), and Heritage Law in Australia (with Graeme Wiffen, Oxford 2006). He contributed to Francioni, F. (Ed.) The World Heritage Convention; A Commentary (Oxford 2008). He edited Environmental Law Dimensions of Human Rights, Oxford 2014. In 2017 he was appointed as the co-editor of the Chinese Journal of Environmental Law, published by Brill/Nijhoff in collaboration with the Research Institute of Environmental Law at Wuhan University; see

Ben has served as a consultant to various intergovernmental and non-governmental organisations and has carried out research with respect to the following countries: Cambodia, China, Federated States of Micronesia, India, Indonesia, Kenya, Laos, Myanmar, Nepal, New Caledonia, Pakistan, Singapore, Solomon Islands, Sri Lanka, Trinidad and Tobago, Thailand, The Philippines, Vietnam and Samoa, as well as conducting environmental law projects for various departments of the Australian Federal Government. See further: and

Mr Louis Bernard Buchman | President of French National Bar Council (FRANCE)

A French national, Louis received his legal education at the University of Paris.

He was admitted to the Paris Bar in 1974 and to the New York Bar in 1989.

He is a partner of Fieldfisher LLP and the author of several publications and articles.

In addition to French, he speaks English, Polish, and Italian, and has a working knowledge of German.

He currently chairs the International Legal Services Committee of the Council of Bars and Law Societies of Europe and the European and International Affairs Committee of the French National Bar Council.

A Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators, he is regularly appointed as arbitrator or mediator in international disputes and by WIPO as a neutral in Domain Name disputes.

Captain, French Navy (Ret).

Dr Vicky Bowman | Myanmar Centre for Responsible Business (MYANMAR)

Vicky Bowman has been the Director of Myanmar Centre for Responsible Business (MCRB) since July 2013. MCRB is an initiative to encourage responsible business activities throughout Myanmar. The Centre is a joint initiative of the Institute for Human Rights and Business (IHRB) and the Danish Institute for Human Rights (DIHR). Based in Yangon, MCRB’s Theory of Change is intended to lead to Impacts relating to the Protect, Respect, Remedy framework of the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, which were unanimously endorsed in June 2011 by the UN Human Rights Council. The Centre facilitates dialogue and processes aimed at building national and local capacity and partnerships on business and human rights related issues. MCRB has also undertaken research and published sector-wide impact assessments on the oil and gas, tourism, information and communications technologies (ICT) and mining sectors. A SWIA on oil palm is underway.

Prior to returning to Myanmar in 2013, Vicky led global mining company Rio Tinto’s policy approach to transparency, human rights and resource nationalism/resource curse issues, based in London. She was Director of Global & Economic Issues and G8 sous-Sherpa for the United Kingdom from 2008-2011 and Head of the Southern Africa Department in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office of the UK Government from 2006-2007. Vicky served as ambassador of the UK to Myanmar from 2002-2006 and as second secretary in the Embassy from 1990-1993. She has also worked in Brussels as Member of Cabinet of European Commissioner Chris Patten (1999-2002) and as press spokeswoman for the UK representation to the EU (1996-1999). Vicky has an MA in Natural Sciences (Pathology) from University of Cambridge, holds an honorary doctorate from the University of Bradford, and is an Honorary Fellow of Pembroke College. She speaks Burmese.

Ms Joanna Caen | Herbert Smith Freehills (HONG KONG)

Based in Hong Kong, Joanna has over 10 years’ experience of advising high-net-worth individuals, families, trustees and banks on all aspects of contentious and non-contentious private client matters.

Although she heads our private wealth practice in Greater China, Joanna has advised clients from across Asia, including Singapore, Malaysia, Japan, the Philippines, Australia and New Zealand.

Joanna’s experience includes advising:
-members of ultra-high-net-worth families on disputes relating to family companies, deceased estates and mentally incapacitated persons
-the mental health committee of mentally incapacitated ultra-high-net-worth individual on disputes involving her assets and terms of her will
-the administrator of a complex US$1 billion estate, the administration of which involves seven jurisdictions
-various banks and trustees on contentious and non-contentious matters involving their private clients

Mr Tim Castle | Six St James Hall Chambers (AUSTRALIA)

Tim D. Castle is an Australian barrister practicing at 6 St James Hall in Sydney, and a qualified arbitrator (FCIarb), with over 30 years legal experience working in commercial disputes and litigation. His specialist areas include company, commercial, franchising, insolvency and insurance law, include trial and appellate work.

He is Chair of LAWASIA’s UNCITRAL and Franchising Committees, is currently Deputy Chair of the Law Council of Australia’s International Law Section, Immediate Past Chair of the UNCITRAL National Coordination Committee of Australia, a member of the Australian Bar Association’s International Law Committee and Australian Chapter Co-Chair for the New York State Bar Association. Tim is also a member of the Panel of Arbitrators for the Thailand Arbitration Centre (THAC).

Mr Niten Chauhan | JPC Law (UK)

Niten Chauhan is a Partner in the Dispute Resolution Department and Head of Insolvency and Restructuring at JPC Law. Prior to becoming a solicitor he worked with a multinational firm of accountants and a global investment bank before choosing to qualify as a lawyer.

The valuable financial experience he gained prior to entering the legal profession coupled with his strong legal acumen led him to a career in Commercial Litigation and Dispute Resolution with a particular specialism in Corporate Insolvency matters from liquidations to administrations.

In turn, Niten has acted for a multitude of clients, both foreign and domestic with cases having varied from matters in the County Courts to the High Court as well as the Court of Appeal.

In 2012, he successfully obtained a substantial Security of Costs Order against the petitioning party in a complex shareholders’ dispute which went on to be reported case handed down by the Chancery Division of the High Court of England and Wales.

In 2013, Niten was asked to advise a bridging lender who had fallen victim to a significant property fraud. Despite the fraudster’s conveyancers purporting not to have done anything wrong his keen eye for detail uncovered flaws in their arguments which lead to a swift and substantial settlement for his client.

In turn, Niten was approached a property development company who had similarly been defrauded as part of a fraudulent transaction. Since 2014, Niten has represented P&P Property Limited in their multi-million pound claim against both the solicitors acting for the fraudster and the estate agents that introduced him to them. In 2018, Niten succeeded in obtaining judgement from the Court of Appeal and, in turn, recovered the defrauded monies, consequential damages and costs for his innocent client.

Therefore, whether clients need a focused and methodical approach to urgently obtain a worldwide freezing order or the pragmatism and understanding to help reach a settlement in a case which has been litigated for years, Niten has utilised his commercial strengths and many more qualities in order to achieve successful outcomes for them.

Furthermore, as a the firm’s International Partner he has travelled to many countries, learning about their varied legal systems and, in turn, been instructed on a wide range of work for clients based in different jurisdictions, particularly cases of international arbitration and mediation.

As a result he is often invited to speak at overseas seminars, particularly LAWASIA where he has chaired both the Insolvency and Restructuring session and the Dispute Resolution session and is now a member of the Asia-Euro Business Law group providing key updates on the opportunities for the two regions to work closer together.
Niten also takes the time to help develop the next generation of legal professionals by giving seminars, leading panel discussions and judging Annual Moot Competitions.

He is also a keen promoter of diversity within the legal profession having been a former executive member of the Society of Asian Lawyers. In turn, he was pivotal in organising business and networking events, including the Society’s Annual Ball and continues to this day to help raise significant funds for charitable causes around the world.

The Hon Justice Vinodh Coomaraswamy | Judge of the Supreme Court (SINGAPORE)

Justice Vinodh Coomaraswamy was appointed a Judicial Commissioner in 2012 and a Judge in 2013. His docket concentrates on domestic and cross-border insolvency and restructuring matters, commercial and contractual disputes, company law, trusts and arbitration. Before his appointment to the bench in 2012, he practised for 20 years as an advocate at the commercial bar in Singapore.

Dr Kirsten Davies | Macquarie Law School (AUSTRALIA)

Dr Kirsten Davies is an academic at Macquarie University’s Law School (Sydney Australia) and Director of International Engagement. At the centre of her work is the engagement of communities and their connections with nature. She is the architect of Intergenerational Democracy, a method of whole-of-community engagement and capacity building and the subject of her (2012) book, Intergenerational Democracy, rethinking sustainable development. She has extensive education, policy, governance, management, marketing and board experience. In her career she has held senior management, directorship and chair roles. Her depth of experience includes leading cultural institutions and community access programs in rural and urban localities.

Kirsten holds a Master’s Degree (USyd) ,PhD (USyd) in Sustainable Management and is currently undertaking a second PhD in Environmental Law (MQU) . She was awarded a Winston Churchill Fellowship to conduct research in USA, UK and Japan (2002) and was the recipient of the University of Sydney Agri-Management Scholarship for post graduate research (2005). Kirsten was awarded an Australian Government, Endeavour Award – Research Fellowship to undertake sustainability research in Vanuatu (2009) and maintains a close relationship with the South Pacific Region. She was appointed as an Expert Adviser and Co-ordinating Lead Author of the Asia- Pacific Regional Assessment for the Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) from 2014 – 2018. Kirsten is a member of the Global Network for the Study of Human Rights and one of the drafting authors of the Declaration on Human Rights and Climate Change.

Mr Simon Davis | Vice President of The Law Society Of England and Wales (UK)

Simon Davis is a senior litigator at the London office of Clifford Chance after qualifying in 1984.

He joined the firm in 1982 and made partner in 1994. He was the firm’s recruitment partner between 1995 and 2000, and spent a year as president of the London Solicitors’ Litigation Association.

He won the 2017 presidential election and will be the first magic circle solicitor to take office since John Wotton, a consultant at Allen & Overy, who served in 2011-12.

Mr Wiebe de Vries | International Association of Young Lawyers (AIJA) / BloomTax (THE NETHERLANDS)

Wiebe is a licensed tax and civil law attorney in the Netherlands, and founded his own Tax boutique, BloomTax B.V., based in Amsterdam, in April 2014. He is a tax advisor on international transactions, international structurings and investments in and through the Netherlands. Although his practice predominantly comprises Dutch and foreign based corporate clients, he also advises a considerable number of private clients on their personal income tax position and cross border tax aspects. Apart from tax advice, BloomTax B.V. also provides tax compliance services, more specific preparation and filing of corporate income tax and personal income tax returns.

His client base ranges from start ups to listed companies. Before setting up his own firm, Wiebe worked for nine years at a top ten Dutch full service law firm, where he gained experience both in complicated cross border tax structuring as well as integrated advice with other legal disciplines.

Wiebe frequently lectures on Dutch and cross border tax law for an audience of experienced Dutch civil law notaries, lawyers and accountants. Wiebe is a member of the Dutch and Amsterdam Bar, the International Fiscal Association (IFA), and he was the President of the International Association of Young Lawyers (AIJA) between 1 September 2017 and 1 September 2018, where he previously was the President of the AIJA Tax Law Commission.

He studied Dutch civil law in Leiden and tax law in Amsterdam, he got his degrees in 2001 and 2004.

Mrs Madhavi Goradia Divan | Supreme Court of India (INDIA)

Madhavi Goradia Divan is the author of a leading book on media law titled “Facets of Media Law” published in 2006 by Eastern Book Company. The second edition of this book released in August 2013. The book is widely used by practitioners and media persons and this is also a recommended text book in several law schools across India.

Madhavi Divan practises in the Supreme Court of India on a range of subjects which include constitutional law, media law and environment law. She also represents two State Governments in the Supreme Court, the States of Maharashtra and Gujarat on whose behalf she has argued several cases. Prior to 2007 she was based in Mumbai where she practiced as a counsel before the Bombay High Court and had a largely commercial practice. She has also appeared pro bono in several public causes which include free speech related cases, environmental issues, child rights cases and rights of the visually challenged.

Apart from her law book, Madhavi Divan writes for leading law journals and newspapers. She has been a guest lecturer at several law colleges and has participated in several law conferences in India and overseas as a speaker on media law.

Mr Shyam Divan | Supreme Court of India (INDIA)

Shyam Divan is a senior advocate who practices before the Supreme Court of India. His areas of practice cover most branches of civil litigation including banking, securities law, arbitration, administrative law and environmental law. He appears for citizens’ groups in environmental cases and assists the Supreme Court as amicus curiae in the Bellary case involving illegal iron ore mining in the forests of Karnataka.

He is the co-author of Environmental Law and Policy in India (2nd Edition, 2001, Oxford) and has most recently authored a chapter on Public Interest Litigation in Oxford Handbook of the Indian Constitution (2016, Oxford).

Mr. Divan has taught environmental law at the graduate and post graduate levels at the University of Mumbai and has occasionally lectured on the subject at the National Law School of India University, Bangalore.

Mr. Divan is a member of the Executive Committee of LAWASIA.

Prof Yasushi Higashizawa | Meijigakuin University, Graduate School of Law (JAPAN)

Prof Yasushi Higashizawa, an attorney at law admitted in Japan, States of New York and California, USA, is a partner of the Nishi Tokyo Kyodo Law Offices (Tokyo) and a professor of the Meiji Gakuin University (Tokyo). He has been actively engaged in human rights advocacy at the Japan Federation of Bar Associations (JFBA).

Prof Higashizawa serves as a Co-Chair of the Human Rights Section of the LAWASIA as well as a Counselor to the President of the Union Internationale des Avocats. He also served, among others, as a chair of the International Human Rights Committee (IHRC) of the JFBA, a Council Member of the International Bar Association’s Human Rights Institute (IBA-HRI) and a ExCo. Member of the International Criminal Bar (ICB). On the issue of business and human rights, he leads a project team on the issue at the JFBA, and co-chaired ‘IBA-JFBA Joint Conference: Cross Border Legal Services in the Asia Region’ and its session ‘Human Rights and Corruption: Responsible Business in Conflict- Affected or Weak Governance areas’ in 2013. Among his publications are “Just Business – Multi-National Corporations and Human Rights,” (translation into Japanese of a book with the same title by John G. Ruggie, Iwanami Shoten Publishing, 2014) and ‘Business and Human Rights – What is the Aim of the UN Guiding Principles,’ (the Meiji Gakuin Law Review, No. 22, 2015).

Mr Kenji Hirooka | Anderson Mori & Tomotsune / AIJA (JAPAN)

Kenji Hirooka has particular experience in cross-border public and private mergers and acquisitions, equity investments, and corporate finance transactions. He supports clients for the success of clients’ businesses from various aspects including setting up a business, risk management, or resolving disputes. He also has experience in the areas of FinTech, and financial regulations and fund regulatory matters.

Mr Shreyas Jayasimha | Aarna Law / Coordinator of the UNCITRAL National Coordination Committee (INDIA)

Shreyas is the Founding Partner of Aarna Law. His key practice areas include dispute resolution, white collar crimes, and aviation, among others. A Chevening Scholar from the University of Warwick, his expertise lies varied fields such as intellectual property law, regulatory investigations, company law. Shreyas’ impressive list of achievements include being listed in the International Who’s Who of Commercial Arbitration from 2010 to 2017. Shreyas was also selected as the only India-based practitioner by ICC FraudNet, Paris. In 2014, Shreyas was awarded Lawyer of the Year for Litigation and Dispute Resolution, and the Under 40 Rising Star in 2016. Shreyas has also sat as arbitrator in the Dubai International Arbitration Centre (DIAC) and International Court of Arbitration (ICC). Further, he has been a speaker at numerous arbitration seminars in London, New York, Hong Kong, Tokyo, and Singapore to name a few.

Mr Sachit Jolly | DMD Advocates (INDIA)

Sachit Jolly is a Partner in the Taxation Group of DMD Advocates. He has over 11 years of experience in advising and representing various Indian and foreign clients from the aviation, media, finance, education, FMCG, IT, oil & gas and pharmaceutical sectors before the AAR, Income Tax Tribunal, High Courts and the Supreme Court on varied tax issues, concerning taxation of royalties, technical services, issues of permanent establishment and attribution of income thereof and transfer pricing.

He has represented and continues to represent the General Electric Group, Coca Cola India, Vodafone, Vedanta Group, Fiserv Group, Samsung, AT&T on their transfer pricing and international taxation matters in India.

Sachit has been rated as one of the top three upcoming lawyers in India in the field of taxation by Vahura (

He contributes regularly to Indian and International journals and has co-authored the India branch report on “Key Practical Issues to Eliminate Double Taxation of Business Income” published in “Cahiers de Droit Fiscal International”, at the 2011 IFA Congress in Paris. He has also authored the India chapter on “Transfer Pricing Global Guide” published by Thomson Reuters.

Mr Toyohisa Kaminiwa | Inaba & Partners (JAPAN)

Toyohisa Kaminiwa has been advising IP, FinTech and IT related business companies in Japan for various legal issues. He has also been advising sponsors, lenders and developers on complex renewable energy transactions and disputes in Japan. Further, he has handled general civil and commercial dispute, litigation and arbitration, cases related to the antitrust acts and competition acts, (including prevention of bribery by foreign public officials), intellectual property right disputes and agreements, compliance projects for global companies including implementation of strategic internal investigations, preparation for compliance workshops. He represents both of the international and domestic corporations.

Ms Ho May Kim | Duane Morris (SINGAPORE)

Ho May Kim has an active commercial litigation and arbitration practice in complex corporate, commercial and fraud cases. She routinely handles shareholder disputes, employment disputes and joint venture disputes to name but a few in the Supreme Court of Singapore. She also has a keen interest in mediation and has successfully mediated a considerable number of matters.

May Kim’s clients say that she “does not beat around the bush.” A client also commended her written brief for being “highly persuasive, thoroughly researched and goes to the heart of the dispute.” She is a highly regarded lawyer who is “invaluable in securing a win for a complex international arbitration matter.”

May Kim read law at the University of Cambridge where she earned a B.A. (First Class Honours) and an LL.M (First Class, with a Commercial law specialisation). She also ranked in the top 5 percent of her cohort for the Singapore Practical Law Course. Before joining private practice, May Kim was a Justices’ Law Clerk to the Chief Justice, appellate judges and judges of the Supreme Court of Singapore. She also served as a judicial officer pursuant to her appointments as a Magistrate and Assistant Registrar of the Supreme Court of Singapore. She is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators and a panel mediator with the Singapore Mediation Centre.

Mr Saravana Kumar | Lee Hishammuddin Allen & Gledhill (MALAYSIA)

Saravana has appeared in benchmark litigations with a sizeable volume of wins in tax disputes. Praised for his ability to “think outside the box” and “innovative approach” in interpreting the law, Chambers Asia Pacific 2016 acknowledged Saravana for being “dynamic, efficient and helpful”. Meanwhile, Chambers Asia Pacific 2017 commented that clients have remarked, “His tax knowledge is very in-depth and he is fast at responding.”

Saravana is an Adjunct Professor with Universiti Tenaga Nasional (UNITEN) and chairs the Taxation Section of LAWASIA.

Ms Antje Kunst | Bretton Woods Law (GERMANY/UK)

In practice since 1998, Ms Antje Kunst is a legal counsel with a public international law barristers’ chambers, Bretton Woods Law, and a former senior legal adviser with the United Nations in the Balkans and the Middle East.

Ms Kunst is an acknowledged expert in public international law, in particular international administrative law and international human rights law representing individuals and international organisations (IOs).

She practices in a wide range of areas, including advising on employment disputes between international civil servants and IOs. She conducts litigation before the EU Court of Justice, UN Dispute/ Appeals Tribunals and other International Administrative Tribunals, with a strong commitment to improve the internal justice system of IOs and to ensure an effective remedy for staff. A recent case involved an action on behalf of a staff member before the EU General Court on complex jurisdiction issues.

Furthermore Ms Kunst has a strong background in international human rights law advising on various human rights matters related to the European Convention of Human Rights (ECHR), ICCPR, ICESCR (e.g. non-discrimination cases), the UNCRPD and the UNCRC. Recently she worked on a strategic litigation case involving the right to inclusive education and non-discrimination pursuant to the UNCRPD and the ECHR in relation to children with special educational needs and disabilities. In her human rights work Ms Kunst takes a strong interest in access to effective remedies for persons in situations of vulnerability such as children and disabled persons including those who are institutionalised. In 2017 she started to work with civil society actors on a project related to the de-institutionalisation of children in Sri Lanka.

Ms Kunst holds an LLM from King’s College London in international law. She is admitted as European Registered Lawyer to the Bar of England and Wales and as Rechtsanwältin in Berlin. She lives with her husband and her daughter in Berlin.

Mr Christopher Leong | President of LAWASIA (MALAYSIA)

Christopher Leong is an advocate and solicitor of the High Court in Malaya of more than 27 years standing.

Christopher has extensive experience in the fields of corporate and commercial litigation, shareholders’ disputes, banking litigation and insolvency. Christopher is well-versed with issues that customarily arise in litigation with cross-border elements. Additionally, he practices in the area of constitutional and administrative law, and public interest litigation.

Christopher also acts as counsel in domestic and international arbitrations, both in Malaysia and overseas. Christopher is empanelled as an arbitrator with the Kuala Lumpur Regional Centre for Arbitration.

In the field of dispute resolution, Christopher has been named as a Leading Individual/Lawyer in Malaysia by Asia Pacific Legal 500 since 2004, Chambers Asia since 2009, The Asialaw Leading Lawyer since 2008, and is a Recommended Individual in the 2015 and 2016 editions of Asialaw Profiles, and a Market-leading Lawyer in its 2017 edition.

He is also named in the 2014 edition of Benchmark Asia Pacific as a Local Disputes Star and is listed as one of the World’s Leading Litigation and Product Liability Lawyers in the Expert Guides, 2012 edition.

Christopher is the 30th President of the Malaysian Bar (2013 – 2015) and was the Chairman of the Bar Council of Malaysia (2013 – 2015), which is the governing body of the Malaysian Bar.

Christopher is currently the President of LAWASIA, the Law Association for Asia and the Pacific.

He is a member of the Taylor’s University Law School Legal Profession Advisory Panel, and a member of the Board of Directors of the Institute for Democracy and Economic Affairs (IDEAS), a non-profit cross-partisan think tank foundation in Malaysia.

Mr Jeff Leong | Jeff Leong, Poon & Wong (MALAYSIA)

Jeff is the senior partner of Messrs Jeff Leong, Poon & Wong, Malaysia.

He is also actively serving with the Law Association for Asia and The Pacific (LAWASIA), the peak body for national bar associations and law societies in more than 40 jurisdictions in the Asia Pacific region as Chair of the Corporate, Securities & Investment Law and Co-Chair of the Belt And Road Initiative Standing Committees.

He lead a Special Projects team, structure and run complex M&A deals, resolve critical problems faced by clients such as crisis management, regulatory investigations, shareholder fights and board tussles and advise founders, business owners and senior management on business transactions. With numerous IPOs and M&A deals over 30 years, He often consulted by clients in Shipping and Logistics, Technology and Digital Economy, Oil & Gas and other heavily regulated industries on complex, urgent and critical matters.

He is also leading the China Services Group and regional JLPW Belt and Road Services Group assisting Chinese companies investing and undertaking Belt and Road projects in Malaysia and other ASEAN countries.

Dr Georgina Lloyd Rivera | SFS Center For Environmental Research In Conservation And Development Studies (CAMBODIA)

Dr Georgina Lloyd Rivera is the Director of the SFS Center for Environmental Research in Conservation and Development Studies in Siem Reap, Cambodia. Georgina has spent the last 11 years living in Siem Reap during which time she has conducted research on environmental law and policy, heritage law, heritage and tourism management, and the development of good environmental governance. She has conducted both doctoral and postdoctoral research on intangible cultural heritage at Angkor. During this time she has been the recipient of an Endeavour doctoral research fellowship and UNESCO research fellowship. Her doctoral research examined legal and policy approaches for the safeguarding of intangible cultural heritage across Asia and particularly in Cambodia. During her postdoctoral fellowship she collaborated with the management authority for the Angkor World Heritage Site, the APSARA Authority, to develop a safeguarding policy for intangible cultural heritage. Georgina’s recent research has focused on community based natural resource management, traditional practice and environmental governance in Cambodia.

The Hon Justice Robert McDougall | Judge of the Supreme Court Of New South Wales (AUSTRALIA)

Justice Robert McDougall is a Judge of the Supreme Court of New South Wales. He was appointed to the Court in August 2003, and since then has sat as a Judge in the Commercial and Technology & Construction Lists. He commenced practice at the Bar in 1975, and was appointed Queens Counsel in 1990.

As Counsel, particularly since taking Silk, and as a judge of the Supreme Court, he has appeared in or presided over some of the most significant commercial and construction cases, in New South Wales and elsewhere in Australia, of the last 25 years. Many of those cases have required the development and implementation of innovative case and documentary management techniques.

Outside the law, his Honour enjoys music, the theatre, and other activities removed as far as possible from the day to day work of the courts.

Mr Andre Maniam SC | Wongpartnership LLP (SINGAPORE)

Andre Maniam, SC is the Head of the Litigation & Dispute Resolution Group at WongPartnership LLP. He is a Senior Counsel with over 25 years of experience in dispute resolution (litigation, arbitration and mediation), and was a Justices’ Law Clerk in the Singapore Supreme Court before entering private practice. Mr Maniam’s practice covers a wide range of matters including commercial and corporate disputes, cross-border trade, regulatory and white collar crime matters, and construction. He is on the Panels of Arbitrators of the Singapore International Arbitration Centre and the Asian International Arbitration Centre (AIAC), and the Panel of International Arbitrators of the Russian Arbitration Centre

Mr Maniam’s practice involves a wide range of matters including commercial and corporate disputes, cross-border trade, regulatory and white collar crime matters, and construction. He has acted as counsel in arbitrations under the SIAC Rules, ICC Rules, and UNCITRAL rules, as well as ad hoc arbitration. He has also been appointed arbitrator under the SIAC Rules, AIAC Rules, and in ad hoc arbitration. He is also a Member of the Singapore International Commercial Court’s Rules Sub-Committee. He is a Contributing Editor, Singapore “White Book” (Singapore Civil Procedure), and reviewed articles on Singapore law for the launch of the official Singapore Law website (, including on arbitration. His publications include the chapter on Interlocutory Applications in the book Civil Litigation in Singapore, and the chapter on Discovery in the book Law and Practice of Commercial Litigation in Singapore.

He graduated from the National University of Singapore as the top student in his year. He was a Justices’ Law Clerk in the Singapore Supreme Court before entering private practice.

Datuk D.P. Naban | Lee Hishammuddin Allen & Gledhill (MALAYSIA)

A highly experienced practitioner, Naban enjoys a strong reputation in the market. He offers a broad practice including litigation and advisory work. Clients note that “his litigation, advocacy and cross-examination skills are par excellence”. He co-led the team acting for Petronas in an appeal regarding taxpayers’ interest income.

One of two senior partners of the firm, Naban is a highly-acclaimed Band 1 tax lawyer, as ranked by Chambers Asia. He has appeared in some of Malaysia’s most significant recent tax disputes, where clients describe him as “outstanding” and recommend him for his “superb” advocacy skills.

A client remarked to the Legal 500 that, “Despite many years at the Bar, [Naban] still exudes a fresh and tireless enthusiasm for the law, which translates to immaculate service”.

Dato' Nitin Nadkarni | Lee Hishammuddin Allen & Gledhill (MALAYSIA)

Nitin Nadkarni heads the Energy, Projects and Infrastructure, and International Arbitration Practice Group at Lee Hishammuddin Allen & Gledhill. He is Co-Chairman of Bar Council Sub-committee on Arbitration and Construction and is often described by global legal directories as a renowned figure in the Malaysian arbitration scene.

His practice covers a wide range of dispute resolution, including acting and advising on cross-border commercial and investor-state disputes. Over his 30 years’ experience, Nitin has been involved in cases against state-owned enterprises in all aspects of the construction, engineering, energy, and electricity sectors across the Middle East, North Africa, and even international arbitration hubs, such as Switzerland. He also regularly advises and acts in Malaysian Court proceedings at all higher court levels and has a large arbitration practice, primarily as counsel. He is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (UK), and is registered on the Asian International Arbitration Centre panels for arbitrators and mediators respectively.

Mr Amirali B Nasir | President of The Law Society of Hong Kong (HONG KONG SAR)

Mr. Amirali B. Nasir first joined the Law Society Council in 2005 and has since been involved in the work of Standing Committee on Practitioners Affairs, Standing Committee on Policy and Resources, Standing Committee on Compliance, Standing Committee on External Affairs, Belt and Road Committee, Guidance Committee, Consents Committee, Constitutional Affairs and Human Rights Committee, International Legal Affairs Committee, Innotech Committee, Working Party on Islamic Finance and various other committees. Mr. Nasir was elected as Vice-President of the Law Society in 2016 and re-elected in 2017.

Mr. Nasir is the founder of Nasirs Solicitors. His main areas of practice are litigation, company, commercial, islamic finance, property, trusts and notarial services.

Mr. Nasir was educated in, and first qualified as a solicitor, in London, UK. He moved to Hong Kong and first practised as a solicitor at a prominent local firm of solicitors after which he established the firm of AB Nasir & Co later renamed NASIRS. In addition to his practise as a Solicitor in Hong Kong, he is enrolled as a solicitor in England and Wales and as a Notary Public by faculty granted in Hong Kong and in England and Wales. Mr. Nasir is also a trustee of a local charitable trust serving the local community in all aspects of life. Mr. Nasir was appointed a Justice of the Peace in July 2005.

Mr Takehiko Nishimura | Lupinus Law Office (JAPAN)

Attorney at Law admitted in Japan, focusing on disability rights as well as labor rights for around 20 years.

Mr. Nishimura became interested in labour rights issues when he took part in activities of a labor union. Even before qualified as a lawyer, in 1979, he established a community-based organization providing livelihood support to persons with disabilities. In 2001, he founded “Protection and Advocacy Japan” to support persons with intellectual disabilities in their community life. He was also involved in the establishment of the ombudsman of a care house for persons with intellectual disabilities “Naganuma Yo-fu En” in Hokkaido where six ombudsmen provide support for realizing community living. He is the secretary general of Human Rights Protection Centre for Persons with Disabilities and the executive director of an NPO “Owl Guardian Centre,” both of which he set up.

From 2002, he has been a member of Special Investigating Committee on the Act of Prohibition of Discrimination against Persons with Disabilities organized by Japan Federation of Bar Associations.

He is the co-representative of the counsel for the lawsuits filed in 2018 by the persons with disabilities who were victims of forced sterilization.

He has been dealing with a number of civil and criminal cases for his clients who have some disabilities. He has been advocating strongly for ensuring that fundamental human rights of persons with disabilities are protected through initiatives being taken by multi-stakeholders including lawyers, social workers and other activists.

Mr Duc Minh Nguyen | Lee & Ko Vietnam LLC (VIETNAM)

As a member of Lee & Ko’s Vietnam office, NGUYEN DUC MINH’s practice focuses on foreign direct investment, real estate, banking, finance, tax, mergers and acquisitions, and labor law.

Prior to joining Lee & Ko in 2016, Mr. Minh acquired more than 10 years of experience at other foreign law firms based in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, where he advised foreign investors and companies on Vietnamese legal/regulatory-compliance issues relating to various cross-border investments and corporate transactions.

Mr. Minh graduated from Ho Chi Minh City Law University in 2000 and received an LL.M. degree from the Transnational Law & Business University in Korea in 2005.

Mr Tony Nguyen | EPLegal (VIETNAM)

Tony practices in the area of project finance and commercial contracts with a heavy emphasis on international trade law, contract/tax planning for cross-border transactions and offshore petroleum transactions.

Tony spent fourteen years practicing in the Oil & Gas – energy industry. Prior to co-founding EPLegal, Tony worked in managerial and legal positions in the leading oil & gas operators and contractors in Vietnam such as PTSC, Cuu Long JOC, and PVTrans. He has legal and contracting experience through various projects related to drilling campaigns; oil and gas production operations; sales and purchasing and technical services contracts; chartering of vessels/FPSO/FSO; production services; and EPC/EPIC contracts. Tony also played the driving legal role in various Mio financing projects and investment projects within the energy and infrastructure sector. Furthermore, Tony is one of only a few counsels in Vietnam who developed strong relationships with oil and gas operators, partners, and with the State-owned giant, PetroVietnam.

Tony is the author of numerous legal articles relating to legal, contracts risks management and banking and finance. He won the Best Memorial Award at the 2001 Asia Law Moot Court competition, and was a candidate for the Clive M. Schmitthoff Essay Competition held by PACE.

Ms Andrea Pane | Piper Alderman (AUSTRALIA)

Andrea’s primary focus since 1996 has been to assist businesses wanting to expand both in Australia and overseas, through franchising and other business models, and advising her clients across a broad range of areas of commercial law. Andrea is ranked as one of Australia’s best lawyers for Franchise law in the Australian Financial Review’s peer-reviewed Best Lawyers® Australia.

She has an extensive track record of assisting businesses across a diverse range of industries including Food industry, Bulky goods industry, Automotive industry, Financial services sector, Real estate industry, Solar, Tourism and hospitality, Cleaning and other home services and many more. With over 20 years’ experience there are few industries in which Andrea has not been involved.

Andrea’s key areas of experience include Competition and Consumer Act and the Franchising Code of Conduct, intellectual property (particularly trade mark) advice, registration and licensing (Australia and international), manufacturing and supply arrangements, acquisitions of businesses and chains and sales to both to private and public companies and dispute resolution.

Andrea regularly presents seminars and workshops to within the legal industry and the franchising sector, as a recognised franchising expert. She is also the author of Thomson Reuters’ Australian Commercial Precedents: Franchising Precedents.

Andrea has over the years become an integral part of her clients’ businesses, with a commitment to client service and practical advice.

Ms Melissa Pang | President of The Law Society of Hong Kong (HONG KONG SAR)

Ms. Melissa K. Pang has been serving as a Law Society Council member since 2005. Ms Pang was elected Vice-President of the Law Society on 2 September 2014 and re-elected in 2015, 2016 and 2017. Ms. Pang currently serves as the Chairperson of Consents Committee and Pro Bono and Community Work Recognition Committee. She is also a member of several other committees overseeing compliance, policy and resources, external affairs, constitutional affairs and human rights, Greater China legal affairs and international legal affairs.

Ms. Pang is qualified to practise as a solicitor in Australia, England and Wales, and Hong Kong. She is also a Notary Public, Civil Celebrant, accredited mediator, associate member of the Hong Kong Institute of Arbitrators, and China Appointed Attesting Officer. Her main areas of practice are commercial law, property law and litigation. She is a Partner of Pang & Associates.

Ms. Pang is at present Vice-President of LAWASIA and represents the Law Society in Hong Kong Legal Aid Services Council. With her devotion to public service, Ms. Pang was awarded the Medal of Honor in 2006 and Justice of the Peace in Hong Kong in 2010.

The Honourable Justice Brian J Preston SC | Chief Judge of the Land and Environment Court of New South Wales (AUSTRALIA)

Justice Preston is the Chief Judge of the Land and Environment Court in New South Wales. Prior to being appointed in November 2005, he was a senior counsel practising primarily in New South Wales in environmental, planning, administrative and property law.

He holds a BA and LLB (1st class honours) from Macquarie University, practised as a solicitor from 1982-1987, and then at the bar from 1987-2005. He was appointed senior counsel in 1999. He was awarded a Doctor of Letters (honoris causa) from Macquarie University in 2018.

He has lectured in post-graduate, environmental law for over 26 years, principally at the University of Sydney, but also at other universities in Australia and overseas. He established two law courses: environmental dispute resolution and biodiversity law. He is currently an Adjunct Professor at the University of Sydney, Western Sydney University and Southern Cross University.

Justice Preston is the author of Australia’s first book on environmental litigation (in 1989) and 123 articles, book chapters and reviews on environmental law, administrative and criminal law. The subjects of his writings include: the law and the environment; sustainable development; biodiversity; climate change; heritage; environmental impact assessment; environmental crime; the courts and the environment; public interest litigation; and administrative law and environmental law.

He holds editorial positions in environmental law publications, including General Editor of the Local Government Planning and Environment NSW Service, Title Editor for the Laws of Australia, Title 14 – Environment and Natural Resources, and is a member of the editorial advisory boards of the Asia Pacific Journal of Environmental Law and Legal Perspectives on Global Challenges, Eleven International Publishing, Netherlands.

He has been involved in a number of international environmental consultancies and capacity-building programs, including for the judiciaries in China, Indonesia, Kenya, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Trinidad and Tobago.

Justice Preston is an Official Member of the Judicial Commission of NSW; Chair of the Environmental Law Standing Committee of the Law Association for Asia and the Pacific (LAWASIA); member of the Interim Governing Committee of the Global Judicial Institute on the Environment (GJIE); member of the Environmental Law Commission of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN); member of the Australian Centre for Climate and Environmental Law (ACCEL); member of the Advisory Committee of the Asia Pacific Centre for Environmental Law (National University of Singapore); member of the Adhoc Advisory Committee of Judges, United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) Judges Program; member of the Advisory Group on the Guide to the UNEP Bali Guidelines on Rio Principle 10; member of the International Bar Association (IBA) President’s Climate Change Justice and Human Rights Task Force; member of the United Nations/United Nations International Crimes Research Institute (UN/UNICRI) Technical Advisory Committee on combating crimes that have serious impacts on the environment: state of knowledge on approaches; and member of the Bangladesh Judicial Capacity Building and Research Partnerships Advisory Committee at Western Sydney University. He has been inducted as a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Law (FAAL) and a Fellow of the Royal Society of NSW. He has also been awarded an Honorary Fellowship of the Environment Institute of Australia and New Zealand (EIANZ).

He is the recipient of a Commendation in the 2010 Australasian Institute of Judicial Administration, Award for Excellence in Court Administration, for his work in implementing the International Framework for Court Excellence in the Land and Environment Court of New South Wales. He is also the recipient in 2010 of an award by the Asian Environmental Compliance and Enforcement Network (AECEN) in recognition of his outstanding leadership and commitment in promoting effective environmental adjudication in Asia.

Professor Lavanya Rajamani | Centre for Policy Research (INDIA)

Lavanya Rajamani is professor at the Centre for Policy Research, New Delhi. Lavanya is an expert in the field of international environmental and climate change law. Her scholarship focuses on mutlilateral environmental treaty-making processes, differentiatiation, compliance, and the intersections of international environmental law with human rights. She has authored several books and articles in these areas. Her latest book, International Climate Change Law (OUP, 2017, co-authored with Daniel Bodansky and Jutta Brunnée) was awarded the ASIL Certificate of Merit in a Specialized Area of International Law. In July 2018 she delivered a Hague Academy of International Law Special course on the ‘International Climate Change Regime’ – she is one of only a handful of Indians to have been invited to deliver a course at the Academy since it’s foundation in 1923.

She served as Rapporteur of the ILA Committee on Legal Principles Relating to Climate Change(2008-2014) and has also served as a consultant to the UN Climate Change Secretariat, a negotiator for the Alliance of Small Island States, and a legal adviser to the Chairs of Ad Hoc Working Groups under the Framework Convention on Climate Change (FCCC) She was part of the UNFCCC core drafting and advisory team for the Paris Agreement. Further biographical details are available at:

Ms Gaythri Raman | LexisNexis Southeast Asia (MALAYSIA)

Gaythri Raman is the Managing Director of LexisNexis Southeast Asia, a leading provider of information analytics to law firms, corporations, governments, and academic institutions. Globally, LexisNexis serves customers in over 175 countries and employs over 10,0000 people. In Malaysia, the Malayan Law Journal has been reporting case law since 1932 and continues to provide premier legal content in multiple platforms serving the legal profession.

Gaythri is responsible for leading the Southeast Asia business in the development and execution of strategies to deliver innovative information analytics solutions to customers in helping them increase productivity and improve decision-making outcomes. She is also driving growth in the ASEAN region, working with partners across the multiple jurisdictions to enable access to laws and analytical tools. She speaks frequently on the topics of rule of law, legal technologies, artificial intelligence, digital transformations, and technological innovation at various events and platforms across the region.

Gaythri is legally trained and extremely passionate about the rule of law. She is a big believer in combining technology and the law to empower individuals for the betterment of society. She is a founding member of the Businesses for the Rule of Law (B4ROL) Steering Committee – an initiative by the United Nations Global Compact to support the growth of developing countries by enabling the business community to engender legal reform, transparency and rule of law. She has also led various programs and initiatives on capacity building, access to laws and justice, legal reform and education in Sri Lanka, Maldives, South Africa, Myanmar, to name a few.

Ms Courtney Robertson | Gilbert + Tobin (AUSTRALIA)

Courtney J. Robertson is a litigation lawyer at Gilbert + Tobin in Sydney, and a registered migration agent. She holds a Master of Laws from Columbia University in the City of New York. Courtney has a broad range of experience in all forms of dispute resolution across a variety of practice areas including competition and regulation, corporate and regulatory investigations, cyber security, data and privacy, employment, energy and resources, government, and healthcare.

Courtney is an active member of the legal community, particularly with respect to gender equality. She recently undertook a six month contract position as a consultant with UN Women in New York and is a council member of Gilbert + Tobin’s inaugural Diversity Council. Courtney is the Secretary of the UNCITRAL Committee of LAWASIA. Courtney has significant pro bono experience including with the Refugee Advice & Casework Service, the Top End Women’s Legal Service, and the Aboriginal Legal Service of Western Australia.

Ms Akiko Sato | Kotonoha Law (JAPAN)

Attorney at Law admitted in Japan, engaged in human rights issues both in Japan and Cambodia; specialized in Access to Justice for socially vulnerable people including persons with disabilities, and Business and Human Rights such as Human Rights Due Diligence.
Gained an MA in Development Studies major in Human Rights from International Institute of Social Studies of Erasmus University Rotterdam in The Hague and a JD from Hitotsubashi University in Tokyo. A fellow of Asia Centre, a think tank focusing on politics and human rights in Asia based in Bangkok. From 2018, an officer of the Office of International Affairs of Japan Federation of Bar Associations.

In 2010, Akiko worked as a part-time lecturer of Japanese Laws in the Research and Education Centre for Japanese Law located in the Royal University of Law and Economics in Phnom Penh, Cambodia.

As a lawyer, she has dealt with a wide range of civil and criminal cases in relation to persons with disabilities. She served as a Legal Commissioner of Psychiatric Review Board established under the Act on Mental and Welfare for persons with mental disabilities in 2014-2015; reviewed claims for discharge from persons under involuntary hospitalisations. In the process of reviewing, she heard opinions of the patient and a psychiatrist examining the patient, and in some cases conducted interviews with family members of the patient and social workers.

She also conducted some field research on land grabbing and labour exploitation cases in Cambodia as a member of Human Rights Now, Japan-based human rights NGO. She got involved in Business and Human Rights project in UNDP Asia-Pacific in 2017. She provides advice toward companies from the perspective of international human rights law to hold them accountable for any human rights violations throughout their supply chain in Japan and abroad.

Mr Winston Seow | KhattarWong LLP (SINGAPORE)

Winston Seow leads the Asia corporate team at international law firm, Withers KhattarWong. His practice covers a wide spectrum of corporate work including mergers and acquisitions, joint ventures, corporate finance, and banking and corporate restructuring.

Winston has extensive experience advising on cross border transactions and foreign direct investment in Asia, in particular, Indonesia, China, Malaysia, Thailand and Vietnam. His clients include local and foreign small and medium enterprises, multinational corporations and state-owned enterprises, the majority of which are in the energy and shipping industries.

Mr Jack Sheehan | DFDL (LAOS)

Jack is a Partner and the Head of the Regional Tax Practice. He specializes in providing advice on international tax planning, mergers and acquisitions and general tax advisory. Jack has extensive experience in advising clients on inbound and outbound investments and complex tax matters in Asia.

He is featured regularly as a speaker and writer on international tax in the Asia region. Jack is a member of the Editorial Board for Bloomberg BNA on tax treaties, a contributor for the International Bureau for Fiscal Documentation, and a member of the International Fiscal Association.

Jack was shortlisted as Asia Tax Leader 2016 and is listed as a leader for tax controversy by International Tax Review. He is a post graduate student at the University of Oxford where he reads Tax Law and is a Fellow of the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants.

Jack and his team have received a number of awards and accolades including Cambodia Tax Firm of the Year 2018, Jack shortlisted as Asia Tax Leader 2018 and 2018 Innovation and Excellence Award.

Ms Winnie Tam SC JP | Des Voeux Chambers (HONG KONG SAR)

Winnie is a Senior Counsel of the Hong Kong Bar, appointed by the Chief Justice in 2006. She is also a barrister of England and Wales, and admitted as solicitor and advocate in Singapore and the Australian Capital Territory.

She was the Chairman of the Hong Kong Bar Association between January 2015 to January 2017 and in that capacity spearheaded a number of significant reforms. In 2015, she was appointed a Recorder of the Court of First Instance, High Court of the Hong Kong SAR. In 2016, she was honoured as an Overseas Bencher of the Middle Temple Society.

Winnie’s legal practice is in international arbitration and civil and commercial litigation with an emphasis on joint venture disputes and intellectual property. She is fully bilingual in Chinese and English, and has an excellent command of Putonghua and written Chinese.

Winnie is a panel arbitrator of a number of established Arbitral institutions, and has been invited many times as speaker in major international arbitration events. She was a member of the working group of the Department of Justice on the arbitrability of intellectual property rights, and has contributed to the drafting of a bill presented to LegCo in December 2016.

In arbitration practice, Winnie has been appointed presiding arbitrator and co-arbitrator in arbitrations governed by various rules including UNCITRAL, HKIAC, SCIA and ICC rules. These involve international commercial and joint-venture disputes, international intellectual property disputes, international gaming rights licensing disputes and foreign investment disputes in the PRC. She has been appointed as arbitrator in arbitrations to be conducted both in English and in Chinese. She has acted as leading counsel and co-counsel in international arbitrations and court actions in aid of international arbitration.

In addition to her legal practice, Winnie also serves as the Chairman of Hong Kong’s Communications Authority, overseeing public and licensing issues in the broadcasting and telecommunication industry. In 2018, she was awarded the title one of “The World’s Outstanding Chinese” by the International Chinese Chamber of Commerce.

Mr Kentaro Tanaka | TMI Associates (JAPAN)

Kentaro Tanaka concentrates his practice on franchising, M&A and alliance transactions. He had worked more than seven years at the Tokyo office of TMI Associates and dealt with not only Japanese domestic transactions but also international transactions. In 2016, he was awarded the John Baer Franchising Scholarship at the ABA Franchising Forum. To expand the field to be more global, he attended the LL.M. program of the University of Michigan Law School and graduated in May of 2018. Currently, he is working as a foreign associate at Mayer Brown LLP in the Corporate practice of their Chicago office and is mainly involved in transactions in the U.S. He is a co-author of the Japan portions of the Franchise Law Review Edition V (2018), Getting the Deal Through – Commercial Contracts (2018) and the International Franchise Handbook 2nd Edition (2017). In addition to these English articles, he authored more than 30 articles or books in Japanese. Recently, he co-authored A Guide for Legal Due Diligence in M&A According to Business Type (2018). He gave lectures on Development in Asia Using Franchises in 2016, and Points to Keep in Mind, and Analyzing and Organizing Judicial Precedents Concerning Representations and Warranties in M&A and Intercompany Transactions in 2015.

Mr Zi Li Tay | ZICO Law (VIETNAM)

Zi Li is a partner in ZICO Law Vietnam and at 28 years old, is the youngest partner in the ZICO Law network. Based in Ho Chi Minh City, Zi Li regularly advises on a range of cross border corporate and commercial transactions including joint venture projects, shareholders agreements, takeovers and mergers, and foreign investments into Vietnam. One of the notable recent transaction that Zi Li advised on is AAPICO Hitech Public Company Limited’s joint venture on auto body stamping and welding with VinFast Manufacturing and Trading Company, a subsidiary of Vingroup, which is the largest conglomerate in Vietnam.

Zi Li has extensive experience in advising foreign and local sponsors, lenders, borrowers and issuers in banking transactions, project financing transactions and debt capital markets transactions, both conventional and Islamic.

Zi Li regularly delivers presentations to international audiences, having recently presented at the IPBA in Manila on Islamic Finance. He also conducts in-house training sessions for financial institutions such as HSBC and CIMB.

Zi Li joined Zaid Ibrahim & Co in 2011 as a Trainee Associate and was retained in the Debt Capital Markets & Structured Finance department in 2012. He was made a co-executive partner of ZICO Law Vietnam in 2018.

Ms Laarni Victoria Q. Vinas | SHUSAKU·YAMAMOTO (JAPAN)

Laarni Victoria Quidoles Vinas is a triple-qualified (Attorney-at-Law Philippines and New York and Solicitor of the Supreme Court in England and Wales) Senior Attorney working in SHUSAKU·YAMAMOTO Law Firm, one of the most prominent Intellectual Property firms in Japan. She became one of the youngest recipient to receive the Naga City Government, Leon SA Aureus Award for the Legal Category, which she received for her legal service earlier this year.

She finished her bachelor’s degree, with a scholarship in Ateneo de Manila University and thereafter obtained her Juris Doctor from University of the Philippines. She completed a diploma course in Advance Study of Comparative Patent Laws (Japan, Europe and US Patent Laws) and Advance Study of US Intellectual Property Laws in Osaka Institute of Technology and was also one of the select participants for the WIPO Intensive Summer School Program in Singapore.

Ms. Vinas have been invited and given various trainings to inventors, paralegals and lawyers regarding different Intellectual Property issues including, among others, cross-border transactions and licensing, prosecution matters and post-grant challenges.

Ms. Vinas manages a team of attorneys from different jurisdictions to provide integrated strategy on IP enforcement. She also has a demonstrated history of working on food, pharmaceutical and healthcare matters, providing transactional and regulatory advice to various multi-national companies. In the course of her work, she was one of the lawyers named in the Japanese Business Law Journal, the 2016 Lawyers Guide. She was acknowledged in an article in the Horitsu Jiho Journal, one of the oldest and most prestigious legal journal in Japan, for her contribution on an article regarding the Hatch-Waxman Act, a United States federal law on the manufacture of generic drugs by the pharmaceutical industries.

Mr Jun Wang FCIArb FSIArb FACICA FAMINZ | Capital Alliance ADR Advisory Services (HONG KONG SAR)

Jun Wang, a PRC-born Australian national, is the founder and director of Hong Kong-based boutique arbitration and dispute management firm Capital Alliance ADR Advisory Services (“Capital Alliance”). He also serves as a Senior Instructor at the Legal Practice Education Centre of Macau University of Science and Technology on a part-time basis. Jun splits his time between Greater China and Australasia and frequently travels to Singapore and other parts of the Asia Pacific to work with his clients.

Jun is a Mandarin-English bilingual disputes specialist who read law in China, Australia and England. Prior to setting up Capital Alliance in 2012, Jun has had extensive experience working with leading Chinese and UK/US international law firms in China, Australia, Singapore and Hong Kong offices for twelve years.

Jun is experienced in advising clients on China/Asia-related international commercial arbitrations taking place in various arbitral seats in Asia Pacific and Europe under various arbitration rules. He has been involved in the representation of multinational companies and high net worth individuals to conduct legal proceedings through court systems in China, Hong Kong, Macau, Taiwan, Singapore, India, Thailand, Australia, Canada and the European Union. He is also well versed in international investment and trade law disputes.

Jun is the first ever (and the only) PRC-born individual admitted as a Fellow and panel arbitrator by the Australian Centre for International Commercial Arbitration (ACICA) and serves as Greater China representative of ACICA’s Practice & Procedures Board. He is the first ever (and the only) PRC-born individual approved as a Fellow of the Arbitrators’ and Mediators’ Institute of New Zealand (FAMINZ). He is the first ever (and the only) PRC-born individual admitted to the panel of accredited mediators of the Singapore International Mediation Institute. Jun is one of the first PRC-born individuals admitted as a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (FCIArb) and the Singapore Institute of Arbitrators (FSIArb). Jun has also been appointed to the panel of arbitrators of the Asian International Arbitration Centre as well as panels of arbitrators of several PRC domestic arbitration commissions. Jun is also an International Accredited Professional Mediator at the Mainland-Hong Kong Joint Mediation Centre (MHJMC) and an Accredited Mediator at Singapore Mediation Centre.

Jun is the only PRC-born individual appointed as an Ambassador to the ICC Belt & Road Commission.

Jun was admitted as an attorney-at-law in China in 2001. He was admitted as a Lawyer in the Supreme Court of New South Wales and as a Barrister and Solicitor in the High Court of Australia in 2006. Jun was admitted as a Solicitor of the Senior Courts of England and Wales in 2009. Jun was admitted as a Barrister and Solicitor in the High Court of New Zealand in 2014.

Ms Aswini Weereratne QC | Doughty Street Chambers (UK)

Aswini Weereratne QC practises at Doughty Street Chambers in London and is an acknowledged expert in human rights, mental health and capacity law, focusing, in particular, on the protection of vulnerable adults and young people in many different spheres of life. She utilises her expertise in a wide range of practice areas and cases, including in the Court of Protection, and concerning public and private law issues, actions against state bodies, including assault and unlawful detention claims, historic child abuse claims, inquests and inquiries, reporting restrictions and international law. In addition she has a strong background in investigatory, and regulatory work and is a qualified mediator.

Mr Baohu Yin | China Legal Exchange Center, China Law Society (CHINA)

Yin Baohu currently serves as Director General of China Legal Exchange Center. He is also the Secretary General of the Law Association for Relations across the Taiwan Straits and a part-time research fellow at Law School of Tsinghua University.

Mr Yin has Personal academic research fields and concerns include jurisprudence, international human rights law and law for relations across the Taiwan Straits.

In 2014, Yin Baohu presided over the China Law Society’s research on Legal Risks and Strategies for Economic and Trade Investment in Five Central Asian Countries, and has been well published on the websites of China Law Society and China News Review among others.

Mr Yin was elected to LAWASIA’s Executive Committee by Council in September 2017.

Mr Henning von Zanthier | VON ZANTHIER & SCHULZ (GERMANY)

Founding Partner of VON ZANTHIER & SCHULZ with offices in Berlin, Germany and Poznań, Poland.

Following his legal studies in Germany and France, Henning von Zanthier obtained the LL.M. degree at Tulane University in the United States in 1989. In 1991, he was admitted to the Berlin bar and started working at a large international law firm. He founded the law firm “VON ZANTHIER & SCHULZ” in Berlin in 1992, with its focus on business law for companies. In 1995, he established the first German linked law firm in Poznań. In 2003, he was the first member as a foreign lawyer at the Poznań bar, Poland. He is the first non-Polish lawyer who has also been fully admitted to the chamber in Poznań. He lectured on Polish law at the Free University of Berlin between 2004 – 2007. He focuses on corporate law, commercial law and Polish renewable energy law. Henning von Zanthier was the chairman of the Polish-German Association of Legal Experts between 1993 and 1998. He is one of the founders and current president of the League of Lawyers – an association of medium-sized business law firms from Asia and Europe. He has authored a number of articles on Polish-German Business. He regularly gives lectures on this subject for various institutions. He also lectures at the Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań on UN Convention on International Sales of Goods (CISG). His law firm has also clients from China, Japan and India, who invest in Germany or Poland.

Languages: German, English, Polish, French

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