Expert resume of Kathryn Sanger
Partner in the Hong Kong office of Herbert Smith Freehills; former Council Member of the Hong Kong International Arbitration Centre (HKIAC); HKIAC finance and administration committee; co-chair of sub-committee of the Hong Kong Law Reform Commission on outcome-related fee structures for arbitration
Kathryn advises clients on complex international arbitration proceedings in Asia Pacific. Based in Hong Kong, she has over 15 years' experience of advising clients on arbitration and litigation proceedings in Asia Pacific across a wide range of industries and locations, with particular strengths in financial services, M&A, energy and in China-related matters.
Her arbitration skills and reputation in China matters are enhanced by her ability to speak and read Mandarin Chinese.
Kathryn has an impressive profile in the Asian international arbitration market.
She was a Council Member of the Hong Kong International Arbitration Centre (HKIAC) between 2008 and 2019. Between 2013 and 2018, Kathryn chaired the HKIAC appointments committee, and she has also served on its rules and proceedings committee. Kathryn currently sits on the HKIAC's finance and administration committee.
Kathryn has been appointed to co-chair a new sub-committee of the Hong Kong Law Reform Commission on outcome-related fees for arbitration. Kathryn also sits regularly as an arbitrator, is listed on the HKIAC's List of Arbitrators, and is a member of the Users Council of the Singapore International Arbitration Centre.
She is admitted to practice in Hong Kong, and in England and Wales, and has a diploma in PRC law.
Kathryn has advised:
- a PE firm in a high profile dispute over the sale of an Asia business (HKIAC arbitration proceedings, Korean substantive law)
- a major international oil and gas producer in SIAC proceedings relating to access to the books and records of a joint venture in the North Sea
- the world's largest biotech company in ICC proceedings against a PRC company in relation to claims arising out of a pharmaceutical Collaboration Agreement
- a shipping magnate in respect of claims for the tort of conspiracy and related injunction and arbitration enforcement proceedings
- a global fashion retailer in Singapore arbitration proceedings (UNCITRAL Rules) in respect of claims for breach of a supply contract and infringement of IP rights, and defending claims for conspiracy and fraud
- a Chinese importer of manganese iron ore in a US$300 million LCIA arbitration against a Ukrainian mining company, and ancillary injunction proceedings in the PRC
- a US energy company in ICC arbitration proceedings, California seat, against its Taiwanese joint venture partner for breaches of a joint venture agreement, also involving substantive questions of competition law
- a US solar company in an ICC Rules arbitration against its Philippine joint venture partner, Philippine substantive law and Hong Kong seat
- a major international bank in its successful claims for fraud and breach of contract arising out of its investment in an Indian media company, involving arbitration proceedings in Singapore (and successful claims for emergency relief), related court and other proceedings in India, as well as in the UK, Dubai and Mauritius (Indian substantive law
- a foreign investor in a series of arbitrations relating to successful claims arising out of Chinese infrastructure joint-ventures. The final arbitration resulted in an award of over US$300 million
- "She is very smart and technical," noting that she "really gets into the details of arguments, much more than other people, and has a real instinct for where the issues lie, which is a rare thing." The client adds: "She's really tenacious and doesn't let a point go when she gets hold of it; at times that's proven to be key." (Chambers Asia Pacific 2021)
- "She is extremely efficient and demonstrates an extremely fast mind; its scary how quickly she turns things around at amazing speed." (Chambers Asia Pacific 2020)
- "She makes sensible decisions very quickly – she is not rash at all, just quick – the speed at which she talks and operates is pretty impressive. She has a very good brain!" (Chambers Asia Pacific 2019)
- "An extremely clever and reasonable litigator, with excellent written and spoken Chinese" and "she is very responsive and efficient in getting the work done." (Chambers Asia Pacific 2018)
- Leading Individual in Dispute Resolution: Arbitration (international firms), China/Hong Kong (Chambers Asia Pacific 2016-2020)
- One of China's 100 A-List Lawyers (China Business Law Journal 2017)
- "Excellent trial preparation and drafting skills" (Acritas Stars 2016)
- Arbitration Leaders - Who's Who Legal 2020
Recent publications and public appearances
Kathryn's recent publications and speaking engagements include:
- VI Annual RAA Conference - Keynote Speaker: HKIAC: the new PAI status and possible perspectives
- China Arbitration Summit 2018: Culture and Innovation: Impacts on Arbitration by Integration of Different Legal Cultures and New Technologies
- 2018 Taipei International Conference on Arbitration and Mediation: Choice of Arbitration, Mediation and/ior Litigation: the Party/Party Representative's Perspective
- ADR in Asia 2016: Is there anything left in the doctrine of arbitrability?
- Guerilla tactics in international arbitration – joint CIArb/HSF seminars run in Beijing, Shanghai and Hong Kong (2016)
- Global Arbitration Review: The Asia-Pacific Arbitration Review – Hong Kong (2007-2016)
- Arbitration in Hong Kong: A Practical Guide: (1) PRC-Related Arbitration; (2) State Immunity: Life After Congo
- The Hong Kong Arbitration Ordinance - Commentary and Annotations (First and second editions, contributing author)
- UNESCO Conference on Improving the Role of Women in Dispute Resolution: Evolution or Revolution? - representing HKIAC, March 2016
- FIAA-HKIAC Expert Witness Workshop Hong Kong, March 2016 - faculty member.