Winnie is a graduate of the University of Hong Kong (LL.B. (Hons.)). Between 1987 to 1988 she had pursued further studies in intellectual property at UCL (University of London) and further training as a barrister in the intellectual property field, and was called to the English Bar in 1988.
Winnie was appointed Senior Counsel of the Hong Kong Bar in 2006. She was Chairman of the Hong Kong Bar Association between January 2015 to January 2017 and Chairman of the Committee on Intellectual Property between 2019 to 2022. Winnie is a Recorder of the Court of First Instance, and was Recorder of the High Court of the Hong Kong SAR (2015-2023). In that capacity and formerly as a Deputy High Court Judge, she has adjudicated on an extensive range of civil and commercial disputes. In 2016, she was honoured as an Overseas Bencher of the Middle Temple Society of England. She has also been serving as a member of the Law Reform Commission since 2019.
Winnie has broad experience in corporate commercial, intellectual property, technology, media and entertainment disputes. Apart from her regular involvement as lead Counsel in IP and commercial litigation and arbitration, Winnie has accumulated substantial experience as an international arbitrator in trade and corporate disputes.
Winnie is listed as arbitrator in the HKIAC’s General Panel and Intellectual Property Panel, the CIETAC panel, and is a member of the Domain Name Disputes Panel of the HKIAC, a member of the Expert Committee of the China (Shenzhen) IP Arbitration Centre, a panel arbitrator of SCIA, SHIAC, and Qingdao Arbitration Commission, a member of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators, and a fellow of the Hong Kong Institute of Arbitrators. She is a WIPO panel mediator, JAMS panel mediator, a CEDR-accredited mediator, a panel mediator on Mainland-Hong Kong Investment Disputes under CEPA. In her capacity as a leading intellectual property barrister, she was part of a 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. Between 2018 and 2020, Winnie served as a member of the Nominations Committee of the HKIAC. Between 2020-2021, she served as Co-Chair of Women in Arbitration (WIA) under HKIAC. Between May 2020 to April 2023, she served on the Appointments Committee of HKIAC.
Winnie has worked as a presiding arbitrator and co-arbitrator under ICC, HKIAC, CIETAC, UNCITRAL and SCIA rules in disputes involving cross-jurisdictional commercial and joint-venture, private investment and shareholders disputes, intellectual property licensing and transfer, international gaming rights licensing, technology transfer, patent rights and more . She has experience as an arbitrator working with laws of jurisdictions including PRC, England and Wales, Hong Kong, Singapore, Japan, and Korea, in proceedings conducted both in English and in Chinese.
Winnie has been recognised in peer-reviewed publications as a sough-after international arbitrator and top IP expert in the region.
Experience in Arbitration
- Appointed as presiding arbitrator in an arbitration under 2018 HKIAC Rules relating to breach of shareholders’ agreement.
- Appointed as co-arbitrator under AAA-ICDR Procedure on breach of confidence relating to an employment contract. Californian law.
- Appointed as co-arbitrator as an arbitration under HKIAC 2018 Rules on breach of confidence in a biotechnology consultancy agreement
- Appointed as co-arbitrator in an arbitration under ICC Rules 2021 relating to a sale and supply contract on biotechnology instruments, applying Japanese law.
- Appointed as presiding arbitrator in a arbitration dispute under 2018 HKIAC Rules relating to sale of business.
- Appointed co-arbitrator in an arbitration arising out of a dispute on sale of telecom equipment between Chinese and Russian parties, SCIA Rules.
- Appointed as co-arbitrator in a private equity investment dispute under 2018 HKIAC Rules, with complex preliminary issues.
- Appointed as co-arbitrator in an arbitration under UNCITRAL Rules arising from a computer technology licensing dispute.
- Appointed as presiding arbitrator in two private equity investment disputes in Mainland China, conducted the arbitration in both Chinese and English under HKIAC Rules
- Appointed as co-arbitrator in two foreign-related investment disputes in both Chinese and English under HKIAC Rules
- Appointed as the presiding arbitrator in two foreign-related disputes and conducted the arbitration in Chinese under the CIETAC Arbitration Rules
- Appointed as co-arbitrator in a complex dispute involving multi-jurisdictional arbitrations and litigations between the parties in a claim exceeding US$200M under HKIAC 2013 Rules with the seat of arbitration in Hong Kong.
- Appointed presiding arbitrator in an arbitration under HKIAC Rules 2013. The dispute arose from a joint venture between a Hong Kong company and a major machinery manufacturing company in Europe for a very substantial claim on technology transfer.
- Appointed as presiding arbitrator under the ICC Rules 2017 working with leading international arbitrators in the region. The claim is one on licensing and development of game software involving a very substantial claim.
- Appointed as Co-arbitrator in an arbitration under HKIAC rules in a dispute over a pharmaceutical distribution agreement.
- Appointed as Co-arbitrator in an arbitration under HKIAC rules in a joint venture dispute.
- Designated Co-arbitrator by a party in an arbitration ICC Rules 2017 under Austrian law on a dispute over alleged misuse of technology and knowhow relating to the construction of manufacturing plants
- Appointed as co-arbitrator by the Shenzhen International Arbitration Centre (formerly SCIA) in a cross-border sale of goods dispute worth roughly RMB 30M. Complex issues of company insolvency law are involved. The arbitration is conducted under SCIA Rules.
- Appointed as co-arbitrator to work with international arbitrators in the region in a major dispute between a mainland Chinese company and Japanese companies arising out of an OEM manufacturing agreement. The core allegation is breach of confidence in technology relating to the making of machinery. The arbitration is under UNCITRAL rules. A large amount of technical information is involved.
- Appointed as lead Counsel to attend court to obtain ancillary relief in aid of arbitration in a case involving a dispute between the franchisor and licensee to a popular show.
- Appointed as lead Counsel to work with American Lawyers on two arbitrations under HKIAC rules respectively across two jurisdictions in a dispute involving a technology supply joint venture
- Appointed as lead Counsel to represent a manufacturer of hi-tech apparatus in multiple number of disputes with its competitor in China. Acted as co-lead counsel with US patent counsel in two arbitrations under UNCITRAL rules for clients in the same group of companies. The core allegations related to infringement of multiple patents and use of confidential information by former technical employees. Emergency arbitration procedure was involved in one set of the proceedings.
- Appointed as lead Counsel in a HKIAC arbitration involving dispute over sale of business.
Public and Professional Appointments and Memberships
Appointments in Hong Kong and International Legal Organizations
- 2006 Appointed as Senior Counsel of the Hong Kong Bar
- 2015-2017 Chairman of the Hong Kong Bar Association
- Chairman of the Committee on Sports Law, Hong Kong Bar Association
- Recorder of the Court of First Instance, High Court of HKSAR
- Member of the Appointments Committee, HKIAC
- Overseas Bencher of the Middle Temple Society of England
- Member of the Law Reform Commission
- Hon Advisor, International Trade Bar of the Shenzhen Lawyers Association
- 2020-2021 Co-Chair of Women In Arbitration (WIA), HKIAC
- 2017-2018 Co-Chairman, Forum for Barristers and Advocates, IBA
- 2019-2021 Member, Policy Sub-Committee, Bar Issues Commission, IBA
- Member, China Working Group, Asia Pacific Forum, IBA
- Chairman, Women Business Lawyers Committee, IPBA
- Member of the Board of Advisors, Shenzhen Lanhai Research Institute on Legal Services in the Greater Bay Area
Arbitration Panels and Memberships
- HKIAC’s Intellectual Property Specialist Panel
- HKIAC’s Domain Name Dispute Panel member
- Hong Kong Bar Association Arbitration Panel member
- Member of ICC Commission, Hong Kong Delegate
- ICC Hong Kong Arbitration Committee member
- CIETAC Panel Arbitrator
- China (Shenzhen) IP Arbitration Centre, Member of Expert Committee
- South China International Economic and Trade Arbitration Commission, Panel Arbitrator
- Member of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators
- Fellow of the Hong Kong Institute of Arbitrators
- Panel Arbitrator Beihai International Centre, Panel Arbitrator
- Shenzhen International Arbitration Centre, Panel Arbitrator
- Qingdao Arbitration Commission, Panel Arbitrator
- Hainan International Arbitration Centre, Panel Arbitrator
- World Intellectual Property Organization, Panel Mediator
- JAMS/SCMC, Panel Mediator
- Hong Kong Mediation Council Panel Mediator under the Mainland and Hong Kong CEPA Investment Agreement
- Mainland-Hong Kong Joint Mediation Center Panel Mediator
- Shanghai Commercial Mediation Center (SMAC) Panel Mediator
Public Appointments in Hong Kong
- Hong Kong Member of the 14th CPPCC National Committee
- Member, Law Reform Commission
- Chairman, Board of Hong Kong Palace Museum Limited
- Chairman, Communications Authority
- Member, Chief Executive’s Council of Advisers
- Member, Board of Directors and Executive Committee of the West Kowloon Cultural District Authority
- Member, Board of Governors, Hong Kong Philharmonic Society Ltd
- Member, Independent Commission on Remuneration for Members of the Executive Council and the Legislature, and Officials under the Political Appointment System of the HKSAR
- Member, Consultative Committee of the Qianhai Special Free Trade Zone (PRC)
- ABG Juicy Couture LLC v Bella International Ltd – HCA 1764 of 2008
- Acron International Technology Ltd v Chan Yiu Wai and Law Sui Chun – FAMV 13/2018
- Alviero Martini SPA v Bubble Retail Management Ltd – HCA 1937/2008
- Apple Daily Ltd v Oriental Press Group Ltd – HCA 1396/2009
- Bruce James Stinson v Gu Ming Gao – HCA 2352/2012
- California Red Ltd v Gold Typhoon Entertainment Ltd – HCA 2684/2008
- Chor Ki Kwong David v Lorea Solabarrieta Cheung – HCA 1870/2012
- Christie Manson & Woods Ltd v Chritrs (Group) Ltd – HCA 1418/2011
- Gmedia Technology (Beijing) Co Ltd v Tencent Holdings Ltd – HCA 495/2017
- Guccio Gucci SpA v Cosimo Ludolf Gucci – HCA 1582/2008
- Horner Resources (International) Co Ltd v Savvy Resources Ltd – HCA 335/2010
- Hugo Boss Trade Mark Management GmbH & Co KG v Britain Boss International Co Ltd – CACV 114/2015
- L’Oreal (UK) Ltd, Yves Saint Laurent (YSL) v YLS Brands HK Ltd – HCA 2814/2017
- Louis Vuitton Malletier SA v Marco Leather Goods Ltd – HCA 1511/2009
- Louis Vuitton Malletier v Cuvee XLV French Wine Ltd – HCA 1900/2013
- M.G.X. Asia Ltd v China Way Global Co Ltd – HCA 2001/2013
- Mary Kay Inc v 浙江天猫网络有限公司 (Zhejiang Tmall Network Co Ltd) –  HKCFI 1403
- Menfond Electronic Art & Computer Design Co Ltd v Wong Wang Tat Victor – HCA 293/2011
- Midland Business Management Ltd v Lo Man Kui – HCA 1599/2010
- Nerium Biotechnology Inc v Nerium International, LLC – HCA 1188/2016
- OPG Human Resources Ltd v Apple Daily Ltd – HCA 481/2009
- Oriental Food Industries Sdn Bhd v Sze Hing Loong Development Ltd – HCA 2094/2011
- Pan Chung Pat Wo Tong (HK) Ltd v Law Yan Wai t/a Singapore Medicine Co – CACV 239/2013
- In the matter of an application by Ping An Securities Ltd – HCMP 2788/2004
- Ringier Print (HK) Ltd v South China Media Ltd – HCA 2312/2009
- Sky King Machinery Engineering Ltd v Chun Wo Construction & Engineering Co Ltd – HCA 1918/2013
- SNE Engineering Co Ltd v Hsin Chong Construction Co Ltd – HCA 1466/2012 (26.3.2014)
- Star TV Filmed Entertainment (HK) Ltd v Golden Princess Amusement Co Ltd – CACV 61/2007
- Stichting BDO v Banco De Oro Unibank Inc – HCA 1162/2009
- Talpa Global BV v Star China Media Ltd and Meng Xiang Quang Yin Cultural and Broadcast (Shanghai) Co Ltd – HCMP 121/2016
- Tsit Wing (Hong Kong) Co Ltd v TWG Tea Company Pte Ltd – HCA 2210/2011, CACV 191/2013, FACV 15/2015, FAMV 6/2015
- UMG Recording Inc v Profit Chart Development Ltd – HCA 472/2010
- Vita Green Health Products Co Ltd v Vitasoy International Holdings Ltd – HCMP 593/2014
- Wind River Systems Inc v Digital China Holdings Ltd – HCA 1550/2012
- Wong To Yick Wood Lock Ointment Ltd v Singapore Medicine (HK) Co Ltd – HCA 595 and 600/2014
- Xcelom Ltd v. BGI-Hong Kong Co Ltd – HCA 3089/2015
Publications, Lectures and Talks
- World IP Day LESC and LECHK – 21.4.2023
Perspectives From a Woman IP Barrister
- Advanced Arbitrators’ Training Course, HKIAC – 20 April 2023
Shared practical tips and experience on the conduct of international arbitration hearings
- International Commercial Dispute Resolution – 1.4.2023
Peking University International Dispute Resolution Course (2023 Spring Term)
- Lexis Nexis In-Houses Legal & Compliance Conference 2022 – 2.12.202
From Legal Strategies to Business Opportunities
- Hong Kong Legal Week – 11.11.2022
Access to Justice for All – Diversified Dispute Resolution Mechanism
- Hong Kong Arbitration Week 2022 – 24 & 25 October 2022
Invited to give presentations or conduct panel discussions in four different panels over two days,
on development in Web 3, diversity, and other hot topics.
- SCIA (深圳国际仲裁院) – 26.9.2022
- Lexis-Nexus/HKIAC – 6.7.2022
Observations on opportunities and challenges in arbitration practice Hong Kong and the GBA
- 深圳国际仲裁院 大湾区仲裁研究对话 – 仲裁程序实务分享 – 27.4.2022
SCIA “A Dialogue on Arbitration in the GBA – Practicum on the Arbitral Procedure”
- 深圳国际仲裁院 世界知识产权日活动 – 25.4.2022
SCIA World Intellectual Property Day Thematic Activity and the first year anniversary of China (Shenzhen) Intellectual Property Arbitration Center
- 深圳律师协会 国际贸易仲裁的文件交换与庭审技巧– 15.4.2022
Shenzhen Lawyers Association “Document production and Hearing Technique in International Arbitration”
- HKIAC Advanced Arbitrators Training Course – 4.2022
Key Differences between arbitrating under Mainland arbitral institutions and under international arbitral institutions
- Peking University International Commercial Dispute Resolution Course – 2.4.2022“International Commercial Arbitration Part 1北京大学国际商事仲裁课程 国际仲裁程序（一）
- Hong Kong University – Intellectual Property lecture – 3.2022Infringement of Well-Known Trade Marks
- 君合律师事务所主办 国际商事仲裁员的思维解析 – 24.2.2022
- Cyberport Distinguished Fellow Speakers Series – 23.2.2022The Framework of Protection for Intellectual Property in Innovation
- 国际仲裁之微覌解析 – 对话 ICC, HKIAC, SIAC, CIETAC HK – 12.1.2022国际仲裁中的交叉盘问与文件披露
- 律政司、香港国际仲裁中心、广东省及广州市律协合办 – 10.12.2021粤港澳大湾区仲裁实务培训
- 第十一届中国华南企业法律论坛中国高科技企业主题交流会 – 10.12.2021粵港澳大灣區知識產權保护跨境合作 – 規則衔接与机制对接
- BIP Asia 2021 – 3.12.2021Navigating your way towards IP success under the 14th Five-Year Plan
- LawAsia 2021 – Global Trends in IP – 16.11.2021Trade Mark Issues in Cross-Jurisdictional E-Commerce
- HKU SPACE Admiralty Learning Centre – 23.10.2021An introduction to the Legal System of HKSAR
- University of Hong Kong Annual Law Lectures – 24.9.2021Regulatory Framework of HK’s Telecommunications and Broadcasting Industry
- CIETAC-HK (IDRA) 2021 – 22.2.2021
Law which can only be tentatively identified after a trawl through Extensive authorities must be condemned as not fit for purpose
- IDRA 2021 Webinar Series on Decoding Hong Kong Contract Law – 25.1.2021
- Hong Kong’s unique role in IP creation, protection and enforcement as well as dispute resolution in GBA and beyond – Arbitration in Intellectual Property – 4.12.2020
- BIP Asia Forum 2020 – 2.12.2020
Challenges and opportunities brought by COVID-19 to the legal and IP fields
- Hong Kong Mediation Conference (Legal Week) – 6.11.2020
United Nations Mediation Convention – Challenges to Arbitration
- Hong Kong Legal Week 2020 – 3.11.2020
Inaugural Rule of Law Congress Towards 2030: A Decade of Action for Rule of Law
- Hong Kong Arbitration Week 2020 – 19.10.2020
International arbitration in the digital landscape: technology, cybersecurity and data protection (In-person and virtual)
- Hong Kong Academy of Politics and Public Policy – 10.10.2020
The Legal System of Hong Kong
- WIA 仲裁生态漫谈 — 男性仲裁员眼中的女性仲裁员 – 9.10.2020
- 香港国际仲裁中心WIA委员会主办成功仲裁女性炉边访谈 – 3.7.2020
Specific Areas of Expertise
Arbitration as counsel, Arbitration as arbitrator, Commercial Mediation, Mediation Advocacy, Contract, Conflict of Laws, Equity, Tort, Unjust Enrichment, Breach of Confidence, Copyright, Patents, Passing-Off, Trademarks, Blockchain, Cryptocurrency, Data Technology, Digital Assets, Anton Piller Relief, Asset Tracing, Bankers’ Books Orders, Discovery, Injunction, Norwich Pharmacal Orders
Winnie Tam SC was ranked by Chambers and Partners Greater China Region 2024 as Band 1 Silks in the field of Intellectual Property. She was also ranked as Spotlight in Most in Demand Arbitrators: Hong Kong-seated and International Arbitrations.
Chambers Review shared that “Winnie Tam SC of Des Voeux Chambers is a prominent figure who has a distinguished reputation in intellectual property. She is highly sought after for her substantial expertise in intellectual property, and demonstrates further knowledge in TMT and commercial-related disputes.” Winnie “sits as arbitrator in ICC, HKIAC, CIETAC and SCIA arbitrations, and often handles cross-jurisdictional cases.”
In the field of IP, Winnie “continues to command immense respect as one of the jurisdiction’s most eminent IP practitioners, operating in all areas of the discipline and maintaining a focus on the handling of high-profile, cross-border cases on behalf of clients from a diverse range of sectors. She is noted for her involvement in both litigation and arbitration.”
Clients commented that “Winnie is a hyper-efficient person. She has a lot of common sense, and is willing to listen to people. Winnie turns in our work very quickly.” and “Winnie is someone who is tremendous in her enthusiasm and energy. She is an arbitrator who really gets it in terms of commercial divers in any case.“
Winnie Tam SC is accredited as a Leading Silk for Intellectual Property.
Winnie Tam SC of Des Voeux Chambers continues to command immense respect as one of the jurisdiction’s most eminent IP practitioners, operating in all areas of the discipline and maintaining a focus on the handling of high-profile, cross-border cases on behalf of clients from a diverse range of sectors. She is noted for her involvement in both litigation and arbitration:
“Winnie is very experienced and quite aggressive, which is not a bad thing for her client.”
“She’s one of the two leading silks in town; I get on very well with her.”
Intellectual Property: The Bar
Winnie Tam SC is accredited as a Leading Silk for Intellectual Property.
Winnie Tam SC from Des Voeux Chambers received the following recognition from Who’s Who Legal 2023 in the field of Arbitration and IP:
– Thought Leader – Mainland China, Hong Kong & Macao 2023 – Arbitration
– Recommended Leader – Mainland China, Hong Kong & Macao 2023 – IP – Trademarks
– Recommended Leader – IP – Trademarks 2023
– Recommended Leader – IP – Copyright 2023
– Recommended Leader – Arbitration 2023
WWL says that Winnie is a highly regarded name in the market who is frequently sought after by clients for her expertise in high-value IP disputes. Source commended that “Winnie is particularly outstanding when it comes to IP disputes“, “Winnie comes highly recommended by peers“, amd “She has a fantastic emerging arbitration practice“.
Winnie is universally acknowledged as “an IP guru,” and “is without doubt the top counsel in the area of intellectual property law.” She continues to command immense respect as one of the jurisdiction’s most eminent IP practitioners, operating in all areas of the discipline and maintaining a focus on the handling of high-profile, cross-border cases on behalf of clients from a diverse range of sectors.
Noted for her involvement not only in the litigation, but also in the arbitration, of IP disputes, she is also praised for being “incredibly good and incredibly busy,” and recognised for “her advocacy skills and ability to lead a case”.
‘An authoritative counsel, who has a highly persuasive courtroom manner.’ Winnie Tam SC is accredited as a Leading Silk for Intellectual Property.
Winnie Tam SBS, SC, JP has been recommended by Who’s Who Legal as a “Global Leader” in the field of IP – Trademarks and IP – Copyright.
WWL: Global Leaders 2022
Winnie Tam SBS, SC, JP has been recognized by Who’s Who Legal as a “National Leader” in the field of Arbitrationand IP – Trademarks.
WWL Says: “Winnie Tam SC of Des Voeux Chambers is an accomplished IP lawyer who maintains a first-rate practice encompassing trademark registration and licensing disputes, as well as technology transfer.”
“Winnie Tam SC is recognised as a ‘well-known and respected’ practitioner who excels in cross-border disputes, particularly when it comes to IP matters.”
WWL: Mainland China & Hong Kong SAR 2022
Winnie Tam SC is endorsed for her “great gravitas” and “specialist knowledge in IP,” and is described as “excellent tactically” and an “outstanding advocate, at the top of her field.” She maintains a focus on impressive high-profile cross-border cases and acts on both litigation and arbitration proceedings, acting on behalf of clients from a diverse range of sectors. “Winnie is the name for IP,” and she is also described as “a really impressive senior counsel and obviously an IP expert who is very knowledgeable and commercial, and very good on her feet.”
“Excellent: one of the best if not the best barrister for IP in Hong Kong, you can always rely on her to do her very best and fight hard in court.” Winnie Tam SC is accredited as a Leading Silk for Intellectual Property.
Winnie Tam SC is a highly respected disputes specialist in the region, with market commentators describing her as “one of the best practitioners” for arbitration issues. (National Leader for Mainland China & Hong Kong SAR – Arbitration 2021)
Winnie Tam SC, JP of Des Voeux Chambers combines a busy IP practice with her role as chair of Hong Kong’s Communication Authority and continues to be seen as one of the most accomplished counsel in the space. One source identifies her as “one of the two acknowledged leaders of the Bar” there and adds: “If anyone’s looking for an IP silk, it’s Winnie Tam or John Yan.” Other interviewees describe her as an especially “expert and excellent advocate,” one reporting: “She’s very sharp and quick on her feet and has the ear of the judge.” Particularly well known for her handling of cross-jurisdictional cases.
Winnie Tam SC of Des Voeux Chambers is consistently identified by interviewees as “one of the leading silks for IP in Hong Kong,” one source maintaining that she was chosen to act on a particular matter because she was “the top specialist” in the jurisdiction, the same referee going on to say: “Everything she provides is just excellent and she was absolutely invaluable to the proceedings.” Sources further characterise her as an “extremely strong advocate who has the patience and skill to explain complex IP laws, will fight as hard as she can and has managed to turn around a number of difficult court cases successfully.” A notable feature of her practice is her strong focus on cross-jurisdictional disputes and readiness to appear in both litigated and arbitrated IP disputes.
Winnie Tam SC of Des Voeux Chambers enjoys tremendous respect in this area. Sources describe her as “an excellent advocate who knows IP law very well and is a pleasure both to work with and to instruct.” Her broad practice covers all the key IP issues and extends across an impressive range of industry sectors. She acted for Tsit Wing in long-running and ultimately successful trade mark litigation against TWG Tea.
Ms Winnie Tam SC, JP has been recognised by WWL Trademarks 2019 as a Global Leader in the field of Trademarks (2019)