Family Law

Tanner De Witt Solicitors advises families on divorce and associated matters in Hong Kong, often involving international considerations. For companies in the SME sector divorce of owners is frequently a major corporate event.

The approach of Tanner De Witt to divorce and family law is to reduce the impact on all concerned of the end of one chapter and the beginning of the next chapter of life. To achieve this lawyers in Tanner De Witt work to the best modern professional practice in putting the interests of children first and encouraging reasoned compromise and negotiations as first principles.

The areas of legal and practical interest include financial maintenance (sometimes known as alimony), estate distribution, child custody and child access. Many of the instructions in this area come from commercial clients who are expatriates in Hong Kong and are concerned about the implications of divorce for their employment visas and the immigration status of family members.

Tanner De Witt has professional relationships with law firms in other countries closely connected with Hong Kong where international divorces may lead to issues and works with a group of experienced mediators, counsellors, parenting co-ordinators and child psychiatrists where appropriate.

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  • Acting for a former husband to pursue proceedings to vary downwards court ordered maintenance payments;
  • Acting for a finance professional in a long-term wardship case that involves allegations of sexual abuse and violence towards the child. The case also involves complicated access and financial disputes;
  • Acting for a husband in a case involving divorce, a postnuptial agreement, ongoing issues regarding execution and administration of the post-nuptial agreement;
  • Acting for a wife in a hostile divorce case from her husband who has displayed significant substance and alcohol abuse behaviours. Case involves mediation and an application for an injunction against the husband to protect matrimonial assets;
  • Acting for a mother in a removal case where the mother wishes to take the children of the family overseas per month;
  • Acting for a client on pre-nuptial agreement and trust structures to achieve the client’s goals of pre-marital wealth protection of international reach;
  • Acting for the husband to divorce proceedings brought by an estranged wife who is from a high net worth Hong Kong family;
  • Acting for the husband in a long marriage with complex matrimonial asset valuation issues specifically international commercial and hedge fund structures. Assets are held in Hong Kong, UK and the US;
  • Acting for a former wife to enforce a maintenance order which is in default and opposing application to set aside a consent order;
  • Acting for a NGO to bring child protection proceedings for the benefit of a neglected child in the High Court and acting against various Government departments and other NGO bodies;
  • Acting for a Domestic Helper who seeks a divorce from her husband in the Philippines.

Collaborative divorce is a specialised, holistic, family focused approach to divorce where the team works together to ensure the parties arrive at reasoned solutions to their family situation which recognise that the interests of all members of the family are aligned.  It is a commitment between yourself, your partner and your children to resolve your divorce or separation with minimal involvement of the court.  This process allows you to make your own decisions in conjunction with your spouse or partner as to how your divorce is conducted and the outcome that you wish to achieve.

Read more about collaborative divorce here or contact Collaborative Divorce Practitioners Joanne Brown  directly.

Chambers and Partners Asia 2021

What the team is known for Growing practice offering advice on a range of family and matrimonial matters. Experienced in handling divorce proceedings and child-related cases. Able to assist on cross-border abduction matters, with particular expertise in cases involving the Hague Convention. Also provides support in nuptial agreements and trust arrangements.

Strengths The practice receives endorsement for its quality of advice and client services. “Tanner De Witt offers clear, prompt and realistic advice at all stages of a family dispute. They are responsive and sensitive to the needs and wishes of clients, and able to incorporate those concerns into real and effective relief,” observes one source.

Another commentator reports: “They have very good understanding and awareness of cultural and legal issues involved in international cases.”

Joanne Brown draws widespread support from peers and clients alike, with one source highlighting: “Joanne is excellent – she is focused on client needs and maintains a clear view of what can be achieved, she is a pragmatic negotiator in mediation.” She is especially skilled in divorce, custody and nuptial matters.

We have recently been recognised for the following:

  • Tanner De Witt – Recommended Leading Hong Kong Family & Divorce Law Firm (Doyles Guide)
  • Joanne Brown – Recommended Leading Hong Kong Family & Divorce Lawyer (Doyles Guide)
  • Tanner De Witt – Notable Firm (Benchmark Litigation Asia Pacific 2021)
  • Elizabeth Seymour-Jones – Grand Leadership Award, Professional Volunteer Service Accreditation Programme (The Law Society of Hong Kong)

ALB Law Awards 2020

Awarded BDO Family and Matrimonial Law Firm of the Year 2020 by Asian Legal Business

Doyle’s Guide 2020

Joanne Brown recognised as ‘Recommended Family Law PractitionerDoyle’s Guide 2020

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