Hong Kong Lawyers Train at Civil Litigation Workshop for Migrant Workers

Justice Without Borders (JWB) held its 2nd annual Hong Kong Continuing Professional Development (CPD) Workshop aimed at training participants on cross-border civil litigation for migrant workers. The event was co-hosted by the Centre for Comparative and Public Law (CCPL) at the University of Hong Kong (HKU), and generously sponsored by Herbert Smith Freehills (HSF).

Kareena Teh and Harry Edwards

Kareena Teh of Dechert and Harry Edwards of Herbert Smith Freehills discuss what law firm lawyers should expect in taking on a migrant worker case.

This year’s CPD Workshop engaged a diverse group of lawyers, researchers, students, and representatives from non-governmental organisations (NGO). HSF Senior Associate Christine Cuthbert and Professor Lindsay Ernst of HKU opened the workshop with welcoming remarks, followed by a panel discussion on civil compensation as a tool for addressing issues faced by migrant domestic workers. The panel introduced common claims raised by Hong Kong’s workers, their available legal remedies, and relevant procedural and logistical considerations in litigation. Speakers also highlighted the role of NGOs and law firms in the litigation process.

Participants then formed groups to analyse a fact pattern with issues drawn from real-life cases. Using JWB’s Practitioner’s Manual for Migrant Workers as a reference, the groups identified potential claims, possible legal challenges, and their solutions. Participants joined in a full interactive group discussion afterwards to share their thoughts and findings.

The workshop concluded with a panel introducing the work of Hong Kong NGOs handling migrant domestic worker claims. Representatives from HELP for Domestic Workers, the Hong Kong Confederation of Trade Unions (HKCTU), and  JWB discussed how lawyers could get involved in meaningful pro bono work.

Holly Allan, HELP for Domestic Workers

Holly Allan, Executive Director of HELP for Domestic Workers introduces some of the common challenges workers face in Hong Kong.

Our sincere thanks to HSF for generously sponsoring the event, HKU for providing facilities, and all of the speakers for their invaluable contributions and insights. Other presenters included Leo Tang, (HKCTU), Holly Allan (HELP for Domestic Workers), Fabian Roday (Fangda Partners), Kareena Teh (Dechert LLP), and Harry C. Edwards (HSF). JWB thanks all of the participants for their active engagement and making this year’s workshop another success.