Grace Cheng

Call: 2016 (England & Wales); 2013 (Solicitor, Hong Kong SAR); 2020 (AIFC (Kazakhstan))

Grace is a barrister in London, a qualified Hong Kong solicitor with a current valid practising certificate, and has been granted rights of audience before the Astana International Finance Centre (AIFC) Court in Kazakhstan. She can advise on both English law and Hong Kong law. In addition to speaking fluent English, Cantonese Chinese and Mandarin Chinese, Grace has a working knowledge of French and Spanish, and previously assisted at the World Trade Organisation ministerial conference. Grace has a broad practice and is regularly instructed on a wide range of matters as sole counsel or as part of a wider team, for example in the Brexit ferry case. She was part of a joint COMBAR / ChBA working group responding to the Law Commission’s call for evidence on smart contracts and is on the Steering Committee for Greener Litigation.

Grace is included on various panels, registries and databases of arbitrators including Beihai Asia International Arbitration Centre (BAIAC – Singapore); Centro de Arbitragem, Conciliação e Mediação (CACM – Mozambique); DIFC-LCIA Arbitration Centre (DIFC-LCIA – Dubai); Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA – US/Puerto Rico); Hainan International Arbitration Court (HIAC – Hainan); International Chamber of Commerce (ICC – UK); London Court of International Arbitration (LCIA – London); London Maritime Arbitration Association (LMAA – London); Pacific International Arbitration Centre (PIAC – Vietnam); Shanghai International Economic and Trade Arbitration Commission (also known as the Shanghai International Arbitration Center) (SHIAC – Shanghai); Sport Resolutions (International Panel); Stockholm Chamber of Commerce (SCC – Stockholm); and World Trade Center Macau Arbitration Center (Macau). She is also on various panels of adjudicators, including HK Adjudicators; UK Adjudicators; and Technology & Construction Bar Association (TECBAR). Grace is a member of the Attorney General’s Civil Counsel Panel (Junior Juniors Scheme).

Prior to joining the English Bar, Grace trained as a Hong Kong lawyer and previously worked as a trainee solicitor and then associate at the Hong Kong and London offices of magic circle law firm Slaughter and May where she assisted with high-profile international commercial transactions and advised clients including the Department of Energy and Climate Change, Prada, Cathay Pacific Airways, MTR Corporation Limited, Moody’s and Standard Chartered plc. She has taught law at the University of Oxford, King’s College London, the University of Warwick, the National Chengchi University, and the National Taiwan University.

Grace was judicial assistant to the Honourable Mr Justice Blair when he was the Judge in Charge of the Commercial Court, and has assisted Professor Ewan McKendrick with the latest two editions (i.e. 5th and 6th editions) of Goode and McKendrick on Commercial Law, a widely-used text by practitioners and academics, including assuming primary responsibility for updating chapters 38 (commercial litigation) and 39 (commercial arbitration) of the book. She has published articles in leading journals including a piece co-written with Sir William Blair in the Bank of Italy’s Legal Research Working Papers.

Grace has also coached mooting teams from the University of Oxford and The University of Hong Kong in prestigious international mooting competitions. She has been a judge and arbitrator at various international moot court competitions including the CIETAC Cup International Commercial Arbitration Moot Competition; the Foreign Direct Investment International Arbitration Moot; the ICC Hong Kong International Commercial Mediation Competition; the Nelson Mandela World Human Rights Moot Court Competition; the Philip C. Jessup International Law Moot Court Competition; the Price Media Law Moot Court Competition; and the Willem C. Vis International Commercial Arbitration Moot.

Grace obtained a First Class Honours degree in law from the London School of Economics and Political Science and the Bachelor of Civil Law postgraduate degree from the University of Oxford.  Her ‘A day in the life of’ column was featured in Family Law LexisNexis. Grace was also featured in the Chancery Bar Association’s ‘Meet the Chancery barristers’ career’s guide.

If you would like any further information regarding Grace’s practice, please contact her clerks or call +44 (0)20 7405 6114. Grace can be contacted at grace.cheng@fieldcourt.co.uk

 

Selected Cases
  • Acting for the Secretary of State for Transport and assisting as part of a wider team in the case of Eurotunnel v Secretary of State for Transport (Brexit ferry case) which settled on 1 March 2019. This was a procurement claim involving a challenge by Eurotunnel to capacity contracts awarded by the Government to DFDS, Brittany Ferries, and Seaborne Freight to provide additional freight capacity between the UK and continental Europe. The contracts were procured under the ‘extreme urgency’ provisions in regulation 32(2)(c) of the Public Contracts Regulations 2015 to deal with the consequences of a ‘no-deal Brexit’.
  • Advising an oil and gas company on issues arising out of a contract for engineering, procurement, construction and installation of fibre optic infrastructure in Kazakhstan, including on descoping and acceleration, and exposure and entitlement resulting from the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic
  • Advising one of the largest developers in the UK in relation to the design and construction of a residential and premium quality hotel development involving a JCT contract
  • Assisting on a claim arising out of a contract for military equipment involving various issues against a non-recognised State concerning jurisdiction, service and time limits
  • Advising a German publicly listed company on the recognition and enforcement of a German court judgment in the UK
  • Representing a popular restaurant chain in relation to a prosecution brought by Transport for London (TFL) for breach of the Highways Act
  • Representing a former employee of Virgin Atlantic in a claim against the airline for unfair dismissal and disability discrimination
  • Representing a former employee of a care home in a claim for race and age discrimination
  • Acting as Independent Counsel in relation to an HMRC investigation into suspected VAT fraud and money laundering offences
  • Representing the Government Legal Department in a claim for wrongful detention
  • Representing a local authority in a judicial review claim challenging the alleged failure by another local authority to carry out a Merton-compliant age assessment and to provide accommodation and support under the Children Act 1989
  • Appearing in the First Tier Tribunal and Upper Tribunal (Immigration and Asylum Chamber) in various matters involving appeals against the decision of the Secretary of State for the Home Department to deport following refusal of a human rights claim
  • Advising a local authority on issues under the Environmental Protection Act 1990 in relation to the keeping of homing pigeons
  • Appointed as adjudicator in respect of a dispute involving the supply and installation of lighting at a fleet of stores owned by a British high-street retail chain (claim value approximately £400,000)

Assisted with the following matters at Slaughter and May:

  • Advising CITIC Securities Corporate Finance (HK) Limited on the cash offer made on behalf of a controlling shareholder of China XLX Fertiliser Ltd (China XLX) for the shares of China XLX, one of the largest manufacturers of coal-based urea and compound fertilisers in China. The cash offer was made in connection with the proposal to delist the shares of China XLX from the Singapore Exchange, with the shares remaining listed on the Hong Kong Exchange
  • Advising China Power International Development Limited, the flagship company of China Power Investment Corporation, one of the five national power generation groups in China, in relation to its issue of RMB 2 billion 4.5% bonds due 2017
  • Advising MTR Corporation in relation to the construction and commissioning of the Shatin to Central Link, one of the most significant infrastructure projects to be undertaken in Hong Kong
  • Advising an international banking group in respect of the global IBOR investigations, including the Hong Kong Monetary Authority’s HIBOR investigation in Hong Kong
  • Advising Cathay Pacific Airways and Swire Pacific Limited on the annual update of their debt issuance programmes

Assisted with the following decision given by The Board of Appeal of the European Supervisory Authorities, as Judicial Assistant to The Honourable Mr Justice Blair:

 

Education, Qualifications and Appointments
  • Admitted as a solicitor in Hong Kong – 2013
  • Called to the Bar of England and Wales (Lincoln’s Inn; Member of Denning Society) – 2016
  • Granted rights of audience before the Astana International Finance Centre (AIFC) Court in Kazakhstan – 2020
  • Adjudicator – HK Adjudicators; UK Adjudicators; Technology & Construction Bar Association (TECBAR)
  • Arbitrator – Beihai Asia International Arbitration Centre (BAIAC – Singapore); Centro de Arbitragem, Conciliação e Mediação (CACM – Mozambique); DIFC-LCIA Arbitration Centre (DIFC-LCIA – Dubai); Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA – US/Puerto Rico); Hainan International Arbitration Court (HIAC – Hainan); International Chamber of Commerce (ICC – UK); London Court of International Arbitration (LCIA – London); London Maritime Arbitration Association (LMAA – London); Pacific International Arbitration Centre (PIAC – Vietnam); Shanghai International Economic and Trade Arbitration Commission (also known as the Shanghai International Arbitration Center) (SHIAC – Shanghai); Sport Resolutions (International Panel); Stockholm Chamber of Commerce (SCC – Stockholm); World Trade Center Macau Arbitration Center (Macau)
  • Member of the Attorney General’s Civil Counsel Panel (Junior Juniors Scheme)
  • Qualified to undertake Public Access work

 

  • The London School of Economics and Political Science, LLB Bachelor of Laws
  • The University of Oxford, Bachelor of Civil Law
  • The University of Hong Kong, The Postgraduate Certificate in Laws
Career History
  • Slaughter and May – Trainee solicitor, Associate 
  • The University of Oxford – Law tutor
  • King’s College London – Visiting lecturer
  • The University of Warwick – Law tutor
  • National Taiwan University – Visiting professor
  • National Chengchi University – Visiting professor
  • The Honourable Mr Justice Blair, Judge in Charge of the Commercial Court – Judicial assistant
  • Mooting Coach for the University of Oxford (2016 International Monroe E. Price Media Law Moot Court competition, quarter-finals; 2018 Nelson Mandela Human Rights Moot Court Competition, semi-finals and winner of preliminary rounds and best oralist award) and The University of Hong Kong (2014 International Maritime Law Arbitration Moot competition, semi-finals)

 

 

Awards
  • Blackstone Chambers Prize for Best Performance in Public Law
  • Hogan Lovells Prize for Best Performance in the Law of Business Associations
  • Hou De Charitable Foundation Scholarship for the Postgraduate Certificate in Laws Programme
  • Joint Hong Kong Law Society / Bloomsbury Books Prize
  • Pegasus Scholarship (Inns of Court)
  • The Eastham Scholarship (Lincoln’s Inn Pupillage Award)
  • Hong Kong Law Society International Bar Association Annual Conference Sponsorship Award
  • Hong Kong Law Society Inter-Pacific Bar Association Annual Conference Sponsorship Award
  • International Association of Young Lawyers Scholarship Award
  • Worshipful Company of Arbitrators Travelling Scholarship
  • The Law Society Pro Bono and Community Work Recognition Programme, Silver Award
  • The Hong Kong Council of Volunteering Professional Volunteer Service, Gold Award
  • Harvard Book Prize
  • South China Morning Post Student Linguist of the Year, Special Recognition Award
Publications & Lectures

 

  • ‘Principles of Civil Proceedings in the UK Courts’, Lecture delivered as part of the Astana International Finance Centre Foundations Program for Lawyers (AIFC Academy, March 2021)
  • ‘Overview of English Law’, Lecture delivered to the National Welfare Fund “Samruk-Kazyna”, a sovereign wealth fund and joint stock company in Kazakhstan which owns, either in whole or in part, a number of major companies in the country (AIFC Academy, August 2021)

Grace has assisted Professor Ewan McKendrick with the latest two editions (i.e. 5th and 6th editions) of Goode and McKendrick on Commercial Law, a widely-used text by practitioners and academics, including assuming primary responsibility for updating chapters 38 (commercial litigation) and 39 (commercial arbitration) of the book. She was part of a joint COMBAR / ChBA working group responding to the Law Commission’s call for evidence on smart contracts. She was previously an associate editor of the Oxford University Commonwealth Law Journal.

Languages
  • English
  • Cantonese Chinese
  • Mandarin Chinese
  • French
  • Spanish
Professional Associations
  • Greener Litigation – Steering Committee
  • Chancery Bar Association (ChBA) – member of the International Sub-Committee and the Junior Chancery Bar Committee
  • Commercial Bar Association (COMBAR)
  • Family Law Bar Association (FLBA)
  • Technology and Construction Bar Association (TECBAR)
  • International Law Association (ILA)
  • International Chamber of Commerce Young Arbitrators Forum (ICC YAF)
  • Young International Council for Commercial Arbitration (YICCA)
  • The London Court of International Arbitration Young International Arbitration Group (LCIA YIAG)
  • Young Hong Kong International Arbitration Centre (HK45)
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