Isabel Tam 譚俊宜
Call : 2013 (HK); 2012 (NY)
Set : Main
Practice Areas
Administrative and Public LawChinese Customary LawCommercial LawCompetition LawFamily LawLand and Property LawProbate and AdministrationPublic International LawRegulatory and DisciplinaryTax LawTort and Personal Injuries
Contact
Email : [email protected] Secretary : Milly Siu [email protected]

Isabel Tam graduated with a first class LLB and with distinction in her LLM. She was awarded the Bar Scholarship in 2012. Her practice has an emphasis on public law, family law, and regulatory matters. She also has an MA in competition law with distinction in the examination component, and was seconded to the Competition Commission.

She has appeared as sole counsel in the Court of Appeal, the Court of First Instance, the District Court and the Magistrates’ Courts. She has also appeared in the Court of Final Appeal.

Recent highlights of Isabel’s experience include AA v BB [2021] HKCFI 1401, which has been hailed as a landmark victory for the LGBTQ community, granting parental rights to a separated same-sex couple who had co-parented children during their relationship. Isabel appeared for the Respondent, the non-biological mother within the same-sex relationship, and secured parental rights for her including guardianship and joint custody.

Isabel successfully resisted the Inland Revenue’s appeal before the Court of Appeal in Koo Ming Kown & Anor v The Commissioner of Inland Revenue [2021] 3 HKLRD 642, representing two company directors charged to additional tax (led by Mr Denis Chang SC). This is Hong Kong’s first ever case to deal with the third party’s liability for additional tax by reason of “incorrectness” in the company’s return.

Isabel’s experience also includes:

Administrative and Public Law 

Judicial reviews and hearings relating to the Small House Policy, the “Co-location Arrangement”, the 3rd airport runway, immigration decisions, disciplinary decisions, administrative tribunals, and more.

Family Law

Children matters, ancillary relief, anti-suit injunction, harassment-related proceedings, and more.

Regulatory Matters

Representing the SFC in disciplinary proceedings and in trial, advising on competition law, advising on listing rules, representing respondent and complainant in professional misconduct cases, and more.

Land Law

Trials on adverse possession, trust claims over property, disputes over common parts, conveyancing disputes, unauthorized building works, and more.

International Work

Her legal experience outside Hong Kong includes working on a state-to-state international arbitration, researching at the International Environmental Law Research Centre in Kenya and a summer judicial clerkship at U.S. federal court. She is also called to the Bar in New York.

Pro Bono Work

She regularly undertakes pro bono work, including advising non-profit organizations and acting for litigants on a pro bono basis. She is also interested in environmental law, and has advised and published on the ivory trade and trade in endangered species.


• Barrister (Hong Kong) (2013)

• Attorney (New York) (2012)


• LLB (First class), University College London (2010)
• LLM (Distinction), Georgetown University (2011)
• PCLL, University of Hong Kong (2012)
• MA in EU Competition Law, King’s College London (2017)


• Bar Scholarship (2012)
• Charles Ching Memorial Scholarship (2012)
• Dean’s List (2011)
• Georgetown Global Teaching Fellowship (2011)
• Georgetown Law Center best paper in international criminal law (2011)
• International Bar Association Asian Regional Forum Scholarship (2014)
• Inter-Pacific Bar Association Scholarship (2017)


• Member (2018 – present), Standing Committee on Equality and Diversity, Hong Kong Bar Association
• Member (2020 – present), Standing Committee on International Practice, Hong Kong Bar Association
• Part-time Lecturer, School of Law, City University of Hong Kong (2018-19 & 2019-20)


• Hong Kong Civil Procedure (2015 – present), contributing editor• Bullen & Leake & Jacob’s Hong Kong Precedents of Pleadings (2nd ed) (contributor, chapter on Competition Law)
• Halsbury’s Laws of Hong Kong (volume on Judicial Review), contributing author
• Hong Kong Construction Law (Issue 39), contributor
• Environmental Impact Assessment Ordinance, Cap 499 (Annotated Ordinances of Hong Kong) (2017), author• Protection of Endangered Animals and Plants Ordinance, Cap 586 (Annotated Ordinances of Hong Kong) (2019), co-author Public Health and Municipal Services Ordinance, Cap 132 (Annotated Ordinances of Hong Kong) (2019), co-author• Water Pollution Control Ordinance, Cap 358 (Annotated Ordinances of Hong Kong) (2019), author The Trade In Live Reef Food Fish-Going, Going Gone (2017), co-author


Administrative and Public Law

Mutebi Roy Doreen v Torture Claim Appeal Board & Ors [2022] HKCA 294
Appeal allowed, reversing refusal of leave to bring judicial review proceedings

Kwok Cheuk Kin & Anor v Director of Lands & Ors (2021) 24 HKCFAR 220
Waiving security for costs (sought in the total amount of $ 4.8 million) of appeal to the Court of Final Appeal

Kwok Cheuk Kin & Anor v Director of Lands & Ors [2021] HKCFA 38
Judicial review of the Small House Policy

Kwok Cheuk Kin & Anor v Director of Lands & Ors [2021] 3 HKLRD 411
Holding that the Public Interest Litigation exception may be relied upon by an unsuccessful applicant against a successful non-government entity

Chan Tsui Yan v Social Workers Registration Board & Ors [2019] HKCA 279
Representing the Social Workers Registration Board in a judicial review against the Board

Kwok Cheuk Kin v Secretary for Justice [2021] 3 HKLRD 140
Judicial review of the “Co-location Arrangement” of the high speed rail at the West Kowloon Station

Family Law

AA v BB [2021] 2 HKLRD 1225
Grant of guardianship and joint custody to same-sex couple

LWK v ZQJ [2018] HKFC 117
Anti-suit injunction

Tax Law

Koo Ming Kown & Anor v The Commissioner of Inland Revenue [2021] 3 HKLRD 642
Appeal against decisions of the Inland Revenue Board of Review


Hong Kong Family Law: Substantial connection, exceptionality and the Greater Bay Area — Jurisdiction after JQ v CLH

 

Denis Chang’s Chambers supports young talent development at Moot Court Summer School for third consecutive year

 


Hong Kong Wildlife Law: Isabel Tam and Emily Ting contribute to ADM Capital Foundation’s latest report on Hong Kong’s exotic pet trade

 

Upcoming Webinar: Advising Owners on Legal Issues: Strategic approaches on Tenants, Building Management, and Compulsory Sale for Redevelopment – 19 August 2022, 2:30pm to 5:45pm

 

Exemption clauses in the Deed of Mutual Covenant: A built-in shield against liability for building managers?

 

Small House Policy: Isabel Tam delivers cross-disciplinary webinar to Hong Kong Institute of Surveyors on the implications of CFA’s judgment

 

Court of Appeal dismisses Inland Revenue’s appeal on company directors’ additional tax liability for signing “incorrect” tax returns

 

Judicial Review: Court of Final Appeal to rule on constitutionality of Small House Policy

 

Landmark victory for LGBTQ community: Court of First Instance grants guardianship and joint custody to same-sex, non-biological parent

 

Isabel Tam joins Rachel Wong and Samantha Lau in delivering seminar on the fundamentals of administrative appeals

 

Denis Chang’s Chambers co-organises career sharing session with Cambridge University Hong Kong and China Affairs Society

 

Wildlife Conservation: Hong Kong passes landmark bill to incorporate wildlife trafficking into the Organized and Serious Crimes Ordinance

 

Small House Policy judicial review: Court of Appeal extends public interest litigation exception to interested party

 

Randy Shek and Isabel Tam advise on ADM Capital Foundation’s White Paper on protection of endangered species

 

Court of Appeal hears arguments in Small House Policy judicial review appeal

 

Litigation funding in the context of the Family Court: practitioner’s tips

 

COVID-19 – The Law Unmasked: A New Cluster of Regulations:  An Overview on Compliance and Enforcement Powers for Businesses and Gatherings

 

COVID-19 – The Law Un-Masked: Primer for Employers and Employees
僱傭法 – 新冠病毒下的法律面貌:給僱主和僱員的法律指南