Gibson Dunn Pro Bono Newsletter Los Angeles Office

Gibson Dunn Recovers Payment Owed to Domestic Helper in Hong Kong

In the spring of 2019, lawyers in our Hong Kong and London offices achieved a victory for a long-term pro bono client, Charline.  Charline had come to Hong Kong from Madagascar to work as a domestic helper.  Upon her arrival, she was coerced into paying a substantial percentage of her salary to her employment agency. 

Charline filed suit against the agency a few years ago to recover the unlawful payment and lost at the Small Claims Tribunal.  The firm was then asked by Hong Kong Domestic Helper Campaign (HDH) to handle the appeal.  Through the efforts of Oliver Welch, Kelly Austin, Patricia Tan Openshaw, Carissa Yuk, Winston Chu, Helen Elmer, Clementine Hollyer, and Sebastien Evrard, we were able to secure a pro bono barrister, draft arguments, and successfully secure leave to appeal the Small Claims Tribunal decision. 

On the eve of the appeal hearing before the High Court, we finalized a settlement agreement pursuant to which Charline received payment from the agency equaling the total amount she was seeking to recover in court.  The amount she received equals nearly five months of her salary.  After years of waiting, Charline is finally able to move on with her life.  She is very grateful for the team’s efforts and commitment to her case.

Charline, Oliver Welch and Katherine Ng.
Charline celebrating with Gibson Dunn’s Oliver Welch and former associate Katherine Ng.