YAN ZHANG is a partner of Sidley Austin’s Hong Kong office, and a member of the Firm’s Global Arbitration, Trade and Advocacy practice group. She is experienced in the resolution of Chinese-foreign business disputes and has advised clients in proceedings conducted under a number of institutional arbitration rules including those of the ICC, HKIAC and CIETAC. She also sits as arbitrator in commercial arbitration cases conducted in English and/or Mandarin Chinese.
Yan has been ranked in the 2023 edition of Chambers Greater China Region (Dispute Resolution: Arbitration (International Firms)) and Chambers Global, receiving praise from clients as someone who is “extraordinarily hard-working and clever and also an astute strategist” and “very well informed and knowledgeable in the field of arbitration, as well as being very personable." Yan is also described as “the driver of our case” who understands “the business initiatives and objectives in launching the arbitration.” In previous editions, clients described Yan as “a detailed person who leaves no stone unturned and is very strong in execution” and “one of Sidley Austin's most effective lawyers in its Hong Kong arbitration practice. Her knowledge of Chinese arbitration law and procedure is especially helpful.” (2022); “carefully studying the details of our case, digging up important evidence and seizing on key points and striving to give the client the best advantage.” (2021); “very confident, logical and well organized in her oral advocacy” with “good ability to think and respond on her feet” and “one of few truly bilingual counsel at partner level who can conduct advocacy fluently in the Chinese language” (2020); “very commercial”, “very responsive”, and “suggests sensible ways of solving disputes” (2019). Legal 500 Asia Pacific recommended Yan for being “extremely helpful and responsive”; “understands both the international and domestic PRC market” and is able to conduct advocacy in either English or Mandarin Chinese (2023). Yan was recognized as a future leader by Who’s Who Legal: Arbitration 2023 and 2022, and as a “Next Generation Lawyer” in The Legal 500 Asia Pacific 2018 – International Arbitration. She has been shortlisted as an “Commercial Arbitration Lawyer of the Year” for IFLR’s Women in Business Law APAC Awards for two consecutive years (2022 and 2023), and a finalist as an “Arbitration Lawyer of the Year” and “Woman Lawyer of the Year” for ALB Women in Law Awards 2023.
Before joining Sidley’s dispute practice in Hong Kong, Yan practiced for about 10 years in New York, Shanghai and Hong Kong as a transactional lawyer, advising private equity funds and multinational companies in mergers and acquisitions, fund formation and other corporate matters. Yan’s diverse practice gives her a unique blend of skills that benefit her clients at all stages of the corporate lifecycle.
Yan is fluent in English and Mandarin Chinese.