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Ince, Kelvin Lee, Hong Kong, HONG KONG

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Kelvin Lee

Work +852 2877 3221

Work Department

Insurance, Maritime, Commodities & trade




Kelvin's practice is wide-ranging, with specific focus on insurance/reinsurance work. Having worked in the firm’s Singapore and Shanghai offices, Kelvin developed an extensive network across Asia to assist clients on cross-border legal issues.

Insurance & Reinsurance

Kelvin is in charge of developing Ince’s insurance and reinsurance practice in North Asia.  His caseload encompasses marine and non-marine insurance, contentious and regulatory, direct business and reinsurance. He specialises in policy liability disputes, particularly in relation to marine cargo and marine hull policies, equipment installation risks, financial lines, bankers’ blanket bonds and product liability insurance.

Kelvin’s recent experience includes a denial of claims under a product liability policy/advertising injury cover arising from a series of US class actions. He also assisted insurers in rejecting a HK$200 million+ property damage claim caused by a super typhoon and subsequent flooding.  He advised a client on a D&O claim on the back of a boardroom dispute litigated in BVI court.

On the reinsurance side, Kelvin recently advised a major reinsurer on a series of reinsurance claims under various excess-of-loss treaties arising from the Tianjin explosion in August 2015. 

His defence work has been on the rise in recent years. Kelvin handles a wide variety of cases ranging from product liability defence, professional negligence to marine liability. He has substantial experience in cases involving heavy machinery breakdown such as gas turbine excessive blades corrosion, main shaft bearing overheating and steam pipe explosions caused by water hammer effect.

He successfully defended an insurance broker client in the first ever-reported Hong Kong decision on broker negligence in Kam Hing Trading v PICC [2010] 4 HKLRD 630 and has since developed a strong broker E&O practice acting for international brokers in high value claims. He also assists banks and accountants in defending embezzlement and negligence claims.

China, where his clients are major P&C direct insurers and reinsurer, is also a major source of Kelvin’s practice. His work includes advising on the unique policy tailored for China’s One-Belt-One-Road Initiative.

Kelvin is an Appeals Tribunal member of the Hong Kong Federation of Insurers.

“Practice head Kelvin Lee is ‘diligent, professional and enthusiastic’”

Legal 500 Asia Pacific

“Client-oriented and extremely enthusiastic in his work. ‘He is able to provide ad hoc, urgent advice with short notice and under pressure.’”

Chambers Asia Pacific 2016

“Praised by clients as ‘quick to respond,’ he played a leading role”

Chambers Asia Pacific 2017

Highlight Matters:

> First reported double insurance case in Hong Kong: Tai Ping Insurance v. Tugu Insurance & General Accident [2001] HKC 401

> First reported insurance broker professional negligence case in Hong Kong: Kam Hing Trading v. People's Insurance Co. of China & others [2010] 4 HKLRD 630, [2010] HKEC 1357

> Advice to international bancassurance operator on formulation of their global reinsurance/retrocession program

Shipping & International Trade

Kelvin is well versed in a broad range of shipping and trade matters. He acted for major shipping lines, owners and charterers of bulkers and tankers, their P&I Clubs and cargo insurers in various disputes ranging from cargo damage/loss, unpaid charter hire, re-delivery disputes, demurrage to collision, unsafe port claims, personal injuries onboard and oil and air pollution charges.  He also handled a number of trade disputes for commodities traders, and took part in Hong Kong, Singapore, London and ICC arbitrations.

Highlight Matters:

> Successful acquisition by private treaty of four Kien Hung Line vessels en bloc for Pacific International Lines in a Hong Kong court sale

> Obtaining US$50m arbitral awards for shipowners in charterparty claims and related court judgments over performance guarantees

> Securing favourable arbitral award over a cargo contamination claim commenced initially by client’s previous lawyers on completely wrong footing and enforcing successfully


English, Cantonese, Mandarin

Hong Kong


Within: Insurance

Ince has a focus on marine insurance and the team is jointly led by north Asia insurance and reinsurance head Kelvin Lee and Rosita Lau. Lee specialises in coverage disputes, particularly regarding product liability insurance, marine cargo and marine hull policies, yacht insurance, and banker's blanket bonds. He also has substantial experience in cases involving machinery breakdown, such as fire and water damage, underwater cable damage, solar panel defects, and steam pipe explosions. Jan Heuvels relocated to the Hong Kong office from Hamburg in November 2017.

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