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Asia Pacific

The firm: Founded in 1896, Withers is a leading international law firm comprising of over 180 partners and more than 1,000 other staff members in 18 offices across Asia, Australia, Europe, the United States and the Caribbean. The firm has advised for many multinational companies, financial institutions, philanthropic organisations, as well as some of the wealthiest families around the world. Withers has acted for 55% of the top 100 UK’s ‘Sunday Times Rich List’, 35% of Forbes Hong Kong’s Rich List, and 48% of Forbes Singapore’s 50 Richest list.

In 2008, Withers established its Hong Kong office to offer on-the-ground support in Asia for its international client base. Today, its multi-cultural team of lawyers and legal professionals offers one of the most comprehensive arrays of client services in relation to UK, US and Hong Kong law.

Areas of practice: Corporate and commercial: The corporate and commercial team in Hong Kong combines international deal execution capabilities with PRC regulatory expertise. Lawyers at Withers are very experienced in all corporate-related matters, including M&A, capital markets, private equity, corporate finance, banking and finance, tax, real estate and investment funds. The team mainly acts for listed and private companies, financial institutions, entrepreneurs, families and high net worth individuals and not-for-profit organisations. Withers has continued the strategic expansion of its Greater China capabilities with the addition of one of the most outstanding and recognisable lawyer in the region, Mabel Lui, as the head of Greater China corporate and commercial practice. Having significant experience in China-focused corporate matters, she and her team bring a well-rounded Greater China corporate background, complementing the firm’s other practices.

Dispute Resolution: The team focuses on complex corporate commercial disputes, joint venture and shareholders' disputes, contentious insolvency proceedings, arbitration, compliance and regulatory issues, including investigations, enforcement and disciplinary actions. The team is adept at providing client-tailed strategies and solutions.

Private client: Withers has one of the largest international private client legal teams in Asia, enabling it to provide a wide range of services in multiple languages in the same time zone as its clients, making the legal advice both cost-and time-efficient. This has also enabled the firm to respond to client needs by forming dedicated teams to service entrepreneurs, families, family offices, investment and private banks, trust companies, landed estates and the globally wealthy. Its substantial presence across Asia is further strengthened with offices in the US, Europe and the British Virgin Islands. What sets Withers apart from its peers is that its team typically acts for the creators of wealth and their families, and focus on developing long term relationships with those clients across its offices.

Family: Withers is widely regarded as one of the best and largest family and matrimonial law firms in Hong Kong. Clients receive specialist advice on all aspects of family law, from divorce and finances, pre-nuptial and post-nuptial agreements, family wealth protection, asset management, trusts, mental health proceedings and elder law, to children custody, international child abduction, maintenance and child support, tax and immigration advice post divorce. The team is well-equipped with the right set of skills to handle clients’ cases in the most effective and efficient way possible to secure the best outcome.

  • Number of lawyers: 450
  • At the Hong Kong office : 50
  • Languages
  • English
  • Cantonese
  • Japanese
  • Mandarin

United Kingdom

The firm: Withers is one of the world’s first international law firms dedicated to the business, personal and philanthropic interests of successful people, their businesses, families and advisers. With over 155 partners and more than 900 other staff members in 18 offices across Europe, the US, the Middle East, Asia Pacific and the Caribbean, Withers has unparalleled expertise in the key legal issues facing individuals and their families. Its clients’ interests span 80 countries and the firm has acted for 51% of the top 100 UK ‘Sunday Times Rich List’, and a significant number of the US ‘Forbes List’ of Richest Americans and the Asian ‘Huron Rich List’.

Types of work undertaken:Private client: with over 150 tax and trust specialists in Europe, the US and Asia, Withers has one of the largest and most comprehensive private client practices in the world. This has enabled the firm to respond to client needs by forming dedicated teams to service entrepreneurs, families, family offices, investment and private banks, trust companies, landed estates and the globally wealthy. The firm also advises individuals on the tax treatment and structuring of a broad range of financial and other investments and assets.

Withers’ reputation as a global private client practice derives from its tradition as one of England’s leading firms. The firm has acted for some of the great landed English families as their wealth has been passed through multiple generations, developing an understanding of the issues that families face trying to retain and safeguard their wealth. Withers’ core strength derives from its UK private client team, which comprises specialists in estate planning, both for UK resident and domiciled families, but also for non-domiciled families.

Withers’ strength and depth in this area means that the firm has an unparalleled experience of robust international tax and trust planning. Withers has the largest litigation team in the world, specialising in advising clients with domestic or international contentious trust and probate litigation matters. The team also advises elderly and vulnerable clients in the Court of Protection.

Family: Withers is the market leader of family law and has a pre-eminent reputation for international and traditional work involving significant resources, complicated tax issues and problems relating to children. The firm also provides family law advice from its office in Hong Kong.

Corporate: the firm acts for listed and private companies, financial institutions, partnerships, sole traders and entrepreneurs. Specialist areas of practice include corporate finance (in particular AIM), intellectual property, banking and employment. Areas of particular industry expertise include fashion and luxury brands, financial services including funds, motor racing, technology and media.

Dispute resolution: Withers has an established international dispute resolution practice, with over 150 litigation and regulatory lawyers across Europe, the US and Asia Pacific. The firm acts in complex multi-jurisdictional disputes and international arbitrations of all kinds; its BVI office gives it particular strength in cross-border litigation involving asset tracing through this region. Withers assists clients with a range of disputes, including employment, fraud, arbitration, corporate crime, insolvency and professional negligence.

Charities: the firm has one of the leading charities and philanthropy practices in the UK, and is the only team to offer US/UK advice.

Property: Withers’ property practice encompasses all aspects of residential, commercial and agricultural property. The firm is particularly renowned for its experience in agricultural law and in handling estate purchases for international buyers. Withers’ residential practice has one of the largest teams of lawyers in the City of London, and provides advice on all aspects of real estate acquisition, financing and security. The firm’s commercial team services the needs of all its client base on both acquisitions and disposals, and the team has a particular focus on the luxury retail, hospitality and charity sectors.

  • Number of UK partners: 66
  • Number of other UK fee-earners: 159
  • Breakdown of work %
  • Corporate: 19
  • Litigation: 30
  • Personal tax, trusts and probate : 26
  • Family: 13
  • Property: 12

Above material supplied by Withers.

Legal Developments by:
Withers LLP


    In 2009, Italian Law introduced a new legal instrument, Business Network Contracts (‘BNC’), which allow aggregations of commercial entities to work together in an organised and durable manner (without having to establish a new company or a consortium) whilst retaining their own independence and individuality, as well as benefitting from various incentives and tax benefits.
    - Studio Legale Associato con Withers LLP

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