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Dispute resolution: Litigation: foreign firms in China

Baker McKenzie FenXun

Baker McKenzie FenXun has 'a great team, led by a partner with a team of associates that has substantial experience'. The firm has a market presence stretching back more than 40 years and is one of only a few international firms to be able to advise clients on Chinese law and appear in court through a joint venture with a local firm. Focusing primarily on the largest, most complex, and most sensitive cross-border matters, it handles the full range of commercial litigation in key areas such as financial services and shareholder disputes, as well as advising on compliance and regulatory investigations. Its diverse client base includes major public and private corporates, state-owned enterprises, asset management companies, investment banks, financial institutions, charitable organisations, utility companies, and high-profile individuals. Simon Hui is the lead partner in Shanghai and he works closely with practice head Cynthia Tang who resides in Hong Kong, where key partner Gary Seib, compliance and investigations specialist Mini VandePol, and corporate insolvency and commercial litigation partner Kwun Yee Cheung  are also located.

Practice head(s):

Cynthia Tang

Testimonials

‘A great team, led by partner with a team of associates with substantial experience.’

‘Bryan Ng in Hong Kong is a seasoned professional with in-depth experience not just in law, but also possesses excellent compliance related skills and techniques to deal with regulators. He is also very competent in IT, eDiscovery and management of data, which is essential in investigations.’

‘The team is fast and effective, and professional and objective consultation is provided.’

‘The firm provides high-quality service quality and is efficient and professional in providing subtle and multi-dimensional insights.’

Key clients

Luk Fook Holdings Company Limited

Tongfang Kontafarma Holdings Ltd.

Well Up (Hong Kong) Limited

Work highlights

  • Representing a Hong Kong-listed group in relation to the disputes with a joint venture partner. The joint venture business involved companies in Singapore, Taiwan, the Cayman Islands, and the PRC.

Herbert Smith Freehills LLP

Herbert Smith Freehills LLP has worked with Chinese companies for more than 30 years, as well as advising international businesses on their operations in China. It also acts for many high-net-worth individuals and family-owned companies based in Hong Kong. Its work encompasses many facets of commercial litigation, as well as corporate crime and investigations, financial services regulatory, competition law disputes and more. Head of commercial litigation Gareth Thomas  works from the Hong Kong office, where Dominic Geiser and newly promoted partner Jojo Fan are among the most prominent practitioners in the 12-partner group. in Beijing, Hew Kian Heong advises on infrastructure, projects and construction disputes. He is part of one of the largest groups of any international firm with an office in mainland China which, through a local joint venture, also calls on the expertise of Cathy Liu, who handles dispute resolution, regulatory investigations and white-collar crime.

Practice head(s):

Gareth Thomas

Testimonials

‘Truly the gold standard in contentious matters involving our private banking clients. It has a very experienced team which provides value for money commercial practicable advice. We work closely with Dominic Geiser and Jojo Fan.’

Key clients

DBS Bank, Hong Kong Branch

Bank Julius Baer & Co. Ltd.

BYD Company Limited

Credit Suisse

UBS

Work highlights

  • Successfully defending DBS in a High Court action brought by Galleria (Hong Kong), Limited and its liquidators with the Court dismissing the entire action against the Bank with costs.
  • Acting for Bank Julius Baer & Co. Ltd. in its defence of mis-selling and misrepresentation allegations by a former client in respect of over 140 highly complex structured investment products.
  • Advising BYD Company Limited, a leading Chinese electronic component and electric vehicle manufacturing company, in defending a set of complex and highly contentious litigation proceedings in the Hong Kong High Court commenced by Foxconn.

Clifford Chance LLP

Clifford Chance LLP operates an integrated litigation practice across its Hong Kong, Beijing and Shanghai offices. One client remarks that it has 'a great team, led by a partner with a team of associates that has substantial experience'. The firm has had a presence in Greater China for more than 40 years and has built a strong senior litigation team both in Hong Kong and on the mainland that focuses on complex corporate and financial services litigation, insolvency, tech-related disputes, employment matters and tax litigation. Lei Shi in Shanghai leads the mainland China litigation team and is triple-qualified in the PRC (non-practicing), Hong Kong and New York. He represents Chinese clients in litigation in Hong Kong and international clients in relation to PRC litigation. Ling Ho is head of litigation in Hong Kong and head of the Greater China intellectual property practice. The 'hands-on, user friendly' Donna Wacker is among the other notable practitioners in Hong Kong.

Practice head(s):

Ling Ho; Shi Lei

Testimonials

‘A great team, led by partner with a team of associates with substantial experience.’

‘Consultant William Wong is a seasoned professional with in-depth experience not just in law, but also possesses excellent compliance related skills and techniques to deal with regulators. He is also very competent in civil litigation. He is highly assessible and responsive.’

‘The team has considerable depth of experience in the regulatory and securities sphere. They are practical, well-resourced, and client-facing.’

‘Donna Wacker is a hands-on, user friendly partner with excellent client management skills. She will get the job done. Michael Wang is an excellent senior associate who executes everything flawlessly.’

‘Three keywords to describe the team that was in-charge of our case – professionalism, reliability and patience.’

‘Senior associate Dianna Shao was the main person in-charge and her work was very detailed. Whilst I did not liaise with Ling Ho so often, what I do remember is that she covered up what I missed out by mistake, which could be a crucial mistake in the midst of the proceedings.’

‘A good professional team, experienced in large cases with high value and high stress.’

‘Senior associates Helen Wang and Michael Wang are clever, hardworking and prepared to roll up their sleeves.’

Work highlights

  • Acted for the insurance company in obtaining an urgent ex parte injunction to restrain protests at various plaintiff’s customer service centres.
  • Represented the client in various disputes concerning its investment in and exit from a joint venture with a PRC individual including a Cayman company listed on the Main Board of the Stock Exchange in Hong Kong. The dispute arose as a result of different transactions entered into by our client in the course of the exit, as well as various dealings with the PRC individual.
  • Acted for the liquidators in applying for an ancillary injunction in aid of foreign (French) proceedings to freeze the assets of the defendant company, a payment service provider engaged by the plaintiff to handle fund transfers with customers. The dispute arose as a result of the defendant’s refusal to return funds transferred to the defendant’s bank accounts by customers who purchased crypto-assets with the crypto-exchange.

Clyde & Co LLP

Clyde & Co LLP has 'a firm knowledge and understanding of law and litigation in China', according to clients. Through a joint venture, the firm has more than 20 disputes lawyers in its Beijing and Shanghai offices. They advise international clients on domestic litigation and Chinese clients, among them private companies and state-owned entities, on cross-border disputes. A significant proportion of the firm's work stems from its sector expertise in insurance, infrastructure, transportation, marine, aviation, trade and commodities law. In Shanghai, Ik Wei Chong leads the practice and oversees the firm's activities across Asia. Canming Wang focuses on both arbitration and matters in the Chinese courts, having appeared in the Higher People’s Court in various provinces and municipalities, and the Supreme People’s Court in Beijing. Nicholas Lum handles international trade and commodities, shipping and shipbuilding, and general commercial disputes.

Practice head(s):

Ik Wei Chong; Canming Wang

Other key lawyers:

Nicholas Lum

Testimonials

‘The team gives thorough and timely updates on situations and has a firm knowledge and understanding of law and litigation in China. Both tort and specialist transport law knowledge is high. We also appreciate the good communication in English.’

DLA Piper

DLA Piper focuses mainly on advising Chinese companies on international disputes, among which are shareholder disputes, high-value defaulted loans, insurance matters and securities litigation. It also handles high-value private client litigation. Many of its cases arise from the banking and finance, trading, investment, professional services, real estate, technology, energy and mining, shipping, construction, education and food production sectors. The practice has nine partners across its Hong Kong, Shanghai and Beijing offices. Kevin Chan in Hong Kong is Asia practice head for litigation and regulatory work. In the same office, Harris Chan acts for ultra-high-net worth individuals, executors, trustees, wealth advisors, fiduciaries and family offices in high-value litigation. In late 2019, the firm hired  Stephen Wong from Stevenson, Wong & Co to add expertise in compliance and regulatory matters. Lawyers in the mainland office, including newly promoted partner Xiaoshan Chen in Shanghai, also handle commercial litigation and insurance disputes.

Practice head(s):

Kevin Chan

Other key lawyers:

Harris Chan; Stephen Wong; Xiaoshan Chen

Testimonials

‘DLA Piper is a truly global brand of particular use to me through its strong NY insolvency and restructuring team alongside its equally strong HK team.’

‘Harris Chan is very commercial and super efficient.’

Key clients

Agricultural Bank of China

Bank of Communications

Industrial and Commercial Bank of China

Shanghai Pudong Development Bank

Deloitte

China Huarong International Holdings Limited

Huatai International Financial Holdings (Hong Kong) Limited

Golden Music Limited

Everwill Industrial Limited

MHK Restaurants Limited, a McDonald’s franchised business

Hong Kong A-Sun Group Co., Ltd

Power Securities Company Limited

Mr Sung Chung Kwun

China Agri-Products Exchange Co Ltd

Dignari Capital Partners HK Limited / SG Sovereign Fund

Ping An Securities Group (Holdings) Ltd

DIO Corporation

Sand Aire Limited (Sandaire)

Dymocks Franchise Systems (China) Limited

Combest Holdings Limited

CST Fiduciaries Limited

Vulcan Holdings Limited

Newell Rubbermaid Asia Pacific Limited

Ubiquiti Networks International Limited

Digital Transaction Limited

Centric Software, Inc.

Work highlights

  • Acting for a Hong Kong company in relation to the ownership of the shares in a substantial Thai wind energy company which was worth $700m  in various court proceedings including HK, Thailand, Singapore, United Kingdom and Belize.
  • Acting for ICBCA in proceedings to recover an HK$1.5bn-plus defaulted loan from a subsidiary of Lerthai Group Limited, with Lerthai Group itself and its chairman as guarantors.
  • Acting for Haitong, the leading Hong Kong-based stock brokerage firm and investment bank in respect of shares in Ping An, the China-based insurance sector leader. Ping An intended to proceed with a rights issue which might dilute Haitong’s secured interest in a controlling stake of Ping An. The firm took out various urgent applications against Ping An and Well Up to terminate the issue.

Kirkland & Ellis International LLP

Kirkland & Ellis International LLP is a key player in high-stakes litigation involving Chinese companies. In its mainland offices, it has substantial expertise in fraud investigations, asset recovery and tracing, fund and shareholder disputes, borrower default actions, and offshore and onshore restructurings and liquidations. In the PRC, the firm represents multi-national corporations with Chinese operations, as well as leading Chinese companies requiring support with cross-border disputes involving anti-trust litigation, product liability, IP, environmental and securities law. Hong-Kong-based restructuring and insolvency partner Kelly Naphtali, and regulatory and compliance specialists Cori Lable and, in Shanghai, Tiana Zhang lead the eight-partner practice. Also in Shanghai, litigation partner Jodi Wu is recommended for government enforcement actions, internal investigations, compliance matters and cross-border litigation.

Other key lawyers:

Jodi Wu

Key clients

Xiaomi Inc.

TCL Corp.

Work highlights

  • Acting for Xiaomi Inc., (the world’s fourth-largest smartphone manufacturer) in proceedings brought by Sisvel International SA and Mitsubishi Electric Corporation against Xiaomi (and other smartphone manufacturers) in the UK for infringement of allegedly standard essential patents (SEPs) relating to 3G and LTE technologies.
  • Acting as TCL’s go-to counsel to defend a landmark patent litigation case against Philips, one of the world’s large standard essential patent (SEP) holders and an experienced licensor. The firm is responsible for designing and implementing TCL’s defence strategy (both in UK and worldwide) relating to this case.

Norton Rose Fulbright

Norton Rose Fulbright has a broad litigation practice in Hong Kong and mainland China that is 'very efficient, client-focused and commercial'. Its work encompasses not only commercial disputes, often involving Chinese manufacturers, but also estate litigation for high-net-worth families and individuals. The firm also represents financial Institutions and asset managers in disputes and regulatory matters, as well as acting for real estate, building services and construction companies. Shipping cases and insurance claims also feature prominently in its caseload. The firm also generates work through its presence on the Law Society of Hong Kong’s Professional Indemnity Scheme. Camille Jojo leads the practice from Hong Kong, where Alfred Wu (who is 'pragmatic, diligent and trustworthy') and Philip Nunn focus on construction disputes, Jim James handles matters in sectors such as aviation and energy, and counsel Daniel Ng represents banks, financial institutions and corporates in contentious matters. All work closely with the firms offices in Beijing and Shanghai.

Practice head(s):

Camille Jojo

Other key lawyers:

Alfred Wu; Jim James; Philip Nunn; Daniel Ng

Testimonials

‘Very efficient, client-focused and commercial-minded. There is excellent support and a very “hands-on” approach from partners to juniors.’

‘The team’s senior partners, consultants, junior lawyers and paralegals have a complete organisational structure and there is good division of labour and co-operation. The team has strong professional capabilities and the ability to handle cross-border litigation and multi-jurisdictional litigation. The team has extensive experience in providing services directly to mainland clients and facilitates communication. The team has experience in handling litigation involving multiple jurisdictions, and will provide clients with comprehensive solutions based on the needs of customers, considering problems in different jurisdictions.’

‘Daniel Ng, has good communication skills in Chinese and English, especially Mandarin. He is familiar with clients in mainland China, can communicate in depth and understand the clients’ true ideas and goals, and formulate practical and cost-effective litigation plans. We have rich experience in handling litigation involving multiple jurisdictions and provide customers with comprehensive solutions for litigation involving multiple jurisdictions.’

‘Alfred Wu has solid professional ability. He is pragmatic, serious, diligent, reliable and trustworthy.’

Key clients

Mr Fok Chun Yue Benjamin (co-executor of the estate of Fok Ying Tung Henry)

ChinaCast Education Corporation

Work highlights

  • Acting for Mr. Benjamin Fok Chun Yue, one of the executors of the Estate of the late Mr. Henry Fok Ying Tung, on disputes relating to a settlement agreement.
  • Advising a big four accounting firm in defending a potential major professional negligence claim by the liquidators of a listed company in respect of accounting and audit services provided to the listed company’s initial public offering.
  • Advising Champ Prestige on its shareholders disputes with China City Construction (International) Co., Limited in relation to the investment in and development of what could be the tallest tower in Miami.

Latham & Watkins LLP

Latham & Watkins LLP plays a prominent role in many areas of litigation involving Hong Kong and mainland China, not least anti-trust and competition law, complex cross-border bankruptcy and insolvency litigation, anti-corruption and anti-bribery cases, export controls and sanctions-related matters, and general commercial litigation. It is particularly strong in investigation and enforcement work, which includes local matters brought by the Securities and Futures Commission and the Hong Kong Stock Exchange, as well as cross-border matters involving international regulators such as the US Securities and Exchange Comission (SEC). Practice head Hui Xu in Shanghai and Hong Kong-based Catherine McBride frequently handle contentious regulatory, anti-corruption and antitrust matters. Solicitor advocate Ing Loong Yang in Hong Kong is well know for his arbitration work but also handles China-related litigation including shareholders’ disputes, joint venture and technology licensing cases.

Practice head(s):

Hui Xu

Other key lawyers:

Catherine McBride; Ing Loong Yang

Key clients

China Life Insurance (Overseas) Company Limited

Khunying Kokeow Boonyachinda

Sinovac Biotech Ltd.

Sonangol

China COSCO Shipping Corporation Limited

Nutanix Hong Kong Limited

China Orient Asset Management (International) Holding Limited

United Microelectronics Corporation

China Mobile International

Shenzhen Senior Technology Material Co., Ltd.

Work highlights

  • Successfully protected NASDAQ-listed Chinese biopharmaceutical company Sinovac Biotech’s Board of Directors from the actions of Dissident Shareholders including 1Globe Capital LLC (“1Globe”), a US medical biotechnology research organization. The matter involved shareholder dispute litigations in Beijing, Hong Kong, the US, and Antigua, as well as an investigation by the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).
  • Successfully represented a subsidiary of China COSCO Shipping, the world’s largest shipping company, in its efforts to lift sanctions imposed by the US government against one of its oil tanker subsidiaries.
  • Representing China Orient Asset Management (International) Holding Limited in connection with a complex and multi-faceted dispute regarding the development and financing of a satellite designed to provide internet service to parts of Africa.

Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP

Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP has 'a fantastic team with great strategic nous'. Mainly operating from Hong Kong, the practice has litigation associates in its offices Shanghai and Beijing. A key focus is representing US-listed Chinese companies in securities litigation in the US, though the firm also handles disputes for foreign companies  facing litigation in Hong Kong, where Rory McAlpine is the lead partner. He has more than 35 years' commercial litigation experience and clients describe him as 'a star individual capable of dealing with the most complex multi-jurisdictional pieces of litigation'. Also in Hong Kong, Steve Kwok handles internal investigations, US regulatory enforcement matters, and trial and appellate litigation in US federal and state courts, working closely with fluent Mandarin-speaker Bradley Klein in Washington DC. Registered foreign lawyer James Tennison  is 'a star of the future' and counsel Wifred Ho is also recommended.

Practice head(s):

Rory McAlpine

Other key lawyers:

Steve Kwok; James Tennison; Wilfred Ho

Testimonials

‘They provide a full service in litigation and commercial work which is fully integrated with their other offices worldwide.’

‘Rory McAlpine has huge stamina, and the ability to keep on top of all aspects of a multifaceted case.’

‘A wonderful team of highly-capable solicitors who know exactly what to focus on – they can see the wood for the trees. Very able to deal with complex litigation.’

‘Rory McAlpine is a star individual – a wonderful solicitor who works incredibly hard for his clients and who has excellent instincts.’

‘James Tennison is a star of the future.’

‘The firm has strength in depth. It is expensive but worth it and there has been shrewd recruitment of the brightest young talent. It is also easy to work with and really well-connected.’

‘I have dealt with Rory McAlpine in a series of multi-jurisdictional disputes. He is calm, tactically astute, a good lawyer, well-connected, good company and always able to put together a good team including talented associates like Wilfred Ho.’

‘A fantastic team with great strategic nous.’

‘Rory McAlpine is superb and an absolute pleasure to work with.’

‘The practice has quality all the way through. A star practice that can handle the most complex pieces of multi-national litigation. Frankly in a league of its own.’

‘Rory McAlpine is a star individual capable of dealing with the most complex multi-jurisdictional pieces of litigation. His strategic acumen is second to none and he bring a very pragmatic approach to the table.’

Key clients

Middleby

Petrobras

Work highlights

  • Acted for the underwriters in a class action in the Second Circuit Court of Appeals in New York involving the issuance of bonds by Brazil’s state-controlled oil company, Petrobras Brasileiro SA. Attorneys in Hong Kong assisted the Bank of China (Hong Kong) in the discovery process and the US deposition proceedings (held in Hong Kong) and more generally.
  • Acting for a Danish subsidiary of an American corporation in retrieving funds fraudulently transferred to accounts in Hong Kong in the amount of €10m. Officers at the Danish subsidiary were subject to a sophisticated cyberfraud which resulted in the money being transferred. The firm obtained injunctions in Hong Kong over the fraudsters’ accounts which prevented the funds from being transferred out of jurisdiction.

HFW

HFW has an association with PRC firm Wintell & Co Law Firm in the Shanghai Free Trade Zone, enabling it to deliver the full range of litigation services in China. Nicholas Poynder  leads the three-partner litigation group in Shanghai, which works closely with the large dispute resolution practice in Hong Kong. The firm has an impressive client roster that includes international and local banks, high-net-worth individuals and listed and private corporates in core sectors such as transport and utilities, mining and commodities, telecommunications, engineering and healthcare. Julian Davies and US-qualified Trevor Fox also play key roles in the Shanghai office.

Practice head(s):

Nicholas Poynder

Other key lawyers:

Julian Davies; Trevor Fox

Key clients

ANZ Commodity Trading Pty Ltd

Bright Shipping Limited (Owners of SANCHI)

Work highlights

  • Representing ANZ in coordinating the tracing and recovery efforts following a $300m metals fraud involving non-authentic warehouse receipts. Disclosure actions have been conducted against different banks and entities to trace the fund flows and identify the individual fraudsters behind.
  • Acting in a significant forum non conveniens case, which has recently been decided by the Hong Kong Admiralty Court and Court of Appeal.

Jones Day

The China disputes practice at Jones Day is best known for its work in commercial arbitrations, but it also has a presence in regulatory investigations  and sanctions-related litigation. It handles matters involving the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and a range of anti-corruption and antitrust cases. Peter Wang, who works in both the Hong Kong and Shanghai offices, leads the China anti-trust and litigation practices. Haifeng Huang, who works in Hong Kong and Beijing, covers disputes involving IP, unfair competition and technology licenses.

Practice head(s):

Peter Wang

Morrison & Foerster

Morrison & Foerster is known for high-stakes, multi-jurisdictional disputes in sectors such as technology, energy, chemicals, construction, manufacturing, telecommunications, private equity and real estate. The litigation practice is led from Hong Kong by Timothy Blakely who focuses on government and internal investigations and complex commercial litigation, as does key partner Sarah Thomas. Its scope spans the entire Asia region, with the Beijing and Shanghai offices playing a key role in cases involving Chinese companies and multi-national entities with local interests. The firm's work spans commercial and IP disputes, investigations and compliance and privacy crisis response.

Practice head(s):

Timothy Blakely

Other key lawyers:

Sarah Thomas

Stephenson Harwood

Stephenson Harwood frequently advises on large, complex and multi-jurisdictional disputes relating to PRC. 'The firm provides flexible and practical solutions', notes one client. The practice is led from Hong Kong by Ivan Ng, whose work focuses on shareholders disputes, contractual disputes, letters of credit disputes and insolvency matters. In the same office, Jamie Stranger handles corporate insolvency, commercial litigation, fraud and professional liability, and senior associate Emily Li has experience in advising PRC and international clients on shareholders disputes matters. Evangeline Quek is the managing partner of the Shanghai office and focuses on trade and shipping matters, which frequently involves cross-border litigation concerning companies in PRC and Taiwan. The firm has an association with Chinese law firm Wei Tu Law Firm in Guangzhou.

Practice head(s):

Ivan Ng

Other key lawyers:

Emily Li; Jamie Stranger

Testimonials

‘The firm provides flexible and practical solutions.’

‘Ivan Ng and Emily Li are very proactive and always available to assist.’

Key clients

Television Broadcasts Limited

Employees of China Shanshui Investment Limited

China Construction Bank (Asia) Corporation Limited

Dan Form International Limited (a BVI company) and its owner (a PRC individual)

Société Générale

HWH Holdings Limited (a BVI company)

Hong Kong Zhixin Financial News Agency Limited

Dymocks Holdings Limited

Rabobank

OCBC

ICBC

Raiffeisen Bank International AG

PricewaterhouseCoopers

China Tailong Green Power Group Limited

KBC Bank NV

Agricultural Bank of China

Work highlights

  • Advising over 2,000 employees and minority shareholders of CSI on the complex dispute relating to the shares in CSI valued over HKD5,000m and the power struggle in China Shanshui Cement Group Limited, a company listed in the Hong Kong Stock Exchanges.
  • We acted for TVB in its application for an urgent injunction to restrain persons from unlawfully and wilfully damaging its properties and injuring its employees.
  • We act for China Tailong and other shareholders in their dispute with Zhaoheng Hydropower (Hong Kong) Limited and others, involving a claim amount of over RMB3,684m.

White & Case LLP, Beijing Office

'Its approach to litigation is comprehensive and professional, considering issues from the client's perspective', says a client of White & Case LLP. The firm has a relatively small team on the ground in China, but its key lawyers work closely with other offices in the firm's regional and global network, principally the Hong Kong practice led by Melody Chan, to advise Chinese clients on cross-border disputes. Bingna Guo leads the mainland PRC practice from Beijing. The regional litigation group grew in 2019 and 2020 with the addition of white-collar specialists in counsel James Hsiao in Hong Kong from Sidley Austin and, in Beijing, associate Mark Chu from Herbert Smith Freehills LLP and legal consultant Terrence Zhang from JunHe LLP. The firm also handles both inbound and outbound cases arising from finance transactions and corporate acquisitions.

Practice head(s):

Bingna Guo

Testimonials

‘Its approach to litigation is comprehensive and professional, considering issues from the client’s perspective, and fully integrating the company’s business demands.’

‘Attorney Guo Bingna actively participates in bilingual communication, greatly improving the communication efficiency of foreign-related cases, avoiding information omission, and fully considering the actual situation of the client.’

Key clients

China Development Bank

Industrial and Commercial Bank of China

China Exim Bank

United Energy Group

Anker Innovation

Work highlights

  • Advising Chinese banks in connection with a payment default under certain existing facility agreements, including advising on an insolvency application and restructuring of the existing indebtedness of an Indian mobile network provider as well as a court proceeding against a guarantor of the loans.
  • Advising an European technology company on brand and product protection in China.
  • Advising a Chinese electronics company in a US litigation.

Bird & Bird

Bird & Bird focuses on litigation in highly regulated industries including automotive, aviation, financial services, life sciences, media, entertainment, retail, technology and communications. Based predominantly in Hong Kong, the practice acts for both international and Chinese clients in cross-border matters, notably in the Hong Kong courts. Some of its work is firmly rooted in mainland China,such as its work for a PRC state-owned enterprise in a substantial claim of debt made against a Chinese individual. Andrew Robinson and new arrival from Norton Rose Fulbright Michael Chik in Hong Kong lead the practice, in which the firm's Beijing and Shanghai offices play an essential role.

Practice head(s):

Andrew Robinson; Michael Chik

Key clients

Merck KGaA

A major technology company

A venture capital firm based in China

The administrator of the estate of a deceased high net worth individual

Suomen Erikoisajoneuovot Oy and Karri Timo Tapani Korhonen

Work highlights

  • The firm is  representing multi-national chemical, pharmaceutical and life sciences company Merck in Hong Kong and China as plaintiff in proceedings against members of the Merck Sharp & Dohme group of companies. The Hong Kong and China proceedings are part of a global series of fiercely disputed proceedings between Merck and MSD in respect of the use of the term “Merck”, which is governed by a worldwide co-existence agreement first entered into by the parties in 1955.
  • Acting in a long-running and complex dispute relating to a fall-out between the shareholders of a Hong Kong company set up to assist with a Finland based auto manufacturer’s business in the Mainland of China. There are complex factual issues in dispute (involving parties located in Finland, Hong Kong and the Mainland).   The firm is acting for the defendants contesting High Court proceedings and are working with our colleagues in the Helsinki office bringing parallel proceedings against the other side before the District Court of Helsinki.
  • Acting for the client in relation to proceedings seeking enforcement of a Mainland Chinese judgment in Hong Kong. The judgment in question was handed down by the Shanghai No.2 Intermediate People’s Court in relation to substantial debts repayable to the client pursuant to the terms of a loan agreement governed by Chinese law.

Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP

Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP has 'skilful and experienced partners and a deep bench of talented associates with diverse, relevant backgrounds'. The disputes practice is based predominantly in Hong Kong, where the lead partners Martin Rogers, James Wadham, Patrick Sinclair and Karen Chan are all highly regarded for complex commercial litigation, regulatory investigations and arbitration. The firm does have a mainland presence in Beijing, which plays a key role in the firm's work. The US-qualified partners are particularly strong in anti-corruption, white-collar crime, securities fraud, AML and sanctions-related cases. They frequently handle high-value cases before the Hong Kong Courts involving major Chinese companies. Their client roster includes major financial institutions, multi-national corporations, professional services firms and high-net-worth individuals.

Other key lawyers:

Lisa Martin

Testimonials

‘The DPW team is deep with skilful and experienced partners and a deep bench of talented associates with diverse, relevant backgrounds.’

‘Martin Rogers is a caring steward for the DPW litigation practice.’

‘James Wadham provides insightful, responsive thoughtful advice. He is willing to fight, but understands instinctively that the best outcome is not always obtained by winning a litigation or regulatory fight.’

‘Lisa Martin is a strong, up-and-coming litigator. She is tireless and delivers great results.’

Eversheds Sutherland

Eversheds Sutherland joins the ranking having invested heavily in recent years in its litigation practice in Hong Kong, which works closely with its Shanghai and Beijing offices to advise on cross-border regulatory and administrative disputes, financial services cases and a range of commercial litigation. Mark Hughes took over as head of litigation and dispute management for Asia in 2020, taking over from Mark Yeadon. Both remain key practitioners in the Hong Kong office, where Rachael Shek handles banking litigation, Adam Ferguson deals with contentious competition law matters and John Siu focuses on regulatory matters.

Practice head(s):

Mark Hughes

Key clients

Communications Authority of Hong Kong (the regulator for telecoms and broadcasting)

Barclay Pharmaceutical

DuPont

HSBC

Standard Chartered Bank

Hang Seng Bank Limited

Madam Bi XiaoQiong

Mr. Han JianPeng

Incu Global Limited

Kyko Global Inc.

Gemalto AG

BOCI Securities Limited

Mr. Ming Hsie

Work highlights

  • Advised the CA in defending a judicial review brought by Hong Kong Telecommunications (HKT) Limited in relation to the CA’s decision not to approve HKT’s application to change the technical standard used under its Mobile Carrier Licence No. 099.
  • Advised the CA on its successful defence of a judicial review brought by Hong Kong Telecommunications (HKT) Limited in relation to the Joint Decision of the CA and the Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development regarding the arrangements for Spectrum in the 900 MHz and 1800 MHz Bands held by mobile telecoms operators upon expiry of the existing assignments.
  • Currently advising the CA on the defence of two judicial reviews brought by TVB against the CA’s decisions that TVB’s use of indirect advertising in programmes shown on its free TV channel was in breach of Codes of Practice issued by the CA.

Kobre & Kim

'The team's strength comes from its seamless teamwork across, jurisdictions providing a global targeted approach.', says a client of Kobre & Kim. The firm has carved out a niche in cross-border disputes, particularly those involving fraud and misconduct across multiple jurisdictions. It also has a strong caseload in enforcement and asset recovery matters, particularly the enforcement of arbitral awards. John Han in Hong Kong leads a group of 'bright, personable, knowledgeable and highly effective communicators'. Jason Kang recently moved to Shanghai, where he focuses on international judgment and award enforcement alongside other complex cross-border disputes.

Other key lawyers:

John Han; Jason Kang

Testimonials

‘The team’s strength comes from its seamless teamwork across, jurisdictions providing a global targeted approach. You do not feel that you are working with multiple offices and yet you benefit from the firm’s global reach.’

‘Many team members had a hand in working towards resolving our problem but John Han in Hong Kong soon became the central figure, working at all hours to accommodate the international players involved. The whole team has been outstanding but he has remained a constant even through lulls in the proceedings.’

‘The Kobre & Kim team in Hong Kong is extremely strong. The standard of work provided is always of the highest quality. The team are all bright, personable, knowledgeable and highly effective communicators. Working as part of a legal team with them is a real pleasure. I would not hesitate to recommend them to anyone looking to instruct litigation counsel in Hong Kong.’

‘The team I work with is led by John Han. John is well organised, extremely diligent and manages cross border litigation with great proficiency.’

Key clients

Luckin Coffee

Shanghai Lan Cai Asset Management

Elec-Tech International Co. Ltd.

Dooga Limited

Work highlights

  • Leading the representation of current and former executives from leading coffee chain Luckin Coffee following an internal investigation into alleged fabricated transactions totalling over $300m.
  • Seeking to enforce an arbitration award against Chinese billionaire Jia Yueting, the high-profile businessman who founded tech conglomerates Le.com and LeEco.
  • Acting as global counsel to Elec-Tech International Co., Ltd., Donglei Wang (the Chairman of ETIC), and Gangyi Chen (a former employee of ETIC) in defending them against Lumileds’ post-judgment enforcement efforts arising from a $66m judgment obtained in California for misappropriation of trade secrets.

O'Melveny

O'Melveny has offices in Beijing and Shanghai, though the litigation group is run from the Hong Kong office. It acts for a host of large multi-national companies as well as a number of Chinese enterprises and state-owned entities. The work encompasses regulatory disputes, contentious anti-trust matters and securities litigation, alongside general commercial disputes. Denis Brock in Hong Kong is head of litigation for Asia and specialises in commercial, corporate and regulatory litigation and arbitration. Kieran Humphrey, also in Hong Kong, is recommended for contentious regulatory matters. Counsel Lining Shan and associate Bo Li in Beijing are among key PRC lawyers.

Practice head(s):

Denis Brock

Other key lawyers:

Kieran Humphrey; Lining Shan; Bo Li

Key clients

Deloitte

PAG Asia Capital

HP Inc.

Work highlights

  • Counsel for Deloitte on allegations of breach of duty
  • Counsel for PAG Asia Capital against SouFun Holdings Limited on breach of agreement

Paul Hastings LLP

Paul Hastings LLP joins the ranking having built up its litigation group in Beijing, Hong Kong and Shanghai. Shaun Wu, formerly of Kobre & Kim, leads the practice and works in both the Hong Kong and Shanghai offices. 'His understanding of Chinese culture and language is only surpassed by his legal mind and logic', remarks one client. Jian Wu in Beijing is a US-qualified senior associate who co-ordinates multi-jurisdictional cases. They practice has a strong caseload of cross-border litigation, with its recent work including the representation of a UK-headquartered company and its Chinese subsidiaries in defending a US federal court dispute.

Practice head(s):

Shaun Wu

Other key lawyers:

Jian Wu

Testimonials

‘Shaun Wu is a “go to” attorney in matters involving China. His understanding of the Chinese culture and language is only surpassed by his legal mind and logic. I would highly recommend him as a lawyer in complex matters involving the Chinese government in both criminal and commercial matters.’

‘Shaun Wu has extensive experience in the field of dispute resolution, and has the ability to solve problems directly and quickly for clients, and the quality of service is very good.’

‘A globalised team that we recommend for the unique overall and strategic thinking to solve problems.’

Work highlights

  • Representing a leading UK-headquartered multinational company and its Chinese subsidiaries in defending against US federal court dispute resolution proceedings and private tort claims.
  • Acting for a renowned US-based international investment fund in a high- stakes joint venture dispute against a joint venture partner listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange.
  • Advising a large Chinese financial conglomerate listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange in a complex multimillion-dollar asset recovery litigation against another Hong Kong public-listed company and its overseas subsidiaries.

Simmons & Simmons

Simmons & Simmons handles disputes arising from the key sectors on which it focuses - asset management and investment funds, financial institutions, TMT and life sciences. Its work spans regulatory investigations, employment disputes and intellectual property claims. Joseph Chu, who works in both Hong Kong and Beijing, handles banking, general commercial, tax and trust disputes, alongside regulatory investigations. Associate Vera Zuo in Beijing handles a broad palette of work including arbitration, litigation, and investigations, while partner George Chan leads on IP matters. In Hong Kong, consultant Eric Chan also plays a key role in the practice.

Other key lawyers:

Joseph Chu; Vera Zuo; George Chan; Eric Chan

Testimonials

‘The firm is practical, “hands on” and commercial, providing tailored advice always with client’s needs and wishes in mind.’

‘Joseph Chu is the person I know and work with on various regulatory matters. He is very knowledgable in that area and is great with clients. He is also a good strategist and manages to obtain a good outcome in a difficult case that we worked on.’