Next Generation Partners

Dispute resolution: Litigation: foreign firms in China

Herbert Smith Freehills LLP

Herbert Smith Freehills stands out as a leader in the market, with a comprehensive offering covering a wide range of dispute resolution needs, handling complex proceedings in addition to the full spectrum of advice on contentious matters. Gareth Thomas leads the practice; he has notable expertise in commercial disputes, with a recent highlight being the team’s representation of both UBS and UBS Europe in litigation commenced by the liquidators of China Metal Recycling concerning liabilities in relation to sponsorship work for the claimant’s IPO. Also a lead on this case, the trilingual Jojo Fan is another key figure in the department, active in matters with a cross-border element, particularly cases involving banking and financial issues. Re-joining the firm in January 2022 from Clyde & Co LLP, Rachael Shek bolstered the firm’s offering in corporate loan recovery and shareholder, joint venture and private wealth disputes. Senior associate Peter Ng is also noted for his expertise in a range of commercial disputes. Dominic Geiser departed the firm in August 2022.

Practice head(s):

Gareth Thomas

Other key lawyers:

Jojo Fan; Rachael Shek; Peter Ng

Key clients

Bank Julius Baer & Co

Bank of China International

BOCI Securities

BYD Company

Credit Suisse

DBS Bank

Essilor International

Essilor Manufacturing


UBS Europe

Work highlights

  • Representing UBS in proceedings commenced by the liquidators of China Metal Recycling concerning alleged liabilities arising out of its sponsorship on the IPO.
  • Successfully defended DBS Bank in a substantial High Court action brought by the liquidators of Galleria (Hong Kong).
  • Successfully assisted Essilor Manufacturing in obtaining domestic and worldwide proprietary and Mareva injunction orders against a total of 88 defendants.

Baker McKenzie FenXun

With its standing as a full-service firm, Baker McKenzie FenXun has placed itself as a market leader when it comes to cross-border mandates, handling matters for a roster of high-profile clients. Cynthia Tang leads the team from Hong Kong, with over 25 years of experience representing clients in domestic and cross-border litigation and regulatory enforcement, with a specific focus on financial services. In Shanghai, Simon Hui is a standout practitioner, bolstering the firm’s ability to handle compliance matters, specifically with respect to instances of bribery, corruption and unfair competition. Also at the partner level, Kwun Yee Cheung is an insolvency expert, while Gary Seib adds 35 years to the team’s extensive experience as he handles commercial disputes with a link to the transportation and TMT sectors. Roberta Chan is further noted for disputes arising out of shareholder disputes and tort claims.

Practice head(s):

Cynthia Tang


‘Baker McKenzie FenXun is capable in litigation in HK with respect to various PRC law aspects. The team provides quick and helpful advice.’

Key clients

Lead Success

Hawkins Development

Superfine Group

Work highlights

  • Acted for Lead Success, Hawkins and Superfine in an application for a stay of execution of a judgment against them in HCA and their appeal against the judgment.

Clifford Chance LLP

Clifford Chance LLP is distinguished by its onshore practice, with a foundation of on-the-ground experience across Greater China, supported by a network of international offices. The team is sought out by financial institutions, financial investors and corporations for assistance in a range of commercial disputes. Acting as the head of the firm’s Hong Kong litigation and dispute resolution practice, Ling Ho leads the team with a practice dedicated to IP and tech-related disputes. Donna Wacker is another standout, with over 20 years of experience acting for clients in litigation concerning financial services and insolvency, while Shanghai-based partner Lei Shi is a triple-qualified practitioner with a specialisation in PRC-related commercial litigation. Michael Wang plays a key role in the firm’s banking litigation offering, assisting banks, investment funds and listed companies on a regular basis. Notable changes to the team include the arrival of Jonathan Wong from Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer in April 2021 and Soo Khim Keoy from Withers in June 2021.

Practice head(s):

Ling Ho

DLA Piper

DLA Piper fields a team of dedicated practitioners with deep knowledge in a range of proceedings. Apart from shareholder and director disputes, the practice also handles private client litigation at a domestic and international level. Led by Kevin Chan in Hong Kong, who has more than 20 years of experience representing international companies in complex commercial disputes, the team has considerable expertise in multi-jurisdictional work, benefitting from the support of members based in Shanghai and Beijing in addition to the firm’s offshore presence. Also noted at the partner level are Harris Chan, who has a broad disputes practice covering issues between shareholders and directors, construction disputes and internet fraud, and Satpal Gobindpuri, well regarded for his extensive knowledge of commercial disputes involving product liability, trade mark, fraud and trade.

Practice head(s):

Kevin Chan

Other key lawyers:

Harris Chan; Satpal Gobindpuri

Key clients

Dymocks Franchise Systems (China) Limited

Everwill Industrial



Huatai Financial Holdings (Hong Kong) Limited

Industrial and Commercial Bank of China

Industrial Bank

MHK Restaurants Limited

Sand Aire Limited

Kirkland & Ellis International LLP

Kirkland & Ellis International LLP provides coverage across Hong Kong and Shanghai, working on high-profile proceedings surrounding fund and shareholder disagreements, restructurings and liquidations. Apart from its presence in Asia, multiple practice members work from the US, giving it a significant international reach. Leadership of the practice is divided between Kelly Naphtali, Tiana Zhang and Cori Lable. Naphtali is an insolvency and restructuring litigation expert; Shanghai-based partner Zhang stands out for her knowledge of matters with a China or US element, active on cross-border cases concerning fraud, antitrust and trade control; and white-collar criminal law disputes are a key focus for Lable. Other standout practitioners include Amy Ngan and Paul Quinn, noted for multi-jurisdictional commercial and insolvency disputes, as well as Fergus Saurin, who focuses on litigation in relation to energy and resources, banking and international trade.

Other key lawyers:

Amy Ngan; Paul Quinn; Fergus Saurin

Norton Rose Fulbright

With extensive experience in commercial disputes, Norton Rose Fulbright‘s team is adept in cross-border estate, contractual, construction and financial litigation. Apart from having a commercial litigation focus, the firm also acts in IP disputes, particularly in relation to the technology and life sciences sectors. Camille Jojo leads the Hong Kong-based team, drawing on over 40 years of experience handling disputes in connection with banking, shareholder, restructuring, and trust and probate matters. Extending the practice’s expertise in terms of construction issues is Alfred Wu, as he regularly handles cases surrounding infrastructure and building projects in Hong Kong, Macau, Mainland China and the Asia Pacific region on behalf of contractors, subcontractors, government departments and statutory bodies. In terms of internal developments, Kevin Hong was promoted to the partnership in January 2021, while Daniel Ng was promoted in January 2022; they are noted for construction and banking and finance-related disputes, respectively.

Practice head(s):

Camille Jojo

Other key lawyers:

Alfred Wu; Kevin Hong; Daniel Ng

Key clients

Asia Allied Infrastructure Holdings

Hsin Chong

ST Engineering

GFG Alliance

LAE Technologies Hong Kong

Harbour Plaza 8 Degrees

Harbour Plaza Hotel Management

Work highlights

  • Advised a client on a prominent tycoon estate dispute in Hong Kong.
  • Representing a minority shareholder of a Hong Kong company listed on the Korean Stock Exchange in an urgent injunction application against the company and its directors.
  • Acting for a client in a court application against his younger brother and sister concerning the administration of relevant estates.

Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP

Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP fields ‘a superb team‘ in commercial litigation, with a further emphasis on the defense of class actions surrounding US securities law. The firm is also active in fraud-related disputes. The Hong Kong-based team is jointly led by Rory McAlpine and Steve Kwok, both capable in a range of high-profile disputes, including in relation to internal investigations, US regulatory matters and shareholder disagreements. McAlpine is considered ‘first class in terms of judgement and astute tactics‘ alongside counsel Wilfred Ho, with both noted for combining ‘technical ability, responsiveness and commercial acumen to great effect‘. Washington DC-based Mandarin speaker Bradley Klein is also noted for his work in internal investigations, regulatory enforcement actions and compliance matters involving US law.

Practice head(s):

Rory McAlpine; Steve Kwok


‘They hire and retain really good lawyers. There is confidence and competence all over the team.’

‘Rory McAlpine and Wilfred Ho are first class in terms of judgement and astute tactics.’

‘Superb team with a diversity and wealth of skills and expertise making it a natural choice to manage international disputes with a Hong Kong/PRC focus.’

‘Rory McAlpine and Wilfred Ho are commercially focused and provide incisive advice, and unparalleled responsiveness.’

‘The Skadden team is exceptional. Rory McAlpine and Wilfred Ho are both excellent lawyers; they combine technical ability, responsiveness and commercial acumen to great effect.’

‘Rory McAlpine has great depth of experience, technical ability and understands client’s needs. Wilfred Ho is a fantastic problem-solver with first rate communication skills (in English and Mandarin).’

‘Rory McAlpine is undoubtedly one of the most experienced litigators in the market. His experience enables him to devise very effective litigation strategies. James Tennison is a star of the future.’

‘This is a first class team which never fails to deliver. It is growing impressively in stature and expertise.’

Key clients

Grandview Private Trust Company


LexinFintech Holdings

Evenstar Capital Management



ZTO Express


Didi Global


360 DigiTech

RLX Technology

KE Holdings


Pintec Technology Holdings

Jianpu Technology


Gaotu Techedu

TAL Education Group

JA Solar

Clyde & Co LLP

The expertise of Clyde & Co LLP’s Shanghai-based team is supplemented by the firm’s global practice, with onshore capabilities enhanced even further due to its joint venture with local firm Westlink Partnership. The practice is able to handle a variety of multi-jurisdictional disputes, providing a one-stop-shop for domestic and foreign clients. Ik Wei Chong, who is active in cases involving the shipping, insurance, international trade and energy industries, leads the practice alongside Canming Wang, who heads the Westlink JVL litigation practice; he draws on 20 years of experience advising multinational clients in a range of China-based disputes. Also noted is Nicholas Lum, particularly for his knowledge of international trade, commodities and shipping.

Practice head(s):

Ik Wei Chong; Canming Wang

Other key lawyers:

Nicholas Lum

Latham & Watkins LLP

With access to a large pool of advocates as a result of its OneAsia strategy, Latham & Watkins LLP combines strong collaboration and familiarity with the Greater China and offshore markets to provide a broad service in high-profile and complex litigation. Among its recent highlights, the firm is representing Sinovac Biotech’s board of directors against dissident shareholders. Acting on this matter and also leading the team overall is Hui Xu, noted for multi-jurisdictional white-collar investigations and litigation. Dominic Geiser, who joined from Herbert Smith Freehills in August 2022, showcases particular expertise in complex commercial litigation involving offshore and cross-border elements, many of which feature elements of fraud, asset tracing or injunctive relief. Bolstering the department’s capabilities in relation to internal investigations and cross-border litigation is associate Sean Wu, who acts for multinational clients in the online commerce, finance and technology sectors.

Practice head(s):

Hui Xu

Morrison Foerster

Morrison Foerster‘s Hong Kong-based dispute resolution department stands out for its expertise representing multinational and Chinese companies before a variety of China- and Hong Kong-based forums. Leading the team is Timothy Blakely, who is regularly sought out for complex commercial litigation involving US and Hong Kong law, as well as government and internal investigation matters. Supporting the team’s efforts in terms of cross-border disputes in the Asia-Pacific region is triple-qualified partner Sarah Thomas, while Chen Zhu specialises in securities litigation and white-collar defence. Also active in white-collar criminal law is of counsel Jessica Chan, who plays a key role in the firm’s handling of high-stakes matters in this space.

Practice head(s):

Timothy Blakely

Other key lawyers:

Sarah Thomas; Jessica Chan; Chen Zhu

Key clients

SoftBank Group

Work highlights

  • Represented Softbank Group in a high-profile dispute against WeWork and its founder in relation to SBG’s abandoned $3bn investment in WeWork.


HFW maintains a focus on high-value corporate and commercial litigation, leveraging its partnership with Wintell & Co Law Firm to advise on a range of disputes. Noel Campbell leads the Hong Kong-based practice, spearheading the team’s efforts with regard to fraud and asset recovery, insolvency and broader financial litigation, with over 25 years of experience in the field. Working alongside him is George Lamplough, who stands out for his international trade and shipping expertise, as he often handles cases with a ransom or piracy element. Karen Cheung joined from Li & Partners in September 2021.

Practice head(s):

Noel Campbell

Other key lawyers:

George Lamplough; Karen Cheung

Key clients


Australian Pension Fund

The Joint and Several Liquidators of China Metal Recycling

Grey Reach Investment

Grant Thornton

Work highlights

  • Acting for partners of Deloitte in relation to a HK$728.9m claim for professional negligence.
  • Advising the Liquidators of China Metal Recycling in relation to an audit negligence case against CMR’s former auditors.
  • Acting for Grey Reach Investment Limited in the recovery of money lost as a result of cyber-fraud.

Jones Day

Active across its mainland China and offshore offices, Jones Day makes use of its pool of talent to handle commercial disputes at a global and regional level, with an emphasis on matters relating to anti-corruption, antitrust and regulatory investigations. Leadership of the practice is shared between Peter Wang, who divides his time between Hong Kong and Shanghai, of counsel Lillian He in Shanghai, Haifeng Huang, who divides his time between Hong Kong and Beijing, and Qiang Xue in Beijing. Wang is particularly noted for antitrust litigation, as he also acts in relevant investigations in relation to M&A. Other standout practitioners include Hong Kong-based partner Samuel Ngo, noted for his experience in commercial conflicts, especially in relation to construction and engineering, property development and insolvency matters. At the associate level, Liya He supports the team’s efforts with regard to global disputes involving multinational companies.

Other key lawyers:

Samuel Ngo; Liya He

Key clients

Hangzhou Hikvision Digital Technology

Moody’s Corporation

Samson Paper Holdings

Stephenson Harwood

With a team based in Hong Kong, Stephenson Harwood has a strong focus on international trade finance disputes, and can also be found acting in corporate, insolvency and restructuring-related proceedings. The practice is further distinguished by its PRC knowledge, which stems primarily from its association with Guangzhou-based Wei Tu Law Firm, providing major clients with a multi-faceted service in terms of jurisdictional advice. Hong Kong-based partner Ivan Ng leads the practice, bolstering the firm’s litigation offering in shareholder disputes, contractual disputes and insolvency matters. Emily Li, who was promoted to the partnership in May of 2022, is another key contact in this regard, acting for PRC and international clients on shareholder and trade finance disputes. Managing partner Jamie Stranger is also noted for his expertise in corporate insolvency, commercial litigation, fraud and professional liability.

Practice head(s):

Ivan Ng

Other key lawyers:

Jamie StrangerEmily Li; Ian Childs

Key clients

Purple Surgical

Employees of China Shanshui Investment

United Overseas Bank

Dan Form International

Société Générale

HWH Holdings

Phillips Fine Watches

The joint and several liquidators of Shanghai Huaxin (Hong Kong)

OCBC Wing Hang



Raiffeisen Bank International


Bank of East Asia

FTI Consulting (Hong Kong)

Work highlights

  • Acting for 2,000 employees and minority shareholders of China Shanshui Investment in a long-running shareholder dispute worth over HK$5bn.
  • Acting for the joint provisional liquidators of CECEP COSTIN New Materials in respect of a debt restructuring.
  • Acted for Purple Surgical in a cross-border fraud dispute involving a sale and purchase agreement for five million 3M surgical masks.

White & Case LLP

White & Case LLP stands out for its expertise in transaction-related disputes, where it acts for Chinese banks and financial institutions, thanks to its close collaboration with the firm’s corporate and banking teams on a variety of contentious work, including debt recovery and restructurings. Bingna Guo in Beijing co-head the practice, with senior associate Paulina Ho supporting the firm’s efforts in relation to commercial disputes, enforcement proceedings and investigations. Chan focuses on multi-jurisdictional matters, including those connected with joint ventures and insolvency proceedings, while Guo is noted for her experience handling investigations and compliance matters.

Practice head(s):

Bingna Guo

Key clients

China Development Bank

China Exim Bank

Industrial and Commercial Bank of China



Work highlights

  • Advised China Development Bank, China Exim Bank and Industrial and Commercial Bank of China on a payment default under certain existing facility agreements.

Dorsey & Whitney

Dorsey & Whitney LLP’s commercial litigation department is noted for cross-border disputes, where a strong degree of collaboration with the firm’s US offices allows it to handle a spectrum of China-related US litigation. In Beijing, ‘expert legal counsel and adviserRay Liu heads the practice, with significant expertise in high-stakes cross-border disputes and a special focus on representing Chinese clients in US litigation. Strengthening the firm’s depth was the arrival of associate Joshua Wong from Wilkinson & Grist in August 2021. The practice saw another addition the following month, welcoming Justin Wang from Zhong Lun Law Firm in September 2021.

Practice head(s):

Ray Liu

Other key lawyers:

Joshua Wong; Justin Wang


Ray Liu has been regularly appointed and known as an expert legal counsel and adviser on the most multifaceted and challenging legal and business matters in China, the US, and the EU.’

‘Ray Liu and his colleagues in China and the US are more than capable of wading through complex matters to focus on true solutions for their clients. Beyond being an expert in international disputes and corporate matters, Ray and his colleagues’ deep experience allows them to provide real-world advice that balances commercial sensibilities and risk.’

‘The team regularly demonstrates an ability to communicate effectively with all stakeholders, articulating sophisticated legal and business matters in a manner that is accessible and understandable for non-expert clients.

The firm has been consistently committed to diversity and collaboration – they often work with clients and other entities to offer programs that build a bridge among individuals, the law firm, and corporations.

Ray Liu is a pragmatic and seasoned lawyer with tactical acumen and practical experience. He is able to grasp the key to the matter quickly and is able to turn it around just as quickly with a solution. He has significant experience in the US and PRC, so he brings a strong ability to combine viewpoints from both perspectives to form solid advice for his clients. He is also fluent in both English and Mandarin.’

The team has very deep understanding of US law and international arbitration. They are able to provide pragmatic advice and opinions that are tailored for the China market, which is very important for Chinese clients. In addition, their China team is always responsive and approachable.

Key clients

Luokung Technology

PICC Property & Casualty Company

China Huarong Overseas Holdings

International Financial Holdings Limited

Bank of China

China Construction Bank


Beijing ByteDance Technology

Ingevity Corporation

Work highlights

  • Represented Chinese academics and administrative law professors in a “Vitamin C Antitrust Litigation” case before the Supreme Court of the United States.
  • Represented Luokung Technology in a high-profile lawsuit against the US President, Department of Defense and the Department of the Treasury in obtaining a US federal court preliminary injunction.
  • Advised PICC Property & Casualty Company in a variety of major civil actions, product liability litigations, coverage disputes and regulatory consultation matters.

Paul Hastings LLP

The dispute resolution team at Paul Hastings LLP is regularly retained by foreign companies and private equity investors to handle disputes in relation to relevant inbound investments. The team is led by Shaun Wu, who divides his time between Hong Kong and Shanghai, with experience handling high-stakes disputes. Wu’s practice extends to a variety of cross-border matters, characterised by China-based international litigation where he often represents leading management firms, software technology corporations, manufacturing companies and technology conglomerates. Also noted, Shanghai-based Phoebe Yan joined the practice from Hogan Lovells International LLP in April 2021, strengthening the firm’s offering with respect to life sciences, white-collar criminal law and internal investigations.

Practice head(s):

Shaun Wu

Other key lawyers:

Phoebe Yan


‘Very user friendly.’

‘Shaun Wu gives sound legal advice and is always available.’

Key clients

US investment management firm

Chinese private equity firm

Multinational software technology corporation

Chinese technology manufacturing corporation

Chinese software technology corporation

US multinational investment firm

Fortune 500 technology conglomerate

Hong Kong-based private equity firm

Work highlights

  • Acting for a Fortune 500 technology conglomerate in potential litigation risks and enforcement, arising from dealings with Chinese companies as a result of trade controls and sanctions.
  • Acting for a leading Chinese technology manufacturing company on litigation strategy advice across Mainland China, Hong Kong and the US regarding prospective technology transfer issues.
  • Acting for a leading US investment management firm in a joint venture dispute against its Hong Kong-listed partner related to real estate investments.

Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan, LLP

Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan, LLP places an emphasis on cross-border commercial litigation, leveraging its global network to represent Chinese state-owned commercial banks and multinational companies in high-stakes litigation. The team is led by Shanghai-based partner Xiao Liu and Haiyan Tang (who joined from Paul Hastings LLP in April 2021), Hong Kong-based John Rhie and Duncan Watson KC, and Carey Ramos, who divides his time between New York and Hong Kong. Liu has particular expertise in US government enforcement actions, while Rhie is active in international litigation.

Other key lawyers:

Yixuan Zhu; Lillian Li


The firm excels in its top-profile team set-up, convincing track records, sharp insights into crucial details and tailored dispute resolution services matching the client’s expectation and the context.

The team is very intelligent and hard working. They will go the extra mile to get the job done and raise everyone around them.

They provide 24 hours/7 days around the clock service both in the Asian region and the US. The partners have exceptional skills both in the preparation of the litigation process and in the court. They are very client oriented.

Key clients

Mirae Asset Global Management

Bank of China

China Construction Bank

Industrial & Commercial Bank of China

Bank of Communications

Merchants Bank

Didi Global


Pangang Group Steel

Vanadium & Titanium Company

Pangang Group

Titanium Industry Company

Pangang Group

International Economic & Trading Company

Bluecity Holdings

UP Fintech Holding

MicroPort NaviBot International

Regor Pharmaceutical

Work highlights

  • Representing Didi Global against a shareholder class action pending in the Southern District of New York.
  • Represented five of China’s largest state-owned commercial banks in an appeal regarding an asset freezing order by a US court.
  • Defending the Pangang Group and its affiliates against criminal charges of conspiracy to commit economic espionage and attempted economic espionage.