Herbert Smith Freehills LLP ‘s status as a full-service law firm supports the wide range of disputes which its Hong Kong-based team engages in across China. The litigation team, led by Gareth Thomas, handles highly complex and technical proceedings. Thomas has acted for a number of clients in disputes regarding corporate liability in multijurisdictional cases. Jojo Fan acted for Bank Julius Baer in a $15m case regarding allegations of misrepresentation of over 140 investment projects, and represented BYD in a case of alleged breach of confidentiality of trade secrets. Fan was recently promoted to partner.
Dispute resolution: Litigation: foreign firms in China
Herbert Smith Freehills LLP
Other key lawyers:
Bank Julius Baer & Co. Ltd.
Bank of China International Limited (“BOCIL”) and BOCI Securities Limited (“BOCIS”)
BYD Company Limited
DBS Bank, Hong Kong Branch
Essilor International SAS and its subsidiary, Essilor Manufacturing (Thailand) Co. Ltd.
Members of the Lo Family, one of Asia’s richest families by net worth
PCCW Solutions Limited
The Law Society of Hong Kong
The estate of Mr Liu Cheng Chan, Chik Sau Kam and Liu Por
Town Health Corporate Advisory and Investments Limited
- Represented DBS Bank in an appeal concerning the liquidation of Galleria Limited.
- Represented Essilor International in a $210m embezzlement case.
- Represented UBS in a dispute regarding the liabilities of over HK$4bn related to the liquidation of China Metal Recycling.
Baker McKenzie FenXun
A global full-service law firm, Baker McKenzie FenXun provides a key entry point for foreign firms to settle disputes relating to the Chinese market. Led by Hong Kong-based Cynthia Tang, its partnership with FenXun further expands its field of expertise to Chinese law both in terms of dispute resolution and in related sectors. Tang, along with Brian Ng, is well versed in advising on corruption. Simon Hui and Gary Seib handled a fraud case due to a cyberattack. Mini VandePol, Kwun Yee Cheung, and Roberta Chan are also highly recommended. 2020 saw the retirement of Anthony Poon and the departure of Paul Teo.
‘The team is able to articulate well through the complex legal framework in China. The lawyers stand out for their ability to explain the local culture which helps with the decision making process.’
Haitong International Securities Company Limited
Tongfang Kontafarma Holdings Ltd.
National United Resources Holdings Limited
EFG Bank AG
China Merchants Group
- Represented Chinaculture in a dispute regarding CNT’s directors’ handling of the spinning off of its paint business.
An international full-service law firm, Clifford Chance LLP’s onshore practice is the culmination of decades of experience in the region. The team is led by mainland-based Lei Shi and Hong Kong-based Ling Ho and handles a broad range of commercial disputes. Shi has legal qualifications in Hong Kong, New York and on the mainland; associate Nathan Zhou is likewise qualified both in New York and on the mainland, supporting the global nature of the firm’s business. Shi, Ho, and Zhao handle a wide variety of international financial, fraud, trademark and competition disputes; consultant William Wong is highly regarded in the field of financial disputes.
‘Commercially savvy, technically sound and bilingual.’
‘William Wong is extremely helpful and responsive. He also has a good grasp and understanding of clients’ needs.’
‘Lei Shi can grasp the key points and client needs in a short time and leads the team to complete the work on time.’
DLA Piper’s position as a global full-service law firm enables its offshore office in Hong Kong, led by Kevin Chan and supplemented by on the ground experts in Shanghai and Beijing, to engage in highly complex, multijurisdictional litigation. Chan represented Industrial and Commercial Bank of China and Chow Sang Sang Securities in the recovery of defaulted loans valued at HK$1.5bn and HK$722m respectively. Satpal Gobindpuri is well versed in commercial litigation and disputes in the insurance sector. Harris Chan has experience dealing with cases ranging from corporate restructuring to disputes over high net-worth estates. Xiaoshan Chen is also highly regarded.
‘The firm stands out in providing assessment on the degree of legal and commercial risks against certain circumstances in a timely manner and demonstrating sound judgment in planning and managing the dispute resolution matters.’
‘Harris Chan is a pragmatic and seasoned litigator who has vast experience in all kinds of civil litigation. On top of that, he understands the capital market well and is familiar with the industry practice. He is able to grasp the key of the matter quickly and is able to turn around as quickly with a solution.’
‘Satpal Gobindpuri tries to do everything possible to settle and avoid going to court.’
China Huarong International Holdings Limited
Combest Holdings Limited
Dymocks Franchise Systems (China) Limited
Everwill Industrial Limited
Haitong International Assets Management Limited
HK A-Sun Group Co., Ltd
Huatai Financial Holdings (Hong Kong) Limited
MHK Restaurants Limited
Power Securities Company
Sand Aire Limited
Sung Chung Kwun
Kirkland & Ellis International LLP’s team, co-led by Kelly Naphtali, Tiana Zhang and Cori Lable, is primarily split between Hong Kong and Shanghai, although some members are based in the US, enabling multi-jurisdictional expertise at all stages of the litigation process. Zhang along with Yue Qiu and Jodi Wu are highly knowledgeable of multi-jurisdictional patent litigation. Zhang, as well as Los Angeles-based Yi-Chin Ho, is also well-versed in cases pertaining to corruption. Naphtali, Paul Quinn, Amy Ngan, Fergus Saurin and Richard Sharpe all have extensive experience concerning disputes regarding accusations of negligence in liquidations across multiple jurisdictions. In 2020, David Harrington, previously of MinterEllisonRuddWatts, joined as a partner whilst Saurin and Qiu were both promoted to the partnership. Tarun Warriar departed to Varde Partners.
Other key lawyers:
Norton Rose Fulbright’s Hong Kong-based team, led by Camille Jojo, works across jurisdictions in high profile commercial litigation, IP litigation, fraud including cyber fraud disputes. Jojo and associate Daniel Ng have collaborated on numerous projects ranging from debt recovery, to the management of estates. Recently-promoted partner Kevin Hong and Alfred Wu are also key names to note. Wu has also worked extensively with Hong and associate Anita Fong on cases regarding breach of contract. Philip Nunn is also well regarded.
‘The team has good cooperation ability, clear division of labour, clear organizational structure, smooth coordination and communication with clients, and quick response in handling cases.’
‘The team is skilful in litigation, with a solid legal foundation, good communication in Mandarin, English and Cantonese. The lawyers are good at dealing with cases from the perspective of clients and achieving their expected goals.’
‘The individuals have enough experiences and knowledge to handle unprecedented cases.’
Mr Fok Chun Yue Benjamin (co-executor of the estate of Fok Ying Tung Henry)
Zhaoheng Hydropower (Hong Kong) Limited
A minority shareholder a Hong Kong company listed on the Korean Stock Exchange
One of the beneficiaries of the estates of his parents
A former independent non-executive director
Paloma Company Limited (Paloma)
ChinaCast Education Corporation (ChinaCast)
Asia Allied Infrastructure Holdings Ltd (Asia Allied)
Hsin Chong Aster Building Services Limited (Hsin Chong)
JSP International s.r.o.
- Represented Mr. Benjamin Fok Chun Yue in disputes relating to a settlement agreement.
Clyde & Co LLP
A global law firm, Clyde & Co LLP‘s expertise extends to its onshore practice in Shanghai, in collaboration with Westlink Partnership. The team’s work is often multijurisdictional and highly complex, with practice heads Ik Wei Chong and Canming Wang both having a particular focus on disputes regarding shipping and insurance within the region and globally. Nicholas Lum has complementary expertise, and has recently worked on a number of trade disputes in the fields of commodities, resources and technology. The firm seeks to be at the forefront of technological innovation, with extensive use of data analytics and machine learning as well as expanding into growth markets such as advising clients on the regulation of distributed ledger technology across jurisdictions.
Other key lawyers:
‘Always responsive and available when needed.’
With a central Greater China team led by Hui Xu and supported by Asia-wide litigators as part of the firm’s OneAsia strategy, Latham & Watkins LLP hosts extensive professional expertise in resolving multi-jurisdictional disputes within the region. Xu is experienced in a wide variety of geopolitically sensitive trade disputes and has worked both with Catherine McBride and with Ing Loong Yang when advising on fraud investigations. Both Xu and McBride have conducted a number of internal investigations for clients; McBride and Yang are highly experienced in handling contract violations disputes. Catherine Palmer retired. Since publication, the team saw the arrival of Dominic Geiser who joined from Herbert Smith Freehills in August 2o22.
China Life Insurance (Overseas) Company Limited
China COSCO Shipping Corporation Limited
Sinovac Biotech Ltd.
China Orient Asset Management (International) Holding Limited
United Microelectronics Corporation
Shenzhen Senior Technology Material Co., Ltd.
- Assisted China COSCO Shipping Corporation with the lifting of US sanctions.
- Assisted Sinovac Biotech’s Board of Directors with its actions of dissident shareholders.
- Represented United Microelectronics Corp in a “China Initiative” trade secret case brought by the US Department of Justice.
Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP
Co-led by Rory McAlpine and Steve Kwok, Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP’s Hong Kong-based China dispute resolution team is well-versed in multi-jurisdictional litigation, particularly relating to allegations of fraud. Acting for HNW individuals, hedge funds and private equity firms, McAlpine and Wilfred Ho have extensive experience acting in shareholder disputes and fraud allegations. Washington DC-based Bradley Klein (who is a fluent Mandarin speaker) is noted for his in-depth experience in internal investigations, regulatory enforcement actions and compliance matters, as well as US securities class action representing China-based companies.
‘The Skadden litigation team is very professional with both solid legal skills and strong business senses. They are responsive, always act proactively, and provide clients with business-friendly solutions. Their reaction to the emergency cases and clients request is also quick even under pressure.’
‘The level of expertise, the calibre of the team, the responsiveness and professionalism. This is what makes the Skadden team unique.’
‘Wilfred Ho is excellent. He is an incredibly good technical lawyer but he also has great commercial awareness. The fact that he is truly bilingual (English and Mandarin) is particularly impressive and useful in offshore litigation. It is both a privilege and a pleasure to work with Wilfred.’
‘A strong team that can deliver under pressure.’
‘Rory McAlpine is an experienced partner who works incredibly hard for his clients. ‘
‘Rory McAlpine is a superstar.’
Bermuda Trust Companies established by a Taiwanese Conglomerate
Evenstar Capital Management Ltd.
Hong Kong holding companies and their directors
Based in Shanghai and led by Nicholas Poynder, HFW, in partnership with Wintell & Co Law Firm, has wide-ranging expertise in the dispute resolution market in the Greater China area. Poynder counts Chinese SOEs and large listed and private companies as his clients, and Hong Kong-based George Lamplough has notable experience in fraud, shipping, banking and international trade disputes. Master Mariner Julian Davies is also recommended.
ANZ Commodity Trading Pty Ltd
CLP Power Hong Kong Limited
Bright Shipping Limited
Grant Thornton – The Liquidators of Centaur Litigation SPC
Al Baraka Banking Group B.S.C
Grey Reach Investment Limited
Blink Limited (in liquidation)
- Represented ANZ Commodity Trading Pty in coordinating the tracing and recovery efforts following a $300m metals fraud involving non-authentic warehouse receipts.
- Acted for Al Baraka Banking Group in the recovery of over $5m stolen from the Bank’s customers as a result of confidence fraud perpetrated against the bank.
Morrison Foerster’s China practice is based in Hong Kong and led by managing partner Timothy Blakely; it covers a wide range of corporate and commercial disputes across sectors and jurisdictions. Blakelyregularly works with of counsel Jessica Chan on shareholder disputes, fraud allegations and disputes arising from real estate investment. Chen Zhu joined from Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP in 2020, and excels in securities fraud, compliance and anti-corruption matters.
Softbank Group Corp.
- Advised Softbank Group on obtaining documentary and testimonial evidence in Hong Kong and Mainland China for use in a case before the Delaware Chancery Court.
Stephenson Harwood’s Hong Kong-based team, led by Ivan Ng, is well versed in handling multi-jurisdictional IP, construction and financial disputes for high-value clients across a range of sectors. The team is particularly strong in handling litigations involving international trade finance and PRC elements, and is recommended for representing PRC clients in large cross-border disputes, particularly shareholders disputes (in which Ng and senior associate Emily Li is a key name to note). The firm also has an association with Chinese law firm Wei Tu Law Firm in Guangzhou, enabling it to advise on both Hong Kong and PRC law. Greater China managing partner Jamie Stranger focuses on corporate insolvency, commercial litigation, fraud and professional liability.
Purple Surgical UK Limited
Employees of China Shanshui Investment Limited
Dan Form International Limited and its owner (a high net worth PRC individual)
HWH Holdings Limited
Phillips Fine Watches Limited
The joint and several liquidators of Shanghai Huaxin (Hong Kong) Limited
OCBC Wing Hang Bank Limited
Hongkong Chaung Yue Co. Limited and its owner (a high net worth PRC individual)
Incomlend Pte. Ltd.
Raiffeisen Bank International AG
China Tailong Green Power Group Limited
Agricultural Bank of China
SinoPac Securities (Asia) Limited
FTI Consulting (Hong Kong) Limited
- Represented over 2000 employees and minority shareholders in China Shanshui Investment Company Limited in regards to its management of China Shanshui Cement Group Company Limited.
- Acted for CECEP COSTIN New Materials Limited and its joint provisional liquidators regarding its debt restructuring.
- Acted for Purple Surgical UK Limited in a dispute pertaining to a breach of a sale and purchase agreement and of an escrow agreement.
Co-led by Hong Kong-based Melody Chan and Bingna Guo who splits her time between Beijing and Shanghai, White & Case LLP demonstrates its expertise in contentious matters, as well as advising on transaction-related disputes. The team has established a highly regarded practice representing Chinese banks and financial institutions on contentious debt recovery and restructurings. Demonstrating this, it recently successfully represented Chinese lenders recovering loans made to the troubled Reliance Communications group, one of the largest conglomerates in India. Complementing its litigation practice, the broader dispute resolution team also regularly handles international arbitration, white collar and regulatory matters, and governmental investigations in China. Its recent caseload also features inbound and outbound cases arising from corporate and finance transactions.
‘Excellent in compliance business.’
‘ Bingna Guo is able to provide service with excellent experience and timely feedback.’
China Cinda (HK) Asset Management
China Development Bank
China Exim Bank
Ernst & Young Transactions
Feilong Nonwoven Machinery
Industrial and Commercial Bank of China
- Represented China Cinda on the enforcement of transaction documents made under a loan financing to Hong Kong-based Linca Industry Holdings Company.
- Represented China Development Bank, China Exim Bank and Industrial and Commercial Bank of China on a payment default under certain existing facility agreements.
- Represented Ernst & Young Transactions Limited and EY Cayman Ltd in the discharge of their duties as liquidators.
Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP
Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP‘s Hong Kong-based dispute resolution litigation team handles a broad range of commercial litigation, regulatory investigations and arbitration matters. The team is increasingly handling disputes in United States federal and state courts, including complex class-action securities litigation defence against Chinese companies and their IPO underwriters. Martin Rogers, James Wadham, Patrick Sinclair and Karen Chan jointly lead the team.
Other key lawyers:
Lisa Martin; Jonathan Chang
Linklaters enjoys its joint operation with Zhao Sheng Law Firm to advise on both PRC and international law advice. The team is led by Singapore-based Jelita Pandjaitan which includes a number of experienced practitioners in its Hong Kong office: Melvin Sng excels in commercial litigation and regulatory investigations advising clients including SOEs and multinationals; Justin Tang has notable experience handling shareholders' disputes and insolvency-related litigation; and Denise Fung represents multinational corporations and financial institutions in commercial disputes including those arising from syndicated loans, shareholder agreements and distributor agreements.
‘Linklaters China team is very knowledgeable and experienced in the PRC law and practice and has a thorough understanding of the clients’ needs as well as to address the concerns of the regulators. Their team is also capable of giving expert advice to deal with cross-border issues.’
Nan Hai Corporation
Hang Seng Bank
Shanghai Industrial Holdings Limited
Ernst & Young
Ping An Securities
- Representing the Bank of East Asia in defending dishonest assistance and knowing receipt claims brought by the liquidators of China Medical Technologies.
Paul Hastings LLP
Paul Hastings LLP’s dispute resolution team, led by Shaun Wu (who splits his time between Hong Kong and Shanghai), engages in complex multi-jurisdictional litigation across a range of sectors. Wu advises on cross-border technology regulation and its intersection with international trade policy, and on cases regarding investment recovery, fraud, and tort law. Shanghai-based Phoebe Yan joined from Hogan Lovells International LLP in April 2021, and focuses on litigation, white-collar crime and internal investigations, and government enforcement actions.
Other key lawyers:
Phoebe Yan; Sarah Zhu
Renowned U.S.-based international investment fund
Leading PRC-based private equity fund
Leading U.K.-headquartered multinational company
Leading U.S.-listed multinational technology company
Leading Chinese technology conglomerate
Leading Chinese internet software technology developer
U.S. multinational hedge fund
U.S. Fortune 500 leading technology conglomerate
- Acted for a U.S.-based international investment fund in a dispute over real estate joint venture investments across China.
- Acted for a PRC-based private equity fund in a dispute concerning an acquisition of a Chinese subsidiary from a US-listed conglomerate.
Simmons & Simmons
Simmons & Simmons’ Beijing-based dispute resolution practice, led by Tom Fyfe, operates across all the sectors in which the firm specialises including asset management and investment funds, financial institutions, TMT and life sciences. Internal and regulatory investigations, employment disputes, and IP claims also feature in its recent caseloads. Gary Yin joined from Jingtian & Gongcheng and has notable experience handling China-related disputes and regulatory investigations. The firm also established Simmons Wavelength which is a regulated firm of legal engineers, made up of qualified lawyers, data scientists and legal design experts, assisting clients in the context of investigations and litigation work.
Other key lawyers:
Gary Yin; Eric Chan; Paul Li
The Bank of East Asia Limited
Cheer Hope Holdings Limited
James Li Cheung Hung, former executive director and company secretary of China Shanshui Cement Group Limited
Organizing Committee of the XXII Olympic Winter Games and XI Paralympic Winter Games of 2014 in Sochi
TWB Investments Limited and Time Watch Investment Limited
- Acted for Cheer Hope Holdings Limited in a $26m debt recovery action.
- Represented the former executive director and company secretary of China Shanshui Cement Group Limited in a High Court shareholders dispute.