Leading Individuals

Rising Stars

Fintech: foreign firms in China

Baker McKenzie FenXun

The ‘knowledgeable team‘ at Baker McKenzie FenXun is praised for its ‘sophisticated understanding of the blockchain industry’. Keeping pace with the ever-changing regulatory landscape in fintech allows the cohort to assist clients with major projects such as the launch of new products or digital transformations, alongside work such as regulatory compliance, tax and employment matters. Karen Man steers the firm’s fintech offering and frequently leverages her regulatory experience to advise banks, fund managers and fintechs on a wide array of compliance and regulatory matters. Joy Lam frequently advises on the establishment of funds connected to the emerging virtual assets ecosystem. Kevin Yuan is a key contact for arbitrations and litigations that arise under financial laws and regulations, while Dominic Edmondson is equipped to advise on the implications of AI, big data and distributed ledger technology for business in the Greater China region.

Practice head(s):

Karen Man

Other key lawyers:

Joy Lam; Grace Fung; Zhenyu Ruan; Kevin Yuan; Dominic Edmondson; Ryan Chan


‘A knowledgeable team with a sophisticated understanding of the blockchain industry.’

‘Joy Lam and Ryan Chan make the star team for fintech clients like us. The team’s knowledge and blockchain experience make it the only choice.’ 

Key clients


Gulf Innova Company Limited

Pando Finance Limited

Work highlights

  • Assisted Pando Finance with various applications to the Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission.
  • Advised Chanel on technology-related regulations in Mainland China and Hong Kong, including concerning platforms, online consumer law, artificial intelligence, metaverses, cyber security, NFTs, blockchain and cryptocurrencies.
  • Advised Gulf on a joint venture in Thailand with a major centralized digital asset exchange firm originating in China.

Clifford Chance LLP

Winning plaudits for its work on transformational work across key areas including blockchain, smart contracts, tokenisation, stablecoins and insurtech, Clifford Chance LLP is a popular choice for major tech companies, financial institutions, and fintechs ranging exchange platforms to e-wallet service providers. Kelly Gregory and Rocky Mui share leadership duties, with the latter well versed in mandates involving emerging asset classes such as tokenisation, stablecoins and digital infrastructure. Ling Ho is at the forefront of technology-related IP matters, while Brian Harley is a trusted counsel for technology-driven transactional work.

Practice head(s):

Kelly Gregory; Rocky Mui

Other key lawyers:

Ling Ho; Brian Harley

Key clients


Goldman Sachs


JF Wealth

Work highlights

  • Advised Tencent as lead investor in the Series B fund raising round of Flip, Indonesia’s leading consumer payments platform.
  • Advised Tencent on its minority investment in Previse Limited through the subscription of Series B preferred shares.
  • Advised Goldman Sachs and HSBC as joint sponsors on the dual primary listing of OneConnect on the main board of the Hong Kong Stock Exchange.

Eversheds Sutherland

Notably active in the payments and digital assets space, Eversheds Sutherland‘s Hong Kong-based team is equipped to guide clients through the regulatory labyrinth connected to the use of emerging technologies such as blockchain, artificial intelligence, big data and CBDCs. Practice co-chair Rhys McWhirter advises on a broad range of strategic collaborations designed to help clients distribute financial products across key jurisdictions.  Fellow co-chair Michael Yau is also head of the firm’s banking and finance Asia group. The ‘knowledgeable and responsive’ Frankie Tam, who was promoted to the partnership in May 2023, is a key contact for mandates relating to cross-border payments. Senior associate Philip Chow focuses on strategic technology arrangements in the financial services and aviation sectors.

Practice head(s):

Rhys McWhirter; Michael Yau

Other key lawyers:

Frankie Tam; Philip Chow


‘The team has experience in the technology field.’

‘Frankie Tam is knowledgeable and responsive.’

Key clients

Thought Machine Group


Blackhawk Network


Work highlights

  • Advised a consortium of global banks in Hong Kong in relation to the cross-border connectivity of eTradeConnect, the world’s first cross-border trade finance platform underpinned by distributed ledger technology.
  • Advised Thought Machine on various strategic core banking transformations with leading global financial institutions across Asia – including Indonesia, Singapore, Vietnam, Taiwan and Korea.
  • Our Team advised IATA in its strategic implementation of the IATA Easypay 2.0 which transforms the way travel agents book and pay for tickets and ancillary services with airlines.


‘A true standout in the industry’, the Linklaters team possesses the bandwidth and expertise to realise cutting-edge projects, such as the firm's recent handling of a data transfer agreement with China Foreign Exchange Trade System, which is the first interoperable PCP link for clearing OTC swaps globally. The practice is also geared to advise on virtual assets, AML, strategic investments, and electronic trading solutions. The firm's cross-practice approach to fintech is exemplified by the division of leadership between the joint heads of the firm’s financial regulation group, Carl Fernandes and Kishore Bhindi; the head of TMT Hong Kong, Albert Yuen; and the head of TMT China, Alex Roberts. Clients include established financial services players, major corporates seeking to implement fintech-driven solutions and tech companies.

Practice head(s):

Carl Fernandes; Kishore Bhindi; Albert Yuen; Alex Roberts


‘Without a doubt, this practice is a true standout in the industry, boasting exceptional qualities that have set it miles apart from others. The team’s remarkable strengths and key capabilities are sure to captivate potential clients and leave them in awe. What truly differentiates this practice from its competitors is its unwavering commitment to excellence.’ 

‘Their dedication to staying at the forefront of industry trends and continuously expanding their knowledge ensures that clients receive nothing but the best. In terms of innovation, this practice has truly revolutionized the game.’

Key clients

Citibank (Hong Kong) Limited (Citi)

Asia Securities Industry & Financial Markets Association (“ASIFMA”)

Proximus NV

Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing (HKEX)

The Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation (“HSBC”)

Bond Connect Company Limited

Standard Chartered Bank (Singapore)


Work highlights

  • Representing Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing Limited to review and negotiate a data transfer agreement with China Foreign Exchange Trade System for the purpose of facilitating transfers of data.
  • Advising on e first tokenised green bond by the HKSAR Government; the first tokenised green bond by a government issuer globally.
  • Advising Watsons Wine on the regulatory issues, with a focus on licensing and AML / CFT concerns, arising from their proposed NFT marketing gimmick.


An in-depth understanding of digital platforms at Ashurst has allowed the firm to assist on a variety of high-profile projects, with the team winning plaudits for its advice to Goldman Sachs on the use of its platform for the issuance of a first-of-its-kind tokenised government bond. The team is led by three Hong Kong-based partners: Joshua Cole, whose varied caseload extends to advising on the establishment of digital banks across the Asia-Pacific region; Patrick Phua, who has a strong track record in the PRC derivatives and regulatory market; and Ben Hammond, a leading figure in the payments space. Also in Hong Kong is Hoi Tak Leung, who has established experience in mandates concerning NFTs.

Practice head(s):

Joshua Cole; Patrick Phua; Ben Hammond

Other key lawyers:

Hoi Tak Leung

Key clients

Goldman Sachs

Divit Limited


Tung Wah Group of Hospitals

Hang Seng Bank

BNP Paribas

Work highlights

  • Advised Goldman Sachs on the use of their new tokenisation platform, GS DAP™, in respect of the first tokenised green bond issued by a government globally.
  • Advised Tung Wah Group of Hospitals on the establishment and launch of its Non-Fungible Tokens Marketplace.
  • Advised Hang Seng Bank on various of their FinTech, Web 3 and Non-Fungible Tokens / virtual assets initiatives.

DLA Piper

Praised for its ‘expertise in virtual assets and cryptocurrencies’, DLA Piper is geared to assist in the launching of new fintech platforms and virtual asset exchanges. Tokenisation matters, strategic partnerships and SFC licensing work are additional areas of activity. In Hong Kong, Kristi Swartz‘s varied portfolio of work extends to advice on digital assets, stablecoins, and payments. Swartz’s Hong Kong colleague, associate Winson Lau, is equipped to advise centralized and decentralized participants in the Web3 ecosystem on token issuance structures and distribution mechanisms, as well as the establishment of legal wrappers for DAOs.

Practice head(s):

Kristi Swartz

Other key lawyers:

Winson Lau


‘From the very first interaction, it was evident that DLA Piper operates at a very high level of professionalism and expertise.’

‘Kristi Swartz is a highly skilled and dedicated professional in the realm of corporate law.’

‘The team has a strong international network of contacts, including lawyers, regulators, and industry experts. Expertise in virtual assets and cryptocurrencies regulations abounds.’

‘Kristi Swartz is great, very responsive, and has a track record of advising clients on a wide range of virtual asset and cryptocurrency-related issues, such as regulatory compliance, token sales, initial coin offerings (ICOs), and security token offerings (STOs).’

Key clients

Dubai Virtual Assets Regulatory Authority (VARA)

SoFi Securities (Hong Kong) Limited

LORA Technologies Limited

MOBOX Digital Co., Limited

AngelHub Limited

Magpie Securities Limited

TOKO Limited

Work highlights

  • Advising Dubai Virtual Assets Regulatory Authority (VARA) as its exclusive global legal advisor on the creation of Dubai’s virtual asset specific regulatory framework.
  • TOKO is a tokenization platform that works closely with DLA Piper on various tokenisation matters.
  • Advising MOBOX Digital Co., Limited, a gaming platform that combines yield farming via decentralised finance protocols and issuance, lending and exchange of NFTs to create a free-to-play and play-to-earn ecosystem.

Latham & Watkins LLP

Emerging fintech companies, traditional financial institutions, venture capitalists and web3 ecosystem participants trust Latham & Watkins LLP to handle mandates ranging from NFT platform launches, to payments service agreements, to global cybersecurity compliance programmes. Simon Hawkins, who leads both the firm’s Asia and global fintech industry groups, frequently advises on regulatory implications of blockchain and distributed ledger technology. Farhana Sharmeen, who operates from the firm’s Singapore office, is another key contact. Kieran Donovan has since left the practice.

Practice head(s):

Simon Hawkins

Other key lawyers:

Farhana Sharmeen

Key clients



Ribbit Capital

South China Morning Post

Madison Dearborn Partners



Morrison Foerster

Morrison & Foerster pulls together a strong offering in strategic corporate-commercial and technology transactions in the fintech and e-commerce sector. IPOs, acquisitions, and advice on the expansion of blockchain and crypto-driven financial products into multiple jurisdictions are additional sweet spots for the firm’s fintech group. The Hong Kong-based Thomas Chou co-chairs the practice and is a key contact for fundraisings. In Shanghai, fellow practice co-chairs Paul McKenzie and Chuan Sun add to the transactional expertise at the firm, with the latter a key contact for Chinese companies conducting outbound transactions. Gordon Milner, who divides his time between Hong Kong and Singapore, completes the leadership team. Milner leverages his longstanding experience in the space to advise on matters ranging from digital currencies to technology transactions.

Practice head(s):

Thomas Chou; Paul McKenzie; Chuan Sun; Gordon Milner

Key clients

Alibaba Group

Work highlights

  • Advised Alpha Fintech, a next-gen payments technology company, in its acquisition by PPRO.
  • Represented Roblox in the structuring and establishment of its joint venture with Tencent (Luobu), and the launch and ongoing operations of the Roblox platform.

Stephenson Harwood

Praised for its ‘strong knowledge in regulatory compliance and fintech mandates’, Stephenson Harwood‘s Hong Kong-based team is a popular destination for banks, virtual banks, money services operators, and other players connected to the fintech space. Practice head Katherine Liu has broad experience extending to crowdfunding, regulatory compliance and employment issues in the fintech sector. Anna Kwong brings her knowledge of international trade finance and commercial banking to bear on a wide range of fintech mandates. Teresa Tsoi is another name to note.

Practice head(s):

Katherine Liu

Other key lawyers:

Penelope Shen; Anna Kwong; Teresa Tsoi; James Wong; Anthony Wong; Phoebe Cheng


‘The team has strong knowledge and practice experience in regulatory compliance and fintech mandates.’

‘The partner Katherine Liu is very experienced and sophisticated in legal knowledge and strong commercial sense as well.’

Key clients

Airstar Bank Limited

Airwallex (Hong Kong) Limited

Ant Group Co., Ltd.

China Construction Bank (Asia) Corporation Limited

Endowus HK Limited

Futu Securities International (Hong Kong) Limited

Futu Lending Limited

HKT Flexi Limited

OnePlatform Asset Management Limited

PrimeCredit Limited

WeLend Limited