Dispute resolution: international arbitration in Hong Kong

Allen & Overy

At Allen & Overy, the team is representing two energy companies as claimants in an arbitration commenced against the government of India, concerning disputes arising from production sharing contracts pertaining to oil and gas fields. Practice head Matthew Gearing QC has extensive experience handling investment treaty and commercial disputes. Matthew Hodgson is noted for his expertise in handling disputes for clients in the construction, energy and infrastructure sectors.

Practice head(s):

Matthew Gearing QC

Other key lawyers:

Matthew Hodgson

Herbert Smith Freehills

At Herbert Smith Freehills, the 'organised' team is representing Malaysian telecoms company Axiata in arbitration proceedings brought against the Nepalese government, concerning a tax dispute arising from an investment treaty. Simon Chapman QC (appointed to silk in England and Wales in March 2020) leads the practice. Justin D’Agostino, May Tai, and Kathryn Sanger, who has expertise in advising on M&A and joint venture disputes, are names to note.  

Practice head(s):

Simon Chapman QC

Testimonials

The quality of the legal advice is high while the advice is practical, both at a strategic and tactical level‘.

 

Key clients

Addax

Axiata

SIPC

Clifford Chance

Clifford Chance's 'excellent' team garners praise for providing 'practical advice, and understands the needs of clients inside and out'. The practice has established expertise in handling private equity-related disputes, and is well versed in acting for clients drawn from the finance, technology, and aviation sectors in complex, often cross-border disputes. The 'very bright and personable' Cameron Hassall (who splits his time between Sydney and Hong Kong) leads the team. The 'assertive' Thomas Walsh and senior associate Tania Tse ('a rising star') are also singled out.

Practice head(s):

Cameron Hassall

Other key lawyers:

Thomas Walsh; Tania Tse

Testimonials

Very pragmatic and commercial, explains complex arguments clearly and concisely‘.

Just excellent – creative, assertive, and outcome-oriented‘.

Cameron Hassall is always well prepared‘.

 

Work highlights

  • Representing four private equity funds as claimants in arbitration proceedings and Vietnamese civil and criminal proceedings relating to alleged fraud following the clients’ investment into a group of companies in Vietnam.
  • Acting for a private equity firm in a $21.8m dispute arising from a private equity investment in the Indian engineering sector.

Latham & Watkins LLP

Latham & Watkins LLP's practice, led by the 'excellent arbitration practitioner' Ing Loong Yang, houses a 'diligent' team, which successfully represented Pegatron Corporation in an arbitration against a Swiss and a Canadian company regarding a dispute over the design and manufacture of a commercial product. Associates Tina Wang, Sam Wong and Andrew Halliwell are other key names.

Practice head(s):

Ing Loong Yang

Other key lawyers:

Tina Wang; Sam Wong; Andrew Halliwell

Testimonials

Very responsive‘.

Key clients

Glory Empire Global

Shenzhen Yihua Computer

Pegatron Corporation

Lansha Information Technology (Shanghai)

Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP

Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP's team is led by Rory McAlpine, 'a master strategist, calm, very hard-working, and charming'. The group counts private equity-related arbitrations as a key area of instruction, and reports an increase in disputes from the construction sector, and a rise in cross-border insolvency-related disputes. The 'astute' counsel Wilfred Ho is a name to note.

Practice head(s):

Rory McAlpine

Other key lawyers:

Wilfred Ho

Testimonials

Rory McAlpine demonstrates great leadership‘.

Deacons

Deacons counts construction sector matters as a core pillar of strength. Joseph Kwan leads the 'very "hands-on"' team; key names to note are the 'very hard-working and diligent' Joseph Chung; Kwok Kit Cheung, who represents contractors, subcontractors and developers in arbitrations; commercial disputes expert Robert Clark; and the 'very personable and enthusiastic' Justin Yuen.

Practice head(s):

Joseph Kwan

Testimonials

The team is very personable and approachable‘.

Justin Yuen – young bright lawyer with a great future. Good with clients and very personable and enthusiastic. Hard-worker and knowledgeable in his field‘.

Dentons Hong Kong

Dentons Hong Kong's practice houses 'a top class team that is always able to produce excellent work for their clients'. Recent work for the group includes handling disputes for clients from the retail, technology, aviation, telecoms, and financial services sectors. Keith Brandt leads the team; Robert Rhoda has extensive experience in commercial and contractual-related disputes; and Richard Keady is 'smart, pragmatic, and thorough, an expert in his field and very responsive to client needs'.

Practice head(s):

Keith Brandt

Other key lawyers:

Robert Rhoda; Richard Keady

Testimonials

Richard Keady stands out as being a partner who is very much hands on and is extremely approachable. One of his strengths is being able to see the broader picture‘.

 

Key clients

Abercrombie & Fitch

Akbank

BASF

beIN Media Group

Breakaway Private Equity Fund

Work highlights

  • Defending a Chinese coal products company in HKIAC arbitration proceedings concerning the enforcement and payment of an alleged $23m settlement agreement arising from previous arbitrations.
  • Acting for Breakaway Private Equity Fund in HKIAC proceedings relating to a shareholder dispute over the operation of a bauxite mining business.

Hogan Lovells

The arbitration practice at Hogan Lovells is well versed in handling arbitrations regarding financial services, construction, energy, engineering and leisure sector disputes, to name a few areas of strength for the team. Timothy Hill is well known for his expertise in engineering-related disputes; he shares leadership of the practice with James Kwan. Senior associate Zoe Dong is also singled out.

Practice head(s):

Timothy Hill; James Kwan

Other key lawyers:

Zoe Dong

King & Wood Mallesons

Paul Starr leads the team at King & Wood Mallesons. The practice is widely recognised for its expertise in assisting Chinese state-owned enterprises with construction and infrastructure-related arbitrations. Key names include Edmund Wan, who is very experienced in handling commercial and construction-related disputes, and Barbara Chiu, who is noted for acting in directors and shareholders' disputes.

Practice head(s):

Paul Starr

Other key lawyers:

Barbara Chiu; Edmund Wan

Mayer Brown

Menachem Hasofer shares leadership of Mayer Brown's practice with John Hickin and Singapore-based Yu-Jin Tay. The practice counts contentious work in the construction sector as a core strength, and has also been handling disputes for clients from the energy sector. Thomas So is very experienced in handling shareholders' disputes.

Other key lawyers:

Thomas So

Norton Rose Fulbright

Construction sector disputes are prominent in the team's workload at Norton Rose Fulbright. The group is also noted for providing 'sound advice' on infrastructure-related work, often involving international clients. Camille Jojo leads the practice. Key names include the 'very professional' Alfred Wu and consultant Philip Nunn.

Practice head(s):

Camille Jojo

Other key lawyers:

Alfred Wu; Philip Nunn

Testimonials

Very friendly, personal and most importantly professional approach‘.

They are attentive to details and provide prompt advice for difficult situations‘.

 

Work highlights

  • Representing a construction and engineering contractor in arbitration proceedings relating to contractual disputes concerning the redevelopment of a residential development in Hong Kong.

Shearman & Sterling

Shearman & Sterling's 'professional' team continues to represent the Republic of China in an ongoing ICSID arbitration brought against the client by German company Hela Schwarz, under the China-Germany bilateral investment treaty. Practice head Nils Eliasson (who operates out of the firm's Beijing and Hong Kong offices) is noted for his expertise in investment and commercial disputes. Hong Kong-based associate Kitty Zheng is also a key contact.

Practice head(s):

Nils Eliasson

Other key lawyers:

Kitty Zheng

Key clients

The People’s Republic of China

CMS

At CMS, Nicolas Wiegand leads the arbitration practice. Arbitrations regarding investment and shipping disputes are core strengths of the practice; Mariel Dimsey is well versed in the former area, and is equally adept at advising on commercial-related disputes. Andrew Horton is a key contact for shipping-related disputes. In April 2020 Sherlin Tung joined Withers as partner.

Practice head(s):

Nicolas Wiegand

Other key lawyers:

Mariel Dimsey; Andrew Horton

Testimonials

Extremely diligent, quick thinkers, hands-on, provide effective solutions‘.

Nicolas Wiegand – smart lawyer, strategic thinker‘.

Fangda Partners

The arbitration practice at Fangda Partners is led by Peter Yuen. Mining, oil and gas, financial services, and shipping-related disputes have been prominent in the team's recent workload. Also of note, Olga Boltenko is a key contact in the department for investment arbitration. Counsel Matthew Townsend is also singled out.

Practice head(s):

Peter Yuen

Other key lawyers:

Olga Boltenko; Matthew Townsend

Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan, LLP

Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan, LLP's practice is jointly led by John Rhie and Duncan Watson. The team is acting as co-counsel to the Schindler Group and Schindler Management AG in an ongoing $300m arbitration against the South Korean government, regarding a dispute arising from an investment treaty. Intellectual property and technology sector disputes are other key areas of instruction for the group.

Practice head(s):

John Rhie; Duncan Watson

Key clients

Schindler Group

Reed Smith Richards Butler

Reed Smith Richards Butler's team 'is impressive in its experience in a range of areas of commercial disputes' and provides 'good, realistic advice'. The group also counts shipping, commodities and energy sector disputes as core areas of instruction. Lianjun Li  is noted for his expertise in advising on shipping matters; he jointly heads the practice with Asha Sharma , who provides 'realistic and solid advice' on commercial and contractual-related matters. Stephen Chan and counsel Donald Sham are 'very impressive, very professional, and very responsive'.

Practice head(s):

Lianjun Li; Asha Sharma

Other key lawyers:

Stephen Chan; Donald Sham

Testimonials

Unique in-depth understanding in serving mainland Chinese clients, especially with state-owned entities, in their cross-border commercial dealings with foreign entities‘.

The team provides prompt and incisive legal advice‘.

Donald Sham is very familiar with arbitration and litigation procedure and provides clear and commercial advice‘.

 

RPC

RPC's 'responsive, considerate and very diligent' team is led by Charles Allen. The practice has been kept busy of late handling disputes for clients from the construction, telecoms and technology sectors. Jonathan Crompton is well versed in handling disputes concerning the financial services sector

Practice head(s):

Charles Allen

Other key lawyers:

Jonathan Crompton