Next Generation Partners

Firms To Watch: Dispute resolution: litigation

Kwok Yih & Chan has a solid track record in handling commercial disputes, regulatory investigations, cross-border insolvency matters, and construction disputes.

Dispute resolution: litigation in Hong Kong

Herbert Smith Freehills

The commercial litigation department at Herbert Smith Freehills is recommended for providing ‘sound practical advice’ to clients in the financial services and banking sectors; in line with this, practice head Gareth Thomas counts banks such as UBS and DBS Bank among his notable clients. Apart from its ability to handle a full scope of corporate and commercial disputes, the team is also adept at handling the various stages of arbitration proceedings, and corporate crime investigations. Cross-disciplinary work is also facilitated through close collaboration with the firm’s specialists in restructuring, insurance and employment law, and this breadth of expertise allows it to also handle mandates for private clients. Recently promoted partner Jojo Fan is praised for being ‘superbly client-oriented and knowledgeable’. Rachael Shek re-joined the team in January 2022. Since publication, Dominic Geiser departed to Latham & Watkins LLP in August 2022.

Practice head(s):

Gareth Thomas

Other key lawyers:

Jojo Fan; Rachael Shek

Testimonials

‘The team is very responsive and can provide timely and commercial solutions.’

‘Herbert Smith Freehills Hong Kong is one of our go-to firms for litigation matters, providing sound practical advice and strategies to defend our bank on all contentious matters.’

‘Jojo Fan both is superbly client-oriented and knowledgeable; always ready to help at all hours.’

Key clients

Bank Julius Baer & Co. Ltd.

Bank of China International Limited /Boci Securities Limited

BYD Company Limited

Credit Suisse

Collins Aerospace

DBS Bank, Hong Kong Branch

Essilor International SAS and its subsidiary, Essilor Manufacturing (Thailand) Co. Ltd.

Members of the Lo Family

PCCW Solutions Limited

The Law Society of Hong Kong

The estate of Mr Liu Cheng Chan, Chik Sau Kam and Liu Por

Toll Group

Town Health Corporate Advisory and Investments Limited

UBS AG

Work highlights

  • Successfully defended DBS Bank in a substantial High Court action brought by Cosimo Borrelli and G. Jacqueline Fangonil Walsh, the liquidators of Galleria (Hong Kong) Limited.
  • Secured several disclosure orders from the Hong Kong Courts in connection with a substantial fraud totalling over $210m, involving applications for disclosure orders against various banks, proprietary and Mareva injunctions, complex asset-tracing and recovery actions, against 90 defendants.
  • Represented UBS AG and UBS Europe SE in defending proceedings commenced by the liquidators of China Metal Recycling (Holdings) Limited (China Metal) in the Court of First Instance in respect of potential liabilities of over HK$4bn arising out of its sponsorship work for the IPO of China Metal Recycling (Holdings).

Allen & Overy

Allen & Overy stands out for its deep offering in litigation within the financial services and banking industries. Department head Matt Bower is a key name to note due to his extensive experience of handling disputes relating to syndicated lending, asset management and derivatives issues. Noted for his fluency in Mandarin and Cantonese as well as his qualifications from the UK, Fai Hung Cheung is also adept at assisting multiple Chinese and global banks. Further, for mandates relating to mainland China, the practice also benefits from its joint operation with Lang Yue Law Firm, which recently expanded its PRC offering through the appointment of litigation head Melody Wang; in terms of on-the-ground Greater China litigation capabilities, Eugene Chen is among the firm’s most noteworthy figures.

Practice head(s):

Matt Bower

Work highlights

  • Acting for the subsidiary of a Hong Kong-listed company in the financial services sector in a dispute against a Chinese investor for payments due under a total return swap transaction.
  • Advising a state-owned enterprise on its litigation strategy in connection with the realisation of its stake in a significant and high-profile private equity investment fund.
  • Acting for an APAC-based private equity fund in devising and executing a multi-jurisdictional recovery and refinancing strategy, for a $250m exposure; pursuing legal proceedings in Hong Kong, mainland China and the Cayman Islands.

Baker McKenzie

Baker McKenzie’s ‘extremely diligent’ team handles a wide range of corporate and shareholder disputes, restructuring and insolvency issues, and contentious regulatory matters, among others. The team draws on the expertise of its counterpart in China and across the globe; it also routinely collaborates with the firm’s transactional experts. Its sector-specific expertise is varied, covering industries ranging from healthcare and life sciences, to technology and financial services. Cynthia Tang is ‘able to convince the most difficult of persons within an organisation’ and leads the department, where Gary Seib, Roberta Chan and Kwun Yee Cheung are key practitioners and Bryan Ng and Jannice Lau are also recommended by the market. In mid-2020, there were two departures in the team: Paul Teo is now at Mayer Brown’s office in Singapore, while Anthony Poon retired.

Practice head(s):

Cynthia Tang

Testimonials

‘The team is diverse and of good chemistry between the seniors and the juniors. They are responsive and there is a level of autonomy given to the juniors.’

‘Baker & McKenzie’s team is extremely diligent, and work very well even under time pressure.’

‘An excellent team that is highly knowledgeable on the law and works extremely hard in clients’ interests. In particular, they have the capacity and experience to handle very large litigation matters with excellent support for barristers.’

‘Cynthia Tang is very practical and able to convince the most difficult of persons within an organisation.’

‘Jannice Lau is always reliable and very diligent. When she gives me instructions or her views, I always have confidence in what she is telling me.’

‘I have a longstanding working relationship with Mr. Bryan Ng. Bryan is a very direct, candid and practical working partner. I am very impressed by his litigation strategy – he always manages to secure the highest risk-reward ratio in favour of his clients. His sensible advice has earned him and his team a very high reputation in Hong Kong.’

‘I have worked a great deal with Jannice Lau and Bryan Ng. Each of them is a first-rate lawyer and are both efficient and client orientated. They inspire confidence in the clients and also offer excellent litigation support.’

Key clients

Haitong International Securities Company Limited

Tongfang Kontafarma Holdings Ltd.

National United Resources Holdings Limited

MUFG Bank

EFG Bank AG

China Merchants Group

KPMG

Work highlights

  • Acting for Chinaculture in a derivative action against certain directors of CNT for breaches in directors’ duties during the process of spinning-off CNT’s paint business and to allow CNT’s paint business to be spun-off at an undervalue to the detriment of CNT’s shareholders, including Chinaculture.

Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP

Praised for being ‘a dedicated team with a commercial approach’, Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP represents a mix of clients ranging from individual and corporate clients to large financial institutions. The team’s varied workload demonstrates a strength not only in commercial litigation, but also contentious issues relating to arbitral and regulatory proceedings. Securities litigation is also an area of recent uptick, for which the group collaborates closely with its colleagues in the US. The department is also regularly engaged on risk management and strategy-related matters relating to corporate deals and due diligence assignments; in this regard, it acts alongside the firm’s corporate law specialists. The practice is spearheaded by Martin Rogers, James Wadham, Patrick Sinclair and Karen Chan.

Testimonials

‘Dedicated team with a commercial approach. You feel that you will be in safe hands, particularly with bet-the-firm type litigation.’      

‘Martin Rogers is well respected and highly versatile. His experience is second to none.’

Gibson Dunn

Benefitting from the firm’s wider global network, Gibson Dunn’s ‘hardworking and meticulous’ litigation practice is regularly instructed by large financial institutions, companies and high-net-worth individuals in litigation relating to commercial and civil, private wealth, tax and employment law issues. Noted for its strength in regulatory and competition disputes, the team often collaborates with the firm’s growing compliance and investigations as well as competition groups. Elaine Chen and Brian Gilchrist sit jointly at the helm of a department benefitting their clients with their ‘impressive experience and expertise’, with the duo being singled out as ‘first-class’. Of counsel Alex Wong is another name to note.

Practice head(s):

Elaine Chen; Brian Gilchrist

Other key lawyers:

Alex Wong

Testimonials

‘Brian Gilchrist is simply the best private client/trusts commercial litigator in Hong Kong. His experience, judgment and strategy are unparalleled in my experience. He is always assisted by the most able, conscientious and hard-working of Hong Kong associates, who never seem to sleep. Service is exceptional. I cannot recommend too highly. I would not hesitate to instruct Brian and his team if I had need to do so, and would recommend them without reservation to anyone who asked.’

‘They have two formidable partners in charge of litigation with whom I have previously worked: Mr Brian Gilchrist and Ms Elaine Chen. Both of them are first-class.’

‘Very good team of lawyers. Hardworking and meticulous.’

‘High-quality team with impressive experience and expertise.’ 

‘Brian Gilchrist is exceptional in his experience and approach in handling litigation matters. Both counsel and clients value his opinions.’

‘Elaine Chen is highly practical and offers insightful advice to the clients.’

‘Brian Gilchrist; Elaine Chen – unrivalled experience and judgment.’

King & Wood Mallesons

King & Wood Mallesons has a ‘highly resourceful‘ dispute resolution team, headed up by ‘best in the region’ Paul Starr. It has a strong track record in infrastructure and construction-related cases, with a recent rise in complex financial litigation concerning restructurings, asset management and shareholder agreements. Elsewhere, Peter Bullock specialises in IT and telecoms, being well-versed in digital economy and cyber security cases; Barbara Chiu has cross-border expertise and handles loan enforcements, as well as breaches of trust and fiduciary duties work; Edmund Wan and Crystal Luk are other key contacts.

Practice head(s):

Paul Starr

Testimonials

‘Good client empathy and sounds legal strategy, with a good team in support. The best in Hong Kong.’

‘Paul Starr is the best in the region. Edmund Wan has a great practice in the domestic market. Donovan Ferguson is a future market-leader.’

‘Large team with wide expertise. Unrivalled access to high-quality PRC legal advice and services.’

‘The firm is highly resourceful with dedicated team members. It has an outstanding ability to respond to clients’ questions in an efficient and well-considered manner. Barbara Chiu, Alex Cheng and Nicole Hou are highly effective lawyers. The cases are well managed with a thorough understanding of the issues involved. This is a team that is always responsive to clients’ needs, and always able to render effective advice and solutions. Overall, an outstanding team.’

‘Professional, attentive and top-quality.’

The lawyers are experienced in cross-border disputes.’

Rachel Yu is an excellent professional lawyer with rich business experience and patience.’

Key clients

Shandong Chenming Paper Holdings Limited

Everwin Enterprise (Hong Kong) Limited; Thaihot Investment (Bermuda) Company Limited

Hong Kong Competition Commission

Incitec Pivot Holdings (Hong Kong) Limited

China Huarong Macau (Hong Kong) Investment Holdings Limited

FTI Consulting Limited

QFI Limited

Bank of Communications Trustee Limited

Ping An Property & Casualty Insurance Company of China Ltd

Million Base Properties Limited; Million Basis Property Limited

Poon Cho-ming, John

Clifford Chance

The ‘commercially sound’ litigation team at Clifford Chance is most active in the financial sector, with a range of domestic and international clients. Recent work has involved joint venture exits, breaches of fiduciary duties and insurance fraud, with Edward Johnson also defending a major oil company in a precedent-setting matter before the Competition Tribunal over alleged price-fixing agreements. Practice head Ling Ho has an IP and tech-related focus, while also acting for high-net-worth individuals managing assets including global real estate.

Practice head(s):

Ling Ho

Other key lawyers:

Edward Johnson

Testimonials

‘Good knowledge of underlying products, commercially sound, technically strong, ability to field a bilingual team and also exhibit flexibility on pricing.’

‘William Wong has been a standout: he is commercially astute, technically sound and extremely responsive.’

The firm has good teamwork, their internal promotion and cooperation are impressive. Partners are professional and dedicated. They are willing to consider client demands in billing‘.

William Wong is meticulous, professional, thoughtful and willing to listen and consider client needs.’

Deacons

Clients appreciate the attention-to-detail’ and ‘strategic thinking’ on offer at Deacons, which handles shareholder or matrimonial disputes, as well as others relating to professional indemnity and, in one instance, the management rights of professional snooker player Marco Fu. Practice head Joseph Kwan and Paul Kwan regularly act in high-profile litigation for listed companies and government entities; KK Cheung is praised for his ‘skilful execution’ on construction-related mandates, while Carmen Ng and associate Michelle Li are also highly active. Sherlynn Gaye Chan arrived from Stevenson, Wong & Co following Robert Clark‘s departure in March 2021.

Practice head(s):

Joseph Kwan

Other key lawyers:

Carmen Ng; Paul Kwan; Michelle Li

Testimonials

‘Deacons is a reputable dispute resolution firm in Hong Kong. It has a wealth of talents covering many different areas of practice. The teams with whom I have worked are very dedicated to their jobs and are able to produce works of very good quality.’

‘Both Richard Hudson and Judy Wu are very responsible and immensely sensible in handling our case.’

‘A stellar team with highly specialist advice and cost-efficient. Quality legal advice minus the haughty lawyers’ proviso’s and reservations. The team is commercial, practical, and responsive. Very good attention-to-detail and thorough.’

‘Paul Kwan is responsive and always able to provide practical and accurate advice at a very reasonable fee.’

‘Deacons’ commercial litigation team is experienced, practical and efficient in handling all sorts of contentious matters that a client may face.’

‘Paul Kwan is highly recommended for commercial contentious and compliance matters, whose knowledge in the fields, combined with his resourcefulness, provide great comfort to clients who may have needs in litigation matters.’

‘The team under KK Cheung is a very dedicated team. Comprehensive and strategic advice and skilful execution. Speaking from the perspective of counsel, the team is always able to deliver great support in all aspects of the litigation.’

‘KK Cheung and his team are knowledgeable in commercial litigation, with strategic thinking and attention-to-detail.’

Key clients

Independent Police Complaints Council

Mr. Derek Chiu

Zhang Caikui

Hummingbird Music Ltd

DP World Djibouti FZCO

Fu Ka Chun Marco

Gold Brilliant Investment Limited (a subsidiary of Goldin Financial Holdings Limited

Paul Chan Po-Man and Frieda Hui

Law Society of Hong Kong

Yuanta Securities (Hong Kong) Company Limited

Work highlights

  • Acting for shareholder Zhang Cai Kui in a very complex multibillion-dollar shareholders’ dispute, which has generated numerous sets of proceedings in Hong Kong.
  • Obtained summary judgment for effectively HK$134 million on behalf of Yuanta Securities (Hong Kong) Company Limited against an Account Executive (working as Independent Consultant) under a guarantee, guaranteeing to bear responsibility for all losses Yuanta may sustain by reason of insufficient margin – the first time that a guarantee of this nature has been enforced against an Independent Consultant in favour of a securities brokerage company.
  • Acting for DP World Djibouti FZCO and two other plaintiffs in Hong Kong’s first court case involving a Chinese belt and road project and involving claims for procuring/inducing the breach of DP World’s exclusive multibillion-dollar port concession agreement with Djibouti.

Debevoise & Plimpton LLP

Debevoise & Plimpton LLP‘s litigation practice provides ‘a first-class service‘ to various financial institutions, private equity firms, investment banks and high-net-worth individuals – on contentious mandates, often with a cross-border element. Department heads Mark Johnson and Gareth Hughes specialise in commercial disputes involving white-collar crime and regulatory elements, with recent cases ranging from internal investigations regarding financial malpractice to whistleblowing complaints against senior-level staff. Senior associates Emily Austin and Allison Lau are further key contacts.

Practice head(s):

Mark Johnson; Gareth Hughes

Other key lawyers:

Emily AustinAllison Lau

Testimonials

‘The team is excellent; very astute and diligent. They provide a first-class service.’

‘Mark Johnson and Cameron Sim are the stand-out star

‘The team collaborates well and is diverse.’

‘Gareth Hughes is able to articulate very well and in a calm and collected manner.’

DLA Piper

The DLA Piper litigation and regulatory team is ‘able to deploy sufficient resources round the clock’ when advising on shareholder disputes and during regulatory investigations. Department head Kevin Chan and ‘pragmatic and seasoned litigator‘ Harris Chan count large Asian banks and international names from the financial services, energy, retail and construction sectors on their client roster. Support comes from Satpal Gobindpuri, particularly on corporate matters stretching overseas, with insurance coverage and product liability other firm-wide areas of focus in this domain.

Practice head(s):

Kevin Chan

Other key lawyers:

Harris Chan; Satpal Gobindpuri

Testimonials

‘The team is dedicated and provides adequately professional legal advice to enable the client to make timely decisions, so as to create value.’

‘Harris Chan (partner) and Sandy Au (of counsel) have extensive experience in HK litigation/disputes and understand the client’s needs very well. They provide valuable advices and solutions to the client. In addition, their services are value for money with a great flexibility in payment terms.’

‘The DLA Piper team is extremely responsive and able to deploy sufficient resources round the clock at a moment’s notice. The team is extremely clinical in what they do and they are not afraid to go the extra mile should it be required. Not only is the team able to deliver proficient advice and work, but they are also able to assess the bigger picture for us clients commercially. All in all, they are flexible, approachable and efficient.’

‘Harris Chan, KC Tai and Desmond Cheung are all extremely capable and eloquent lawyers who are at the top of their game.’

‘In particular, 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.’

‘KC Tai is another key to the team. Business acumen comes naturally to him and he is supremely well versed in court proceedings and various applications. KC is extremely easy to work with and his communication and problem-solving skills come second to his technical knowledge with the law.’

‘Desmond Cheung is diligent and hard-working. He is able to turn around work efficiently and effectively and comprehend complex legal problems quickly.’

Satpal Gobindpuri leads a very experienced and knowledgeable team in Hong Kong who has provided us with not only advice from a legal perspective, but also counsel from a practical and commercial perspective. This has been critical for us when it came to making decisions as to how to resolve a dispute with a former client.’

HFW

At HFW, the litigation department’s caseload typically involves high-value fraud, investment and probate disputes, along with maritime litigation. In a recent case of note, George Lamplough led for Bright Shipping Limited – the owners of oil tanker Sanchi which collided with CF Crystal in January 2018 – to determine exact liability and jurisdiction. Practice head Noel Campbell is ‘commercially savvy‘ and a ‘formidable global litigator‘, while Guy Hardaker offers ‘tailored and practical‘ advice on international trade mandates. Trevor Fox departed in May 2021, and commercial litigator Karen Cheung joined from Hong Kong law firm Li & Partners in September 2021.

Practice head(s):

Noel Campbell

Testimonials

‘Guy Hardaker knows our business and how we like to operate, his advice is tailored and practical and aimed at helping us achieve our commercial objectives.’

Noel Campbell is a formidable global litigator. Immensely experienced, very commercially savvy, and a real fighter. A major plus for any client.

‘Noel Campbell is very experienced and combines excellent client relationships and team management with outstanding strategic overview and also attention-to-detail.’

Simon Jerrum is an excellent litigation partner in London, who is able to manage a case very effectively and keep the larger perspective in view whilst dealing with the myriad of day-to-day issues. For a big case that needs all these boxes ticked, they are go-to people.’

Key clients

ANZ Commodity Trading Pty Ltd

CLP Power Hong Kong Limited

Bright Shipping Limited (Owners of SANCHI)

Grant Thornton – The Liquidators of Centaur Litigation SPC

Al Baraka Banking Group B.S.C

Grey Reach Investment Limited

Blink Limited (in liquidation)

Work highlights

  • Representing ANZ in coordinating the tracing and recovery efforts following a $300m metals fraud involving non-authentic warehouse receipts.
  • Instructed by the Owners and P&I insurers of oil tanker SANCHI, following its 2018 collision with bulk carrier CF Crystal while carrying 136,000 tonnes of condensate to South Korea.
  • Advised and acted for Grant Thornton as liquidators in proceedings brought by a Cayman company in liquidation against a Hong Kong company, through whom the proceeds of a Ponzi scheme investment fraud were disbursed, with a claim for breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duty and negligence.

Hogan Lovells

Hogan Lovells offers ‘an outstanding team of experienced professionals globally‘ to provide a well-rounded litigation service to liquidators and clients from the transport and multimedia sectors. Hong Kong department head and insolvency specialist Chris Dobby ‘combines extensive legal knowledge with an exceptional grasp of commercial realities‘, while Mark Lin provides regulatory expertise and is experienced in obtaining High Court injunctions. Antonia Croke, who moved over from the London office in early 2020, widens the practice depth to include corporate and shareholder disputes and Byron Phillips  is a key team member with broad litigation expertise who is also a member of the firm's global crisis management practice. 

Practice head(s):

Chris Dobby

Other key lawyers:

Mark Lin; Antonia Croke; Byron Phillips

Testimonials

‘Hogan Lovells has an outstanding team of experienced professionals globally, seamlessly working together to deliver an outstanding service. Many firms talk about their teams in different offices working together for their client’s best interests, Hogan Lovells is one of the very few that genuinely delivers on that claim.’

‘Chris Dobby combines extensive legal knowledge with an exceptional grasp of commercial realities rarely found in the legal world. This enables him to provide genuinely thoughtful, helpful and constructive advice that goes well beyond the mere legal issues at hand but extends to the surrounding issues of the matter and the related client decision making process.’

‘The people are great: friendly, determined to get a good result and easy to deal with.’

‘Antonia Croke is remarkable in her ability to keep everything on track, push through obstacles and keep the whole team happy in the process.’

‘The litigation/corporate crime team is excellent.’

‘Byron Phillips is a great attorney, but a better human. I want to underscore this second quality, because it is frequently missing.’

‘Mark Lin is very responsive and knowledgeable.’

Key clients

Roderick Sutton and Vincent Fok of FTI Consulting

Borrelli Walsh

MTR Corporation

The Hong Kong Airport Authority

Television Broadcasts

Linklaters

Linklaters‘ dispute resolution team counts large corporates, leading banks and government bodies on its client roster, with a case load of commercial matters ranging from complex contractual interpretation cases to big-ticket financial litigation. Overseen by Singapore-based Jelita Pandjaitan, work on the ground in Hong Kong is led by Melvin Sng, who specialises in advising state-owned enterprises through regulatory investigations, and Justin Tang, a ‘strategic thinker‘ for whom shareholder disputes and insolvency-related proceedings are focus areas. The firm is able to leverage its cross-border expertise with lawyers supporting from China, Europe, and London.

Practice head(s):

Jelita Pandjaitan

Other key lawyers:

Melvin Sng; Justin Tang

Testimonials

‘Linklaters is no doubt a prestigious law firm with a exceptionally strong and experienced dispute resolution team which gives us confidence and effective legal risk management. Their team provides full range of dispute resolution service with expertise advice and practical solutions and effective strategies and runs the cases efficiently and serves the best interests of the clients.’

‘We would unreservedly recommend Mr Justin Tang of Linklaters who is very intelligent and expert in advising and managing various kind of dispute resolution cases on our behalf and his professional advice and practical tactics are well received and we are very satisfied with his outstanding performance which much safeguard our interests.’

‘Good expertise and experience in court litigation and arbitration proceedings.’

‘Mr Justin Tang has good knowledge of HK law, court procedures and also a strategic thinker.’

Key clients

UBS AG

Nan Hai Corporation

KPMG

Jardine Matheson

HSBC

Hang Seng Bank

Shanghai Industrial Holdings Limited

J.P. Morgan

Ernst & Young

Citibank

Blackrock

CCB International

Ping An Securities

Societe Generale

FTI Consulting

Work highlights

  • Representing the Bank of East Asia in defending dishonest assistance and knowing receipt claims brought by the liquidators of China Medical Technologies.

Mayer Brown

Mayer Brown relies upon its local, as well as the firm’s global, expertise in commercial, financial and property litigation; this allows the team to act in cross-border disputes across multiple Asian jurisdictions. Particularly highly experienced in multi-jurisdictional work is John Hickin, who also leads the global litigation practice. Drawing on his prior experience as a Deputy High Court Judge, senior consultant Nicholas Hunsworth is a key contact for insolvency litigation in the financial services sector.

Practice head(s):

John Hickin

Key clients

MTR Corporation Limited

Eton Properties Group

GAW Capital

Wynn China

Work highlights

  • Acted for MTR Corporation Limited in the Commission of Inquiry into the Construction Works at and near the Hung Hom Station Extension under the Shatin to Central Link Project.

Norton Rose Fulbright

Clients laud Norton Rose Fulbright as ‘the go-to firm for the most complicated commercial disputes’. Apart from its general commercial litigation credentials, the practice handles a broad scope of issues relating to contractual, insolvency, real estate and IP issues, among others. The team is also distinguished by its offering in the financial and family disputes realms. Qualified in both the UK and Hong Kong, the highly regarded Camille Jojo leads the practice, where Alfred Wu is also noted. Kevin Hong is another key contact, while consultant Declan McDaid relocated to London in June 2020.

Practice head(s):

Camille Jojo

Other key lawyers:

Alfred Wu; Kevin Hong

Testimonials

‘Good breadth and depth of support with good commercial sense as well as legal expertise.’

‘All partners and counsels who have worked together with us are very competent, reliable and kind to clients. Their standards for the service and basic skills as lawyers are very high. Their outputs are based on deep consideration and sophistication.’

‘The go-to firm for the most complicated commercial disputes. Able to form highly effective litigation strategies at an early stage of the dispute.’

‘Highly experienced veterans with creative solutions. Excellent support for barrister team and great team to work with generally.’

‘Camille Jojo combines solid financial, accounting and commercial experience and insights with a good memory, attention to detail, client loyalty and commitment, and legal knowledge and expertise.’

‘Camille Jojo is a veteran leader who is yet always willing to listen to counsel ideas and suggestions.’

‘We highly appreciate Mr. Kevin Hong who always leads the cases strongly. He is very competent, thoughtful and has a “client-first” attitude. Young associates of the teams seem to be well motivated and organized by him. We also recommend Mr. Alfred Wu as a skilled and experienced lawyer.’

The team has a good division of labour and teamwork ability. It has a complete structure of partners, senior consultants, senior lawyers and junior lawyers, which facilitates mutual assistance and cooperation.’

Key clients

Zhaoheng Hydropower (Hong Kong) Limited

Paloma Company Limited

ChinaCast Education Corporation

Asia Allied Infrastructure Holdings Ltd

Hsin Chong Aster Building Services Limited

JSP International s.r.o.

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.

Reed Smith Richards Butler

Reed Smith Richards Butler‘s ‘highly driven and effective‘ practice focuses on corporate and commercial litigation, as well as alleged fraud and debt repayments. Jointly headed by Lianjun Li and Asha Sharma, who are both used to handling cases with high-value assets or investments at stake, it regularly leverages the firm’s international network to facilitate the resolving of cross-border mandates. The ‘responsible, approachable and hands-onStephanie Chan specialises in contractual and shareholder disputes as well as offering advice on enforcement actions. Mark West and Stephen Chan are further key contacts.

Practice head(s):

Lianjun Li; Asha Sharma

Testimonials

‘Very efficient and able. The team provides commercial, responsive, and pragmatic advice.

‘Stephanie Chan’s team (including Adrian Tang and Louisa Wong) is very strong at handling the various needs of client and is well-positioned to provide valuable insight/advice to client in matrimonial litigations and company related matters.’

‘Asha Sharma works with us in most of the projects and she is able to understand what our company needs to give appropriate advice. ’

‘Highly driven and effective team running a wide variety of complex matters. Client service is prioritised. Stephanie Chan is also very driven and effective.’

‘I was exceptionally pleased by the level of service and professionalism displayed by the team. The matters involved very complex cross-border legal, financial and valuation issues, and the team was always ready to guide us through the hurdles and provide strategic and insightful advice on how to proactively take the matters forward. Stephanie Chan’s team had an excellent understanding of the issues, the unique considerations related to our industry, and that we could depend on the team to handle our matters efficiently and effectively. I am impressed by the team’s language capabilities to deliver legal advice and draft documents and correspondence in both English and Chinese.’

‘From the outset, Stephanie Chan provided excellent client service and was very accommodating in meeting our business requirements. She is a consummate professional and an experienced litigator. Stephanie also demonstrated an excellent understanding of our commercial objectives and was able to devise innovative ways to achieve our goals’ including advising on the appropriate timing to make appropriate strategic moves in the litigation proceedings to seize the advantage.’

‘I would also like to especially mention the stellar performance of the team’s two main associates, namely Adrian Tang and Louisa Wong. They both handled themselves very professionally and diligently, and demonstrated outstanding attention-to-detail. Adrian, in particular, exhibited strong technical and financial acumen. Meanwhile, Louisa was very proactive in handling the team’s communications with us and demonstrated a strong grasp of the issues in her detailed explanations. Louisa is conscientious and easy to work with and she also speaks fluent Mandarin.’

‘Dedicated and focused on doing everything they can to present the best case possible. Practical, useful and realistic advice for client.’

‘Donald Sham has excellent judgment on both commercial and legal aspects of the case and gives sound strategic direction.’

Stephenson Harwood

Stephenson Harwood specialises in shareholder and trade disputes, being particularly active in the banking sector. Practice head Ivan Ng ‘gives very practical and commercial advice‘ across the commercial litigation space, while Greater China managing partner Jamie Stranger is ‘a clever all-rounder with great legal skills‘, known for corporate insolvency, fraud and professional liability work. The team has recently seen a whole host of promotions to partner, with Alexander Tang, Elizabeth Sloane and Eloise Matsui making the jump throughout 2020. Senior associate Emily Li is a further key contact.

Practice head(s):

Ivan Ng

Testimonials

‘Very practical and commercial advice, but also willing to drill into the law when necessary. Clients really appreciate their service.’

‘Jamie Stranger is a clever all-rounder with great legal skills and client care techniques. Ivan Ng gives very practical and commercial advice, with prompt turnaround and service.’

Ivan’s team evaluated and judged all of our submissions based on law, facts, logic and evidence, and actively guided us to think from the correct legal perspective.’

Key clients

Purple Surgical UK Limited

Employees of China Shanshui InvestmentLimited

Dan Form International Limited (a BVI company) and its owner (a high-net-worth PRC individual)

Société Générale

HWH Holdings Limited (a BVI company)

Phillips Fine Watches Limited

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

OCBC

ICBC

OCBC Wing Hang Bank Limited

Hongkong Chaung Yue Co. Limited and its owner (a high-net-worth PRC individual) Incomlend Pte. Ltd.

FundPark Limited

Raiffeisen Bank International AG

PricewaterhouseCoopers

China Tailong Green Power Group Limited

Agricultural Bank of China

SinoPac Securities (Asia) Limited

FTI Consulting (Hong Kong) Limited

Hiro Bharwani

Deepak Pagarani

Work highlights

  • Acting in a dispute relating to China Shanshui Cement Group Company Limited (a company listedin the Main Board of the Hong Kong Stock Exchange, ‘CSCG’) and is centred in the shares in CSI, one of the major shareholders in CSCG.
  • Acting for the debtor company and the provisional liquidators (JPLs) from PwC, having obtained foreign recognition of Cayman Islands appointed provisional liquidators, alongside advising the Company and JPLs in respect of a debt restructuring including re-listing on the HKEX, general advisory work in relation to the JPLs’ position and duties, advising on their investigations and potential claims (including against the former auditors), and we are primarily responsible for drafting the scheme documentation.
  • Acting for plaintiff Purple Surgical UK which, in May 2020, entered into a sale and purchase agreement to purchase five million 3M surgical masks from the defendants with a purchase price of $27m.

Tanner De Witt

The 'responsive and user-friendly' litigation team at Tanner De Witt handles a broad scope of matters, ranging from banking-related fraud and asset tracing to the contentious probate of high-net-worth individuals. Jointly led by Mark SideJeff Lane and Pamela Mak, its other focus areas include insolvency and multijurisdictional shareholder disputes. Clients note Side as a 'tough adversary', with further praise for Mak, who is 'adept at smoothing over any problems'. The 'commercially savvy' Robin Darton is another key contact.

Practice head(s):

Mark Side; Pamela Mak; Jeff Lane

Other key lawyers:

Robin Darton

Testimonials

‘Mark Side and Pamela Mak lead an impressive commercial dispute resolution team. Russell Bennett leads a leading contentious employment team.’

‘Mark Side is a tough adversary for commercial disputes, while Russell Bennett is a knowledgeable and very competent employment litigator.’

‘Always get very commercial, solid advice. Very responsive and user-friendly, and just a nice bunch of people.’

‘Pamela Mak is excellent with mainland clients in particular, and adept at smoothing over any problems and gaining trust of clients.’

‘Robin Darton is very commercially savvy and knows the HK court processes like the back of his hand.’

‘During recent years, a number of highly complicated multijurisdictional asset recoveries have been referred to Tanner De Witt’s litigation team. Those cases are always time-sensitive and the firm has always met the standards necessary to handle those cases successfully. Moreover, it stays on the case even after years until a final solution or judgement has been reached.’

‘Jeff Lane as a partner is always available and in appropriate cases with timely restrictions representing them in court. Also, Kevin Siu and Philip Lee have deep knowledge not only of the remedies available in Hong Kong, but a great understanding of the complexity and different legal approaches on those cases in other jurisdictions.’

Key clients

KPMG

PwC

Deloitte

Borrelli Walsh

FraudNet legal network

Four Seasons Hotel

PCCW

A number of international law firms

Pieta House

Work highlights

  • Assisting a Nasdaq-listed blockchain technology company with ASIC chip design in China with its application to preserve  assets in Hong Kong pending determination of the arbitration.
  • Acting for a shareholder/entrepreneur in the health and lifestyle sector, the plaintiff, in a complex multimillion dollar shareholder dispute concerning the valuation of shares in a Hong Kong-based lifestyle company.
  • Acted for an unspecified law firm after a hacker compromised their email systems, causing a loss of $2.6m.

Clyde & Co LLP

Clyde & Co LLP‘s litigation department is particularly active during fraud and asset recovery investigations, professional negligence claims and other disputes from the corporate and real estate sectors. Simon McConnell heads a team including commercial expert Patrick Perry.

Practice head(s):

Simon McConnell

Other key lawyers:

Patrick Perry; Matthew Lam

Testimonials

‘Matthew Lam is leading a balanced team with full services capabilities in disputes. Willing to build long term relationship and flexible in terms of approaches and fees arrangements.’

‘Matthew is quite upfront in his assessments and strategies formulation which can save time and help to manage the business teams’ expectations. Michael Ng is strong in written submissions and case analysis. Rita Hung is good at regulators and is experienced in dealing with regulators.’

‘The team owns expertise in various areas which provides one-stop services to the clients.’

‘Simon McConnell always provide practical advice on the clients.’

Dentons Hong Kong

Dentons Hong Kong specialises in cross-border disputes often involving financial misconduct and fraud, with a recent track record obtaining plaintiff-side high-value Mareva injunctions against debtors. Keith Brandt heads up the practice and is backed up by Robert Rhoda, the ‘exceptionalAllan Leung and associate James Wong. Recently, Richard Keady successfully represented the Law Society of Hong Kong by opposing an application for leave to apply for judicial review against a decision to intervene into the operation of Wong, Fung & Co.

Practice head(s):

Keith Brandt

Testimonials

‘Allan Leung is an exceptional lawyer and individual. He genuinely listens, and asks relevant questions to get a full picture and make sure he understands the clients’ objectives. He gives clear and well-reasoned advice backed by comprehensive research and years of experience. I appreciate his hands-on approach, bespoke strategies and prompt response.’

‘They have a very strong dispute resolution practice with some key notable senior lawyers. With the quality of service that they deliver, we consider their charge to be very reasonable.’

‘Richard Keady has solid experience in dispute resolution. He is very client-friendly and is able to provide practical solution to corporations.’

Key clients

Abercrombie & Fitch

Hong Kong Solicitors Indemnity Fund

BASF

Amazon

Ernst & Young

Kim Dotcom and Megaupload Limited

Law Society of Hong Kong

Dr Martens

Virgin Atlantic

Huarong

Work highlights

  • Acted for Bayin Resources Company Limited in successfully defending a claim by the plaintiff (in liquidation) for damages ranging between HK$17m and HK$1bn, plus expenses incurred by the plaintiff in the sum of HK$13m and interest on the above sums.
  • Represented the Law Society in opposing an application for leave to apply for judicial review against its decision to intervene into the practice of the law firm Wong, Fung & Co., brought by a partner of the firm.
  • Successfully acted for Abercrombie and obtained judgment in High Court proceedings against its former landlord for recovery of rental deposit of more than HK$40m which was due to be returned after early determination of a lease for a four-storey flagship store in Pedder Building, Central.

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer

Singapore-based Georgia Dawson and William Robinson are the key players in Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer's litigation offering. The firm handles financial disputes, competition-related proceedings, global investigations and risk management issues, often with a cross-border element.

Gall

Gall‘s boutique commercial litigation practice ‘combines international standards of excellence with real local insight‘, particularly on shareholder disputes, cross-border fraud cases and insolvency litigation. With Nick Gall alongside ‘wise and capable litigator‘ Chris Wong  at its helm, plus support from Evelyn Chan , the team counts foreign governments, hedge funds, listed companies and high net-worth individuals among various clients. Recent news includes Kajal Aswani‘s July 2020 arrival from Robertsons, followed by foreign registered lawyer Matthew Durham joining from Simmons & Simmons in January 2021.

Practice head(s):

Nick Gall; Chris Wong 

Other key lawyers:

Evelyn Chan

Testimonials

‘Always thinking of what is best for the client. Our go-to firm for local disputes.’

‘Nick Gall: the founder and leader always looking to make sure clients’ needs are met. Chris Wong: next gen partner who knows everything on HK courts.’

‘A firm which combines international standards of excellence with real local insight.’

‘Chris Wong is a highly experienced, wise and capable litigator.’

‘Gall has a strong presence in the commercial litigation arena, particularly in cases with cross-border/private international law elements.’

‘Chris Wong is an extremely good communicator and can understand what a client truly needs.’

‘A very solid and competent disputes team. Punches well above its weight and its strong suit is collaboration with overseas law firms on Hong Kong law elements.’

‘Chris Wong is the star leading their disputes team. A straight, efficient and competent litigator who gives practical solutions.’

Key clients

Softbank Vision Fund

The New York State

Professor Xiang-Dong Fu

Tomohiro Okada

Madam Zhang Lan

Yusuf Alireza

Lewis Holdings

TFS Derivatives

Favor Sharp Enterprises

Sino-Rich Securities Limited

Dato Anthony Chua and his group of companies

Work highlights

  • Acts for Softbank Vision Fund in applications for recognition of letters of request granted by the Delaware Courts seeking document production and testimony from Hony Capital, Gaw Capital, Trustbridge and certain individuals.
  • Acts for the New York State which is the victim of a fraudulent scheme orchestrated to defraud state funds in excess of $30m in relation to the purchase of Chinese medical ventilators for Covid-19 patients.
  • Advising Professor Xiang-Dong Fu, who discovered an extraordinary potential cure for Parkinson’s disease, and is in dispute with entities created by his former colleague over a joint business venture to commercialise the ground-breaking discovery.

Kennedys

The ‘approachable and easy to work withKennedys team offers a range of corporate and financial service-related assistance. Clients identify practice lead Rudy Chung as ‘top-notch‘ during commercial litigation proceedings, while the ‘easily accessible‘ Wilson Tam is experienced on cross-border liability cases. Kevin Yam  and Christine Tsang are further key contacts.

Practice head(s):

Rudy Chung; Kevin Yam

Testimonials

‘The team is not only full of specialists but they work really hard to produce the quality preparation necessary to achieve the best result. Their paperwork is top-notch. They are engaging as individuals, and individually and collectively committed to their clients’ litigation. Their instructions to counsel are always helpful and their analysis always insightful. Although good on the law, they are extremely practical and have a good commercial sense.’ 

‘Christine Tsang, Sandy Cho and Meiling Yip all share the same understated but serious and mature dedication to their cases. They are all excellent lawyers and team leaders who insist on excellence.’

‘Kennedys’ litigation team constantly delivers very high-quality services. Rudy Chung, Wilson Tam and their respective teams put the client’s interests first and are efficient in providing practical, suitable and commercial solutions to clients.’

‘Rudy Chung is a top-notch lawyer who has abundant experience in working with in-house legal team and knows what the team needs. Rudy always manages to analyse the factual situation for client and provide the right solution. Rudy stands out from his competitors because he knows exactly what his client wants and can offer a wide range of options to suit client’s needs.’

‘I have also worked with Wilson Tam before on litigation and EC claims matters. Wilson is very good at maintaining relationships with clients and is attentive to clients’ needs. He is easily accessible and it makes seeking legal advice so much easier.’

‘Pragmatic. Responsive. Efficient.’

‘Rudy Chung actually looks at a dispute from the client’s perspective and gives honest advice with commercial sense.’

‘The team is always approachable and easy to work with. Rudy Chung gives efficient and practical advice to solve problems.’

Key clients

Dental Protection Limited

Medical Protection

The Hospital Authority

Work highlights

  • Advised Link Fish Import & Export S.L. (one of the largest frozen fish exporters in the EU) at the Hong Kong High Court proceedings to obtain a proprietary injunction against two Hong Kong companies for over $10m resulting from fraudulent transactions.
  • Defended the defendant physiotherapist (member of Medical Protection) in a disciplinary inquiry for having provided treatments to a patient without medical referral.
  • Advised the chairman of a high-profile listed company in the financial sector in relation to a criminal investigation, and acted for him during numerous related High Court litigation proceedings.

O'Melveny

O'Melveny's 'commercial and responsive' international disputes team is headed by the 'pragmatic' Denis Brock, whose recent working portfolio includes joint venture, construction project and commodities issues. Counsel Kieran Humphrey offers strong support, particularly on professional negligence and insurance claims. Both Brock and Humphrey are representing Leighton Asia during the Commission of Inquiry investigation into the new $10bn Sha Tin to Central rail link construction process.

Practice head(s):

Denis Brock

Other key lawyers:

Kieran Humphrey

Testimonials

‘Very strong team. Always responsive to client needs. Deep bench of knowledge in technical issues as well as practical. Good advocacy skills.’

‘I would recommend Denis Brock, the lead partner, and Kieran Humphrey. Denis in particular is excellent at arguing a case effectively. He is pragmatic in settlement discussions and always able to clearly articulate the issues for decisions. Importantly, he can be robust enough to deal with difficult clients and to get across the advice that the client needs to hear. I have been impressed in the past at how Denis and Kieran are able to dissect the problem and provide very strong strategic advice to get to a desired outcome.’

‘The team at O’Melveny is very commercial and responsive. The team in HK provides excellent coverage in terms of the scope and depth of their advice. Kieran Humphrey is a trusted counsellor and sounding board, and can be relied upon to give clear and practical advice, based on his extensive experience across a number of key markets and industries. He has always been focused on understanding and meeting our needs.’

‘Denis Brock is a trusted source of sage counsel.’

Key clients

Leighton Contractors (Asia) Ltd

Deloitte

PAG

Work highlights

  • Represented Leighton Contractors in the recent Commission of Inquiry proceedings in Hong Kong.
  • Representing Deloitte in a long-running litigation, achieving complete victory at first instance and now acting in appellate proceedings.
  • Representing PAG in high-profile litigation in both the Hong Kong and New York Courts to enforce debts against Chinese investment companies and their managing director.

Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP

Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP‘s international litigation practice ‘fully embraces the needs of the client‘ when handling a wide range of commercial disputes. Department head Rory McAlpine is currently representing a group of Bermuda Trust Companies over the assets of Yung-Ching Wang, former owner of The Formosa Plastics Group. Counsel Wilfred Ho attracts praise for his ‘talented case management skills’ and advises various Asia-based clients, alongside McAlpine, on shareholder, investment and fraud-related proceedings.

Practice head(s):

Rory McAlpine

Other key lawyers:

Wilfred Ho

Testimonials

‘The dispute resolution team of Skadden fully embraces the needs of the client, and is able to insightfully identify core issues of the cross-border disputes, with sufficient legal experience and bilingual communication skills.’

‘We would like to commend Mr. Wilfred Ho, who has talented case management skills in comprehensive legal fields, can always provide useful legal opinions within a tight timeframe around the clock, and represents the team’s spirit of professionality and cooperation as well as the ability to overcome challenges.’

‘Having worked with Skadden for seven years, I have worked with at least nine trainees during their seat in dispute resolution. Whether they are Hong Kong trainees or seconded over from London, they are invariably confident, fully aware of what is going on (without me having to explain how the case has progressed before they joined) and very commercially sensible. In other words, they do not feel like trainees. I have therefore long had the view that the firm/department must therefore be very good at identifying and cultivating talent. Bravo to them for willing to invest the time and resources to do so.’

‘Wilfred Ho and James Tennison are both exceptionally talented lawyers at Skadden. They are able to think of clever arguments that others have not, are very meticulous (James in particular lays matters out very clearly so one is not left guessing at anything) and are very receptive to points of view from others (which is not always the case with bright lawyers).’

Key clients

Bermuda Trust Companies established by a Taiwanese Conglomerate

Houno S/A (a Danish subsidiary of an American corporation)

Evenstar Capital Management Ltd.

58.com Inc.

Hong Kong holding companies and their directors

A Japanese financial institution

Global telecommunications company

Ashurst

Ashurst‘s ‘dedicated and committed‘ dispute resolution practice handles regulatory investigations for a client list of Chinese state-owned enterprises and Asian conglomerates. Department head James Comber is acting for HNA Group in defence of winding up proceedings presented against it by a Panamanian shipping company, with company assets of over $150bn at stake. The team has seen recent expansion following the arrival of senior associate Benjamin Ng from DLA Piper, and ‘sophisticated lawyerCliff Chow – known for his ‘outstanding attention-to-detail‘ – from Allen & Overy, throughout 2020.

Practice head(s):

James Comber

Other key lawyers:

Cliff Chow; Benjamin Ng

Testimonials

‘Cliff Chow has excellent bilingual communication skills and a wealth of experience in regulatory investigations and contentious and non-contentious regulatory matters.’

‘Cliff Chow is ever-approachable and willing to go the extra mile for clients in order to deliver top-notch legal services best addressing clients’ needs.’

‘Ashurst is always a go-to law firm and is renowned for delivering good work for its relatively moderate prices.’

‘Cliff Chow is knowledgeable in the dispute resolution and regulatory space, and has always been capable of delivering quality, practical and timely legal advice. Cliff is one of few lawyers who can stand in the shoes of the client, sharply zoom into issues and weigh up pros and cons, while giving professional advice in a practical way. I would highly recommend Cliff to anyone with potential issues in litigation, arbitration and regulatory investigations.’

‘The team is dedicated and committed.’

‘Cliff Chow is a sophisticated lawyer with deep knowledge, outstanding attention-to-detail and a gracious disposition. Cliff brings valuable perspectives to the table, which makes for a very satisfying collaboration. It was a great experience working with him in translating our legal insights into commercially sound and practical advice to the client.’

Key clients

HNA Group Co Limited

Royal Bank of Canada

Asia Debt Management

China Merchant’s Bank (Hong Kong Branch)

Bank of America, National Association

Credit Suisse

Duff & Phelps (Bruno Arboit and Galaxy Chan)

HNA Group Company (International) Limited

Swiss Re

Samsung Securities

CNCB (Hong Kong) Investment Limited

Beijing Energy International Holdings Limited

Work highlights

  • Advising HNA Group in its defence of winding up proceedings presented against it in the High Court of Hong Kong by a Panamanian shipping company.
  • Advising China Merchants Bank in relation to two sets of Norwich Pharmacal proceedings in the High Court of Hong Kong.
  • Advising China Merchants Bank in relation to a Norwich Pharmacal application commenced against the Bank as a third party arising out of an alleged fraud.

Eversheds Sutherland

The ‘meticulous’ Eversheds Sutherland litigation and dispute management team is particularly strong in the administrative law, regulatory and financial services domains. Led by Mark Hughes, who has experience handling internal investigations and alleged misconduct enquiries, it also works on enforcement actions, primarily through competition specialist Adam Ferguson. Also of note are John Siu and Duncan Watt who are able to provide the commercial edge’ in disputes. Rachael Shek departed and previous practice head Mark Yeadon  left for Conyers earlier in 2021.

Practice head(s):

Mark Hughes

Other key lawyers:

Adam FergusonJohn SiuDuncan Watt

Testimonials

‘Eversheds is one of our bank’s go to firms on litigation/contentious matters.’

‘John Siu and Duncan Watt are both very experienced and knowledgeable lawyers who can provide the commercial edge at all times.’

‘Hard-working and meticulous.’

Key clients

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

Competition Commission of Hong Kong

DuPont

HSBC

Hang Seng Bank Limited

Madam Bi XiaoQiong

Mr. Han JianPeng

Incu Global Limited

Kyko Global Inc.

Bank of Communications Co., Ltd

BOCI Securities Limited

Barclay Pharmaceutical

Hill Dickinson Hong Kong

The ‘first-rate‘ commercial disputes team at Hill Dickinson specialises in contentious insolvency cases and litigation relating to international trade or commodities. Co-headed by Damien Laracy and ‘one of the best in Hong KongBryan O’Hare, it also acts for high-end investment funds during alleged fraud and wider financial misconduct-related proceedings. Recent expansion has seen regulatory investigations expert Yvette Yu arrive from Baker McKenzie in March 2021. Edward Liu departed to Haiwen & Partners in August 2022.

Practice head(s):

Damien Laracy; Bryan O’Hare

Other key lawyers:

Yvette YuJim James

Testimonials

‘Solid local team with good quality local practice combined with good referrals from overseas.’

‘Bryan O’Hare leads the first-rate commercial disputes team, which is very well known for managing complex and high-value commercial disputes spanning multiple jurisdictions and also shareholder and ‘boardroom’ disputes involving private and listed companies.’

‘Bryan O’Hare is very client-focused, highly responsive and commercial. He has support from a team of very competent associates. The team are known experts for all forms of corporate, commercial, financial and insolvency-related disputes.’

‘The HD team is highly regarded and now firmly established in the market for handling large, complicated and high-value disputes usually with cross-border aspects. It has particular experience handling large shareholder disputes including advising boards of listed companies in relation to corporate governance and regulatory matters.’

‘I find the Hill Dickinson Hong Kong disputes team has a very good understanding of the issues faced by clients. They are quick on the uptake and provide pragmatic solutions. Their advice is practical and achievable in the best interest of the client.’

‘Efficient, effective, and commercially minded, the HD HK team are a pleasure to work with.’

‘Top-notch disputes practice. Highly responsive and collaborative even under very tight deadlines. Bryan O’Hare’s project management skills are second-to-none and he is able to keep complicated projects with multiple stakeholders and tight deadlines on track. His affable personality is like the “glue” that keeps everybody onside and focused on their objectives and working towards the end game.’

‘Bryan O’Hare and Damien Laracy are very proactive and ahead of the curve in litigation matters. Soony Tang is a rising star, providing prompt and efficient advice at all stages of the enforcement proceedings.’

Key clients

Commodity investment fund (gold) and its officers

Commodity investment funds (gold) and their officers

Listed global commodity trading company (based in London and Geneva)

Indian based metal trading conglomerate

Indian based metal trading conglomerate and its CEO

European investment bank (one of largest by size and revenue)

Individual Bitcoin owner

UK based property development/investment company

Work highlights

  • Advising a commodity fund and its related companies/officers in a Hong Kong High Court Action on strategy, relating to the discharge and variation of the terms of proprietary injunction and Mareva injunction obtained by the plaintiff against our clients, and to defend related fraud claims against our clients for over $150m.
  • Advising an Indian-headquartered conglomerate comprising group company members across Asia on its litigation strategy in Hong Kong on various claims commenced by Indian banks against our client over $7.5m.
  • Advising a leading European bank on tracing and recovering over €50m mistakenly transferred to fraudsters’ bank accounts in Hong Kong and worldwide.

Kobre & Kim

At Kobre & Kim, the team handles cross-border disputes and investigations ranging from insolvency-related litigation to asset recovery and alleged securities or investment fraud. Key name John Han is a specialist in the global monetisation and demonetisation of claims; his client roster includes high-net-worth individuals, financial institutions and international corporations.

Other key lawyers:

John Han

Latham & Watkins LLP

Latham & Watkins LLP‘s litigation and trial department caseload ranges from trade sanctions to trade secrets violations, shareholder and commercial investment-related issues, as well as complex bankruptcy and insolvency proceedings. Beijing-based Hui Xu specialises in multi-jurisdictional white collar investigations and leads a team featuring regulatory expert Catherine McBride alongside one of the firm’s specialist arbitrators Ing Loong Yang. Dominic Geiser joined from Herbert Smith Freehills in August 2o22.

Practice head(s):

Hui Xu

Other key lawyers:

Catherine McBride; Ing Loong Yang; Dominic Geiser

Testimonials

Dominic Geiser is superbly client-oriented and knowledgeable; always ready to help at all hours.’

Key clients

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.

Work highlights

  • Assisting China COSCO Shipping Corporation to lift the US sanctions under an Executive Order, which was the first of its kind under the Trump administration.
  • Protected Sinovac Biotech’s Board of Directors from the actions of dissident shareholders and secured the SEC’s penalties on dissident shareholders for their violations of US securities laws.
  • Acting for United Microelectronics Corp in resolving a high-profile “China Initiative” trade secrets case brought by the US Department of Justice.

Minter Ellison

Minter Ellisonhas an excellent litigation team that is very experienced‘ at handling cross-border probate cases, along with construction, fraud and shareholder-related issues. Of the firm’s various key contacts, Desmond Liaw is noted for ‘an excellent work ethic and is always able to provide practical and meaningful advice‘. David Morrison and William Barber tackle corporate and commercial mandates, respectively, while Nathan Dentice has a regulatory focus; he specialises in insolvency and investment funds hearings. Elsewhere, Malcolm Chin is very experienced with contractual disputes and Alex Kaung counts contentious estate administration matters as a core strength.

Testimonials

‘Minter Ellison has an excellent litigation team that is very experienced. Their work product is always of a high quality, delivered in a timely manner and within a reasonable budget. Their practical advice is always appreciated and they can be relied on to be accessible. Highly recommended.’

‘Desmond Liaw is an experienced litigator who is very knowledgeable in this area of practice. His expertise is always highly valued and it is comforting that he will always be available when needed. He has an excellent work ethic and is always able to provide practical and meaningful advice. I would highly recommend him.’

Key clients

Noble Group Holdings Limited

PCCW Limited & HKT Limited

Anglo Chinese Corporate Finance, Limited

Hong Kong Institute of Certified Public Accountants

Hong Kong Federation of Insurers

Crown Melbourne Ltd and other companies in the Crown Group, Australia

Far East Consortium International Limited

Singfor Life Insurance Company Limited

Hyundai Merchant Marine

The Stock Exchange of Hong Kong Limited

HMM (Hong Kong) Limited (formerly known as Hyundai Merchant Marine (Hong Kong) Limited

Guotai Junan

Morrison Foerster

Morrison Foerster‘s dispute resolution team ‘excels at handling complex litigation with multiple jurisdictions involved‘, often between Asia and the US. Practice head Timothy Blakely is ‘truly exceptional‘ and specialises in commercial cases and investment fund recoveries; along with B. Chen Zhu, who joined from Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP in August 2020. The duo are renowned for their government and internal investigations work. Building on the firm’s strengths in TMT, it has also seen a recent uptick in technology and IP-related proceedings, including copyright and trade mark infringements. Recently promoted of counsel Jessica Chan is another significant name.

Practice head(s):

Timothy Blakely

Other key lawyers:

B. Chen Zhu; Jessica Chan

Testimonials

‘The team provides excellent service and are able to expeditiously handle court-related matters during challenging times of Covid.’

‘One thing about the MoFo Hong Kong office is that they often work on market-changing cases. They excel in handling complex litigation with multiple jurisdictions involved. What sets their Hong Kong-based dispute resolution practice apart from other firms is exceptional service combined with deep knowledge of local/regional legal issues and practice as well as practical, business-oriented legal advice.’

‘We work with Sarah Thomas and Jessica Chan on litigation matters; they both provide us with a top-notch service and are able to adjust their approach, taking into account commercial considerations and the responses from the counter-party.’

‘Timothy Blakely is a highly skilled and industrious practitioner. He is very thoughtful and always provides sensible and insightful advise to clients.’

‘Tim Blakely is truly exceptional. He is an excellent strategic thinker, provides business-oriented and practical legal advice, and is well-versed in not just Hong Kong and China legal issues, but in APAC legal issues generally.’

Key clients

Softbank Group Corp.

Work highlights

  • Advising Softbank Group on obtaining documentary and testimonial evidence in Hong Kong and Mainland China for use in a high-profile action filed by WeWork in the Delaware Chancery Courtand, and representing Softbank Group in the related Hong Kong actions.

RPC

RPC‘s ‘very approachable‘ commercial and finance disputes team is described as ‘extremely proactive‘ by clients from the banking and finance, insurance and technology sectors. Led by Asia managing partner Antony Sassi, it handles high-value professional negligence and financial litigation cases, with the wider team consisting of senior consultant David Smyth, Charles Allen and Jonathan Crompton, who ‘can head up a very able team‘ and also offer noteworthy cyber fraud experience.

Practice head(s):

Antony Sassi

Testimonials

‘Doesn’t matter who, I know the whole team are up to speed, incredibly efficient and extremely proactive.’

‘Jonathan Crompton can head up a very able team. Jason Carmichael is always available for support and guidance. Very approachable firm and nothing is ever too much trouble.’

Key clients

Binatone Electronics International Limited

Castco

Bayer

BDO Limited

Foreign Domestic Worker

Herbert Smith Freehills

HKICPA

IPM Private Limited

Noble Prestige Limited

Work highlights

  • Instructed to defend BDO in Hong Kong proceedings commenced by the Sino-ForestCorporation Litigation Trust (the “SF Trust”) – one of the largest and highest-value litigations currently going through the Hong Kong courts.
  • Defending BDO in proceedings commenced by the Provisional Liquidators of China Lumena New Materials Corp.
  • Acting for Herbert Smith Freehills in defending a substantial claim brought by former clients of the firm; Shearman & Sterling and several of its former and current partners are co-defendants in the action, with claims made under the Hong Kong Solicitors Indemnity Fund.

Simmons & Simmons

Clients appreciate the ‘attention-to-detail‘ and ‘innovative solutions‘ from Simmons & Simmons‘ dispute resolution practice, which operates in the asset management and investment funds, TMT, and healthcare and life sciences sectors. ‘Consummate professionalTom Fyfe leads the team, which has recently assisted with internal investigations and IP claims. Gary Yin is also a name to note.

Practice head(s):

Tom Fyfe

Other key lawyers:

Gary Yin

Testimonials

‘I have been extremely impressed by the firm in terms of their professionalism, attention-to-detail, innovative solutions proposed and client communication and efforts.’

‘The dispute resolution team at Simmons & Simmons has assisted in us critical matters where major commercial decisions were to be taken basis timely legal advice provided by them. The team is constantly available for any queries and even while working with strict timelines, the quality of the work product is top-notch. We would highly recommend.’

The team is good at dealing with cross-jurisdictional disputes between Mainland China and Hong Kong, and keeps good contact and close cooperation with lawyers and experts in Mainland China.’

‘Partner Gary Yin offers a high level of professionalism and experience. Associate Rico Chan had significant involvement into the issue and provided timely and helpful advice on the case. Always available 24/7.’

‘Tom Fyfe and Jacky Cheng; it is difficult to overstate Tom’s skills; he is a consummate professional, highly intelligent and excellent lawyer with a fine appreciation of legal and strategic issues. Jacky provides excellent support and is also a fine lawyer.’

‘Eric Chan, Benjamin Wong, and Tom Fyfe are very responsive and provide added value, being legally very sound and willing to make you feel you are the most important client. Silvia Yuen and Denise Leung are both very competent, down-to-earth and easy to work with. I couldn’t speak more highly of them.’

With close cooperation with our lawyers in Mainland China, they provide efficient and timely feedback. They are able to consider the overall interests of the client, rather than just handle legal disputes within the jurisdiction of Hong Kong.’

Key clients

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

Steadfast International Limited

Work highlights

  • Acted for BEA in a high-profile unfair prejudice petition presented by Elliott International, an activist hedge fund, against BEA and 18 of its current and former directors.
  • Acting for Cheer Hope Holdings Limited in a debt recovery action in relation to a $26M debt owed by a Hong Kong-listed and Bermuda-incorporated company.
  • Acting for the former executive director and company secretary of China Shanshui Cement Group Limited in a High Court shareholders’ dispute brought by the company and its subsidiaries against eight ex-directors and two substantial shareholders.

Wilkinson & Grist

Wilkinson & Grist's practice group handles contentious probate matters, shareholders’ disputes and insolvency litigation, with a client roster including banks, professional services networks and high-net-worth individuals. It has also seen a recent uptick in claims for complex high-value loan default awards. Ivan Chu now leads the team, with experienced support from Lawrence Chan, Florence Chan and Paul Liu.

Practice head(s):

Ivan Chu

Key clients

Alvarez & Marsal

Ernst & Young

FTI Consulting

Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (Asia) Ltd

KPMG

Mr Timothy Fok Tsun Ting

PriceWaterhouseCoopers

RSM Nelson Wheeler

The Bank of East Asia, Limited

Work highlights

  • Advised Hong Kong Science and Technology Parks Corporation in successfully defending a judicial review commenced by SUNeVision Holdings Limited (a subsidiary of Sun Hung Kai Group) for an alleged change of client’s stated policy against subletting by the grantees and condoning the breach of the lease restrictions against parting with possession.
  • Advised Mr Timothy FOK Tsun Ting in relation to disputes with his brothers and other siblings with regard to the estate of their late father, Mr Henry FOK Ying Tung, deceased who at his death was one of Hong Kong’s richest tycoons.
  • Advised Eton Properties Group Limited, Legend Properties (Xiamen) Company Limited, Legend Properties (Xiamen) Company Limited when defending an appeal to the Court of Final Appeal concerning a dispute on the development of a valuable piece of land in the PRC that involves complex issues on the jurisdiction and power of the Hong Kong Court and the enforcement of a foreign arbitral award.