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Hong Kong > Dispute resolution > Dispute resolution: international arbitration > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings


Index of tables

  1. Dispute resolution: international arbitration
  2. Leading individuals
  3. Next Generation Partners

Leading individuals

  1. 1

Next Generation Partners

  1. 1

Allen & Overy's practice head Matthew Gearing QC is ‘experienced, professional, and user friendly’. In a notable highlight, the team represented the claimants, BG Exploration and Production India and Reliance Industries, in an arbitration commenced against the government of India, with claims arising under two Indian law governed production sharing contracts in relation to two oil and gas fields located off the coast of India, a matter valued at $5bn. Nissan, the Republic of Pakistan and Shell also count among the team's clients. Newly promoted Sheila Ahuja is recommended, as is Matthew Hodgson, who is ‘very familiar with the HKIAC arbitration process’.

Cameron Hassall heads the team at Clifford Chance. Jointly with consultant Thomas Walsh, he has been advising an Asian private equity fund in two ICC arbitration tribunals regarding the ownership of a fund with multibillion-dollars of committed capital, one of the most complex and high-value arbitrations in Hong Kong in 2018. Apart from a focus on private equity-related disputes, the team predominantly handles contentious work in the banking and finance, energy and infrastructure sectors.

Herbert Smith Freehills' practice head Simon Chapman possesses 'excellent industry knowledge and a wide array of skills’. Recent highlights include representing SIPC and Addax in a complex fraud claim arising from the 2012 purchase by the clients of a 49% stake in a significant upstream business in the North Sea, a matter valued at $6bn. Managing partner May Tai is ‘genuinely down-to-earth, very direct and sticks to the point’. Hew Kiang Heong, Michelle Li and senior associate Murphy Mok joined from Pinsent Masons. Justin D’Agostino is highly recommended.

John Choong leads the team at Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer , which recently represented Beijing Urban Construction Group (BUCG) in the initiation of World Bank ICSID arbitration proceedings under the Yemen-China bilateral investment treaty against the government of Yemen. The proceedings focus on a dispute between BUCG and the Republic of Yemen’s Civil Aviation & Meteorology Authority over the construction of the Sana'a International Airport. The team also attracted notable matters in the financial services and technology sectors.

Paul Starr heads up the practice at King & Wood Mallesons, which fields ‘a strong and dedicated team of associates led by the heavy weight partners’. Jointly with the London office, the team is defending the Kyrgyz Republic against claims arising out of a series of government measures, which allegedly prevented activities at the Stans Energy mine to be carried out. It is also co-counsel with the London office defending Naftogaz in a $5.5bn claim in LCIA arbitration by minority shareholders of Ukrnafta in a dispute over natural gas resources. Donovan Ferguson is recommended as ‘an insightful and trustworthy adviser with client’s best interest at heart’.

Simon Powell and Ing Loong Yang head up the team at Latham & Watkins LLP, which has ‘an excellent reputation’. Recent work includes representing Great Wall Pan Asia International Investment it its $22m claim in an HKIAC arbitration seated in Hong Kong under a series of agreements related to provision of a loan to the chairman of a Hong Kong listed company. Glory Empire Global, Shenzhen Yihua Computer, Pegatron Corporation and The Carlyle Group also count among the team's clients.

Rory McAlpine, ‘a very dedicated arbitration lawyer, who is strategically sharp, to-the-point and has very effective cross-examination skills’, heads up the team at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP. Recent work includes leading the team in a $20bn international dispute of Asian origin involving court action in four jurisdictions: Hong Kong, Taiwan, Bermuda and various US courts. Bradley Klein and Steve Kwok are also names to note.

Bird & Bird's key sectors are technology and communications, where it handled high-profile arbitrations for clients such as Nokia, Intel and Huawei. The practice also has experience with handling regional arbitrations in the aviation and renewable energy sectors, as well as representing clients in international arbitrations in the private equity space. Panel appointments include Microsoft, Airbus and Fox International Channels. Robert Rhoda and Richard Keady joined Dentons Hong Kong in December 2018.

Deacons' team, led by Joseph Kwan, acted for a privately-owned PRC insurance company, to oppose an application by two major US corporations to set aside a $475m ICC arbitration award obtained by the client in Hong Kong, with the underlying arbitration involving a complex share purchase agreement. Clients also include Mongolia Energy Corporation. Joseph Chung is recommended for his 'thoughtful consideration, and good experience in construction’. Robert Clark has particular experience in media sector work, where he acts for several international publishers, as well as professional negligence matters. Carmen Ng was promoted to partner in January 2018.

Timothy Hill and James Kwan lead the team at Hogan Lovells. Hill is particularly well known in the engineering and construction industry, where he represents owners and contractors in major engineering-related arbitrations. He has also acted in commercial and insurance arbitrations including carbon trading matters. Kwan specialises in international commercial arbitration, with a focus on healthcare, life sciences, technology, infrastructure and energy disputes. Clients include Tencent. Terence Wong departed for Winston & Strawn.

At Mayer Brown, co-head of the global arbitration practice, Menachem Hasofer, and John Hickin jointly lead the team.  Primarily known for its construction expertise, it also has extensive experience representing clients in Western-Asian disputes, particularly Chinese joint venture disputes, as well as representing Chinese state-owned enterprises in international disputes. Mark McMahon has been seconded from the London office, and Wilson Fung was promoted to counsel in January 2018. Thomas So is particularly singled out.

Camille Jojo leads the team at Norton Rose Fulbright, which acts for major financial services and international banking sector clients, and has seen a notable panel appointment in the insurance industry. Recent work includes arbitrations in the construction and energy sectors. Alfred Wu and consultant Philip Nunn are the other names to note.

Nils Eliasson leads the arbitration team at Shearman & Sterling, splitting his time between Beijing and Hong Kong. Eliasson runs a broad practice, with experience handling investment treaty arbitrations under bilateral investment treaties and the Energy Charter Treaty. Senior associate Anna Tevini is also a key contact in the Hong Kong office, with extensive experience representing private companies, state-owned entities, and states in international commercial and investment treaty arbitrations.

CMS' team is led by Nicolas Wiegand, who is ‘smart, calm, and an excellent presenter - he is fantastic at cross-examinations’. There has been some team expansion, with counsel Mariel Dimsey joining from Hogan Lovells and senior associate Sherlin Tung from an in-house role at Semperit. Recent work includes collaborating with the Munich office in representing the Republic of Armenia in a construction-sector ICSID arbitration brought by a US citizen and a US company. Olga Boltenko departed for Fangda Partners.

Kevin Chan and Ernest Yang lead the team at DLA Piper, which impresses with its ‘innovative recommendations for solving disputes and formulating strategies’. Recent work includes acting for a major construction company, a subsidiary of a Hong Kong-listed company, in resisting enforcement of an ICC arbitration award issued in Dubai, involving complex issues relating to enforcement and potential annulment of the arbitration award. Hip Hing Overseas is also a client. The team expanded with Andrew Chin joining from Baker McKenzie, and Benjamin Ng from Debevoise & Plimpton LLP.

The arbitration practice at Ince is led by Max Cross and Rosita Lau. The team handles a range of international commercial disputes, representing clients in LMAA, HKIAC, SIAC, ICC, CIETAC, and CMAC arbitrations. International trade, commodities and shipping sector matters are key areas of focus for the team. Managing partner David Beaves is a name to note; managing associate Simon Cheng is another key contact in the Hong Kong office.

At Reed Smith Richards Butler, the team specialises in commercial disputes and has extensive international arbitration experience, in particular in relation to energy, resources and joint venture disputes. Asha Sharma handles a wide range of company-related and contractual issues, including shareholders and boardroom disputes and insolvency matters. Clients include companies from the property development and resources sectors. William Barber has joined Minter Ellison.

Gary Yin leads the team at RPC, which includes Andrew Horton, who has broad experience in arbitrating disputes involving bill of lading, marine insurance policy, and protection and indemnity claims. The team has been bolstered by Jonathan Crompton's arrival from Proskauer Rose LLP, of counsel Michael Mcguiness joined from Clyde & Co LLP, and Anna Li from PRC firm Guangdong Shengdian. Carmel Green has been promoted to partner. Senior consultant Ben Yates is also singled out.

Peter Chow is the regional arbitration head at Squire Patton Boggs, mainly handling disputes related to energy and natural resources, oil and gas, infrastructure and construction projects. Clients include International Finance Corporation BYD, Dalian Huarui Heavy Industry Group, and Geosolutions B.V.

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