Labour and employment in Hong Kong

Baker McKenzie

Baker McKenzie is a preeminent firm when it comes to contentious and non-contentious employment matters, consistently acting on behalf of top-tier clients across the spectrum of sectors from media and retail to financial services and pharmaceuticals. The firm’s international presence and reputation place it at the forefront of the most complex multi-jurisdictional employment issues. One of those heading the employment team is the vastly experienced Rowan McKenzie, whose adaptability to changing market trends has seen him increasingly providing advice on matters of remote working initiatives; as well as core employment matters such as discrimination and sexual harassment claims. As well as Hong Kong expertise, co-head Jonathan Isaacs utilises his strength in mainland China when advising multinational companies on labour unions, collective bargaining and employment aspects of M&A transactions in the PRC. Sonia Wong is the team’s special counsel and often supports clients with the formation of employment contracts and enforcement of restrictive covenants.

Practice head(s):

Rowan McKenzie; Jonathan Isaacs

Other key lawyers:

Sonia Wong; Roberta Chan; Ken Ng


‘The Baker McKenzie China employment legal team has been very steady, helmed by the same trusted partners for a long time now.’

‘The employment team are dependable, reliable, responsive and knowledgeable.’

‘Still in many ways a fairly traditional law firm with the full suite of offerings, you go back to them because they offer solid advice within budget and they deliver on time.’

‘My go-to partner remains Jonathan Isaacs. He has the ability to deliver advice in a quick, impactful manner, which is not easy in the China space; with laws that are often convoluted, vague and inconsistent at the national, provincial and the city level. He is also responsive and quite cost-efficient.’

Work highlights

  • Assisted Zynga, a US online games company with all employment aspects of the $525 million purchase of a gaming business from a Chinese company, on a tight time-frame.
  • Provided pro-bono assistance to The Mekong Club, a non-profit NGO; advising on all aspects of forced labor, child labor, workplace violence, and modern slavery issues in China.


Deacons is a market leader in the employment sphere, which as well as an extensive advisory practice tackling such employment issues as those presented by the Covid-19 pandemic, also boasts an impressive contentious offering which benefits enormously from one of the largest and long-established litigation practices in Hong Kong. Leading the employment team and bringing almost three decades of experience is Cynthia Chung, who in recent years has served as a seasoned advisor to both local and international clients on contemporary issues such as remote working and vaccination requirements. Elsie Chan is widely renowned and respected for her handling of contentious matters, regularly called upon by some of the largest employers in Hong Kong to act in high profile cases, often involving statutory bodies and appearing before the most senior courts. Helen Liao has developed a significant practice guiding employers through the complex and sensitive area of discrimination law.

Practice head(s):

Cynthia Chung

Other key lawyers:

Elsie Chan; Helen Liao

Key clients

MTR Corporation

CBRE Group

CMB Wing Lung Bank

Bain & Company

Sequoia Capital

Oaktree Capital Management

Canada Goose

Thélios (LVMH Group)

Jardine Matheson Holdings Limited

La Perla

Work highlights

  • Advised a French skincare and cosmetic giant on sensitive cross-border employment issues in relation to relocation of its headquarter.
  • Advised an International luxury hotel and hotel management group on vaccination policy.
  • Defended a global player in fermentation with €2 billion turnover and 10,700 employees worldwide, against a complaint lodged by an ex-employee at the Hong Kong Equal Opportunities Commission.

Mayer Brown

The ‘outstanding’ offering at Mayer Brown is the consequence of a fully integrated and dedicated group of full-time employment specialists, involved in every aspect of employment law from the advisory and contentious to the coordination of multi-jurisdictional HR projects. The scale of expertise offered is epitomised by the firm’s exceptional client portfolio, consisting of Hong Kong’s largest employers from particularly diverse sectors such as aviation, finance, education and retail. Team head Duncan Abate possesses extensive employment knowledge and advises on the establishment, maintenance and restructuring of retirement and mandatory provident fund schemes. Hong Tran is highly experienced regarding contentious matters, representing employers involved in proceedings from the Labour Tribunal through to the Court of Final Appeal. Jennifer Tam is also an impressive employment litigator, whose practice has an emphasis on discrimination, harassment and data privacy disputes.

Practice head(s):

Duncan Abate; Hong Tran

Other key lawyers:

Jennifer Tam


‘Great team, very responsive and commercial.’

‘Duncan Abate is someone you want on your side in a contentious situation.’

‘Hong Tran is extremely responsive and user-friendly.’

‘The Mayer Brown team is outstanding. They know precisely what their client needs and provides spot-on legal advice.’

‘Hong Tran is brilliant.’

‘Mayer Brown have the best employment practice in Hong Kong and they are our go to lawyers.’

‘Duncan Abate possesses impressive breadth of industry knowledge. He knows how things work and tailors his advice so that the result is technically and commercially excellent. Hong Tran is Technically very strong and good to work with. Both of the above have excellent response times.’

‘Jennifer Tam from is very helpful, considerate, responsive and above all, can think from her clients’ perspectives. She is very diligent and well aware of the meaning and interpretation of employment laws.’

Simmons & Simmons

Simmons & Simmons is widely regarded as ‘amongst the top firms in the Hong Kong labour and employment legal space’, providing numerous regional and international marquee clients such as investment banks, government agencies and multinationals with ‘quick, clear and practical advice’. The firm’s international network means that the employment team is regularly sought after to handle complex multi-jurisdictional projects. The team is headed by one of the most experienced labour specialists in the region, with Fiona Loughrey being praised by clients for possessing ‘an excellent command of both the technicalities and practicalities of Hong Kong employment law’. Sarah Berkeley is qualified in both Hong Kong and England & Wales, regularly advising major corporations and financial institutions on all aspects of employment law. In January 2023, the team was bolstered when Wendy Wong re-joined as a partner from DLA Piper.

Practice head(s):

Fiona Loughrey

Other key lawyers:

Sarah Berkeley; Wendy Wong


‘Simmons & Simmons team in Hong Kong is hugely supportive on employment law related matters in Asia Pacific. Lead by Sarah Berkeley in Hong Kong, the team makes an effort to understand a company’s culture and how that affects policies and internal guidelines affecting our employees, and are able to take those into account in advising us on employment issues.’

‘The team delivers practical, to the point and easy to digest advice.’

‘Sarah Berkeley is the relationship partner and helps ensure the wider Simmons & Simmons team understands a company’s way of business, and builds up institutional knowledge that reduces the time and effort required of the house team in communicating our external counsel.’

‘The Simmons team is extremely responsive, commercial and great to work with. They are my go-to firm for when we need input on employment matters. They are also flexible and adaptable on billing structures.’

‘Fiona Loughrey is superb. She is possibly the most responsive lawyer I have ever worked with and her advice is succinct, commercial and spot on.’

Bird & Bird

The international presence of Bird & Bird allows it to draw on employment expertise from multiple jurisdictions in support of its Hong Kong practice, which has been significantly utilised recently in providing advice on the implementation of cross-border employment projects. Despite relocating to the San Francisco office, Pattie Walsh heads the Asia Pacific employment team and has vast knowledge of the Hong-Kong market and will remain heavily involved in the region; advising international clients on issues such as contracts, high-profile redundancies and workplace reductions. The team has been significantly bolstered by Diana Purdy becoming partner this year, having both extensive advisory and court litigation experience and heading much of the Hong Kong practice in Walsh’s stead. The team is also supported from Shanghai by both Ying Wang and Jeannette Tam.

Practice head(s):

Pattie Walsh; Ying Wang; Diana Purdy

Other key lawyers:

Jeannette Tam

DLA Piper

DLA Piper has not only a particularly strong reputation within the Hong Kong market, but is also one of the dominant employment firms in the Asia Pacific region; acting across a diverse range of key sectors from banking and life sciences to retail and hospitality. The dedicated employment team covers the gamut of employment issues, including contentious and investigative work and complex multi-jurisdictional projects. The team is headed by the hugely experienced and triple qualified Helen Colquhoun, who is sought after by various multinational employers for advice on issues such as risk management, restructuring and senior employee hiring and terminations. Wendy Wong has re-joined Simmons & Simmons in January 2023.

Practice head(s):

Helen Colquhoun

Other key lawyers:

Wundy Lee


‘Extremely strong team – they provide succinct, commercial advice in a very timely manner.’

‘They are agile, responsive and manage expectations well.’

‘Helen Colquhoun is an excellent advisor. She provides commercial, astute and pragmatic advice without overloading us with unnecessary detail. She is very finely attuned to the needs of our business and sector-specific issues.’

‘Helen Colquhoun and her team is very helpful and always able to provide a practical solution to their client. They have in-depth knowledge for labor law for Asia Pacific and would be able to advise clients on different kinds of labour and employment issues.’

‘Helen Colquhoun is very experienced in labour and employment practices and is able to assist on many complicated employment disputes. Her advice is always practical and fits the company’s needs.’

Howse Williams

Howse Williams acts across a broad range of employment matters, both contentious and non-contentious, covering a wide range of industry sectors including aerospace and defence, education, healthcare and financial services. The team has in-depth experience advising employers and statutory bodies on internal investigations and disciplinary proceedings, also representing a number of individuals in SFC and HKMA investigations. The team is headed by Patricia Yeung, who has extensive contentious experience and regularly represents plaintiffs and defendants in proceedings from the Labour Tribunal to the High Court.

Practice head(s):

Patricia Yeung

Other key lawyers:

Michael Withington; Betty Lee; Nikita Lulla; Angela Wu


‘The team was impressive from the start with their outstanding efficiency, legal expertise in the field, excellent interpersonal and communication skills, and fantastic teamwork. By the time of my first meeting with the partners, Patricia Yeung and Michael Withington, they had read everything I had sent and gave me a comprehensive assessment of the situation. It was one of the most impressive presentations I had seen by lawyers.’

‘Throughout the life of my case, the partners were always well prepared for meetings and phone calls, and they were very familiar with the facts of my case, which was remarkable since it involved a large quantity of information and documents.’

‘Their advice was always lucidly presented, and they were honest about the pros and cons of various options.’

‘Patricia Yeung worked with me the most in my case. I found her an outstanding and intellectually astute lawyer with strong analytical and advocacy skills. Her interpersonal and communications skills were exceptional. She could always put me at ease with the right dose of calm, empathy and good humour. She showed utmost professionalism in quickly familiarising herself with all aspects of my case.’

‘I found Michael Withington to be a brilliant and intellectually astute lawyer with strong analytical and advocacy skills. He had a great calming presence and was a fantastic communicator. He could explain the most complex legal information in succinct terms and helped guide me through difficult parts of the litigation process. He was a good strategist and also flexible in his thinking, and provided me with really sound advice and options.’

‘Solid, knowledgeable and practical.’

‘Patricia Yeung’s client management is of a particularly high order.’

‘Michael Withington possesses in-depth legal knowledge and experience; he is totally practical.’

Key clients

Cantor Fitzgerald (Hong Kong) Capital Markets Limited

Mr. Bing Lin

Hong Kong Aircrew Officers Association

Mr. Terry Shuai

Ms. Anna Woo

Hong Kong Airlines Limited

Lam Siu Wai

Tanner De Witt

The established and longstanding employment team at Tanner De Witt has been heavily involved in many of the contemporary issues within the Hong Kong market caused by the global pandemic, including vaccination requirements and remote working. The firm has an extensive advisory practice, providing advice to domestic and international clients in relation to employment documents, potential redundancies and terminations and discrimination claims. The practice still benefits from the wealth of experience provided by employment veteran Kim Boreham, despite stepping into a consultancy role. Russell Bennett is the founder and head of the team, with a significant part of his practice involving advising clients in the financial services industry, particularly when it comes to matters which require input on potential regulatory consequences.

Practice head(s):

Russell Bennett

Other key lawyers:

Kim Boreham; Mark Chiu


‘The team looks at the big picture and very accurately addresses the way the Court will view the case. In one case, the team chose to attack ‘abuse of process’, which they did successfully. The Judge himself considered it a big leap, but he agreed.’

‘Russell Bennett always has a good view of the way to present a case.’

‘Mark Chiu is excellent at resolving details and issues of a case.’

‘I worked with Kim Boreham and her team on several employment related cases, they are responsive to client’s questions and give practical advice. The quality of her work is very good.’

‘Kim Boreham is a very experienced employment lawyer representing both the employers and the employees, hence, she gives very practical advice when advising employer’s. Her outstanding experience has successfully helped our company in stopping an ex-employee who kept on sending harassing emails to management for over 3 months.’

Clifford Chance

Clifford Chance offers an employment practice well renowned for its capability to handle cross-jurisdictional complex litigation and employment projects for a broad range of clients, especially those in the corporate and financial service sectors. The disruption to the employment market caused by the pandemic has not disturbed the steady practice, having been increasingly active in conducting cross-border projects relating to vaccinations and return to work issues. Team head and senior consultant Anita Lam is highly respected in the Hong Kong market, regularly involved in the most complex employment disputes, internal investigations and contentious exit of C–suite executives. Consultant Vickie Leung joined from Deacons last year to bolster the firm’s non-contentious offering.

Practice head(s):

Anita Lam

Other key lawyers:

Vickie Leung

Herbert Smith Freehills

The accomplished employment practice at Herbert Smith Freehills is best known for employment disputes and assisting global organisations with cross-border and multi-disciplinary advisory work and investigations. The team works closely with specialists in regional offices and across a broader network on a wide array of issues, spanning from restructuring and integration projects to M&E and employment mobility matters. The team is headed by senior consultant Tess Lumsdaine, who has gained recognition in the Hong Kong market for her ability to handle complex Covid-19 related employment matters including vaccination mandates, office reopening and employee contact tracing using biometric data.

Practice head(s):

Tess Lumsdaine; Gillian Miao

Key clients

Collins Aerospace

Toll Group

Hugill & Ip

Adam Hugill leads the employment team at Hugill & Ip, which covers all aspects of contentious and non-contentious employment law including individual and mass terminations, high-profile transfers and labour restructurings. The team is also involved in a number of high-profile equal opportunity and discrimination cases, which remains relatively rare in the Hong Kong market. Supporting the team is Christopher Hooley, who has developed a strong reputation regarding the hiring and termination of senior executives and employment strategy advice. Jade Tang bolsters the regional presence, her practice focusing on advising clients throughout PRC and Asia Pacific.

Practice head(s):

Adam Hugill

Other key lawyers:

Christopher Hooley; Jade Tang; Jonathan Gray


‘Very efficient team that manage clients well.’

‘I work mainly with Adam Hugill. He is very quick and alive to the real issues.’

‘The team are remarkably commercial compared to their competitors in the Hong Kong market. They are very well suited to working with western clients.’

‘Adam Hugill is superb. Very knowledgeable, commercial, inspires confidence and always available.’

‘The team will work hard for clients.’

‘Adam Hugill is very hands on with matters and does not unnecessarily delegate.’

‘Adam Hugill is an excellent lawyer; I wouldn’t go for any other lawyer when it comes to employment-related matters.’

‘Adam is smart, solution-oriented and  very knowledgeable. I’m also grateful for his quick turnaround time.’

Key clients

BFAM Partners

Hargreaves Services

Daniel Wellington

Lim Advisors

3 Capital Partners

Former Players of R&F Premier League Football Club


Sweet Fashion House

Work highlights

  • Acting for BFAM Partners, a Hong Kong hedge fund, to obtain an injunction against its former Chief Technology Officer to restrict his ability to work for a key competitor for the duration of his non-competition covenant.
  • Acting for Lim Advisors on a case involving, as a preliminary issue, the consideration of the jurisdiction of the Labour Tribunal and High Court when parties have contractually agreed to arbitration.
  • Acting for Charles Taylor and 9 individuals in connection with ongoing claims by their former employer McLarens, for breach of contract, fiduciary duties, procurement to breach and unlawful conspiracy arising from the transfer of their employment in 2019.

Lewis Silkin

Acting mostly for large corporations headquartered in Hong Kong and multinationals throughout the Asia Pacific region, the employment team at Lewis Silkin boasts specialists across the board on employment matters. The team is particularly skilled when it comes to contentious work and employment litigation, appearing regularly in complex disputes from the Labour Tribunal through to the High Court. Practice head Catherine Leung  has developed an impressive advisory practice, providing employers with strategic guidance through complex data privacy and discrimination issues. The team was bolstered when Jezamine Fewins joined from Stephenson Harwood in 2022, bringing a strong reputation in High Court work involving team moves, restrictive covenants and misuse of confidential information.

Practice head(s):

Catherine Leung

Other key lawyers:

Jezamine Fewins


‘The team has a very strong labour law practice and has delivered exceptional advice on a complex employment-related dispute that we were managing, which has now been resolved.’

‘Lewis Silkin consistently provide a highly bespoke service. They take time to engage and clarify client needs, with the service always being timely and to a very high standard.’

‘Lewis Silkin is a major international firm, and their Labour & Employment Hong Kong team is an excellent representation of the firm’s prompt service and organisation. We have dealt with them primarily in assisting with international projects.’

‘We frequently deal with Catherine Leung. In all of our dealings, she provides clear instructions, prompt replies and excellent organisation of international projects involving our New Zealand jurisdiction.’

‘Possibly one of Hong Kong’s biggest employment practices. The firm has grown from strength to strength hiring more employment lawyers than anyone else.’

Key clients


Willis Towers Watson







Hannover Ruck Se

Work highlights

  • Supporting various financial services and tech companies on the employment, immigration and tax aspects of remote overseas working requests and policies.
  • Advising an insurance company on the defence of a high-value High Court claim against its previous Hong Kong Managing Director who was claiming substantial losses for alleged breach of contract.
  • Advising a multinational fashion retailer on the complicated exit of its Hong Kong Managing Director, involving Hong Kong and PRC legal advice on the employment and statutory director aspects of the exit.


Linklaters possesses an experienced employment team in Hong Kong and across the Asia Pacific region, representing a versatile client base on employment and incentive matters such as bonus arrangements, post-termination restrictive covenants and discrimination and compensation claims. Counsel and head of team Samantha Cornelius has been advising employers on the plethora of employment issues created by the global pandemic, from the development of flexible working policies to the drafting of vaccination surveys and policies. Laure de Panafieu assists with cross-border matters from the Singapore office and trilingual managing associate Joshua Li also boosts the multi-jurisdictional coordination.

Practice head(s):

Samantha Cornelius; Laure de Panafieu

Other key lawyers:

Joshua Li; Stephanie Lok


‘Linklaters is practical and precise in their advice. Unlike many of their competitors, they always give us a balanced view of the options and clear recommendations.’

‘Their team is balanced and take a strong stand on embracing diversity and inclusion, which is refreshing to see in the market.’

‘Joshua Li and Samantha Cornelius are truly outstanding. When we were facing an unusual client situation, they greatly helped us. They are like an extended team of ours.’

‘The Linklaters team is very practical and proactively offers ways to reduce a client’s costs. They are well connected with their colleagues in other offices, which is not always the case for international firms.’

‘Sam Cornelius is very user friendly and makes herself available at short notice, even for her smaller clients.’ 

‘The team is very skilful, experienced and always able to offer practical solutions.’

‘Sam Cornelius and Joshua Li form a strong team.’

Key clients



Bank of East Asia


Work highlights

  • Engaged as global counsel by the provisional liquidators of Genting HK: advising on termination of employment across 13 jurisdictions on a very tight timeframe; calculating termination/severance payments; notifications to labour authorities and management of employee issues; and complaints and claims.


The employment team at RPC guides their clients through the entire employment relationship, covering areas such as team moves, discrimination cases and terminations. The addition of team head Andrea Randall from Gall in 2021 was a great coup, bringing a renowned employment law reputation, especially regarding bonus disputes and breach of contract claims.

Practice head(s):

Andrea Randall

Other key lawyers:

Lillian Wong


‘A strong quiver of  disputes lawyers.’

‘Andrea Randall – has worked very hard since returning to Hong Kong some years back to build a reputation and a practice in employment. She knows employment law and is very effective on advice and litigation.’

Key clients

Managing Director of a technology company

Senior Trader

A Migrant Domestic Worker

International securities and investment brokerage

An international airline

Investment manager

Senior Executive of an International Insurance Broker

L&R Capital

A senior finance trader

Client H – Private Equity Firm

Work highlights

  • Advising L&R Capital, a leading hedge fund in Hong Kong. Regularly assist in relation to employment related issues, including the interplay between employment rights and obligations vis-a-via regulatory obligations.
  • Legal advisors to an international airline. Advise on all legal issues – and in this year assisted them in the hiring of their CEO and fought off claims of breaches of non-competing.
  • Advised and negotiated on behalf of client with respect to his departure from his employer and secured a large and confidential settlement.

Stephenson Harwood

As well as a strong base of expertise in Hong Kong, the international presence of Stephenson Harwood results in extensive capabilities in complex cross-border employment work, meaning they are often sought after by large multinational corporations. Team head Ian Childs has a strong advisory practice, especially in regard to employers, guiding them through complex remuneration disputes, terminations and confidentiality breaches. Jezamine Fewins left the firm in 2021 to join Lewis Silkin.

Practice head(s):

Ian Childs

Other key lawyers:

Karis Yip


‘The firm has an excellent understanding of their clients’ needs.’

‘The lawyers’ knowledge, skills and experience in employment matters is extremely valuable to their clients.’

‘Good communication and proactive.’

‘Very approachable and knowledgeable.’

Key clients

FFP (BVI) Limited

Work highlights

  • Advised FFP (BVI) Limited on significant Labour Tribunal claims of 4 former senior employees claiming in total over HK$74,000,000. Also assisted with various employment issues including: the settlements; extensive data access requests; and handling of inter-group companies’ requests to get access to and transfer of all the data held by the group server and the relevant complex data privacy issues.

Allen & Overy

Allen & Overy possess a firm presence in the employment market of both Hong Kong and greater China. It has a diverse client base and provides advice on a wide array of employment matters, from benefits and pensions to investigations and discrimination claims. Of counsel Susanna Ng heads the team alongside Victor Ho, the former having a background in litigation and handling a large number of employment disputes before the Labour Tribunal.

Practice head(s):

Susana Ng; Victor Ho


‘Susana Ng is a trusted partner and demonstrates consistently her professionalism and efficiency in the areas of Hong Kong employment laws.’ 

Key clients



Merck Sharp & Dohme (Asia) Ltd.

ING Bank N.V. Hong Kong Branch

Ninety One

Longreach Group Limited

Randstad N.V.

Threadneedle Portfolio Services Hong Kong Limited


Capital International Inc.

Work highlights

  • Advised Ferrero, a well-known Italian manufacturer of chocolate and other confectionery products, on its employment-related matters in China.
  • Advising Thomson Reuters and Refinitiv on employment issues following the completion of the multi-jurisdictional sale of Thomson Reuters’s global Financial & Risk business to a consortium led by the Blackstone Group, for approximately USD 17bn.
  • Assisted Merck Sharp & Dohme (Asia) Limited on numerous employment matters including its summary dismissal, confidential employee investigations, separation with senior executives and retirement arrangements.

Clyde & Co LLP

Clyde & Co LLP offers a team well-versed in employment matters, from the day-to-day HR requirements to the big ticket labour law issues; with specialist expertise in team moves, business protection and restrictive covenants. The firm has a strong regional and international reputation, attracting large employers from Hong Kong, mainland China and further afield. Simon McConnell heads the team and his employer orientated practice sees him appearing regularly in Hong Kong courts on contentious disputes, often involving breaches of duty and enforcement of restrictive covenants.

Practice head(s):

Simon McConnell

Dentons Hong Kong

Dentons Hong Kong utilises a global network of employment specialists to offer multinational businesses genuine cross-border expertise, providing assistance across the range of employment issues from employment contracts and policies, to transfers and restrictive covenants. Richard Keady heads the team and has an extensive contentious practice, appearing regularly before the full hierarchy of Hong Kong court’s. He also possesses specialist knowledge of employment disputes arising from regulatory issues, including the relevant codes and guidelines and engaging with regulatory authorities.

Practice head(s):

Richard Keady

Other key lawyers:

Jenny Zhuang

Key clients



Centre for Asian Philanthropy and Society Limited

Starwood hotels

Virgin Atlantic

Work highlights

  • Acted as employment counsel on retainer for an international airline, advising the group on various employment matters such as redundancy and ad hoc termination of their staff, maternity benefits and the relevant statutory rights enjoyed by pregnant employees in Hong Kong.
  • Advising Apple on key issues relating to COVID-19 vaccination and testing for its employees prior to returning to work, monitoring material developments in government policies and offering fortnightly reporting.
  • Advised NavBlue, a division of Airbus, in relation to a restructuring of their sales executive compensation and incentive scheme across the globe.

Eversheds Sutherland

Eversheds Sutherland has a dedicated stand-alone employment practice, supporting multi-jurisdictional transactions and focusing on high end strategic matters. The team advises some of the largest and most significant global organisations, navigating them through complex employment issues including Covid-19 working arrangements and termination of senior and C-suite executives. Previous team head and employment veteran Jennifer Van Dale has retired this year, leaving Jack Cai of the Shanghai office and Hong Kong based Mark Hughes leading the team; the latter specialising in managing contentious employment and investigations.

Practice head(s):

Jack Cai; Mark Hughes

Other key lawyers:

Yonah Leung


‘The firm’s approach is very practical and addresses client’s needs – instead of producing long advice, they are happy to jump into calls with us and work with us as a team to resolve our HR issues.’

‘We work with Yonah Leung. He is responsive and provides practical guidance to our team and our internal clients. He is willing to talk to the team and understand the issues, and advise on options.’

‘Yonah Leung provides practical guidance with exceptional clarity.’

Key clients



Rolls Royce

Li & Fung

JAS Worldwide

Robert Half International

China Mobile International

Duty Free Shoppers (DFS)


Gall has a growing reputation in the Hong Kong market for offering impressive employment expertise, especially regarding contentious matters. It acts for both employers and employees, often advising the latter on complex cross-border matters, with a particular focus on mainland China and the Asia Pacific region. The team was established and is co-headed by Nick Gall, whose reputation attracts clients from publicly listed companies and senior employees to national governments. Following the departure of Matthew Durham in July 2022, Felda Yeung co-leads the practice alongside Gall, and was promoted to partner in June 2022.

Practice head(s):

Nick Gall; Felda Yeung

King & Wood Mallesons

As an extension of the firm’s dispute resolution and corporate practice, King & Wood Mallesons employment offering covers a range of contentious and non-contentious matters, from employment restructuring to bonus and redundancy schemes. Team head Peter Bullock utilises his dispute resolution expertise in high-end and complex employment disputes, appearing regularly before Hong Kong court’s on contract and whistleblowing issues. Linda Liang leads the Beijing office and Barbara Chiu comes highly recommended on dispute matters.

Practice head(s):

Peter Bullock; Linda Liang

Other key lawyers:

Barbara Chiu


‘The employment team is fantastic in the grey areas of labour and employment, when the world was changing so fast. All advice was right on and glad we had them available.’

‘Partner Peter Bullock was exceptional in his role, even just by providing his time when we needed it most. With the market, staff, and COVID related rules and regulations changing in real time it was excellent to be able to pickup the phone and receive advice that was given with common sense on the prevailing Hong Kong environment.’

‘Peter Bullock and his team were always right on point on the best way to navigate labour related queries, all the way through to the court room, in what can only be described as an exceptionally volatile time for Hong Kong employers, staff and employees.’

Key clients

Kodak Alaris Hong Kong Limited

Ernst & Young Law GmbH

Leighton Contractors (Asia) Limited

Utopia Products (Asia) Limited

Engine International Ltd

Galaxy Digital Services HK Limited

Work highlights

  • Advised Kodak Alaris Hong Kong Limited on the sale of its Hong Kong business to ACW Distribution (HK) Limited. Assisted on the transfer of all Kodak Alaris employees to ACW.
  • Advised Ernst & Young Law GmbH on Hong Kong law aspects of employment and separation agreements between EY client entities and their most senior expatriate executives.
  • Assisted a number of employer clients, including Leighton Contractors (Asia) Limited; who face dispute situations with employees on performance issues linked to COVID-19 dislocations, arising or exacerbated through expatriate employee’s difficulties in balancing their commitments to their employer and extended families, leading to extensive overseas travel and quarantine.

Minter Ellison

The team at Minter Ellison acts for both employers and employees, across the spectrum of non-contentious matters such as advising on terminations and ways to reduce remuneration, as well as contentious disputes involving discrimination claims and disciplinary action. The team is jointly led by the 'solution orientatedDesmond Liaw and Jonathan Green. Liaw covers a wide range of employment law issues and has specialist expertise in team moves, restrictive covenants and confidentiality obligations. Green has vast disputes resolution experience which he utilises when advising high-profile clients on employment matters, particularly in the financial sector.

Practice head(s):

Desmond Liaw; Jonathan Green


‘Desmond and his team are definitely Hong Kong Employment experts, not only providing specific case consulting, but also preventive suggestions on how to build the mechanism and make it operate in an improving way.’

‘Any topic relating to employment can be supported by the team under the leadership of Desmond, with quick responsiveness.’

‘I have been working with Desmond for more than two years and he has supported us in various topics relating to employment. In one case related to employment and criminal law at the same time, Desmond took quick action to support our company and team. He quickly gets to the key points of a case.’

‘Minter Ellison has an outstanding Employment practice. The team is very capable and knowledgeable and their level of service is always of a high standard. A very efficient and effective outfit.’

‘Desmond Liaw is an excellent lawyer who has a strong knowledge in this area of the law. He provides practical and commercial advice and his work product is of a high quality, which is always delivered in timely manner. Highly recommended.’

‘The width and depth of their experience and knowledge comes very handy. Direct access to Desmond Liaw is also key.’

‘Desmond is super solution-oriented and is very generous with us of his time to understand our questions and consider options to achieve an outcome.’

Key clients

Anglo Chinese Corporate Finance, Limited

Leighton Contractors (Asia) Limited



Guotai Junan


Reed Smith Richards Butler LLP

Reed Smith Richards Butler LLP undertakes a significant amount of contentious employment matters, in addition to providing advice on issues such as employee transfers, employee restructuring, benefits and retirement schemes and terminations. Asha Sharma leads the team and is especially experienced in contentious matters, appearing before tribunals to resolve labour disputes, enforcement of restrictive covenants and discrimination claims. Steve Tam also supports the Hong Kong team, advising multinational corporations on internal employment and human resources matters.

Practice head(s):

Asha Sharma

Other key lawyers:

Steve Tam


‘Sound knowledge in employment related ordinances and ability to provide professional advice on labour issues.’

‘Quick response to client’s request.’

‘The unique feature is that the advice goes beyond being just legal. The mentoring provided in dealing with some difficult matters has been extraordinary.’

‘Asha Sharma is a truly exceptional lawyer, who provides advice which is always to the point. She has the ability to give information in an extremely succinct manner to someone who is not a legal expert.’

‘All the lawyers are very knowledgeable, they understand client’s needs and make constructive suggestions to the client.’