Labour and employment in Hong Kong

Baker McKenzie

Baker McKenzie stands as a distinguished authority in the arena of employment law, proficiently handling both contentious and non-contentious matters. The firm consistently represents esteemed clientele spanning a wide range of sectors, encompassing media, retail, financial services, and pharmaceuticals. Among recent team developments, Rowan McKenzie has retired, and this change in leadership dynamics sees the accomplished Tess Lumsdaine, having joined from Herbert Smith Freehills, spearheading the team alongside Jonathan Isaacs. Lumsdaine brings her expertise to bear on a comprehensive array of employment law aspects, encompassing contentious facets such as contractual disputes and civil claims associated with harassment. Bolstered by this new leadership structure, the team remains agile in addressing contemporary market trends, notably adapting to the challenges of mass layoffs; core employment issues associated with this shift, including discrimination and sexual harassment claims, continue to be adroitly handled. Isaacs strategically capitalises on his expertise in mainland China, offering advice to multinational corporations on labour unions, collective bargaining, and the intricate employment dimensions of M&A transactions within the PRC. Further augmenting the team’s capabilities, Sonia Wong assumes the position of special counsel, offering pivotal support to clients in areas such as the creation of employment agreements and the enforcement of restrictive covenants. Associate Ken Ng stands as an instrumental contributor to the team, regularly representing clients spanning a diverse range of industries, from finance and insurance to consumer goods and retail services.

Practice head(s):

Jonathan Isaacs; Tess Lumsdaine

Other key lawyers:

Roberta Chan; Sonia Wong; Ken Ng; Emily Rayner


‘Familiar with labour laws in the region and very professional.’

‘Good professionalism and speed of response.’

‘Very capable and thorough in responses. Provide a good overview of the risks or exposure for different paths allowing the best commercial decision to be made. Very prompt in their responses, obviously investing time outside of usual office hours, respecting that we are a global organisation and I’m not sitting in the same time zone.’


Deacons stands tall as a frontrunner in the employment arena, boasting an expansive advisory practice adeptly addressing a multitude of employment concerns, including post-pandemic issues, such as civil claims and discrimination matters. This proficiency is complemented by an impressive contentious offering, which draws advantage from one of the most established and extensive litigation practices in Hong Kong, with the team frequently appearing on behalf of clients in every court level, from labour tribunals to high courts. At the helm of the employment team is Cynthia Chung, a veteran lawyer with almost three decades of experience. Over recent years, Chung has seamlessly navigated contemporary challenges, advising both local and international clients on pertinent topics like redundancies and flexible working arrangements in the transition to the post-covid era, while being ‘well aware of the bigger picture and where her advice sits within this’. The ‘very hands-on’ Elsie Chan provides ‘practical and excellent employment law advice’ and is an expert in contentious matters, handling a myriad of disputes including, but not limited to, discrimination and harassment. Another important figure within the team is Helen Liao, a key port of call for international corporates and financial institutions in guiding them through various employment matters related to terminations, discriminations, and discretionary bonuses under Hong Kong law.

Practice head(s):

Cynthia Chung

Other key lawyers:

Elsie Chan; Stephanie Yip; Helen Liao


‘Cynthia Chung is knowledgeable, practical, approachable and quick in her response.’

‘Elsie Chan offers practical and excellent employment law advice to our company in a very professional and efficient manner. She offers very professional and quality work to our company in a very expeditious manner. I appreciate her work very much.’

‘Deacons is a reliable law firm providing excellent legal advice and practical solutions, taking clients’ needs and local market practices into consideration. The labour and employment team is always responsive and fully engaged with client’s discussion seeking for solutions. The billing is also transparent and reasonable compared with other law firms in HK. ’

‘I have been working with Elsie Chan for years. As a partner, she is very hands on and can always promptly respond to client’s enquiries. Not only will she render professional legal advice, but also share local practice and advice according to actual situations. She is a trusted advisor and we are looking forward to a long-term partnership.’

‘A well-established and independent law firm in Hong Kong we have worked with for many years. Deacons has a very capable and experienced employment team that has advised us on a range of HR issues in Hong Kong and mainland China. All Mandarin speaking.’

‘The excellent Cynthia Chung is easy to work with and very commercial in terms of approach. She’s well aware of the bigger picture and where her advice sits within this. A trusted advisor.’

‘We usually work with Elsie Chan. We are very happy working with her. She gives sharp and practical advice. She knows her stuff and the market trend very well. She is an outstanding negotiator and can give very accurate judgement of the situations. She can always suggest good tactic moves which make our case in the best position. So far she wins all cases for us.’

‘In addition to Cynthia Chang, I’ve worked with Elise Chan and Helen Liao. The team works seamlessly together and each of them are very well-versed in employment law matters. I would not hesitate to introduce my clients to them.’

Key clients

MTR Corporation

Bain & Company

Sequoia Capital

Oaktree Capital Management

Jardine Matheson Holdings Limited


BOCI Trustee

Mitsubishi Electric



Mayer Brown

Mayer Brown's Hong Kong team excels in handling a broad spectrum of employment-related matters, ranging from advisory and dispute resolution to transactional and strategic issues, supporting clients across diverse industries, including aviation, education, real estate, and government entities. Notably, the team also has substantial expertise in offering guidance on a wide range of HR concerns, actively participating in various employment-related chambers and committees in Hong Kong, reinforcing its network within the HR community across the broader Asia-Pacific region. Leading the practice is Hong Tran, a seasoned lawyer with substantial experience in handling contentious matters, frequently representing employers involved in investigations from the Labour Tribunal to the Court of Final Appeal. Notably, Tran also holds the role of chair for the firm’s Asia Diversity and Inclusion Committee, a position that lends him insights that further enrich his work, which includes handling discrimination cases. Duncan Abate is another stand out, sought after by clients for guidance on labour relations, employment terminations, data privacy matters, and regulatory employment mandates, in addition to managing the entire process of establishing, maintaining, and restructuring occupational retirement schemes. Another key figure at partner level is the ‘personable and compassionate’ Jennifer Tam, an experienced litigator who frequently handles investigations and complaints to various employment bodies in Hong Kong, as well as dealing with trade unions and labour relations matters.

Practice head(s):

Hong Tran

Other key lawyers:

Duncan Abate; Jennifer Tam


‘The team is dedicated at what they are best at – listening to the client and giving practical advice.’

‘Jennifer Tam is personable and is compassionate. She is young but has excellent market intel and experience.’

‘They are the market leaders in Hong Kong employment with good strength across the board.’

‘Duncan Abate, Hong Tran and Jennifer Tam all have excellent technical knowledge and experience.’

Simmons & Simmons

Simmons & Simmons, known for its ‘unrivalled in-depth knowledge of employment law in Hong Kong’, adeptly provides a range of employment law advice to regional and international clients, including investment banks, government agencies, and multinational corporates. Covering all aspects of employment law, one of the team’s particular areas of expertise lies in investigation work; this practice, in collaboration with the firm’s investigations group, offers comprehensive services to organisations undergoing internal investigations, whistleblowing cases, and data protection matters. Leveraging its international network, the employment team is also a highly sought-after resource for handling intricate multi-jurisdictional projects. Fiona Loughrey, a seasoned labour specialist with 35 years’ experience, heads the team, bringing an unparalleled wealth of expertise to her role. In a notable boost to the team’s strength, Wendy Wong rejoined as a partner from DLA Piper in January 2023. Capitalising on her secondment experience to Beijing, Shanghai, and London offices, she provides international clients with expert advice on all aspects of employment law, spanning contentious and non-contentious matters. Associate Jane Chan also supports the team while closely collaborating with colleagues in Singapore.

Practice head(s):

Fiona Loughrey

Other key lawyers:

Wendy Wong; Jane Chan


‘Unrivalled in-depth knowledge of employment law in Hong Kong.’

‘Fiona Loughrey’s experience in this area is unmatched.’

Bird & Bird

Acting independently, as well as in coordination with the firm's other 32 offices worldwide, the team at Bird & Bird advises on both domestic Hong Kong and international employment matters, solidifying its position as a key choice for international corporates involved in cross-border employment projects across various industries, including technology, life sciences, healthcare, financial services, and retail. Recently promoted to partner, Diana Purdy takes the helm of the team, advising on a complex array of employment matters. Notably, Pattie Walsh, despite her relocation to the San Francisco office, continues to play an active role in the group, harnessing her profound knowledge of the Hong Kong market and advising international clients on contract negotiations, high-profile redundancies, and workplace restructurings. Supporting the team, the ‘technically excellent’ associate Elaine Yeung capitalises on her prior in-house experience within the aviation and sports sectors; this perspective positions Yeung as a valuable advisor for corporates within these domains, as well as various other sectors.

Practice head(s):

Diana Purdy

Other key lawyers:

Elaine Yeung; Pattie Walsh


‘Bird & Bird offer excellent technical skills with good commercial acumen.’

‘Elaine Yeung in particular is technically excellent and user-friendly.’

DLA Piper

DLA Piper not only boasts a robust reputation in the Hong Kong market but also stands as a dominant force in the Asia Pacific region’s employment sector, synergising its extensive presence across 13 offices. The firm’s collaborative presence extends across an array of sectors such as technology, aviation, retail, and insurance; within these sectors, the team proficiently addresses a broad spectrum of employment matters, encompassing contentious proceedings, investigative tasks, and complex projects spanning multiple jurisdictions. The ‘exceptionally responsive’ and triple-qualified Helen Colquhoun leads the team; her wealth of experience and expertise make her a sought-after resource for multinational employers seeking advice on a variety of critical matters, including risk mitigation, restructuring, and senior employee hirings and terminations. Colquhoun’s impact extends beyond the employment sphere, as she also contributes actively to the firm’s Asia ESG committee, enriching the firm’s ESG strategy by sharing insights from an employment perspective. A recent development of note is Wendy Wong‘s return to Simmons & Simmons in January 2023.

Practice head(s):

Helen Colquhoun

Other key lawyers:

Wundy Lee; Jason Lo


‘Incredible responsiveness, great technical advice and the ability to cut through to give practical and pragmatic recommendation.’

‘Helen Colquhoun is exceptionally responsive and gives clear advice with great industry experience.’

‘They are knowledgeable and respond very quickly.’

‘Helen Colquhoun is really the star fronting this team. 90% of my legal problems she can help me solve and the other 10% she will eventually solve because of her solid foundation and she’s a fast learner. Helen makes me feel like I am the only client that matters.’

Howse Williams

With a track record of handling transactions within the aerospace, banking, education, real estate, and financial services sectors, Howse Williams' employment practice is highly experienced in advising on a range of contentious and non-contentious issues, representing both employers and employees. The team’s expertise also extends to representing individuals in labour tribunals and high court proceedings, along with experience in handling investigations by regulatory bodies, such as the SFC and HKMA. The team is headed by the ‘outstanding and intellectually astute’ Patricia Yeung, whose wealth of contentious experience places her at the forefront of proceedings involving both plaintiffs and defendants; on the transactional side, she also frequently advises on the employment aspects of M&A deals. The team also features Michael Withington, a seasoned commercial litigator who frequently engages in shareholder disputes concerning some of the largest corporates and financial institutions. Client praise for Withington extends beyond his advocacy skills; he is also celebrated for his ability to ‘explain the most complex legal information in succinct terms’.

Practice head(s):

Patricia Yeung

Other key lawyers:

Michael Withington


‘The team works seamlessly and with outstanding efficiency. It has extensive knowledge and litigation experience of employment law, and each member (partners and juniors included) communicates well with clients.’

‘They really strike a great balance between being empathetic and professional, and understanding the interests and concerns of clients.’

‘Quick on the mark and creative with their solutions with a good understanding of the operational context for clients.’

‘Patricia Yeung is outstanding and intellectually astute with in-depth legal knowledge, strong analytical and advocacy skills, and exceptional interpersonal and communications skills. She never misses a beat and could always put me at ease with the right dose of calm, empathy and good humour. She has phenomenal writing skills and consistently provided well-crafted submissions with striking time-efficiency.’

‘Michael Withington is brilliant and intellectually astute with strong analytical and advocacy skills. He has a great calming presence and is a fantastic communicator. He could explain the most complex legal information in succinct terms, a good strategist and flexible in his thinking, always providing me with sound advice and options.’

‘The team is thorough, knowledgeable and well-resourced. ’

‘Patricia Yeung and Michael Withington are strong practical lawyers. ’

Tanner De Witt

Tanner De Witt provides ‘smart, pragmatic, and actionable advice’ to a diverse array of clients, including multinational corporates, SMEs, and public sector bodies, encompassing employment documentation, terminations, suspected breaches, and investigations into discrimination and sexual harassment. The team is highly experienced in Hong Kong employment law and often receives referrals from other law firms and clients seeking expertise for due diligence exercises and various employment-related matters. Leading the practice is the ‘smart and incisive’ Russell Bennett, who with his previous tenure in the financial services regulatory industry is frequently sought after by clients from this sector seeking employment expertise in regulatory matters.

Practice head(s):

Russell Bennett

Other key lawyers:

Mark Chiu


‘Smart, pragmatic, and actionable advice.’

‘Russell Bennett gets to the point and is smart and incisive.’

‘They understand the overall implications of a case and do not allow themselves to get distracted by all the noise generated from their opponents.’

‘Russell Bennett and Mark Chiu keep their eyes on the big issues of the case, and are not shy to ask the court to completely dismiss a frivolous case against a client. They do not get sucked into the unimportant details.’

Clifford Chance

Clifford Chance's employment practice is widely acclaimed for its ‘very efficient and effective’ management of complex litigation spanning multiple jurisdictions and overseeing diverse employment initiatives; this is particularly notable for clients within the corporate and financial service sectors. Post the pandemic, the team demonstrated its adaptability to meet challenges by harnessing legal technology and data analysis to optimise the delivery of legal services; this strategic approach proved useful in tackling the heightened instances of contentious departures of senior personnel, organisational restructurings, discrimination claims, and the complexities of transitioning back to physical workplaces in the post-pandemic landscape. Leading the team is the ‘very detailed-oriented’ Anita Lam, often sought after by clients who seek advice in contentious employment disputes, such as internal investigations and C-suite executive exits.

Practice head(s):

Anita Lam

Other key lawyers:

Helen Fu; Ruby Chik


‘Professional, responsive, strong teamwork, and good bonding.’

‘Thoughtful, professional, responsive, and friendly.’

‘The team’s capability is very impressive that they not only possess diverse professional background with strong legal expertise and skilled know-how, but also provide abundant practice areas with global coverage to leverage regional lawyers and shared resources to cater for clients’ every single need.’

‘The team always demonstrates strong collaboration to support clients with seamless and timely communication, and ensure the delivery of high-quality service. Members of the team are highly capable of providing practical solutions in a holistic and commercial view based on their comprehensive understanding of clients’ needs, challenges and concerns.’

‘Anita Lam is a trusted and dependable partner bringing us an extraordinary legal service in the labour and employment practice areas. Her strong commitment to quality service and best solutions for clients differentiates her in the market and she stands out as a valued strategic legal partner to align her professional practices with business perspective for the best outcome to the organisation. We highly appreciate her professionalism, high efficiency and willingness to go above and beyond in handling our legal matters.’

‘Anita Lam is my usual contact of Clifford Chance for seeking advice on employment laws in Hong Kong. She always addresses my inquiries timely, and provides professional advice to my firm, including practical suggestions in handling complicated situation.’

‘The team is very efficient and effective. They are willing to go the extra mile. They possess legal expertise with strong communication, collaboration in delivering the result and meeting client’s expectations.’

‘Anita Lam is an excellent labour and employment lawyer. She possesses excellent communication skills to effectively communicate with any level of staff and is able to provide the best possible advice with legal implication well presented. She is very detailed-oriented, analytical and able to provide the most viable and optimal solution. She is also compassionate and empathetic towards her clients.’

Work highlights

  • Representing the respondent in a HK seated HKIAC arbitration, a dispute that arose out of a series of Cayman law governed ESOP agreements of the Claimant, which drew on the enforceability of broad non-compete provisions.
  • Assisted the SFC licensed asset management firm with restructuring its business in Hong Kong and managing the exit of its high-profile C-suite executive.
  • Assisted the multinational credit rating agency with swiftly and successfully fending off an employment claim for discretionary bonus and loss of earnings.

Herbert Smith Freehills

Although perhaps best known for its litigation capabilities and its ability to handle complex disputes concerning Hong Kong and the wider Asia-Pacific region, cross-border matters involving major international corporates are also common for Herbert Smith Freehills’s team, which advises on a myriad of issues involving M&A, integration projects, and employee mobility matters. Financial regulatory matters are also a particular strength of the team, with international banks frequently seeking its expertise to navigate and implement employment regulatory measures. In team news, Tess Lumsdaine has transitioned to Baker McKenzie, leaving Gareth Thomas as the new head of the team, who primarily focuses on employment litigation. Based in Singapore, Fatim Jumabhoy specialises in matters involving labour law, boasting extensive experience in diverse cases for clients of varying sizes throughout the Asian landscape.

Practice head(s):

Gareth Thomas

Other key lawyers:

Fatim Jumabhoy; Gillian Miao

Hugill & Ip

At Hugill & Ip, the employment team, spearheaded by Adam Hugill, offers comprehensive coverage of both contentious and non-contentious employment law matters. This encompasses a wide range of issues such as individual and collective terminations, high-profile transfers, and labour restructurings. As well as exhibiting particular vigour in catering to senior employees within the financial services sector, the team is heavily involved in several prominent cases involving equal opportunity and discrimination, a facet relatively uncommon within the Hong Kong market.

Practice head(s):

Adam Hugill


‘Good diversity.’

‘Standout partners and professional services.’

‘This is a growing employment practice in Hong Kong. Having set up a few years ago, it has gone from strength to strength under Adam Hugill’s guidance.’

‘Adam Hugill is very hands-on. Despite having a busy diary, he always manages to take on new matters.’

‘Adam Hugill is responsive, sensible and skilled.’

‘Adam Hugill is of good quality.’

Key clients

CE Brands Inc –


Hargreaves Services

Olympus Global

Lim Advisors

Secretariat Global




Work highlights

  • Advising a client on defending claims for HK$17.5m for wrongful dismissal.
  • Acting for Cunnington in defending a High Court appeal by Qantex following Cunnington obtaining a HK$5.5m judgment against Qantex in the Labour Tribunal.
  • Acting for former footballers of R&F Football Club in connection with claims for the unpaid balance of their fixed term contracts and various other statutory termination payments following their wrongful and unreasonable dismissal and the subsequent liquidation of the Club.

Lewis Silkin

Multinational and Hong Kong-based corporates frequently seek advice from Lewis Silkin on a wide range of employment law issues, including HR data privacy, structuring incentive and share schemes, and M&A employment support. On the contentious front, the firm has been highly engaged in litigation related to internal investigations, taking the team to labour tribunals and the High Court. Notably, the firm also possesses expertise in immigration matters and has recently been advising employers on various issues, including global working rights and visas, as well as on multi-jurisdictional projects spanning other Asia Pacific regions. At the helm of the team stands Catherine Leung, highly sought after by clients from industries including financial services, luxury retail, and technology, who seek guidance on a wide range of employment issues, including discrimination and hiring and firing. Other key figures at partner level include Jezamine Fewins, who specialises in areas such as restrictive covenants, the misuse of confidential information, and trade secrets. The team’s capabilities have recently been bolstered by the addition of senior consultant Matthew Durham, along with associates Karen Chu and Emily Chow. Kathryn Weaver is no longer at the firm and moved to Seyfarth Shaw LLP in January 2023.

Practice head(s):

Catherine Leung

Other key lawyers:

Jezamine Fewins; Gladys Ching; Karen Chu; Emily Chow; Matthew Durham


‘The firm provides very professional employment law services.’

‘Catherine Leung and Gladys Ching were very professional and efficient and it was a pleasure working with them. The firm provides very professional employment law services.’

‘Their highly knowledgeable team possesses a deep understanding of labour and employment law, enabling them to provide expert advice.’

‘A key strength is their client-centric approach. They prioritise understanding specific needs and aligning advice and solutions with business objectives. Compared to other firms, Lewis Silkin’s reputation as industry leaders shines.’

‘Their proven track record and strong client base demonstrate expertise, an innovative mindset, and commitment to client satisfaction.’

‘Lewis Silkin’s expertise and knowledge in labour and employment law set them apart from competitors. The qualities that I have valued in the individuals at Lewis Silkin include their responsiveness, proactive mindset, and excellent communication skills.’

‘Catherine Leung is prompt in addressing concerns and goes above and beyond to anticipate potential challenges. Her ability to explain legal concepts in a clear and understandable manner has been invaluable in making informed decisions.’

Work highlights

  • Assisted Hannover Rück SE with applying to strike out its ex-employee’s claim on the basis that by commencing the claim in the High Court there was an abuse of process at the Labour Tribunal that had exclusive jurisdiction over a claim of money arising from the breach of a term of an employment contract.
  • Assisted Global Hospitality Investment Ltd with seeking an injunction against its ex-employee to prevent a continued breach of the terms of his employment contract.
  • Assisted Alcohol Countermeasure Systems (HK) Limited and Alcohol Countermeasure Systems (Dongguan) Limited with its claim against its employee for fraudulent misrepresentation in respect of expenses he alleged he incurred and for which he was reimbursed during his employment.


The fully-rounded employment practice at Linklaters advises employers and employees on all aspects of labour law issues, including recruitment, termination, share and incentive plans, disputes, and compensation claims, often in collaboration with its top-tier corporate, TMT, and arbitration practices. The firm garners acclaim for its reservoir of experts throughout the Asia Pacific region, with one client praising it as ‘good for cross-border issues given its network of offices and strong capabilities in different jurisdictions’, enabling involvement in transboundary employment initiatives for multinational corporates. Among recent team changes, Samantha Cornelius has relocated to Germany to assume a new role as the firm's Global Gender Diversity & Talent Manager, with trilingual lawyer Joshua Li now assuming the team’s leadership role, respected for his adept handling of a wide spectrum of advisory, transactional, and contentious employment and incentives issues. An additional key team member, Stephanie Lok, brings her specialised focus to bear on data privacy matters, engaging in close collaboration with HR professionals and in-house legal advisors.

Practice head(s):

Joshua Li


Other key lawyers:

Stephanie Lok


‘Joshua Li is strategical and his advice is always practical.’

‘Linklaters has a good international employment practice which can provide us with a one-stop solution on many regional issues.’

‘Joshua Li is very responsive and his ability to analyse the legal issues from the client’s perspective is very appreciated.’

Key clients


Bank of East Asia


FWD Group

Pro Bono Hong Kong

Work highlights

  • Acting as the trusted advisor for AXA in relation to advisory and contentious employment law matters in the Hong Kong SAR.
  • Advising FWD Group on its proposed global offering and listing on the main board of the Hong Kong Stock Exchange.
  • Partnering with Pro Bono Hong Kong, Bank of New York Mellon and the Equal Opportunities Commission in delivering pregnancy discrimination training.


Boasting a comprehensive employment practice, RPC is well-versed in providing day-to-day HR assistance, alongside strategic advice on hiring employees and disciplinary claims. It also engages in employment litigation, which includes pursuing civil claims within the labour tribunal. The team has notably gained recognition for its representation of senior executive employees and employers within the financial sector. Beyond this, the team consistently receives mandates from law firms, accountants, and start-ups. Heading the team is the ‘very knowledgeable’ Andrea Randall, whose foremost reputation rests in her prowess at resolving bonus conflicts, breaches of contractual obligations, and matters pertaining to post-employment restrictive covenants.

Practice head(s):

Andrea Randall


‘I worked with Andrea Randall on a UK employment tribunal case which had a Hong Kong employment/regulatory aspect to it. Andrea was very knowledgeable about the subject matter and was able to quickly get up to speed on the practical implications for the client. ’

‘Andrea Randall has built a good reputation and name for herself in the market as a contentious employment lawyer. She works hard for her clients.’

‘Andrea Randall stands out.’

Work highlights

  • Acted for a client in a high-profile UK case (B Jones v J P Morgan Securities plc: 3201630/2020) regarding a claim involving an order of reinstatement in Hong Kong.
  • Acted for a new client in a number of employment law issues including resisting claims of sexual harassments, reviewing and revising contracts, handbooks and other policy documents.
  • Acted for a client in resisting claims against a Managing Director of an Investment Bank that he had misused confidential and proprietary information from his previous employer.

Seyfarth Shaw LLP

The employment team at Seyfarth Shaw LLP stands out for its international focus, regularly assisting multinational employers with a full range of labour and employment related issues, including day-to-day HR matters and complex multi-jurisdictional projects. The team’s offering was significantly bolstered by the arrival of Kathryn Weaver from Lewis Silkin in January 2023, who brings extensive experience advising employers on problematic terminations, separation agreements, and restrictive covenants disputes. Weaver is based in Hong Kong and leads the team alongside Darren Perry in Melbourne and Peter Talibart in London. Other key names within the team include quadruple-qualified in Hong Kong, England and Wales, Australia and the PRC Wan Li, who is able to effectively bridge the cultural gap between Chinese and international companies, and is widely recognised for his representation of clients across a variety of employment issues.

Practice head(s):

Darren Perry; Peter Talibart; Kathryn Weaver

Other key lawyers:

Wan Li; Joni Wong; Leon Mao


‘From the beginning, the team was very attentive and professional, and demonstrated their relevant knowledge and expertise on the subject. They were ready to answer whenever we had questions, provided sound advice and suggestions, and also helped review the necessary legal documents to ensure the whole process was smooth.’

Clyde & Co LLP

Simon McConnell leads the employment team at Clyde & Co LLP, which advises on a range of issues, from hiring to managing disputes when they arise, catering to a wide range of international corporates. The firm excels in handling team moves, business protection, and restructurings, often resolving these issues on a pan-Asian and multi-jurisdictional basis. McConnell is a contentious disputes expert and is highly sought after by employers for his wealth of experience and familiarity with Hong Kong courts, where he frequently appears to address issues of breaches of duty, enforcement of restrictive covenants, and injunctive relief.

Practice head(s):

Simon McConnell

Other key lawyers:

Ruby Cheuk

Dentons Hong Kong

Dentons Hong Kong is a trusted advisor to blue-chip clients across various sectors, including technology, aerospace, and financial institutions, providing guidance on a wide range of employment and HR matters arising from domestic and international operations. Leading the team is Richard Keady, a seasoned practitioner who frequently appears in labour tribunals and high courts. Keady specialises in employment disputes, particularly those stemming from regulated sectors, and also represents licensed individuals and senior officers of major corporations in investigations and disciplinary proceedings. The ‘extremely efficient’ Jenny Zhuang is also recommended.

Practice head(s):

Richard Keady

Other key lawyers:

Julianne Doe; Allan Leung; Jenny Zhuang; Linda Ngan


‘This team gives practical advice, and they understand clients’ business and don’t just focus on the law but focus on problem-solving. They always respond very promptly and are always there to help urgently when needed.’

‘Jenny Zhuang, of counsel, is an exceptionally efficient lawyer; she responds within a few hours and always on the same day, and whenever urgent queries arises she is always willing to jump on a call immediately to provide advice and support. She is also very practical, her knowledge of the law is extensive and she can explain complex concepts in very simple terms.’

‘Jenny Zhuang provides red carpet client care.’

‘Practical and easy to work with; good value. ’

‘Richard Keady is accessible and responsive.’

‘Respected practice genuinely doing employment law work.’

‘Jenny Zhuang and her team are experts in Hong Kong Labour Law and guided our office through many complex employment issues. They were always very responsive and thorough, and we trust their advice and guidance.’

‘Jenny Zhuang is very responsive, and I very much enjoyed working with her. Communication was great. Jenny and her team provide guidance and support with very little lead time. She understood our issues very quickly and got us the help we needed so that we could inform our executive management and make decisions with full confidence.’

Key clients



Virgin Atlantic

Work highlights

  • Advised Airbus on various corporate and employment matters, such as working hours policies, leave entitlements, and data privacy of the employees.
  • Assisted Virgin Atlantic with the termination of all employees employed in Hong Kong as they decided to shut down and cease all of its Hong Kong operations.
  • Assisted Genashtim with addressing a wide range of employment enquiries, such as risk exposure analysis and review of the terms and conditions on its website.

Eversheds Sutherland

Eversheds Sutherland‘s employment team excels in regional and global employment projects, offering comprehensive support to employers throughout the whole HR cycle, in addition to advising on complex matters such as sensitive C-suite terminations, team relocations, and post-employment covenants. Spearheading the team are Mark Hughes, a litigation and dispute resolution expert based in Hong Kong, Jack Cai from Shanghai, and of counsel Joe Choy, working in tandem with Hughes on investigations and employment disputes.

Practice head(s):

Jack Cai; Mark Hughes; Joe Choy

Other key lawyers:

Sam Chen

Key clients



Rolls Royce

Li & Fung

JAS Worldwide

China Mobile International

Duty Free Shoppers


Gall's employment team excels in handling complex employment law disputes, regularly guiding clients through matters such as post-termination restrictions, internal investigations, breaches of contract, and discrimination claims, representing multinational corporates and high-net-worth individuals. The team also specialises in representing bankers, fund managers, senior executives, and professional services companies in various suits against large institutions and governments. Nick Gall, the founder and head of the team, also serves as the firm’s head of litigation, while Felda Yeung, promoted to partner in July 2022, co-leads the team as an experienced litigator.

Practice head(s):

Nick Gall; Felda Yeung

King & Wood Mallesons

The ‘highly professional’ team at King & Wood Mallesons consistently represents major employers in Hong Kong, fostering a close collaboration with their employment counterparts in the PRC. This partnership effectively addresses all aspects of employment matters for global corporations based in Hong Kong as they venture into the Chinese market. Leading the team is Peter Bullock, whose expertise in dispute resolution plays a key role in addressing complex, high-stakes employment disputes. Bullock frequently appears in Hong Kong courts, particularly in cases involving investigations and whistleblowing. Steering the Beijing office is Linda Liang, while Barbara Chiu is noted for her expertise in dispute-related matters.

Practice head(s):

Peter Bullock; Linda Liang

Other key lawyers:

Barbara Chiu; Ricky Lioe; Crystal Luk


‘Highly professional, very experienced, serious service; leaving it to this team is very reassuring.’

Key clients

Rigel Capital Management Pte Limited

Flow Traders Hong Kong Services Limited


The Icon Group

The Hong Kong Association of Banks

Leighton Contractors (Asia) Limited

Galaxy Digital Services HK Limited

Engine International Ltd and others

Utopia Products (Asia) Limited

Masterwork Group Co., Ltd.

Work highlights

  • Advised FTX on Hong Kong law in respect of employment matters.
  • Advised The Hong Kong Association of Banks as lead counsel on the creation of the HKMA/HKAB collaborative “Mandatory Reference Checking Scheme”.
  • Acted for a number of employer clients who face dispute situations with employees arising or exacerbated through expatriate employees’ difficulties in balancing their commitments to their employer and extended families, leading to extensive overseas travel and quarantine.

Minter Ellison

Spearheaded by Desmond Liaw and Jonathan Green, Minter Ellison's employment team covers both contentious and non-contentious employment law matters, with a focus on the financial services, construction, and property development sectors. The team advises on various aspects, including alternative working arrangements and restructurings, and it handles disputes surrounding misappropriation claims and wrongful terminations. Liaw is a highly experienced practitioner who advises on the full spectrum of employment issues, and is particularly sought after by major international banks for high-value claims, while Green is a veteran lawyer with a background in dispute resolution.

Practice head(s):

Desmond Liaw; Jonathan Green


‘Desmond Liaw and his team provided an excellent service to our company. Services typically include assistance with routine internal policy revisions and handling of certain emergencies. In both areas, the team provided fast and excellent service.’

‘They provide the best solution from the customer’s perspective and fully consider the cost for the customer. Compared with other law firms, they are better able to consider all aspects of details for their clients, rather than just issuing legal opinions. This customer-oriented spirit is fully recognised by us.’

‘Desomond Liaw has excellent listening skills, can quickly grasp the key to the problem, and can get to the point to find out the key to solving the problem. Throughout the entire process, he applies his excellent legal knowledge, has a firm grasp of his clients’ needs, and provides very pragmatic solutions with fast results.’

Key clients

Anglo Chinese Corporate Finance, Limited

Leighton Contractors (Asia) Limited



Guotai Train



Reed Smith Richards Butler LLP

The labour and employment team at Reed Smith Richards Butler LLP advises domestic and multinational corporates on a diverse range of matters across the practice area, including affirmative action, discrimination and harassment litigation, as well as executive compensation and employee benefits. Asha Sharma, who leads the team, is recommended for her experience in labour disputes, restrictive covenants, and claims of discrimination. Sharma is supported by Steve Tam, whose capabilities encompass termination of employment and breach of confidentiality issues.

Practice head(s):

Asha Sharma

Other key lawyers:

Steve Tam


‘The Team are highly efficient, very comprehensive in professional expertise, and very prompt in providing consultation and updates of progress. Staff show high collaboration in team work.’

‘Asha Sharma shows excellent professional standards, is very prompt to attend to the needs of clients, helps clients to consider perspectives comprehensively, and has very high ethical standards.’

Stephenson Harwood

Stephenson Harwood's employment practice maintains a robust presence in labour tribunals, while also excelling in advisory work, providing day-to-day HR guidance; it further extends its reach through a comprehensive global network and a strategic partnership with Wei Tu Law Firm firm in China, offering tailored PRC law advice. Ian Childs leads the practice, specialising in matters relating to terminations, breaches of information, trade secrets, and discrimination. Assisting Childs, associate Karis Yip provides advice across the complete spectrum of employment relationships.

Practice head(s):

Ian Childs

Other key lawyers:

Karis Yip

Key clients

TAG Aviation Asia Limited

Work highlights

  • Advised TAG Aviation Asia Limited on a significant Labour Tribunal claim lodged by a former employee (pilot) claiming a total sum of HK$5,143,977.87 for additional salary payments which the pilot would have received if he were to be promoted as a Client Aviation Manager, statutory holiday pay and rest day pay.