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Hong Kong > Regulatory: anti-corruption and compliance > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings


Index of tables

  1. Regulatory: anti-corruption and compliance
  2. Leading individuals
  3. Next Generation Partners

Leading individuals

  1. 1
    • Kelly Austin - Gibson Dunn
    • Andrew Dale - Ropes & Gray LLP
    • Steve Kwok - Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP
    • Cori Lable - Kirkland & Ellis
    • Vasu Muthyala - Kobre & Kim
    • Martin Rogers - Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP
    • Patrick Sinclair - Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP
    • Yuet Ming Tham - Sidley Austin Brown & Wood
    • Mini vandePol - Baker McKenzie
    • Kyle Wombolt - Herbert Smith Freehills
    • Wendy Wysong - Clifford Chance

Next Generation Partners

  1. 1

Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP has a focus on corporate criminal investigations, recently advising two major private equity companies in connection with investments in Asia, as well as a Fortune 50 company on the design of anti-corruption compliance programmes for a long-term media joint venture in China. Patrick Sinclair focuses on white collar criminal defence, internal investigations, and risk assessment in the anti-corruption and sanctions spaces. Karen Chan regularly represents major financial institutions and corporates in regulatory and internal investigations, and disciplinary and enforcement proceedings. The team has niche expertise in life sciences, recently representing a former China CFO of a global life sciences company in connection with inquiries from the US SEC and Department of Justice, and conducting internal investigations responding to whistleblower allegations in Southeast Asian jurisdictions for a Fortune 100 life sciences company. Kevin So was promoted to counsel.

With a practice ranging from white collar defence and corporate investigations to both criminal and regulatory enforcement proceedings,¬†Herbert Smith Freehills' team is led by¬†Kyle Wombolt,¬†who has ‚Äėa tremendous presence and breadth of experience and is an exceptional technical lawyer‚Äô. It continues to advise a growing group of blue-chip organisations seeking assistance on matters in the region. ‚ÄėVery solid partner‚Äô¬†Robert Hunt¬†has extensive experience in cross-border investigations, and is leading a number of significant fraud and corruption investigations in China. Consultant Pamela Kiesselbach¬†has expertise advising on local and international anti-bribery laws, anti-money laundering laws and economic sanctions, and is noted for ‚Äėher steady and calm approach to matters‚Äô.

Head of the Asia Pacific anti-corruption practice Wendy Wysong leads the team at Clifford Chance. It counts multinationals such as Carlyle among its clients, which received advice on anti-bribery and corruption, anti-money laundering, and economic sanctions due diligence in the context of two investments in the Chinese internet technology sector. Other recent work includes compliance due diligence on potential joint venture partners in the iron ore and nickel production industry, where the team acts for a client in the metals and mining sector.

Kelly Austin heads up the team at Gibson Dunn, which fields a leading practice for government and corporate internal investigations, including those involving the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA). In addition to her investigations work, Austin regularly guides companies on creating and implementing effective compliance programmes. Another name to note is associate Oliver Welch, whose practice focuses on internal and regulatory investigations.

Kobre & Kim's practice head¬†Vasu Muthyala¬†is noted as an ‚Äėextraordinary contributor to the legal community in Hong Kong;¬†whip-smart, whip-fast, and can cut through a morass of factual, legal and procedural issues like butter‚Äô.¬†The team¬†concentrates almost exclusively on disputes and investigations, often involving fraud and¬†misconduct.¬†There¬†has been some team expansion, with the arrival of¬†Wade Weems, formerly a US Department of Justice prosecutor; and Ryan Middlemas, who joined¬†from Allen & Overy.

Mimi Yang and Andrew Dale lead the team at Ropes & Gray LLP. Clients include global investors with operations in Asia, as well as Asia-based corporate and government entities. Both Geoffrey Atkins and David Zhang have been promoted to partner in late 2017, expanding the team's corporate investigations and anti-corruption capabilities for clients in China.

The ‚Äėresponsive¬†and¬†courteous‚Äô Bradley Klein¬†and Steve Kwok¬†lead the¬†‚Äėfriendly and professional‚Äô¬†team¬†at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP. Klein advises¬†on internal investigations, US regulatory enforcement matters and US federal and state trial and appellate litigation; while Kwok is¬†the only Mandarin-speaking former US prosecutor resident in Hong Kong.¬†It regularly conducts investigations in China, but has also attracted matters across Southeast Asia, predominantly relating to corruption, cartels,¬†money laundering and¬†economic sanctions.

Baker McKenzie's practice is led by Asia Pacific head of compliance and investigations, Mini vandePol. Recent highlights include being retained as the only international law firm, selected by the State-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission of the State Council (SASAC), to assist with the building of a compliance system for a major SOE. Cynthia Tang and Gary Seib are also key contacts in the Hong Kong office.

Mark Johnson and Lord Peter Goldsmith head up the practice at Debevoise & Plimpton LLP, routinely handling civil and criminal investigations, litigation and parallel administrative proceedings involving the FCPA, SEC regulations, money laundering statutes, antitrust laws and other laws and regulations. Litigation associate Elly Tso is another key contact, with experience representing companies and liquidators in international insolvency proceedings, as well as advising clients in anti-bribery, corruption and money laundering investigations, including FCPA.

China head of investigation¬†Sammy Fang¬†and Asia head of litigation and regulatory Kevin Chan¬†jointly¬†head up the¬†team at DLA Piper.¬†The practice has seen a strong increase in cybercrime and data breach related reviews and investigations, where it acts closely with the firm's technology, data privacy and employment teams.¬†Senior associate Christine Liu¬†is singled out as¬†‚Äėa workhorse, who is dedicated and relentless in helping clients understand things‚Äô.

Shearman & Sterling's team is headed by Brian Burke, who splits his time between Shanghai and New York. It acts for clients including Medtronic, Bulgari and PetroChina and has conducted over 20 internal investigations in China for GlaxoSmithKline as part of its advice on a landmark criminal bribery investigation in China, the first time a foreign company faced criminal charges in China. The case triggered simultaneous investigations by the DOJ, SEC and SFO. The team now handles all of the client's anti-corruption investigations in China. Associate Leo Tian is a name to note in Hong Kong.

Tatman Savio, ‚Äėa truly outstanding addition to the practice‚Äô,¬†heads up the team¬†at Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP.¬†Eastman Chemical Company¬†instructs the team in market access issues and non-tariff barriers faced by the client in China, Malaysia, Singapore and India, as well as export and import trade controls related to activities in China and Thailand. Associate Kristen Chin¬†has¬†‚Äėextremely helpful insight on issues in the white-collar and government defence field‚Äô. Senior consultant Vena Cheng¬†is another key contact in the Hong Kong office.

Kareena Teh heads the team at Dechert, which represented numerous Fortune 500 companies in complex corporate investigations involving bribery, corruption, market misconduct, money laundering and securities fraud allegations. Senior associate Philip Kwok and associate Alex Mok are also key contacts in the Hong Kong office.

William Robinson and John Choong head up the team at Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer. Choong handles primarily anti-bribery and corruption investigations, with a particular focus on China, and Robinson’s practice focuses on corporate investigations. Tim Mak is another name to note in the Hong Kong office, specialising in regulatory compliance, investigations and enforcement. Counsel Nick Stern joined from the firm's London office.

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