TMT in Hong Kong

Bird & Bird

Bird & Bird's Hong Kong office has a strong track record in the TMT arena, including work that has an interplay with corporate transactions, as well as commercial and regulatory issues. Led by Michelle Chan, who combines 'fantastic telecoms' expertise with data protection knowledge, the team excels in advising local and multinational clients on domestic and multijurisdictional projects. Counsel Clarice Yue (who has Cantonese and Mandarin language skills) is a key contact for the firm's data privacy work across Asia Pacific, including mainland China. Justin Walkey leads on sports-related mandates across Asia Pacific.

Other key lawyers:

Alex Norman

Testimonials

Michelle Chan is a fantastic telecoms lawyer.’

Key clients

Riot Games

Football Marketing Asia

The Hong Kong Jockey Club

Work highlights

  • Advising Riot Games on a wide variety of commercial matters across the region, including marketing and sponsorship relationships and business critical advice on publishing law and regulation.

Hogan Lovells

Hogan Lovells provides ‘pragmatic and commercial advice’ to local and international clients across a range of TMT-related regulatory, corporate/commercial and litigation mandates. Recognised as ‘a clear stand out practitioner for commercial TMT transactions and advisory’, practice head Mark Parsons is often at the forefront of the most significant mandates handled by the team, which includes acting for financial services clients on IT outsourcings, as well as advising on the adoption of fintech-related products. Andrew McGinty has a broad offering in the space that includes advice on standalone TMT regulatory issues, as well as telecoms licensing matters and advice on corporate transactions in the sector. Tommy Liu, who was recently promoted to counsel, is praised for his ability to 'provide practical solutions' on outsourcings, technology licensing and TMT-related corporate transactions.

Practice head(s):

Mark Parsons

Testimonials

The cost-effective practice is very strong for commercial TMT advice and deal support. It is pragmatic, commercial and can draw from deep experience in the sector.’

Mark Parson is a clear stand out practitioner for commercial TMT transactions and advisory. His mastery of technology distinguishes him from his peers, and his pragmatism in negotiations help drive the parties towards a common goal, instead of exacerbating differences which the clients have to live with post deal.’

Tommy Liu can always deliver practical solutions to address our business need. His excellent legal mind combined with an impressive grasp of commercial realities make him an invaluable lawyer in giving practical solutions.’

Key clients

HSBC

Prudential Holdings Limited

Spotify

Tencent

Google

Kuaishou

Ping An Global Voyager Fund

ZTE

Work highlights

  • Advised Chinese video-sharing mobile app business provider, Kuaishou (Beijing Kuaishou Technology Co., Ltd) on its: (1) multi-jurisdictional and global data compliance project; and (2) launch of its live streaming video in various jurisdictions in the Latin-America region, including Brazil, Columbia.
  • Advised Ping An on its Series C+ financing investment in Laiye Limited.
  • Acting for Spotify across a range of commercial and regulatory matters in APAC, including advising in relation to media and advertising regulation, trade promotions and payment regulations, data protection regulation, employment law and commercial contracts such as the implementation of a master services agreement for its service providers in APAC.

Baker McKenzie

Combining local regulatory expertise and a global footprint, Baker McKenzie is a first port of call for end-users and tech producers in large-scale international projects. One area of strength is in data privacy mandates; a key contact in this space is Paolo Sbuttoni. He co-heads the practice with Lex Kuo, who advises Chinese media and tech (including gaming) companies on their outbound mandates.

Practice head(s):

Paolo Sbuttoni; Lex Kuo

Other key lawyers:

Dominic Edmondson; Grace Gao

Testimonials

The team has multiple offices around the world, which is ideal for tasks that require collaboration in multiple jurisdictions.’

Paolo Sbuttoni is very strong on data protection issues, blending EU/ international and Hong Kong knowledge and experience. He is good at helping clients to balance the theoretical legal risks versus the issues that the regulators are more concerned with.’

Lex Kuo responds in a timely manner and understands our business very well, and can provide legal services with other business experience as a reference.’

Key clients

Accenture

Baxter

Booking.com

China Eastern Airlines

Ctrip

Google

Tencent Holdings Limited

Zespri

Work highlights

  • Advised longstanding client Tencent Holdings Limited on multiple investments for a number of gaming and software companies, as well as digital start-ups over the past year.

DLA Piper

Scott Thiel leads DLA Piper's team, which advises regional and international clients on a full spectrum of strategically significant and complex projects. Thiel's private practice experience is complemented by his computer science background, making him a popular choice for advice on a wide range of IT and outsourcing projects. His recent work included advising gaming app developers on the launch, publishing and distribution of their games throughout Asia Pacific. Thiel is also at the leading edge of fintech-related work and was one of the key partners behind the development of the firm's own foray into the blockchain market with the launch of its TOKO product - a unique tokenisation engine which facilitates the buying and selling of high value assets using blockchain technology. Carolyn Bigg is a name to note for advice on data protection matters, particularly multijurisdictional compliance projects across the Asia Pacific region.

Practice head(s):

Scott Thiel

Other key lawyers:

Carolyn Bigg; Yue Lin Lee

Key clients

Olympus

Moonactive

Incyte

The Walt Disney Company

Zen Payroll

Lightricks

Barings

Marsh & McLennan Companies, Inc.

Lego Hong Kong Limited

King & Wood Mallesons

With 'a deep understanding of the underlying technological advances in the industry', King & Wood Mallesons excels in providing bespoke advice to clients on a range of transactional, regulatory and contentious TMT mandates. Peter Bullock and Neil Carabine lead the multidisciplinary team in Hong Kong, which works closely with practitioners in other offices on cross-border matters, including large-scale digitisation projects. Bullock's work includes regulatory matters, as well as large tech procurement projects (acting for both bidders and public sector organisations). Carabine is particularly well-known internationally for his telecoms sector expertise. Another name to note is Urszula McCormack, who has vast knowledge of the rapidly-evolving fintech sector, and advises developers, payment providers and end-users on an array of transactional/advisory matters, including new products, compliance issues and licensing.

Practice head(s):

Peter Bullock; Neil Carabine

 

Testimonials

‘The team has a deep understanding of the underlying technological advances in the industry, which puts them far ahead of their peers in terms of the advice and support required.’

‘There is a level of common sense that the team has, which complements their technical abilities.’

The team is both professional and comprehensive, providing extensive support for our Hong Kong business and overseas business.’

Francois Tung provides an excellent service, strong professionalism and comprehensive business capabilities.’

Key clients

Hong Kong Airport Authority

Mandatory Provident Fund Schemes Authority

The World Bank

OneConnect Financial Technology

PT Telekomunikasi Indonesia International

Christian Dior

ZA Bank

Modern Terminals Limited

Hong Kong Digital Asset EX Limited

HSBC

Hong Kong Airport Authority

Work highlights

  • Advised Hong Kong Airport Authority (HKAA) on its digitisation and automation drive to build a more intelligent airport. The firm assisted the HKAA with the tender, construction and operation of a public and private 5G network at the airport.
  • Advising the World Bank (and indirectly through the World Bank) the Government of the Republic of the Philippines on best practices for regulated access by service providers to telecommunications infrastructure.
  • Advised OneConnect Financial Technology on its tender for the IT system implementation of the Trade Single Window (Phase 2) issued by the Commerce and Economic Development Bureau in Hong Kong.

Mayer Brown

Mayer Brown's 'knowledgeable and responsive' team is a strong choice for advice on transactional, regulatory and contentious matters in the TMT space. Team head Gabriela Kennedy, who provides 'sound and balanced advice', demonstrates prowess in relation to privacy and data security (including in the aftermath of cyber security incidents), as well as media and telecoms regulatory matters. Amita Haycock is 'responsive, commercial and extremely smart'; she stands out for her aptitude at handling telecoms and broadcasting litigation for clients, including in the context of judicial reviews. Elsewhere, the firm is notably active in innovative fintech projects and technology outsourcings, and it is at the forefront of advice to clients on the fast-evolving telecoms industry in Hong Kong.

Practice head(s):

Gabriela Kennedy

Other key lawyers:

Amita Haylock; Karen Lee

Testimonials

‘It is a great full bench TMT team, with knowledgeable and responsive lawyers. Definitely one of the best in the market.’

The team has good technical expertise and also client care, we have always found them to be responsive to client needs.’

They are very knowledgeable on Hong Kong, China and cross-border issues.’

‘Gabriela Kennedy has a well deserved reputation for expertise and technical quality in her areas of practice. She provides a sound, balanced view that also takes into account a practical ground-feel for issues.’

‘Amita Haylock is standout – she’s responsive, commercial and extremely smart. She doesn’t shy away from taking “a view” and always looks to provide actionable advice with the client’s particular needs in mind. She takes time to understand each client, and the services provided by her team very much reflects this. Very highly recommended. Really the go-to counsel in this space in Asia.’

Key clients

Adobe

Airport Authority Hong Kong

AVIA

Burberry Group

Chanel

Cargill

Charlotte Tilbury Beauty Hong Kong Limited

CASH

Daimler AG

eBay / StubHub

Entertainment One

Fung Group

Hysan Development

Jardine Matheson & Company Ltd / Dairy Farm

LVMH Asia Pacific

McDonald’s Corporation

Mandarin Oriental

Naxos

StubHub Inc

Television Broadcasts Limited

Toys “R” Us

Xperi Corporation (DTS, Inc)

Morrison Foerster

Benefiting from its team's 'in-depth industry and local practice knowledge' across Greater China, Morrison Foerster provides 'responsive and practical' advice on the gamut of inbound and outbound TMT-related mandates. Its varied workload includes technology transfer matters, data privacy/cyber security regulatory issues, software licensing and cloud-related advice. 'Outstanding' team head Gordon Milner provides 'legal advice that is of strategic value', including in the context of sophisticated cross-border commercial technology projects. Leveraging the firm's strong private equity/venture capital offering, the team also provides vital IP/tech input in relation to TMT-related M&A, where it acts for both investors and investees. Thomas Chou and the 'insightful' Marcia Ellis are key contacts for private equity/venture capital-related TMT work.

Practice head(s):

Gordon Milner

Testimonials

‘The firm has great in-depth industry and local practice knowledge.’

‘The firm has a strong practice in TMT sector. The partners and associates are responsive, professional and have deep and practical knowledge of industries. They are also keen to learn the businesses of their clients.’

‘Gordon Milner is a respectful and outstanding lawyer. Gordon has many years’  of experience in advising tech companies on different sorts of deals, ranging from M&A, fundraising, tech transaction, software licensing, and cloud-related regulations. He is trustworthy, responsive and an excellent negotiator.’

Marcia Ellis stands out as a leading practitioner in the space and her reputation is unparalleled. She is insightful and always a reliable resource for us.’

The team is able to support us with clear, timely and valuable advice, even when we were only able to provide limited context at times due to unknowns. This has helped us greatly in our decision making and risk management.’

Key clients

Airbnb

Alibaba Group

Dairy Farm

Oracle

Princeton Digital Group

Quraz

Roblox

SoftBank

SoftBank Vision Fund

Verizon Unity

Work highlights

  • Advised Roblox on its joint venture with Tencent (Luobu) and the establishment and launch of the Roblox platform in China – the first foreign online game platform with user-generated games and revenue-sharing to obtain a government license in China.
  • Advised the Dairy Farm Group (through DFI Development (HK) Limited) on establishing a strategic partnership with Hang Seng Bank to construct a new customer loyalty and reward program built upon the current “enJoy” co-branded credit card program on the Hong Kong market.
  • Advised Alibaba Group Holding Limited on Ant Group’s proposed initial public offering.

Norton Rose Fulbright

Anna Gamvros leads Norton Rose Fulbright's practice, which handles a full range of commercial, technological and regulatory issues arising from projects and transactions. The team is highlighted for its data privacy prowess, which ranges from compliance/risk management advice to representation in the event of a data breach. Gamvros is 'extremely knowledgeable of laws/requirements across the region' and regularly advises on data privacy matters in a multijurisdictional context. The head of the firm's global payment practice is Etelka Bogardi, who is at the forefront of its most significant fintech-related work. Associate Ruby Kwok is a 'solid and reliable performer' in the data privacy and breach response arena.

Practice head(s):

Anna Gamvros

Testimonials

‘They are my go-to privacy team in Hong Kong. I know that I can rely on them for any advice from practical commentary on new laws to assistance in the event of any data incidents.’

‘Anna Gamvros is, in my view, the lead data privacy expert in Hong Kong.’

Anna Gamvros is extremely knowledgeable on laws/requirements across the region and quickly comes to grips with technical and risk management issues, she provides tailored advice suited to our circumstances.’

Ruby Kwok is a solid and reliable performer.’

The team work seamlessly across expertise and continents- bringing the right people into a project at the right time and efficiently managing costs.’

Anna Gamvros works tirelessly to be across the full scope of any project, taking full ownership but managing and coordinating essential expertise from others where needed.

Key clients

Accenture

AT&T

Tencent

Expedia

AIG

AXA

Deliveroo

HSBC

Pinsent Masons

Pinsent Masons provides a full service to technology providers and end-users, which includes advice on licensing arrangements, structuring new products, data privacy and dispute resolution. In addition being noted for her contentious expertise (including software disputes), senior associate Jennifer Wu is also gaining market recognition for her ‘user-friendly and knowledgeable‘ advice on data privacy matters. Former practice head Paul Haswell departed in January 2022.

Other key lawyers:

Jennifer Wu; Joyce Chow ; Tiffany Ho

Testimonials

‘The team is very responsive even on freebie/ad-hoc advice. They will tell you directly on what they are able to advise on and what they cannot, what portion of work would require external counsel and what may be appropriately handled in-house.’

Excellent technical knowledge and client first approach, that focused on how legal advice would help achieve our business objectives.’

‘Jennifer Wu is very user-friendly and knowledgeable in her field, particularly on data privacy matters. She is responsive and always willing to help, even if it may not lead to a billable matter.’

Key clients

Marubeni Hong Kong & South China Limited

Fung (1937) Management Limited (Li & Fung)

More Champ Limited (Trading as Gini)

Ecobricks Limited

Hutchison Telecommunications Hong Kong Holdings Limited

Utterberry Limited

Oncimmune Holdings Plc

Tecpal Limited

Litegrid Holdings Limited

Sage Limited

Work highlights

  • Advising Ecobricks on preparing a licensing agreement for obtaining the requisite intellectual property rights and know-how to manufacture such bricks within the Guangdong Hong Kong-Macau Greater Bay Area, and potentially Singapore and Australia.
  • Advised accounting software giant Sage on the acquisition and licensing of software to be incorporated into Sage’s globally successful technology offerings.
  • Advising Fung Group on various data protection matters, many of which have involved a cross-border element.

Allen & Overy

Allen & Overy excels in advising on inbound and outbound M&A and joint ventures in the TMT space. Beyond corporate work, the firm draws upon its strengths in other disciplines to handle a wide variety of other mandates, including finance, capital markets, antitrust and dispute resolution. David Norman acts for technology-focused corporates and financial institutions on strategic collaborations and partnerships involving digital ecosystems in Greater China. The team also regularly advises on the regulatory aspects of fintech matters, including those concerning blockchain, cryptocurrency and initial coin offerings (ICOs). Will McAuliffe and Victor Ho co-head the practice.

Practice head(s):

Will McAuliffe; Victor Ho

Other key lawyers:

David Norman

Key clients

21st Century Fox

Huawei

FIS Global

HP

WPP

Wolters Kluwer

Telenor

TripAdvisor

Clear Channel

Hewlett Packard Enterprise

Work highlights

  • Advising fintech company, FIS Global, on the sale of an enterprise payments business to Tech Mahindra, an Indian multinational subsidiary of the Mahindra Group, a provider of information technology services and business process outsourcing to companies.
  • Advising HP Inc. on its global business and asset acquisition of HyperX (HyperX), the gaming division of Kingston Technology Company, Inc. (Kingston).
  • Advising Huawei across a range of contentious and non-contentious work throughout APAC.

Ashurst

Ashurst‘s digital economy practice excels in large-scale multijurisdictional projects, where it is able to leverage its global network. The firm has strong relationships with numerous large global technology platforms, including Facebook and Tencent, and it also generates mandates from financial service entities and service providers. The practice is led by Joshua Cole, who is leading the advice to Tyme Group on its joint venture with JG Group to create one of the first digital banks in the Philippines. Cole is also noted for his telecoms-related work, particularly as it relates to major infrastructure projects. Counsel Hoi Tak Leung handles TMT-related commercial contracts and strategic corporate transactions, and he is also noted for his ‘knowledge and understanding of the AI and data privacy issues on hand in the banking industry’.

Practice head(s):

Joshua Cole

 

Other key lawyers:

Hoi Tak Leung

Testimonials

It is a strong team with good industry knowledge.’

Hoi Tak Leung is knowledgeable and understanding of the AI and data privacy issues on hand in the banking industry.’

Key clients

Facebook

Tencent Group

Tyme Group

WeChat Pay

DBS Bank Ltd.

BNP Paribas

Fusion Bank

Airstar

OKEx

Work highlights

  • Advised Tyme Group, a global digital banking group, on establishing a joint venture with JG Group, one of the largest conglomerates in the Philippines, to create one of the first digital banks and potentially the first foreign invested joint venture in the digital banking business in the country.
  • Continuing to assist Facebook with its digital infrastructure and sub-sea telecom projects across Asia and internationally, including the Bay to Bay Express Cable System and Bifrost Cable System.
  • Continuing to assist Tencent with the international expansion of WeChat and WeChat Pay across Asia and internationally.

Deacons

Deacons is highly reputed for M&A, IPOs and investments in the TMT space. In addition, the firm is a go-to for advice on a wide ambit of commercial matters, including those relating to advertising, sponsorship agreements, licensing and distribution. With numerous qualified patent attorneys among its ranks, the team is conversant with a range of new technologies, including blockchain and digital non-fungible tokens (NFTs). Machiuanna Chu, who focuses on the new economies tech sector, co-heads the practice with Charmaine Koo.

Practice head(s):

Machiuanna Chu; Charmaine Koo

Other key lawyers:

Ian Liu; Kelley Loo ; Alice Li; Amy Chung

Testimonials

The very responsive team has an excellent understanding of client needs.’

Key clients

Google

Belden

Alibaba

Hong Kong Polytechnic University

 

Work highlights

  • Successfully represented Google in an appeal against the Privacy Commissioner in Hong Kong regarding “Right to be Forgotten”.
  • Representing Alibaba in proceedings commenced in Hong Kong by cosmetics supplier Mary Kay against three Alibaba companies relating to, inter alia, issues regarding Online Content Provider liability for a third party seller’s product, and jurisdiction issues regarding e-commerce sites operating across borders.
  • Advised O-Net Technologies and the Offeror (being the consortium offeror comprising two substantial shareholders of O-Net Technologies and other investors) on the privatisation of ONet Technologies by the Offeror by way of a scheme of arrangement and the withdrawal of llisting of shares of O-Net Technologies from the Hong Kong Stock Exchange.

Gibson Dunn

Gibson Dunn's Hong Kong team, which is a core part of the firm's APAC practice, advises clients on technology and telecoms M&A, technology transactions and cybersecurity, among other matters. In a significant development at the firm, Connell O’Neill joined from Allen & Overy LLP's Sydney office in August 2020 to head up the practice. He is experienced in advising emerging and established businesses on corporate and commercial transactions, with a focus on technology-driven transformations.

Practice head(s):

Connell O’Neill

Testimonials

Their technology practice is unique as they have a deep understanding and knowledge on acquisition, implementation, maintenance and managed services for technology.’

Connell O’Neill is a knowledgeable professional with excellent work ethics.’

‘Connell O’Neill – I find him to be an expert in terms of technology acquisition, implementation, maintenance and managed services consulting. He has deep knowledge, is passionate and very innovative. He has a deep understanding of risks involved and its mitigations.’

Key clients

PLDT Inc.

Smart Communications Inc.

Meralco

Asian Century Equity

Turbidite Limited

Nokia Corporation

January Capital

HKT

PCCW

Uber

NetEase

SINA Corporation

aCommerce

Amazon

Asian Century Equity Limited

IPI Partners, LLC

I Squared Capital

Canada Pension Plan Investment Board

Twitter

Herbert Smith Freehills

Herbert Smith Freehills advises clients ranging in size from growth companies to large international entities on overseas expansions, investment transactions, technology and data projects, and cybersecurity issues. In addition, contentious work is another driver of activity. Corporate partner Tommy Tong has considerable experience of advising funds and strategic investors on transactions in the TMT sector. Sheena Loi joined FWD Insurance in October 2020.

Key clients

Alibaba

China Telecom

Ant Group

Bytedance Ltd. (TikTok)

Standard Chartered Bank

Sun Art Retail

HGC Global Communications

NetEase

Axiata

Dentsu

PCCW

Telstra

Temasek

ICBC

Kennedys

Kennedys‘ ‘helpful and responsive‘ Hong Kong team has a diverse client base, which includes entities from the financial services, media, healthcare and communications industries. The group also has a strong profile in the IT sector, where it has expertise in matters such as software licensing and maintenance, website design and hosting, procurement of software and hardware, and system integration. In addition, the team advises on data privacy and IP issues.  Joanie Ko leads the APAC cyber insurance practice, which assists insurers and insureds with cyber incident responses, coverage issues and policy drafting. Hong Kong managing partner Richard Bates has over 30 years of experience undertaking corporate and commercial work.

Practice head(s):

Richard Bates

Testimonials

‘The team is well-equipped to handle cyber and privacy-related matters with knowledge and industry connections needed to be able to support the matter across the region.’

Always helpful and responsive. Very efficient in delivering comprehensive but succinct legal advice which can be easily understood.’

‘Joanie Ko has great industry knowledge and connections with a range of forensic and crisis communication partners.’

Key clients

AIG

Allianz Global & Corporate Specialty

Bupa (Asia) Limited

Canopius Global Specialty Insurance

ERS Insurance Group

FWD/Bolttech

Grandwood Insurance Brokers

Hong Kong Hospital Authority

mSolution Consultants Limited

Prudential

QBE

Transamerica Life Bermuda

TTG Transportation Technology

Work highlights

  • Advising the Hong Kong Hospital Authority on data privacy issues arising from the launch of its new “Join HA” recruitment app.
  • Advising FWD on the data privacy issues surrounding the establishment of a new online broker, Bolttech.
  • Assisting mSolution Consultants with the provision of marine traffic control services for COOEC’s offshore oil exploration project in Hong Kong.

Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison

Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison regularly advises financial sponsors on their investments in the TMT space. Particular areas of recent focus have included AI-related investments, as well as data centre acquisitions. Judie Ng Shortell and Greg Liu are the key names to note.

Other key lawyers:

Greg Liu; Judie Ng Shortell

Key clients

Didi Chuxing

General Atlantic

Wanda Sports & Media

Work highlights

  • Acted for Aspex Master Fund as the lead investor on a $330m Series C+ financing round in XPeng Inc, a leading electric vehicle and technology company with operations in the US and the PRC.
  • Advised Wanda Sports & Media (Hong Kong) Holding Co. Limited on taking Nasdaq-listed Wanda Sports Group private, the very first take-private transaction of solely Nasdaq-listed Hong Kong company.
  • Advised Didi Chuxing on the spin-off of Didi Freight to strategically diversify its business, capture growth and capitalize its market value.

Tanner De Witt

Led by the 'responsive and pragmatic' Pàdraig Walsh, Tanner De Witt provides 'practical advice' to investors, strategics and founders on a range of transactional, procurement, data protection and commercial contracts matters. Walsh acts for clients in a wide variety of industries, such as fintech, regtech, healthtech and cleantech, among many others. He is knowledgeable about issues associated with new technologies, including AI, blockchain and cloud. Consultant Nigel Stamp  is a recent arrival from K&L Gates.

Practice head(s):

Pàdraig Walsh

Other key lawyers:

Nigel Stamp

Testimonials

The team provides practical advice and solutions.’

Padraig Walsh provides practical advice to tech start-ups. His broad range of expertise has been particularly helpful for early stages companies.’

Padraig Walsh is extremely responsive and provides a consistently high level of client service, with a balanced and pragmatic approach.’

Key clients

Nomura Holdings, Inc.

A collaboration of The Human Technology Project and iTech Law

Coherent Group

Edge Squared

Brinc

KPMG as liquidators of Bio-Medical Engineering (HK)Limited

Work highlights

  • Advising Nomura on the extension (by several years) and modification (i.e.broadening in scope) of a significant transaction with Hitachi Vantara to provide the bank with global data capacity on a very novel so called “utility compute” basis.
  • Participated in the research and report on the use of new technologies in public health which resulted in the publication “Technology Governance in a Time of Crisis” – an international report on the responsible governance of Covid-19 contact-tracing technologies.
  • Advised insurtech company, Coherent Group, on its Series A investment round.