Firm Profile > Deacons > Hong Kong, Hong Kong

Hong Kong

Hong Kong > Intellectual property Tier 1

With eight partners focused on IP matters, as well as access to an in-house team of patent attorneys, independent Hong Kong big-hitter Deacons has the resources to handle the full scope of contentious and non-contentious IP matters, directly from clients, as well as on a referral basis from other law firms. Triple qualified in Canada, UK, and Hong Kong, and also benefiting from a science background, Charmaine Koo is the 'go-to practitioner' across a myriad of IP matters relating to trade marks, copyright, passing off, and patents. 'There's a reason why everyone in the market instructs her', Koo combines strong commercial instincts with deep knowledge of the underlying law and technology/science being used, whether it be in the context of advice on commercial contracts, or high-stakes litigation. One of the few Hong Kong solicitors with postgraduate qualifications, lawyer and patent attorney Jeffrey McLean is a key resource on the patent front, with his work spanning disputes, as well as portfolio management and prosecution advice. 'Very talentedPatsy Lau co-heads the team with Koo and specialises in the protection of large multinational and regional trade mark portfolios.

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‘The team is very professional, efficient, and effective. Its dedication to work and its clients is an example for all IP firms to follow. The firm stands head and shoulders over almost all IP firms we work with.’

‘Knowledgeable, not just in law but also in the field/industry (healthcare). The application of the law in the right context makes it helpful and useful to make sound commercial decisions.’

‘Deacons’ IP practice team calls in the best trade mark brains in Hong Kong.’

‘Patsy Lau and Charmaine Koo are the people we work with the most and it is from their work and their support that sets them apart from other IP practitioners.’

‘Patsy Lau is a very talented trade mark practitioner.’

Key clients


PCCW Group

Ping An



Hong Kong > Investment funds Tier 1

Hong Kong-headquartered Deacons is well-regarded for its registered and alternative funds expertise. Its key areas of strength include retail funds, exchange traded funds (ETFs), mandatory provident funds (MPFs), hedge funds and private equity funds. It advises a number of international and local asset managers on structuring and obtaining authorisation for new funds, marketing and post-authorisation compliance issues. The firm has strong links to the SFC and a large team that is well placed to handle SFC regulatory, licensing and compliance matters. Jane McBride heads the practice alongside Jeremy Lam, who handles a large portfolio of local and international asset management clients, and is a member of the Regulatory Sub-Committee of the Hong Kong Investment Funds Association. Pinky Siu and Ming Chiu Li, who specialises in SFC authorised funds and MPF and pension funds, were promoted to partner. Counsel Joanna Fung is recommended.

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‘The team is led by a group of partners who are subject matter experts and understand what the regulator is thinking versus what the client wants to achieve’.

‘Pinky Siu and Alwyn Li are always ready to help and offer practical solutions in a timely manner at any time of day’.

‘Su Cheen provides us with practical advice and guidance on navigating the regulatory regime in Hong Kong’.

‘Deacons has been a leader in providing legal advice in the investment funds area’.

‘Their partners and associates are very familiar with the latest practice in the market’.

‘Pinky Sui is an experienced lawyer in the investment funds space and is very knowledgeable on aspects relating to authorised funds in Hong Kong’.

‘Alwyn Li maintains good relationship with the clients, peers and regulators’.

‘Alwyn Li is always able to provide timely, useful and business-sensible advice to me’.

Key clients

Aberdeen Standard SICAV I

Aberdeen International Fund Managers Limited

Bank Consortium Trust Company Limited

Baring Asset Management Limited

BOCHK Asset Management Limited

Bank of China Investment Management

First State Investments (Hong Kong) Limited

GaoTeng Global Asset Management Limited

Haitong International Asset Management (HK) Limited

Invesco Hong Kong Limited

JPMorgan Funds (Asia) Limited

Natixis Investment Managers UK Limited

Oaktree Capital (Hong Kong) Limited

Ping An of China Asset Management (Hong Kong)

Ping An Asset Management (Shanghai)

Principal Global Investors (Ireland) Limited

Schroder Investment Management (Hong Kong) Limited

Schroder Investment Management (Singapore) Ltd.

St. James’s Place Unit Trust Group Limited

St. James’s Place Wealth Management Plc

Sumitomo Mitsui Trust (Hong Kong) Limited

UBS AG – Global Asset Management

Value Partners Group Limited

VMS Securities Limited

Hong Kong > Labour and employment Tier 1

Benefiting from strong ties with many local Hong Kong-based private and public sector employers, and also regularly picking up referral work from other law firms by dint of the firm's independent status, Deacons handles a tremendous range and volume of work across the spectrum of employment issues. Although the firm does frequently handle litigation, including on matters relating to data privacy and discrimination, it prides itself on its proactive approach and willingness to work with employers to ensure that robust risk management procedures are put in place to avoid any potential problems at a later stage. Overseen by the 'technically sharp and commercially pragmaticCynthia Chung, the team's trusted advisor reputation on behalf of many local employers has been heightened in recent months, with clients finding succor in its ability to provide very pertinent and appropriate advice on the employment issues associated with the recent social unrest in the country, as well as in relation to Covid-19. As well as her fee-earning work across the spectrum of contentious and non-contentious matters, the 'very knowledgeable and approachableElsie Chan is also gaining recognition for her thought leadership, and alongside Chung, recently co-authored a well-received study looking into the state of corporate culture in Hong Kong.

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‘The team is vastly experienced and able to provide prompt, practical, and effective advice.’

‘The professional, responsive, and friendly team provides a practical and insightful approach.’

‘The firm provides solid and practical solutions to the legal issues we face and is always responsive.’

‘The team always respond to our inquiries promptly – advising us on the relevant legislation and their implications to our organization. They go further to highlight the potential pitfalls and the grey areas in the law, and help us prepare for different scenarios and planning. They are our trusted advisors.’

‘Cynthia Chung is outstanding to work with – she is technically sharp, commercially pragmatic, and very experienced.’

‘Cynthia Chung and Elsie Chan have been advising us for a number of years. Both of them are easy to approach, thorough in their analysis, and provide balanced and practicable advice and recommendations.’

‘Elsie Chan not only works in accordance with our instruction but will pro-actively provide valuable inputs and suggestions. We usually follow her advice, as she and her team not only have good knowledge in the employment law but have great exposure in the HR area of different industries.’

‘Elsie Chan is very knowledgeable and approachable. She is very passionate about her work and can always think outside the box to help us solve our problems.’

‘Elsie Chan is quick, sharp, and responsive in providing advice required. As a client, it is reassuring to know that you’re her top priority.’

‘Vickie Leung is very reliable.’


Hong Kong > Real estate Tier 2

Deacons is 'very well established in the real estate space', and counts developer-side mandates as a core strength of the practice. Commercial, residential, and industrial real estate projects are prominent in the team's workload. The 'very commercial' practice head Lilian Chiang is 'a leading expert in real estate matters'. Wallace Wong provides 'responsive and practical advice'; Karen Chan is also singled out.

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Knowledgeable in all aspects of real estate matters‘.

Key clients

MTR Corporation

ACE Dragon Development

Wheelock Properties

Power Trust Development

Hong Kong > Regulatory Tier 2

Deacons' practice was bolstered recently by the arrival of consultant Stephen Tisdall from Hong Kong's SFC and has significant experience in advising on securities and regulatory matters. The contentious practice houses Joseph Kwan, who is noted for his expertise in acting for clients in SFC investigations. On the non-contentious side, Jeremy Lam and Jane McBride, who heads up the firm’s dedicated SFC licensing, compliance, and regulatory team, are the key names; securities-related mandates are a core strength for the pair. Consultant Simon Deane is a name to note.

Hong Kong > Antitrust and competition Tier 3

Able to call upon the expertise of its own in-house competition economist Sharon Pang Deacons has been particularly well-positioned to provide effective and commercial advice to clients on risk management advisory work, as well as on contentious matters brought by the fledgling enforcement agency. Indeed, the firm has had some form of involvement in half of the cases heard before the Competition Tribunal, including being brought in to assist the lead counsel on the formulation of economic arguments and defence strategies for Meyer Aluminium, as respondent, in what was the first and to date only private cases referred to the Tribunal. Team head Machiuanna Chu was also involved in the aforementioned matter and also regularly provides antitrust structuring advice as an offshoot of her broader M&A expertise. Both Chu and Pang are also fluent Cantonese speakers and thereby are well-equipped to represent smaller local companies in dealings with the Competition Commission.

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Key clients

The Commercial Press (Hong Kong) Limited; Sino United Publishing (Holdings) Limited

Meyer Aluminium Limited

Hong Kong > Capital markets (debt) Tier 3

Deacons advise issuers and underwriters on big-ticket and first-of-their-kind bond issuances. It is noted for its experience acting for listed companies, financial institutions, and government entities on bond transactions, including direct issuance by PRC SOEs and issuance by offshore entities of PRC corporations. Practice head Kevin Tong has over 18 years’ experience in debt capital market transactions.

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Key clients

AVIC International Leasing Co., Ltd.

Bank of China (Hong Kong) Limited

Bank of Communications Co., Ltd. Hong Kong Branch

Guangzhou Metro Group Co., Ltd.

Shandong Iron & Steel Group Co., Ltd.

The Bank of East Asia, Limited

The Wharf (Holdings) Limited

Wharf Real Estate Investment Company Limited

Wheelock and Company Limited

Xi’an Municipal Infrastructure Construction Investment Group Corporation, Ltd

Hong Kong > Capital markets (equity) Tier 3

Deacons is noted for its high volume capital markets practice, with experience in IPOs, secondary issues, M&A, and corporate restructurings. The team leverages mandates in the IT, fashion, food and beverage, construction and property management sectors. Head of practice Ronny Chow has over 25 years’ experience in corporate finance and securities work, and cross-border private equity transactions. Eugina Chan jointly heads the team. Senior associate Doris Leung is recommended and Canny Lau was promoted to partner.

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‘Deacons has an enviable reputation as a leading Hong Kong capital markets practice over the past three decades’.

‘Its breadth and depth of expertise in acting for sponsors and issuers are outstanding in this field’.

‘Its strength lies in its pool of talented and dedicated practitioners who are well-versed with the nuances of corporate finance transactions’.

‘Sabrina Fung is particularly recognised in the industry for her superb client service, combining technical excellence with business acumen’.

‘Good relationship with customers’.

‘Good service quality’.

‘The team is very experienced’.

Key clients

Analogue Holdings Limited

BNP Paribas Securities (Asia) Limited

DBS Asia Capital Limited

Dongxing Securities (Hong Kong) Company Limited

Guotai Junan Capital Limited

Haitong International Capital Limited

Huijing Holdings Company Limited

ICBC International Capital Limited

Renrui Human Resources Technology Holdings Limited

Tai Hing Group Holdings Limited

Hong Kong > Construction Tier 3

Deacons has been especially active in arbitration work, and has also been kept busy assisting contractors and developers with a range of construction disputes. The team is led by Kwok Kit Cheung; arbitration expert Joseph Chung and Justin Yuen are names to note.

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The team provides good, quick and practical advice‘.

Key clients

Ching Lee Engineering

KML Engineering

Kwan On Construction Company

Cheung Hing Construction Company

Hong Kong > Corporate (including M&A) Tier 3

Local Hong Kong firm Deacons has a long track record in cross-border corporate M&A. As a member of several global networks of law firms, such as Lex Mundi, World Services Group, and Interlex, the practice is well-placed to handle matters with an international aspect. It is vastly experienced in China market entry transactions and is able to offer support through its Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou office. Chinese SOEs and privately-owned enterprises are key client targets, which it advises on outbound investment and business activities in or through Hong Kong. Ronny Chow, Eugina Chan and Machiuanna Chu head the team. Canny Lau was promoted to partner.


‘Alexander Que has in-depth knowledge on the rules and regulations in relation M&A’.

‘Alexander Que is very responsive and always enthusiastic to work with’.

‘Alexander Que is very patient and is able to explain a difficult legal concept in a simply way to the client’.

‘Machiuanna Chu is very charming, exceptionally practical and deeply knowledgeable’.

‘Machiuanna Chu is exceptionally attentive, technically knowledgeable and pragmatic’.

‘Machiuanna Chu is always on top of her game’.

‘The team is both legally and commercially knowledgeable and always able to deliver professionally and efficiently’.

‘The team is very in tune with what’s happening in the market’.

Key clients

Chongbang Group

Chuang’s Consortium International Limited

Goldin Financial Holdings Limited

Kerry Logistics Network Limited

Lai Sun group, including Lai Sun Garment (International) Limited, Lai Sun Development Company Limited, eSun Holdings Limited and Lai Fung Holdings Limited

Luen Thai Holdings Limited

Shimao Property Holdings Limited

The Wharf (Holdings) Limited

Wharf Real Estate Investment Company Limited

Wheelock and Company Limited

Hong Kong > Dispute resolution: international arbitration Tier 3

Deacons counts construction sector matters as a core pillar of strength. Joseph Kwan leads the 'very "hands-on"' team; key names to note are the 'very hard-working and diligent' Joseph Chung; Kwok Kit Cheung, who represents contractors, subcontractors and developers in arbitrations; commercial disputes expert Robert Clark; and the 'very personable and enthusiastic' Justin Yuen.

Practice head(s):


The team is very personable and approachable‘.

Justin Yuen – young bright lawyer with a great future. Good with clients and very personable and enthusiastic. Hard-worker and knowledgeable in his field‘.

Hong Kong > Dispute resolution: litigation Tier 3

At Deacons, the team continues to act for DP World Djibouti FZCO (along with two companies within the UAE DP World Group) in a claim against port builder China Merchants Group for allegedly inducing the breach of DP World’s port concession agreement with Djibouti. Practice head Joseph Kwan has an excellent reputation for his expertise in high-profile commercial litigation. Paul Kwan is 'practical' and counts shareholders' disputes as a key strength. Robert Clark, Carmen Ng and associate Michelle Li are also singled out.

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They have a strong litigation team, with excellent back up from highly able associates. They are very result- and client-orientated, and go to great lengths to do their best to achieve results for their clients. The level of client care, as well as their extensive efforts on behalf of clients, is outstanding‘.

Joseph Kwan is very clever, has a very comprehensive knowledge of most areas of civil law particularly commercial law, an intelligent and forward thinking strategist, wholly committed to clients, and one of the nicest and easy to get on with people one could hope to meet. If I had a personal litigation matter, he is the person I would want to represent me‘.

Key clients

DP World Djibouti FZCO

Hummingbird Music

Hong Kong > Domestic and International Corporate Tax Tier 3

Spearheaded by 'gifted' counsel Stefano MarianiDeacons' tax team is a firm favorite among a variety of regional and multinational corporates, and public sector bodies, as a result of its conversance with the Hong Kong tax framework, allied to a strong understanding of international tax considerations. Mariani is regularly called upon to advise on cross-border tax planning and Double Taxation Treaty driven tax structuring, while also adding particular value on the contentious front by dint of his ability and willingness to handle his own advocacy on behalf of clients.

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‘The team of lawyers led by Stefano Mariani was efficient, fast, and extremely accurate in delivering the advice.’

‘Stefano Mariani is a top-class tax lawyer and extremely knowledgeable in cross-border tax transactions.’

Hong Kong > Insurance Tier 3

Alfred Tam is the key contact at Deacons, which is very experienced in handling a broad range of contentious insurance work; past areas of instruction include catastrophic injuries, occupiers' liability cases, product liability, and regulatory insurance matters.

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Hong Kong > TMT Tier 3

Co-headed by corporate/commercial partner Machiuanna Chu and IP partner Charmaine KooDeacons has strong coverage across a range of TMT-related transactional, advisory, and litigation work, including on data breach and cutting-edge blockchain matters. Formerly an in-house lawyer for a major global media and entertainment company, Koo has excellent insight into work in this space and is regularly instructed by key stakeholders in the industry, including film studios and music publishers on commercial contract matters and contractual/IP-related disputes work. The team was bolstered by the arrival of counsel Alice Li from Osborne Clarke in June 2020, particularly in light of her aptitude at handling corporate and commercial matters related to emerging and disruptive technologies.

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Key clients

Triumph International, Inc.


eSun Holdings Limited



Hong Kong > Banking and finance Tier 4

Independent local firm Deacons is noted for its experience in financing transactions, banking regulations, anti-money laundering, cryptocurrencies, online lending platforms, Fintech, and insolvency and restructuring matters. Philip Gilligan now heads the finance and insolvency department after Simon Deane stepped down into a consultancy role. Gilligan acts for lenders and borrowers on syndicated and single bank facilities across Asia. Lam Wing Wo retired.

China > Labour and employment: foreign firms Tier 3

Independent Hong Kong-based heavy-hitter Deacons is recognised by international corporates, as well as international law firms lacking a presence in the region, as a safe pair of hands with which to advise across a range of employment-related Hong Kong and mainland China legal concerns. The scope of the work is broad and includes advice on cross-border employment arrangements, immigration, and complex multi-jurisdictional labour issues arising from global talent mobility. Appreciated by clients for her 'strong legal background and local experience', Helen Liao is the primary contact for PRC-related employment advice and forms an integral part of the firm's overarching Greater China employment group that is headed by the 'outstandingCynthia Chung.

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‘The excellent Helen Liao has a strong legal background and local experience.’

‘The responsive Helen Liao provides thorough legal advice,  good time management and clear communication.’

As Hong Kong’s own world-class law firm, Deacons advises some of the world’s leading companies, financial institutions and individuals in Hong Kong and Mainland China, on their most significant and complex matters. We combine a strong tradition of client service with a pioneering, cosmopolitan outlook and offer the wide range of advice that you would expect from Hong Kong’s leading independent law firm.

We are also Hong Kong’s longest-established legal practice, established in 1851. Deacons’ culture blends traditional client care with modern technology and working practices. Our lawyers stay on top of market developments and regulatory changes across the region, in order to provide relevant, practical and tailored advice.

Operating from our Hong Kong headquarters and three representative offices in Mainland China, we offer clients the benefit of our close relationships with Hong Kong’s business community. Our contacts across the region mean that we can manage multijurisdictional work throughout South East Asia and even further afield.

Deacons’ impressive track record has been noted by a host of international publications and research agencies. What really matters to us, however, is what our clients think. And they tell us that what they appreciate most is our ability to understand their businesses and to act as ‘trusted advisors’ in helping them to take crucial business decisions.

With 18 key service areas and three representative offices in Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou, Deacons is the largest independent local law firm in Hong Kong. Our principal service areas include: Banking and Finance, Capital Markets, China Trade and Investment, Competition, Construction, Corporate and M&A, Corporate Services, Employment and Pensions, Investment Funds, Insolvency and Restructuring, Insurance, Intellectual Property, Litigation and Dispute Resolution, Private Clients, Real Estate, Regulatory and Tax.

Department Name Email Telephone
Banking & Finance Philip Gilligan
Capital Markets Ronny Chow
Capital Markets Eugina Chan
Competition Machiuanna Chu
Construction KK Cheung
Corporate and M&A Machiuanna Chu
Employment & Pensions Cynthia Chung
Insolvency & Restructuring Philip Gilligan
Insurance Alfred Tam
Intellectual Property Annie Tsoi
Intellectual Property Charmaine Koo
Investment Funds Jeremy Lam
Litigation & Dispute Resolution Joseph Kwan
Private Clients Lilian Chiang
Real Estate Lilian Chiang
Regulatory Joseph Kwan
Regulatory Jeremy Lam
Tax Stefano Mariani
Photo Name Position Profile
 Elsie Chan photo Elsie Chan Partner
 Eugina Chan photo Eugina Chan Partner, co-head of Corporate Finance practice group
 Karen Chan  photo Karen Chan Partner
 Peter Cheng photo Peter Cheng Partner
 Kwok Kit Cheung photo Kwok Kit Cheung Partner, head of Construction practice group
 Kelvan Cheung  photo Kelvan Cheung Partner
 Lilian Chiang photo Lilian Chiang Senior Partner, head of Property practice group
 Ronny Chow photo Ronny Chow Partner, co-head of Corporate Finance practice group
 Machiuanna Chu photo Machiuanna Chu Partner
 Su Cheen Chuah photo Su Cheen Chuah Partner
 Cynthia Chung photo Cynthia Chung Partner, head of Corporate Commercial practice group
 Joseph Chung photo Joseph Chung Partner
 Robert Clark photo Robert Clark Partner
 Fiona Fong photo Fiona Fong Partner
 Sabrina Fung photo Sabrina Fung Partner
 Philip Gilligan photo Philip Gilligan Partner, head of Finance and Insolvency practice group
 Richard Hudson photo Richard Hudson Partner
 Taylor Hui photo Taylor Hui Partner
 Charmaine Koo photo Charmaine Koo Partner, co-head of Intellectual Property practice group
 Joseph Kwan photo Joseph Kwan Partner, head of Commercial Litigation practice group
 Paul Kwan  photo Paul Kwan Partner
 Jeremy Lam photo Jeremy Lam Partner, head of Financial Services practice group
 Canny Lau photo Canny Lau Partner
 Patsy Lau photo Patsy Lau Partner
 Teresa Lau photo Teresa Lau Partner
 Linda Lee  photo Linda Lee Partner
 Maynard Leung photo Maynard Leung Partner
 Alwyn Li photo Alwyn Li Partner
 Ming Chiu Li photo Ming Chiu Li Partner
 Helen Liao photo Helen Liao Partner
 Ian Liu photo Ian Liu Partner
 Kelley Loo  photo Kelley Loo Partner
 Gary Lui  photo Gary Lui Partner
 Stefano Mariani photo Stefano Mariani Partner
 Jeffrey McLean  photo Jeffrey McLean Partner
 Carmen NG photo Carmen NG Partner
 Alexander Que photo Alexander Que Partner
 Myles Seto photo Myles Seto Partner
 Dora Si  photo Dora Si Partner
 Gere Sit  photo Gere Sit Partner
 Pinky Siu photo Pinky Siu Partner
 Peter So photo Peter So Partner
 Alfred Tam photo Alfred Tam Partner, head of Insurance Litigiation practice group
 Kevin Tong photo Kevin Tong Partner
 Annie Tsoi photo Annie Tsoi Partner, co-head of Intellectual Prorperty practice group
 Edwarde Webre  photo Edwarde Webre Partner
 Gary Wong photo Gary Wong Partner
 Wallace Wong  photo Wallace Wong Partner
 Wai Tung Yu  photo Wai Tung Yu Partner
 Justin Yuen photo Justin Yuen Partner
 Icarus Yuen photo Icarus Yuen Partner
 Rhoda Yung photo Rhoda Yung Partner
 Catherine Zheng photo Catherine Zheng Partner
Partners : 52
Chinese (Cantonese and Mandarin)
Chinese (including Cantonese and Shanghainese dialects)