Firm Profile > Deacons > Hong Kong, Hong Kong
5TH FLOOR, ALEXANDRA HOUSE
18 CHATER ROAD, CENTRAL
Deacons > The Legal 500 Rankings
Intellectual property Tier 1With 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 talented' Patsy Lau co-heads the team with Koo and specialises in the protection of large multinational and regional trade mark portfolios.
‘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.’
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.
Other key lawyers:
‘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’.
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
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 pragmatic' Cynthia 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 approachable' Elsie 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.
‘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.’
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
‘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’.
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
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.
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’.
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
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.
‘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‘.
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.
‘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‘.
DP World Djibouti FZCO
Spearheaded by 'gifted' counsel Stefano Mariani, Deacons' 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.
Other key lawyers:
‘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.’
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.
TMT Tier 3
Co-headed by corporate/commercial partner Machiuanna Chu and IP partner Charmaine Koo, Deacons 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.
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.
Deacons > Firm Profile
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 the PRC, 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 oldest 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 16 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, Construction, Corporate and M&A, Employment and Pensions, Investment Funds, Insolvency and Restructuring, Insurance, Intellectual Property, Litigation and Dispute Resolution, Private Clients, Real Estate, Regulatory and Tax.
|Banking & Finance||Philip Gilliganfirstname.lastname@example.org|
|Capital Markets||Ronny Chowemail@example.com|
|Capital Markets||Eugina Chanfirstname.lastname@example.org|
|China Trade & Investment||Myles Setoemail@example.com|
|Corporate and M&A||Machiuanna Chufirstname.lastname@example.org|
|Employment & Pensions||Cynthia Chungemail@example.com|
|Insolvency & Restructuring||Philip Gilliganfirstname.lastname@example.org|
|Intellectual Property||Annie Tsoiemail@example.com|
|Intellectual Property||Charmaine Koofirstname.lastname@example.org|
|Investment Funds||Jeremy Lamemail@example.com|
|Litigation & Dispute Resolution||Joseph Kwanfirstname.lastname@example.org|
|Private Clients||Lilian Chiangemail@example.com|
|Real Estate||Lilian Chiangfirstname.lastname@example.org|
|Eugina Chan||Partner, co-head of Corporate Finance practice group||View Profile|
|Elsie Chan||Partner||View Profile|
|Karen Chan||Partner||View Profile|
|Peter Cheng||Partner||View Profile|
|Kwok Kit Cheung||Partner, head of Construction practice group||View Profile|
|Kelvan Cheung||Partner||View Profile|
|Lilian Chiang||Senior Partner, head of Property practice group||View Profile|
|Ronny Chow||Partner, co-head of Corporate Finance practice group||View Profile|
|Machiuanna Chu||Partner||View Profile|
|Su Cheen Chuah||Partner||View Profile|
|Cynthia Chung||Partner, head of Corporate Commercial practice group||View Profile|
|Joseph Chung||Partner||View Profile|
|Robert Clark||Partner||View Profile|
|Fiona Fong||Partner||View Profile|
|Sabrina Fung||Partner||View Profile|
|Philip Gilligan||Partner, head of Finance and Insolvency practice group||View Profile|
|Richard Hudson||Partner||View Profile|
|Taylor Hui||Partner||View Profile|
|Charmaine Koo||Partner, co-head of Intellectual Property practice group||View Profile|
|Joseph Kwan||Partner, head of Commercial Litigation practice group||View Profile|
|Paul Kwan||Partner||View Profile|
|Jeremy Lam||Partner, head of Financial Services practice group||View Profile|
|Teresa Lau||Partner||View Profile|
|Canny Lau||Partner||View Profile|
|Patsy Lau||Partner||View Profile|
|Linda Lee||Partner||View Profile|
|Maynard Leung||Partner||View Profile|
|Ming Chiu Li||Partner||View Profile|
|Alwyn Li||Partner||View Profile|
|Helen Liao||Partner||View Profile|
|Mr Ian Liu||Partner||View Profile|
|Kelley Loo||Partner||View Profile|
|Gary Lui||Partner||View Profile|
|Stefano Mariani||Partner||View Profile|
|Jeffrey McLean||Partner||View Profile|
|Carmen NG||Partner||View Profile|
|Alexander Que||Partner||View Profile|
|Myles Seto||Partner||View Profile|
|Dora Si||Partner||View Profile|
|Gere Sit||Partner||View Profile|
|Pinky Siu||Partner||View Profile|
|Peter So||Partner||View Profile|
|Alfred Tam||Partner, head of Insurance Litigiation practice group||View Profile|
|Kevin Tong||Partner||View Profile|
|Annie Tsoi||Partner, co-head of Intellectual Prorperty practice group||View Profile|
|Edwarde Webre||Partner||View Profile|
|Gary Wong||Partner||View Profile|
|Wallace Wong||Partner||View Profile|
|Wai Tung Yu||Partner||View Profile|
|Justin Yuen||Partner||View Profile|
|Icarus Yuen||Partner||View Profile|
|Rhoda Yung||Partner||View Profile|
|Catherine Zheng||Partner||View Profile|
Staff FiguresPartners : 53
LanguagesKorean Spanish Malay French Dutch German Japanese Italian Hokkien English Cantonese Chinese (Cantonese and Mandarin) Swedish Hindi Norwegian Portugese Chinese (including Cantonese and Shanghainese dialects)
Top Tier Firm Rankings
Top Tier Firm Rankings
- Real estate
- Antitrust and competition
- Capital markets (debt)
- Capital markets (equity)
- Corporate (including M&A)
- Dispute resolution: international arbitration
- Dispute resolution: litigation
- Domestic and International Corporate Tax
- Banking and finance