Helen Liao > Deacons > Hong Kong, Hong Kong > Lawyer Profile

Hong Kong

Work Department

Employment and Pensions practice group




Helen Liao is a partner in the Employment & Immigration practice with over 15 years of experience. As a dual-qualified lawyer in both mainland China and Hong Kong, Helen has solid experience in handling cross-border employment arrangements, income tax compliance solutions, immigration and complex multi-jurisdictional labour issues arising from global talent mobility and commercial transactions including mergers and acquisitions, outsourcing situations and other re-organisations.

She advises both Chinese-funded enterprises and multinational companies across a wide range of industries in mainland China and Hong Kong, including life science, medical, pharmaceuticals, tourism, aviation, telecommunications, media, cultural publishing, retail, construction, fashion, luxury goods, as well as asset management, banking, securities, insurance and other financial services.

Prior to joining the firm, Helen had worked at a top-tier PRC law firm in mainland China and the Chinese offices of a reputable international law firm for nearly 10 years. Helen is recognised by World Bank as an “expert” on China employment law for her regular contributions to the IFC-World Bank’s global “Doing Business” project. She also delivers public seminars in Mandarin, Cantonese and English to various HR management organisations and key MNC clients in respect of recent developments in the China and Hong Kong employment law practice.


Helen regularly advises Chinese & multinational employers throughout the entire process of employment from recruitment to termination, which consists of following:

  • Draft & review offer letters;
  • Draft & review employment contracts and restrictive covenants;
  • Draft & review employment-related handbooks;
  • Draft & review corporate policies including workplace safety, anti-discrimination, holiday & leave entitlements, staff integration and employee transfer;
  • Draft employees’ benefit and incentive plans;
  • Advise in the negotiation process of termination of senior executive’s employment;
  • Provide legal advices, practical plans and guides on cross-border employment, and
  • Advise cases associated with sexual harassment, data privacy, anti-corruption internal investigation and whistle-blower protection;
  • Assist clients in dealing with the unannounced inspections conducted by the Labour Department, Immigration Department and Revenue Department, as well as the labour dispute resolution with employees;
  • Application of work visas & permits; and
  • Other matters related to employment & immigration.




Member of the Employment Law Committee of The Law Society of Hong Kong (31 October 2021 – 30 October 2022)

Member of the Subcommittee on Practice in Service Centres, at Home, in Domestic Premises or by Virtual Offices of The Law Society of Hong Kong

Chairman, Employment Law Committee, Hong Kong and Mainland Legal Profession Association

Deputy Secretary-General, Legal Profession advancement Association Limited

Invited arbitrator of Beihai International Arbitration Court

Member of the Labour Law Branch of Labour and Social Security Law Society in Beijing

Member of the Law Society of Hong Kong

Member of Shenzhen Lawyers Association


LL.B, China University of Political Science and Law, 2001

LL.M, University of Bristol, 2005

Lawyer Rankings

China > Labour and employment: foreign firms

(Next Generation Partners)

Helen Liao  – Deacons

Advising regularly on sensitive employment-related matters, Deacons is adept at assisting its clients with navigating the complexities of PRC labour law. PRC Bar qualified Helen Liao advises both Chinese state-funded enterprises and multinational companies across a range of industries including shipping, telecoms and tourism. Liao’s key areas of expertise include cross-border employment arrangements, income tax compliance, immigration and more generally, the multi-jurisdictional labour issues arising from global talent mobility. Notably, the firm counts other law firms among its client roster which it advises on high-level terminations.

Hong Kong > Labour and employment

Deacons is a market leader in the employment sphere, which as well as an extensive advisory practice tackling such employment issues as those presented by the Covid-19 pandemic, also boasts an impressive contentious offering which benefits enormously from one of the largest and long-established litigation practices in Hong Kong. Leading the employment team and bringing almost three decades of experience is Cynthia Chung, who in recent years has served as a seasoned advisor to both local and international clients on contemporary issues such as remote working and vaccination requirements. Elsie Chan is widely renowned and respected for her handling of contentious matters, regularly called upon by some of the largest employers in Hong Kong to act in high profile cases, often involving statutory bodies and appearing before the most senior courts. Helen Liao has developed a significant practice guiding employers through the complex and sensitive area of discrimination law.