The Legal 500

Twitter Logo Youtube Circle Icon LinkedIn Icon

Simmons & Simmons

Work +852 2868 1131
Fax +852 2810 5040

Hong Kong

Banking and finance
Banking and finance - ranked: tier 4

Simmons & Simmons LLP

Simmons & Simmons LLP's Hong Kong team operates as part of a broader practice in the Asia-Pacific region, with the firm also fielding banking and finance specialists in Singapore and Beijing.  Its ability to run transactions across offices is a key factor in the firm winning work from new clients, as well as generating new instructions from existing ones. A major area of strength for the Hong Kong  is structured trade and commodities finance; Richard McKeown and Jolyon Ellwood-Russell both have expertise in this area. Fund finance and leveraged finance transactions are also core pillars of the practice, as are pre-IPO financings and margin lending transactions. Elsewhere, the firm is becoming increasingly active in the fintech arena, where it advises banks on payment and cross-border settlement processes. Clients such as Standard Chartered Bank, Rabobank, Société Générale and Agricultural Bank of China turn to the firm for banking-related advice. In addition, the team also generates work from borrowers. Supervising associate Catherine Kwong is recommended.

[back to top]

Corporate (including M&A)
Corporate (including M&A) - ranked: tier 4

Simmons & Simmons LLP

Simmons & Simmons LLP's corporate and commercial practice in Asia is led by Ian Wood, who has particular experience in acting for financial institutions and asset managers on corporate and transactional matters. Wood's team includes Joseph Lee, who has expertise in advising Hong Kong-based companies on M&A, private equity transactions, joint ventures, corporate restructurings and corporate governance issues. Vivien Yang is a go-to partner for advice on corporate transactional and commercial issues related to oil, gas and power generation.

[back to top]

Investment funds
Investment funds - ranked: tier 1

Simmons & Simmons

Simmons & Simmons advises institutional and alternative fund managers across Asia on a wide range of fund products. It has made a name for itself in the retail funds arena, notably in relation to exchange-traded funds (ETFs) and leveraged and inverse (L&I) products, where it maintains a dominant position in Hong Kong Stock Exchange listings. In 2017, working with the London office, Eva Chan acted as the lead adviser to Premia Partners on the establishment, authorisation and listing of two China A-Shares ETFs, namely Premia CSI Caixin China Bedrock Economy ETF and Premia CSI Caixin China New Economy ETF; this matter represented the launch of the first multi-factor smart beta China equity ETFs in Hong Kong. Further illustrative of the retail funds offering, another highlight saw team head Rolfe Hayden and consultant Ivy Yam advise Ping An of China Asset Management (Hong Kong) on the establishment, SFC authorisation and listing of Ping An of China CSI 5-10Y CGB ETF; this matter represented the first ETF listing in Hong utilising the Bond Connect initiative to invest in Chinese government bonds. In the hedge funds arena, the team is highly active in launching hedge fund start-ups; it recently handled hedge fund launches for Fort Hill Capital, Goldstream and Honghu Capital, among others. Private equity fund structurings are another area of expertise. Gaven Cheong is also recommended.

Leading individuals

Rolfe Hayden - Simmons & Simmons

[back to top]

Labour and employment
Labour and employment - ranked: tier 1

Simmons & Simmons LLP

Often working closely with lawyers based in Shanghai and Singapore, Simmons & Simmons LLP's three-partner Hong Kong team provides 'tailored and very commercial advice' to clients from a range of industry sectors, covering employment law matters ranging from ad hoc advice to advice on complex strategic HR planning. 'Offering a depth of experience that few other employment lawyers in Hong Kong can match', Asia team head Fiona Loughrey offers 'a no-nonsense approach to complex problems' and 'works hard to offer practical insights for foreign companies'. Benefiting from a 'remarkable ability to solve problems creatively and pragmatically', Loughrey's broad-ranging employment coverage includes advising clients on handling termination disputes, advice on data protection issues and protection of business interests and injunctions. As head of the firm's Asia dispute resolution offering, Marc Thorley regularly handles contentious matters and, alongside Loughrey, recently represented the plaintiff in proceedings brought against a former employee relating to the disclosure of confidential infomation and breach of a very senior employee’s contractual and fiduciary duties. Sarah Berkeley is 'a very seasoned employment lawyer' and provides 'commercial and practical advice' to clients, including on issues relating to bonus and incentive arrangements and on strategic matters relating to reorganisations and restructurings. Supervising associate Wendy Wong has 'a very good understanding of the technicalities of the law'. The department was further strengthened in February 2018 by the arrival of consultant Russell Lamb from Greenberg Traurig, LLP's London office.

Leading individuals

Fiona Loughrey - Simmons & Simmons LLP

Sarah Berkeley - Simmons & Simmons LLP

Next Generation Partners

Wendy Wong - Simmons & Simmons LLP

[back to top]

Regulatory - ranked: tier 2

Simmons & Simmons LLP

Simmons & Simmons LLP primarily covers the capital markets space and maintains a small niche fintech practice. Rolfe Hayden has experience in bank regulation under the Banking Ordinance, mergers by way of private ordinance, SFC licensing issues as well as disclosure of interests under the SFO. Asia practice head Paul Li assists clients during regulatory and criminal investigations; Ian Wood and Jay Lee are also singled out for their deep regulatory experience. Associate Sara Troughton and consultant Ivy Yam are also names to note.

Leading individuals

Paul Li - Simmons & Simmons LLP

[back to top]

TMT - ranked: tier 4

Simmons & Simmons LLP

With practitioners on the ground in Hong Kong, and benefiting from a strong presence in mainland China, Simmons & Simmons LLP provides a co-ordinated offering to international and Chinese TMT companies, as well as to strategic and financial investors engaged in corporate activity in the sector. A newly promoted partner within the firm's corporate and commercial group, Jingyuan Shi has a focus on handling private equity and venture capital transactions in the TMT sector. In addition to her transactional expertise, Shi is well-versed in the regulatory and IP concerns impacting clients in the sector, particularly as they relate to fintech matters. Ian Wood  is also well-versed in handling TMT corporate and commercial transactions, and has recently acted for numerous fintech start-ups across a range of regulatory and commercial matters relating to their businesses. Wood recently advised Neat, a fintech mobile account provider, on its structuring and establishment, including partnering with a provider of stored value facilities and Mastercard services, and advising on customer terms and data protection issues.

[back to top]

Hong Kong: Capital markets

Capital markets (debt)
Capital markets (debt) - ranked: tier 3

Simmons & Simmons LLP

Simmons & Simmons LLP's Hong Kong team has a notable record of success in a diverse range of complex transactions in Asia. Led by Jay Lee, it generates a strong pipeline of work from global asset managers, hedge funds, private equity funds, asset management arms of financial institutions and corporates. The group is frequently sought to advise on new and emerging products, as has been evidenced by its involvement in a number of the most high-profile Asian green bonds offerings in the market. In 2017, Lee and supervising associate Barry Lau acted as English law transaction counsel to Mizuho Securities Asia as sole bookrunner and sole lead manager on a $100m green bonds issuance by PRC-based Hitachi Capital Management (China), which was guaranteed by Japan-based Hitachi Capital. The firm also has a strong track record acting for banks and issuers in RMB-denominated bonds transactions. Other areas of expertise include convertible bonds and exchangeable bonds, medium-term note programmes and certificate of deposit programmes. David Neuville has assisted Hainan Airlines and its affiliates with a series of bond offerings since 2010. Supervising associate Anna Burns is another name to note. Simon McKnight has left the firm.

[back to top]

Hong Kong: Dispute resolution

Dispute resolution: litigation
Dispute resolution: litigation - ranked: tier 4

Simmons & Simmons LLP

Marc Thorley heads up the team at Simmons & Simmons LLP, having relocated from London to the Hong Kong office in January 2017. The team recently successfully defended Leslie Chang, former director and CFO of CITIC, in market misconduct tribunal proceedings initiated against him by the Securities & Futures Commission. Clients also include Ernst & Young.

[back to top]

Further information on Simmons & Simmons

Please choose from this list to view details of what we say about Simmons & Simmons in other jurisdictions.

United Arab Emirates

Offices in Dubai


Offices in Brussels


Offices in Shanghai and Beijing


Offices in Dusseldorf, Frankfurt, and Munich


Offices in Madrid


Offices in Paris

Hong Kong

Offices in Hong Kong


Offices in Milan


Offices in London


Offices in Luxembourg



Offices in Amsterdam


Offices in Doha


Offices in Singapore

Saudi Arabia

Offices in Jeddah and Riyadh

Legal Developments by:
Simmons & Simmons

  • Failure to counter financial crime: Norwich Union Life

    In December 2007, the Financial Services Authority (FSA) imposed a fine of £1.26m on Norwich Union Life (part of the Aviva Group), one of the largest life insurance businesses in the UK with around seven million customers. The fine related to failures to take reasonable care to establish and maintain effective systems and controls for countering the risks of financial crime. The fine is the latest confirmation of the emphasis being placed on protecting clients and customers from the threat of financial crime.
    - Simmons & Simmons

Legal Developments in Hong Kong

Legal Developments and updates from the leading lawyers in each jurisdiction. To contribute, send an email request to