Stephenson Harwood > Hong Kong, Hong Kong > Firm Profile

Stephenson Harwood
Hong Kong

Hong Kong > Asset finance (including aviation and shipping finance)

The ‘very experienced’ team at Stephenson Harwood provides ‘commercially sound and practical advice’ to a broad array of stakeholders engaged in both shipping and aviation financing mandates. Simon Wong is ‘extremely knowledgeable and experienced in aviation matters’ and has been a key sounding board to both banks and lessors as they seek to navigate the difficulties thrown up by the pandemic, including providing key advice on defaults and insolvencies throughout the APAC region. On the maritime front, the ‘very customer focused’ Hongkai Zhou has ‘great sensitivity to his clients’ needs’, ensuring that he provides an excellent service to lessors, owners and banks, including on transactions involving ECAs in China. Elton Chan is ‘solution-oriented and displays a high degree of business flexibility’ to shipping clients on leasing and structured finance matters.

Other key lawyers:

Louis Ng; Simone Liu


They always provide clients with sharp and precise advice from both a legal and commercial perspective.’

The team is very experienced and their advice is always commercially sound and practical. The team also has the support of their colleagues in the other practice areas and as such, was able to provide a holistic view of the matter.’ 

Simon Wong is a trustworthy lawyer in the aviation field and finance area. He is very well-rounded and recognized as one-stop-shop service for his clients.’

‘Simon Wong is extremely knowledgeable and experienced in aviation matters. He renders very commercially sound and practical advice.’

Hongkai Zhou is very customer focused and has great sensitivity to his clients’ needs.’

Elton Chan is solution-oriented and displays a high degree of business flexibility.’

Key clients

CMB Financial Leasing Co., Ltd.

ICBC Leasing

China Development Bank

The Export-Import Bank of China

CIBL Leasing

JIC Leasing

Work highlights

  • Advised CMB Financial Leasing Co., Ltd. on striking a leasing deal for five 15,000 TEU containerships that the French carrier CMA CGM is ordering in China from China State Shipbuilding Corporation.
  • Advised ICBCIL Aviation on a sale and leaseback transaction with flydubai, involving four new Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft.
  • Advised ICBC Aviation Leasing on a sale and leaseback transaction with Asiana involving five Airbus A350-900 aircraft and five Airbus A321neo aircraft.

Hong Kong > Private Client and Family Tier 1

One of the leading firms in this field, Stephenson Harwood has an exceptionally experienced private client practice, drawing from extensive expertise at their disposal in Hong Kong, Asia Pacific and across the globe. At the regional level, the team is particularly renowned for its capability to provide comprehensive advice relating to trusts, estates and multi-jurisdictional taxes; the latter being significantly bolstered by team head Kevin Lee’s extensive knowledge of Canadian and UK tax law. Lee is highly respected for the ‘holistic’ guidance he provides regarding the gamut of wealth matters, being sought after to resolve the most high profile, legally complex and multi-jurisdictional trust disputes. The addition of Wei Kang from DLA Piper in 2021 has helped balance some significant departures of the same year, bringing extensive experience of family trusts, tax compliance and succession planning. A crucial member of the team is associate Tze-wei Ng , who brings detailed knowledge of issues such as ESG and philanthropy, which are increasingly expanding matters in the Hong Kong market.

Practice head(s):

Kevin Lee

Other key lawyers:

Wei Kang; Tze-wei Ng; Peter Hodson; Karies Lam


‘Tze-wei Ng is quick, clear and responsive.’

‘Stephenson Harwood is an adaptive and intelligent law firm.’

Work highlights

  • Advised one of the largest PRC banks in setting up an onshore trust structure from a Canadian tax perspective and a general common law trust perspective. Also devised a procedure manual to guide the PRC bank trustee in administering the trust according to the usual practice in the common law jurisdictions.
  • Advised a UK client on structuring a Singaporean trust to acquire a Monaco company which holds a real property in France. Acted as project manager on the deal and oversaw the multi-jurisdictional aspects of acquisition. Modified the trust deed to minimise the commercial aspects of the trustee powers in order to legally preserve certain French tax benefits associated with the personal use property.
  • Advising an ultra-high-net-worth individual who owns significant real estate in Hong Kong, Canada and the US with significant pregnant capital gains through a complex corporate and trust structure; working closely with his family offices in Vancouver, Canada and Hong Kong, as well as his corporate tax advisors to prepare a restructuring plan.

Hong Kong > Restructuring and insolvency Tier 2

Stephenson Harwood’s restructuring and insolvency practice is well-regarded for its contentious outfit and has more recently amplified its non-contentious offering to provide specialist advice, often with a particular sector focus on aviation distressed refinancing, as well as shipping and corporate finance. The firm has renowned expertise in complex cross-border contentious insolvency matters and has been involved in several large-scale enforcement transactions as well as acting for a number of high-profile liquidators. Practice head Jamie Stranger is supported by Alexander TangEloise Matsui and Emily Li, recently promoted partner, to offer a dedicated R&I team across the board.

Practice head(s):

Jamie Stranger


‘The practice is excellent at keeping clients fully informed on case developments, alternatives available, and possible solutions new issues arising.’

‘Client communication is a key differentiator – timely, direct, practical.’

‘Eloise Matsui is highly responsive and practical, always looking for the best client outcome. She always makes herself available, despite time differences, for external meetings and team discussions.’

‘Very all-rounded professional team and capable to handle all issues that may need to address on insolvency cases.’

‘With their strong background on shipping and aviation, it becomes convenient as well to leverage experiences of their dedicated teams in this regard.’

‘Jamie Stranger is a renowned insolvency lawyer with many years of experience. He knows very well how cases should move forward and follows up on cases regularly to fine tune the strategy as cases progress. I am impressed on his dedicated efforts on each of the files he handles.’

‘Two newly admitted partners Alexander Tang and Eloise Matsui provided lots of assistance to Jamie Stranger on contentious and non-contentious cases respectively. Both are technically strong with great potential.’

‘Knowledgable, can work under pressure, great with clients.’

Key clients

Madison Pacific Trust Limited

PwC as the Liquidators of Shanghai Huaxin Group (Hong Kong) Limited (In Liquidation)

PwC as the Joint Provisional Liquidators of CECEP COSTIN New Materials Group Limited (In Provisional Liquidation)

FTI Consulting as the Liquidators of Days Impex Limited and Days International Limited (both in Liquidation)

Société Générale

Vincent Fok and John Batchelor of FTI Consulting in their capacity as Bankruptcy Trustees of the estate of Yeung Wing Sing

Safe Castle Limited

The joint and several provisional liquidators of U A Cinema Circuit Limited (in provisional liquidation)

Aiful Corporation

Work highlights

  • Advised Madison Pacific professional corporate trustee on English and Hong Kong law elements of a share sale enforcement within the HNA corporate collapse.
  • Advising the Liquidators of Shanghai Huaxin Group (Hong Kong) Limited in the sale of assets owned by the company and its subsidiaries, worth over HK$2.8bn, and listed shares and structured productions worth over HK$300m.
  • Advising the Liquidators of Days Impex Limited and Days International Limited of the fraudulent trading and misfeasance claims against the former officers of the companies, and of the professional negligence claim against the former auditors of the companies.

Hong Kong > Shipping Tier 2

Elizabeth Sloane, an experienced and respected arbitrator and litigator in the maritime field, leads the internationally minded Stephenson Harwood practice. Andrew Ridgen Green handles disputes including carriage of goods by sea, charterparty disputes, shipbuilding disputes, international trading disputes and disputes arising from accidents, such as groundings and loss of containers overboard. Cindy Ko is a highly rated managing associate with experience in several jurisdictions. Of counsel Jason Toms is another name to note. The firm’s lawyers form a ‘tactically astute, expert team that knows how to win in arbitration’.

Practice head(s):

Elizabeth Sloane

Other key lawyers:

Andrew Rigden Green; Jason Toms; Cindy Ko


‘The team at Stephenson Harwood has a commercial focus with a strong knowledge of the shipping industry, while also having technical expertise in shipping law. It is a strong balance.’

‘Andre Rigden Green is an experienced practitioner with clear strategy.’

‘Elizabeth Sloane is hard working and sensible in seeking to resolve commercial disputes.’

‘Tactically astute, expert team that knows how to win in arbitration.’

‘Elizabeth Sloane and Cindy Ko are particularly strong. Elizabeth is hugely experienced in shipping law. Cindy is a rising star whose work ethic is impeccable and who is adept at identifying the winning points.’

‘Andrew Rigden Green is an experienced and knowledgable practitioner with both contentious dry and non-contentious shipping and international trade related expertise.’

‘Andrew Rigden Green is flexible and commercial and will work hard to find a commercial resolution where possible.’

‘We would recommend Elizabeth Sloane, who is a hard-working and down to earth solicitor, sensible in her approach to advising on dry shipping/ charterparty related matters.’

Key clients

Damco Hong Kong Limited

Owners and underwriters of cargo onboard the vessel “KEN BREEZE”

Societe Generale

OCBC Wing Hang Bank Limited

Pantainer (H.K.) Limited

Panalpina World Transport (Japan) Ltd

Work highlights

  • Acting for Damco Hong Kong Limited (a Maersk group company) prosecuting and defending claims in the Hong Kong Court arising out of a large fire casualty in a warehouse at the Tuen Mun River Trade Terminal in Hong Kong.
  • Acting in a forum non conveniens challenge in the Hong Kong Court for the owners and underwriters of the cargo on board the vessel “KEN BREEZE” following a collision involving the vessels “KEN BREEZE” and “PACIFIC GRACE”.
  • Acting for Société Générale prosecuting a $89m marine bunker fraud claim in the Hong Kong Court.

Hong Kong > Dispute resolution: litigation Tier 3

Tapping into ‘a wealth of dispute resolution knowledge’ among lawyers based out of the firm’s Hong Kong and Shanghai offices, Stephenson Harwood is well-placed to represent PRC-based entities, as well as international clients on disputes with an Asian nexus. Team head Ivan Ng  has an excellent understanding of the cultural and business norms in mainland China and regularly picks up shareholder and corporate litigation involving PRC companies. Ng also handles some contentious insolvency work, which is another core strength of the firm, an area that ‘very collaborative‘ head of Greater China restructuring Jamie Stranger  is also recommended. Emily Li  was recently promoted to partner, in recognition of her work for Chinese and international clients in relation to shareholder disputes, as well as international trade finance matters.

Practice head(s):

Ivan Ng

Other key lawyers:

Jamie Stranger; Ian Childs; Evangeline Quek; Emily Li


‘Good mix of senior and junior solicitors. The team has a wealth of dispute resolution knowledge, especially commercial and insolvency litigation.’

‘Jamie Stranger is very collaborative and provides excellent advice.’

‘Ivan Ng and Emily Li have a full understanding of specific business fields, and are familiar with the mentality and positioning of mainland businessmen, code of conduct, and industry operating norms.’

Key clients

Purple Surgical UK Limited

Employees of China Shanshui Investment Limited

United Overseas Bank

Dan Form International Limited (a BVI company) and its owner (a PRC individual)

Société Générale

HWH Holdings Limited (a BVI company)

Phillips Fine Watches Limited

The joint and several liquidators of Shanghai Huaxin (Hong Kong) Limited

OCBC Wing Hang



Raiffeisen Bank International AG


Bank of East Asia

FTI Consulting (Hong Kong) Limited

Work highlights

  • Representing 2,000 employees and minority shareholders of China Shanshui Investment in a long-running shareholders’ dispute worth over HK$5bn.
  • Acting for the joint provisional liquidators of CECEP COSTIN New Materials Limited (Company) in respect of a debt restructuring including re-listing on the HKEX, advising on their investigations and potential claims (including against the former auditors) etc.
  • Acted for Purple Surgical UK Limited as a plaintiff on a massive cross-border fraud which involves a sale and purchase agreement to purchase five million 3M surgical masks from the defendants with a purchase price of $27m.

Hong Kong > Investment funds Tier 3

Stephenson Harwood provides 'top-tier quality advice' at a cost-effective rate for emerging and institutional managers across a range of private asset classes, including hedge, private equity and real estate. Team head Penelope Shen  has been pivotal to the firm's success in the area since joining in June 2020 from Kwok Yih & Chan; she has deep knowledge of Hong Kong's regulatory framework, including as it pertains to the developing area of ESG.  

Practice head(s):

Penelope Shen

Other key lawyers:

Katherine Liu; Brian Ho


The whole team is professional in communicating ideas and the latest developments in the industry.’

‘They provide top-tier quality advice at reasonable fee levels.’

Penelope Shen is very willing to communicate with clients. Both the efficiency and effectiveness in communication process are superb. She is probably the best that I’ve ever worked with in the field.’

Hong Kong > Labour and employment Tier 3

As well as a strong base of expertise in Hong Kong, the international presence of Stephenson Harwood results in extensive capabilities in complex cross-border employment work, meaning they are often sought after by large multinational corporations. Team head Ian Childs has a strong advisory practice, especially in regard to employers, guiding them through complex remuneration disputes, terminations and confidentiality breaches. Jezamine Fewins left the firm in 2021 to join Lewis Silkin.

Practice head(s):

Ian Childs

Other key lawyers:

Karis Yip


‘The firm has an excellent understanding of their clients’ needs.’

‘The lawyers’ knowledge, skills and experience in employment matters is extremely valuable to their clients.’

‘Good communication and proactive.’

‘Very approachable and knowledgeable.’

Key clients

FFP (BVI) Limited

Work highlights

  • Advised FFP (BVI) Limited on significant Labour Tribunal claims of 4 former senior employees claiming in total over HK$74,000,000. Also assisted with various employment issues including: the settlements; extensive data access requests; and handling of inter-group companies’ requests to get access to and transfer of all the data held by the group server and the relevant complex data privacy issues.

Hong Kong > Regulatory Tier 3

The Financial Services Regulatory team at Stephenson Harwood acts for a range of clients in relation to investigations, enforcement actions and disciplinary actions that they face. The team is focused on adapting to the increasing influence that technology is having in this area and as a result, is advising major virtual banks across Hong Kong and several unicorn fintech companies. The team is led by Katherine Liu and Ian Childs, dealing with both non-contentious and contentious work respectively.

Practice head(s):

Katherine Liu; Ian Childs

Other key lawyers:

Conrad Lam


‘The team provides a very high quality service on all matters related to HK regulations and how to navigate this ever-changing landscape. Furthermore, they keep their clients abreast of upcoming changes and assist on how it may impact the business and provide pragmatic solutions.’

‘Katherine Liu, partner, and Conrad Lam, associate, are our go-to lawyers for all matters related to HK legal and regulations. They are very well versed in HK regulatory matters across a range of topics.’

Key clients

Airstar Bank Limited

Airwallex (Hong Kong) Limited

Ant Group Co., Ltd.

China Construction Bank (Asia) Corporation Limited

Futu Securities International (Hong Kong) Limited

Futu Lending Limited

PrimeCredit Limited

WeLend Limited

Svenska Handelsbanken AB

Hong Kong > Banking and finance Tier 4

Stephenson Harwood provides an effective service to lenders and borrowers across a diverse array of financing mandates, with niche expertise in trade and commodity, and asset finance. Key members of the team include Mark Reed , whose broad practice includes new money and restructuring transactions; King Tak Fung , for transactional, contentious and regulatory trade finance matters; and finance head Katherine Liu , who has a focus on financial services regulatory matters.

Practice head(s):

Other key lawyers:


‘They not only provide legal advice but also take into consideration how to pursuade the parties to follow our suggestion and lead the transaction to close successfully.’

They provide an efficient and responsive service.’

Key clients

Bank of China (Hong Kong) Limited

China Construction Bank Corporation

China Construction Bank (Asia) Corporation

FundPark Limited

Metro Holdings Limited

TNG (Asia) Limited

China Merchants Bank Co., Ltd.

Unitas Group Company

Work highlights

  • Advising China Merchants Bank on PRC on-shore guarantee and on-shore loans.
  • Advised Unitas (through its 50/50 joint venture with a KaiLong Group investment vehicle (representing two of the KaiLong funds) on the secured term loan facilities arranged by two major commercial banks for the purpose of financing the acquisition and redevelopment costs of an industrial building in Hong Kong.
  • Assisted an international bank in establishing and operating a programme for on-boarding Hong Kong suppliers to supply chain facilities provided by it and driven by the credit strength of major US retailers.

Hong Kong > Corporate (including M&A) Tier 6

Stephenson Harwood has a varied corporate practice, regularly advising on domestic and cross-border M&A involving Hong Kong public companies. The team’s workload includes acquisitions, disposals, joint ventures and investments; it also stands out for its work on deals involving distressed assets. Key figures in the team include practice head Jane Ng, who has decades of experience in corporate transactions, and Michelle Chung, who’s expertise extends to capital market matters such as IPOs.

Practice head(s):

Jane Ng

Other key lawyers:


‘Very professional and dedicated team very easy to work with.’

‘We would like to highlight the work of Winnie Choi who is a very competent and dedicated lawyer with practical understanding of her clients’ needs. Michelle Chung is an excellent partner with strong expertise in corporate finance matters.’

‘The SH corporate team has been outstanding in their capacity as lead international counsel advising on a complex cross-border IPO. The team has demonstrated a deep knowledge of the industry throughout and has handled the project at a very high professional level.’

‘The entire SH team has been great, with solicitor Winnie Choi deserving a separate note for her excellent management of multinational communications and processes.’

‘Client focus, creative ideas for solutions, in depth industry knowledge’

‘Jane Ng, the partner, is able to help clients with her creative ideas to deal structure, with extensive experience in cross-border M&A.’

Key clients

Madison Pacific Trust Limited

Velocity Ventures

Eurofins Product Testing LUX Holding Sarl

Electrolux (China) Home Appliance Co., Ltd. Shanghai Branch



The joint provisional liquidators of CECEP COSTIN New Materials Group Limited/ PricewaterhouseCoopers

Work highlights

  • Advised Madison Pacific Trust Limited (as security trustee) on the enforcement sale of the 51% shares in HG Storage International Limited, a Jersey incorporated joint venture in oil and gas industry with assets in over 9 jurisdictions.
  • Acted as legal advisers to Eurofins Product Testing LUX Holding Sarl (“Eurofins”) for its acquisition of the Modern Testing Services (MTS) Group, a company whose business in mainly based in Hong Kong and the PRC, but also includes entities under common ownership in a number of other jurisdictions.
  • Advised Velocity Ventures, a travel and hospitality-focused venture capital firm, in the investment in the Hong Kong-based F&B SaaS platform Aigens through acquiring a minority interest in the target’s parent company.

Hong Kong > Real estate

Janice Yau Garton leads the real estate practice at Stephenson Harwood. The firm advises on acquisitions, with a focus on logistics and data centres that reflects current market trends.

China > Fintech: foreign firms Tier 2

Stephenson Harwood‘s ‘very innovative‘ Hong Kong-based practice is widely respected for its financial regulatory, fintech, licensing and compliance expertise. The team has extensive experience in advising financial institutions on the application of new technologies to finance, such as the digitalisation of money lending, P2P lending as well as the creation of financial technology ecosystems that combine payment, personal finance and remittance capabilities. Mark Reed specialises in general banking, finance, insolvency, employment and financial services regulatory compliance advice; and Katherine Liu is highly focused on the financial services sector. Further support is provided by Penelope Shen, who advises on the establishment and structuring of private investment funds, and international trade finance and commercial banking specialist Anna Kwong. At associate level, Teresa Tsoi, Conrad Lam, James Wong, Anthony Wong and Phoebe Cheng are all experienced team members.

Practice head(s):

Katherine Liu; Mark Reed


‘The team is very innovative and always delivers work of a high standard, even if it is something new to the market.’

‘Associate Anthony Wong is very attentive and knowledgeable in this area of practice.’

Key clients

Airstar Bank

Airwallex (Hong Kong)

Ant Group Co

China Construction Bank (Asia) Corporation

Futu Securities International (Hong Kong)

Futu Lending




ZA Bank

Work highlights

  • Advised Twopresents, a Hong Kong-incorporated online charitable fundraising not-for-profit platform, on whether it needs a financial regulatory licence for its charitable fundraising and money-processing activities.

China > Restructuring and insolvency: foreign firms Tier 3

Stephenson Harwood‘s Hong Kong group routinely leverages the firm's specialisms in shipping, aviation, banking, corporate and employment. Practice head Jamie Stranger represents liquidators, provisional liquidators, receivers and bankruptcy trustees in insolvency proceedings; and assists creditors, debtors and shareholders with corporate and debt restructuring, schemes, buy-outs, and other work-out arrangements.

Practice head(s):

Jamie Stranger

Other key lawyers:

Alexander Tang; Eloise Matsui; Ivan Ng; Emily Li


‘Knowledgable, great with clients and efficient.’

Key clients

Madison Pacific Trust

PwC as Liquidators of Shanghai Huaxin Group (Hong Kong)

PwC as the Joint Provisional Liquidators of CECEP COSTIN New Materials Group

FTI Consulting as the Liquidators of Days Impex and Days International

Société Générale

Joshua James Taylor and Yit Chee Wah (both of FTI Consulting) as Liquidators of Coastal Oil Pte

Hei Yu (Vincent) Fok and Nicholas Gronow (both of FTI Consulting) as  Liquidators of Coastal Holdings (Coastal Holdings) and Coastal Oil (HK)

Vincent Fok and John Batchelor of FTI Consulting as Bankruptcy Trustees of the Estate of Yeung Wing Sing (former director of various companies in the Coastal group)

Safe Castle

Georgia Chow and David Bennet (both of Grant Thornton) as Liquidators of Imperial Entertainment Investments

John McKenna, the Liquidator of Noble Group

The Joint and several Provisional Liquidators of U A Cinema Circuit

Aiful Corporation

John McKenna, the Provisional Liquidator of Global Brands Group Holding

Work highlights

  • Advised Madison Pacific Trust (as security trustee) on the enforcement sale of shares.
  • Advising the liquidators of Shanghai Huaxin Group (Hong Kong) on the sale of assets owned by the company and its subsidiaries.
  • Assisting the liquidators of Days Impex and Days International, in relation to fraudulent trading and misfeasance claims against the former officers of the companies.

China > Banking and finance: foreign firms Tier 4

Stephenson Harwood is well versed in secured and unsecured borrowings and syndicated loan transactions. Apart from its routine work, the firm has recently seen an increase in open account and supply chain finance matters. Hong Kong-based practice head Katherine Liu  is supported by Mark Reed who handles financial services regulatory, financing and insolvency matters. Anna Kwong who was promoted to the partnership in May 2021, is regarded for trade finance products and disputes.

Practice head(s):


‘The team provides efficient and responsive services.’

Key clients

Bank of China

China Construction Bank Corporation, Hong Kong branch

China Construction Bank (Asia) Corporation Limited


Metro Holdings


China Merchants Bank

Unitas Group Company Limited

Work highlights

  • Acted for China Merchants Bank in on-shore guarantee and on-shore loans, with over 18 similar transactions with total loan amount of over ¥4bn.
  • Advised Unitas on the secured term loan facilities arranged by two major commercial banks for the purpose of financing the acquisition and redevelopment costs of an industrial building in Hong Kong.
  • Assisted an international bank with establishing and operating a programme for on-boarding Hong Kong suppliers to supply chain facilities provided by it and driven by the credit strength of major US retailers.

China > Dispute resolution: Litigation: foreign firms Tier 4

With a team based in Hong Kong, Stephenson Harwood has a strong focus on international trade finance disputes, and can also be found acting in corporate, insolvency and restructuring-related proceedings. The practice is further distinguished by its PRC knowledge, which stems primarily from its association with Guangzhou-based Wei Tu Law Firm, providing major clients with a multi-faceted service in terms of jurisdictional advice. Hong Kong-based partner Ivan Ng leads the practice, bolstering the firm’s litigation offering in shareholder disputes, contractual disputes and insolvency matters. Emily Li, who was promoted to the partnership in May of 2022, is another key contact in this regard, acting for PRC and international clients on shareholder and trade finance disputes. Managing partner Jamie Stranger is also noted for his expertise in corporate insolvency, commercial litigation, fraud and professional liability.

Practice head(s):

Other key lawyers:

Key clients

Purple Surgical

Employees of China Shanshui Investment

United Overseas Bank

Dan Form International

Société Générale

HWH Holdings

Phillips Fine Watches

The joint and several liquidators of Shanghai Huaxin (Hong Kong)

OCBC Wing Hang



Raiffeisen Bank International


Bank of East Asia

FTI Consulting (Hong Kong)

Work highlights

  • Acting for 2,000 employees and minority shareholders of China Shanshui Investment in a long-running shareholder dispute worth over HK$5bn.
  • Acting for the joint provisional liquidators of CECEP COSTIN New Materials in respect of a debt restructuring.
  • Acted for Purple Surgical in a cross-border fraud dispute involving a sale and purchase agreement for five million 3M surgical masks.

South Korea > Shipping: foreign firms

Maintaining its position as one of the top firms servicing Korean global corporates, international banks, insurers, shipping, shipbuilding and trading companies, Stephenson Harwoodfirmly stand out in the market.’ ‘Very impressive’ Michael Kim overseas the Seoul office and is a recognised authority on maritime law, ship finance, shipbuilding and litigation and arbitration matters. Stuart Burrell routinely represents Korean shipbuilding yards and construction companies in complex disputes. The office benefits from the support of Gregg Johnston in Singapore and Andrew Rigden Green in Hong Kong.

Practice head(s):

Michael Kim; Andrew Rigden Green

Other key lawyers:

Stuart Burrell; Gregg Johnston;


‘Stephenson Harwood are the best experts in the Korean shipbuilding industry. Their main strengths are their professionalism and their second-to-none expertise in the shipping sector. Their services are super value for money, and all lawyers are knowledgeable and come up with solution-driven and pragmatic advice for our commercial requirement. They firmly stand out in the market.’

‘Michael Kim is the individual I always speak to. He is known for digesting and analysing most substantial and complex issues and comes with clear and succinct objectives with sensible strategy.’

‘We are very satisfied with the quality of work given by Stephenson’s Harwood’s Seoul team. They have strong Korean language skills and a good understanding of the shipping sector, throughout Korea and Asia. The team provide good value advice and are always professional, approachable and responsive to all our requests.’ 

‘Michael Kim and Stuart Burrell both have a firm grasp on the Korean market and offer practical and commercially-sensitive solutions.’

‘Stephenson Harwood has extensive experiences and expertise in the shipping industry, and they also know the Korean market well. Among the foreign law firms that have opened their offices in Korea, Stephenson Harwood LLP Foreign Legal Office is known to be one of the most successful.’

‘Michael Kim thoroughly knows the shipping industry as well as the Korean market, and based on his experiences and expertise, he understands the clients’ need well and provides the effective and practical solutions.’

‘Their experience and know-how in respect of local culture or customs make them unique.  Michael Kim is very impressive person and is knowledgeable in financing, shipping/maritime and construction.’

Key clients

Hyundai Heavy Industries Co., Ltd

Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering

Korea Line Corporation

Hanwha General Insurance Co Ltd

The Import-Export Bank of Korea

KB Insurance Co., Ltd

Chevron International Pte Ltd

The Standard Club

Hanjin Heavy Industries

Hyundai Merchant Marine

Pan Ocean Co., Ltd

Sungdong Shipbuilding

Daehan Shipbuilding Co., Ltd

Sinokor Merchant Marine Co.,Ltd

Japan P&I Club

SPP Shipbuilding Co., Ltd

Eukor Car Carriers. Inc

Macon Charter B.V.

SK Shipping Co., Ltd.

H-Line Shipping Co.,Ltd.

DB Insurance Co., Ltd

Feen Marine Scrubbers Inc.


Hyundai Marine & Fire Insurance Co., Ltd

KfW IPEX-Bank GmbH

Samsung Heavy Industries Co., Ltd.

SC Engineering Co., Ltd.

Seil Textile Co., Ltd.

You Chang Trading Corp






LG Chem Ltd.

Work highlights

  • Acting on behalf of Société Générale in relation to the financing of a LNG Bunkering Vessel.

China > Shipping: foreign firms

Stephenson Harwood is praised for providing a ‘responsive, prompt and efficient service’. On the dry side, the shipping team covers bill of lading disputes, contracts for the sale and purchase of vessels, voyage charter disputes, Covid-related disputes (including repudiatory breaches) and time charter disputes, among other areas. On the wet side, the practice covers collisions and criminal prosecutions. The team is jointly led by Hong Kong’s Andrew Rigden Green and Shanghai’s Evangeline Quek, who is regularly instructed for dispute resolution, including international arbitrations and has also built up a transactional practice, acting for financial institutions and shipowners. Simone Liu was promoted to partner in May 2021.

Practice head(s):

Evangeline Quek; Andrew Rigden Green (Hong Kong)

Other key lawyers:


‘Able to advise on cross-jurisdictional matters.’

‘Andrew Rigden-Green and Evangeline Quek can be relied on for a responsive, prompt and efficient service.’

Singapore > International arbitration

The global disputes and international arbitration capability of Stephenson Harwood LLP covers the key areas of London, Paris, Dubai, Hong Kong and Singapore. The firm provides sector expertise in the energy, construction, maritime and international trade sectors. John Simpson acts primarily for contractors in the offshore oil and gas sector and has advised on a range of disputes in the space. He co-leads the team with Chris Bailey, who focuses on energy and natural resources, oil and gas, construction and investment treaty cases; and Daryll Ng, who has experience appearing as assisting and lead counsel for interlocutory matters, trials, appeals and arbitrations.

Practice head(s):

John Simpson; Chris Bailey; Daryll Ng


‘John Simpson is a very experienced shipping and offshore disputes expert.’

Key clients

Volatility Token Master Fund

Work highlights

  • Successfully acted for Volatility Token Master Fund in relation to a Simple Agreement for Future Token dispute with EFC Foundation Ltd in a SIAC arbitration.
  • Advising creditors of TPT Shipping on issues arising from the collapse of TPT Shipping in New Zealand.

China > Investment funds: foreign firms

Headed by Penelope Shen in Hong Kong, the team at Stephenson Harwood showcases particular experience advising clients in the structuring, establishment and regulation of hedge, private equity and real estate funds.

The firm: Stephenson Harwood is a law firm with over 1,100 people worldwide, including more than 190 partners. Our people are committed to achieving the goals of our clients – listed and private companies, institutions and individuals.

The firm offers multilingual and multidisciplinary services from two offices in Greater China. Its lawyers based in Hong Kong and Shanghai have been providing quality English and Hong Kong law advice to clients within and outside Greater China since 1979. The firm’s lawyers also advise on selected aspects of laws of other jurisdictions.

Established in 1979, the Hong Kong office was the first of Stephenson Harwoods’ Greater China offices. However, the firm has a long history of acting as a gateway between East and West, starting in 1867 when one of the firm’s founders William Harwood opened an office in Shanghai. The firm was one of the first UK firms to open in Hong Kong and then mainland China (PRC). We are celebrating our 40 years anniversary in 2019.

Stephenson Harwood’s Greater China offices offer a comprehensive spectrum of its global services including finance, corporate, dispute resolution and private wealth. Working hand-in-hand with our regional offices and associations in Guangzhou, Jakarta, Seoul, Singapore and other parts of Asia, the firm is able to provide a comprehensive Asian law service to clients operating within Asia.

In 2016, Stephenson Harwood entered into a CEPA association under the name ‘Stephenson Harwood – Wei Tu (China) Association’ with independent PRC law firm Wei Tu. CEPA (Closer Economic Partnership Arrangement) is a free-trade agreement concluded between PRC and Hong Kong. Under CEPA, Hong Kong-law firms are permitted to operate in association with PRC law firms to provide comprehensive legal services in PRC governed by PRC and non-PRC laws. The association allows Stephenson Harwood to offer a ‘one-stop service’ for Hong Kong, English and PRC law advice, with Wei Tu providing the PRC advice.

The Shanghai office has a particular focus on ship finance, marine and international trade. It is one of the few international law firms with a base in mainland China and a truly international shipping practice. The team is able to advise on cross-border shipping matters, drawing closely on the expertise of colleagues based in Hong Kong, Singapore, Seoul, Dubai, Paris, Piraeus and the United Kingdom. Our dedicated lawyers represent Chinese corporates, international banks, insurance companies, shipping, shipbuilding and trading companies.

The depth and importance of the firms relationships with our clients and our common sense approach to achieving results allow Stephenson Harwood to become your trusted advisor.

Asset finance: aviation Simon Wong
Asset finance: shipping Hongkai Zhou
Banking and finance Elton Chan
Banking and finance Mark Reed
Employment Ian Childs
Insurance Andrew Rigden Green
Capital markets Jane Ng
Marine and international trade Andrew Rigden Green
Real estate Janice Yau Garton
Dispute resolution Ian Childs
Dispute resolution Ivan Ng
Regulatory (contentious) Ian Childs
Regulatory (non-contentious) Mark Reed
Restructuring and insolvency Jamie Stranger
Private wealth Kevin Lee
Marine and international trade Evangeline Quek
Regulatory (non-contentious) Katherine Liu
Restructuring and insolvency Alexander Tang
Trusts Kevin Lee
Funds Penelope Shen
Number of lawyers : 500+
Greater China : 70+
Chinese (Mandarin)
Contacts : Jamie Stranger (Office managing partner Greater China)
Contacts : Nancy Tsang (Business Development Manager - Greater China)

We have employee networks, which are for and run by our people to contribute to fostering our inclusive and healthy culture. They create a sense of belonging by celebrating diversity, connecting people across the business and increasing awareness across the business. Our Hong Kong network focuses on gender equality, LGBTQ+, Mental health and disability and social mobility. We partner with a range of organisations who help us create the diverse and inclusive workplace that we strive to be. Two of our key partnerships are with Project WeCan and the Women’s Foundation Male Allies initiative.

Social Mobility – Project WeCan

We focus on creating opportunities for people with different socio-economic backgrounds and from minority groups. We partner with Project WeCan by Wharf Holdings in Hong Kong to offer summer internships for disadvantaged secondary school students.

  • We are proud to be the first law firm to join Wharf’s Project WeCan programme in 2018, with the aim to provide disadvantaged secondary school students with resources and support to empower them to pursue higher studies and promising careers.
  • Over the past three years, our CSR and D&I representatives have worked closely with the Project WeCan team and our partnering school to organise a wide variety of activities, such as Fun Day in our office, mock interviews, presentation workshops, and a café opening in the school. Most recently we started the English
    Buddy workshop which we hosted virtually for the students.
  • On 27 September 2019, we hosted the Project WeCan partners sharing session in our Hong Kong office. Over 80 representatives from 48 Project WeCan partners organisations came together to share ideas and experience on working with their partner schools. In 2021, we were once again invited by Project WeCan to be one of the presenters for the virtual partners sharing session.
  • We have provided speakers for a number of Project WeCan events. Our partner KT Fung, who is an experienced public speaker spoke to over 200 students on the “Project WeCan – Career Exploration Online Platform” during COVID-19. The presentation, entitled “Equip Yourself for the Future” aimed to inspire students and support them to better prepare for their future. KT Fung has also run a business skills workshop for students who had participated in the Young Innovators Bazaar.

Gender Equality – The Women’s Foundation Male Allies Initiative

We are focused on creating an inclusive working environment, developing programmes to assist equal opportunities for advancement of women and men within the firm. We are participating in the 2019-2020 iteration of the Male Allies initiative run by The Women’s Foundation (TWF), a non-profit organisation dedicated to improving the lives of women and girls in Hong Kong. Male Allies are business leaders who leverage their collective influence and personal engagement to advance gender equality within their organisations and, more broadly, across the Hong Kong business community. The aim is to improve our culture around gender equality and encourage discussion, self-reflection and analysis within the office, and to benefit from best practice sharing across participating organisations in Hong Kong.

We also aim to share people stories to inspire and promote conversation. For example, we hosted a Q&A session with our former CEO Sharon White, who shared her experiences and perspectives. Sharon talked about her own career path and, leadership roles, women that have inspired her and the importance of support as careers progress.

Stephenson Harwood’s Singapore alliance firm, Virtus Law, promotes two to partnership

Stephenson Harwood's Singapore Alliance firm, Virtus Law[1], has promoted two lawyers in its latest round of internal partner promotions. Kaili Ang and Christine Ong join the partnership, effective today.