Firm Profile > Stephenson Harwood > Hong Kong , Hong Kong

Stephenson Harwood
Hong Kong

Tax and trusts Tier 1

Headed by Ian Devereux,  Stephenson Harwood's five-partner team provides 'legally sound, commercial and practical' private client-related tax and trusts advice to an impressive array of high-net-worth individuals and family offices. The firm is particularly noted for its 'range of expertise on North America tax planning'. In this regard, Erik Wallace is noted for his 'vast experience in the cross-border US tax planning space', and is a key member of the team that also includes the 'responsive and intellectually curiousKevin Lee, who as a dual-qualified Hong Kong and Canadian lawyer is able to provide a unique offering to private clients in Hong Kong and mainland China who have Canadian citizenship. Benefiting from Mandarin language capabilities, the 'very knowledgeableLaurence Ho is also gaining an excellent reputation in the region for US-related private client matters and is known in the market as a go-to person for handling US tax compliance matters.

Shipping Tier 2

Led out of Hong Kong by the 'hardworking and skilledAndrew Rigden Green, and also able to leverage the expertise of practitioners based in Shanghai and Singapore, Stephenson Harwood has an excellent reputation in the local market across a range of litigation, arbitration and commercial shipping work. In addition to his transactional and advisory expertise (which includes advice on the sale and carriage of goods; the chartering, maintenance and operation of ships), Ridgen Green also has a 'very wide range of disputes expertise in the sector', running the gamut from charterparty and cargo disputes, through to the representation of trade finance banks seeking to enforce security over bills of lading. Hong Kong-, UK- and Australia-qualified senior associate Elizabeth Sloane has a flourishing reputation across a range of multi-jurisdictional disputes, and has handled numerous high-profile casualties, collisions and groundings across the Asia Pacific region.

Dispute resolution: litigation Tier 3

Ivan Ng heads up the litigation team at Stephenson Harwood, which acted for Dan Form International (DFIL) and its major shareholder in a dispute with Grassmere, a minority shareholder in the company, after Grassmere commenced winding-up proceedings against DFIL in the British Virgin Islands.

Labour and employment Tier 3

Led by the 'very responsiveJezamine FewinsStephenson Harwood provides 'practical and highly tailored advice' to local businesses and multinational corporates with operations in Hong Kong across a range of employment matters, including on trade secrets issues, employment contract drafting, and restrictive covenants. Fewins is well-versed at handling contentious employment mandates for both employers and employees, particularly as it relates to claims/defences of disability/sex discrimination, and in relation to advice (for former employees) on the enforceability of restrictive covenants.

Regulatory Tier 3

Mark Reed heads up the non-contentious side of Stephenson Harwood's practice, while Ian Childs leads on the contentious side. A number of major asset managers, investment companies, and international banks instruct the group. Katherine Liu made partner in May 2019.

Restructuring and insolvency Tier 3

Led by litigator Jamie Stranger, who has a raft of 'experience advising on the restructuring of distressed situations', Stephenson Harwood is primarily focused at handling contentious insolvency matters for many of the leading IPs in the market. The team has also been increasingly active on corporate restructuring matters, where it is able to leverage the strengths of the office's banking and corporate firepower to enhance the resources available to clients.

Banking and finance Tier 4

Stephenson Harwood has a particularly strong capability in the trade finance arena; the scope of its work in this space includes assisting clients with supply chain finance arrangements and the development of standard factoring and security documents. Other areas of expertise include asset finance, structured finance, investment products and secured and unsecured lending. Stephanie Wong handles a wide range of transactions for Hong Kong, PRC and international banks, with ship finance being one notable area of strength. Mark Reed leads the team, which also includes King-Tak Fung and Elton Chan. Reflective of the ongoing growth of the practice, Katherine Liu recently made partner.

Intellectual property Tier 4

Spearheaded out of Hong Kong by Jezamine Fewins, Stephenson Harwood's six-strong team provides 'client-oriented and insightful' advice across a range of matters, particularly as it pertains to the enforcement of IPR. Increasingly visible in the local market and also able to leverage the expertise of lawyers on the ground in mainland China, the team has recently handled a raft of passing off and infringement actions on behalf of domestic and international clients from the technology and financial services sectors. Leveraging her employment law expertise, Fewins also has a particular specialty in representing clients on matters involving the theft of trade secrets and confidential information by employees. Jonathan Chu, together with senior associates Mengyi Chen and Candy Tong agreed to join CMS associated Hong Kong firm Lau, Horton & Wise LLP in January 2020.

Capital markets (equity) Tier 5

Stephenson Harwood has been active in capital markets transactions in Greater China since the 1970s, making it a top choice among many companies, banks, nominated advisers and brokers. The firm has recently seen an increase in mandates from sponsors for advice on IPOs. Other cornerstones of the practice include subscriptions, placings, rights issues, transfers between markets and dual listings. The team is jointly led by Voon Keat Lai (who is managing partner for Greater China offices), Ivy WongChun-Hui Lin (Hong Kong/Beijing) and Ivan Tan (Hong Kong/Shanghai). Jane Ng has over 20 years of corporate finance experience. Notable developments at the firm saw Allen Shyu join Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP while Anthony Chan moved to Squire Patton Boggs.

Corporate (including M&A) Tier 5

Stephenson Harwood has been active in the Greater China market for over 40 years. Led by Paul Westover, it handles a wide variety of corporate matters for companies listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange, international corporates and regional businesses. It also generates a significant amount of work from overseas-based law firms. The team's workload includes M&A, fundraisings, cross-border restructurings, acquisitions and disposals of assets, joint ventures and regulatory compliance. It acts for clients across multiple industries, such as manufacturing, technology, sports and entertainment, among others. Westover works with Jane Ng and Ivy Wong. In 2019, Allen Shyu departed for for Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP, while Anthony Chan moved to Squire Patton Boggs.

Asset finance (including aviation and shipping finance)

Headed out of Hong Kong by Hongkai Zhou, and also benefiting from an international network which includes key Asian offices in Singapore and Shanghai, Stephenson Harwood's shipping finance team is well-placed to advise a 'balanced roster of borrowers and lenders' on new money and restructuring deals in the region and beyond. The scope of the firm's work in the sector runs the gamut from syndicated and bilateral debt financing on behalf of international banks (in addition to work for lessors), through to advice for investors, including private equity sponsors and hedge funds, which are increasingly active in the maritime market. The 'very capableElton Chan is also recommended for his work for owners and banks on debt financing mandates, as well as for investors seeking to realise value in the sector. The 'highly technicalSimon Wong leads the office's aviation finance team that is noted for the 'strong service' it provides to borrowers and lenders on the financing of commercial aircraft and corporate jets. The team has also recently handled a significant amount of work for Chinese leasing companies.

The firm: Stephenson Harwood is a law firm with over 1000 people worldwide, including more than 170 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 three offices in Greater China. Its lawyers based in Beijing, 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, Yangon 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.

Through the Shanghai office, established in 1993, the firm is one of the few law firms based in China with the ability to undertake corporate finance work involving the securities markets of Hong Kong, Singapore and the United Kingdom. The office is also one of the few law offices based in China with an international private wealth and trust practice, also covering competition, corporate, finance, commercial, regulatory, inbound/outbound investment work and maritime and international trade work.

The Beijing office, established in 2013, focuses on corporate and finance work. Many of the clients of our Beijing office are PRC state owned enterprises (SOEs). Working with our international offices, associations and network of friendly law firms, the firm helps these SOEs in all aspects of their investments and financing outside PRC, from initial planning to investing, operating, disposal and resolution of disputes.

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.

Department Name Email Telephone
Dispute resolution Malcolm Kemp
Capital markets Ivy Wong
Dispute resolution Richard Wilmot
Asset finance: aviation Simon Wong
Asset finance: shipping Roy Chan
Asset finance: shipping Hongkai Zhou
Banking and finance Elton Chan
Banking and finance Mark Reed
Banking and finance Stephanie Wong
Capital markets Paul Westover
Competition Giovanna Kwong
Capital markets Paul Westover
Employment Jezamine Fewins
Employment Paul Westover
Insurance Andrew Rigden Green
Insurance Guijun Wang
Intellectual property Jonathan Chu
Intellectual property Jezamine Fewins
Capital markets Jane Ng
Marine and international trade Andrew Rigden Green
Private wealth Ian Devereux
Real estate Ian Devereux
Dispute resolution Ian Childs
Dispute resolution Ivan Ng
Regulatory (contentious) Ian Childs
Regulatory (non-contentious) Mark Reed
Restructuring and insolvency Jamie Stranger
Trusts Ian Devereux
Trade finance King Tak Fung
Capital markets Voon Keat Lai
Private wealth Kevin Lee
Private wealth Silvia On
US tax Laurence Ho
US tax Erik Wallace
Marine and international trade Guijun Wang
Marine and international trade Evangeline Quek
Asset finance: aviation Elian Wong
Asset finance: shipping Jessie Chen
Employment Yeeling Wan
Real estate Jovanne Zee
Regulatory (non-contentious) Katherine Liu
Restructuring and insolvency Eloise Fardon
Restructuring and insolvency Alexander Tang
Trusts Kevin Lee
Trusts Silvia On
Trusts Erik Wallace
Trusts Laurence Ho
Number of lawyers : 500+
Greater China : 70+
Chinese (Mandarin)
Contacts : Voon Keat Lai (managing partner - Greater China)
Contacts : Tinny Ip (head of business development - Greater China)