Firm Profile > Tanner De Witt > Hong Kong, Hong Kong

Tanner De Witt
Hong Kong

Restructuring and insolvency Tier 1

Regularly referred work by international law firms and also benefiting from deeply entrenched relationships with local IPs and officeholders, independent domestic firm Tanner De Witt regularly advises creditors and debtors on purely Hong Kong-related matters, as well as on the local law issues associated with regional/international restructurings/insolvency. Co-headed by the 'user-friendly and cost-consciousIan De Witt and Robin Darton, although the firm is also active in consensual out-of-court restructuring matters (including an increasing amount of restructuring work relating to Hong Kong-listed companies), it is undoubtedly best-known for its contentious insolvency advice, including work relating to fraud and asset tracing, and claims against auditors. Sunny Hathiramani is also recommended.

Practice head(s):

Other key lawyers:


‘The firm provides responsive, commercial, measured, and sensible advice.’

‘Ian De Witt and Robin Darton are both top practitioners in insolvency and restructuring. They are user-friendly and costs conscious.’

‘Ian De Witt is easy to work with and very strategic.’

‘Robin Darton is highly technical and is able to handle the most complex projects.’

Key clients



FTI Consulting

Borrelli Walsh

Grant Thornton

RSM Nelson Wheeler (Hong Kong)

Duff & Phelps

Deloitte (Cayman Islands & BVI)

Ernst & Young (BVI)

Pininfarina S.p.A.

Alvarez & Marsal

China Cinda (HK) Asset Management

Madison Pacific

China Singyes Solar Technologies Holdings Limited (now called China Shuifa Singyes Energy Holdings Ltd)

Labour and employment Tier 2

A well-established presence in the local market, independent Hong Kong-based firm Tanner De Witt picks up direct instructions from employers and employees, as well as receiving a considerable amount of law firm referral work, across a wide range of labour law matters, from employment handbook drafting and advice on severance packages, through to unfair dismissal claims/defences. Co-headed by Kim Boreham and Russell Bennett, the six-strong team has gained most acclaim in the market as a result of its work in the financial services space, including on employment-related disputes at the nexus with white-collar investigations/prosecutions. As part of her wide-ranging practice, Boreham has scored numerous high-profile successes for senior executives resisting attempts by former employers to invoke restrictive covenants and non-compete clauses.

Dispute resolution: litigation Tier 3

The team at Tanner De Witt provides 'responsive, commercial, measured and sensible advice' on insolvency-related disputes, high-value commercial litigation, and complex shareholder disputes, among other areas. Mark Side, Jeff Lane and Pamela Mak lead the practice, in which insolvency law expert Robin Darton is a key name.

Practice head(s):

Other key lawyers:


Sound advice and a very collaborative team to work with. Great bunch of people and well respected in the market‘.

Pamela Mak – very friendly and gives considered advice – clients love her‘.

Robin Darton – has the respect of everyone in the market including silks – very, very reliable for giving solid common sense advice especially under pressure‘.

Key clients




Borrelli Walsh

Four Seasons Hotel

Corporate (including M&A) Tier 6

Independent Hong Kong firm Tanner De Witt handles a broad range of corporate and commercial matters. Practice head Eddie Look focuses on acquisition of shares and businesses, private equity, structuring of companies and commercial documentation. Tim Drew, who jointly heads the team, is adept at handling M&A. Jan Möller was promoted to partner.

Practice head(s):


‘The corporate Law department at Tanner De Witt consists of a robust team of lawyers with diverse backgrounds’.

‘The team has substantial expertise in facilitating cross-continental M&A deals’.

‘Tanner De Witt impressed me as a large law firm of very high international standard operating professionally and paying attention to every detail’.

‘Eddie Look is a lawyer with very well-balanced commercial knowledge and awareness, he is highly efficient and readily available’.

‘Tim Drew is reliable, responsive and flexible’.

‘Tim Drew is an experienced corporate lawyer who adapts to the needs of the client’.

Key clients

Hong Kong Rugby Union

Universal Pictures



Rochdale Spears (leading furniture manufacturer)

China Cinda (HK) Asset Management

China Shandong Group


Mindray Group

Borrelli Walsh

ROLFO S.p.A (major Italian producer of truck superstructures)

The firm: Tanner De Witt is an established independent law firm in Hong Kong. Its primary focus is business law in Asia and clients include public and private companies, multinationals, partnerships and individuals, both within Hong Kong and internationally.

Relationships with law firms in other jurisdictions allow Tanner De Witt to provide legal support in many countries including China. The firm provides insightful, practical and commercial legal advice with discretion and sensitivity to clients’ needs and preferences. Lawyers work closely with clients, engineering options to reach goals by way of an agreed method at competitive rates.

While this is one of the largest independent law firms in Hong Kong, the partner-lawyer ratio is low, ensuring that clients receive legal advice based on many years of experience. For clients who prefer to resolve disputes with as little contention as possible, Tanner De Witt offers mediation services through accredited mediators Ian De Witt and Mark Side.

Areas of practice
Corporate and commercial: mergers and acquisitions, business sales and purchases, corporate reorganisations, joint ventures, investment and shareholders agreements, commercial arrangements and contracts, establishment of new companies and businesses.

Dispute resolution (litigation, arbitration and mediation): breach of contract and negligence, injunction proceedings, international trade, joint venture and franchise disputes, judicial review, landlord and tenant, owner-operated company and shareholder disputes, professional negligence and sale of goods and services.

General mediation across a broad range of practice areas, Civil Justice Reform, Practice Direction 31, expert adjudication or determination and early neutral evaluation.

Restructuring and Insolvency: contentious and non-contentious, provisional liquidations, liquidations, receiverships, asset tracing, pre-emptive remedies and the recovery and enforcement of security, and acting for appointment holders, creditors, lenders and trustees.

Employment: redundancy, remuneration and benefits, secondments and handbooks, restrictive covenants, injunctive relief, Labour Tribunal claims, District and High Court actions, personal data privacy and discrimination.

Immigration: employment, investment and dependants visas, extension of stay and appeal, prolonged visitors’ visas, permanent residency, immigration law advice, investigation and prosecution.

Family: divorce and associated matters in Hong Kong, pre-nuptial agreements, financial maintenance, estate distribution, child custody and child access.

Banking and finance: structuring and implementation of debt transactions, transaction security packages, loan financing, syndicated loan facilities, multi-currency loans, sales finance agreements and cash pooling.

Regulatory and compliance: regulatory investigations and enforcement actions, financial regulators’ criminal prosecutions, disciplinary proceedings and appeals to the SFC appeals tribunal.

Criminal law and white-collar crime: customs and excise investigations and prosecutions, commercial and cybercrime, tax evasion and corruption (ICAC), representation in extradition and regulatory proceedings.

IP: purchase and sale of IP assets, licensing and sub-licensing, distribution and agency arrangements, infringement of trade marks, Trade Mark Registry hearings, breach of licence, enforcement and franchising.

Wills, probate and trusts: inheritance law and distribution of estates in Hong Kong, wills and codicils, trusts, grants of probate and letters of administration, resealing of grants in Hong Kong and overseas and preparing deeds of family arrangement.

Hospitality and liquor licensing: liquor licences in Hong Kong, Liquor Licensing Board hearings, prosecutions for breach of licence conditions or laws and regulations governing the sale of liquor and appeals to the Municipal Services Appeals Board.

Fraud and asset tracing: tracing and recovering stolen or misappropriated assets, Anton Piller ‘search and seize’ orders, Mareva ‘freezing’ injunctions, forensic investigations and suspicious transaction reporting (STR).

Number of lawyers : 56
American Bankruptcy Institute
American Bar Association
Asia Pacific Loan Market Association
Commonwealth Lawyers Association
Hong Kong International Arbitration Centre (HKIAC)
International Bar Association
International Chamber of Commerce
INSOL International
International Fraud Group
International Insolvency Institute
Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners
Turnaround Management Association
The Insolvency Lawyers Association

Tanner De Witt further grows commercial disputes practice with appointment of consultant Richard Wilmot

Tanner De Witt confirms with great pleasure the appointment of commercial litigation lawyer Richard Wilmot as Consultant to the firm’s Dispute Resolution practice. The appointment is effective today.

Tanner De Witt boosts technology practice with appointment of consultant Nigel Stamp

Tanner De Witt announces with great pleasure the appointment of technology law veteran Nigel Stamp as Foreign Legal Consultant. The appointment was effective Monday 25 January 2021.Nigel’s addition to the firm is part of Tanner De Witt’s committed focus on the fast-growing areas of technology and privacy law in Hong Kong and the surrounding region, following Padraig Walsh’s appointment to the firm as partner in May 2018 to lead our technology practice.

Tanner De Witt bolsters arbitration practice with appointment of Kevin Warburton

Tanner De Witt announces with great pleasure the appointment of Kevin Warburton as Partner to join our arbitration practice. The appointment was effective on Monday 7 September 2020.

Landmark Hong Kong Court of Appeal decision confirms protection for all employees

In a watershed Court of Appeal decision serving to protect the rights of all Hong Kong employees, the Court has found that the employer GF Capital (Hong Kong) Ltd wrongfully withheld pay from a former employee.

Tanner De Witt boosts banking practice with the promotion of Jan Willem Möller to Partner

Tanner De Witt announces with great pleasure the appointment of banking and finance lawyer Jan Willem Möller as Partner of the firm effective today.

Tanner De Witt promotes Sunny Hathiramani to Partner

Tanner De Witt announces with great pleasure the appointment of Sunny Hathiramani as Partner in the firm’s top tier Insolvency and Restructuring Practice. The appointment is effective from 1 June 2019.