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

Tanner De Witt
17TH FLOOR, TOWER ONE, LIPPO CENTRE,
89 QUEENSWAY,
HONG KONG
Hong Kong

Hong Kong > Restructuring and insolvency Tier 1

International investors, corporates, and financial institutions frequently rely on Tanner De Witt for guidance in various restructuring and insolvency matters, especially those that have cross-border implications. The team frequently taps into its close relationships and referral network across the broader Asia-Pacific region to deliver comprehensive advice, and recently has been notably focused on guiding numerous PRC property developers within the sphere of publicly listed companies. These engagements extend beyond the real estate industry, encompassing a broad spectrum of sectors, including aviation and TMC, as well as construction. Regularly sought-after by a diverse clientele that includes investors, financial institutions, insolvency practitioners, and distressed entities, the R&I team maintains a strong presence in both contentious and non-contentious matters. The team’s leadership, represented by the ‘exceptional problem solver’ Ian De Witt and Robin Darton, brings substantial expertise to managing complex insolvency-related matters and contentious matters. Witt specialises in commercial litigation and insolvency matters, while Darton is a key contact for private equity and distressed funds, asset managers, and debtors seeking guidance on various insolvency issues. Witt’s and Darton’s proficiency spans Hong Kong’s boundaries, and also embraces international landscapes, encompassing winding-up proceedings, bond restructurings, and the complexities of cross-border recognition proceedings, all with a specialised lens on off-shore matters. Another key name to note is Sunny Hathiramani, who is renowned for his representation of office holders in recognition and enforcement proceedings.

Practice head(s):

Ian De Witt; Robin Darton

Other key lawyers:

Sunny Hathiramani; Troy Greig; Veronica Chan; Tim Au; Natalie Lam

Testimonials

‘The TDW team runs a practice with the deepest knowledge in insolvency in HK. They are able to provide advice in real time, which only very few lawyers in HK are able to do.’

‘TDW is the preeminent boutique firm in the market and is widely noted for its restructuring and insolvency practice. They have a massive depth of experience and are one of the few firms with real expertise on personal bankruptcy matters.’

‘A great team to work with on both a professional and personal level. Always available to discuss any issues and very flexible in their approach. Sunny Hathiramani, Tim Au and Troy Greig are all highly regarded.’

‘A deep bench of individuals who are very good at what they do, are approachable and are conflict free.’

‘Sunny Hathiramani is very personable, hard working and always makes himself available. A great team player.’

‘Tanner de Witt’s team blends an array of backgrounds and skill sets to combine into a strong, independent law firm that is firmly established as the leading Hong Kong law firm providing fast, effective and reliable advice.’

‘Ian de Witt is an exceptional problem solver. He combines this with decades of legal experience, and unparalleled knowledge of Hong Kong law, to deliver outstanding litigation results.’

‘Few know more about insolvency and restructuring than Ian De Witt; highly competent and well organised, focussed on clients and well-liked.’

Key clients

KPMG

PwC

Kroll

Grant Thornton

Alvarez & Marsal

China Cinda (HK) Asset Management

RSM Nelson Wheeler

FTI Consulting

Teneo

Deloitte

Ernst & Young

Interpath

Work highlights

  • Acting for liquidators of PRC construction conglomerate China City Construction International Co. Limited which collapsed following default of the RMB2.5 bln bonds issued by it, including an ensuing complex fraud and asset recovery exercise.
  • Advising China Cinda Asset Management on the restructuring of its US$400m loan which involves a potential joint venture with competing creditor MBK Partners, the appointment of receivers over various parts of the group, the appointment of liquidators in other parts of the group and dealing with the regulatory aspects of financing politically sensitive onshore assets with offshore debt.
  • Acting for a major creditor in the restructuring of Hong Kong Airlines with negotiations and interventions to resolve outstanding issues, including those involving the Civil Aviation Department.

Hong Kong > Data protection and cyber security Tier 2

Tanner De Witt‘s ‘excellent‘ team is praised for its ‘extraordinary skills‘ in handling the full gamut of issues for clients in sectors including banking and finance, hospitality, and manufacturing. The group exhibits deep expertise relating to personal data privacy, data breach notifications under the Personal Data Privacy Ordinance (PDPO), data processing agreements (DPO), and the data privacy aspects of advertising campaigns. Described by clients as a ‘deep thinker‘ and an ‘exceptional lawyer‘, practice head Pádraig Walsh is noted for his vast knowledge of the full range of Hong Kong data protection issues, including compliance regarding regulatory enquiries and data breaches, transfer impact assessments, and data processing and sharing agreements. Associate Tara Chan often assists technology companies and entrepreneurs with data privacy and governance issues.

Practice head(s):

Pádraig Walsh

Other key lawyers:

Testimonials

‘The firm has extraordinary skills in this practice area, and excellent team members.’

‘Pádraig Walsh is a standout partner with incredible acumen, judgement and very practical advice for clients. He has huge respect within the legal community.’

‘Really strong technical lawyers, but also very commercially astute. Demonstrated commitment to client service. Very willing to collaborate with clients and other law firms to achieve client outcomes. Very responsive to correspondence. The team is also at the forefront of legal changes, and is very generous with its learnings for clients.’

‘Pádraig Walsh is a deep thinker, an exceptional lawyer and a lovely person. The team each give clear instructions and are very helpful.’

‘We think very highly of the TMT practice at TDW, especially cyber security and data protection and privacy. Their responsiveness to client needs and partner availability makes them stand out in the Hong Kong market.’

‘Pádraig Walsh is a well-known leader in the industry, and we always recommend him due to his knowledge of the data protection and privacy, practical solutions fitting client needs, and client responsiveness.’

Work highlights

  • Advising on a transfer impact assessment from data subjects in the EEA, this matter involves several Hong Kong legislations such as the Law of the People’s Republic of China on Safeguarding National Security in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (National Security Law), the Organized and Serious Crimes Ordinance (Cap.455), the Police Force Ordinance(Cap.232) and the Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorist Financing Ordinance (Cap. 615).
  • Advising a professional services firm on best approaches on handling data breaches and potential consequences under the Personal Data (Privacy) Ordinance (Chapter 486 of the Laws of Hong Kong) (PDPO) and other relevant legislation.
  • Advising for a US electronic component distributor on various Hong Kong data privacy law matters, including direct marketing laws and cookies regulation under Hong Kong laws.

Hong Kong > Labour and employment Tier 2

Tanner De Witt provides ‘smart, pragmatic, and actionable advice’ to a diverse array of clients, including multinational corporates, SMEs, and public sector bodies, encompassing employment documentation, terminations, suspected breaches, and investigations into discrimination and sexual harassment. The team is highly experienced in Hong Kong employment law and often receives referrals from other law firms and clients seeking expertise for due diligence exercises and various employment-related matters. Leading the practice is the ‘smart and incisive’ Russell Bennett, who with his previous tenure in the financial services regulatory industry is frequently sought after by clients from this sector seeking employment expertise in regulatory matters.

Practice head(s):

Russell Bennett

Other key lawyers:

Mark Chiu

Testimonials

‘Smart, pragmatic, and actionable advice.’

‘Russell Bennett gets to the point and is smart and incisive.’

‘They understand the overall implications of a case and do not allow themselves to get distracted by all the noise generated from their opponents.’

‘Russell Bennett and Mark Chiu keep their eyes on the big issues of the case, and are not shy to ask the court to completely dismiss a frivolous case against a client. They do not get sucked into the unimportant details.’

Hong Kong > Private Client and Family Tier 2

The team at Tanner De Witt consists of ‘very experienced and respected’ family lawyers, who are often ‘not afraid of compromise over conflict where it is in the best interests of the client’. The practice fervently handles complex cross-border cases, all the while managing both contentious and non-contentious domestic matters. Notably, the firm’s distinctive focus is on cross-border probate issues. Praised for her ‘sensible and reasonable’ approach, Joanne Brown heads the family side and is regularly instructed regarding nuptial agreements, child removal and access and requests for injunctive relief. Eddie Look also heads the team and brings over 20 years of expertise in serving high-net-worth individuals and families across Hong Kong and the Asia Pacific Region. Another significant figure is Adrian Au, whose expertise encompasses nuptial agreements, separations, divorces, and other matrimonial matters, with clients consistently praising him for being ‘clear, insightful, and supportive’. 

Practice head(s):

Joanne Brown; Eddie Look

Other key lawyers:

Pamela Mak; Adrian Au

Testimonials

‘Great team with lots of depth and a positive, professional attitude.’

‘Always enjoy working with Joanne Brown in mediation. She is supportive and thoughtful for clients at times when they can be struggling. Adrian Au is professional and constructive in his approach to working with challenging situations.’

‘The team provides all-round personal services to me on supporting my business development, as well as personal needs. The team not only provides tailor-made ideas to my company but also how to integrate the personal needs and business development. This would be a very 360 degree services to me as a business owner and father.’

‘Eddie Look is the main partner who helped me to develop the legal concern of my company and personal needs. He will be able to provide timely services and considerate advice which I could not find it in other firm.’

‘Adrian Au was very proactive, supportive and engaged on all queries. He had established relationships with the counter party’s solicitors and this helped resolve minor wording alterations. Adrian was also very supportive of his team.’

‘Joanne Brown is outstanding. Direct, objective, empathetic.’

‘They focus on solutions for clients rather than noise. They are real value for money and able to deal with all sizes of litigation at all levels of the courts. They have the strong backing of the rest of the firm, including its resources and other areas of expertise. They are not afraid of compromise over conflict where it is in the best interests of the client. 

‘Joanne Brown is excellent – especially when dealing with children’s matters. She is absolutely who you want in your corner when you have a difficult opponent. She quiets the storm. Adrian Au is perhaps the most accessible and hardworking partner in Hong Kong. He is not stuck in the old ways of doing things nor does he assume. He fixes problems by working on them.’

Hong Kong > Commercial, corporate and M&A: independent Hong Kong law firms Tier 3

Tanner De Witt's ‘very dedicated' team handles a broad range of issues concerning compliance and corporate governance. Notable clients include China Shandong Group, Mindray Group, and Four Seasons. Eddie Look and Tim Drew co-head the team. Look handles a varied range of mandates, including the structuring of companies, and franchise and manufacturing arrangements, while Drew is proficient in M&A, joint ventures, and investments. The ‘distinguished' River Stone is known for his knowledge of pre-IPO investments and private equity issues, regularly acting for family offices and Chinese high-net-worth individuals.

Practice head(s):

Eddie Look; Tim Drew

Other key lawyers:

Edmond Leung; River Stone; Carol Ling

Testimonials

‘Strong professional ability, smooth communication. Distinguished partner River Stone.’

‘The firm can put together a collaborative team with lawyers from diverse backgrounds, this resounds well with clients.’

‘Eddie Look and Tim Drew lead a pragmatic and client focused commercial practice.’

‘Local law firm who is more familiar with local conditions than international firms. The team works closely and communicates in a timely manner; the partners are of high quality, and are very dedicated.’

‘River Stone communicates actively and is good at combining commercial awareness with legal knowledge.’

Key clients

Commerzbank

China Shandong Group

Qima Limited

Borrelli Walsh

SACE

Mindray Group

ZV France SaS

Four Seasons

SimplyLive

Kriya Capital

Play-Asia.com

Work highlights

  • Represented business owners in the sale of all shares in APV, a content media business. The transaction required a high degree of involvement in the negotiation of earn out provisions and sensitive IP issues.
  • Advised a client on the Hong Kong aspects of a global reorganisation aimed at enhancing tax efficiency, involving intra-group transfers of shares in a Hong Kong subsidiary and the business and assets of a non-Hong Kong company.
  • Assisted a Hungarian asset holding company in validating a Hong Kong law governed put option by navigating the cross-border complexities, addressing legal, tax and trading considerations in Mongolia.

Hong Kong > Dispute resolution: litigation Tier 3

Independent Hong Kong firm Tanner De Witt acts for a wide array of multinational corporations, SMEs, high-net-worth individuals and public sector bodies on complex and high-profile matters, from commercial and corporate to regulatory and IP-related disputes. Pamela Mak jointly leads the offering and has a proven track record acting for both private and listed companies on complex shareholders’ disputes. Co-head Jeff Lane’s practice focuses primarily on domestic and multi-jurisdictional fraud disputes and asset tracing and recovery matters; also bringing a strong niche in cyber-fraud.

Practice head(s):

Pamela Mak; Jeff Lane

Testimonials

‘Experienced partners with very capable, well-rounded associates.’

‘Pamela Mak is a seasoned litigator who is very familiar with court procedures and rules and great attention to detail in her work.’

‘Jeff Lane is an expert in the asset recovery and fraud space.

‘Well known as a go to firm in Hong Kong. Excellent quality, they know the market very well, and are extremely personable and user friendly.’

‘Pamela Mak is brilliant to deal with, and clients love her. Very commercial, responsive, and completely solid on issues.’

‘The team comprised of competent members who are well versed in the substantial cross-border litigation and arbitrations.’

‘Pamela Mak is a competent team leader with visions and business acumen, especially in litigations and arbitrations involving clients from mainland China.’

Work highlights

Hong Kong > TMT Tier 3

A strong focus on founder representation is the defining feature of Tanner De Witt’s TMT practice. Partnerships with government bodies, accelerator and incubation programmes mean that the team is well-positioned to advise founders and their businesses from early stage, expansion and, if necessary, exit. Practice leader Pádraig Walsh is well-versed in issues concerning licensing, technology procurement and corporate transactions in the TMT arena, while Tara Chan is singled out for her expertise in data privacy.

Practice head(s):

Padraig Walsh

Other key lawyers:

Key clients

Coinweb

Blockfort

Brinc Ltd

Bowtie

Betatron Venture Group

DPO Consulting

Earnings International

Atome

Work highlights

  • Advised Advance X Pte Ltd different areas of law, such as payment regulations, money lending regulations, retail payment system and stored value facility regulations.
  • Advised Earnings International on all aspects of legal concept, design and implementation of an online e-commerce source, ship and supply business.
  • Advised a global US telecoms company on licensing and regulatory requirements in Hong Kong, both in respect of equipment presently in Hong Kong, on market entry in Hong Kong.

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).

Photo Name Position Profile
Elizabeth Chan photo Elizabeth Chan Registered Foreign Lawyer
Photo Name Position Profile
Adrian  Au photo Adrian Au Senior Associate
Jeeby  Au photo Jeeby Au Associate
Tara  Chan photo Tara Chan Associate
Raymond  Ko photo Raymond Ko Associate
Brianne  Leung photo Brianne Leung Associate
Raymond  Li photo Raymond Li Associate
Carol  Ling photo Carol Ling Associate
Tim  Au photo Tim Au Partner
Russell Bennett photo Russell Bennett Partner, Head of Employment
Joanne Brown photo Joanne Brown Partner, Head of Family
Veronica  Chan photo Veronica Chan Partner
Samantha  Chan photo Samantha Chan Associate
Mark  Chiu photo Mark Chiu Senior Associate
Jamie  Choy photo Jamie Choy Associate
Robin Darton photo Robin Darton Partner, Head of Restructuring and Insolvency
Ian De Witt photo Ian De Witt Partner, Head of Restructuring and Insolvency
Tim Drew photo Tim Drew Partner
Troy Greig photo Troy Greig Partner
Sunny Hathiramani photo Sunny Hathiramani Partner
Adam  Hoi photo Adam Hoi Associate
Shirley  Kong photo Shirley Kong Associate
Michael  Kot photo Michael Kot Senior Associate
Joanne  Lam photo Joanne Lam Associate
Natalie  Lam photo Natalie Lam Senior Associate
Jeff Lane photo Jeff Lane Partner
John  Lee photo John Lee Senior Associate
Austin  Leung photo Austin Leung Associate
Edmond Leung photo Edmond Leung Partner
Daniel  Li photo Daniel Li Associate
Raymond  Liu photo Raymond Liu Associate
Eddie Look photo Eddie Look Partner, Head of Corporate and Commercial
Sharina  Mahtani photo Sharina Mahtani Senior Associate
Pamela Mak photo Pamela Mak Partner, Head of Dispute Resolution
Ling  Meng photo Ling Meng Associate
Kritika  Sethia photo Kritika Sethia Associate
Mark Side photo Mark Side Consultant
Kevin  Siu photo Kevin Siu Associate
River Stone photo River Stone Partner, Head of China Practice Group
Pádraig Walsh photo Pádraig Walsh Partner
Richard  Wilmot photo Richard Wilmot Consultant
Abby  Wong photo Abby Wong Associate
Number of lawyers : 56
Cantonese
Catalan
Dutch
English
French
German
Hindi
Hokkien
Japanese
Mandarin
Nepalese
Portuguese
Punjabi
Shanghainese
Spanish
Tagalog
Urdu
AIMA
American Bankruptcy Institute
American Bar Association
Asia Pacific Loan Market Association
Commonwealth Lawyers Association
FraudNet
Hong Kong International Arbitration Centre (HKIAC)
IAPP
International Bar Association
International Chamber of Commerce
INSOL International
International Fraud Group
International Insolvency Institute
IWIRC
Lexwork
LINEE
Resolution
Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners
Turnaround Management Association
The Insolvency Lawyers Association

Tim Au and Adrian Au have been recognised as Hong Kong’s most influential lawyers under 40 by Hong Kong Business Magazine

We are thrilled to announce that our partners Tim Au and Adrian Au have been recognised as Hong Kong’s most influential lawyers under 40 by Hong Kong Business Magazine. Congratulations to Tim and Adrian!
 

Tanner De Witt’s team of lawyers recognised in Legal 500

Thrilled to be announcing our exceptional team of lawyers recognised in Legal 500.
 

Pamela Mak, the Head of our Dispute Resolution Department has been named in The A List 2023-2024: Growth Drivers

Happy to share that Pamela Mak, the Head of our Dispute Resolution Department has been named in The A List 2023-2024: Growth Drivers by the China Business Law Journal that identifies elite lawyers in Hong Kong and other cities in the PRC.
 

Our Partners Ian De Witt and Robin Darton have been included in the A List 2023-24: Visionaries

We are delighted to announce that our Partners Ian De Witt and Robin Darton have been included in the A List 2023-24: Visionaries, compiled by the China Business Law Journal to identify the elite lawyers in the Chinese legal market.
 

Tanner De Witt promotes two solicitors to Partner – Veronica Chan and Tim Au

Tanner De Witt is delighted to announce the promotion of Veronica Chan and Tim Au to the position of Partner with the firm, with effect from Sunday 1 January 2023.

Tanner De Witt promotes Adrian Au to Partner

Tanner De Witt is delighted to announce the promotion of Adrian Au to the position of Partner with the firm, with effect from Thursday, 1 June 2023.

Senior associate advancement announcement 2023

Tanner De Witt is pleased to announce the advancement of three solicitors to the position of Senior Associate.

Tanner De Witt promotes Adrian Au to Partner

Tanner De Witt is delighted to announce the promotion of Adrian Au to the position of Partner with the firm, with effect from Thursday, 1 June 2023.

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.