Mr Thomas Walsh > Clifford Chance > Hong Kong, Hong Kong > Lawyer Profile

Clifford Chance
Hong Kong


Thomas Walsh co-leads the firm’s Greater China international arbitration practice and is the head of its Korean disputes practice. He has a particular focus and experience in post-M&A, private equity and tech related disputes. Thomas acts in arbitrations under all of the major arbitration rules such as HKIAC, SIAC, ICC, LCIA and UNCITRAL and has been based in Asia since 2010 so has a depth of experience in the region.

He is recognised as one of the leaders in Asia in international arbitration. In accordance with this he has leadership roles with many of the leading global and regional arbitral institutions. This includes being appointed to the HKIAC’s Council and Appointments Committee, being elected as the Chair of ICC HK’s Nominations Committee and appointed to KCAB Next’s Steering Committee.


Trinity Hall, Cambridge (BA) 2001
Admitted as a solicitor in England & Wales 2007
Admitted as a solicitor in Hong Kong 2011
Admitted as a Foreign Legal Consultant in the Republic of Korea 2013
Joined Clifford Chance 2014
Head of Korean disputes practice 2014
Partner since 2019

Lawyer Rankings

Hong Kong > Dispute resolution: international arbitration

(Leading individuals)

Thomas WalshClifford Chance

One of the pre-eminent international arbitration offerings in Greater China, Clifford Chance is distinct when taking both a common and civil law approach to disputes, conducting arbitrations in Chinese, English or both. The team has also established an exemplary reputation in a number of key sectors, including private equity and financial institutions, mainland corporate transactions, and IP and tech; with partner Ling Ho being an expert in arbitrations concerning the latter. Thomas Walsh jointly leads the practice from Hong Kong, extremely well-versed in multi-jurisdictional disputes and sitting as an arbitrator under all the major rules, including HKIAC, ICC and SIAC. Shanghai-based co-head Lei Shi is also a commanding figure in this space and has represented an extensive number of major PRC banks, financial investors and tech companies. Cameron Hassall is a veteran of commercial cross-border arbitration, having recently been granted higher rights of audience in Hong Kong, while Jonathan Wong is a trusted advisor to numerous financial investors and large multinationals. Below partner level, quadrilingual lead associate Tania Tse has a solid reputation for handling JV related disputes in ICC arbitration, and counsel Dianna Shao has a particular focus on PE and M&A-related arbitrations.

Hong Kong > Intellectual property

Acting on its own as well as frequently forming part of a multidisciplinary offering drawing upon broader corporate, litigation, employment and commercial expertise, Clifford Chance’s Hong Kong-based team provides broad ranging IP expertise for clients within the healthcare, financial services, telecommunications media and technology sectors, among others, both in local and multi-jurisdictional matters. As well as having core knowledge in trade mark, copyright and patent issues, team head Ling Ho is also adept at advising on tangential matters including, IT outsourcing cyber, data privacy and defamation. Ho’s breadth of knowledge ensures that clients have access to one point of contact on often complex matters which involve multi-faceted issues. Thomas Walsh also handles some technology and IP-related disputes for clients as a function of his wide-ranging arbitration practice.

Hong Kong > Restructuring and insolvency

The global financial markets restructuring team at Clifford Chance regularly advises major international banks, funds, private equity investors, and corporates on a wide spectrum of R&I work. Most matters are cross-border, as the the firm leverages its pan-Asian coverage and its capacity to combine expertise across a full spectrum of products and practices, such as finance, litigation, and dispute resolution. An illustrative instance of this strength is the team’s robust response to the aftermath of disruptions in the airline industry, which has notably affected many of the firm’s clients, leading to a collaborative effort between the R&I practice and the aviation finance practice. In addition to its expertise in aviation, the team excels in sectors like TMT, food and beverage, and energy. Donna Wacker heads the contentious insolvency practice and regularly leads on complex cross-border liquidations. The non-contentious side of the practice is led by Scott Bache, a key contact for international corporates seeking guidance on the full spectrum of restructuring and insolvency matters. Other key figures within the team include Soo Khim Keoy, an experienced litigator, the ‘extremely hard-working and exceptionally intelligent’ Phoebe Lo, who specialises in corporate insolvency and restructuring work, and Thomas Walsh, whose practice focuses on cross-border disputes.

China > Dispute resolution: Arbitration: foreign firms

Clifford Chance LLP fields a ‘fantastic team with a truly specialised arbitration practice‘ that routinely acts for international clients involved in disputes involving Mainland China. The team is also sought out by Chinese clients that are involved in conflicts at global levels. Working across the firm’s Beijing and Shanghai offices, Lei Shi, who specialises in international arbitration (particularly PRC-related matters), ‘has a deep understanding of Mainland China, Hong Kong and overseas markets‘, and counsel Feifei Yu, who splits her time between the Mainland China and Hong Kong offices, is an arbitration expert who regularly handles China-related disputes. In Hong Kong, Thomas Walsh is particularly focused on post-M&A, private equity and tech-related matters, and Cameron Hassall, who maintains a practice in both Greater China and Sydney, specialises in energy and infrastructure, corporate, M&A, private equity, aviation and banking disputes.

China > Dispute resolution: Litigation: foreign firms

Clifford Chance LLP‘s ‘litigation team is absolutely top-notch‘. With longstanding on-the-ground experience in Greater China, the firm’s disputes practice is consistently selected by both corporations and individuals to act in high-value commercial litigation. Representative areas of expertise include shareholder disputes, as well as trust and commercial conflicts that involve cross-jurisdictional issues. Clients further appreciate the firm’s regulatory defence practice’s credentials. IP and technology disputes expert Ling Ho is Hong Kong litigation and dispute resolution head; Donna Wacker is a renowned senior practitioner who handles complex commercial, financial services and insolvency litigation; Soo Khim Keoy is a ‘first-rate litigator‘; and Thomas Walsh is an aviation and insolvency-related litigation specialist. Also in Hong Kong, Michael Wang focuses on banking litigation and contentious regulatory matters, and Jonathan Wong represents financial institutions, investors and multinationals in disputes. In Shanghai, PRC, Hong Kong and New York-qualified practitioner Lei Shi is experienced in PRC-related commercial litigation.

China > Restructuring and insolvency: foreign firms

Clifford Chance’s restructuring team provides advice and technical expertise to creditors, lenders, coordinating committees, private equity sponsors, insolvency practitioners, and debtors on complex cross-border matters. The Hong Kong-based team comprises restructuring and insolvency specialists as well as experts from other practice areas to offer well-rounded advice to clients. Asia Pacific restructuring and insolvency group head, Scott Bache, specialises in advising financial institutions, hedge funds, private equity funds, and financial advisors on a broad range of restructuring matters. Donna Wacker, who heads the contentious insolvency practice, has expertise advising clients on complex issues around close-out valuations, custodian duties, asset valuations, asset recovery and cross-border insolvency issues. Other key team members include Soo Khim Keoy , Phoebe Lo, Thomas Walsh, Yvonne Shek, and associate Hinny Leung.

Asia Pacific: Regional International Arbitration > Leading firms

Clifford Chance has vast reach across the region, with offices across China, Hong Kong, Australia and Singapore, advising on complex international law issues across all sectors. The firm has a range of experienced practitioners across all offices in the region. Nish Shetty is dual-qualified in England and Singapore, and leads the Singapore practice alongside Paul Sandosham, who brings vast energy expertise to the wider team. In greater China, the firm has one of the pre-eminent international arbitration offerings, conducting arbitrations in both Mandarin Chinese and English. Hong-Kong based Thomas Walsh leads the practice in that region – with experience of sitting as an arbitrator under all major rules, including the HKIAC, ICC, and SIAC – alongside Shanghai-based Lei Shi, who frequently represents mainland Chinese financial instutions. In Australia, the firm has practitioners working out of Perth, Sydney, and Melbourne, frequently conducting arbitrations in English, French, Spanish, and Chinese. Sam Lutrell and Cameron Hassall are key names in the Perth and Sydney offices, with Spencer Flay in the former bringing extensive strength regarding construction work.

South Korea > International arbitration

Continuing to advise from its Hong Kong office, the team at Clifford Chance handles a wide range of multi-jurisdictional arbitrations relating to Korea, particularly in the oil and gas, and construction industries. Thomas Walsh in Singapore leads the Korean disputes practice, with expertise in post M&A, private equity and tech-related disputes. Paul Sandosham – managing partner of the firm’s Singapore venture Cavenagh Law – specialises in energy, infrastructure and resources disputes for South East Asia, and Sachin Trikha, advising from the London office, is also recommended.