IFLR 1000 is published annually by Euromoney Institutional Investor and is the international legal market's leading guide to the top law firms advising on international corporate finance.
The 2012 edition of IFLR1000 comments:
"Partners Ian De Witt and Robin Darton are veterans in the Hong Kong restructuring and insolvency arena, and the practice benefits from their especially close relationship with Hong Kong receivers and liquidators in addition to their deep understanding of and close relationship with the Hong Kong restructuring and insolvency community and government authorities. The group is most often involved in the Hong Kong elements of multi-jurisdictional and cross-border issues, on both the restructuring and insolvency sides."
"Clients can't seem to say enough good things about Tanner De Witt's capability and service. As one client tells us: "Insolvency is one of Ian's specialty areas, and I've dealt with him for some time. He has high ability with insolvency work and in terms of the matters and claims he is pragmatic and commercial, ensuring we get a viable result in a short time. He always demonstrates the ability to identify the relevant issues and cut to the chase in dealing with them."
"Another client notes: "The partners are very easy to get a hold of and always readily available. They are actively involved in cases rather than handballing them to other staff. They also put a lot of effort into a developing a relationship and maintaining it. They are very keen in nurturing relationship even when there isn't work going on at that time. In this respect, Tanner De Witt is probably one of the most proactive firms in HK."
Ian De Witt, Robin Darton and Anthony Hill are listed as leading lawyers.
The 2011 edition of IFLR1000 comments:
"They have 'nuts and bolts' liquidation expertise," admires a client. "There are relatively few lawyers in Hong Kong who do non-contentious stuff - they are one of the few."
Leading insolvency firm Tanner De Witt continues to receive instructions from some of Hong Kong's most prominent liquidators, bankers and receivers, and remains in the vanguard of firms to which these institutions turn for advice.
"We would go to them purely for insolvency work," says an accountant. "They are the best priced firm in town for local litigation work."
Although the lack of full service offerings may dissuade clients from seeking the firm's quality representation, both market commentators and competitors of Tanner De Witt admit that "for what they do, they do best."
The firm's partners in this practice, Ian De Witt and Robin Darton, often feature in a number of first-time events. Darton saw his appointment by the court as a receiver over the $800 million assets of a prominent Asian businessman in connection with the long-running and high-profile international litigation concerning the liquidation of Akai Holdings, the first ever engagement of a solicitor in this role in Hong Kong.
"They really understand what liquidators are looking for and provide a service that is tailored to our profession," says a liquidator. "We are always under time pressure and urgency, and we never had any problems with Tanner De Witt on that front."
Other deals of substantial value and importance include Darton's ongoing role in acting for the administrators of the UK Lehman entities in connection with the over HK$100 billion ($13 billion) intra-group claims on Hong Kong assets, and De Witt's long-term instruction for the liquidators of Oasis Hong Kong Airlines in all aspects of the cross-jurisdictional administration, from the final sale of aircraft to contentious court applications valued in total in excess of HK$3.7 billion ($475 million).
Ian De Witt and Robin Darton are listed as leading lawyers.