Asia Pacific Legal 500

Asia Pacific Legal 500 is published annually by Legalease, a leading independent publisher of information for law firms and their clients.

Tanner De Witt is consistently ranked as a leading international law firm for each of their core practice areas: Corporate (including M&A)Dispute ResolutionEmployment and Restructuring and Insolvency.

Below are some examples of what Asia Pacific Legal 500 has said about us over the years.

2018 Edition

Tanner De Witt is very pleased to be recommended again this year in The Legal 500 Asia Pacific Guide 2018 for its four main practice areas; corporate and commercial, labour and employment, restructuring and insolvency and litigation and dispute resolution. We are very proud to announce that Ian De Witt, Robin Darton and Kim Boreham have retained their leading individual ranking, while solicitor Sunny Hathiramani continues to be recognised as next generation lawyer for our top tier Restructuring and Insolvency Practice. The full rankings can be found here.

Dispute resolution: litigation – ranked: tier 3

Tanner De Witt’s practice includes litigators Mark Side, Pamela Mak and Jeff Lane. Mak is ‘careful to avoid any unnecessary litigation’, and the whole team is praised for ‘not shying away from the difficult-to-hear facts’. Recent highlights include bringing six concurrent actions for a PRC-based energy sector businessman against his former employees for allegedly transferring his assets to themselves and others without consent; the assets are currently being recovered in Hong Kong, BVI and PRC. Other work included acting for an offshore firm in an ICAC investigation.

Restructuring and insolvency – ranked: tier 1

An ‘established player in the Hong Kong market’, Tanner De Witt leverages strong ties with professional services firms including PwC and FTI Consulting and also generates a significant amount of referral work from international law firms to advise on the Hong Kong aspects of cross-border mandates. Particularly recommended at the contentious end of the market, the two-partner team is active across a range of industry sectors and across the spectrum of insolvency-related litigation including acting in winding-up proceedings, appointments of provisional liquidators, claims against directors, claims against auditors, and fraud and asset tracing. The ‘very experienced’ Robin Darton is advising the liquidators of the Hong Kong subsidiary of Singaporean conglomerate Dragon Technology Distribution on the validity of and interplay between various receivables financing arrangements and other security arrangements established between the debtor and numerous lenders. Darton also continues to act for the liquidators of the Hong Kong-based subsidiary of OW Bunker in its high-profile collapse. The ‘excellent’ Ian De Witt is also recommended, while at an associate level Sunny Hathiramani has a burgeoning reputation and is frequently involved in many of the highest-profile matters handled by the team.

Employment – ranked: tier 2

Deeply embedded in the local market, Tanner De Witt’s five-strong team picks up direct instructions and referral work on behalf of many local employers and employees, where the firm is best-known for its ‘excellent employment litigation capability’. The team excels at handling work within the financial services sector and is representing a fund management company in an internal investigation relating to the summary dismissal of a senior executive following alleged breaches of duty and misuse of confidential information. Russell Bennett handles a range of employment litigation within the financial services sector and as well as core work in relation to bonuses and termination entitlements, is also well versed in handling the increasing overlap between employment and financial services regulatory matters. Kim Boreham is the other partner within the team and is noted, in particular, for her ‘expertise in injunction work’, which regularly sees her involved in big-ticket litigation.

Corporate (including M&A) – ranked: tier 6

Tanner De Witt is ‘one of the few independent Hong Kong law firms that can manage international clients well’, and its excellent reputation is underpinned by a sizeable international network of referral firms. Tim Drew is ‘responsive, experienced, pragmatic and client-friendly’. Also recommended are River Stone and Caroline De Souza, who provide ‘solid advice in a reasonable period of time’ and have ‘a great attitude to service’. Noted for its mid-market focus, the team handles a broad cross-section of matters, including M&A, joint ventures, corporate reorganisations and private equity transactions. In addition to acting for Hong Kong-based businesses, the firm also assists clients overseas with operations in China and elsewhere in Asia; foodpanda, Equiom Group, Delifrance and King Fook all feature on the roster. Drew jointly leads the practice with the highly regarded Eddie Look and Edmond Leung.

2017 Edition

Tanner De Witt is delighted to be recommended again this year in The Asia Pacific Legal 500 Guide 2017 for its four main practice areas; corporate and commercial, labour and employment, restructuring and insolvency and litigation and dispute resolution. We are proud to announce that along with recognised leading individuals Ian De Witt, Robin Darton and Kim Boreham, solicitor Sunny Hathiramani has been selected as a next generation lawyer for our top tier Restructuring and Insolvency Practice. The full rankings can be found here.

Dispute resolution: litigation – ranked: tier 3

The practice at Tanner De Witt is led by Mark Side, who is acting for a high-net-worth individual in a professional negligence claim against an international bank. Jeff Lane is ‘a true market leader in fraud and asset recovery claims, with tremendous experience and local knowledge’. Lane is defending Yves Bouvier against a Russian billionaire accusing the client of defrauding him out of $500m. Pamela Mak is also a key contact.

Restructuring and insolvency – ranked: tier 1

An expert in the field of insolvency-related matters’, Tanner De Witt has a well-established practice and enjoys strong relationships with key insolvency practitioners; Robin Darton acted for the liquidators of OW Bunker in Hong Kong following the highly publicised collapse of the group. ‘All-round expertIan De Witt is noted for his ‘practical advice’; he recently assisted a well-known Hong Kong-based company with the winding up of several entities. Among other headline mandates, Darton represented Kaisa Group during the complex restructuring of its offshore debt amounting to over $2.5bn.

Employment – ranked: tier 2

Tanner De Witt handles complex and sensitive employment matters for a client base that is divided evenly between companies and employees. The team saw an uptick in discrimination-related claims in 2015 and 2016; in one recent case, Russell Bennett advised a listed company on pregnancy rights and discrimination in the context of termination of employment. Recent instructions on the employee side include Kim Boreham’s advice to a former CEO regarding a high-value separation package.

Corporate (including M&A) – ranked: tier 6

Independent Hong Kong firm Tanner De Witt has an impressive mix of multinational and Hong Kong-based clients. It benefits from an extensive referral work from overseas law firms and handles a range of corporate work that includes frequent advice on Hong Kong’s regulatory landscape. Tim Drew, Eddie Look and Edmond Leung are recommended.

2016 Edition

Within Restructuring and insolvency, Tanner De Witt is a first tier firm,

Insolvency and restructuring is at the heart of Tanner De Witt’s business. The team is particularly noted as having ‘a lot of experience on the contentious side’. The firm acts for a range of office holder clients such as PwC and KPMG. Key recent mandates include representing the liquidators of OW Bunker China and the liquidators of MF Global. The lawyers ‘go out of their way to maintain ongoing close relationships with clients’ and are ‘extremely good at what they do’. Ian De Witt and Robin Darton are both ‘very competent, practical and commercial’.

Within Employment, Tanner De Witt is a second tier firm,

Acting for both employer and employee, Tanner De Witt’s recent mandates included defending a private bank against a substantial financial claim brought by a former senior executive. Kim Boreham is ‘an exceptional lawyer; her knowledge is second-to-none’ and fellow co-head Russell Bennett has impressive in-house financial services experience.

Within Dispute resolution, Tanner De Witt is a a third tier firm,

Recommended for general commercial litigation, property and inheritance disputes, Tanner De Witt attracts very strong peer and client feedback. Department head Mark Side is ‘very good on licensing and matrimonial issues’; Jeff Lane is ‘an outstanding disputes lawyer’; and insolvency specialist Robin Darton is ‘very commercial’. The highly regarded Pamela Mak’s recent cases include multi-jurisdiction probate proceedings and Sino-American telecoms sector disputes.

Within Corporate (including M&A),

Tanner De Witt operates in the mid-market space, though often acts as co-adviser with international law firms on cross-border and multi-jurisdictional transactions. In this regard, it has experienced a notable uptick in M&A mandates. The lawyers deliver a ‘very client-oriented service’; they provide ‘excellent business and industry knowledge’, and ‘concise and to-the-point advice’. In particular, Tim Drew has a ‘strong sense for the needs of the client’ and ‘sets the right tone in negotiations’. Eddie Look and Edmond Leung are also commended.

2015 Edition

Within Restructuring and insolvency, Tanner De Witt is a first tier firm,

Tanner De Witt is widely praised for its market-leading insolvency practice, which represents a range of liquidators. The firm recently represented Ambow Education Holding, a Cayman company listed on the New York Stock Exchange, in successfully applying to stay insolvency proceedings in Hong Kong. Notable clients include PricewaterhouseCoopers, KPMG and Borrelli Walsh. Jan Johannsson is a key contact for restructuring matters. Robin Darton and Ian De Witt are also recommended.

Within Employment, Tanner De Witt is a second tier firm,

Kim Boreham and Russell Bennett co-head Tanner De Witt’s team, which has seen growth in contentious claims arising from the enforcement of restrictive covenants and claims of misuse of confidential information. In 2013, it successfully resolved a court case involving allegations of breach of restrictive covenants against a senior executive in the insurance industry. Jeff Lane joined from King & Wood Mallesons.

Within Dispute resolution, Tanner De Witt is a third tier firm,

Tanner De Witt attracts praise for its ‘sound and timely advice’ and ‘practical solutions to problems’. Commercial litigation specialist Pamela Mak is ‘exceptionally enthusiastic, considerate and professional’. Mark Side is adept at representing executives and senior employees in investigations. Robin Darton and Ian De Witt are also recommended.

 Within Corporate (including M&A), 

Tanner De Witt focuses on mid-cap work for local SMEs, entrepreneurs and high-net-worth individuals. It also regularly works alongside international law firms on the Hong Kong law aspects of cross-border transactions. In this regard, it has gained exposure to a number of major international corporate brands. Eddie Look, Tim Drew and Edmond Leung are the key partners.

2014 Edition

“The seasoned Richard Tanner retired from the partnership at Tanner De Witt in 2013.  Eddie Look, Tim Drew and Edmond Leungnow form the senior team with plenty of experience in mid-cap deals for local and international corporates and investment funds.”

“Independent Hong Kong firm Tanner De Witt has a dynamic practice thanks in part to the efforts of senior litigator Mark Side. The firm often represents senior executives and employees, including in breach of fiduciary duty cases. Fraud is another area of expertise for the department which includes Pamela Mak and Jonathan Gray”.

“Tanner De Witt’s employment practice is headed by Kim Boreham and Russell Bennett, both of whom have strong litigation track records, particularly in relation to the financial sector. The practice handles contentious and non-contentious matters for a range of financial institutions, professional services firms, SMEs and senior executives.”

“The ‘very responsive’ group at Tanner De Wit has ‘good business acumen and deep legal knowledge’. The department is co-led by highly respected practitioners Robin Darton and Ian De Witt, and includes consultant Anthony Hill. De Witt ‘understands the scene very well and knows all the players; with his network, the chances of getting a deal done are greatly improved.”

Ian De Witt, Robin Darton and Anthony Hill are listed as Leading Lawyers for Restructuring and Insolvency and Kim Boreham is listed as a Leading Lawyer for Employment.

2013 Edition

“Tanner De Witt has a genuinely broad litigation practice, which has been handling a number of negligence and breach of fiduciary duty cases.  The eminent Mark Side, Pamela Mak and insolvency expert Ian De Witt are key members of the team”.

“Tanner De Witt’s three-partner corporate department has a fine record in mid-market transactions for local and international businesses”.  

Tanner De Witt provides ‘incisive analysis of legal issues, and sound business acumen’Robin Darton has ‘considerable experience in a variety of restructuring and insolvency issues‘, as does Ian De Witt, who provides ‘very strong legal knowledge, but an equally commercial approach’.

2012 Edition

Clients highlight the ‘extraordinary high-quality service’, the ‘vast knowledge and business acumen’ of the partners and the ‘very strong team’.

Tanner De Witt handles ‘really high-quality local work’, and is known for its experience of insolvency matters. The team, featuring Ian De Witt and Robin Darton, is widely regarded in the arena for its excellent work and capabilities.

‘‘Though its expertise is much broader than in contentious work, Tanner De Witt truly excels in the litigation environment. This is thanks in part to the presence of immensely experienced litigators Mark Side (‘very good’) and Ian De Witt (‘expert analysis and opinion’)’’.

2011 Edition

Tanner De Witt is recommended for its ‘response time, quality of work and commercial judgement’. 

“Tanner De Witt has ‘a strong team of lawyers with in-depth knowledge of commercial law.’” 

“Tanner De Witt is considered ‘quick’, ‘responsive’ and ‘cost-effective’. 

“Tanner De Witt’s team is recommended for its ‘responsiveness and practical advice’”.

“The team, led by Mark Side, ‘has no qualms about acting against big players’. Ian De Witt is a ‘fantastic litigator’ who provides ‘sound legal analysis coupled with insightful local knowledge.’”

2009 – 2010 Editions

“Tanner De Witt has a strong team of lawyers with in-depth knowledge of commercial law”.