The 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.
We are pleased to announce that Tanner De Witt has achieved a Tier 1 ranking for Insolvency and Restructuring and has been recognised for its Corporate and Commercial and Financial services regulatory practice areas in the 2016 edition of the IFLR rankings. The IFLR1000 – The Guide to the World’s Leading Financial Law Firms – has been a leading independent global guide to the world’s financial and corporate law firms and lawyers since 1990 covering 120 jurisdictions around the world.
Review from IFLR1000 2016
“Tanner De Witt provides very good and relevant advice and guidance,” one client says. “Its focus, attention to detail, knowledge, and inspired confidence during negotiations help achieve a very good result.”
The regulatory team is led by partners Mark Side and Russell Bennet supported by partner Edmond Leung and newly-appointed partner Jeff Lane who has extensive experience in SFC investigations. Deal highlights include advising multiple asset management companies in relation to licence applications and on regulatory compliance matters.
In terms of M&A, the firm saw quite a bit of work in the food and beverage industry. One of the deal highlights saw the firm representing Berlin-based online food delivery company foodpanda in its acquisition of one arm of a Hong Kong-based food delivery company Dial-a-Dinner as part of foodpanda’s expansion plan in Asia.
In the restructuring and insolvency area the team acted on a cross-border liquidation matter where it acted for the liquidators of the Hong Kong arm of Denmark’s second largest marine fuel supplier OW Bunker Group.
“As an insolvency practitioner, I primarily use Tanner De Witt for advice in the area of insolvency and related litigation,” one client says. “It has a number of partners, namely Ian De Witt, Robin Darton and Anthony Hill, who are very capable and experienced in this area. I would have no hesitation in recommending their services.”
Review from IFLR1000 2015
Tanner De Witt Solicitors is delighted to be featured as a top Hong Kong law firm in the 2015 IFLR guide, published earlier this week. Our Restructuring and Insolvency practice ranked in Tier 1 again this year, naming co-heads of the department Ian De Witt and Robin Darton as “Leading Lawyers”, along with senior consultant Anthony Hill.
The 2015 IFLR guide for the best law firms in Hong Kong also recognised our Corporate and Commercial practice, highlighting our involvement in significant M & A mandates as well as our diverse client base, ranging from high net worth individuals to multi-national corporations.
Here’s what IFLR 2015 said about Tanner De Witt Solicitors:
Tanner De Witt is a solid independent Hong Kong firm with a small team that guarantees partner focus.
The firm acts on behalf of Hong Kong and overseas clients in transactions relating to M&A, joint ventures, business sales and purchases, corporate reorganisations, investment and shareholders agreements, private placements, due diligence, private equity transactions and banking and finance.
The firm has been involved in a number of confidential notable M&A mandates involving a wealth management company, real estate, fashion, financial services, interior design and life sciences.
The firm really comes to the fore in restructuring and insolvency, and while the insolvency market in Hong Kong has been relatively quiet in the past year, Tanner De Witt’s team continued to be a strong choice for the available work.
It has worked on a number of confidential mandates involving a PRC insolvency, bankruptcy, securities brokerage, education, real estate and aviation.
Review from IFLR1000 2014
Tanner De Witt, a large independent Hong Kong firm, keeps its top ranking in the area of restructuring and insolvency thanks to some good peer feedback. On a local level, few dispute the credentials of the firm’s R&I practice. “They are good on insolvency and debt collection,” says a peer. Robin Darton is singled out as “very visible in the insolvency community,” active on both contentious and non-contentious matters. Anthony Hill on the non-contentious side is also recommended by peers. Name partner Ian De Witt is also a staple in the practice: “I have worked with Ian De Witt for a number of years and consider him to be an extremely competent insolvency lawyer,” says a client.
The team has 60 years of collective experience in the field with a team of nine lawyers advising on Hong Kong law. Tanner De Witt’s R&I team has recently acted on a number of the largest insolvencies affecting the Asia region including acting for the trustees on one of the largest on-going Hong Kong bankruptcies as well as providing Hong Kong insolvency and bankruptcy law advice to overseas firms and clients. The firm has an impressive client list that includes KPMG, PwC, Standard Chartered Bank, FTI, RSM Nelson Wheeler, and Briscoe Wong Ferrier.
On the transactional side, the firm has seven qualified lawyers acting on such matters as private equity firms’ cross-border acquisitions in China, joint venture establishments, and M&A matters for other Asia-based corporate clients.
Review from IFLR1000 2012
“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.”
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).