Philip Swainston



For urgent criminal law advice including arrests in Hong Kong, please contact our Criminal lawyer Philip Swainston on +852 94661700.

Philip Swainston was born in England and obtained an Honours degree in law in Newcastle. He started work in local government and entered private practice in 1987 specialising in criminal litigation, family law, adoption and child care matters.

Philip was admitted as a solicitor in Hong Kong in 1996. He specialises in commercial crime, representing clients in complex, commercial crime cases and investigations by the ICAC, the CCB, the SFC and the Police. He frequently attends the ICAC offices; CCB offices and police stations throughout Hong Kong to represent clients under arrest.

Additionally Philip maintains a broad experience of non-commercial criminal litigation appearing before the Magistrates Courts and the District Court. He is regularly instructed by the Director of Public Prosecutions to prosecute cases on behalf of the Police and other authorities.

Philip has extensive experience in criminal appeal work and in chambers hearings before the High Court including restraint of assets and forfeiture proceedings.

In addition Philip has represented a wide range of clients in divorce and Family Court proceedings, including complex financial ancillary relief matters, custody issues, adoption and guardianship of minors applications. He has an active on-going work load of administrative judicial review and Immigration law cases.



Key Deals

  • the successful defence of an overseas corporate service provider charged with conspiracy to money launder described initially by the Commercial Crime Bureau as a “test case” where a conviction would have set a dangerous precedent to the corporate service providers in the provision of offshore companies and banking facilities to clients
  • the successful defence of a Hong Kong based financial consultant dealing in funds from The People’s Republic of China
  • many applications to the High Court for payments of funds restrained by court order
  • the successful defence of an American business man charged with conspiracy to commit massive fraud
  • the successful defence of two directors of a Hong Kong company on charges of dealing in counterfeit goods
  • a complex ancillary relief on divorce case involving properties in Hong Kong and overseas including farmlands and a forest
  • the successful application of an unmarried mother for maintenance for an illegitimate child from the father without an income of his own and financially reliant upon his wife



  • Philip is recognised by Doyle’s Guide 2020 as a Recommended lawyer for Criminal Defence, White Collar Crime, Corporate Crime & Regulatory Investigations.


  • The Law Society of Hong Kong
  • Duty Lawyer Service panel for representation in criminal magistrates court proceedings and specialist D.L.S. panels to appear in juvenile court proceedings; and extradition proceedings
  • Director of Public Prosecutions panel of solicitors on fiat
  • Voluntary Duty Lawyer Service panel