Russell Bennett

Partner

Profile

Russell specialises in all matters relating to employment law as well as dealing with dispute resolution and commercial litigation and regulatory advice.

On the employment side, Russell has extensive experience in acting for both employers and employees, with particular emphasis on high-value employment disputes in the financial sector. He advises on all aspects of employment law, termination entitlements, post-termination restrictions, bonuses, discrimination, drafting employment contracts, handbooks and other HR related documentation as well as immigration, health and safety and related criminal matters/prosecutions.

Russell also spent several years as regional in house counsel with a major international brokerage. He focused primarily on dealing with the restructuring of their employment practices, documentation and structures and resolving disputes and issues throughout Asia Pacific. In addition, Russell oversaw the legal aspects of HR management and certain regulatory functions.

experience and key cases

Russell is involved in all aspects of litigation advice and procedures relating to: proceedings to trial; summary judgment and seeking and opposing injunctive relief, including the enforcement of post-termination restrictions by injunctions; international jurisdictional disputes; and Magistrate Court proceedings. Russell has also been involved in the conduct of several successful mediations of employment disputes relating to disputed termination, discrimination and harassment claims and stock option entitlements.

Further, Russell advises upon regulatory matters including SFC licensing (both corporate and individual) and dealing with and defending SFC and HKMA investigations and prosecutions.

Key Cases

  • Acting for the employee in two of the few reported cases on bonuses/end-of-year payments, and on discretionary bonuses.
  • Acting in two of the leading Hong Kong cases on post termination restrictions and injunctive relief;
  • Successfully defending an SFC prosecution of a Collective Investment Scheme / Fund for breach of the SFO.

Testimonials

Russell is listed as a Leading Lawyer for Labour & Employment by the 2018 Edition of Asialaw Leading Lawyers.

Asia Pacific Legal 500 2018: Russell 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.

Chambers Asia Pacific 2018: Russell is best known for his experience handling employment disputes in the financial sector, as well as advising on immigration, criminal investigations and termination entitlements. One client reports that he “endeavours to understand the client’s needs and find a fast and efficient way to achieve the client’s goals.”

Honourably mentioned as Most Responsive Firm of the Year by Asian-mena Counsel, magazine for the In-House Community 2017.

Chambers Asia Pacific 2017: Russell is best known for advising employees and employers in the financial sector on major employment disputes. He is described by one peer as “very commercial and sensible. If he’s on your side, you know things can be resolved.”

Asia Pacific Legal 500 2017 notes that: “Russell Bennett advised a listed company on pregnancy rights and discrimination in the context of termination of employment”. The 2016 Guide notes: “Co-head Russell Bennett has impressive in-house financial services experience.”

Asialaw 2017 notes: “Russell offers great expertise and has a confident and calm approach to resolving issues”.

Russell is recommended in Chambers Asia Pacific 2016 as “a commercial lawyer with an excellent knowledge and experience.” They note that “his practice focuses on high-value disputes, but he also acts for businesses on employment restructuring, documentation drafting and compliance matters.” Russell is recognised as a “Band 2 Leading Individual”.

Russell is highly regarded by Who’s Who Legal 2016 and 2015 for his Labour and Employment and Pensions and Benefits work.

Chambers Asia Pacific 2015 notes: “Russell specialises in high-value employment disputes in the financial sector. Clients report: “He knows his trade inside-out and backwards,” thereby ensuring that “he is prepared to give his opinion, to stick his neck out, to give options and pros and cons, and then his advice.”

Asia Pacific Legal 500 2014 notes: “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.”

Memberships

  • Hong Kong Football Club
  • Hong Kong Cricket Club
  • The Lawyers International Network for Employees and Executives (LINEE)
  • The Law Society of Hong Kong