Tim is a Partner in our Restructuring and Insolvency Practice having joined the firm as a Trainee Solicitor in 2012 and admitted as a solicitor in 2014. Tim’s focus is on restructuring and insolvency matters, with a particular focus on contentious cases. He regularly advises insolvency office-holders (including the ‘Big Four’ accounting firms and other prominent accounting firms with an insolvency practice) and corporate clients on all aspects of restructuring and insolvency issues including schemes of arrangement, recovery of assets in insolvency estates (in particular pursuing and defending transaction avoidance claims), cross-border insolvency issues such as recognition of foreign appointments and foreign restructuring processes in Hong Kong, examination of persons capable of assisting insolvency office-holders, all aspects of enforcement; debt recovery matters and a wide range of court applications in relation to bankruptcies, liquidations and applications concerning insolvency office-holders’ remuneration and other administrative matters.
Tim has a particular interest in schemes of arrangement with a cross-border element having acted on the Kaisa and the Burwill schemes. He also advises on contentious scheme matters and successfully opposed the sanctioning of the Century Sun scheme. That aside, Tim focuses on contentious work and regularly appears in the Companies Court and Bankruptcy Court.
Additionally, Tim advises in relation to general commercial litigation matters including contractual disputes and banking litigation matters (such as debt recovery and security enforcement). Tim has extensive experience in trial work having conducted several High Court trials.
Tim completed his undergraduate studies at the University of Liverpool (Bachelor of Arts in History and Law) and obtained a Juris Doctor degree and a Postgraduate Certificate in Laws from the Chinese University of Hong Kong.
Tim is fluent in English and Cantonese.
- Acted for Kaisa Group Holdings Limited in a scheme of arrangement involving debt owed in the amount of US$2.6 billion, which involved many cross-border issues involving the Cayman Islands, the United States, the BVI and England.
- Acted for CFG Investment SAC in respect of claims brought by the liquidators of the Pacific Andes group (FTI).
- Acted for the liquidator of Lehman Brothers Asia Holdings Limited in an unprecedented application for sanction to approve a bonus payment to the liquidator’s firm (KPMG).
- Acted for China Singyes Technologies Holdings Limited in defending a winding up petition to restructure its debts.
- Acted for PwC acting as the provisional liquidators of Burwill Holdings Limited in respect of the restructuring (via a scheme of arrangement) of its debts.
- Acted for Interactive Brokers LLC in bankruptcy proceedings against Mr But Ka Chon relating to the interaction between arbitration clauses and the Court’s jurisdiction to wind up companies or make a bankruptcy order against individuals. This resulted in reported judgment of the Court of Appeal.
- Acted for SES Germany GmbH and New Skies Satellites B.V. in successfully opposing a scheme of arrangement promulgated by Century Sun International Limited.
- Acted for the bankruptcy trustees (Grant Thornton) of Guy Kwok-Hung Lam to advise the trustees on cross-border issues concerning proceedings in the United States and recovery actions in Hong Kong.
- Part of the team acting for the Joint Provisional Liquidators of Global Blood Cord Corporation (NYSE: CO) appointed by the Cayman Court based on misconduct findings of forgery committed by the company’s management. Tanner De Witt successfully assisted the Joint Provisional Liquidators (Grant Thornton) in obtaining interim injunction orders against directors of subsidiaries in Hong Kong. The hearing was heard by the Honourable Madam Justice Linda Chan and it was contested by the purported company secretary of the Hong Kong subsidiaries. The Hong Kong subsidiaries holds the PRC operating entities which operates one of the largest cord blood network business in the PRC. The business recorded revenues and net income of RMB 1.24 billion and RMB 510 million respectively in its latest financial statements. Tanner De Witt continues to assist the Joint Provisional Liquidators in securing the company’s assets in Hong Kong and the PRC.
- Acted for LiMing Capital Limited in proceedings commenced against CLSA Limited. Tanner De Witt successfully obtained judgment against CLSA concerning a claim based on economic duress.
- Acted for Sure Lead Limited in resisting transaction avoidance claims brought by liquidators of various Hong Kong companies. Tim’s representation includes appearing (in his own right) for Sure Lead Limited in the Companies Court to obtain validation orders for the company to pay debts upon which certain winding up proceedings were based.
“Tim is a well-known restructuring and insolvency lawyer and I have worked with him on numerous occasions over the past 10 years. He has particular expertise in advising liquidators and bankruptcy trustees on recovery actions and claims against directors and bankrupts. Tim takes a pragmatic and commercial approach to matters, focusing on the key issues to drive outcomes for his clients. He is also cognizant of the cost constraints that liquidators and trustees must deal with which is a great help to us in our work.” – Client feedback
“Tim is one of the best young lawyers I have dealt with and I deal with a lot of experienced and accomplished senior lawyers globally. Tim gives very well researched and timely advice which helps immensely with the decision-making process.” – Client feedback
“Tim has thorough legal knowledge to advise on contentious insolvency matters and litigation. He often provides practical strategic advice to support efficient conduct of the matters and delivers quality work in tight timeframes.” – Client feedback
“Tim has advised me on a number of insolvency and restructuring cases demonstrating superb technical skills. With thorough understanding on all his cases, he can always outline the ways forward succinctly and identify all legal and commercial risks in each of the alternatives for consideration. Tim is also attentive to details which enables him to provide insightful comments. Most issues are well resolved with his safe pair of hands.” – Client feedback
“I have known Tim for a number of years and have worked with him in relation to a variety of matters, primarily related to insolvency and restructuring. Tim is hard working, diligent and responsive. He is technically very good, with broad knowledge of Hong Kong law, and also takes a commercial approach which is appreciated.” – Client feedback
“Tim has all the qualities one could hope for in a lawyer, professional and person in general. My experience working with him day-to-day over such a long period is flawless. He has shown exemplary patience and ease of communication essential to ensure our understanding of the legal realities and so the smooth interaction we have enjoyed with Tanner De Witt. In short I would simply say Tim is an excellent-natured, highly competent professional who has always had our best interest at heart. I look forward to following his career which I’m certain is on a stellar course. Tanner De Witt and Tim will naturally continue to take care of all our Hong Kong legal work.” – Client feedback
“Tim Au is a quick and deep thinker. He is both knowledgeable in terms of insolvency law but also extremely practical which unsurprisingly translates into a strong following” – Senior Counsel feedback
“I have worked with Tim in a number of cases. His performance as a handling solicitor has been impressive. He is familiar with the latest legal developments. Besides, he is good at coordinating with different parties and managing clients in complex cases. He is a pleasure to work with.” – Counsel feedback
- The Law Society of Hong Kong
- Restructuring and Insolvency Faculty (RIF)
- International Women’s Insolvency & Restructuring Confederation (IWIRC)
- Restructuring and Insolvency Faculty (RIF)
- Turnaround Management Association (TMA)