Insolvency and Restructuring Hong Kong


Tanner De Witt Solicitors is ranked as a Tier 1 / Band 1 law firm in the field of insolvency and restructuring in Hong Kong by leading industry publications including Legal 500 and Chambers & Partners. Our lawyers specialise in a wide spectrum of insolvency administrations, complex restructurings and bankruptcies involving global assets, with a particular emphasis on contentious and court-related issues.

While Tanner De Witt is an independent Hong Kong law firm, our Insolvency and Restructuring lawyers act for many international clients involved in multi-jurisdictional and high profile matters. We provide legal advice and representation to insolvency practitioners, creditors, directors, shareholders, private and listed companies, bondholders, and individuals facing cash flow difficulties and have experience with a wide range of specialist tribunals and professional associations.

Our Experience

Tanner De Witt Solicitors provides Insolvency and Restructuring legal solutions to clients involved in a diverse range of industries in Hong Kong, the People’s Republic of China and throughout the Asia Pacific Region.

We advise and act on:

  • Corporate rescue in Hong Kong
  • Company restructurings and reorganisations, formal and informal
  • European, North American and Asian insolvency cases
  • Contentious and non-contentious matters within  insolvency administrations
  • Insolvency procedures in Hong Kong and cross border jurisdictional issues
  • Solvent restructurings
  • Corporate rescue including schemes of arrangements
  • Winding-up, provisional liquidators, liquidation and appointment holders
  • Court approved receivers and receiverships
  • Bankruptcy, individual voluntary arrangements and trustees in bankruptcy
  • Directors duties
  • Litigation, asset tracing and recovery and the enforcement of security
  • Debt collection
  • Defaulting loans, notes and bonds and distressed debts

Our Work

Examples of our lawyers’ wide experience include:

  • Lead counsel on the complex restructuring of Kaisa Group‘s offshore debt amounting to over $2.5bn.
  • Acted for KPMG as the liquidators of the Hong Kong arm of OW Bunker Group, advising on numerous issues associated with its insolvency proceedings.
  • Advised KPMG as the liquidators of MF Global, which includes representation at hearings on issues such as the ad valorem duty payable by provisional liquidators and the treatment of costs incurred by liquidators.
  • The firm played a pivotal role in connection with the appointment of provisional liquidators to Oasis Hong Kong Airlines, and was instructed by the provisional liquidators in all aspects of this multi-faceted administration, which has presented some unique challenges given the international scope of the Oasis business and the high-profile nature of the collapse.
  • Successfully acting in what is now the leading case of an unfair preference action in a “non-associate” case where the firm acted for the liquidators against a receiver holding the proceeds of certain assets that were “preferred” to the company’s bankers.
  • Advising the receivers appointed in respect of an online trading company selling CDs and DVDs following a much publicised judgment against the company in the UK for some £40 million. Notwithstanding the UK judgment, the receivers successfully concluded a sale of the company’s assets following a period of trading under receivership, a rare event in Hong Kong.
  • Assisting receivers appointed by the Jersey Court over a Jersey trust in taking legal action in Hong Kong to secure control over entities within the trust structure in an effort to enable court-ordered payments of several million pounds to be made to a disenfranchised beneficiary of the trust, in connection with a long-running and high-profile matrimonial matter in Hong Kong concerning a jewellery trading family.
  • Advising a US-based manufacturer of retail electronic products in connection with difficulties arising with its Hong Kong and PRC partners, concerning indebtedness of in excess of US$70 million.

Insolvency and Restructuring – Our International Network

As a top Hong Kong law firm, Tanner De Witt Solicitors has established relationships with overseas professional services providers, including offshore law firms and major international liquidators. This international network of experts is easily accessible by our lawyers ensuring clients receive fully integrated advice concerning their often multi-jurisdictional and complex matters.

Insolvency and Restructuring – Our Hong Kong Lawyers

The Insolvency and Restructuring practice at Tanner De Witt Solicitors is co-led by Ian De Witt and Robin Darton, both of whom are ranked as top lawyers in the field by various publications including Legal 500 and Chambers & Partners.


Legal 500 Asia Pacific 2017

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 expert’. Ian 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. Solicitor Sunny Hathiramani has also been selected as a new generation lawyer.

Chambers and Partners Asia 2017

Well-established independent Hong Kong firm with a strong reputation, particularly in relation to high-stakes contentious insolvency cases. Regularly handles large, complex domestic litigations.

“They are very experienced in insolvency-related matters, and the advice they give is sound and practical and balances the legal and commercial aspects that the client needs to take into account.” The team is known for its local work, and is praised as “a standout local independent firm.”

Their bills are clearly set out in their fee notes, with reasonable deductions for non-billable items on time charged.”

They are very flexible on fee arrangements.”

Excellent” practitioner Robin Darton focuses his practice on contentious insolvency cases, where he acts for both creditors and debtors. He represented the liquidators of OW Bunker China in a dispute with the receivers in connection with the payment of USD150 million in receivables. Clients say: “He is sensible, commercial, astute and technically good too.”

Ian De Witt has 30 years of experience acting for creditors, receivers and liquidators on major, complex insolvencies and restructurings. One client remarks: “He gets into the nitty-gritty, but also sees the big picture.” He advised Asian Bamboo on the replacement of directors of its subsidiaries with a preliminary insolvency administrator.