Results of 2018 Chambers Asia-Pacific Guide announcedDec152017
Tanner De Witt is pleased once again to be recognised by Chambers & Partners in their 2018 Asia-Pacific Guide for each of its main practice areas in particular its Band 1 rankings for Restructuring and Insolvency and Labour and Employment. Joanne Brown is a new entry in the guide, recognised as an ‘Up and Coming‘ Partner for her work in the Family Practice.
Corporate/M&A: Independent Hong Kong Firms (Band 2)
What the team is known for: Covers the full range of corporate and commercial matters, including investments, joint ventures and M&A transactions. Remains part of a global referral network with elite law firms, frequently handling cross-border mandates. Strong in dealing with regulatory compliance work related to corporate transactions.
Strengths: One market source rates the team: “Among the independent firms they are one of the most able to satisfy international clients,” further explaining: “They are very internationally-minded, responsive and experienced. They know their strengths and weaknesses and have a broad portfolio of services.“
“Very solid local Hong Kong firm that gives hands-on and practical advice,” another interviewee remarks.
Tim Drew is well known for advising local and international clients on commercial and corporate work, frequently instructed by German companies investing in the region. “I think he has a very sound judgement of commercial issues, he doesn’t over or under-engineer and he comes up with practical and commercial solutions,” one satisfied client notes, adding: “He is very experienced and you don’t have to wait much for an answer.“
Edmond Leung has over 15 years of experience advising clients in Hong Kong and throughout the region. He regularly works on general corporate and commercial matters, including setting up companies, joint ventures and dealing with regulatory and compliance issues.
Eddie Look is singled out by market sources, who rate him for his broad corporate work and his experience in advising an impressive range of corporates. A client notes: “He is able to put himself in my shoes and advise in terms of what I need,” and further explains: “He has the client’s interest as a priority and that is also valuable to me.”
Dispute Resolution: Litigation (International Firms) — China (Band 4)
What the team is known for: Respected, independent Hong Kong firm, acknowledged for its broad commercial disputes offering. Areas of expertise include professional negligence claims, shareholder disputes, debt recovery and fraud matters. Often acts for clients in the telecoms, hospitality and automotive sectors, as well as handling private client matters.
Strengths: Clients appreciate that the team is committed to providing high-quality service, with one source noting: “Tanner De Witt are clearly determined to achieve the best results for their clients.” Another source observes: “They were hard-working and responsive, and so also gave good advice,” adding that “under time pressure they got complicated drafts done quickly.“
Jeff Lane regularly assists clients with domestic and cross-border financial fraud disputes and asset tracing matters. He is also sought out for his expertise in issues relating to cyber fraud. Interviewees describe him as “a pretty impressive litigator” who “responds to requests very quickly.“
Mark Side focuses his practice on contentious regulatory matters, with additional experience in matrimonial asset tracing and professional duty disputes. Sources regard him as a “well-known Hong Kong practitioner” and a “good litigator.”
Robin Darton is praised by market sources for his deep experience in insolvency-related litigation. He is also well versed in banking litigation and advises clients on debt recovery and security enforcement matters.
Joanne Brown heads up the matrimonial practice. She is recommended this year by numerous clients and peers, who highlight her negotiation and client management skills. One interviewee notes: “She is great at dealing with highly complex cases and difficult clients,” adding that she is “the kind of person you would want to have there, very calm and collected.”
Employment: Hong Kong Law (International Firms) — China (Band 1)
What the team is known for: Strong contentious employment team with notable expertise representing employees in high-profile litigation cases. Active on matters involving individuals employed in Hong Kong, and on the transfer of employees to and from the PRC. Also works with employers, advising on work policies, contracts and post-employment restrictions. Highly active on cases related to race, disability and sex discrimination, and has recently advised on a number of white-collar crime investigations.
Strengths: The team is highlighted by a client as being “very responsive and results-oriented.”
Multiple peers confirm the team’s distinguished reputation for representing employees. One interviewee explains: “They’re very good, great at acting for employees – we refer to them a lot.”
Kim Boreham maintains her excellent reputation for her work on complex matters on the employee side, including issues relating to entitlements and bonuses, discrimination and post-termination restrictions. Peers confirm she is “very well thought of” in this area, a source further noting she is “very good, and tough without being aggressive.“
Russell Bennett 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.”
Restructuring/Insolvency (International Firms) — China (Band 1)
What the team is known for : 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. Also able to handle cross-border Hong Kong–Mainland China restructurings.
Strengths: “As a firm, they have the greatest breadth of experience in terms of the insolvency corporate recovery market, more than any other firm in Hong Kong,” an interviewee enthuses.
“I tend to use them a lot because they are very flexible,” another source affirms.
Work highlights : Represented Clifford Stuart Rocke, Jannamaria Robertson and John Allan Bumbak of KordaMentha in respect of the liquidation of General Nice Resources, in a matter valued at approximately HKD2.5 billion.
Acted for the joint and several liquidators of the Hong Kong subsidiary of a Singaporean conglomerate, Dragon Technology Distribution, after the group’s collapse in September 2016, which left secured creditors chasing approximately USD50 million.
With over two decades of experience in Hong Kong, Robin Darton is praised for his “skills in managing stakeholders,” as one client explains, adding: “He is an expert at it.” Renowned for his contentious work, he has recently advised numerous liquidators on several insolvency-related disputes.
Ian De Witt has close to 30 years of experience in the insolvency practice area in London and Hong Kong. One client says: “Ian De Witt, in my opinion, is the best insolvency lawyer in Hong Kong.” He successfully advised Howard Friedman on a bankruptcy petition filed by Citibank, which was claiming a debt pursuant to a guarantee and indemnity purportedly securing the debts of Interpro Manufacturing.
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