Tanner De Witt recognised by Chambers and Partners Asia Pacific 2017


We are pleased to announce the results of the Chambers and Partners Asia Pacific Guide 2017. We are yet again ranked in Band 1 for our Employment and Restructuring and Insolvency practices and we have been promoted to Band 3 for our Litigation and Dispute Resolution practice this year. Our Corporate and Commercial practice remains steady with all three partners recognised as leading lawyers in Band 2. Please find full results and editorial below.

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.

Strengths Sources praise the team’s consistently high-quality advice: “They are very swift, solution-oriented and they give hands-on advice.”

Work highlights Acted for Bumps to Babes in its acquisition by Baioo Family Interactive.

Significant clients foodpanda, Equiom, King Fook.

Sources comment that Tim Drew is “hands-on,” has a “brilliant perspective” and gives “high-quality advice.” He deals with a variety of matters, including private equity, M&A and capital markets work.

Clients report that Edmond Leunggets work done very quickly and efficiently.” They also mention that he is “very commercial – he doesn’t over-lawyer things. He is able to think about issues from our side and give us salient advice, but not just throw the book at it.”

Eddie Look recently assisted Bumps to Babes with its sale to Baioo Family Interactive. He maintains a loyal client base, one source enthusing that he “effected a great deal for us” and that they would “use him again with no hesitation.”

Dispute Resolution: Litigation (International Firms) (Band 3)

What the team is known for Respected, independent Hong Kong firm, acknowledged for its broad commercial disputes offering. Often acts for clients in the telecoms, hospitality and automotive sectors, as well as handling private client matters.

Work highlights Defended Yves Bouvier against a USD2 billion claim of fraud brought by Dmitry Rybolovlev arising out of the sale of 37 paintings.

Significant clients KPMG, PwC, Deloitte, Yves Bouvier.

Jeff Lane has a flourishing practice representing high-profile clients in complex litigation in the Hong Kong market. Sources acknowledge his established credentials, describing him as a “hardcore and serious litigator.”

Mark Side is a committed mediator and litigator with solid experience in handling major disputes for clients such as public companies, shareholders and accountants. Market sources comment that “he is a good all-rounder” who “has been around the market for a long time.”

Robin Darton is appreciated for assisting clients with contentious matters, especially in relation to restructuring, insolvency and employment issues. Other areas of focus are shareholder and trade disputes.

Employment: Hong Kong Law (International Firms) (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 both the PRC and Hong Kong, and the transfer of employees between these two jurisdictions. Also works with employers, advising on work policies, contracts and post-employment restrictions. Highly active on cases related to race, disability and sex discrimination, as well as advising on internal investigations.

Strengths Sources across the market applaud the quality of the team’s performance when representing employees, noting: “They are very strong on litigation.”

Kim Boreham is highly respected as a litigator. She acts for employees and employers on termination disputes as well as non-contentious matters, including handbook drafting and structuring exit packages. One client says she is “very strong. She has a good understanding of corporate issues, and is innovative with a very sharp intellect.”

Russell Bennett 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.”

Restructuring/Insolvency (International Firms) (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.

Strengths Clients praise the commerciality of the team’s advice: “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.”

Value for money Clients praise the firm’s billing processes: “Their bills are clearly set out in their fee notes, with reasonable deductions for non-billable items on time charged.” Further interviewees note: “They are very flexible on fee arrangements.”

Work highlights Acting for Kaisa Group in restructuring its USD2.5 billion of offshore debt. Representing the liquidators of Korean business Missha following the cessation of its operations in Hong Kong.

Significant clients Kaisa Group, KPMG, PwC, Asian Bamboo, Deloitte.

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.

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