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Hong Kong > Leading tax law firms

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  1. Hong Kong – Leading tax and trusts law firms
  2. Hong Kong - TDH500
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Hong Kong - TDH500

  1. 1
    • Daniel Chan - DLA Piper
    • Kenneth Leung - Clifford Chance

Baker & McKenzie’s longstanding focus and expertise in tax across its broad office network is a key differentiator and remains a major draw. The standalone practice in Hong Kong contains four partners and a large pool of associates with experience in the field. Steven Sieker’s department takes in tax disputes and controversy; he recently represented a media company in a dispute surrounding the taxability of licence fees and technical costs. He was also part of a team led by Susan Kendall that acted for a client in a long-running dispute concerning the validity of two Cayman Islands trusts. Pierre Chan has been busy advising multinational clients on stamp duty issues, and Richard Weisman specialises in international tax planning.

With a vast network of specialists in tax and private wealth management, DLA Piper remains a key player in this space. The Hong Kong office, which works closely with colleagues in Mainland China, is led by the highly regarded Daniel Chan and Patrice Marceau. Transfer pricing is a particular strength for the department, covering both contentious and non-contentious matters. On the transactional side, Chan and a team of tax and corporate experts in Hong Kong and Shanghai recently advised a multinational client on the tax aspects of a joint venture with a European-based company. Aside from its broad corporate client base, the group has also built up solid client relationships with numerous high-net-worth individuals and families.

Clifford Chance is recommended for tax and family trusts litigation. The firm houses a sizeable team of specialists in Hong Kong, with further resources located on the ground in major financial centres globally. Senior consultant Kenneth Leung excels in non-contentious tax issues and planning, a side of the practice that was further bolstered by the arrival of Anthony Fay in 2015, who was previously head of risk at QBE Insurance.

Deacons acts for a broad stable of clients across sundry industries in tax litigation and transactions. The team also has experience in tax planning and private wealth management. Key names include profits tax and stamp duty expert Alwyn Li, and Iris Cheng and Machiuanna Chu, who advise on the tax aspects of corporate deals.

Providing ‘refreshingly commercial advice underpinned by technical mastery’, the team at Stephenson Harwood services a mixed client base of families, individuals and companies from Mainland China, Hong Kong and the rest of the region. Its full-service offering and strong office network allow it to handle complex and cross-border tax, estate and trust issues, with recent highlights including Ian Devereux’s advice to a family in South-East Asia on setting up a private trust company and several offshore trusts structures. Key contacts also include Peter Hodson and legal director Silvia On, who is considered a ‘trilingual tour de force combining technical brilliance, incisive insights and creative thinking’. The team was further strengthened by the arrival of Erik Wallace from Withers in 2016.

An international firm with a clear focus and prowess in private wealth, tax and trusts, Withers has strong relationships with high-net-worth individuals and wealthy families, often with family members and significant assets in a multitude of jurisdictions across the globe. Katie Graves and consultant Michelle Chow recently advised a client on the establishment of a private trust company structure. The sizeable senior-level team in Hong Kong expanded through the promotion of Laurence Ho to partner in 2016. Of counsel Patrick Hamlin’s practice takes in trust and succession litigation, while Mimi Hutton is a key contact for US-related tax and trust matters.

Herbert Smith Freehills’ strong reputation in dispute resolution and the substantial experience of the private wealth team, led by Richard Norridge, ensures a steady stream of instructions in complex and cross-border trust litigation. The non-contentious side of the practice also continues to grow, with the team regularly advising family companies on corporate matters and assisting a range of clients with international tax planning. Joanna Caen was promoted to senior consultant in 2016.

The ‘professional and knowledgeable’ team at Squire Patton Boggs continues to act for a longstanding client base of individuals, families and charities, and receives numerous instructions from new clients. Of counsel Patricia Woo joined the team in 2015 from King & Wood Mallesons, and is noted for her ‘valuable advice and good connections in the industry’. She joins practice head James Tsang, who has vast experience in US and international tax and estate planning.

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