Hong Kong

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 four-partner tax team is active across the spectrum of advisory, transactional and litigation work relating to indirect taxes, transfer pricing matters and wealth management-related tax matters. Aside from the large size of the Hong Kong team, a differentiating factor from many of its competitors is the ability to work alongside practitioners throughout its vast international network, enabling it to effectively handle global tax structuring matters. Team head Steven Sieker has a focus on tax controversy work and recently represented a US conglomerate in a $20m dispute with the Hong Kong Inland Revenue department regarding the source of trading profits. Richard Weisman advised Hong Kong-based global supply chain manager Li & Fung on the tax planning issues associated with its restructuring. Other recommended partners include Amy Ling, who specialises in PRC tax matters, and Pierre Chan, who handles a broad spectrum of contentious and non-contentious issues including those relating to Stamp Duty.

DLA Piper is active across the gamut of tax planning and structuring for corporates on their inbound and outbound transactions (where it frequently works alongside the office’s M&A team), as well as handling contentious matters and advising high-net-worth individuals on complex tax, trusts and estate planning issues. The Hong Kong team is also a vital part of the firm’s global transfer pricing offering and acts for clients from the IT, technology, equipment manufacturing and semiconductor sectors on a range of issues including planning new transfer pricing policies, valuation of transfer prices or support with dispute resolution. Anderson Lam has an excellent reputation for handling local and cross-border tax issues and, alongside Doris Ho, recently acted for a major multinational corporate on the regional coordination related to its global reorganisation project. In addition to his work on the corporate tax planning front, Patrice Marceau is also regularly involved in wealth planning for individual estates, trusts funds and company assets. Head of tax for Asia Daniel Chan is also recommended.

Clifford Chance is particularly accomplished at handling complex tax and trusts disputes for clients ranging from global businesses to local and regional corporate enterprises, trust corporations and ultra-high-net-worth individuals. ‘The extremely hardworking, bright and commercial’ Brian Gilchrist regularly handles tax litigation as part of his general and civil litigation expertise. Elaine Chen is also recommended for tax disputes and ‘displays an extraordinary instinct for the correct answer as well as an excellent understanding of the way in which tax systems work’. ‘Very hardworking and responsive’ consultant Alex Wong regularly acts for taxpayers in their disputes with the Inland Revenue with an emphasis on profits tax-related issues. On the non-contentious front, counsel Anthony Fay handles a range of tax structuring, compliance and advisory work for Asian inbound and outbound investors and adds value to clients by dint of his former position in-house as head of tax at a major financial institution.

The ‘responsive, practical and cost-effective’ two-partner team at Stephenson Harwood has ‘in-depth technical knowledge’ across the gamut of private wealth matters including estate planning, probate and trusts work. Team head Ian Devereux provides ‘sensible and practical advice’ to high-net-worth individuals and families across a range of estate planning matters and also has a niche expertise in property-related transactions. Erik Wallace has ‘in-depth technical knowledge of US tax and trusts advice’ and excels at handling complex estate planning matters with a US nexus. ‘Very client-friendly’ associate Silvia On is ‘technically strong on wills and trusts work’. High-net-worth clients also benefit from the firm’s ‘excellent asset finance practice’, which includes niche expertise in corporate jet and superyacht financing.

Praised for its ‘very comprehensive and complete Asian private client practice’, Withers’ three-partner team provides ‘consistent and professional advice’ to high-net-worth individuals and family offices. The team is also aided by complementary practice areas including family law, immigration and trusts litigation. ‘Professional, practical, client-centric and knowledgeable’ US-qualified partner Timothy Burns has established close relationships with many first-generation entrepreneurs and is regularly instructed by them on US and international tax planning issues. Katie Graves is ‘very thorough in her analysis’ of trusts and UK tax law matters; Laurence Ho specialises in US tax compliance matters for PRC families investing in the US; and Wei Zhang handles sophisticated tax and wealth planning matters for high-net-worth individuals and their families in a cross-border context, as well as in US domestic planning matters.

Herbert Smith Freehills handles advisory and transactional work for private clients, private banks, family offices and trusts companies, and is also recognised as ‘one of the few firms in Hong Kong that specialises in trusts disputes’. Praised for her ‘solid advice’, senior consultant Joanna Caen is the primary practitioner focusing on trusts and private client work, following Richard Norridge’s recent relocation to the firm’s London office.

The ‘proactive and effective’ three-partner team at Zhong Lun Law Firm provides ‘balanced and reasonable’ advice to high-net-worth individuals, institutional trustees and private banks across a range of private client work including trust and estate planning, multi-jurisdictional wills advice, matrimonial services and succession planning. A ‘veteran of the private client field’, ‘responsive, approachable and grounded’ team head Kevin Lee is able to ‘provide a truly international perspective given his experiences working on PRC and Canada matters, in particular’. Lee is regularly engaged in mandates involving a multi-jurisdictional aspect and is appreciated for his ability to ‘effectively coordinate work with his other lawyers and other offices at the firm’. The ‘excellent’ Peter Chen is praised for his contentious and non-contentious tax advice, where he adds particular value by virtue of also being a certified public accountant as well as a dual-qualified US and Hong Kong practitioner.

At Deacons, associate Stefano Mariani heads the tax and trusts team and is active across a range of advisory and contentious work, ranging from corporate tax matters and restructurings to personal tax, trusts and estate planning.

At Squire Patton Boggs, James Tsang is a ‘veteran of the private client field’, who provides ‘very reliable’ advice on US and regional taxplanning.

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