KEY CONTACT

Voon Keat Lai

Voon Keat Lai
Managing partner

T: +852 2533 2790 Email Voon | Vcard Office: Beijing, Hong Kong, Shanghai

China

We offer multi-lingual and multi-disciplinary services from three offices in Greater China. Our lawyers based in Beijing, Hong Kong and Shanghai have been providing quality English and Hong Kong law advice to clients within and outside Greater China since 1979. Our lawyers also advise on selected aspects of laws of other jurisdictions. Stephenson Harwood - Wei Tu (China) Association* allows us to offer a 'one stop service' for Hong Kong, English and PRC law advice.
  • Profile
  • Experience
  • Key contacts

In an industry where technical knowhow is a given, we differentiate ourselves by our honesty, creative thinking and attention to client care. Our lawyers are bright, fun, commercially minded and have strong inter-personal skills. We achieve this by focusing on talent recruitment and enrichment across all aspects of our human resource management. We aim to ensure that our clients have access to top-notch, consistent and unequivocal legal advice in plain language wherever we operate.

We are relationship driven, both with our clients and internally. With our clients, we seek to build deep, meaningful relationships and an understanding of their businesses and cultures. Internally, we invest in building camaraderie, teamwork and commitment to common goals.

Our Greater China offices offer a comprehensive spectrum of Stephenson Harwood’s global services including dispute resolution, commercial, outsourcing and technology, competition, corporate, employment, finance, intellectual property, marine and international trade, projects and infrastructure, private wealth, real estate, regulation and restructuring and insolvency.

Working hand-in-hand with our regional offices and associations in Guangzhou, Jakarta, Seoul and Singapore and our friendly law firms in other parts of Asia, we are able to provide a comprehensive Asian service to clients operating within Asia.

We have a diverse group of clients from individuals to small and medium enterprises, multi-nationals and state-owned enterprises across many industry sectors. The common feature of most of our clients is that they are either based in Asia (especially the Greater China region) or have commercial interests in this region.

* Wei Tu (a PRC law firm registered in Guangzhou) and Stephenson Harwood (a law firm registered in Hong Kong) are in a CEPA association under the name “Stephenson Harwood - Wei Tu (China) Association”. CEPA (Closer Economic Partnership Arrangement) is a free trade agreement concluded between Mainland China and Hong Kong. Under CEPA, Hong Kong based law firms are permitted to operate in association with Mainland Chinese law firms to provide comprehensive legal services in Mainland China governed by Chinese and non-Chinese laws.

"They are very detail-minded and very reliable. They are also very responsive and able to meet our needs."
Chambers Asia 2017

Corporate - M&A

SEA Holdings Limited

Advised the SEA Holdings Limited on three sale and purchase agreements to purchase the entire issued share capital of companies holding properties in Shouson Hill, Hong Kong for an aggregate consideration of HK$1,528,000,000. In each agreement the purchaser was a wholly-owned subsidiary of SEA Holdings Limited, and SEA Holdings Limited acted as purchaser’s guarantor.

Steed Oriental (Holdings) Company Limited

Advised Steed Oriental (Holdings) Company Limited, a listed company on the GEM board of the Hong Kong stock exchange which manufactures customised plywood products, on the disposal of a 57 percent equity interest, valued at HK$190 million.

Prosperity Minerals Holdings

Advised Prosperity Minerals Holdings on the aggregate investment of more than US$150 million in exploration and mining operations (predominantly iron ore and coal mines) in the Philippines, Indonesia, Canada, Brazil and Malaysia. 

Corporate - IPO

Zioncom Holdings Limited

Advised as the legal adviser to Zioncom Holdings Limited. The Company is a manufacturer of networking products specialising in the design and development of wireless networking products which are primarily targeted for home use and small scale commercial applications. The Company‘s products are sold to over 40 countries and regions as at 30 June 2017.

Nexion Technologies Limited

Advised as the legal adviser to Nexion Technologies Limited. The company is an established information and communication technology solution provider headquartered in Singapore focusing on the provision of cyber infrastructure and cyber security solutions.

A special purpose acquisition company

Advised a special purpose acquisition company on its listing and admission on the Main Market of the London Stock Exchange’s Standard segment. The company was listed with a market capitalisation of approximately £4 million.

An apparel designing and sourcing service provider for branded fashion retailers

Advised as the legal adviser to the sole sponsor for the listing of securities of SG Group Holdings Limited on GEM of the HKSE. The company is an apparel designing and sourcing service provider for branded fashion retailers.

Dispute resolution

Administrators of the Estate of Nina Wang

Advised the administrators of the Estate of Nina Wang, Asia’s richest woman in the dispute over entitlement to her estate (reported to be worth in excess of US$10 billion).

A large China fund

Advised a large China fund in a dispute over HK$75 million with Merrill Lynch arising out of the collapse and administration of Opes Prime in Australia.

Marine insurance claim

Advised in a marine insurance claim on behalf of People’s Insurance Company of China (Hong Kong) Ltd against Kam Hing Trading Ltd. and successfully defended the client from an insurance claim of US$1,300,000. Kam Hing claimed against PICC under a marine insurance policy for its loss, it sued both PICC and its insurance broker, but following an eight-day hearing in the Hong Kong Court, the claim was dismissed on the grounds that Kam Hing had failed to comply with ICC/01 or to give notice to PICC that it was in breach of the clause and therefore represented a potentially greater risk. This was a landmark decision on ICC/01.

Employment

A leading scientist

Advised a leading scientist in High Court proceedings to recover contractual benefits owed to her under her employment contract. We obtained a ground breaking judgment concerning the court’s jurisdiction to handle mixed claims which included claims which fell within the exclusive jurisdiction of the Labour Tribunal. We successfully recovered payment of the contractual benefits and sums withheld from the employee which had been deducted from her salary pursuant to a tax equalisation clause.

A jet charter company

Advised a jet charter company in court proceedings which included obtaining an interlocutory injunction against one of its brokers who had sought to solicit customers in breach of post termination restrictive covenants.

Termination of employment

Advised on the termination of employment of the senior management members of an international music company. Various complicated issues relating to employment benefits and rights of termination were involved.

Finance

A new PRC finance leasing company

Advised a new PRC finance leasing company in a sale and finance lease transaction which involved one (1) A350-900 aircraft to be leased to a Hong Kong airline. The transaction involved both pre-delivery and delivery financing. In respect of the pre-delivery financing, the finance leasing company seek external financing by way of bank lending and issuance of asset-backed securities. This matter was challenging because the purchase agreement was settled in US dollars while the loan agreement provided for a Renminbi loan. There was also immense time pressure to meet the deadline of instalment payment under the aircraft purchase agreement.

A major PRC finance leasing company

Advised a major PRC finance leasing company operating in a wide variety of businesses in over 20 countries and regions, ranging from aviation, shipbuilding, automotive, construction machinery, urban infrastructure, large equipment manufacturing, highways and rail transportation. Our client has a considerable market presence in the financing of oceangoing vessels and is now looking to expand into the business of owning and operating such vessels. To that end, our client has embarked on a project for the acquisition of 5 newbuild 208,000 dwt Newcastlemax bulk carriers, all of which will be chartered out under long term time charters to Cargill, a major US-based agricultural and industrial commodities trader.

ICC-HK

Advised ICC-HK in forming a Trade-based AML Sub-committee consolidating the opinions of the practitioners and communicating the same to HKMA in order to standardize the industry practice and develop a risk-based model for the banking and trading communities in the region.

Intellectual property

Xiaomi

Advised Xiaomi, one of the world’s fastest-growing smartphone companies and a leading technology company based in China, in a significant trademark dispute with Apple Inc. in the Hong Kong Trade Marks Registry.

A leading American toys brand owner

Advised a leading American toys brand owner on its enforcement strategy and actions against its PRC manufacturers in Hong Kong, and via our local capabilities in the PRC, we have been seamlessly advising and assisting in the evidence gathering and PRC enforcement proceedings.

A European pharmaceutical and life sciences company

Advised a European pharmaceutical and life sciences company on and drafting a cross-border clinical supply agreement with a PRC based bio-pharmaceutical company.

Beauty pageant organisations

Advised beauty pageant organisations on the protection and enforcement of their intellectual property rights in Asia.

Marine and international trade

Syndicates of lenders

Advised syndicates of lenders with regards to the Korean rehabilitation proceedings in connection with Hanjin Shipping Co. Ltd.

A major commodity trader

Advised a major commodity trader in the successful defence of US$270 million claim relating to commodity “repo” (Sale and Repurchase) deals affected by a major metals warehousing fraud in China.

A major bank

Advised a major bank enforcing mortgages in relation to a fleet of seven vessels. Added complications were that there were allegedly pre-existing mortgages entered by a mainland Chinese bank which did not appear on the ship registry.

One of China’s largest coal importing companies

Advised one of China’s largest coal importing companies, on its US$350 million bond restructuring using parallel Hong Kong and BVI schemes of arrangement and recognition under Chapter 15 of the US Bankruptcy Code.

Major insurers

Advised major insurers in relation to claims brought in the Hong Kong court in respect of losses allegedly arising from the sinking of a vessel in Hong Kong waters. This matter also involves claims under connecting carrier agreements and interpretation of the vessel’s safe carrying capacity.

Private wealth

Individuals, families and family offices

Advised individuals, families and family offices on the setting up of trust structures, preparing wills for individuals, as well as charity advisory services including Canadian and SS1 US tax and estate planning advice, thus putting everything in place to ensure that the wealth of our clients is one day passed on smoothly to their successors.

Family residences, holiday homes and investment properties

Advised conveyancing, property management and landlord-tenant relationships that involve family residences, holiday homes and investment properties.

Disputes

In the unfortunate event that they arise, we can advise our clients in disputes that involve estates, trusts, family business arrangements, property, shareholdings, business partnerships, joint ventures and conflicts between investors.

Voon Keat Lai

Voon Keat Lai Managing partner

T: +852 2533 2790
Email Voon | Vcard Office: Beijing, Hong Kong, Shanghai

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© Stephenson Harwood LLP 2016. Any reference to Stephenson Harwood in this document means Stephenson Harwood LLP and/or its affiliated undertakings. Any reference to a partner is used to refer to a member of Stephenson Harwood LLP.