Employment (International Firms) - China
THE FIRM This heavyweight practice retains its top-tier position in the field with a deep talent pool of employment specialists. The team has been further strengthened with the lateral hire of experienced partner Lesli Ligorner, and now has additional depth particularly in relation to FCPA expertise. It provides a full service, and in addition to more typical employment issues in Hong Kong, also handles post-employment restraints, discrimination and data privacy matters, and sexual harassment claims. In the PRC the team advises particularly on employment of foreign nationals, PRC Social Insurance Law issues and issues associated with protecting R&D activities. Clients stem from various industries, such as finance, infrastructure, life sciences and media, and include Cathay Pacific Airways, Warner Brothers, CLSA and Gucci Group Asia Pacific.
Sources say: "The firm is excellent and a first choice not just in terms of the quality of service but for responsiveness as well. They have an extra degree of commerciality, they go the extra mile and are proactive without you asking.” “They have one of the best employment teams in the market."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Lesli Ligorner works out of Shanghai and handles such matters as unionisation, downsizing and employee transfers following acquisitions. Her experience in employment law also goes hand in hand with her anti-corruption expertise. One client said: “If I have US-related issues, I will go directly to her" for advice.
The "very well respected" and "outstandingly clever" Fiona Loughrey focuses on contentious employment matters. She works with a range of clients, including investment banks, hedge funds, insurers and charities. Interviewees confirmed: “She is a leading expert in employment.” “She is good with detailed legal analysis.”
Robert Lewington also offers extensive expertise in contentious employment matters. He acts for both employers and employees and specialises in team moves, injunctions, restrictive covenants and partnership disputes.
Johnny Choi advises on a multitude of PRC employment matters including redundancies, transfer of employees, investigations of misconduct, post-termination restrictive covenants, employee incentive schemes and other HR-related issues.
Som Leung also works on PRC employment matters, and is described as a "very helpful and very responsive" lawyer. His particular expertise includes executive employment in China and employment issues arising out of multi-jurisdictional M&A.