China - Family/Matrimonial (International Firms) Lawyers & Law Firms - Asia-Pacific - Chambers and Partners
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Asia Guide

Family/Matrimonial (International Firms) — China


Howse Williams Bowers - Family/Matrimonial (International Firms)

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Band 1

第一等

Commentary from the Chambers Asia-Pacific guide

What the team is known for  Market-leading practice with significant experience in high-value matrimonial cases. Strong track record in disputes, with expertise across the full range of matrimonial and family law, as well as wealth management and commercial issues. Offers particular expertise in child disputes. Promoted having attracted impressive market recognition and outstanding client feedback.

Strengths"The firm has shown and proven that they are the best, based on their teamwork and professional solutions for their clients," one satisfied client explains, concluding: "The structure of the firm from top to bottom is very well organised."

Another interviewee describes the experience with the team: "They have been really professional: they deliver the service well, they show empathy and care for the clients, and build a rapport with me and give me options."

Notable practitioners

Clients and peers rate Linda Heathfieldhighly for her experience on all aspects of family law and has been described by an interviewee as "one of the gurus in matrimonial legal practice in Hong Kong." A market source explains: "She is highly experienced and totally committed to her clients and providing the best service possible."

Stacey Devoy moves into the numerical rankings after receiving positive feedback in the Hong Kong market. Described by clients as "level-headed, cool and firm," she is also consideredto be "very capable," as an interviewee explains: "Her knowledge of laws and cross-border implications is good."

Newly promoted partner Karen Lam enters the rankings this year after obtaining market recognition for her work in family law. She focuses on cross-border Hong Kong–Mainland China work. "She is very good with legal documents and procedures, and she manages my expectations about timelines," a client reports, adding: "She is very clear and organised and makes you feel very comfortable."

Department profile by Howse Williams Bowers

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Withers - Family/Matrimonial (International Firms)

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Band 1

第一等

Commentary from the Chambers Asia-Pacific guide

What the team is known for  Outstanding family law department advising on the full spectrum of matrimonial work, including prenuptial agreements, complex divorces and child custody issues. Has an impressive track record in private client work for high net worth individuals, drawing on the wider firm's strength in private client and trusts matters. Frequently acts on cross-border matters, thanks to the firm's global footprint. Client roster includes local personalities and expatriates living in Hong Kong.

Strengths"I think they are probably the leading firm for matrimonial solicitors in Hong Kong," notes one source, adding: "They are very sensible in their approach."

Another interviewee remarks: "They are very good: very organised and structured."

Notable practitioners

Co-head of department Sharon Ser has over 35 years of experience advising clients on family matters. Market commentators are quick to praise her expertise and skills, one saying: "She is very focused on the clients, has great client management skills and deals very well with them."

Department profile by Withers

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Boase Cohen & Collins - Family/Matrimonial (International Firms)

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Band 2

第二等

Commentary from the Chambers Asia-Pacific guide

What the team is known for  Solid practice in Hong Kong that is able to act on all aspects of family and matrimonial law. Handles complex cases where multiple jurisdictions are involved. Active in asset management, including prenuptial agreements and setting up of trusts.

Strengths  One commentator remarks: "They are a modern general practice firm with an old-school sense of client service, integrity, wisdom and practicality such that their clients feel at ease and confident that whatever their legal need may be, the team will take care of it and at a reasonable cost."

Another market source highlights the strength of the team: "They have been in family law for a long time and have a very solid team."

Notable practitioners

Usha Casewell is well regarded for her vast expertise in family law as a lawyer, mediator and collaborative practitioner. One client reports: "Usha was enormously helpful providing practical, real-time and out of hours guidance," while a peer states that she is "immensely respected by lawyers and judges."

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Haldanes - Family/Matrimonial (International Firms)

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Band 2

第二等

Commentary from the Chambers Asia-Pacific guide

What the team is known for  Well-respected family law team in Hong Kong with a strong focus on collaborative practice. Particularly proficient in complex child cases. Active representing clients in financial agreements and disputes, with expertise in cases that involve elaborate business structures and trusts. Supported by the firm's broader litigation, immigration, tax and trust expertise.

Strengths  One client describes the experience with the team on a complex case: "My case has involved other issues beyond matrimonial law and I have sought advice from other solicitors from Haldanes as well, especially in terms of laws in other countries. They have provided useful information as they seem to have many solicitors to draw information from," adding: "Many of the legal documents in regards to my case have also been in another language and they were able to draw on their team for translation and advice."

A peer remarks that it is an "excellent law firm."

Notable practitioners

Market sources are quick to recommend Nicholas Hemens and highlight his skills: "He has immense experience and great calmness, he focuses on what matters," says one interviewee, while a peer says: "He is excellent and my ideal person to work against." He is experienced in dealing with multi-jurisdictional financial and children cases.

Elsie Liu is well regarded for her solution-oriented approach to financial disputes and cases that involve delicate issues relating to children. Also recommended for her alternative dispute resolution methods such as reaching settlements and mediation. One client describes her main strengths: "I feel that Elsie’s tactics in handling my very complicated situation have been very well thought out and strategic. She is very good at looking at the big picture and has come up with innovative solutions to many of the problems I have been faced with," summing up: "I also appreciate that she is very calm and has always made time to explain things to me and helped me to make complicated decisions."

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Gall - Family/Matrimonial (International Firms)

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Band 3

第三等

Commentary from the Chambers Asia-Pacific guide

What the team is known for  Compact team known for its expertise in dealing with the breakdown of relationships. Acts for clients going through a divorce, assisting them in the financial aspects, also usually handling complex international relocations where children are involved. Renowned for its emphasis on using collaborative law and mediation as alternative methods to resolve a dispute.

Strengths  One market commentator reports: "They are very good and organised and they have the right amount of empathy with clients."

Another market source highlights the team's key strengths: "Approachable and very professional. No-nonsense."

Notable practitioners

Head of practice Caroline McNally is renowned for her work in the family law field, and particularly recognised for her negotiating skills while working on prenuptial agreements. She was also elected chair of the Hong Kong Family Law Association in 2017. One market commentator states: "She is fantastic to work with: she is measured, reassuring to clients and has a very quick command of the important issues of the case."

Department profile by Gall

Gall's family and divorce lawyers are experts in financial and children matters relating to relationship breakdown. Although we are experienced litigators, we also actively promote alternative dispute resolution options such mediation and collaborative law.

The firm combines specialist knowledge with first class client care and pragmatic solutions. We offer each client a tailor-made approach to their particular circumstances and we deal with every matter sensitively and constructively.

Our areas of expertise include:

  • Divorce
  • Financial consequences of divorce
  • Judicial separation
  • Separation agreements
  • Pre- and post-nuptial agreements
  • Jurisdiction disputes
  • Children/ parenting disputes
  • Child abduction
  • International relocation of children
  • Unmarried co-habitants and parents
  • Enforcement and/or variation of court orders



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Oldham, Li & Nie - Family/Matrimonial (International Firms)

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Band 3

第三等

Commentary from the Chambers Asia-Pacific guide

What the team is known for  Advises on a wide range of family law matters, with notable experience in cross-border matrimonial, financial and child-related disputes. Offers further strength in matrimonial tax matters, where clients benefit from the firm's focused private wealth management practice. Able to use non-contentious methods for dispute resolution.

Notable practitioners

Stephen Peaker is recommended for his experience in family matters involving international jurisdictions, with a focus on handling cases that require trusts and wealth protection skills. He is active in numerous professional associations in Hong Kong.

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Stevenson, Wong & Co - Family/Matrimonial (International Firms)

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Band 3

第三等

Commentary from the Chambers Asia-Pacific guide

What the team is known for  Solid family law practice handling a range of complex, contentious matters involving high-value assets. In addition to advising on divorce law, the team is also well versed in succession planning, probate applications and wardship issues. Also notable for non-contentious work, such as prenuptial and postnuptial agreements.

Notable practitioners

Head of department Catherine Por is well known in the market for her focus on solving family cases via mediation. One peer reports: "She is an effective opposition, as she looks for solutions rather than taking matters straight into court."

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Band 1

Howse Williams Bowers

From the Chambers Asia-Pacific guide

Clients and peers rate Linda Heathfieldhighly for her experience on all aspects of family law and has been described by an interviewee as "one of the gurus in matrimonial legal practice in Hong Kong." A market source explains: "She is highly experienced and totally committed to her clients and providing the best service possible."

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Band 1

Haldanes

From the Chambers Asia-Pacific guide

Market sources are quick to recommend Nicholas Hemens and highlight his skills: "He has immense experience and great calmness, he focuses on what matters," says one interviewee, while a peer says: "He is excellent and my ideal person to work against." He is experienced in dealing with multi-jurisdictional financial and children cases.

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Band 1

Jonathan Mok Legal (in Association with Charles Russell Speechlys LLP)

From the Chambers Asia-Pacific guide

Jonathan Mok established Jonathan Mok Legal in September 2017, forming an association with Charles Russell Speechly's new Hong Kong office. He is highly regarded in the market, as interviewees report: "His mediation skills contribute to our community," while another source adds: "He is excellent and has an international practice."

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Band 1

Withers

From the Chambers Asia-Pacific guide

Co-head of department Sharon Ser has over 35 years of experience advising clients on family matters. Market commentators are quick to praise her expertise and skills, one saying: "She is very focused on the clients, has great client management skills and deals very well with them."

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Band 2

Boase Cohen & Collins

From the Chambers Asia-Pacific guide

Usha Casewell is well regarded for her vast expertise in family law as a lawyer, mediator and collaborative practitioner. One client reports: "Usha was enormously helpful providing practical, real-time and out of hours guidance," while a peer states that she is "immensely respected by lawyers and judges."

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Band 2

CRB Chow Ruskin Brown

From the Chambers Asia-Pacific guide

Winnie Chow of CRB Chow Ruskin Brown is highlighted as "an importantmember of the team" by peers. She is experienced in using mediation and collaborative law for solving complex financial and children cases related to relationship breakdowns.

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Band 2

Berwin Leighton Paisner (HK), in Association with Haley Ho & Partners

From the Chambers Asia-Pacific guide

Berwin Leighton Paisner LLP head of department Marcus Dearle is "hugely experienced, very client-focused and responsive," according to market sources, who also state: "He is really good and a very big name in Hong Kong." He focuses on family asset protection and works closely with the London office on complex ultra high net worth cases.

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Band 2

Chaine, Chow & Barbara Hung

From the Chambers Asia-Pacific guide

Barbara Hung of Chaine, Chow & Barbara Hung is "well known within the field" and has "a very interesting Chinese practice and is very busy," according to market commentators. She remains a go-to specialist for divorce and custody issues.

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Band 2

Ip & Heathfield

From the Chambers Asia-Pacific guide

Jennifer Ip of Ip & Heathfield is noted by peers for her "strong practice for Mainland Chinese clients." She remains a safe choice for complex financial structures and offshore trust issues arising from divorce and separation.

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Band 2

Haldanes

From the Chambers Asia-Pacific guide

Elsie Liu is well regarded for her solution-oriented approach to financial disputes and cases that involve delicate issues relating to children. Also recommended for her alternative dispute resolution methods such as reaching settlements and mediation. One client describes her main strengths: "I feel that Elsie’s tactics in handling my very complicated situation have been very well thought out and strategic. She is very good at looking at the big picture and has come up with innovative solutions to many of the problems I have been faced with," summing up: "I also appreciate that she is very calm and has always made time to explain things to me and helped me to make complicated decisions."

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Band 2

Gall

From the Chambers Asia-Pacific guide

Head of practice Caroline McNally is renowned for her work in the family law field, and particularly recognised for her negotiating skills while working on prenuptial agreements. She was also elected chair of the Hong Kong Family Law Association in 2017. One market commentator states: "She is fantastic to work with: she is measured, reassuring to clients and has a very quick command of the important issues of the case."

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Band 2

Stevenson, Wong & Co

From the Chambers Asia-Pacific guide

Head of department Catherine Por is well known in the market for her focus on solving family cases via mediation. One peer reports: "She is an effective opposition, as she looks for solutions rather than taking matters straight into court."

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Band 3

CRB Chow Ruskin Brown

From the Chambers Asia-Pacific guide

Jain Brown of CRB Chow Ruskin Brown is commended for her strong work in all aspects of family law, with a focus on drafting and negotiating prenuptial agreements. "She has an immediate grasp of what is important and what is the key to a dispute," an interviewee describes, further explaining: "She is somebody who has an ability to deal with complex children and finance cases and resolve them in the best way."

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Band 3

Howse Williams Bowers

From the Chambers Asia-Pacific guide

Stacey Devoy moves into the numerical rankings after receiving positive feedback in the Hong Kong market. Described by clients as "level-headed, cool and firm," she is also consideredto be "very capable," as an interviewee explains: "Her knowledge of laws and cross-border implications is good."

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Band 3

Oldham, Li & Nie

From the Chambers Asia-Pacific guide

Stephen Peaker is recommended for his experience in family matters involving international jurisdictions, with a focus on handling cases that require trusts and wealth protection skills. He is active in numerous professional associations in Hong Kong.

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Up and Coming

Tanner De Witt

From the Chambers Asia-Pacific guide

Joanne Brown heads up the matrimonial practice of Tanner De Witt. She recommended this year by numerous clients and peers, who highlight her negotiation and client management skills. One interviewee notes: "She is great at dealing with highly complex cases and difficult clients," adding that she is "the kind of person you would want to have there, very calm and collected."

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Up and Coming

Howse Williams Bowers

From the Chambers Asia-Pacific guide

Newly promoted partner Karen Lam enters the rankings this year after obtaining market recognition for her work in family law. She focuses on cross-border Hong Kong–Mainland China work. "She is very good with legal documents and procedures, and she manages my expectations about timelines," a client reports, adding: "She is very clear and organised and makes you feel very comfortable."

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