In the dynamic field of law, Asia has seen exceptional litigators who have made a lasting impact. These top-tier professionals are widely recognized for their achievements and dedication to justice. In this issue, we present profiles of some of the most distinguished and influential litigators in Asia in 2023.
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Heidi Chui, partner and head of the dispute resolution department and the banking and ﬁnance department at Stevenson, Wong & Co., is a distinguished litigator who manages a team of eight lawyers with a legal support team of over ten members in Hong Kong.
Chui has over 21 years of experience as a solicitor in Hong Kong. She is among the ﬁrst batch of Hong Kong lawyers getting the GBA lawyer qualiﬁcation. She is an arbitrator on the panel of various institutions, such as HKIAC, CIETAC, SCIA, SHIAC and many others. She is the only Hong Kong based member on the Women In Arbitration Committee of the HKIAC, underscoring her commitment to the promotion and success of female practitioners in arbitration and Hong Kong’s legal services.
Chui has recently successfully assisted a leading online media conglomerate in resisting the enforcement of a substantial arbitral award exceeding $1 billion. The matter involved ﬁghting battles in multiple jurisdictions in the US, EU, BVI, Cayman Islands and Mainland China. The success in that case, given Hong Kong’s pro-enforcement stance, showcased Chui’s strategic brilliance and tenacity.
Beyond her legal triumphs, Chui passionately contributes to the legal community. Actively promoting Hong Kong as an international arbitration centre, she has trained and lectured students on international arbitration at academic institutions including Peking University, Fudan University and The University of Hong Kong. As a member of the Arbitration Committee of The Law Society of Hong Kong, she had strongly advocated for Hong Kong as an international dispute resolution centre at Legislative Council meetings on the Panel on Administration of Justice and Legal Services.
Beyond her busy legal practice, Chui also gives back to the community through various initiatives. She regularly shares insights on alternative dispute resolution (ADR) among law students and promotes new opportunities for young people in the Greater Bay Area. As a member of the Executive Committee of HKU Law Alumni Association, and as a mentor to HKU law students, she grooms and nurtures young legal talents to prepare for their future career.
Chui has demonstrated remarkable achievements, leadership, and her strong commitment to advancing Hong Kong as an international dispute-resolution hub. Her exceptional track record of accomplishments, both inside and outside the courtroom, solidiﬁes her status as a trailblazer and a pivotal ﬁgure in the legal community.
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In the multi-layered legal landscape of Hong Kong, Frederick Hui, a co-managing partner at Zhong Lun Law Firm, has emerged as a seasoned professional, leading with strategic acumen and dedication. With more than seven years as the head of the litigation and dispute resolution practice at Zhong Lun’s Hong Kong office, Hui manages a team of over 20 professionals.
In complex commercial cross-border disputes before courts in mainland China, Hong Kong and London as well as international arbitrational tribunals, Hui regularly represents a broad range of ﬁnancial institutions, insurance companies, multinational corporations, non-governmental organizations, Chinese state-owned enterprises and major shipping companies.
Hui’s professional afﬁliations underscore his commitment to legal excellence and community service. Serving as the pro bono legal advisor of Médecins Sans Frontières (Doctors Without Borders) since 2005, Hui exempliﬁes the intersection of legal expertise and social responsibility. His memberships in prominent institutions such as the Hong Kong Institute of Directors, the Hong Kong Independent Non-Executive Director Association, and various legal and regulatory bodies further display his dedication to professional development and governance.
Key to Hui’s caseload is his involvement in a wide range of complex legal matters, some high proﬁle.
One case he has been involved in is a complex dispute involving Kaisa Group Holdings Limited and Chang Ye Investment Company Limited. This ongoing case, which started in February 2023, spans multiple jurisdictions, including New York State and the British Virgin Islands, reﬂecting Hui’s proﬁciency in handling cross-border legal intricacies. Collaborating with distinguished legal entities, Hui navigates through the intricate web of international legal proceedings.
Another signiﬁcant engagement is the ongoing dispute involving Gold Brilliant Investment Limited and Mr Pan Sutong, a high-proﬁle case linked to a residential development project near Ho Man Tin MTR station. The stakes, valued at over HK$10 billion, are linked to intricate legal issues such as contract law, laws of guarantee, estoppel, and conﬂict of laws. Hui’s successful defense against an injunction application by the plaintiff adds to the complexity of this case, positioning it as a noteworthy high-proﬁle litigation in the Hong Kong legal arena.
In a protracted legal battle that has been in play since December 2015, Hui is at the helm, managing a broad range of legal issues concerning the estate and interests of the late Dr. Henry Fok Ying Tung. This complex case involves over 30 different parties, intricate legal principles related to directors’ duties and the categorization of settlement agreements.
Hui’s achievements extend beyond his casework and have been widely recognized and have helped to broaden the scope of work for Zhong Lun.
One additional accreditation, earned in 2020, was being named as a Notary Public.
With Higher Rights of Audience, he stands among the 95 Solicitor Advocates (Civil) in Hong Kong, authorized to appear in all levels of civil courts. Additionally, Hui’s commitment to continuous learning is evident in his recent completion of a Certiﬁcate in Leadership in Law Firms at Harvard Law School and ongoing participation in a Doctor of Business Administration program co-organized by Peking University and the University of Hong Kong.
Hui is hailed as a “rainmaker amongst rainmakers” with “sound judgment, loved by clients, and ﬁrst-rate” expertise. Clients speciﬁcally recognize Hui as the “star litigation partner” known for being “absolutely efﬁcient, deep knowledge in the market, and strategic”. Those who have worked with Zhong Lun’s disputes team, particularly Hui, describe them as “true professionals” who stand out among other law ﬁrms in Asia. They commend Hui for being “truly an international disputes lawyer” who understands the “international elements of claims” and is not limited by a “localist mentality”. Clients also emphasize Hui’s “very strong Mainland connections”, which contribute to his ability to provide exceptional legal representation and client service.
In the legal arena, Hui stands not just as a practitioner but as a leader navigating legal frontiers with expertise, integrity, and a commitment to making a meaningful impact on the legal landscape of Hong Kong.
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Kirindeep Singh stands as a pillar of expertise and leadership in construction law and dispute resolution.
As a senior partner at Dentons Rodyk & Davidson, based in Singapore, Singh has spent 25 years shaping the legal landscape. His role involves overseeing a team of seven professionals.
He is the co-head of the construction and international trade practices and the Singapore-India relationship partner. In 1995, Singh received his LLB (Hons) degree from the University of Leeds, and in 1997, he earned his BCL from Oxford University. In 2023, he was designated as a Senior Accredited Specialist in Building and Construction Law by the Singapore Academy of Law.
At the forefront of Singh’s professional afﬁliations is his role as an Arbitrator and Fellow at the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators. He is also an Accredited Adjudicator under the Building & Construction Security of Payment Act in Singapore, displaying his commitment to ensuring fairness and adherence to legal standards in the construction industry.
In addition to his role at Dentons, Singh contributes to legal education as a Senior Associate Lecturer for Construction Law in the Bachelor of Building and Project Management Programme at the Singapore University of Social Sciences and Advocacy Tutor at the National University of Singapore, Law Faculty. His dedication to nurturing the next generation of legal minds reﬂects his passion for the ﬁeld.
Singh serves as the Past Chair of the International Construction Projects Committee at the Inter-Paciﬁc Bar Association. He also held the position of Immediate past Vice Chair at the Energy & Natural Resources Committee within the same association and is currently the Membership Leader for Singapore.
One of Singh’s notable achievements is his involvement in the Ser Kim Koi case, a complex dispute involving the construction of three Good Class Bungalows, in which Singh represented the owner in the appeals.
The case, which spanned 85 days of trial, delved into significant legal issues, including force majeure events, extension of time under the SIA Conditions of Contract (2010), professional negligence, and the validity of completion certiﬁcates.
The Appellate Division’s 254-page judgment, one of the longest in construction law, afﬁrmed the Court of Appeal’s earlier decision that the completion certiﬁcate could not be issued before TOP. The division also found the architect grossly negligent and possibly dishonest, emphasizing Singh’s prowess in navigating intricate legal nuances.
In another signiﬁcant case, Singh showcased his legal prowess in a case that revolved around a trust property, with the plaintiff seeking to set aside the trust deed on the grounds of misrepresentation and avoidance of Additional Buyer Stamp Duties (ABSD). Singh successfully defended the defendants, highlighting his skill in navigating complex trust and property matters.
Beyond his key works, Singh’s contributions to the legal profession are vast. Co-heading the Construction and international trade practices at Dentons, he has been recognized as a leading lawyer by numerous publications and is widely recognized by clients and colleagues.
Singh’s commitment to excellence is further evidenced by his appointment as a Senior Accredited Specialist in Building and Construction Law by the Singapore Academy of Law in 2023.
Singh’s exceptional contributions to construction law and dispute resolution have garnered widespread recognition in esteemed accolades. Continuously acknowledged by Chambers Asia-Paciﬁc as a Leading Individual for Construction from 2021 to 2023, as a Recognized Practitioner for Construction from 2016 to 2020 and being shortlisted by ALB as Dispute Resolution Lawyer of the Year for 2022, Singh’s consistent excellence is evident. In fact, one client reference for Legal 500 (International Arbitration) stated that Singh is “equivalent to any good construction KC.”
His inclusion in lists of leading lawyers, particularly in the construction ﬁeld, attests to his international acclaim. Moreover, Singh’s Teaching Excellence Award in Construction Law at the Singapore University of Social Sciences in 2018 and his recent promotion to Senior Associate Faculty, reﬂects his commitment to shaping the next generation of legal professionals.
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In the complex realm of international dispute resolution, Yoshinori Tatsuno stands as a prominent ﬁgure, wielding his expertise as a Partner at Mori Hamada & Matsumoto in Japan. With four years in his current position, Tatsuno has not only exempliﬁed leadership but has also become a driving force in shaping the landscape of cross-border dispute resolution.
In the realm of dispute resolution, Tatsuno specializes in a wide array of matters, including international arbitration, alternative dispute resolution, and civil disputes. His expertise extends to navigating complex issues in Intellectual property (IP) disputes, information technology systems development disputes, and incidents related to consumer products. Tatsuno’s proﬁciency in corporate and commercial disputes, ﬁnancial services disputes, and consumer disputes demonstrates a multifaceted skill set honed through years of experience and handling complex cases touching on cross-border issues.
In the sphere of information technology, life sciences and IP, Tatsuno’s practice is marked by an in-depth understanding of the complexities that are often visible within each of these different ﬁelds.
His regulatory expertise encompasses payment services, electronic money, consumer law, ﬁnancial regulation, health care, pharmaceuticals and medical sciences. Tatsuno’s ability to steer the intricate web of regulations in each of these sectors is a testament to his commitment to providing comprehensive legal solutions.
Tatsuno’s commitment to excellence is underscored by his role as deputy head of the international dispute resolution practice group at Mori Hamada & Matsumoto. In this capacity, he leads a team of over 40 specialized lawyers, including a number that are based in ofﬁces over-seas. His leadership style is characterized by a nuanced understanding of the intricacies involved in cross-border disputes, a testament to his strategic vision and organisational acumen.
Affiliated with key institutions, Tatsuno actively contributes to the advancement of dispute resolution in Japan. As a member of the International Chamber of Commerce Japan’s Arbitration Committee since 2021, he shapes the policies governing international arbitration. Furthermore, his role as Deputy Secretary General at the Japan International Dispute Resolution Center, initiated in 2022, reflects his commitment to fostering a robust infrastructure for international dispute resolution in the Asian country.
Adding another layer to his commitment, Tatsuno has served as a Member of the Research Planning Committee at the Japan ADR Association since 2023. His involvement in this committee highlights a dedication to advancing alternative dispute resolution methodologies, including arbitration, to enhance Japan’s standing in the global legal landscape.
Tatsuno’s professional achievements speak volumes, as evidenced by his consecutive inclusions in multiple domestic and international accolades.
Key cases that Tatsuno has managed, involve multi-jurisdictional arbitration and litigation with the use of different sets of Asian laws governing challenging relationships between plaintiffs and defendants that Tatsuno has represented in Japan and abroad.
Beyond accolades, Tatsuno’s dedication to the ﬁeld is evident in his role as a committee member and deputy secretary general. His contributions to the ICC Japan Arbitration Committee, Japan International Dispute Resolution Center, and Japan ADR Association highlight his commitment to advancing legal frameworks and practices in Japan.
In a legal landscape continually evolving with globalization, Tatsuno has emerged as a thought leader, steering Mori Hamada & Matsumoto’s international dispute resolution practice with precision. His multidimensional role, blending legal expertise with strategic leadership, positions him as a key influencer in the future of dispute resolution, not just in Japan but on the global stage. As he continues to lead and shape the discourse in international dispute resolution, Tatsuno stands as a beacon of excellence and innovation in the legal profession.