CHINA – 9 October 2019 – In the past twelve months the firm has experienced tremendous growth, doubling its overall workforce and expanded to six partners.
The firm’s headcount has grown to thirty, with plans to add more solicitors with a focus on the Family practice area. However, it still wishes to remain an extremely focused boutique firm which offers bespoke legal services, while keeping a readily adaptable attitude, an innovative approach and a great value for its clients.
Jonathan Gray, a dispute resolution specialist, joined in September 2019. Jonathan acts on a wide range of general commercial disputes covering both litigation and arbitration. He also advises on both contentious and non-contentious employment law matters.
At the same time, Carmen Tang was promoted to Partner. Carmen has been with the firm since the start. After working as regulatory counsel for both the Office of the Privacy Commissioner and legal counsel with the Hong Kong Law Society, she returned to private practice in 2017 focusing on Dispute Resolution and Data Privacy.
Carmen has said: “Recently, the Economist reminds us that the world’s valuable resource is no longer oil, but data. Every single day people from all walks of life explore ways on how to generate revenue from personal data collected. That said, just because big data is now cheaper and easily accessible does not mean that data users can use personal data without respect. While we still have no idea when the Privacy Commissioner will be conferred with direct prosecution power in Hong Kong, we are happy to see that Mr. Stephen Wong has embarked on a new approach to privacy and data protection since he was appointed around four years ago. Organizations that put data ethics as their highest priority will reap long term benefits.”
Alfred Ip — one of the founding partners of the firm — has commented: “We have seen a remarkable expansion of our practice, particularly involving Family — including prenups, separation agreements, divorce and child custody arrangements — and Estate Planning for individuals, including certain High-Net-Worth clients. Everyone should be concerned about estate planning which doesn’t just mean dealing with money, but also making provision for children, families and loved ones — even pets!
Critically, the demographic shift is in favour of setting-up trusts and carefully planned estates, especially those that need to take into consideration generational family business transitions”.
Labour & Employment is a crucial area of development for the other founding partner of the firm – Adam Hugill — who has seen tremendous growth in advisory work in the ‘gig-economy’ and novel business structures focused around new technology. He said: “In addition to workplace issues, bonuses disputes, misconduct and terminations, issues regarding discrimination and harassment have increased largely due to increased social awareness about these issues.
In the tightening economic environment, we have seen a greater willingness for employers to aggressively protect their businesses, including through the rigorous enforcement of confidentiality obligations and restrictive covenants, especially when faced with high-profile defections and team-moves.
In Hong Kong, employment lawyers and HR advisors are expected to be able to handle matters across multiple jurisdictions, so staying on top of employment-related legal developments within the Asia Pacific region and finding creative solutions”.
Bespoke Legal Solutions
Hugill & Ip’s view is long term and endeavours to build lasting client relationships based on trust, professionalism and discretion.
A young independent law firm, yet its lawyers bring decades of experience providing tailor-made legal advice and exceptional client service to individuals, families, entrepreneurs and businesses, in Hong Kong and internationally.