Hill Dickinson

(The following information was supplied by the firm)

Head of office:                        Damien Laracy (damien.laracy@hilldickinson.com)
Deputy:                                     Bryan O’Hare (bryan.ohare@hilldickinson.com)
Lawyers:                                   20
Languages:                              English, Cantonese, Mandarin, Korean, French, German
Hill Dickinson offices:            London, Singapore, Piraeus, Monaco, Liverpool, Manchester, Leeds, Newcastle

Firm Overview

Hill Dickinson Hong Kong is one of the fastest growing international practices in Hong Kong.  Over the last five years the firm has doubled in size, increased its client base threefold and developed new practice areas.    The firm provides the following services:

Commercial litigation and alternative dispute resolution (Damien Laracy, Bryan O’Hare, Yvette Yu)

Commercial cases at all levels in the Hong Kong courts and before specialist tribunals and boards.  Mediation.  Clients include listed companies, MNCs, SOEs, startups, banks, financial institutions and high net worth individuals.

International arbitration (Damien Laracy, Jim James)

All aspects of arbitration from initial preparations to the enforcement of awards. The majority of lawyers in the firm are engaged on arbitration matters.   The team works with third-party funders.  Three team members receive arbitrator and mediator appointments.

Insolvency and restructuring (Bryan O’Hare)

Corporate recovery, restructuring, distressed advisory, insolvency and bankruptcy, frequently multi-jurisdictional involving Hong Kong and the Mainland, offshore (usually BVI and Cayman) and global assets.  Clients include private and listed companies, shareholders and directors, financial advisors, insolvency appointment holders, licensed banks, financial institutions, asset managers and investment funds.

Shipping and international trade (Damien Laracy, Antony Cowie)

On the contentious side, Admiralty (collisions, salvage, groundings, pollution), carriage of goods (charterparties, contracts of affreightment, bills of lading, cargo loss and damage, dangerous goods), Covid-related delays, supply chain disruption and   sanctions; also commodities, documentary credits, conference lines and competition; shipbuilding, conversion and repair.

On the non-contentious side, sale and purchase (particularly super yachts), corporate shipping, shipping finance, ship leasing, ESG and decarbonisation in shipping, escrow arrangements, pooling agreements and joint ventures. Clients include owners, managers, charterers, insurers and P&I clubs, shippers, traders, banks, leasing companies and other financial institutions, brokers and high net worth individuals.

Corporate and commercial (Antony Cowie, YK Chan)

IPOs, mergers and acquisitions, venture capital and private equity, capital markets, joint ventures, shareholder matters, sale & purchase, ESG, regulatory, virtual assets/crypto-currency, start-ups SMEs, commercial, manufacturing, franchising and licensing, trusts, offshore structures and company secretarial services.

Regulatory and compliance (Yvette Yu)

Corporate compliance advisory for businesses to manage and meet legal and industry-specific regulations and standards, including data security, and to develop and maintain internal policies and practices. The firm advises businesses on handling inquiries and investigations from local and overseas regulators.

Insurance (Jim James)

Non-marine and marine insurance claims and regulatory issues. Acting variously for insurers, insureds and export/import insurance agencies.  The team includes a past chairman of The Hong Kong Insurance Law Association.

Employment (Damien Laracy)

Advising businesses, executives and employees across employment, renumeration, discrimination, redundancy, termination and health and safety.

Construction, engineering, property and real estate (Damien Laracy, KM Lam)

Construction and engineering contentious and non-contentious, planning, development, conveyancing and leasing-commercial (residential and leisure).

Korea group (Kelly Kim)

The team handles loan facilities, participation in syndicated lending, bond and share subscriptions, due diligence, joint ventures, distributorship, licensing and corporate compliance.  Clients include Korean government authorities, banks, financial institutions, insurers and corporates across the following industry sectors: hotels and resorts, healthcare, fashion, cosmetics, education, the arts, food and beverage.

Notarial (Antony Jex)

The firm provides notarial services.


Directory Accolades

Antony Cowie

+852 2525 7019 I+852 6020 5096 I antony.cowie@hilldickinson.com

Bryan O’Hare

+852 2525 7655 I+852 9768 1531 I bryan.ohare@hilldickinson.com

Damien Laracy

+852 2525 7528 I +852 6899 6071 I damien.laracy@hilldickinson.com

Jim James

+852 2525 7538 I +852 6020 6071 I jim.james@hilldickinson.com

Kelly Kim

+852 2525 7009 I +852 9333 1307 I kelly.kim@hilldickinson.com

YK Chan

+852 2525 7370 I +852 9457 5575 I yk.chan@hilldickinson.com

Yvette Yu

+852 2525 7238 I +852 9101 0579 I yvette.yu@hilldickinson.com


Individual Accolades

Antony Cowie

The Legal500 (Hong Kong):


Antony Cowie excels at advising clients on corporate and finance-related shipping work, including in the context of ship sale and purchase agreements

Corporate M&A:

Antony Cowie has advised on a number of corporate M&A transactions that I have led. I find him to be tremendously easy to work with. His straightforward, clear-thinking and pragmatic style of advisory means that I can be decisive and drive negotiations in a manner that best suit my principal’s objectives.


Bryan O’Hare

The Legal500 (Hong Kong)

Restructuring and Insolvency:

I worked with Bryan O’Hare and his team at Hill Dickinson Hong Kong on a very complicated and highly sensitive Hong Kong Listed company shareholder dispute and related regulatory and members’ voting issues relating to an AGM. They gave us excellent technical guidance and analysis but importantly critical support to the Board around the clock during a very difficult period and we are very grateful to Bryan and his team.

Bryan O’Hare and his busy team at Hill Dickinson Hong Kong are first class. Bryan is well-known in the Asia commercial disputes and insolvency market. He regularly project manages highly complex cross border commercial and insolvency related disputes usually with multiple stake holders. He is highly responsive, technically excellent and looks for practical solutions to problems faced by Liquidators and often under serious time pressure. My team has worked with Bryan’s team on various liquidation matters over the last few years and our teams have developed a close relationship. His team is fantastic to work with on both a professional and a personal level.

Dispute Resolution:

Bryan O’Hare is very client-focused, highly responsive and commercial. He has support from a team of very competent associates. The team are known experts for all forms of corporate, commercial, financial and insolvency-related disputes.

Top-notch disputes practice. Highly responsive and collaborative even under very tight deadlines. Bryan O’Hare’s project management skills are second-to-none and he is able to keep complicated projects with multiple stakeholders and tight deadlines on track. His affable personality is like the “glue” that keeps everybody onside and focused on their objectives and working towards the end game.

Bryan O’Hare and Damien Laracy are very proactive and ahead of the curve in litigation matters. Soony Tang is a rising star, providing prompt and efficient advice at all stages of the enforcement proceedings.


Chambers & Partner (Global / Great China Region):

Dispute Resolution Litigation:

He has extensive experience, and you get the sense he’s seen it all before when you discuss a new matter with him; he has a nice style and is very easy to work with, but he’s also comfortable taking an aggressive stance on behalf of the liquidators where required.”

“Bryan demonstrated real leadership skills during this highly pressured time, managing a large team and ensuring that strict deadlines were met whilst not losing sight of the overall strategy, nor quality or cost.


Damien Laracy

The Legal500 (Hong Kong)


The ‘incredibly well regarded‘ Damien Laracy is equally adept at handling wet and dry shipping cases, and is sought after for advice on ship mortgage enforcement and ship arrests.


Damien Laracy and his team at Hill Dickinson are working on four pieces of complicated litigation for my company involving parties in the US, Germany, Singapore, China and Hong Kong. In the main litigation in Hong Kong he successfully repelled an injunction application by the Defendant seeking to stay one set of proceedings we commenced there. We were then awarded indemnity costs. Damien is very responsive, no matter what time or day it is, and his commercial litigation experience and expertise have proved invaluable for us. I have no hesitation in recommending Damien for complex international commercial litigation work.

Damien Laracy is a reliable and responsive problem solver. I turn to him on occasions when I need the advice of a solid litigator with ample experience with commercial disputes when I believe this is in my client’s best interest. In recent years Damien has provided wise and swift counsel in a diverse range of matters. As examples, he has advised on and assisted with stock exchange regulatory issues, insolvency work, the delicate merger of two professional services firms, and a potential claim for defamation. As a fellow lawyer, it is that wide range of skills and experience that I appreciate. Damien is an expert in his field, and cross-over clients have complimented him on his timely and practical advice.

Damien Laracy and his team in Hong Kong assist us with our commercial litigation needs there. Their advice is always pragmatic and prompt and we will certainly return to Damien and his team as the need arises.

Bryan O’Hare and Damien Laracy are very proactive and ahead of the curve in litigation matters. Soony Tang is a rising star, providing prompt and efficient advice at all stages of the enforcement proceedings.’

Chambers & Partners (Greater China Region)

Band 2 – Shipping; Litigation – Global

Band 5 – Dispute Resolution – Global


Damien Laracy is well regarded for his broad shipping litigation practice, advising ship owners and insurers on matters regarding sanction implications, charter party claims and cargo disputes. He is noted for being “a very switched-on lawyer with an excellent perception of the matter.”

Dispute Resolution Litigation:

Damien Laracy of Hill Dickinson LLP remains active on a range of contentious matters, including the enforcement of interim measures, asset recovery and shareholder disputes. A client considers him a “great lawyer to work with,” singling him out as “very accurate and able to act extremely fast, while managing to add humour when needed or appropriate, which is very pleasant.”


Jim James

The Legal500 (Hong Kong)

2010-2014 – Leading Individual – Shipping – China: Foreign Firm

2016-2017 – Senior Statesperson – Shipping: Litigation

Prior to being named a Senior Statesperson, ranked in Band 1


I have known Jim James for more than ten years. We have worked together a number of high-profile casualties, and I have always been impressed by his profound professional knowledge, clear advice and prompt feedback. He really is a prominent lawyer in shipping, with a deep knowledge of the mainland China.

As a practising Hong Kong barrister, I have known and worked with Jim James over a period of many years. Jim James is a first-class dispute resolution lawyer. He has a wealth of experience in resolving disputes in Hong Kong by both arbitration and litigation. He has particular expertise in shipping and commercial disputes built up over a distinguished career.

His preparation of cases is extremely thorough, and he always pays great attention to detail. At the same time, he has an in-depth understanding of the commercial needs of his clients.

I have worked with Jim James on casualty work in the PRC. I found him to be a diligent and experienced colleague, whose collaborative approach enabled us both to produce first class results for our clients.

Mr Jim James and his team have been providing legal service to our company for many years. It’s a satisfying experience to have Mr James and his team involving in those transactions. They have shown very high professional standard and their swift, proactive and professional performance is very impressive. Both myself and my colleagues are very happy to have Mr James’ assistance in our business.


Chambers & Partner (Global / Great China Region):

2021-2017 – Band 5 – Dispute Resolution (Litigation) – China

2021-2017 – Senior Statesperson – Shipping Litigation

Prior to being named a Senior Statesperson, ranked in Band 1

Dispute Resolution (International Firms):

Jim James is known for his in-depth expertise in shipping disputes, with additional strengths in fraud and recovery actions. One market source affirms that “he has plenty of experience.”

Shipping Litigation:

Jim James is a well-regarded lawyer who has over 35 years’ experience in various jurisdictions in Asia. He is a litigator and arbitrator with significant expertise in the field of shipping.


Kelly Kim

The Legal500 (Hong Kong)

Banking / Korea:

This year, Wooribank’s corporate banking team successfully closed multiple deals with the help of Kelly Kim and her team at Hill Dickinson. Ever since working with Kelly, I’ve always felt that she is different. I can feel that she and her team care about every party’s position and are able to adopt a win-win strategy in order to provide the right solution and to address the issues in each transaction. Hill Dickinson has thorough knowledge and deep understanding in the Banking practice and provides well-tailored advice to us. We look forward to continuing to work with Kelly and Hill Dickinson as our legal partner.

Hill Dickinson and Kelly Kim’s team are excellent. They are calm and very responsive with extensive knowledge of the debt market. They are very helpful in processing the deal! Thank you so much.

Hill Dickinson (Kelly Kim and her team) has proven to be prepared to advise us in a multi-national deal by leading and managing counsels from different jurisdictions. The team Hill Dickinson offered fast and reasonable solutions that are satisfactory to both us and our client throughout the deal. We would be happy to work with them again in the future.

Kelly Kim exceed expectations in her performance as the Korean Consulate’s advisory lawyer over the past year. In particular, during Covid-19, Kelly responded very well as an expert to the issue of discrimination in the retirement process of Korean employees working at an airline in Hong Kong, and both the employees and our office are very impressed. Consulate’s advisory lawyer is virtually close to volunteering without high remuneration, but she is always active and positive, helping the consulate and resolving the difficulties faced by Korean residents in Hong Kong. Her dedication and expertise are essential for the Korean community in Hong Kong. Once again, I express my gratitude for her passion this year..


Yvette Yu

The Legal500 (Hong Kong)

Dispute Resolution Litigation:

Bird Marella has worked closely with our colleagues at Hill Dickinson’s Hong Kong offices for some time. We have found their attorneys to be experienced, knowledgeable and highly professional in all aspects of our collaborations. In each instance they have provided our clients with creative, insightful, and very effective advice. In particular I have worked most recently with Yvette Yu and Nicole Wong. Their work with us has impressed us with their diligence and thoroughness.


Firm Accolades

The Legal500 (Hong Kong)


‘Hill Dickinson Hong Kong has an outstanding shipping disputes team comprising of experienced lawyers advising on both wet and dry cases.’

‘They are, collectively, responsive, well-informed, astute tacticians, and very good value in comparison to some others against whom they might compete. They are an attractive offering for any client.’

‘The team is very responsive, user-friendly, and cost-effective. They are willing to respect the views from the clients, and discuss the issues.’

Dispute Resolution:

‘Solid local team with good quality local practice combined with good referrals from overseas.’

‘The HD team is highly regarded and now firmly established in the market for handling large, complicated and high-value disputes usually with cross-border aspects. It has particular experience handling large shareholder disputes including advising boards of listed companies in relation to corporate governance and regulatory matters.’

‘I find the Hill Dickinson Hong Kong disputes team has a very good understanding of the issues faced by clients. They are quick on the uptake and provide pragmatic solutions. Their advice is practical and achievable in the best interest of the client.’

‘Efficient, effective, and commercially minded, the HD HK team are a pleasure to work with.’


Chambers & Partners (Asia-Pacific Region)


One client notes that Hill Dickinson “possesses the ideal number of shipping law partners to cover the full gamut of shipping issues in depth.”


Key Contacts

Head of Hong Kong Office

Damien Laracy

Deputy head of Hong Kong Office

Bryan O'Hare

Firm Rankings

Band 2


Shipping: Litigation
Band 2



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Landmark judgment from Hong Kong Court of Appeal on the effect of exclusive jurisdiction clauses in insolvency proceedings

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Hong Kong court confirms that pre-arbitral conditions under multi-tier dispute clause are an issue of admissibility for tribunal to decide

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China’s new personal information privacy law is not simply a repeat of GDPR : some important nuances for business in China

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PRC Court reaffirms jurisdiction under the New York Convention to recognise and enforce a foreign arbitral award against an offshore company

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First letter of request from Hong Kong to Shanghai for recognition and assistance in cross-border insolvency

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Security of Payment in Hong Kong – are we there yet?

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With freight rates subject to volatile markets and ongoing disruption, is pricing uncertainty the new norm?

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Ports and decarbonisation

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Press Releases

Hill Dickinson Hong Kong wins recognition for Shipping and Dispute Resolution

Hill Dickinson Hong Kong wins recognition for Shipping and Dispute Resolution in first Chambers 2023 Greater China guide Law firm Hill Dickinson’s Hong Kong office has received recognition for both its Shipping and Disputes Resolution practices in Chambers and Partners’ Greater China Region Guide 2023. Published on 13 January 2023, the firm achieves Band 3 ranking for Shipping: […]

02 Feb 2023

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