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William M.F. Wong, SC

JP

BBA (CUHK)
MA (OXON)
Ph.D (Peking U.)

“William is a great leader, with skills in advocacy, strategy, and cross-examination; the best in Hong Kong.”

- Legal 500 Asia Pacific: Hong Kong Bar (2024)

Profile

Profile

Dr. Wong has been in practice in Hong Kong since 1997. In 2010, he was also called to the Bar of the British Virgin Islands. In 2013, Dr. Wong was appointed as a Senior Counsel in Hong Kong. He is also presently an Non-Executive Director of the Airport Authority and one of the Vice Chairmen of the Board of Review of the Inland Revenue.

Dr. Wong’s practice covers a wide spectrum of contentious commercial litigation. He has a special focus and substantial experience in the areas of company, insolvency and securities law. He frequently represents clients in contentious shareholders and/or investors disputes and disputes in liquidation. He is the first Hong Kong barrister to be admit, on an ad hoc basis, in the Bermudian courts to conduct trials and appeals. He is experienced in offshore litigation. He also acted as an expert witness on HK company law in the People’s Republic of China, and international arbitration. Dr. Wong also sits as an arbitrator in a substantial number of international commercial arbitration.

Dr. Wong also specializes in contentious trusts and probate matters. His case of Chow Siu Po v. Wong Ming Fung [2003] 1 HKC 146 establishes the burden of proof in propounding a will. He has also given legal opinion on various trust and probate matters. He was instructed to advise and work on a number of substantial trusts litigation and related matters.

On non-contentious work, Dr. Wong specializes in corporate restructuring and capital reduction. He was involved in the capital reduction of CLP, Guangdong Investment and Hong Kong Construction. He was also involved in the Wheelock Holding Company privatization, PCCW privatization, the Denway Motors privatization, the Stone Group privatization, the Sunlife Insurance Transfer Scheme and the 3D Gold Scheme.

Academically, Dr. Wong graduated from the Business Faculty of the Chinese University of Hong Kong in 1994 as the Rhodes Scholar of the year. In 1996, he obtained his degree in Jurisprudence from Wadham College, Oxford. In 2004, he also obtained his LL.M degree from the Peking University. In 2012, he was awarded the Doctoral Degree from the Peking University with a dissertation on corporate insolvency laws.

Dr. Wong also serves on a number of special sub-committees of the Hong Kong Bar Council. He is the  Chairman of the Committee on Overseas Lawyers Examination. He is also an advisor to the Middle Temple Society in Hong Kong.

Dr. Wong has also published widely. He was one of the editors of Hong Kong Civil Procedure 2001 and Hong Kong Civil Procedure 2002. He also published together with Dato Loh Siew Cheang, one of the leading Hong Kong texts on company law: “Company Law – Powers and Accountability (2003).”  The book was translated into Chinese in 2005 – «公司法 – 權力與責任», 法律出版社.

He subsequently co-authored “Company Law – Powers and Accountability” 2nd Edition with Dato Loh Siew Cheang and DVC’s Kerby Lau in 2017.

In 2023, Wolters Kluwer and Des Voeux Chambers co-published the bilingual book “The Art of Resolving Global Disputes: Navigating International Commercial Arbitration”. Dr. Wong and Look Chan Ho are the co-Editors-in-Chief.

Publications

  • Co-Editor to Hong Kong Company Law Cases (2008 – 2019) – published in 2020 by DVC in collaboration with Kluwer
  • Co-authored “Company Law: Powers & Accountability – 2nd Edition” (2017) with Kerby Lau and Dato Loh Siew Cheang
  • Co-authored one of the leading Hong Kong text on company law: “Company Law – Powers & Accountability.” (2003). The book was translated into Chinese in 2005 – «公司法 – 權力與責任», 法律出版社
  • One of the editors of Hong Kong Civil Procedure 2001 and Hong Kong Civil Procedure 2002
  • Co-Editors-in-Chief to “The Art of Resolving Global Disputes: Navigating International Commercial Arbitration” (2023, Wolters Kluwer) with Look Chan Ho

Important Cases

  • Re China Solar Energy Holdings Ltd [2017] 2 HKLRD 1074 – landmark casedelineating and clarifying liquidators’ duties
  • Re Joy Rich Development Ltd [2016] 2 HKLRD 1058 – principles in relation to constitution of creditors meeting
  • Re China Medical Technologies, Inc. [2014] 2 HKLRD 997 – A leading case on the jurisdictional limits of lexi fori in a cross-border insolvency situation.
  • Mo Ying v. Brillex Development Limited and Another [2014] 3 HKLRD 224 – a leading case on the applicable legal principle of common intention constructive trust.
  • Securities and Futures Commission v. Tiger Asia Management LLC and Others (2013) 16 HKCFAR 324 – A leading Court of Final Appeal decision on the jurisdiction limit of Section 213 of the Securities and Futures Ordinance, Cap.571
  • Re Raymond Lee Cho Min and Lee Priscilla Hwang [2012] 4 HKLRD 581 – a decision which set out the judicial approach to the application of Section 29 of the Bankruptcy Ordinance, Cap.6
  • Re Tan Sri Datuk Lau Gek Pok alias Lau Gek Poh [2012] 5 HKLRD 75 – a leading case on DNA test in a probate context.
  • Hallmark Cards Incorporated v Yun Choy Ltd (in Compulsory Liquidation) and Another [2012] 1 HKLRD 396 – a case on the priority of trusts claims in an insolvency regime.
  • Top One International (China) Property Group Co Ltd and Another v. Top One Property Group Ltd and Others [2011] 1 HKLRD 606 – commercial disputes involving the legal principles on unless order and extension of time under the new CJR rules.
  • Sunlink International Limited (Provisional Liquidators Appointed) &Ors v. Wong Shu Wing &Ors [2010] 5 HKLRD 653
    Leading case on shareholders’ right to vote in an insolvency situation.
  • Hang Fung Jewellery Company Limited [2010] 2 HKLRD 1.
    It establishes the retention of property right via a trust mechanism in the case of an insolvency.
  • Re PCCW Ltd [2009] 3 HKC 292
    It sets out the legal principles for the sanction of a scheme of arrangement and the problem with split voting.
  • Securities and Futures Commission v C-F [2009] 4 HKC 167; Securities and Futures Commission v. A [2008] 1 HKC 89
    It establishes the legal principles and jurisdiction of the Court to grant interlocutory injunction under section 213 of the Securities and Futures Ordinance, Cap.571
  • Waddington Ltd v. Chan Chun Hoo Thomas & Others [2006] 2 HKLRD 896
    It first establishes the availability of multi-derivative action in Hong Kong and the relevant applicable legal principles.
  • MakSik Bun & Others v. Mak Lei Wun& Others [2005] 4 HKLRD 328
    A contentious shareholder’s disputes which sets out the ambit and limits of Section 168A of the Companies Ordinance, Cap.32
  • Flying Mortgage Ltd v. Chan KuenKwong& Others [2010] 1 HKLRD 318
    It establishes and applies the principles of resulting trust in the context of a repossession action by a mortgagee.

For a more complete list of cases in which Mr William Wong S.C. appeared as counsel, please visit the Judiciary Website at http://legalref.judiciary.gov.hk/lrs/common/ju/judgment.jsp; where you can access the list by using the advanced search function.

Memberships & Appointments

  • Recorder of the High Court of Hong Kong (Since 30 Sep 2021)
  • Non Executive Director of the Hong Kong Airport Authority
  • Justice of the Peace (1 July 2019)
  • Vice Chairman of the Private Columbaria Appeal Board (2017-)
  • Vice-Chairman, Municipal Services Appeals Board (2016-)
  • Non-Executive Director of Securities and Futures Commission (2014-2020)
  • Chairman of the Board, ICC (From 1 August 2018 to 31 March 2020)
  • Member, ICFC and SCFC (From 1 August 2018 to 31 March 2020)
  • Deputy High Court Judge (2017-2021)
  • Member, Criminal and Law Enforcement Injuries Compensation Boards (2017-)
  • Member, Insurance Appeals Tribunal (2017-)
  • Vice Chairman of the Board of Review, Inland Revenue(2015-)
  • Member, Appeals Tribunal, The Hong Kong Federation of Insurers (2014-2020)
  • Fellow, Chartered Institute of Arbitrators
  • Distinguished Fellow, Centre for Financial Regulation and Economic Development, Faculty of Law, The Chinese University of Hong Kong
  • Former Chairman of the Arbitration Committee of the Hong Kong Bar Association
  • Member, Advisory Committee on the Promotion of Arbitration, Department of Justice
  • Vice Chairman of the Standing Committee on China Practice Development (2014-2016)
  • Overseas Member, Chancery Bar Association of England & Wales (2011-)
  • Vice Chairman, Hong Kong Bar Association Special Committee on Bar Qualification Examination (2006-)
  • Vice Chairman, Hong Kong Bar Association Special Committee on Mainland Affairs (2005-2018)
  • Advisor, The Hong Kong Middle Temple Society (1999-)

Arbitration

  • Committee Member of the Shanghai International Economic and Trade Arbitration Commission
  • Panel arbitrator of the Hong Kong International Arbitration Centre
  • Panel arbitrator of Shenzhen International Court of Arbitration
  • Panel arbitrator of The China International Economic and Trade Arbitration Commission (CIETAC)
  • Panel arbitrator of Hainan International Arbitration Court
  • Appointed as arbitrator in a number of international commercial arbitration

Specific Areas of Expertise

Chancery, Securities Law

Accolades

for William M.F. Wong, SC

William Wong SC, JP was ranked by Chambers and Partners Greater China Region 2024 as Band 2 Silks in the field of Commercial Dispute Resolutions.

Chambers Review shared that “William Wong SC is a prominent corporate, commercial and insolvency law silk who stands out for his handling of complex company law cases and is also significantly developing his capability as both counsel and arbitrator in the international arbitration sphere.

Clients commented that “William is certainly a leading silk in company matters. He is an expert in company law who is meticulous and user-friendly.” and “William is very effective in taking complex issues and breaking them down in a simple manner.

— Chambers & Partners Greater China Region (2024)

William Wong SC is accredited as a Leading Silk for Commercial Disputes.

William is a great leader, with skills in advocacy, strategy, and cross-examination; the best in Hong Kong.’

— Legal 500 Asia Pacific: Hong Kong Bar (2024)

William Wong SC of Des Voeux Chambers is a prominent corporate, commercial and insolvency law silk who stands out for his handling of complex company law cases and is also significantly developing his capability as both counsel and arbitrator in the international arbitration sphere. Source commend “William is very commercial and practical; a lot of people listen to him.”; “William is really experienced in company cases.”

— Chambers & Partners: Greater China Region (2023)

William is a prominent corporate, commercial and insolvency law silk who stands out for his handling of complex company law cases and is also significantly developing his capability as both counsel and arbitrator in the international arbitration sphere. He is commended for “combining great tenacity with an unrivalled knowledge of Hong Kong company law which makes him well respected by the judiciary,” he is “very succinct, very precise, very to the point, very commercial and an excellent tactician.”

— Chambers & Partners Greater China Region (2022)

William Wong, SC, JP has been recognized by Who’s Who Legal as a “National Leaderfor Mainland China & Hong Kong SAR in the field of Arbitration.

— Who's Who Legal (2022)

William Wong SC rises in the rankings on the back of outstanding feedback from sources for his handling of complex company law cases. He is described as the “go-to Senior Counsel in relation to company matters” and as a “sharp-minded and creative” advocate who brings “big-picture thinking” to cases. “He’s actually top of my list for complicated company matters,”and is praised for his “wealth of experience in relation to injunctions and interim relief.” “He has a huge following and solicitors love him,” and is cited as a “very important corporate, commercial and insolvency law practitioner.” “His creativity and tactical acumen take the case in different directions in order to better the case for the client’s interest, and I’ve always been in awe of that,” concludes another impressed source.

— Chambers & Partners Asia Pacific (2021)

William Wong SC, JP has been featured as National Leader for Mainland China & Hong Kong SAR – Arbitration 2021

— Who's Who Legal (2021)

Observations concerning William Wong SC, JP of Des Voeux Chambers tend to allude to his prominence as a busy and popular “company law specialist.” Interviewees go on to stress not only his academic grasp of the subject, but also that he is a “really practically-minded” adviser and advocate in the field and a “sound tactician with a keen sense of strategy” who “knows how best to play his cards in an adversarial case.”

— Chambers & Partners Asia Pacific (2020)

William Wong SC, JP of Des Voeux Chambers is pinpointed by a number of sources as “definitely a go-to counsel” for company law and insolvency issues, an area in which he is both “very much an academic guru” and a “fantastic, very quick operator with a lot of commercial sense.” Interviewees also emphasise that he is “extremely practical and results-oriented” and a “very good strategist who can see what people really want to achieve and often thinks ahead of the other side.”

— Chambers & Partners Asia Pacific (2019)

William Wong SC, JP of Des Voeux Chambers attracts praise for his “in-depth knowledge of companies litigation” and extensive experience of “winding-up and other insolvency matters,” and is respected as “a very tough opponent who will fight most vigorously for his client and really likes to win.” Sources also admire his “practical and pragmatic” approach and consistent identification of “the best strategy to move a case forward; you often don’t need to go to court.”

— Chambers & Partners Asia Pacific (2018)

“William Wong SC, JP of Des Voeux Chambers is a respected, published authority on company law, identified by interviewees as “one of the best-known young companies silks.” He acted for Hong Kong’s Water Supplies Department in the 2015 inquiry into the contamination of water at 11 housing estates. He is also known for his handling of securities and insolvency matters.”

— Chambers & Partners Asia Pacific (2017)

“William Wong SC, JP of Des Voeux Chambers is widely recognised for his specialist expertise in company and insolvency law; he is also praised for his diverse and thriving practice. He regularly acts on trust and probate matters.”

— Chambers & Partners Asia Pacific (2016)

“William Wong SC, JP of Des Voeux Chambers took silk in May 2013. Sources highlight his considerable intellect, and observe that his advice is in great demand. According to one interviewee, he is “one of the leading Hong Kong company law specialists.”

— Chambers & Partners Asia Pacific (2015)

“Quick response and high quality pleadings. He focuses on general civil litigation.”

— Chambers & Partners Asia Pacific (2011)

“A capable and bright choice,” particularly for company and insolvency disputes. Work highlights include the SFC v Gome case.”

— Chambers & Partners Asia Pacific (2010)

“A responsive and commercially realistic counsel – he’s great at company law. He has recently acted in a number of finance-rated disputes.”

— Chambers & Partners Asia Pacific (2009)

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