What is it like to work here?

Hear from current and past trainees on how they found their experience training in Hong Kong.

Private client and tax team

The Private client and tax team in Hong Kong provides first-class legal advice in a wide range of areas including wills and probate, trusts, tax, immigration, charities and philanthropy.

Hong Kong is a global financial centre and a portal to China. It attracts professionals and wealthy families from across the globe to work or to invest in Hong Kong.

Many of our clients have wealth in multi-jurisdictions, creating a need for international estate planning to assist them in preservation of their wealth across generations.

Withers in Hong Kong, with practitioners who are qualified in various jurisdictions including Hong Kong, England and Wales, US, BVI, Singapore and Australia, work as part of the wider Withers’ global team to support our clients’ diverse requirements.

Larry AuYeung

EDUCATION: Durham University, England and City University of Hong Kong (PCLL). SEAT: Private client and tax

Larry's experience as a first year trainee in the private client and tax team

‘My colleagues in the private client and tax team are excellent mentors and friends to work with. Not only do I help the Hong Kong private client and tax team, I also have the opportunity to work with our US and Singapore private client and tax teams on a number of mega-projects.’

A good thing about the private client and tax team is that trainees work with everyone and anyone in the team. This is the reason why I get to work on all kinds of matters regarding wills, trusts, tax, charities, immigration, and probate. From proofreading when I first joined the team, to meeting clients and drafting complete sets of documents now, the step-by-step learning at Withers is absolutely more than rewarding.

While the backgrounds of our clients are very diverse, with the economic growth of China and the closer relationship between Hong Kong and China, Withers has been taking on more rich Chinese clients.

The majority of documentation and communication with these clients are bilingual, if not only in Chinese.

As a trainee, I have enjoyed doing Chinese work and meeting Chinese clients. For completeness, it is important to note that ‘Chinese work’ does not only mean legal translation.

Corporate team

The corporate team in Hong Kong provides a wide range of services to international corporations, successful individuals, wealthy families, charities and their advisors.

Taking advantage of its established status as an international financial center and a well-developed legal system, Hong Kong has long been a favoured jurisdiction for investors and entrepreneurs to pursue business ventures.

Our diverse corporate and finance capability allows us to provide a holistic and one-stop service to our clients, ranging from immigration and employment issues to financings, corporate restructurings, joint ventures and mergers and acquisitions.

Given the renowned expertise of our Matrimonial and Private client and tax teams, we also assist on the corporate aspects of formation of family trusts and substantial donations to charities.

Bobby Fung

EDUCATION: University of Warwick (LLB), University College London (LLM) and City University of Hong Kong (PCLL). SEAT: Corporate

Bobby's experience as a first year trainee in the corporate team

‘Given our leading position as a private client firm, trainees will not only assist in complex cross-border transactions, but can also assist in private commercial deals which are unique to private client practice, often involving trust or family law aspects.’

Working in the Corporate team is challenging, yet fulfilling. Trainees in the Corporate team are involved in all aspects of the department’s work, ranging from attending clients meetings with their supervisors to drafting commercial agreements, undertaking due diligence exercises and

liaising with lawyers representing the other side of the deal.

Withers’ corporate and finance practice is highly integrated across different jurisdictions, and trainees can expect to have the opportunity to work closely with other Withers’ offices all around the world.

Natalie Leong

Natalie is an associate in the dispute resolution team

Natalie's experience as an associate in the dispute resolution team

‘The skills I learned and developed as a Withers trainee have proven invaluable. For example, with so many active cases to handle at any given time, it is very important to be organised. In practical terms, this means investing time in preparing case management tools that will save you a lot of time and headache when you are in the middle of a long trial looking for one particular quote in a thick stack of court bundles.’

There is rarely a dull day at Withers’ Hong Kong office, especially in the firm’s dispute resolution team.

As a first year associate, I have enjoyed learning how to think strategically in order to achieve the best possible outcome for clients in line with their objectives. I have also enjoyed the opportunity to appear as an advocate in the Family Court for directions hearings, as it really tests your ability to think on your feet and how well you know your case.

I work on a lot of divorce cases. For many clients, divorce is one of the most difficult times in their lives. Most of the time, our objective is to assist clients with securing an arrangement that will allow them to move forward with their lives. However, no two families are the same, and every client will have their own specific needs, concerns and objectives. It keeps things interesting! Depending on the dynamics of a given divorce case, we might have to spend a bit of time trying to ascertain the assets available for division between spouses in the event of divorce, or what the best arrangements are for the children of the family post-divorce. Other times, we are able to help clients with reaching an amicable agreement outside of court through mediation.

The work is often challenging and complex but very rewarding.

Family team

Withers is recognised as one of the top matrimonial law firms in Hong Kong both by its clients and by its peers. For six consecutive years, Withers has been named Matrimonial Law Firm of the Year by Asian Legal Business in the ALB Hong Kong Law Awards.

The family team has a wealth of experience in many aspects of matrimonial law: from advising on pre-nuptial agreements, to ancillary relief, to child custody. Given the renowned expertise of our family team, Withers attract many international, high-profile and wealthy clients.

Vincy Wong

EDUCATION: Warwick University, Law and Business (double degree) and Hong Kong University (PCLL). SEATS: Family and corporate and finance.

Vincy's experience as a first year trainee in the family team

‘Life as a trainee in the family team is rewarding, intellectually challenging and never boring.’

In the family team, not only do you have the fortune of working closely with associates and partners who are some of the top family lawyers in the industry, but you also have the fortune of attending meetings with the most senior and experienced counsels.

Interesting and diverse issues often arise from cases in the family department: from cross-jurisdictional financial disputes, to pre-nuptial and post-nuptial agreements, to issues relating to surrogacy. Work in the family team is very multifaceted.