Adrian Lai

  • LLM (CUPL)
  • BA (Cantab)

Year of call

  • 2007 (Hong Kong)


Adrian maintains a predominantly civil practice which covers company matters, insolvency and commercial disputes.  He is also a Certified Public Accountant of Hong Kong and holds the specialist qualification in insolvency matters.

Adrian’s legal practice is complemented by his accounting and commercial knowledge and experience which he had acquired prior to joining the Bar.  He was involved either on his own or as a junior counsel in many important cases.

  • FG Hemisphere v. Democratic Republic of Congo & Ors [2009] 1 HKLRD 410 (CFI), [2010] 2 HKLRD 66 (CA), FACV 5-7/2010 (8 June 2011) (CFA). The case involved the interplay of different jurisprudential dimensions of public international law and constitutional law in the context of state immunity.  This is the first occasion where the judiciary had an opportunity to consider the position of the HKSAR on the issue of state immunity after the English State Immunity Act ceased to have effect.  Adrian was instructed as junior Counsel for the Secretary for Justice.
  • Re Hua Tian Long (No. 2) [2010] 3 HKLRD 611. The first ever decision of the judiciary of Hong Kong on the common law doctrine of “crown immunity”.  In that case, the court decided that subject to waiver the courts of the HKSAR did not have jurisdiction over the Central People’s Government.
  • Advance Pacific Investment Ltd. v. Zen Chung Hei Hayley [2009] 1 HKLRD 383.  A District Court decision clarifying its jurisdiction under Section 37 of the District Court Ordinance that it had no jurisdiction in hearing the claim of damages of more than HK$1M arising from an agreement for sale and purchase of a landed property.
  • DBS Bank (Hong Kong) Ltd. v. Si, Echinacea [2010] 3 HKLRD 745. This is a decision of the Court of First Instance construing, inter alia, the High Court Civil Procedure (Use of Language) Rules (Cap. 5C).
  • Shandong Hongri Acron Chemical Joint Stock Co. Ltd. v. Petrochina International (Hong Kong) Corporation Ltd., unrep., CACV 31/2011, 13 June 2011, Kwan JA. The first decision of the Court of Appeal discussing whether the Court should exercise its discretion to order security for costs against a foreign award creditor in the context of enforcement of a foreign arbitration award, even if it has jurisdiction to do so.