Douglas Lam SC was a management consultant with the Hong Kong office of McKinsey & Company before he joined the Hong Kong Bar in 1999. He is fluent in Cantonese and Putonghua.
Mr Lam SC’s practice specialises in cross-border commercial disputes and company and corporate insolvency matters. His clients include many of the largest financial institutions, multinational corporations and investment funds in the world. He has acted as leading counsel in numerous complex contract and shareholder disputes involving Mainland Chinese and foreign parties, winding-up petitions of publicly listed companies, and contentious applications arising out of company liquidations.
Mr Lam SC also advises and appears regularly as leading counsel in banking and securities disputes, regulatory matters involving the Securities and Futures Commission, contentious trust and probate matters, commodities contract disputes, insurance and shipping related litigation and arbitrations. In recent years, Mr Lam SC has also been instructed in high value disputes concerning the division of family assets in matrimonial proceedings, particularly those involving issues of constructive trust and asset tracing.
Recent cases include:
1. Acting for Skyhigh Investment Limited, a wholly owned entity of New Horizon Capital Partners (新天域資本), one of the largest China-focused private equity funds in the world, in respect of a USD 65 million investment in Guangzhou Guocui Flowers (廣州國萃花卉交易有限公司). Successfully obtained in the Hong Kong Court a worldwide Mareva injunction against founding shareholders in the sum of USD 105,726,000 in aid of arbitration proceedings in Hong Kong. See e.g. Skyhigh Investment Limited v Yu Jun and Others  HKCFI 913, 1 June 2020 (instructed by Reed Smith Richards Butler, Hong Kong office). Hong Kong arbitration proceedings ongoing.
2. Acted for Classroom Investments Inc., a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan Board, one of the largest pensions funds in the world, in a USD 175 million investment in China Hospitals Inc., a private hospital group in Mainland China. Successfully obtained in the Hong Kong Court worldwide Mareva and propriety injunctions against founding shareholders in the sum of USD 175 million in aid of arbitration proceedings in Hong Kong. Successfully obtained an arbitration award of over USD 231 million in 2018 (information in public domain) (instructed by Kirkland & Ellis, Hong Kong office).
3. Acting for Mr Lau Wing Yan in a complex shareholders dispute involving multiple proceedings in Hong Kong, Panama and the British Virgin Islands. Successfully resisted an application by opposing parties for an anti-suit injunction in Hong Kong. See e.g. Plain Sail Holdings Limited and Anor v Lau Wing Yan  HKCFI 653 (instructed by DLA Piper, Hong Kong office). Actions ongoing.
4. Acted for China Alarm Holdings Acquisition LLC in a shareholders dispute concerning a USD 16 million investment in a Chinese security and alarm company. Successfully obtained judgment in the Hong Kong court against the founding shareholders for over USD 15 million. Appeal by opposing party dismissed. See e.g. China Alarm Holdings Acquisition LLC and Anor v Ing Alexander Yim Leung and Ors (unreported) CACV 98/2016, 8 December 2017 (instructed by Laray & Co.).
5. Acted for Ms Zhang Lan (張蘭) in a complex shareholders dispute concerning a USD 50 million investment by CVC Capital Partners into 俏江南. CIETAC arbitration proceedings concluded in 2018 (instructed by 段和段中國律師事務所).
Mr Lam SC was appointed Senior Counsel on 2 May 2015 and has since been consistently ranked as a leading company and commercial silk by Chambers and Partners. He was named “Barrister of the Year” at the Asia-Pacific Dispute Resolution Awards in September 2017.
Mr Lam SC is also an accredited mediator.
Douglas Lam SC of Des Voeux Chambers maintains a wide-ranging practice that is rich in experience both of company law and bankruptcy issues and of general commercial ones, including contractual breaches and professional negligence claims. He offers clients valuable experience gleaned from his time as a deputy judge in High Court. Source commend "Douglas Lam is a highly experienced trilingual litigator who has an easy charm and fantastic ability to communicate easily with clients, whether they be Western PE funds or Chinese companies. He is extremely hands-on and highly responsive; his invaluable experience in company matters and urgent, interlocutory applications before the courts makes him one of my favourite go-to counsel for urgent, bet-the-company matters."; "Douglas is a skilful advocate who is very articulate."
Chambers & Partners: Greater China Region 2023
Douglas Lam SC is accredited as a Leading Silk for Commercial Disputes.
Legal 500 Asia Pacific: HK Bar (2023)
Douglas is regarded as “a highly intelligent counsel from whom you can expect intelligent judgements" and "practical and sensible advice." He is also commended for being "very responsive" with “rich… experience in both company law and bankruptcy issues” and..” general commercial ones, including contractual breaches and professional negligence claims”. He is lauded for drawing “valuably upon his experience of serving as a deputy judge.”
Chambers & Partners Greater China Region (2022)
- Member of the Election Committee of the Hong Kong SAR (Legal Constituency)
- Deputy Judge of the High Court (March-April 2017, January-February 2018, October-December 2018 & June-Aug 2020, February-March 2021 & June-July 2022 )
- Co-Chair, Standing Committee on Mainland Affairs of the Hong Kong Bar Association
- Chairperson of the Insurance Appeals Tribunal (IAT) (2017-2022)
- Chairman of the Buildings Appeal Tribunal (2015 - 2022)
- Deputy Chairman of the Administrative Appeals Board (2016 - 2022)
- Member of the Independent Police Complaints Council (2017 - 2022), Chairman of the Legal Committee (2018 - 2022)
- Member of the SFC Disciplinary Chair Committee (2018 - 2022)
- Member of the Estate Agents Authority (2016 - 2022)
- Member of the Special Committee of the Bar Association on Overseas Admissions (Civil) (2013 – 2022) and the Investment Committee (2015 - 2022)
- Hong Kong International Arbitration Centre (HKIAC) List of Arbitrators
- Accredited Mediator (CEDR)
- Awarded “Barrister of the Year” at the 2017 Asialaw Asia-Pacific Dispute Resolution Awards held on 28 September 2017
- Middle Temple Society of Hong Kong Scholarship (2000-2001)