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Douglas Lam, SC

LLM, Harvard Law School
LLB, London School of Economics
PCLL, University of Hong Kong



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 complex cross-border commercial litigation and arbitration and in high-value contentious trust and probate disputes. His clients include many of the largest institutions and investment funds in the world as well as prominent high-net-worth individuals and families across Hong Kong and Asia.

Mr Lam SC also advises and appears regularly as leading counsel and as arbitrator in complex shareholders, banking, securities, commodities and investment disputes.

In recent years, Mr Lam SC has also successfully led a number of high profile cases involving the enforcement and setting aside of international and Mainland Chinese arbitration awards in Hong Kong.

Recent successful cases include:

  1. Successfully represented family beneficiaries in removing the executor of a prominent multi-billion dollar estate in Hong Kong for breach of fiduciary duty including breach of the self-dealing and fair dealing rules after a contentious 9-day trial.See: Ng Rose Kai Chan (吳梁佳貞) & Ors v Liang Yum Shing Howard(梁欽聖) (in his personal capacity and as the executor and trustee of the estate of Liang Ting Sen Thomas (梁挺生), deceased) [2023] HKCFI 1867.
  2. Successfully represented the matriarch of a high-net-worth family in dismissing a striking out application in a probate dispute concerning a complex tracing claim of the matriarch’s interest in the family business.See: Chan Suk Ying(陳淑英) v Lee Wai Ling Celine (as personal representatives of the Estate of Peter Lee Chak Ming) and Others [2023] HKCFI 3085.
  3. Successfully represented a Mainland Chinese client to set aside the enforcement of a high-value award of the Chengdu Arbitration Commission concerning an investor put option (對賭協議)dispute on the grounds of lack of due process at the arbitral hearing. See Song Lihua v Lee Chee Hon[2023] HKCFI 2540;
  4. Successfully represented a high net worth individual in obtaining and upholding asset freezing and disclosure orders in excess of USD 100 million in aid of enforcement of a CIETAC arbitration award involving a high-profile dispute relating to shares of Tencent Music Entertainment Group. See: G v X[2022] HKCFI 829 & [2022] HKCFI 1864
  5. Successfully represented AIG in dismissing a claim by a statutory body in the Court of Appeal pursuant to a multi-million dollar performance bond on the grounds that the demand for payment was defective. See:West Kowloon Cultural District Authority v AIG Insurance Hong Kong Limited[2022] HKCA 975.
  6. Successfully represented Reignwood International Investment Group Co., Ltd., a leading independent Chinese investment firm, in respect of a complex US$200 million dispute over a contract of performance guarantee that arose out of one of four shipbuilding contracts. The matter was awarded “Deal of the Year 2022” byChina Business Law Journal.
  7. Successfully represented 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 excess of USD 100 million in aid of arbitration proceedings in Hong Kong. SeeSkyhigh Investment Limited v Yu Jun and Others [2020] HKCFI 913.
  8. Successfully represented 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 230 million (information in public domain).

Memberships & Appointments

  • 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 )
  • 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)

Scholarships and Awards

  • 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)

Specific Areas of Expertise

Chancery, Securites Law


for Douglas Lam, SC

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)

‘Well known for his expertise in restructuring and insolvency work.’. Douglas Lam SC is recognised as a Leading Silk for Commercial Disputes.

— Legal 500 Asia Pacific HK Bar (2022)

Douglas Lam SC has been recognized by Who’s Who Legal as a “National Leader” in the field of Commercial Litigation.

WWL Says: “Douglas Lam SC is ‘a well-known litigator’ thanks to his ‘fluid and comprehensive presentation in court and client-handling skills’.”

WWL: Mainland China & Hong Kong SAR 2022

— Who’s Who Legal (2022)

Douglas Lam SC is accredited for his “very solid judgement,” and has been described as “very easy to work with” and “very good at giving advice on likely outcomes.” His wide-ranging practice is rich in experience of company law and bankruptcy issues, as well as general commercial ones, including contractual breaches and professional negligence claims. He is additionally recognised for his “broad and busy commercial disputes practice,” and his “good reputation for restructuring and insolvency work.”

— Chambers & Partners Asia Pacific (2021)

“He has a broad and busy commercial dispute practice and a good reputation for restructuring and insolvency work.” Douglas Lam SC is recognised as a Leading Silk for Commercial Disputes.

— Legal 500 Asia Pacific HK Bar (2021)

Douglas Lam SC is credited as a Recommended Senior Counsel in the Doyles Guide 2021 for Maritime, Shipping & Transport Law for Barristers  in Hong Kong

— Doyles Guide (2021)

Douglas Lam SC of Des Voeux Chambers focuses his practice principally on cross-border commercial, company and insolvency-related disputes. Sources report that he maintains “a very busy practice,” that “people like his advice because he’s very practical” and that he is persuasive both on his feet and on paper, his written work in particular being “succinct, cogent and very punchy.”

— Chambers & Partners Asia Pacific (2020)

Douglas Lam SC is credited as  a  Leading Senior Counsel in  the Doyles Guide 2020 for Maritime, Shipping & Transport Law for Barristers  in Hong Kong

— Doyles Guide (2020)

Douglas Lam SC of Des Voeux Chambers is described by one interviewee as a “very experienced practitioner and natural advocate with a very busy commercial and arbitration practice,” other sources stressing his “very smooth advocacy” and “very accommodating and patient manner with clients and solicitors,” one adding that “he is well liked by the court because his submissions are very realistic and full of common sense.” Particularly well known for his handling of cross-border commercial disputes, he acted successfully for Merrill Lynch International Bank and Merrill Lynch (Asia Pacific) in High Court appellate proceedings in which the moneylender plaintiffs contention that they were due damages for a supposed negligent misstatement on the part of Merrill Lynch was dismissed with costs.

— Chambers & Partners Asia Pacific (2019)

Douglas Lam SC of Des Voeux Chambers is identified by interviewees as a “young, very enthusiastic and very hard-working silk,” recommended as “a safe pair of hands” across a broad range of cross-border commercial litigation and domestic company law issues. One source observes that “his sensible and straightforward style of advocacy is very effective – especially in trial.”

— Chambers & Partners Asia Pacific (2018)

Douglas Lam SC of Des Voeux Chambers is a highly regarded junior silk who combines his broad, cross-border commercial litigation capability, specialisation in insolvency issues and reputation as a persuasive advocate with a “very good track record of winning trials.” Sources commend his “availability to do things at very short notice and turn an urgent matter around very quickly.”

— Chambers & Partners Asia Pacific (2017)

“Douglas Lam SC of Des Voeux Chambers recently took silk and is complimented by one source as “someone I’d lose sleep over if I was up against him,” while another praises him as “a safe pair of hands.” He specialises in company and insolvency litigation, though he is also instructed on contentious securities, banking and insurance matters. He additionally acts as a mediator.”

— Chambers & Partners Asia Pacific (2016)

“Douglas Lam SC of Des Voeux Chambers has impressively varied expertise covering such areas as contractual disputes, insolvency and shipping. He is highly regarded by sources who view him as being “a good all-rounder” and “among the best of his standing at the Bar.”

— Chambers & Partners Asia Pacific (2016)