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HFW continues growth of global construction practice with hire of leading Hong Kong team

20 May 2024

Global sector-focused law firm HFW has continued to expand its global construction practice and its fast-growing Asia Pacific offering with the hire of a leading construction, projects and infrastructure team in Hong Kong, headed by partners Steven Yip and Malcolm Chin.

Steven and Malcolm who co-head MinterEllison’s Construction, Infrastructure, and Projects team in Hong Kong, joined HFW’s existing Hong Kong construction team led by partner Martin Downey on 20 May 2024 along with three Senior Associates and two Associates from MinterEllison.

The new Senior Associates are Yvonne Lau, Charles Cheung, and Brian Liu, and the Associates are Nicole Leung and Suki Fung.

The team’s arrival continues the growth of HFW’s global construction practice across its international network, and brings the number of construction partners added in the last 12 months to six. This includes partner Tom Hutchison who joined HFW from Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer in London earlier this month, and other recent hires in SingaporeMelbourne, and Dubai.

Michael Sergeant, Global Head of Construction, HFW:

“We have successfully doubled the size of our global construction group over the last two years and are keen to continue this growth as we further enhance our client offering. Steven and Malcolm each have over 20 years of experience advising on major arbitration and litigation proceedings. They will make a great addition to our highly regarded construction team in Hong Kong, bolstering our existing bench strength and ensuring that we continue to deliver outstanding results for our clients.”

HFW was one of the first international law firms to open an office in Hong Kong, over 45 years ago. The firm now has 18 partners and over 40 lawyers in Hong Kong.

Peter Murphy, Head of Hong Kong, HFW:

“This team hire reflects HFW’s ambitious growth strategy in Asia Pacific and globally, as well as our vision to become the leading sector-focused law firm. I am very pleased to welcome Steven, Malcolm and the team to the firm in Hong Kong.”

Steven has specific expertise in relation to general construction projects including major facilities, power plants and rail and other transport infrastructure. He also has significant cross-border experience, handling disputes for foreign clients working on major projects in China, as well as Chinese investors and contractors working outside China. Steven has represented clients in international arbitration proceedings in Hong Kong, China, Dubai, and Singapore under the rules of the ICC, HKIAC, UNCITRAL, BAC, DIAC and SIAC.

Malcolm’s experience covers a broad range of commercial contentious work in arbitration and court litigation in Hong Kong and regionally, in particular complex commercial contract disputes and large-scale construction and engineering disputes involving commercial and residential building, mining, transport, and manufacturing and power plant projects. He has represented clients in international arbitration proceedings in China, Dubai, Hong Kong, France, Singapore, Switzerland, and the US.

Steven Yip, Partner, HFW:

“We were attracted to HFW as a result of the firm’s strong sector focus and its appetite for growth across Asia. We are excited to join a firm that includes construction as one of its strategic priorities, and we are looking forward to working with our new colleagues in HFW’s construction practice in Hong Kong and across the firm’s global network.”

Malcolm Chin, Partner, HFW:

“Hong Kong is a strong market for major domestic construction disputes, and there are significant opportunities to support clients on international projects, especially in Southeast Asia and the Middle East, where international contractors and engineering consultants are very active on large infrastructure projects. With HFW’s strong Asia Pacific platform, and its global network, we will have the in-depth expertise to deliver the best outcomes for clients on local and international projects and disputes.”

HFW’s Construction group is one of the leading and largest industry practices across the UK and Europe, the Middle East, Asia, and Australia. The global team, which has doubled in size over the past two years now comprises 16 partners and almost 90 lawyers in total, advising on procurement, risk management and disputes for a wide range of clients, including contractors, owners, consultants, and insurers.

Steven and Malcolm’s arrival continues a period of sustained growth for HFW globally, with the firm adding more than 35 new Partners since the beginning of FY23, including team and Partner hires in Hong KongLondonMelbourneParisPerthPiraeusRiyadhSingapore, and Sydney. The firm also recently launched an office in Shenzhen to support its clients in China’s Greater Bay Area.

Press Contact
Senior Manager, Communications APAC