Hong Kong

Published 11 December 2019


Hong Kong's data bar

Even during the first wave of massive protests that had just died down when GDR visited Hong Kong to carry out this survey, the city has remained one of the world’s premier centres of international business. Against that backdrop sits a competitive legal market and a wealth of data issues to deal with.

Most firms worth their salt advise regionally, with China and Singapore being especially important. There is also a growing emphasis on the emerging South East Asian markets such as Indonesia and Malaysia. Data localisation developments in Vietnam and a tough new data protection law in Thailand also make for interesting work, lawyers say.

Hong Kong’s international outlook, combined with its British history, means that the legal market is dominated by big international names. For now, that dominance seems set to continue, with only a small number of local firms vying for work. The entrance of the Big Four hasn’t had the disruptive effect it was expected to, either, observers say. One thing that is expected to change is a greater number of lawyers specialising in data as it becomes increasingly valuable – in both a defensive and positive way – to companies operating there.

Baker McKenzie

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The international powerhouse’s Hong Kong presence offers clients a holistic approach to data work, helping clients to capitalise on the value of data while also complying with relevant rules.

Deacons

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Deacons’ IP practice, headed by Charmaine Koo, covers data matters in Hong Kong and mainland China.

DLA Piper

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DLA Piper’s Hong Kong office takes an international approach to data work, helping the many multinational companies that operate there to navigate the different realities of data regimes across Asia.

Hogan Lovells

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Data work within Hogan Lovells’ Hong Kong office sits in the firm’s IP and TMT practices, led by partners Mark Parsons and Eugene Low; several peers cite Parsons as an outstanding practitioner.

King & Wood Mallesons

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King & Wood Mallesons is Hong Kong’s second-largest local firm, and tackles data work through several different practice areas.

Mayer Brown

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The US giant operates out of Hong Kong as Mayer Brown, following a tie-up with large local firm Johnson Stokes & Master in 2008.

Norton Rose Fulbright

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Norton Rose’s Hong Kong data practice head Anna Gamvros receives high praise from her peers.

Pinsent Masons

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Pinsent Masons’ Hong Kong data practice is predominantly advisory, with a focus on assisting clients on two fronts: GDPR compliance for companies operating out of Hong Kong and compliance with the China’s cybersecurity regime.

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