Frances‘ practice encompasses commercial disputes, insolvency matters, and trust and probate disputes. She has advised on and appeared in a wide range of cases in the High Court, Court of Appeal and the Court of Final Appeal. She has also provided legal opinions on Hong Kong law in court proceedings in the PRC.
After obtaining a First-Class degree majoring in Chinese classics in 2002, Frances read law at Oxford and graduated with First-Class honours in 2004. Upon completion of her LL.M. and PCLL, she joined Des Voeux Chambers in 2007 and became qualified in Hong Kong and the State of New York in 2007 and 2008 respectively.
Frances Lok of Des Voeux Chambers is widely regarded as one of the junior Bar's most dependable members and maintains a "very busy practice," within which she is particularly well known, on the one hand as "a very worthy adversary" and "a tough, fierce fighter who makes her client's stance clear," and on the other as a barrister whose assiduous attention to detail means that "her cross-examination often exposes fallacies in testimony," while "her written work is always very solid and first-rate." Particularly prominent in company, insolvency and trust and probate-related disputes.
Chambers & Partners Asia Pacific (2020)
Frances Lok of Des Voeux Chambers operates a broad commercial practice of which company and insolvency matters and trust and probate issues occupy a substantial portion. Commentators concur in identifying two key characteristics of her work. The first is a "very conscientious" attention to detail which equips her particularly well to "analyse complex points of law." The second is her "incredibly fierce and effective" cross-examination style. She was one of the counsel acting for the plaintiffs in K&L Gates v Melco Crown Gaming, a complex recovery action arising out of large-scale embezzlement on the part of a former partner of the client firm.
Chambers & Partners Asia Pacific (2019)
Frances Lok of Des Voeux Chambers is identified as a "very tenacious advocate with impeccable academic credentials," whose clear and focused presentation ensures that "she hits all the right points in a case." Particularly familiar with trust and probate issues alongside a broad commercial range, she acted successfully for CSSC Huangpu Wenchong Shipbuilding in a High Court Mareva injunction matter against Dry Bulk Services, a Hong Kong ship management company.
Chambers & Partners Asia Pacific (2018)
Company & Insolvency
- In re Fonfair Company Limited  HKCFI 358 resisted two winding-up and unfair prejudice petitions.
- Ge Qingfu & Ors v L&A International Holdings Ltd & Ors  HKCFI 808 defended a director of a listed company in a claim for breach of fiduciary duties by allegedly placing shares for an improper purpose.
- Cosmigo Ltd v Monin Asia KL SDN BHD HCMP 905/2017 (8/11/2017) obtained indemnity costs in an application to set aside a statutory demand.
- Re Hin-Pro International Logistics Ltd  1 HKLRD 1367;  5 HKLRD 282 (led by John Scott S.C.) obtained leave to amend a creditor’s winding-up petition to include post-petition debts.
- Re Leung Yat Tung HCB 2019/2000 (8/7/2016) obtained priority payment under s.38(5B) of the Bankruptcy Ordinance for a petitioning creditor.
- Luk Pak Chuen v Luk Pak Shing & Ors HCCW 116-7/2012 (12/3/2014) (led by Russell Coleman S.C.) stayed two winding-up petitions.
- Standard Bank Offshore Trust Company Jersey Ltd as Trustee of the St George’s Settlement v Belgravia Properties Ltd  5 HKLRD 337 obtained order under s.111(2) of the then Companies Ordinance (Cap. 32) for a court ordered annual general meeting.
- Passport Special Opportunities Master Fund LP & Anor v eSun Holdings Ltd & Ors HCMP6/2009 & HCA 2722/2008 (8/6/2011) (led by Charles Sussex S.C.) defended the directors of a listed company in a claim for breach of fiduciary duties by allegedly placing shares for an improper purpose.
- Re Peaktop Technologies (USA) HK Limited HCCW 87/2007 (12/12/2007) obtained leave to amend a winding-up petition on the just and equitable ground.
- UDL Holdings Ltd & Anor v Leung Yuet Keung & Anor  6 HKC 127,  HKCU 1388 (CA);  HKCU 1458 (CFA) (led by Charles Sussex S.C.) defended two directors in an action against them for breach of fiduciary duties.
- Re Labour Buildings Ltd. HCCW 721/2009 (24/5/2010) acted for the receivers in a winding-up petition.
- Hai Kuo Shipping 1201 Limited v Everwin Shipping (Hong Kong) Company Limited & Ors  HKCFI 1906 obtained judgment for the owner of a bulk carrier against the defendants for breach of a Bareboat Charterparty, Memorandum of Agreement and a Deed of Guarantee.
- Hai Kuo Shipping 1201 Limited v Everwin Shipping (Hong Kong) Company Limited & Ors  HKCFI 2080 resisted an application by the guarantor for stay of execution.
- Liu Qian v Sunway International Holdings Limited CACV 88/2017 (1/9/2017) set aside a summary judgment entered against a listed company, the claim of which was based on the company’s alleged failure to honour certain convertible notes.
- Bank of China (Hong Kong) Ltd v Ho Chi Lui & Ors HCA 10239/1999 (31/8/2016) struck out an action enforcing a guarantee for want of prosecution.
Ancillary relief, Injunctions, Enforcement of Judgments
- 黄书建 v 代威  HKCFI 1386 resisted a judgment debtor’s application to set aside the registration of a judgment of the Higher People’s Court of Beijing Municipality under the Mainland Judgments (Reciprocal Enforcement) Ordinance (Cap. 597)
- Bank of China Ltd v Yang Fan  3 HKLRD 7 resisted an application to discharge a Mareva injunction in aid of PRC proceedings.
- CSCC Huangpu Wenchong Shipbuilding Co Ltd v Dry Bulk Services Limited (formerly known as KC Maritime Limited) HCMP 1626/2016 (19/12/2016) obtained a worldwide Mareva injunction with ancillary disclosure order in aid of arbitration proceedings in London.
- Compania Sud Americana De Vapores S.A. v Hin-Pro International Logistics Limited (2016) 19 HKCFAR 586 (led by John Scott S.C.) on appeal to the Court of Final Appeal, restored the freezing injunctions granted at first instance (subsequently discharged. This decision was upheld by the Court of Appeal) under s.21M of the High Court Ordinance.
- Compania Sud Americana De Vapores S.A. v Hin-Pro International Logistics Limited HCMP1449/2014 (27/5/2015) (led by John Scott S.C.) resisted an application to strike out an originating summons seeking ancillary relief under s.21M of the High Court Ordinance.
- Zeller+Gmelin Corporation v New L1Ne Ltd HCMP 693/2015 (17/7/2015) acted for the plaintiff and obtained urgent ex parte Mareva injunction to preserve assets obtained by a fraudulent scheme.
- WCL Corporation Ltd v Zhou Jia Jin HCA 1442/2014 (17/9/2014) resisted an application to discharge an ex partes Mareva injunction.
- Step by Step Ltd & Ors v Dorothy Jane Furness & Ors HCA 2712/2005 & HCMP 838-840, 842-845, 847, 850 & 1208/2007 (12/9/2008) resisted an application to discharge an ex parte Anton Piller order.
- Pacific Concepts (HK) Ltd. v Michel Brennion & Ors HCA 2672/2008 (13/3/2009) continued various injunctive relief obtained ex parte.
- East Asiatic Shipping Ltd v Wong Wing Cheung Basil & Ors HCA 1502/2010 (7/12/2010) continued various injunctive relief obtained ex parte.
Trust and Probate
- Verralls Amy v Maria Gina La Giglia  5 HKLRD 362 obtained security for costs for the administratrix under a will (the validity of which was challenged).
- 好好國際物流股份有效公司 & Anor v Avere Trust Group Limited HCMP 586/2016 (7/2/2017) obtained judgment including declarations and injunctive relief for a Taiwanese logistic company against a trust company in Hong Kong for breach of a Trust Deed.
- Lee Sai Nam v Li Shu Chung & Anor HCA 1711/2009 (9/12/2015) resisted a claim in money had and received, knowing receipt of trust properties and dishonest assistance.
- Re Wan Sing Hon  4 HKLRD 621 application for grant ad colligenda bona and interim injunctions.
- Chinachem Charitable Foundation Ltd. v Chan Chun Chuen  4 HKLRD 149 (led by Edward Chan S.C.) obtained specific discovery under the principles stated in Re Fuld (No.2)  P 405.
- Chinachem Charitable Foundation Ltd. v Chan Chun Chuen HCAP8/2007 (15/5/2009) (led by Ian Mill Q.C. and Jonathan Harris S.C.) obtained leave to adduce handwriting expert evidence.
- Chinachem Charitable Foundation Ltd. v Chan Chun Chuen  4 HKLRD 157 (led by Ian Mill Q.C., Edward Chan S.C. and Jonathan Harris S.C.) resisted an application to adduce additional witness whose identity had previously been withheld.
- Chinachem Charitable Foundation Ltd. v Chan Chun Chuen HCAP8/2007 (10/7/2009) (led by Ian Mill Q.C., Edward Chan S.C. and Jonathan Harris S.C.) resisted an application to adduce
additional factual evidence.
- Re Wong Shui Pui HCCA 2138/2007 (18/8/2008) resisted an application under PAO (Cap. 10) s.36 and NCPR (Cap. 10A) r.44.
- Kwong Yin v Ng Ke Tee & Ors HCA 2349/2007 (17/6/2008) resisted applications to strike out a claim for want of authority and for leave to cross-examination in a strike out application.
Partnership, Contract & Employment
- Lee Wai Kei Wicky v World Family Limited HCLA 35/2015 (3/10/2017) acting for the respondent employer, resisted an appeal against the decision of the Labour Tribunal.
- K&L Gates v Melco Crown Gaming (Macau) Ltd HCA 349/2012 & HCA 1061/2011 (20/6/2016; 27/6/2016) resisted an application to strike out.
- Wang Bingqi v Lee Chee Ho, Juleus HCA 186/2010 (28/1/2014) struck out the defence & counterclaim and obtained summary judgment for the plaintiff.
- Chong Cheng Lin Courtney v Cathay Pacific Airways Ltd  1 HKLRD 10 (led by Martin Lee S.C.) acted for a former flight attendant and obtained for her retirement travel benefits pursuant to her employment contract.
- Lin Pai Ching v Labour Buildings Ltd HCA 363/2009 (7/5/2010) set aside a default judgment.
- Chow Yan Wei v Riseship Construction Co Ltd DCCJ 1738/2008 (2/3/2010) acted for the plaintiff and recovered monies due to him under a consultancy agreement.
- Big Island Construction (HK) Ltd. v Wu Yi Enterprises Co. Ltd. HCA 886/2007, HCA 1957/2005, HCA 2196/2005 (26/10/2007) obtained security for costs in all three actions for the defendant.
- Next Champion Ltd. v Ngan In Leng & Ors HCA 2194/2005 (14/2/2008); CACV91/2008 (21/10/2008) (led by John Scott S.C.) obtained summary judgment.
- Big Island Construction (HK) Ltd. v Wu Yi Development & Co. Ltd & Anor HCA 886/2007, HCA 1957/2005, HCA 2196/2005, HCA 714/2007 (10/4/2008) resisted a strike out application and obtained directions under RHC Ord. 4, r.9.
- Lam Moon Yuen v Kin Ming Holdings International Ltd. HCA 216/2008 (26/8/2009, 18/3/2010) (led by Patrick Fung S.C.) resisted a strike-out application.
Taxation and Costs
- Lee Chi Enterprises Co. Ltd. v K.C. Ho & Fong (a firm) HCMP 61/2007 (13/9/2007) acted for the plaintiff and obtained taxation of bills of costs under s.67 of the Legal Practitioners Ordinance.
- She Tsu Yi v Tsui Ki Ting & Ors HCA 1684/2004, HCMP 3290/2004 (13/12/2007) obtained indemnity costs of a trial.
- Shine Empire Ltd. v The I/O of San Po Kong Mansion & Ors HCA 3444/2001 (28/1/2011) acted for the plaintiff in the assessment of damages; argument on the appropriate level of interests to be awarded under s.48 of the High Court Ordinance.
- 皇后電子製造有限公司 對 巫平 DCMP1980/2008; DCCJ 5023/2008; DCCJ 1746/2009 (11/4/2013) conducted a trial in Chinese against a litigant in person; recovered possession of parcels of land in Tsuen Wan for the plaintiff.
- Hope View Limited v Yue Lee Fa DCMP 307/2009 (18/2/2010) acted for the owner in a claim for possession and resisted a strike-out application.
- Yu Cho Lam v Commissioner of Police & Ors  1 HKLRD 257 acted as Amicus Curiae of the Court of Appeal in a case concerning apparent bias.
- Public Inquiry convened pursuant to s.17, Merchant Shipping (Local Vessels) Ordinance (Cap. 548) (2016) acted for the Director of Marine in the Inquiry.
- Commission of Inquiry into Excess Lead Found in Drinking Water (2016) acted for a subcontractor in the Inquiry.
- Commission of Inquiry into the Collision of Vessels near Lamma Island on 1 October 2012 (led by Johnny Mok S.C.) acted for the Marine Department in the Inquiry.
- A v The Securities and Futures Commission & Anor  1 HKLRD 591 (led by Simon Westbrook S.C.) acted for the SFC in a judicial review and clarified the scope of its power to insist on an interview being audio recorded.
- Middle Temple Scholarship (2007)
- Bar Scholarship (2006)
- The Advocacy Institute of Hong Kong Prize in Advocacy (2006)
- Sir Edward Youde Memorial Fellowship (2004)
- Rhodes Scholarship (2002)