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 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)
- Deputy Judge of the High Court (March-April 2017, January-February 2018, October-December 2018 & June-Aug 2020 )
- Chairperson of the Insurance Appeals Tribunal (IAT) (2017-present)
- Chairman of the Buildings Appeal Tribunal (2015 - present)
- Deputy Chairman of the Administrative Appeals Board (2016 - present)
- Member of the Independent Police Complaints Council (2017 - present), Chairman of the Legal Committee (2018 - present)
- Member of the SFC Disciplinary Chair Committee (2018 - present)
- Member of the Estate Agents Authority (2016 - present)
- Member of the Special Committee of the Bar Association on Overseas Admissions (Civil) (2013 – present) and the Investment Committee (2015 - present)
- 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)