​Harneys launches new department to manage Listed Company Disputes

Harneys has established a Listco Dispute Unit (LDU), a hybrid team of commercial and litigation lawyers formed to provide a dedicated resource for listed companies, their shareholders and onshore counsel in need of expert offshore law advice.

The first offshore specialist team of its kind, Harneys’ LDU is comprised of lawyers who have amassed unparalleled experience and insights advising on the full range of issues encountered during the lifespan of a company’s listing, with particular expertise in managing disputes involving listed companies. The team currently represents more listed companies in active litigation than any other offshore firm, and has advised on the offshore aspects of the highest-profile activist matters involving Hong Kong- and US-listed companies and fair value disputes in the Cayman Islands in recent years.

Head of Harneys’ Asia Litigation and Restructuring Group, Ian Mann, commented: “With nearly three quarters of Hong Kong listcos incorporated offshore, we have experienced an increasing demand for a dedicated unit to support them and their shareholders in managing disputes. In addition to being familiar with the corporate culture of Hong Kong listcos, our team is passionate about defending our clients’ interests and we believe it’s our duty to actively support them in dealing with these types of difficult situations. Together with our BVI, Cayman and Bermuda based litigators, we provide our clients with a 24-hour seamless service, meaning they can rely on us to provide round-the-clock support even in the most challenging and unexpected circumstances.”

Harneys’ LDU lawyers are qualified in multiple jurisdictions and have leading international law firm backgrounds, both contentious and non-contentious. The multilingual group is comprised of members who speak English, Cantonese and Mandarin, and all of its pleadings, drafting and advocacy services are available in Chinese as well as English. The team also has strong relationships with other key service providers in this area, including onshore counsel, proxy solicitors, public relations specialists and other professionals. 

Their wide-ranging expertise includes advising listed companies and their shareholders at various stages of their growth, from initial public offerings, day-to-day compliance and corporate governance issues, to mitigating the risks involved in delisting. They regularly attend contentious EGMs and board meetings and frequently advise on defensive strategies to neutralise proxy battles, activist challenges and hostile take-over attempts, including litigation when necessary.

Harneys is one of the most dynamic and fastest growing offshore law firms in Asia. Its Hong Kong team of 44 lawyers is the largest of any offshore law firm, while its Shanghai and Singapore teams are both undergoing significant expansion. Its Asia litigation team of 25 lawyers remains unrivalled in terms of size, expertise and diversity of work, and is widely recognised as the lodestar of the offshore litigation landscape in the region.