James Wood 吳占士
Call : 2019 (HK), 1996 (Cwlth)
Set : Main
Practice Areas
ArbitrationCommercial LawCompany and InsolvencyCriminal LawEmploymentFamily LawProbate and AdministrationPublic International LawTax Law
Email : [email protected] Secretary : Nelly Kwok [email protected]

James is an experienced litigator whose legal career in Hong Kong spans more than two decades. His association with Denis Chang’s Chambers goes back to 1993, when he served as a summer pupil in the chambers.

James is recommended in both Chambers and Partners and Legal 500. His professional accolades as a litigator include the following:

“James is excellent both on paper and in court. He has extensive experience and operates at silk level.” – Legal 500, Commercial Disputes (2023)
The ‘superb’ and ‘very clever’ James Wood’” – Legal 500 (2018)
A well reputed litigator, he advises clients on a variety of multi-jurisdictional restructuring and insolvency proceedings” – Chambers and Partners (2019)
James Wood is praised by commentators as a good operator who does some good work, which he is passionate about” – Chambers and Partners (2019)
James is a former partner of Lipman Karas, a law firm that is acclaimed for its “litigation strength, with one saying: ‘They’re the firm that drives the development of Hong Kong cross-border insolvency case law’ and ‘quite renowned’ for handling insolvency litigation, having ‘quite a slick operation’.” – Chambers and Partners (2019)
Specialist litigation firm … where James Wood and Jason Karas are key names” – Legal 500 (2017)
Lipman Karas is a leader in insolvency work where James Wood is excellent” – Legal 500 (2015)
Peers are keen to praise James Wood’s expertise … describing him as ‘very smart’, while another source comments: ‘He’s an academic guy, I like him a lot, he’s very hard-working’.” – Chambers Asia-Pacific (2016)
James Wood is very competent and a worthy candidate as a leading individual …. noted for his contentious and non-contentious regulatory work as well as his growing reputation in restructuring and insolvency matters. Sources praise his in-house experience with a global investment bank…” – Chambers Asia-Pacific (2012)

James’s pupillage was reduced to the statutory minimum of three months, which he completed with Mr Russell Coleman SC, immediately prior to his Lordships’s appointment as a Judge of the High Court. James was most recently a Solicitor Advocate and Partner at Lipman Karas for seven years between 2012 and 2018 before transferring to the Hong Kong Bar. Prior to joining Lipman Karas, he practised as a financial services and disputes lawyer with Freshfields, Goldman Sachs and O’Melveny & Myers, where he acted on some of the best-known insolvencies and restructurings arising out of the global financial crisis.

His cases are often substantial and multi-jurisdictional in nature, involving legal proceedings in forums around the world, including in Australia, Bermuda, the British Virgin Islands, Canada, the Cayman Islands, the Channel Islands, England, Indonesia, Mauritius, the PRC, Singapore, Switzerland, and the United States.

Barrister (Hong Kong) (2019 – present)
Solicitor Advocate (Hong Kong) (2015 – 2019)
Solicitor (England & Wales) (2003 – present)
Solicitor (Hong Kong) (1998 – 2019)
Barrister & Solicitor (Commonwealth, Ontario) (1996 – present)
CEDR Accredited Mediator (2010)

B.A.C., The Law Society of Upper Canada, Toronto (1996)
B.A., St Paul’s College, Dean’s Honour List (1991), LL.B., Robson Hall, Faculty of Law, 1st Quartile Ranking, The University of Manitoba, Canada (1994)
East China University of Political Science & Law, Shanghai, PRC, Exchange Student (1993)
St Paul’s High School (1987)

Hong Kong Club (Member)
HKICPA Restructuring & Insolvency Faculty (Member)
HKU Sandy Bay RFC (Chairman Senior Section)
Hong Kong Football Club (Member & Mini Rugby Coach)
Hong Kong Family Law Association (Member)
Hong Kong Inland Revenue Board of Review (Member 2011 – 2016)
Hong Kong National Rugby Team (Player 2000-2007, 35 international appearances)
INSOL International (Member)
Law Society of Hong Kong Panel of Prosecutors for Solicitors Disciplinary Proceedings (2016 – 2018)
Mont Choisy Golf Club, Mauritius (Member)
Turnaround Management Association (Past Director)
Transport Department Personalized Vehicle Registration Marks Vetting Committee (Member)
Rosary Church, Kowloon (Reader)

Corporate Rescue & Restructuring (Parts 1 and 2), Lecturer HKICPA Professional Diploma in Insolvency, June 2019
Cross-Border Insolvency (Parts 1 and 2), Lecturer HKICPA Professional Diploma in Insolvency, May 2019
Trading Administrations & Receiverships, Speaker HKICPA, August 2018
Cross-border Insolvency: On-shore vs. Off-shore Restructuring, INSOL, African Round Table Speaker, Mauritius, November 2017
Developments in Cross-Border Insolvency, Speaker HKICPA, December 2014
Protecting Legal Professional Privilege”, Hong Kong Lawyer, May 2011
Recovering Fees & Disbursements of Insolvency Practitioners”, Hong Kong Lawyer, October 2010

Administrative and Public Law

In the Matter of A Solicitor, CAMP 115 /2018 / [2019] HKCA 618 (instructed by the Law Society of Hong Kong as advocate in application for leave to appeal the penalties imposed by the Solicitor’s Disciplinary Tribunal)

In the Matter of Wong Yiu Kwong (Stanley) (instructed by the Law Society of Hong Kong as external prosecutor for Solicitor’s Disciplinary Tribunal proceedings)

Y v The Law Society of Hong Kong [2017] 2 HKLRD 950 (represented the Law Society of Hong Kong as advocate in judicial review hearing regarding Rehabilitation of Offenders Ordinance, Cap. 297 and Legal Practitioners Ordinance, Cap. 159)

Zhu Li v The Law Society of Hong Kong [2017] 3 HKLRD 2017 (represented the Law Society of Hong Kong as instructing solicitor in judicial review hearing of its decision not to investigate a complaint of alleged misconduct)


TCL Moka International Ltd v Universal Media Corp/Slovakia/SRO, HKIAC/15044 (represented the respondent in HKIAC administered arbitration; international sale of goods dispute)

L v M, HCCT 16/2016 (led by Russell Coleman SC at hearing of plaintiff’s application to challenge the jurisdiction of an arbitral tribunal)

Hesham Tallatt M. Al-Warraq v Republic of Indonesia, UNCITRAL Arbitration (advising on public international law issues relating to investor state arbitration)

Civil Fraud

Adyahawarna Bumi Pelangi v YB (HK) Trading Co. Ltd. [2018] HKCFI 1863 (email fraud)

Lembaga Penjamin Simpanan & Ors v First Global Funds Ltd PCC & Ors, SC/COM/MOT/00507/ 2018, Supreme Court of Mauritius, Commercial Division (legal adviser to Lembaga Penjamin Simpanan, the Indonesian Deposit Insurance Corporation, and its past and present CEO; defending alleged fraud; application to set aside order for leave to serve plaint out of the jurisdiction; led by Patrice Doger De Speville SC of the Mauritian Bar)

Motorola Solutions Credit Company LLC v Kemal Uzan & Ors, HCA 2232/2013 (represented court appointed receivers (Deloitte partners) as advocate in hearing of application for retrospective revocation of powers of attorney)

Cosimo Borrelli as Trustee of the Sino-Forest Corporation Litigation Trust) v Allen Tak Yuen Chan & Ors, HCMP 1987/2016 (represented the litigation trustee; US$3 billion civil fraud; breach of freezing order; application for leave to commit the defendants for contempt)

Trustees in Bankruptcy of Johnwyn Leung & Julie Lee v Leung & Ors, HCMP 1322/2012 (represented Cosimo Borrelli and Jacqueline Walsh (the trustees in bankruptcy) as both advocate and as instructing solicitor; HK$150 million worldwide freezing order; action for unfair preferences and fraudulent disposition of assets)

Falcon Private Bank v Borry & Anor, HCA 1934/2011 (represented the bank as both advocate and as instructing solicitor; action for knowing receipt and constructive trust; application for freezing order; defended strike out application; bias application)

Commercial & Company Law

Wing Hong Construction Holdings Ltd (In Liq) v Hui Chi Yung, HCA 1423 /2015 (representing the insolvent company as advocate in action against former directors for breach of duties and fraudulent disposition of assets, including at hearings of ancillary applications for expert evidence and security for costs)

Private equity fund in share purchase agreement dispute (breach of contract; breach of exclusivity period; bad faith; pre-action discovery)

Employment & Partnership Disputes

Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu (Greater China) Holdings Ltd & Anor v Wang Pengcheng & Ors, HCMP 2648/2015 (unrep, 28 Oct 2015) (represented Deloitte; breach of partnership agreement arbitration; application for ancillary injunctive relief in support of arbitration)

Numerous employee investigations (as an external counsel and as in-house lawyer)

Probate & Administration of Trusts

ChinaChem Charitable Foundation Ltd v Chan Chun Chuen & Secretary for Justice, HCAP 8/2007 (represented the administrators of the estate of Nina Wang; applications for recovery of administrators’ fees and expenses and the appointment of a costs assessor)

Re ZVM Trust (advising the trustees regarding application for production of trust documents relevant to breach of trust proceedings in the Eastern Caribbean Court of Appeal and the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council [2018] UKPC 21)

Public International Law

Secretary of Justice v Rafat Ali Rizvi & Ors, HCMP 2257/2010 (unrep, 30 Jan 2014, Hong Kong CFI) (novel public international law issues regarding the ICCPR (International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights), fair and equitable treatment, and UNCITRAL arbitration under the Organization of Islamic Conference Investment Treaty; instructed Samuel Wordsworth QC, Prof Malcolm Shaw QC and Prof Sean Murphy of the English Bar)

First Global Funds Limited v Republic of Indonesia (2016) SCJ 132, Supreme Court of Mauritius (application for claim to state immunity and forum non conveniens; instructed Patrice Doger De Speville SC of the Mauritian Bar; successfully opposed application for leave to appeal decision to the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council (Lords Mance, Clarke & Toulson) on 1 March 2017)

Restructuring & Insolvency

In the Matter of The Grande Holdings Limited [2018] HKCFI 507 (represented liquidators as sole advocate at first instance and on appeal together with Charles Manzoni SC; application for liquidators’ costs and interim payment of costs on account; application for production of documents)

Re Pacific Andes International Holdings Limited (Hong Kong legal adviser to global corporate group in multi-jurisdictional insolvency and restructuring case involving proceedings in Hong Kong (HCCW 367 & 368/2015), US Bankruptcy Court (SDNY), Bermuda, BVI, Singapore, Cayman Islands and Peru)

Re Joint & Several Liquidators of Rennie Produce (Aust) Pty Ltd [2016] HKEC 2012 (represented liquidators as advocate at hearing of application for common law recognition and assistance; precedent production orders; Australian letter of request)

Re China Medical Technologies, Inc., HCCW 435/2012, [2014] 2 HKLRD 997, [2014] HKCFI 1563 (represented petitioner/liquidators as both advocate and as instructing solicitor in substantial cross-border insolvency proceedings involving civil fraud, actions for breach of duties, misfeasance, professional negligence, knowing receipt and dishonest assistance, private examinations, Mareva injunctions, applications to extend validity of protective writs, application for arrest warrant, production and bankers’ book orders, letters of request, asset recovery, etc)

Re LDK Solar Company Ltd [2015] 1 HKLRD 458 (advised Cayman Islands provisional liquidators together with Michael Crystal QC on scheme of arrangement and cross-border debt restructuring)

Joint Official Liquidators of A Co. v B Co. & C Co., [2014] 4 HKLRD 374 (represented the Cayman Islands liquidators as instructing solicitor; first Hong Kong judgment on common law recognition and assistance)

Re Lehman Brothers Securities Asia Ltd (No. 1) [2010] HKLRD 43, (No. 2) [2010] HKLRD 58 (represented the liquidators as instructing solicitor at hearings of applications for recovery of liquidators’ fees and expense, appointment of independent assessor, interim payments)

Re FU JI Food and Catering Services Ltd, HCCW 621/2009 (represented provisional liquidators; sanction of scheme of arrangement; cross-border judicial assistance; issuance of Hong Kong letter of request to Grand Court of the Cayman Islands; applications for court sanction of asset disposals)


HKMA v CEO of A Private Bank (represented CEO in regulatory investigation of alleged misselling and failure to supervise business; proposed suspension withdrawn; no further action taken)

Securities & Futures Commission v Lehman Brothers Asia Ltd (In Liq), HCMP 1081/2009 (represented liquidators of Lehman Brothers (partners of KMPG ); regulatory investigation of alleged misselling of minibonds; hearing of application for production of documents; claim for legal professional privilege)

Substantial contentious and non-contentious securities law experience (both in private practice and as in-house lawyer with Goldman Sachs, including representing clients in regulatory investigations in Hong Kong, Japan, Korea, Singapore, and Indonesia)

White Collar Crime

ICAC Investigation (represented suspect in connection with investigation into alleged breaches of the Elections (Corrupt and Illegal Conduct) Ordinance, Cap 554; caution interview; negotiated agreement not to prosecute; formal caution administered)

Secretary of Justice v Rafat Ali Rizvi & Ors, HCMP 2257/2010 (unrep, 30 Jan 2014) (application for mutual legal assistance under Cap. 525; registration of external criminal confiscation order)

Mutual legal assistance case Royal Court of Jersey (resisting applications to vary saisies judiciaries, application to enforce external criminal confiscation order in Royal Court of Jersey against Jersey trust holding Singapore real estate assets)

Extradition case (application to UK Home Secretary for special extradition arrangement pursuant to Extradition Act)

Re China Medical Technologies, Inc., HCCW 435/2012 (represented liquidators; assisting Commercial Crime Bureau with investigation into suspected conspiracy to defraud and offences under Prevention of Bribery Ordinance, Cap. 201)

Re Lehman Brothers Asia Ltd (In Liq) (represented liquidators of Lehman Brothers with Commercial Crime Bureau investigation into the sale of minibonds)

James Wood Quoted in Bloomberg Article: “The Hong Kong Judge Who Puts Fear Into China’s Deadbeat Builders”


Well worth the read: BVI court averts comity disaster by refusing to injunct China Properties Group’s liquidators but the cross-border war might not be over


Legal 500 Asia-Pacific 2024: James Wood recognised as a “Leading Junior” in Commercial Disputes


Land and Property Law — Court Orders Removal of Barrier to the Sale of the Goldin Financial Global Centre


Legal 500 Asia-Pacific 2023: James Wood recognised a “Leading Junior” in Commercial Disputes


Hong Kong Winding-up Orders — Back to the Future?


James Wood discusses the recent decision of Re Lamtex Holdings Ltd, which could be a “watershed moment” for Hong Kong insolvency law and practice


A further decision applying the principles enunciated in Lamtex – The Times They Are A-Changin’ in Hong Kong


James Wood invited by the Hong Kong Institute of Certified Public Accountants to co-present webinar on trading administrations and receiverships
James Wood acts for Freeman Fintech in HK$3billion scheme of arrangement


Court rules in favour of Receivers in multi-billion dollar Goldin Financial case


Common law cross-border assistance: proof of settled practice in the foreign liquidators’ “home” jurisdiction may be required 


Hong Kong Court of First Instance refuses USD 600 million injunction application


Liquidators do not require Court Approval for Litigation Funding Agreements