News & Events

Denis Chang’s Chambers hosts dialogues on employment and anti-discrimination law with Lewis Silkin

On 27 May and 2 June 2021, DCC Members Hectar Pun SCPatrick Szeto, Earl Deng and Tim Parker met with Lewis Silkin’s Hong Kong team to lead two discussions on the topics of restrictive covenants in employment contracts, and legal protections against discrimination. A selection of topical issues, including the enforceability of cascading restraint of trade clauses, and the latest legal position of inter-disability discrimination, took centre stage at the highly interactive sessions. 

Patrick Szeto and Earl Deng hosted the first session on 27 May 2021, which revolved around restrictive covenants in employment contracts.

Patrick traced the evolution of the courts’ approach in assessing the reasonableness of restrictive covenants, before honing in on the possibility of the Hong Kong courts applying the “blue-pencil test” to revise a non-compete clause that is held to be excessively long in duration.

Earl followed up with an analysis of the extent to which Hong Kong courts would enforce cascading restraint of trade clauses, touching on notable cases in the UK and Australia.

Pictured from left to right: Patrick Szeto and Earl Deng of Denis Chang’s Chambers (“DCC”); Catherine Leung, Partner; Katy Lee, Registered Foreign Lawyer (Employment & Immigration) (3rd from right); David Kong, Employment Associate; and Iris Chin, Employment & Immigration Associate

Hectar Pun SC and Tim Parker met with the Lewis Silkin team on 2 June 2021 for a conversation about noteworthy legal developments in anti-discrimination law.

Hectar handpicked two fascinating cases to share, including Cheuk Kit Man v FWD Life Insurance Co (Bermuda) Ltd and Others (HCA 1713/2017) in which he acted for the insurance agent who claimed that the termination of her agency agreement was discriminatory on the grounds of family status and marital status. Hectar also took some time to address the legal complexities around the protection against inter-disability discrimination in Hong Kong.

Tim Parker, who acted for the successful applicant in QT v Director of Immigration (2018) 21 HKCFAR 324, highlighted the key implications of the decision for discrimination claims in the employment context and beyond. In QTthe Court of Final Appeal held that the exclusion of same-sex couples from the Director’s policy of granting dependant visas amounts to unlawful discrimination. Tim rounded off the discussion with a summary of the latest amendments to Hong Kong’s anti-discrimination ordinances.

Denis Chang’s Chambers would like to extend our sincere thanks to the Lewis Silkin team, including partners Ms. Kathryn Weaver and Ms. Catherine Leung, for the opportunity to exchange perspectives on some of the most dynamic topics in employment and anti-discrimination law.

Thanks are also due to Geoffrey Yeung and Samantha Lau for their contribution to the two dialogue sessions.

Pictured from left to right: Hectar Pun SC and Practice Development Manager Sonia Chan of DCC; Katy Lee; Iris Chin; Tanya Mirchandani, Paralegal; Kathryn Weaver, Partner and Head of Hong Kong Office; David Kong; Catherine Leung; Tim Parker of DCC

Hectar Pun SC

Hectar was called to the Bar in 1995 and appointed Senior Counsel in 2015. His practice spans an extensive array of areas, including constitutional and administrative law, human rights law, immigration law, company and commercial law, and criminal law. He appears regularly on behalf of applicants in major judicial review proceedings.

He has considerable experience acting in employment cases, especially those involving breaches of the Discrimination Ordinances, including Cheuk Kit Man v FWD Life Insurance Co (Bermuda) Ltd and Others [2018] 5 HKLRD 259 (whether terminating employment of wife of former staff member is discriminatory based on sex and family status) and Helen Tsang v Cathay Pacific Airways Ltd [2002] 2 HKLRD 677 (differential retirement age for female and male cabin attendants).

Patrick Szeto


Patrick studied law at the University of Hong Kong and was admitted to the Hong Kong Bar in 1995. He served pupillage in Denis Chang’s Chambers and joined as a tenant in 1996 upon completion of pupillage. He has established a general mixed practice in both civil and criminal matters.

Patrick has appeared in the Court of Final Appeal on constitutional matters (adoption and right of abode), land matters (adverse possession), contract matters (conveyancing fees arrangement) and employees’ compensation matters (court’s jurisdiction on costs and power of the ECAS Board to enter into settlement).

Earl Deng


Recognised in Legal 500 Asia-Pacific 2021 as a Leading Junior in the areas of Commercial Disputes, Labour and Employment and Intellectual Property, Earl is praised for providing “incredibly incisive and technically excellent advice which is also commercially sound”.

Earl read Law at the University of Cambridge, Fitzwilliam College on a Prince Philip Scholarship Bursary and was called to the Hong Kong Bar in 2008. In addition to maintaining an active civil law practice, Earl also contributes regularly to practitioner publications, including
Chitty on Contracts (Hong Kong Specific Edn.), and Employment Law and Practice in Hong Kong.

Tim Parker


Tim Parker’s practice spans advocacy and advisory work in public international law, constitutional and administrative law, competition, and civil / commercial matters. He practices both in Hong Kong and the United Kingdom, where he is a member of Blackstone Chambers.

Tim has acted in a number of landmark constitutional and administrative law cases before the Hong Kong Court of Final Appeal and the Privy Council, including QT v Director of Immigration (2018) 21 HKCFAR 324 (striking down the Immigration Department’s exclusion of same-sex couples from its dependant visa policy). He is ranked as a leading junior practitioner in Chambers and Partners 2021 and Legal 500 Asia-Pacific 2021.

Geoffrey Yeung

Geoffrey Yeung, a Bar Scholar and a Rhodes Scholar, was called to the Bar in 2018. He has a broad practice in general civil and commercial litigation, as well as in constitutional and administrative law, land law, insolvency, companies, probate, discrimination law, and criminal law.

Geoffrey acted (with Tim Parker) for the applicant in Infinger, Nick v Hong Kong Housing Authority [2020] 1 HKLRD 1188, where the Court of First Instance allowed a judicial review application in respect of public rental housing policies which discriminated against same-sex couples. Find out more

Samantha Lau

Samantha is a Bar Scholar who was called to the Bar in 2020. She graduated from the University of Hong Kong with double first-class degrees in law and government, before attending Harvard Law School for postgraduate studies, where she graduated with a top prize for her essay on equality law. She served as a judicial assistant of the Court of Final Appeal of Hong Kong from 2018 to 2019. 

Samantha is quickly developing a predominantly civil practice with an emphasis on commercial and public law litigation as well as securities law. She has experience in advising on discrimination claims on various grounds including sex and pregnancy.