Hong Kong’s real estate industry has been a melting pot the past years, even if the government has introduced a number of cooling measures, prices have increased insanely and property has become some of the most expensive in the world. It’s not strange why some Hong Kongers seek financing to invest overseas.
Some people still prefer to buy property in Hong Kong, there’s a reason why this crown jewel attracts investors from all over the world. Low taxes, warm breezes, a business climate that makes your adrenaline flow.
If you decide to buy property in Hong Kong, it’s highly recommended to hire a Conveyancing lawyer, that can help you with communication, to transfer the title and more. Therefore, I’ve written this article where I present some of the top Conveyancing lawyers in Hong Kong.
a. There are hundreds of firms operating in Hong Kong so I’ve decided to write about both multinational firms and smaller local firms, as these serve different types of clients. If you’re dealing with bigger transactions and involved in commercial property, then perhaps Baker McKenzie is the right firm for you. If you’re an individual investor who want to buy residential real estate, then you should probably look elsewhere.
b. The Conveyancing lawyers are listed in a random order.
1. Hastings & Co.
Founded by John Hastings in 1904, Hastings & Co enjoy a long history of the early years of Hong Kong. In 1967, after the firm admitted its first Chinese solicitor, the team is now all Chinese. The managing partner, Yuen Hong Kong, has 30 years of experience in law and is also responsible for the firm’s Shenzhen branch office. The team currently has more than 30 lawyers on board.
According to the firm, the property and Conveyancing department is one of their strongest. They provide a wide range of services including sale and purchase of commercial, residential, and industrial properties, tenancy matters for commercial and residential purposes, financing, and project development.
This firm serves both corporations and individuals. If you need want to own a place of your own in Hong Kong, this firm can help you.
5th Floor, Gloucester Tower, The Landmark,
11 Pedder Street, Central, Hong Kong.
2. Cheng, Yeung
Cheng, Yeung & Co was founded in 1984 by Benny Y. B. Yeung and Clarence C. K. Cheng. Although the two still works at the firm, the managing role has been passed to the younger generation: Ellie O. L. Chiu and Eliza L. S. Chang, who have both been with the firm for more than 25 years. The team consists of 20 lawyers.
The firm handles all types of commercial, industrial, and residential property transactions, including transfer of title, financing, and ensuing Conveyancing matters involving buildings under the Government Built Housing Scheme and buildings owned by Civil Servants’ Cooperative Building Societies.
As the firm handles all types of property, they serve both corporate and individuals.
Suite 1302, 13th Floor, Tower One,
Admiralty Centre, 18 Harcourt Road,
3. Weir & Associates
Weir & Associates is a business law firm founded in 1984 by Shane F. Weir. The firm is now managed by 3 partners: Page T. H. Wai, Chris Short and Cheonghar Wong. Along with 30 staff from around the world, the firm has established an international association with firms in Asia, Europe, and North America. Their lawyers can also communicate in multiple languages and practice in other countries.
Weir & Associates offer Conveyancing, leasing and property based financings in Hong Kong. The firm also helps clients to maintain and dispute landlord and tenant relationships in commercial real estate.
As a business law firm, Weir & Associates mainly offer legal services relevant to business.
16/F Tak Shing House, Theatre Lane, 20 Des Voeux Road, Central, Hong Kong Island, Hong Kong
4. Woo Kwan Lee & Lo
After a merger between two law firms, Wo Kwan Lee & Lo was officially founded in 1962. All four are highly experienced lawyers. The firm has grown over the years from less than 50 staff to more than 300 people.
The firm now has more than 70 lawyers and has 2 offices in Hong Kong and 1 office in Beijing. The current managing partner, William C.Y. Kwan was admitted as a solicitor in Hong Kong and England & Wales in 1962.
He specializes in Conveyancing and property development projects. Therefore, the firm’s Conveyancing department is relatively large with 24 full-time lawyers and more than supporting staffs covering full service in real estate.
Wo Kwan Lee & Lo offers a full range service covering sale and purchase, mortgage, property management, drafting of contracts, completing an application for approval, and land development.
As the firm offers residential, industrial, and commercial buildings, it aims to target both companies and individuals like you and me.
25th Floor, Jardine House
1 Connaught Place, Central
5. Mayer Brown
Mayer Brown has been established for over 125 years and has multiple offices around the world. Its Hong Kong branch is one of the largest and longest-established law firms in Hong Kong with 200 staff. The managing partner, Terence Tung has extensive knowledge in law practicing.
As Mayer Brown targets corporate, its offered services include corporate leasing, including portfolios and sale/leaseback transactions, cross-border facilities management and outsourcing, investment management, and more.
Their clients include pension funds and advisers; private equity funds; commercial, investment and industrial banks; governments; statutory bodies; developers; and multinational corporations. Their offered services also target commercial and industrial properties.
10 Chater Rd, Central, Hong Kong
6. Baker McKenzie
Established by Russell Baker and John Mckenzie in 1949 in the US, Baker Mckenzie now has 77 offices in 47 countries and 1608 partners.
In the Hong Kong branch, under the leadership of the chairman, Lawrence K.H. Lee, and managing partner, Milton W. M. Cheng, the branch employs more than 100 people. Mr. Cheng has consistently been recognized as a leading lawyer in his field by Chambers Asia Pacific, Legal 500 Asia Pacific and IFLR1000. The firm also has been named as the “Number One Global Law Firm for Real Estate” by Euromoney for eight consecutive years.
As Baker Mckenzie is a large global company, it offers services regarding the construction of shopping malls, hotels and other commercial sites, real estate finance, real estate tax, mergers & acquisition and more.
Baker Mckenzie is a global large scale law firm and only handle real estate transactions for corporations. The real estate they have in hand are mainly commercial and industrial.
14th Floor, Hutchison House,
10 Harcourt Road, Central,
Hong Kong SAR
Established in 1851, Deacons is the oldest law firm in Hong Kong. The firm took its name from Victor Deacon who arrived in the burgeoning British colony of Hong Kong in 1880 to join William Bridges’ legal practices established in 1851.
Over the decades, the firm has grown into the leading full-service commercial law firm. The firm has more than 600 staffs on board. The managing partner, Lilian Chiang, is also head of the property department. She is well known in the field and has strong connections with many of the major players.
Deacon’s property team has more than 50 staff and aims to offer the best service. Their services range from real estate consulting, landlord and tenant management, financing, joint venture, and more.
Deacons focus on commercial real estate transactions such as hotels and shopping malls for companies.
18 Chater Road
Central, Hong Kong
8. Clifford Chance
Clifford Chance is a multinational law firm who can trace its roots back to the City of London in the early 1800s. The Clifford Chance today is the result of the merger between Coward Chance firm and Clifford Turner firm in 1987.
The Hong Kong branch was open in 1980 and it was Clifford Chance’s first branch in the Asia Pacific region. They have more than 150 lawyers in their Hong Kong office. The current regional managing partner, Geraint Hughs, has spent 18 years in Asia Pacific. He was featured in the top 50 lawyers in Asia by ALB.
Clifford Chance offers services in real estate investment, financing, property development, real estate tax, and more
As Clifford Chance is a large scale law firm, it also targets corporations and offers commercial real estate opportunities.
Clifford Chance, Hong Kong
27th Floor Jardine House
One Connaught Place
9. King & Wood Mallesons
KWM’s history can be traced back to 1832 in Australia. Today, KWM has over 2000 lawyers in 27 locations around the world. The Hong Kong branch is one of the biggest offices and has won Most Innovative Law Firm Asia-Pacific in the Financial Times Asia-Pacific Innovative Lawyers Awards in 2014.
Hayden Flinn, Co-Chief Executive and managing partner in Hong Kong office, is a well-recognized figure in the real estate funds field. He has been in Hong Kong for more than 15 years.
KWM in Hong Kong offers sale & purchase, real estate finance, property management, real estate construction and development, investment and trusts, lease management and more.
KWM offers residential, commercial and industrial properties, but mainly for corporations.
13/F Gloucester Tower, The Landmark, 15 Queen’s Road Central, Hong Kong
Linklaters is a multinational law firm headquartered in London. Founded in 1838, Linklaters now has 5270 staffs in 20 different countries. The Hong Kong branch was established in 1976 and now has a team of over 200 lawyers. Nathalie Hobbs, the banking partner and regional managing partner, has years of law experience but she specializes in banking transactions.
With Linklaters’ extensive knowledge and tools, they provide consultation, banking, mergers and acquisitions, real estate, corporate finance, tax, funds, securitization, derivatives, litigation and asset finance and more.
They offer services related to commercial properties, but one of their strengths is in the hotel and leisure sector. They have specialists regarding both hotel and leisure and commercial sectors.
10th Floor, Alexandra House
11. Iu, Lai & Li
Iu, Lai, Li firm was founded in 1979 in Hong Kong by Messrs Patrick Iu and Dominic Lai. In 1980, after the firm added corporate finance department, the firm changed its name to Iu, Lai, Li. Currently, Dominic Lai is the only founder serving in the firm. He has more than 35 years of law experience.
The firm of 36 lawyers is separated into four departments: corporate finance & commercial, Conveyancing, litigation, and China department.
Since its establishment, the firm has dealt with all types of real estate matters in Hong Kong. The services offered include project Conveyancing, financing, acquisition and sale, negotiation, tenancy matters and more.
Iu, Lai, Li dealt with all real estate matters regarding commercial, residential, and industrial properties. Their clients include different sizes from property developers to individuals.
Rooms 2201, 2201A & 2202, 22nd Floor, Tower I, Admiralty Centre,
No. 18 Harcourt Road, Hong Kong
12. Li & Partners
Established in the mid-90s by the first PRC lawyer who passed the Hong Kong legal qualification, Weibin Li, Li & Partners primarily provide legal services in corporate matters but as well as Conveyancing. Li is also the first lawyer who is qualified to practice law in the PRC, Hong Kong, England and Wales and New York State of the United States. The firm has more than 30 lawyers.
Li & Partners can offer full service on all property matters but mainly include drafting sale & purchase agreement and landlord & tenant agreement, property transfer, arranging auctions, and more.
They handle both residential and commercial properties for corporations and individuals.
Address: 22nd Floor, World-Wide House, Central, Hong Kong
How much does it cost to hire a Conveyancing lawyer in Hong Kong?
Solicitor’s fees differ depending on the firm you choose and the seniority of the person who’s involved. Normally, the rates range between 0.075% – 0.125% of the purchase price.
This is in line with the fixed rates charged by K.C. Ho & Fong for example, where the fees range between HKD 2100 – 7000, depending on the seniority of the person.
Keep in mind that you also need to register the property in your name at the Land Registry, where an extra (negligible) fee of a couple of hundred Hong Kong dollars are added.