Firm Profile


China Trade and Investment


Deacons’ China Practice Group has served clients from all parts of the world in their investment and business transactions in mainland China. Described by Asia Pacific Legal 500 as “extremely well connected”, the Group has assisted foreign companies in the establishment and maintenance of a presence in China to engage in business activities in a wide range of industries including manufacturing, infrastructure, insurance, financial services, construction, distribution, and telecommunications. The vast spectrum of China experience gained over the last 25 years has given the Group the ability to structure and manage substantial projects involving complex issues.


From a network of offices in Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Hong Kong, our China Practice Group lawyers provide clients with comprehensive and practical solutions for handling issues arising in business and investment transactions in China. Our global clients range from key Fortune 500 multinationals to start-up companies engaged in business in a wide variety of sectors such as industry, real estate, information technology, infrastructure and services (including banking/finance, insurance and distribution).


Deacons was awarded Hong Kong Law Firm of the Year by Asian Legal Business China in 2012, 2011, 2010, 2009, 2008 and 2006.


Why choose Deacons?


With more than 60 lawyers and professionals, Deacons’ China Practice Group has extensive experience and an in-depth knowledge of the regulatory framework affecting foreign investment in China. Many of our lawyers are not only substantially experienced in China matters but also in their home country jurisdictions, including the United States, England, Australia and Singapore. Our internationally diverse team of lawyers is therefore ideally placed to advise clients on the PRC legal environment as well as the cross-border impact of business dealings in China, including those involving the Closer Economic Partnership Arrangement between Mainland and Hong Kong (CEPA). Our lawyers are fluent in Mandarin as well as other major Chinese dialects and are capable of preparing Chinese language documents in accordance with Chinese customs and requirements.


Throughout the years, Deacons has established excellent relationships with ministry-level government departments in Beijing and other government authorities in China. These solid and extensive relationships with government authorities and institutions not only enable us to provide clients with accurate advice on the latest developments in business regulations but also help us to address issues arising in the government approval process in a timely manner. 


A number of our lawyers have received official appointments from the PRC authorities. A senior lawyer is a member of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conferences (CPPCC) of Guangzhou and Haidian. Two of our senior lawyers are China-Appointed Attesting Officers and are authorised to attest documents for use in the PRC. A recent edition ofAsia Pacific Legal 500 said, “Deacons China-appointed attesting officer Franki Cheung is a good choice for CEPA (the Closer Economic Partnership Arrangement between Mainland and Hong Kong) related issues.” Others have been named to arbitrator panels by the China International Economic and Trade Arbitration Commission (CIETAC) and other Chinese arbitration authorities, and act regularly as arbitrators in PRC-related commercial disputes. 

A unique feature of our China Practice Group is that we are the first foreign law firm in mainland China to have received official approval from the Ministry of Justice to establish three representative offices in China. We operate offices in the major economic centres of Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou. Thanks to this network, clients are assured of receiving advice that is up-to-date and time-efficient. In recognition of the quality of our services, Deacons’ China Practice Group has been listed among the high-ranking practices in successive issues of Asia Pacific Legal 500.


The Chambers Asia 2012 edition cites “Deacons is the ideal legal adviser both for Chinese companies who want to explore overseas markets, and for foreign companies who want to invest in China.” Deacons was cited in Law Firms in Greater China (an Asia Law & Practice publication) as having “… one of the largest PRC presences and practice team among Hong Kong firms.” It also stated that Deacons is “active in practically all commercial areas in China.”


Services offered include:


  • Banking and project finance
  • Company formation and corporate services
  • Corporate finance including securities (“B” and “H” shares, Hong Kong and offshore listings and private placements) and venture capital investment
  • Dispute resolution including mediation, arbitration and litigation
  • Employment and labour
  • Financial services including insurance and fund management
  • Foreign direct investment including joint ventures, wholly foreign-owned enterprises, holding companies, branches and representative offices
  • Information technology
  • Infrastructure and construction projects including water, tollroads and power projects
  • Insolvency and debt restructuring
  • Insurance (both contentious and non-contentious)
  • Intellectual property protection and enforcement
  • Land transactions and property development
  • Media and entertainment
  • Mergers & acquisitions and corporate restructuring
  • Tax planning and advice
  • Telecommunications


Deacons is the first foreign law firm in mainland China to have received official approval from the Ministry of Justice to establish three representative offices in China.

Having been operating in the PRC for some 20 years, Deacons has established solid and extensive relationships with the government and key officials in the PRC. This is demonstrated by the fact that two lawyers at Deacons are China-appointed attesting officers authorised by the Ministry of Justice to attest documents in Hong Kong for use in the PRC, whereas normally only one lawyer is authorised for each firm.


Deacons was awarded the Asian Legal Business China Hong Kong Law Firm of the Year (2006, 2008-2012).


Deacons was described as ‘responsive and knowledgeable’. ‘(Deacons) understands the interaction between legal matters and practical business issues. The practice has a strong mix of traditional FDI, M&A, outbound investment by Chinese companies and general commercial advice’, Asia Pacific Legal 500 (2011 edition). In its 2005 edition Deacons is stated as – ‘The firm has ‘great experience of the way business is done in China’, ‘very good contacts with Chinese authorities’ and its lawyers are ‘knowledgeable and creative problem solvers’, say clients.’


In the same publication, Deacons’ has secured the top rankings in the areas of WTO/International Trade (2006-2009 editions).


Deacons was quoted in Law Firm in Greater China (2004 edition) as having ‘…one of the largest PRC presences and practice teams among Hong Kong firms.’ It also stated that Deacons is ‘active in practically all commercial areas in China.’


Franki Cheung (partner) has been acknowledged eleven times as a leading lawyer in the area of Corporate/M&A in the PRC in Asia Pacific Legal 500 (2001-2012 editions).


In the same publication, Franki has been recommended as a leading lawyer in the area of Dispute Resolution in the PRC (2007-2011 editions).


In the Global Counsel 3000 (2003 edition), Deacons was ranked a recommended firm for Banking & Finance and Dispute Resolution in the PRC.


Notable Practitioners


Franki Cheung


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