Commercial Litigation and Dispute Resolution Lawyers in Hong Kong

Commercial litigation lies at the very heart of Gall’s day-to-day practice.

Our commercial litigation lawyers have extensive experience in dispute resolution through the mediums of litigation, arbitration and mediation gained in all forums in Hong Kong and help clients navigate their case by providing a strong tailor-made commercial litigation strategy.

Contractual disputes, shareholder disputes, board disputes, and fraud are common types of commercial disputes encountered by companies that we regularly advise.  Commercial litigators at Gall take a practical approach and offer realistic options and solutions for clients in order to help them to make an informed decision.      

Commercial disputes do not always need to be resolved in Court. Our commercial litigation lawyers are experienced in advising clients on how to initiate settlement negotiations and are skilled at formulating the right strategies on a case-by-case basis. We also have strong relationships with external counsel including overseas lawyers, accountants, investigators, and liquidators. 

Our commercial litigation lawyers are specialists in the following areas:

  • Cross border litigation
  • Recovery of sovereign debt
  • Contractual disputes and drafting dispute clauses
  • Debt recovery
  • Professional negligence
  • Insurance
  • Shareholder and partnership disputes
  • Breach of confidence claims
  • Financial disputes involving banks and financial institutions
  • Defamation
  • Contempt / committal proceedings
  • Commodities and trading disputes
  • Judicial review
  • Trust and probate claims
  • Land disputes

Frequently asked questions

Commercial disputes happen between businesses (which may involve individuals as well) in a commercial context.  There are different types of commercial dispute resolution including litigation, arbitration, mediation and settlement negotiations.

Our commercial litigators have significant experience advising on high value, large-scale, complex cross-border disputes and can work with you to achieve the best possible outcome.

The claimant (the ‘plaintiff’) commences an action by issuing either a writ of summons or an originating summons to the appropriate court. Most civil actions are commenced by a writ. Where the action is commenced by a writ, a Statement of Claim, setting out the details of the plaintiff’s claim, can be served together with the writ or alternatively at a later date (after the defendant acknowledges service of the writ and disputes the claim). If the plaintiff decides to file and serve the Statement of Claim at a later date, the writ must be indorsed with an Indorsement of Claim.

According to our team of commercial litigators and dispute resolution lawyers, it is important to note that the Statement of Claim, like all pleadings, should be verified with a statement of truth, which may be filed at a later date but as soon as possible.

Limitation periods stipulated under the Limitation Ordinance (Cap. 347) apply. The actual limitation period depends upon the type of case:

  1. For contract claims (except where the contract is under seal): 6 years from the date of breach of contract.
  2. For contract under seal claims: 12 years from the date of breach of contract.
  3. For personal injury claims: generally 3 years from the date of the accident, or the date of knowledge of the injury by the Plaintiff, whichever is the later.
  4. For fatal accident claims: 3 years from the date of death or the date of knowledge of the death by the deceased’s dependent, whichever is the later.
  5. For other tort claims: 6 years from the date of the tort.

Under exceptional circumstances, the above limitation periods may be extended. For instance, time does not begin to run for a disabled claimant until he ceases to be under a disability or has died. Similarly, where the action involves an element of fraud or concealment, time does not begin to run until the plaintiff has discovered the fraud, concealment or mistake, as the case maybe.

Our team of commercial litigation and dispute resolution lawyers will guide you through the entire litigation process and help you lodge a claim.

Yes, Gall’s commercial litigators and dispute resolution lawyers  encourage parties to engage in mediation to settle the matter before trial. If a party unreasonably refuses to attempt mediation, that court can make an adverse costs order against that party. Even if settlement is not reached during a mediation, parties can still agree to settle at any time up to the conclusion of the trial.

Mediation is a voluntary dispute resolution process conducted by a mediator. The mediator is usually legally qualified and he/she assists and encourages the parties to reach a settlement. He/she cannot compel a settlement, rather the parties retain control of the process and the decisions. The mediation is informal and the process is confidential. A mediation typically lasts for a half-day or a full day, depending upon the complexity of the matter.

Our commercial litigators and dispute resolution lawyers have a wealth of experience in mediation across a broad range of disputes and we assist both parties to reach a negotiated settlement as an alternative to court proceedings.

Yes, according to our commercial litigation and dispute resolution lawyers, judgments of the High Court, Court of Appeal and Court of Final Appeal can be enforced (a) inmost common law jurisdictions, and (b) in a number of countries including Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Austria, the Netherlands and Israel due to international agreements and arrangements.

Yes, once leave is granted to register, the foreign judgment can be enforced in the same way as a Hong Kong judgment. Under the Ordinance, there are 15 designated countries, namely Australia, Bermuda, Brunei, India, Malaysia, New Zealand, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Austria, the Netherlands and Israel.

Pursuant to the Foreign Judgments (Reciprocal Enforcement) Ordinance (Cap. 319A), an application can be made to the Hong Kong Court to register a foreign judgment for the payment of  debt obtained in the superior court of a country specified in the Ordinance.

Our commercial litigation and dispute resolution lawyers have extensive experience advising on complex cross-border litigation matters.

Our commercial litigation and dispute resolution lawyers note that, in reality, the winning party will only recover between 40% to 60% of the actual costs incurred after taxation.

We knew that Gall was a very talented boutique for handling complex disputes; they have up to that reputation. Moreover, their work product is always very good. They’re very succinct and clear in their advice.

Gall demonstrates excellent service levels and responsiveness by prioritising the delivery of high-quality legal services and promptly addressing client needs and enquiries.

Leading Firm – Dispute Resolution (Litigation) – Chambers Greater China 2024

Gall is a great boutique disputes firm, with plenty of innovative drive.

Leading Firm, Legal 500 Asia Pacific 2024

Professional and efficient. 

Gall is reliable, dedicated and provides a quick turnaround time. It is good value for money.

AsiaLaw Profiles 2024

Gall aims to work efficiently and in a manner appropriate to the importance of the client’s case, and to give clients good value for money.

Gall has provided no-nonsense advice including where advice was contrary to what the end client hoped to hear. Their awareness of commerciality and proportionality of outcome have been apparent throughout.

Leading Firm – Dispute Resolution (Litigation) – Chambers Greater China 2023

Boutique dispute resolution only firm, no conflicts, small but very strong.

All the solicitors at Gall that I have worked with are diligent and helpful.

A well organised and effective team of lawyers that is well-equipped in handling complex cross-border commercial disputes.

Leading Firm, Legal 500 Asia-Pacific 2023

Gall has a very dedicated and competent team and is always reliable. I also find that Gall is very good at client management, both in terms of taking instructions even when that is not straightforward, and in terms of managing the client’s expectations.

AsiaLaw Profiles 2023

Dispute Resolution Boutique Law Firm of the Year

ALB Hong Kong Law Awards 2022-2023

Very strong, very meticulous and very detailed.

I always enjoy working with them; they actually make helpful input and come up with ideas.

The leading independent local practice in Hong Kong.

Leading Firm, Dispute Resolution – Chambers Greater China 2022

Gall‘s boutique commercial litigation practice ‘combines international standards of excellence with real local insight.

Always thinking of what is best for the client. Our go-to firm for local disputes.

A firm which combines international standards of excellence with real local insight.

Leading Firm, Legal 500 Asia Pacific 2022

Tier 1, Commercial & Transactions
Tier 2, Insolvency

Benchmark Litigation Asia-Pacific 2022-2023