Charles Allen, a partner in Orrick’s Hong Kong office, heads the Commercial Litigation and International Arbitration practice in Hong Kong.

Charles Allen has over 20 years’ experience conducting high-value complex commercial litigation and arbitration in the Asia Pacific Region. 

Advising and assisting on a variety of business disputes, as well as regulatory and other investigations, employment law issues and transactions, Charles acts for a range of clients, including individuals, private and listed companies, multinationals, conglomerates and financial institutions.

Charles conducts litigation in the High Court of the Hong Kong SAR, and is regularly involved in cases taking place in courts in other jurisdictions around the Region, including Mainland China, Singapore and India.

On behalf of clients, Charles has handled numerous ad hoc and institutional arbitrations in Hong Kong, London, Lausanne, Paris and elsewhere under various rules including ICC, LCIA, UNCITRAL and LMAA, and has handled some of the highest profile arbitration-related litigation adjudicated on by the Hong Kong courts in recent years. He also sits as an arbitrator.

Charles has been consistently recognized by various prestigious legal publications such as Chambers Asia, Asia-Pacific Legal 500 and Who’s Who Legal. He gains high praise from his clients and peers for his “bags of experience” and “very sensible” approach to arbitration. He is “a very sharp and tactical lawyer – one of the best people to instruct in Hong Kong,” and he is “very thorough and willing to give clients what they want at a moment’s notice.”

Prior to joining Orrick, Charles was since 2007 a partner and a member of the Office of General Counsel of Sidley Austin in Hong Kong.

    • Representing the borrower under a secured non-recourse loan which found that the lender had sold the security in breach of contract, and moreover was relying on a forged version of the loan agreement to justify the breach. The matter commenced with various ex parte applications to the Hong Kong Court of First Instance for injunctive relief, and proceeded to a successful arbitration in Hong Kong under the UNCITRAL Arbitration Rules, with enforcement proceedings ongoing.
    • Acting for a major U.S. multinational corporation in connection with issues arising from its acquisition of a Mainland Chinese concern, including an investigation into accounting fraud, preparations for litigation, negotiations leading to settlement, and responding to regulatory investigations.
    • Conducting various internal and external investigations in and around the region, including inquiries into whistle-blowing allegations made by the CEO of a U.S. listed company with its operations in Mainland China, the application of lead-based paint to toys manufactured in Mainland China and exported to the U.S., and financial irregularities at the South-East Asian subsidiary of a U.S. multinational corporation.
    • Acting for the executive director of a major European private bank in her defence of Hong Kong Court of First Instance proceedings commenced by an investor alleging misselling of financial products.
    • Successfully representing a U.S.-listed manufacturer of photovoltaic products in its defence of Hong Kong High Court proceedings commenced by a purchaser alleging a failure to deliver products. The claim was dismissed with costs after trial, as were all subsequent appeals.
    • Acting for various international financial institutions who have been the victim of fraud whereby stolen funds were remitted to Hong Kong. Taking action to freeze and trace the stolen funds, including ex parte urgent injunctions.
    • Advising a major regional financial institution on its potential liabilities arising from a sale of shares in a Mainland Chinese commercial bank.
    • Representing a global pharmaceutical company in resisting a claim by a consumer for damages made in the Hong Kong Court of First Instance in respect of the use of a well-known medication.
    • Advising a major Mainland Chinese aluminium producer in respect of potential claims, to be pursued in arbitration in Hong Kong and Singapore, arising from contracts to purchase Indonesian bauxite.
    • Acting for a senior employee of a major regional academic institution in seeking relief for bullying and harassment, and successfully resisting retributive allegations of academic misconduct.
    • Advising a high profile religious organisation on the taking of evidence in Hong Kong for purposes of ongoing proceedings in the U.S..
    • Representing a Hong Kong listed property developer in a shareholders’ dispute proceeding in the Hong Kong Court of First Instance.
    • Representing a Hong Kong listed company in resisting vexatious proceedings brought in the Hong Kong Court of First Instance in connection with historic transactions alleged to have been based on the advice of an inadequately qualified expert.
    • Advising and representing a Korean conglomerate in respect of potential Hong Kong arbitration proceedings arising from the purchase and sale of steel coils intended for use in a significant European infrastructure project.
    • Counselling numerous hedge fund and other employers on various employment issues.

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