Items filtered by date: December 2017

Items filtered by date: December 2017

Items filtered by date: December 2017
Friday, 29 December 2017 17:24

Advice for Startups

Fintech and other startup businesses are powerful engines, driving economic and job growth in Hong Kong and overseas.

OLN appreciates that every Founder Entrepreneur will face difficult challenges when starting a business. Typically, that Founder Entrepreneur will turn to fellow entrepreneurs, mentors, former colleagues, incubators and friends for initial advice and assistance. That may be in respect of writing a business plan, formulating a budget, determining a corporate structure, raising money or filing documents with the Companies Registry. Whatever it is, starting a business in Hong Kong is never as straight forward and easy as it may appear.

OLN appreciates that timely practical legal advice is critical in the formative stages of any startup business, not least because “getting it wrong” could negatively impact not only on growth and financing opportunities and could also adversely affect the Founder Entrepreneur’s own equity and value in that startup business.

OLN has been actively involved with startups in Hong Kong for many years and so we fully understand that every Founder Entrepreneur wants his or her own “In House Counsel”, pragmatic lawyers who are immediately and regularly accessible and who can answer day to day questions and provide clear and strategic advice.
OLN is available to provide these services and indeed already does so for many of its clients.

The early stages of most startups will require the Founder Entrepreneur to have in place the following documents:

  • a confidentiality and non-disclosure agreement;
  • a subscription and shareholders’ agreement;
  • an intellectual property assignment agreement;
  • a standard employment contract;
  • a tax checklist; and
  • a checklist of regulatory restrictions.

OLN will assist with all the above aspects and documents, tailor-made to the individual requirements of the relevant Founder Entrepreneur.

OLN can provide all the necessary resources to enable every startup to commence business with the benefit of proper advice, analysis and risk management.

OLN can also assist startups with trying to obtain funding and in making all applications for relevant Hong Kong government loans.

If you want to discuss how OLN can specifically help you and how OLN can provide you with a cost-effective solution tailored to your needs, please contact Stephen Chan at


Team Members

Stephen Chan

Published in Startups
Wednesday, 13 December 2017 17:32

Updated Solicitor Rates for Taxation

Written by Partner, Stephen Chan and Senior Associate, Eunice Chiu


Updated Solicitor Rates for Taxation (Party and Party Basis)


Successful litigants in Hong Kong rarely recover their full legal costs (i.e. those costs paid to their own lawyers) from the losing/counter party. 


For the past 20 years, the process of recovering legal costs from another party (known as “taxation”) was based on what was considered “fair and reasonable” rates for solicitors calculated in 1997.  Until now, the rates have lagged far behind the commercial rates charged by lawyers in Hong Kong. 


The updated rates will take effect from 1 January 2018.


High Court


Trainee Solicitor 1,066 to 2,000 1,700 --
Newly admitted 1,600 to 2,000 2,600 +30%
2 - 4 years 2,000 to 2,500 3,200 +28%
5 – 6 years 2,400 to 3,000 3,900 +30%
7 – 8 years 2,900 to 3,500 4,500 +28.57%
Over 10 years 3,200 to 4,000 See below --
9 – 15 years   5,200 +30%
Over 15 years   5,800 +45%


District Court


Trainee Solicitor 533 to 650 1,130 +74%
Newly admitted 1,066 to 1,280 1,730 +35%
2 - 4 years 1,350 to 1,650 2,130 +29%
5 – 6 years 1,600 to 2,000 2,600 +30%
7 – 8 years 1,900 to 2,300 3,000 +30.57%
Over 10 years 2,100 to 2,600 See below --
9 – 15 years   3,460 +33%
Over 15 years   3,860 +48.46%


Practically, this means there is now less of a recovery gap for winning parties in litigation.  The substantial increments are intended to allow Hong Kong to remain competitive as a preferred venue of choice for international dispute resolution. The recoverable rates are finally closer to what lawyers actually charge in the city.



Published in Dispute Resolution