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Adrian Elms

Of Counsel

Adrian Elms is an Of Counsel in the Litigation & Regulatory group of DLA Piper Hong Kong. Adrian regularly advises financial institutions on regulatory and compliance matters. 

He has extensive experience in assisting companies and their executives on investigations conducted by the Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission, the Hong Kong Monetary Authority, the Independent Commission Against Corruption, and the Commercial Crimes Bureau. He is a recommended lawyer for regulatory in the 2016 edition of Legal 500.

Adrian has also advised both Chinese and international clients on contentious matters ranging from commercial litigations, shareholders' disputes, and contentious insolvencies.  

Professional QualificationsSolicitor of the High Court of Hong KongSolicitor of the Senior Courts of England and Wales


Financial Services Regulatory 

  • Advising a leading PRC financial institution and conducting a comprehensive internal investigation into the operations and compliance culture of its Hong Kong securities subsidiary. The findings of the investigation led to the termination of employment of a number of senior employees
  • Advising an international investment bank in connection with a review of a component of its business following a complaint by a customer; assisting in the preparation of two reports to regulators and advising on the rights of the bank in relation to the conduct of specific individuals and the strategy for dealing with the regulators
  • Advising a leading Asian fund management company in connection with a SFC investigation into alleged insider trading
  • Advising the senior employee of an international investment bank with regards to regulatory investigations into alleged Hibor manipulation by various banks
  • Assisting a local retail bank after the collapse of Lehman Brothers on the high profile regulatory investigations into its distribution of minibonds to retail customers; advising various employees (both front and back offices) of the bank and assisting them on all aspects of the investigations

Commercial Litigation

  • Advising China Railway Group in the Hong Kong Court of Final Appeal in the landmark case of FG Hemisphere Associates LLC v Democratic Republic of the Congo and China Railway, in which the Court referred a number of questions on the interpretation of the Basic Law on the policy of state immunity applicable in Hong Kong to the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress of the PRC, pursuant to the provisions of the Basic Law
  • Advising China Southern Airlines in an English Commercial Court action (and the subsequent English Court of Appeal proceedings) concerning the sale of 6 redundant Airbus aircraft by China Southern to an aircraft broker for over US$120 million
  • Advising the liquidators and scheme administrators of a US$200 million fund of hedge funds in legal actions for recovery of losses suffered by the fund as a result of a Ponzi scheme devised by its founder and also because of the alleged failure of the fund's custodian, administrator, and auditor in detecting the fraud
  • Acting for an executive director of a major listed company in Hong Kong in a petition presented by a minority shareholder of the company under section 168A of the Companies Ordinance against the controlling directors of the company for alleged breaches of duty
  • Acting for a number of members of a prominent Hong Kong family in the banking and property development business in a shareholder dispute with another family member. The dispute relates to a Hong Kong private company which owns a shopping mall and also other investments in California and involves obtaining an injunction and a temporary restraining order in California and applying to the Hong Kong High Court to appoint receivers for the company to take over control of its affairs from the opposing family member
  • English
  • Chinese (Cantonese)
  • Chinese (Mandarin)
  • The University of Hong Kong, LL.B.
  • The University of Hong Kong, P.CLL

Memberships And Affiliations

  • The Law Society of Hong Kong
  • The Law Society of England and Wales