Nigel Francis is Head of our Hong Kong office, as well as the Head of our dispute resolution and employment practices*.

Nigel has practised as a commercial litigator in Hong Kong for more than 30 years. He has been involved in major disputes cases involving court proceedings, arbitration, mediation and regulatory tribunals, and across a range of specialist areas. The latter includes breach of contract and warranty claims, breach of confidence and restrictive covenants, joint venture and shareholder disputes, infringements of all forms of intellectual property rights and commercial crime and fraud.

He has been listed as a leading disputes lawyer in the international guides to the profession for the past 15 years.

Nigel's expertise also covers all aspects of contentious and non-contentious employment work, including workplace discrimination and harassment complaints, data privacy issues, Labour Tribunal claims, senior executive appointments and terminations, breaches of confidence and restrictive covenants, and day-to-day employment law matters.

Nigel is qualified in Hong Kong and England and Wales.


His experience includes representing:

  • Yung Kee Holdings, acting for the majority shareholder in a substantial (HK$2 billion) restaurant business in relation to a dispute between the shareholders
  • The Crown Casino Group in relation to a claim of tracing in respect of monies claimed to be misappropriated from the clients of an international law firm
  • Total Lubricants, acting on a claim against four of its former employees, and a competitor in relation to a mass defection of our clients' staff to set up a competing business in Hong Kong and Singapore
  • A leading accountancy firm, which he advised in relation to an investigation into potential corruption and fraud matters, including potential civil and criminal liability, as well as the duties and responsibilities of the partnership
  • The Hong Kong Government for five years in relation to a leading case regarding an employer's claim to the corrupt earnings of an employee
  • Philips Electronics in relation to a major patent infringement action against a listed Hong Kong company involved in the manufacture of optical disc players, involving a claim for more than US$60 million
  • A major Hong Kong public service provider on staff disciplinary hearings and investigations and judicial review matters

Other clients include TCT Mobile, Bank of East Asia and Cisco Systems.

Representative contentious and non-contentious employment matters include:

  • Advising leading international accounting and law firms on partner and team hires and departures
  • Advising corporate clients on workplace discrimination complaints lodged with the Equal Opportunities Commission in Hong Kong
  • Acting for a leading international educational organisation concerning a long-running investigation by the Hong Kong Privacy Commissioner
  • Advising a financial advisory company in relation to an investigation by the Mandatory Provident Fund Schemes Authority
Professional memberships
  • The Hong Kong Law Society Civil Litigation Committee

*Nigel is a partner of Addleshaw Goddard (Hong Kong) LLP.