Marcus Dearle

Partner and Head of Family Asset Protection - Private Client*

Marcus is praised in Chambers Asia Pacific 2016 for being "patient and meticulous," and one client states: "Really, I would recommend him to any friend who needs a family lawyer."
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Won the biggest litigated divorce award in Hong Kong history, + 7 years working in Asia
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Biography

  • Partner in our Hong Kong Office in Private Wealth and heads the team in Hong Kong: specialising in family law, asset preservation and divorce and trusts work - usually with a cross-border element
  • Recognised as one of Asia’s leading Private Client and Family lawyers advising High Net Worth (HNW) and Ultra High Net Worth (UHNW) individuals and families. Also known for representing trustees in complex international divorce and trusts cases
  • Has acted in a number of high profile and ground breaking family law cases in Hong Kong that have gone to the Hong Kong Court of Appeal and/or Court of Final Appeal
  • 27 years’ experience. Qualified in Hong Kong, England & Wales and the BVI
  • Mentioned as “the first of his kind in that he is able to blend family law expertise with wealth planning”. Legal 500 Asia Pacific 2012
  • Named as one of the “top 10” family lawyers in 2015 in Hong Kong in Spears Asia Magazine
  • His team is unique in Hong Kong in that it only acts in HNW and UHNW family law and asset preservation cases. It also acts in English divorce cases out of BLP’s London office, and BLP is the only firm in the top 17 leading commercial law firms in the UK to provide family law advice
  • Regularly speaks at international conferences and contributes to a number of broadsheet newspapers, textbooks, magazines and journals – including speaking on asset preservation and divorce and trusts issues at the industry leading STEP Asia Conference in Singapore in 2015 – “a great speaker who can engage immediately with his audience”
  • Officer of the International Bar Association Family Law Committee – (International Liaison Officer) and Fellow of the International Academy of Family Lawyers (IAFL); IAFL is a worldwide association of practising lawyers who are recognised by their peers as the most experienced and skilled family law specialists in their respective countries

参见本人的中文简历>

*Practices at Haley Ho & Partners which operates in Association with Berwin Leighton Paisner (HK). See our regulatory information relating to BLP’s Hong Kong office.
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Examples of Work

Marcus Dearle sectors examples of work Marcus Dearle sectors examples of work

International Expertise in Child Surrogacy Law

• Niche recognised international cutting-edge expertise in child surrogacy law. He was one of the first in the world to call for international surrogacy regulation in 2002 after acting in one of the first high profile international cases in which the relationship between a surrogate mother and the commissioning couple broke down: in this case it broke down due to disputes over “selective reduction” (abortion) of foetuses between the British surrogate mother and the Californian commissioning couple. Marcus acted for the surrogate mother: see W v H (Child Abduction: Surrogacy) (No 1) [2002] 1 FLR 1008 and W v H (Child Abduction: Surrogacy) (No 2) [2002] 2 FLR 252.

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Biggest Ever Divorce Award: Florence Tsang

• Led the international team representing Florence Tsang, initially in the High Court in London and then in the High Court in Hong Kong in the landmark divorce case leading to the highest ever litigated divorce award in Hong Kong’s history involving assets of approximately US$1 billion. The case eventually went to the Hong Kong’s supreme court, the Court of Final Appeal. It was this case that has been the main catalyst for the heightened interest in Hong Kong and Asia of the need for responsible asset preservation planning: most of the 6 week High Court trial was heard in public.

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Family Law Adjudication (Arbitration) Hong Kong

• Played a key (including lobbying) role in bringing family law adjudication (AKA arbitration) to Hong Kong culminating in the recent Practice Direction. Also is a member of the steering committee.

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Litigation Funding

• Represented a wife in 2014 and 2015 in a significant case in Hong Kong which determined that the court in Hong Kong should not impose an order that an agreement to pay litigation funding for legal costs should be offset against the final award: AB v MAW [2016] 2 HKLRD 1. Until this judgment there was confusion in Hong Kong about the interpretation of the Court of Appeal decision in HJFG v KCY [2012] in its dealing with the Maintenance Pending Suit order in the English case of Charman v Charman [unrep.,Eng HC (Fam), 11 February 2005]

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Pre-Nuptial Agreements

• Representing since 2014 a husband from New Jersey, USA, in an ongoing leading Hong Kong forum shopping case of LCPY v JEK involving questions over the enforceability and validity of a New Jersey Pre-Nuptial Agreement in Hong Kong. There are 3 reported judgments in the case to date: Court of Appeal - LCYP v JEK (Children: Habitual Residence) [2015] 4 HKLRD 798: High Court - JEK v LCYP [2015] HKEC 923: District Court - (Maintenance Pending Suit) – LCYP v JEK [2016] HKEC 2033. The case is likely to lead to the provision of detailed guidance on the treatment of foreign and domestically drafted Pre-Nuptial Agreements in the Hong Kong court

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Landmark Divorce and Trusts Case

• Led the team representing HSBC Trustee International Limited up to the Court of Final Appeal in Hong Kong in the ground breaking divorce and trusts case of Kan Lai Kwan v Poon Lok To Otto with a trust worth HK$1.56 billion: the case attracted significant international coverage including in the Financial Times: [2014] HKEC 1174.

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Career Timeline

Marcus Dearle career timeline