Chambers Asia Pacific
“[T]he best employment guru in Hong Kong,” and “I think his track record is brilliant; he is extremely decisive and gives clear advice.” (2021)
“[Duncan is] good at identifying the main legal issues and providing practical solutions to the client, even when the problem is very sophisticated.” (2020)
Duncan Abate is a partner of Mayer Brown.
He is the Chair of the firm's Asia Board and also serves on the global Management Committee.
He advises on all aspects of employment and employee benefits law and regulation, including discrimination, labour relations, termination of employment, data privacy and the structure of employment relationships. He also advises on the establishment, maintenance and restructuring of occupational retirement schemes and mandatory provident fund schemes, as well as related documentation and services.
Duncan has been described as "the expert in employment law in Hong Kong" by Chambers Asia Pacific 2016. He has been "identified among the Top 25 Labour & Employment experts in the world" (The Expert Guide to the World's Leading Lawyers 2007) and amongst "the world's top practitioners in labour and employment" (Euromoney Expert Guides 2017). He is consistently ranked as a Leading Employment Lawyer in Legal 500 Asia Pacific, The International Who's Who of Business Lawyers and Chambers Asia Pacific.
Duncan serves on a number of community and business organisations, including the Employers' Federation of Hong Kong, the British Chamber of Commerce, the Hong Kong General Chamber of Commerce, the Hong Kong Retirement Schemes Association and he is a member of the Election Committee to select the Chief Executive for Hong Kong.
- Advised Cathay Pacific Airways Limited on industrial relations issues.
- Advised Bank of Communications on its restructuring of MPF and ORSO products.
- Hong Kong
- England and Wales
- Employment Law Sub-Committee, Law Society of Hong Kong
- General Committee Member, British Chamber of Commerce, Hong Kong
- Manpower Committee Member, Hong Kong General Chamber of Commerce
- Executive Council Member and Honorary Secretary, Employers' Federation of Hong Kong
- Hong Kong Institute of Human Resources Management
- International Pensions and Employee Benefits Lawyers Association
- Steering Committee, Insurance Intermediaries Quality Assurance Scheme
- Hong Kong Retirement Scheme Association
- Hong Kong Election Committee
- Band 1 - Employment: Hong Kong-based (International Firms), China – Chambers Greater China Region (2022, 2023)
- Band 1 - Employment: Hong Kong Law (International Firms), China – Chambers Asia Pacific (2012-2021)
- Hall of Fame - Labour and Employment, Hong Kong – The Legal 500 Asia Pacific (2021-2023)
- Leading Individual - Employment, Hong Kong – The Legal 500 Asia Pacific (2008-2020)
- “Duncan Abate is a legend in employment laws.” – The Legal 500 Asia Pacific (2022)
- "Duncan Abate is a veteran and most adept at all issues in employment." – Chambers Greater China Region (2022)
- “Duncan Abate is super experienced and is able to provide strategic advice quickly.” – The Legal 500 Asia Pacific (2021)
- “[T]he best employment guru in Hong Kong,” and “I think his track record is brilliant; he is extremely decisive and gives clear advice.” – Chambers Asia Pacific (2021)
- “[Duncan is] good at identifying the main legal issues and providing practical solutions to the client, even when the problem is very sophisticated.” – Chambers Asia Pacific (2020)
- "[M]arket leader." – The Legal 500 Asia Pacific (2019)
- "[S]upremely experienced, with high expertise, especially with intense projects such as internal investigations within financial institutions.” – Chambers Asia Pacific (2019)
- "[M]arket leader in terms of his knowledge and responsiveness," and "absolutely top-notch." – Chambers Asia Pacific (2018)
- "[V]ery knowledgeable." – The Legal 500 Asia Pacific (2018)
- "What sets him apart is his skill to analyse facts and then come up with very sensible business solutions to legal problems." – Chambers Asia Pacific (2017)
- The Best of the Best (Labour and Employment) – Expert Guides (2012, 2015)
- "He's not afraid to give a view and stand behind it, which is rare." – Chambers Asia Pacific (2015)
- "[F]irst-class practitioner." – The Legal 500 Asia Pacific (2013)
- "[H]e is expert in employment law in Hong Kong. We have every confidence that he will best represent our interests", and "[r]esponsiveness is very important in our business, which is why we value him so much." – Chambers Asia Pacific (2013)
- Leading Practitioner - Management labour and Employment (Hong Kong) – The International Who's Who of Business Lawyers (2012 and 2013)
- Leading Asialaw Labour & Employment Lawyer – Asialaw Leading Lawyers (2001-2003, 2005-2008 and 2010-2013)
- Featured Labour and Employment Lawyer – Expert Guides (2012)
- "[A] much-admired leader in this area," and "his advice is first-class in this field, and comes with strong commerciality. We never thought of instructing anyone else." – Chambers Asia Pacific (2012)
- "[P]ragmatic, commercial and understands his client's business culture." – The Legal 500 Asia Pacific (2012)
- World's top 30 lawyers in Employment – Guide to the World's Leading Lawyers-Best of the Best (2012)
- Leading Lawyer – Labour and Employee Benefits – PLC Which Lawyer? (2011-2012)
- "[D]eep understanding of the technical aspects of labour law", "practical advice with speed and efficiency" and "sound and excellent lawyer." – Chambers Asia Pacific (2011)
- Leading Employment Lawyer – The International Who’s Who of Business Lawyers (2004, 2005, 2007, 2009-2011)
- "As 'a responsive, can-do practitioner with considerable built-in knowledge on employment law,' Abate impresses clients by being 'very proactive at providing insightful, practical and real-world applicable advice.'" – Chambers Asia (2010)
- "[Duncan Abate]...described by one source as a 'top-drawer practitioner'..." – The International Who's Who of Business Lawyers (2009)
- Leading AsiaLaw Labour and Employment Benefits Lawyer in Hong Kong – Asia Law & Practice Survey (2009)
- Named one of the "pre-eminent practitioners in the world" – Guide to the World's Leading Labour & Employment Lawyers (2009)
- Highly Recommended Labour and Employee Benefits Lawyer – PLC Which Lawyer? Yearbook (2002-2009)
- Top Lawyer in Hong Kong – The Expert Guide to the World's Leading Labour and Employment Lawyers (2003, 2005 & 2007)
- Hong Kong Labour Lawyer of the Year – China Staff (2003)
- Leading Employment Lawyer – Legal Who's Who Hong Kong (2003/4)