“So does a lot of China-related matters and disputes. Clients find him a good person to work with and very personable.”
Benchmark Asia Pacific (2014)

Overview

Thomas So is a partner of Mayer Brown. He advises on shareholders- and equity-related disputes, property-related litigation, libel litigation and media-related litigation work, and litigation and arbitration in the PRC. He represents banks and financial institutions, property developers and corporations as well as Mainland China enterprises on securities- and equity-related disputes.

Thomas has acted as Arbitrator and Mediator in shareholders and other disputes and is on a number of panel of arbitrators in Asia. He has also acted as Deputy Judge at the District Court (18/11/2002-13/12/2002) and Temporary Deputy Registrar at the High Court (8/12/2003-10/1/2004). He is a China-Appointed Attesting Officer (appointed by the Ministry of Justice of PRC). He was the President of the Law Society of Hong Kong (6/2016 – 6/2018) and is a solicitor-advocate with rights to appear in the higher courts in Hong Kong.

Thomas was praised by The Legal 500 Asia Pacific 2010/2011 for providing "sound knowledge" and "practical solutions" to clients. Chambers Asia Pacific 2011 describes Thomas is "instrumental in many cross-border cases". Thomas speaks English, Cantonese and Mandarin.

Spoken Languages

  • English
  • Cantonese
  • Mandarin

Experience

  • Defended one of the leading securities firms in Hong Kong in a liquidation-and-shareholders' dispute suit
  • Acted for property developers in a high-profile case that went to the Court of Appeal involving arguments on the acceptable method of tender and available remedies to the winning party in lieu of a specific performance order
  • Acted for a listed company in a Hong Kong arbitration in which the other side was a PRC corporation involving a claim of over HK$400 million. The governing law of the contract was PRC law
  • Acted for a public utility institution in Hong Kong in a HKIAC arbitration. Represented them in relation to joint-venture disputes amounting to approximately RMB100 million
  • Acted for a leading newspaper in relation to a prosecution laid under Section 23 of the Prevention of Bribery Ordinance. The case eventually went to the Privy Council in London
  • Advised and managed one of the top Hong Kong financial institutions on its litigation portfolio in the Mainland China covering Shanghai and Guangdong provinces

Events

Education

Tsinghua University Beijing, Doctor of Laws

The University of Hong Kong, LLM

The College of Law, Guildford

China University of Political Science and Law, LLB

University of Hull

Admissions

  • England and Wales
  • Hong Kong
  • Singapore
  • Australia, Australian Capital Territory
  • PRC

Memberships

  • Member, Judicial Officers Recommendation Commission
  • Member, The National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference
  • Deputy Chairman, Appeal Board on Closure Orders (Immediate Health Hazard)
  • Member, Trade and Industry Advisory Board
  • Arbitrator, The Arbitration Centre Across the Straits
  • Arbitrator, Panel of Tianjin Arbitration Commission
  • Arbitrator, Zhuhai Court of International Arbitration
  • International Mediator & Arbitrator Panel, IIAM
  • Approved Mediator, Hong Kong Mediation Accreditation Association
  • Mediators, World Trade Center Macau Arbitration Center
  • Panel of International Investment Arbitrators, CIETAC
  • Arbitrator, CIETAC
  • Fellow, Chartered Institute of Arbitrators
  • Founding Arbitrator Member, Club Espanol del Arbitraje (China Chapter)
  • Accredited Mediator and Arbitrator, Panel of HKIAC
  • Accredited Mediator, Hong Kong International Arbitration Centre
  • Accredited Mediator, Hong Kong Mediation Centre
  • Accredited Mediator, Panel of the Law Society of Hong Kong
  • Director, The Law Society of Hong Kong Publication Limited
  • Member, Mainland Business Advisory Committee of Hong Kong Trade Development Council
  • Arbitrator, Panel of Kuala Lumpur Regional Centre for Arbitration
  • Arbitrator, Panel of South China International Economic and Trade Arbitration Commission / Shenzhen Court of International Arbitration
  • Arbitrator, Panel of Shanghai International Economic and Trade Arbitration Commission
  • Arbitrator, Panel of Wei Hai Arbitration Commission
  • Arbitrator, Panel of Nanjing Arbitration Commission
  • Arbitrator, Panel of Law Society of Hong Kong
  • Leading Individual - Dispute Resolution: International Arbitration (Hong Kong) – The Legal 500 Asia Pacific (2019)
  • Leading Individual - China (International Firms), Dispute Resolution – Chambers Global (2012-2019)
  • Leading Individual - China (International Firms), Dispute Resolution – Chambers Asia Pacific (2011-2019)
  • Dispute Resolution Star - Commercial and Transactions, Hong Kong - Benchmark Litigation Asia-Pacific (2019)
  • Dispute Resolution Star - Commercial and Transactions (International Firms), Hong Kong - Benchmark Litigation Asia-Pacific (2018)
  • Local Disputes Star (Hong Kong) - Arbitration, General Commercial, White Collar Crime – Benchmark Asia Pacific (2014)
  • "responsive, practical, a super adviser and sees the bigger picture" – The Legal 500 Asia Pacific (2012)