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Kevin Lee

Partner  |  Stephenson Harwood
JURISDICTIONS QUALIFIED IN

Hong Kong
Cambodia
British Columbia
England and Wales

TOP AREAS OF EXPERTISE

Succession planning
Asset holding structures
Tax

Q&A

What has been the highlight of your practice over the past 12 months?

I led the private group restructuring for a Philippines family which involved assets in multiple jurisdictions, cross-border tax and compliance, capacity issues, and succession advice. I advised my Hong Kong clients on very difficult family dispute issues connected to certain trusts and charitable foundations and which turned on the concepts of legal capacity, undue influence and fiduciary duties. I led our team on an urgent pre-IPO project to establish trusts for numerous PRC founders within a very tight timeline which was achieved to the satisfaction of the clients and the intermediaries. I have taken on added management duties for both the private wealth and corporate teams at our firm and am relishing learning new skills and responsibilities even at this stage of my career.

How did you get into private client?

There is a real need for expert ethical professional advice in private wealth. Related to this, it is no longer enough to just plan or build structures but the lawyer also needs to guide clients through a minefield of compliance issues these days These needs will spread down to the next generation and these are the clients of the future so we need to be careful to create sustainable succession structures and not make things so complicated that the next generation will eventually abandon the structures out of frustration or mishandling. Wealth lawyers need to be agile thinkers and need to respond to an ever evolving regulatory landscape where oftentimes our clients may face challenges from populist agendas or adverse media coverage.

What advice would you give rising stars/new lawyers in the private client world?

There is a real need for expert ethical professional advice in private wealth. This need will spread down to the next generation and these are the clients of the future who can relate more easily to a new breed of private wealth advisers.

What is your favourite quote?

“I've seen things you people wouldn't believe. Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion. I watched C-beams glitter in the dark near the Tannhäuser Gate. All those moments will be lost in time, like tears in rain,” Blade Runner.