About

Who are We?

Award-winning litigation law firm in Hong Kong

Payne Clermont Velasco is a litigation law firm, established in Hong Kong, with a local and international client base.

Our core areas of practice are civil and commercial litigation; matrimonial litigation and criminal litigation.

The firm’s founder and principal, Gregory Payne, has been practising law in Hong Kong since 1993, and has represented clients in several high-profile cases.

The firm is built on the cornerstones of providing high quality legal services and practical solutions to legal problems, in a cost-effective manner.

Our lawyers speak English, Cantonese, Mandarin & Tagalog.

About

The Team

Gregory Payne

Gregory Payne

Founder & Partner

Biography

Greg graduated from the University of Adelaide with degrees in Law and Economics in 1991. After serving as an Associate to the Honourable Mr. Justice Perry of the Supreme Court of South Australia, Greg moved to Hong Kong in 1993, where he became qualified to practise in 1994.

Prior to founding his own firm in 2010, Greg was a partner at a well-known Hong Kong firm and a Senior Government Counsel with the Civil Litigation Unit of the Department of Justice, Hong Kong.

Greg’s practice at Payne Clermont Velasco covers two main areas: commercial litigation and matrimonial litigation.

  • In the commercial litigation area, Greg handles cases in the High Court, District Court and Appellate Courts of Hong Kong, including recovering stolen funds for victims of e-mail fraud; employee fraud disputes; asset tracing; contractual disputes; international trade disputes; sale of goods disputes; shareholders’ disputes; claims against company directors; guarantees; general debt recovery; company liquidations; and landlord and tenant disputes.
  • In the matrimonial litigation area, Greg represents clients going through separation and divorce, in the Hong Kong Family Court. Characteristically, Greg handles divorce cases involving high net worth individuals where there are disputes over family trusts, hidden assets, and dispositions or attempted dispositions of matrimonial assets to family members or close friends.

Greg is committed to Alternative Dispute Resolution as a practical alternative to Court proceedings and he has frequently represented clients in mediations. Greg is a HKIAC-accredited General Mediator.

Admitted to Practice in

  • Hong Kong (1994)
  • High Court of Australia (1994)
  • South Australia (1992)

Appointments

  • The Law Society of Hong Kong Standing Committee on Compliance
  • The Law Society of Hong Kong Guidance Committee
  • Hong Kong General Chamber of Commerce Legal Committee

Memberships

  • Hong Kong Family Law Association
  • Hong Kong International Arbitration Centre Users’ Council
  • Hong Kong International Arbitration Centre Mediation Council
Adam Clermont

Adam Clermont

Partner

Biography

Adam is an experienced trial attorney and is admitted to practice in Hong Kong and the United States of America. Adam concentrates in complex civil litigation and criminal defence, including sexual assault cases and white-collar commercial crime and money laundering cases brought by the Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) and the Commercial Crime Bureau. Adam also handles cross-border litigation involving Hong Kong and the United States, including asset recovery for fraud victims.

While in the United States, Adam successfully tried many cases before juries consisting of 6 and 12 members of the community, which provides Adam with a unique perspective to evaluate your case, as Hong Kong has a solicitor/barrister distinction and most solicitors do not act as an advocate at trial. Adam conducts his own trials in the Magistrates and District Courts and, when necessary, instructs appropriate counsel. In those cases where a barrister is instructed, Adam is actively involved in every aspect of his cases, providing a hands-on and practical approach. Some of Adam’s notable cases include:

  • Acted on behalf of a former employee of an investment fund and former director of a Hong Kong based manufacturing company who was sued for negligence, breach of fiduciary duty and breach of contract allegedly resulting in damages in excess of HK$77 million. The case was resolved favourably by way of settlement.
  • Represented two Hong Kong corporations that were implicated in money laundering activities carried out by the Sinaloa Drug Trafficking Cartel and other organized crime syndicates where it was estimated that the drug traffickers were laundering over US$25 to US$30 million dollars per month through certain entities and over US$89 million was seized by U.S. authorities. The U.S. instituted proceedings in both the U.S and Hong Kong to seize several bank accounts owned by the companies. As a result of Adam’s efforts, the U.S. proceedings were resolved and the majority of the funds in the seized accounts were returned to his clients.
  • Acted on behalf of a foreign corporation in a multi-defendant action where approximately US$900,000.00 was fraudulently transferred into two bank accounts located in Hong Kong. As a result of Adam’s efforts, a Mareva Injunction was obtained and the bank accounts were frozen, which prevented the funds from being transferred outside the jurisdiction.
  • Represented a client who, during the context of a bitter divorce, was accused by his wife of committing a sex act upon their child. After a 10-day trial, the client was found not guilty of gross indecency and common assault.
  • Acted for an international corporate executive who was accused of sexual assault. Adam’s client was found not guilty after trial.
  • Acting for several clients charged with breach of condition of stay in the Magistrates Court and getting very good outcomes for them (either a bind-over or a fine).
  • Representing a stand-up comic charged with ‘glassing’ a member of the audience, in a high profile trial which garnered significant media coverage. Adam secured a remarkably light sentence for the client, which the prosecution unsuccessfully attempted to increase on review.

By working closely with his clients right from the start, Adam, who has approximately two decades of trial experience, can offer an early case assessment, thereby providing clients with a realistic budget that maximizes their resources while providing cost-efficient and effective results.

 

Reported Cases

  • Commonwealth v. Bourdon, 71 Mass. App. Ct 420 (2008)
  • Commonwealth v. Bourdon, 68 Mass. App. Ct 526 (2007)
  • White v. Safety Insurance Company, 65 Mass. App. Ct. 607 (2006)
Jaerey Velasco

Jaerey Velasco

Partner

Biography

Jaerey is an experienced family law practitioner, who regularly appears in the Family Court of Hong Kong. Her practice focuses on matrimonial and family law, including divorce; child custody, care and control, and access arrangements; enforcement and variation of care and control, and access arrangements; international relocation of the children; applications for temporary removal of the children from Hong Kong; ancillary relief applications relating to interim maintenance, spousal maintenance, and child maintenance; enforcement and variation of spousal and child maintenance orders; division of matrimonial assets and financial settlements between the parties; and pre-nuptial and post-nuptial agreements.

Jaerey has argued, on behalf of clients, in the Hong Kong Family Court: First Appointment Hearings (“FA Hearings”); Children’s Dispute Resolution Hearings (“CDR Hearings”); and Financial Dispute Resolution Hearings (“FDR Hearings”).

Jaerey has attended mediation with clients in order to assist to resolve outstanding ancillary relief and children’s issues.

Jaerey also has substantial experience in assisting clients to participate in co-parenting sessions. Jaerey graduated from De La Salle University with a Bachelor of Arts with a Major in Philosophy (2005) before coming to Hong Kong to pursue her studies in Law, graduating with a Bachelor of Laws with Honours (2010) at the City University of Hong Kong.

Jaerey also attended a training course on Parenting Coordination in November 2016.

Associations & Memberships

  • Association Internationale des Juenes Avocats (AIJA – International Association of Young Lawyers)
  • Hong Kong Family Law Association
  • Philippine Association of Hong Kong
  • Board Member & President, De La Salle Alumni Association – One La Salle Hong Kong Chapter (2017/2018)

Appointments

  • Member of the Executive Committee of the Hong Kong Family Law Association (2017)
  • Director – Business Development Committee of the Philippine Association of Hong Kong (2017)
  • Board Member & Vice President of the De La Salle Alumni Association – One La Salle Hong Kong Chapter (2016)
ST Cheng

ST Cheng

Solicitor

Biography

Shui Tai graduated from the University of Toronto with a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology in 1981. During 1991 to 1993, Shui Tai completed the Common Professional Exam and Law Society’s Finals at Bristol Polytechnic (now known as the University of the West of England, Bristol). He also obtained a Bachelor of Laws at the Beijing University in 1998.

Prior to establishing S.T. Cheung & Co., Solicitors, now in association with Payne Clermont Velasco, Shui Tai was a partner at a well-known Hong Kong law firm.

Shui Tai has experience in providing a wide range of legal commercial services to local Mainland Chinese and foreign clients. He has represented international clients who come from many parts of the world, including, the United States, the United Kingdom, Russia, Europe, and Asia. Shui Tai has established trusting relationships with his clients.

Shui Tai also has extensive experience in handling conveyancing, landlord and tenant, and building management matters. He has handled cases and advised his clients in respect of a broad range of commercial matters, civil and criminal litigation, wills probate and administration matters, matrimonial matters, company secretarial service, and intellectual property matters (both non-contentious and contentious).

Cynthia Mak

Cynthia Mak

Solicitor

Biography

Cynthia graduated from the City University of Hong Kong with a Bachelor of Laws in 2013 and completed the Postgraduate Certificate in Laws (PCLL) from the same university in 2014. Cynthia completed her traineeship at a well-established local law firm with a focus on civil and commercial litigation. Cynthia was admitted as a solicitor in Hong Kong in 2017.

Cynthia has extensive experience in civil and commercial litigation acting for and advising individuals, partnerships, and listed companies and major corporations in Hong Kong and PRC.

At Payne Clermont Velasco, Cynthia assists in commercial fraud and asset tracing, with a focus on the growing area of business email fraud, and advises victims of identity theft, cybercrimes and “CEO e-mail scams.” Cynthia assists the victims of fraud to obtain the return of misappropriated funds by making an application for Mareva Injunction Order, obtaining judgment and then a Garnishee Order – in the District Court and High Court of Hong Kong.

Languages

  • English
  • Cantonese
Crystal Cheng

Crystal Cheng

Trainee Solicitor

Biography

Crystal completed her Postgraduate Certificate in Laws (PCLL) at the University of Hong Kong in 2017 and graduated from the University of Oxford with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Jurisprudence (Law) in 2015. Prior to joining Payne Clermont Velasco, Crystal had several internships at NGOs and law firms, and has experience serving as a Judge’s marshal at the Court of Appeal and Court of Final Appeal of Hong Kong. Crystal has assisted with civil and criminal litigation cases including shareholders’ disputes, contractor disputes and high-profile criminal appeals. In addition, Crystal has developed her commercial awareness through assisting with corporate matters including initial public offerings and mergers and acquisitions.

As trainee solicitor at Payne Clermont Velasco, Crystal provides support in both civil and criminal litigation, with a focus on family and matrimonial law.

Crystal has lived in Hong Kong, Australia, and the United Kingdom.

Languages

  • English
  • Cantonese
  • Mandarin
George Chow

George Chow

Trainee Solicitor

Biography

George completed his Postgraduate Certificate in Laws (PCLL) at The Chinese University of Hong Kong in 2018 and graduated from University of Kent with a Bachelor of Laws (LLB) in 2015. Prior to joining Payne Clermont Velasco, George worked as a Litigation Assistant with an American law firm in Hong Kong and assisted with civil and commercial litigation cases and SFC matters.

As a trainee solicitor at Payne Clermont Velasco, George provides support in both civil and commercial litigation.

Languages

  • English
  • Cantonese
  • Mandarin