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Marcus Dearle

“We can’t tell fortunes, but we can protect them.” Marcus Dearle, Partner and Head of Family Asset Protection, Private Client

Family Asset Protection

Divorce doesn’t have to be uncertain. 

It doesn’t have to dent your family wealth seriously. Or, if the wealth is in the name of your spouse, your financial claims against those assets can be protected and preserved, too. 

Forward-thinking and responsible planning can prevent unforeseen consequences – especially damage to future family relationships.

Experts on cross-border and complex cases

Our corporate family lawyers are experts at handling the complex, cross-jurisdictional, and potentially reputation-damaging, issues that often arise during high value, international and high-profile cases. 

Ours is the first new family law team in a major commercial UK law firm headquartered in London in decades. We offer the only truly integrated international family law service to clients with connections in England and Hong Kong - with lawyers in London and Hong Kong working collaboratively together on a daily basis on cases simultaneously in both jurisdictions. The Family Asset Protection team is unique in Hong Kong in that, as in London, we only act in high-net worth (HNW) and ultra-high-net worth (UHNW) family law and asset protection/preservation cases. 

Embracing Artificial Intelligence and tech in family law

We embrace new technology and innovation, and are the first and only law firm practising family law in London or Hong Kong with its own in-house forensic accounting and data processing, hosting and document review capability. We are leaders in the field in the use of predictive coding technology utilising Artificial Intelligence for electronic disclosure.

HNW and UHNW worth clients rely on us for responsible, pragmatic and measured advice delivered with emotional intelligence - where the human aspects of a case are not underestimated or ignored. 

Our family asset protection services

We advise on all aspects of relationship breakdown and asset protection/preservation issues, including:


How our team can help you...

Provide advice to ensure you reach the best outcome in a complex and/or international divorce case.

Pre and post-nuptial agreements

How our team can help you...

Create responsible pre and post-nuptial agreements with meticulous attention to detail. Aside from protecting your wealth and assets, pre and post-nuptial agreements protect something much more important: your family.

Arrangements for children and children disputes

How our team can help you...

Deliver child-focused advice with a goal of achieving practical solutions and workable arrangements. We also advise on cutting-edge international surrogacy matters.


How our team can help you...

Draw up responsible cohabitation agreements to clarify the ownership of shared wealth, or provide practical advice when a relationship has broken down.

Civil Partnerships

How our team can help you...

Create responsible pre and post-civil partnership agreements, or ensure you reach the best outcome in a complex and/or international dispute. As a firm, we are committed to LGBT inclusion, and were recently named in Stonewall’s top 10 most LGBT* inclusive places to work.

Trust planning and corporate structuring of assets

How our team can help you...

Create innovative asset protection solutions to protect your wealth when it’s passed from one generation to another. We work closely with our contentious trust, corporate and real estate lawyers to create these tailored solutions.

Case studies

  • Protecting Wealth Image

    Protecting a HK$1.56 Billion Trust

    Led the team representing HSBC Trustee International Limited up to the Court of Final Appeal in Hong Kong in a ground breaking divorce and trusts case of Kan Lai Kwan v Poon Lok To Otto.

    The case centred on a Jersey trust worth HK$1.56 billion and attracted significant international coverage, including in the Financial Times.

  • Family office

    Enforcing a Cross-border pre-nuptial agreement

    Representing a husband from New Jersey, USA, in an ongoing leading Hong Kong forum shopping case, involving questions over the enforceability and validity of a New Jersey Pre-Nuptial Agreement in Hong Kong.

    There are three reported judgments in the case to date, and it 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.

  • Protecting

    Winning a record HK$1.2 Billion Hong Kong divorce settlement

    Led the international team representing a solicitor, Florence Tsang, in a landmark divorce case. This team secured the highest ever litigated divorce award in Hong Kong’s history, involving assets of almost US$1 billion.

    Most of the six week High Court trial was heard in public, and the case eventually went to the Hong Kong’s supreme court, the Court of Final Appeal. It has been the main catalyst for a heightened interest in responsible asset preservation planning in Hong Kong and Asia – and particularly in the use of Pre- and Post-nuptial agreements.

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