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Sacha M. Cheong

Partner
+852.2230.3590
Fax +852.2511.9515
Sacha Cheong is a partner in the Hong Kong office of K&L Gates. He has practised in Hong Kong since 2001 and focuses on litigation before the Hong Kong courts, international arbitration and mediation.

His practice covers a broad range of areas, including complex commercial cases, white collar crime, employment and construction/infrastructure. He has also been involved in various anti-trust/competition matters and anti-corruption investigations, as well as environmental and telecommunication disputes.

Mr. Cheong is dually qualified in law and civil engineering. He achieved the status of Chartered Civil Engineer in 2000 and worked on a number of prominent construction projects in Hong Kong between 1994 and 1998.

Professional/Civic Activities

Mr. Cheong has tutored on the Associate Member entry course for admission to the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators. This course provides applicants with a basic knowledge of arbitration practice and procedure.

Speaking Engagements

  • “Art and Law”, co-presented with Hong Kong Arts Centre at Art Basel in March 2017.
  • “Global Boardroom Risks Solutions, Circles of Influence: Liabilities and Responsibilities”, presented in March 2017.
  • “Employee Terminations: Global Differences and the Issues that Arise”, presented in August 2016.
  • “Global Employee Solutions in a Digitalised World “, presented in July 2016
  • “Managing legal risks and developing an effective compliance program”, presented in April 2016.
  • “Legal risk management and competition law”, presented to the Chinese Manufacturers’ Association of Hong Kong in March 2016.
  • “Reconcilable differences? PRC employment law considerations, anti-corruption investigations and Hong Kong perspectives”, presented in December 2014.
  • “Force majeure, time, liquidated damages, variations and claims for additional expenditure”, presented in December 2012. 
  • “Mediation lawyering: How lawyers can make the most out of mediation”, presented to Law Lectures for Practitioners in October 2012.
  • “Mediation,” presented in July 2012.
  • “Enforcement of specific arbitration awards (Convention/non-Convention/PRC),” presented in February 2011.
  • “Enforcement of Arbitration Awards,” presented in January 2011.
  • “Hong Kong: An increasingly attractive jurisdiction for dispute resolution,” presented in August 2009.
  • “Proceeds of crime and bribery – Hong Kong and PRC regulations,” presented in December 2008.
  • “Basics of contract law,” presented to the Hong Kong Institution of Engineers in August 2008.
  • “Construction delays – The legal analysis,” presented to the Hong Kong Institution of Engineers in July 2008.
Complex commercial cases:
  • Represented AIA Pension and Trustee Company in litigation proceedings before the District Court in Hong Kong in relation to a dispute over contributions made to a retirement scheme.
  • Represented the management companies of two funds in ad hoc UNCITRAL arbitration proceedings (seated in Hong Kong) in relation to claims brought by a PRC power company in relation to two carbon emissions reduction agreements.
  • Represented the PRC subsidiary of a U.S. company in ICC arbitration proceedings (seated in Hong Kong) defending claims arising from an agreement for the supply of aluminium products.
  • Represented a PRC company in the paper industry in ICC arbitration proceedings (seated in Hong Kong) against a German financial institution relating to the alleged failure to disburse funds under two loan agreements.
  • Represented TMF, a global provider of trust and fiduciary services, in litigation proceedings before the High Court in Hong Kong defending claims brought by a Trustee-In-Bankruptcy in relation to several landed properties that were transferred to companies within the trust structure by the bankrupt. The dispute also involved parallel court proceedings between TMF and the beneficiaries under the trust.
  • Represented Modern Terminals, a major container port operator in Asia, in litigation proceedings before the Lands Tribunal against the Ratings and Valuation Department of the Hong Kong Government concerning the assessed rateable value of Modern Terminal’s port facilities in Hong Kong.
  • Represented a U.S. bank in an arbitration dispute arising from a failed attempt to acquire a minority shareholding in a PRC bank. The sums in dispute were approximately US$700 million.
  • Represented PCCW in judicial review and appeal board proceedings relating to anti-competitive practices concerning Apple’s iPhone 5 and other products in Hong Kong.
  • Represented Wharf T&T in litigation proceedings before the High Court in Hong Kong against Hong Kong Telecom concerning claims arising from the deregulation of the fixed line telecommunications market in Hong Kong.
  • Represented the KCRC (now the MTR Corporation) in proceedings against the Hong Kong Government before the environmental assessment appeal board relating to the rejection of an environmental impact assessment for the construction of the Lok Ma Chau spur line in Hong Kong. This was the first appeal to be heard in Hong Kong under this legislation and required testimony from experts in construction methods and wildlife conservation.

White Collar Crime and Investigations:
  • Represented JSC Transmashholding in relation to a €100 million fraud, of which approximately €30 million was transferred to accounts with HSBC and Standard Chartered Bank in Hong Kong. Mr. Cheong assisted the client to freeze the majority of the funds that were transferred to Hong Kong.
  • Represented Brooks Brothers in an investigation and subsequent litigation arising from allegations of fraud by a former senior executive of the client’s Hong Kong subsidiary. The case also involved a tracing claim against several other individuals and corporate defendants. As the case involved suspected money laundering and allegations of bribery, Mr. Cheong worked closely with the Commercial Crimes Bureau and the ICAC. Mr. Cheong worked on all aspects of the case, including obtaining injunctive relief in Hong Kong and other jurisdictions, bankers’ trust orders, discovery and the preparation of factual witness evidence.
  • Represented the Dextra group, a construction materials manufacturer, in litigation against a former senior executive relating to theft of confidential information, breaches of fiduciary duties and the setting up of a competing business, and in a corresponding litigation instituted by the former executive against the client for compensation under the Employment Ordinance. Both cases involved the coordination of extensive computer forensic examinations and review of documents.
  • Represented an international luxury hotel group on a sensitive fraud investigation. This matter raised money laundering issues under Hong Kong’s Organised and Serious Crimes Ordinance and resulted in arrests for suspected offences under the Prevention of Bribery Ordinance.
  • Represented various U.S. banks and multi-national companies to recover sums that were transferred to accounts in Hong Kong and the PRC as a result of fraud. As these cases involved suspected money laundering, where appropriate, Mr. Cheong worked closely with the Hong Kong Police and the AML officers of the relevant banks and assisted his clients in filing suspicious transaction reports with the Joint Financial Intelligence Unit. Examples include:
    • acting for Allan Bros Inc. to freeze and recover money that was fraudulently transferred to an account with HSBC in Hong Kong as a result of an email identity scam.
    • acting for Hit Technologies Inc. to recover money that was fraudulently transferred to an account with HSBC in Hong Kong as a result of an email identity scam.
    • acting for Bohner Law Office to freeze and recover money that was fraudulently transferred to an account with China Construction Bank in Hong Kong as a result of a scam perpetrated by a frauster pretending to be a client.
    • acting for McClinton Energy to recover money that was fraudulently transferred to an account with HSBC in Hong Kong.
    • acting for Wachovia N.A. Bank to recover money that was fraudulently transferred to an account with Hang Seng Bank in Hong Kong. The court proceedings included obtaining injunctive relief and bankers’ trust orders and, following judgment, garnishee proceedings to secure and attach the stolen money.
    • acting for the Veolia group to recover sums that were fraudulently transferred to an account with Standard Chartered Bank in Hong Kong, which were then remitted out to a number of other banks in the PRC.
    • acting for Wells Fargo Bank to freeze and recover money that was transferred to a bank account in the PRC as a result of an internet fraud scam. Mr. Cheong worked with a local PRC law firm to obtain a preservation order to secure the stolen money and then opened a dialogue with the suspected fraudster and the PRC bank which led to the repatriation of the funds in full.
  • Represented Banco Delta Asia in relation to an investigation by the U.S. Treasury and a March 2007 order requiring all U.S. companies and financial institutions to sever links with the client. The issue arose as a result of allegations that the client was conducting business with the government of North Korea and is an example of the use of the USA Patriot Act to impede “rogue states” and “state sponsors of terrorism” from utilizing the international financial system. 
  • Conducted an investigation at the headquarters of a multi-national company in Tokyo, Japan. The investigation related to allegations of price fixing in the microchip industry.
  • Conducted an investigation for a Korean airline company in relation to allegations of price fixing in the passenger and air freight sectors. Interviews were conducted of more than 30 senior executives at the airline and necessitated a detailed review of documents relating to the airline’s activities at various locations in South Korea. 
  • Conducted an investigation for a U.S. bank relating to possible breaches of internal policies and compliance requirements by employees. 
  • Conducted an investigation for a U.S. company with global operations relating to allegations of corruption and ethical issues.

Construction/Infrastructure (contentious and front-end drafting):
  • Represented the Sun Fook Kong Group in relation to an array of litigation instituted by various contractors for alleged outstanding payments. (See Tai Ying Fat v Sun Fook Kong Construction Ltd [2011] HKEC 930; Tai Ying Fat v Many Harvest Construction Co Ltd [2011] HKEC 1152).
  • Represented a U.S. Fortune 50 company in an arbitration dispute relating to a renewable energy project (wind power) in the PRC. The dispute concerned a contract for the supply of wind turbines to the client's joint venture partner.
  • Represented a U.S. company as the claimant in SIAC arbitration proceedings (seated in Singapore) concerning disputes arising from the construction of an off-shore gas platform in Indonesia. The claims advanced were for extensions of time, variations, prolongation costs, as well as a damages claim for misrepresentation and bad faith.
  • Represented a company in a contract dispute concerning the supply and installation of a glass façade on a high-rise commercial complex in Chile that was alleged to be of defective or inferior quality. The dispute also involved corresponding claims against the client's glass manufacturers/suppliers whose factories were located in the PRC.
  • Represented an international hotel group concerning a dispute with an E&M contractor over the defective design and installation of air-conditioning systems as part of a major refurbishment of a landmark hotel in Hong Kong.
  • Represented an international hotel group concerning a dispute with a consultant over the defective design and installation of windows and exterior cladding of a newly refurbished hotel in Hong Kong.
  • Represented the Hong Kong Government in domestic arbitration proceedings (seated in Hong Kong) concerning claims from a main contractor in relation to ground conditions on a river training project.
  • Represented the Hong Kong Housing Authority in litigation proceedings before the High Court in Hong Kong against a piling contractor on a public housing project. The contract with the piling contractor was terminated after it was discovered that some of the piles were of insufficient depth and records had been deliberately falsified to conceal the true depths. As a result of the criminal complaint, a number of site representatives were arrested and subsequently convicted of bribery.
  • Represented a Japanese contractor in domestic arbitration proceedings (seated in Hong Kong) against the Hong Kong Government concerning claims for adverse ground conditions (uncharted utilities), extensions of time, disruption and prolongation costs. The sums in dispute exceeded HK$300 million.
    Assisted a U.S. Fortune 50 company to review and amend documents involving the construction of a roofed-facility for the assembly of wind turbines.
  • Assisted an international hotel group to review and amend their standard contracts and terms regarding the hiring of contractors and consultants.
  • Assisted a company to review and amend a design consultancy agreement involving the provision of cutting-edge software and design solutions.
  • Assisted Hong Kong & China Gas to review and draft contracts for the supply and purchase of gas from landfill sites in Hong Kong.

Employment
  • Assisted numerous companies on a wide range of employment matters including employment arrangements, employment disputes, terminations, employment law compliance, workforce and restructuring, team moves, post-employment restrictions, and immigration and work visa issues.
  • Assisted the Hong Kong subsidiary of a U.S. company with global operations in relation to allegations of sexual harassment, victimization and termination issues.
  • Assisted the Hong Kong subsidiary of a U.S. company with global operations in relation to employment termination issues in the context of an anti-corruption investigation.
  • Assisted an international luxury hotel in relation to allegations of sexual assault by an employee against a hotel guest.
  • Assisted a U.S. company in relation to the closure of its business operations and office in Hong Kong and employment termination issues.
  • Assisted a bank in relation to the outsourcing of various services and transfer of employees.