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Clifford Chance

Clifford Chance
Donna Wacker

Donna Wacker


Donna Wacker

Donna Wacker is Co-Head of the Asia Pacific Regulatory Group and Head of contentious insolvency in Hong Kong. Admitted in Hong Kong, Australia and England & Wales, Donna has more than 20 years experience, advising on contentious and advisory regulatory matters and complex litigation with an emphasis on the financial services industry.

Donna maintains a practice in Hong Kong and Sydney. Her experience extends across advising banks, alternative investment funds, brokerages and listed companies in a wide range of regulatory matters and investigations by regulators across Asia Pacific, including investigations into insider dealing and market manipulation, short selling and position reporting. Her clients are diverse in nature with examples of her work including advising leading international financial institutions in regard to local and multi-jurisdictional enforcement and recovery actions (in particular in relation to secured assets in the PRC) and Hong Kong based NPL portfolios. She has acted for a number of financial institutions and corporates in relation to exposure to the global Lehman Brothers estate, in particular litigation in both Hong Kong and internationally to recover trust assets and pursue disputes around close out valuations of collateral in relation to ISDA transactions.

She has also provided counsel to liquidators/provisional liquidators of Gatecoin (cryptocurrency platform), China Fishery Group, Pioneer Holdings, Peregrine, GITIC (HK), China Nonferrous Metals Group and Baker Group International Holdings in relation to the administration of these liquidations including the recovery of world-wide assets, dispute resolution with contract counter-parties and cross-border insolvency issues.

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Contact details

Career and qualifications

  • University of Queensland (LLB with First Class Honours) 1998
  • Minter Ellison, Australia 1997
  • Admitted as a solicitor in Australia 1999, Hong Kong 2001, England & Wales 2005
  • White & Case, Hong Kong 2000
  • Joined Clifford Chance Hong Kong 2002
  • Partner since 2009

Professional bodies

  • Chairperson of the Hong Kong Law Society's Overseas Lawyers Committee
  • Member of the International Women's Insolvency and Restructuring Confederation

Awards and citations

  • Litigation Star and Top 100 Women in Litigation 2024
    Benchmark Litigation Asia-Pacific: Insolvency, China and Hong Kong SAR
  • Litigator of the Year
    Asia Pacific Women in Business Law Awards 2023
  • "Donna is obviously very good, has very good client management skills and is a very good communicator who puts you at ease."
    "She's an all-rounder who is very well known and has been in the market many years."
    Chambers Greater China Region, Dispute Resolution: Litigation (International Firms), 2023
  • Leading Individual
    Legal 500 Asia Pacific, Hong Kong Regulatory, 2023
  • Women Leaders and Highly Regarded
    IFLR 1000 – Hong Kong Financial Services Regulatory: Contentious – 2023
    IFLR 1000 – Hong Kong Restructuring & Insolvency – 2023
  • Described as a "formidable" litigator, Donna Wacker is highly regarded by banks and financial institutions for her contentious regulatory, fraud and insolvency litigation expertise. One source comments: "She's very conscientious and has a good commercial sense, can see the bigger picture quickly and is very sensible in terms of strategy."
    Chambers Asia Pacific 2020, China, Dispute Resolution: Litigation (International Firms)
  • Donna Wacker’s contentious regulatory practice covers enforcement investigations and disputes involving financial products. Her clients include banks, securities firms and clients operating in the fintech industry.
    Chambers Asia Pacific 2020, China, Financial Services (International Firms)
  • Interviewees describe Donna Wacker as "very good at client management." In addition to offering expertise in contentious regulatory matters, she is also singled out for her track record in insolvency disputes.
    Chambers Global 2019, China, Dispute Resolution (International Firms)