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Clifford Chance

Clifford Chance
Thomas Walsh

Thomas Walsh


Thomas Walsh

Thomas Walsh co-leads the firm's Greater China international arbitration practice. He is also the head of its Korean disputes practice. He has a particular focus and experience in post-M&A, private equity and tech related disputes and has been based in Asia since 2010 so has a depth of experience in the region.

Thomas He is recognised as one of the leaders in Asia in international arbitration and is ranked as Band 1 by Chambers and as a Leading Individual by Legal 500. In accordance with this he has leadership roles with many of the leading global and regional arbitral institutions. This includes being on the HKIAC's Exco, Council and Chair of its Appointments Committee and also being elected as the Chair of ICC HK's Nominations Committee.

Legal Directories note that he is a "dedicated and enthusiastic player at the heart of the dispute resolution scene in Hong Kong’, Thomas Walsh co-heads the Greater China practice alongside Shanghai-based Lei Shi and is regularly involved in many of the most complicated multi-jurisdictional disputes in the region" (Legal 500) and that "[h]e gives confidence to clients with great communication skills and a thorough understanding of the key issues" (Chambers & Partners).

Alongside his work as counsel and as an arbitrator, he also regularly writes and speaks on arbitration and is one of the General Editors of the leading commentary in arbitration in Hong Kong, the Arbitration and ADR Volume of Hong Kong Civil Procedure (or "White Book"). He also enjoys teaching arbitration and has been an adjunct professor at Hong Kong University, Peking University, Seoul National University and Yonsei University.

Private equity

  • Advising the GP to a private equity fund in multiple arbitrations and court proceedings in HK, Cayman Islands and the PRC relating to a USD 1 billion dispute with an investor and investments in German, Israeli and American portfolio companies. ICC, HKIAC and UNCITRAL arbitrations, HK seat, HK governing law together with HK, PRC and Cayman court proceedings with associated injunctions, disclosure orders and confidentiality orders.
  • Advising a global private equity firm in multiple arbitrations relating to a USD 300 million dispute over their investment in a PRC business and joint venture dispute with the minority shareholder and numerous international court proceedings in support of the arbitrations. CIETAC arbitrations, HK law, Beijing seat together with HK, Singapore and Cayman court proceedings with associated injunctions, disclosure orders, Norwich Pharma orders and contempt of court proceedings and enforcement challenge before CICC.
  • Advising a financial institution in connection with a USD 100 million dispute relating to its investment in a PRC property joint venture including steps to take control of the joint venture, information rights and redemption of shares under various rounds of investments. HKIAC arbitration and UNCITRAL arbitrations, PRC law, HK seat together with PRC court interim relief.
  • Advising four private equity funds in a USD 100 million UNCITRAL arbitration together with associated Vietnamese civil and criminal proceedings. The dispute related to the funds’ investment into a group of companies in Vietnam where they became victims of a sophisticated fraud. HKIAC arbitration under UNCITRAL Rules, HK law, HK seat together with Vietnamese civil and criminal court proceedings.
  • Advising two global investment banks in connection with a USD 200 million dispute relating to an investment in copper manufacturing company and the exercise of put option rights including emergency arbitration proceedings. HKIAC arbitration, HK law, HK seat.


  • Advising a PRC investor in relation to a USD 2 billion dispute regarding an EV business. Including successfully defending against an emergency arbitration to force financing and also appointing professional directors to the target board of directors to prevent dissipation. HKIAC arbitration, HK law, HK seat and HKIAC emergency arbitration.
  • Advising a smartphone maker in a USD 200 million arbitration relating to contractual derivative claims and copyright infringement. HKIAC arbitration, HK law and HK seat.
  • Advising a company which specialises in finishing glass used on consumer electronic devices in a tech and IP related HKIAC arbitration for over USD 100 million and involving highly sensitive proprietary information. HKIAC arbitration, HK seat, HK law.
  • Advising for a data centre developer and operator in relation to disputes with customers and end users in multiple jurisdictions. HKIAC arbitration and HK litigation, HK law, HK seat and related court proceedings in Singapore and England.
  • Advising a large HKSE-listed software company in relation to an emergency arbitration application commenced by a significant shareholder and associated arbitration proceedings. HKIAC arbitration, HK seat, HK law.


  • Advising a high-profile owner and operator of a crypto platform in an HKIAC arbitration in relation to a crypto derivatives close-out dispute, associated Hong Kong and Seychelles court proceedings including a recent (2022) leading Hong Kong court decision on confidentiality. HKIAC arbitration, HK law, HK seat.
  • Advising a crypto platform in relation to disputes against a number of early round investors. Californian court, California law and HKIAC arbitration, HK law and HK seat.
  • Advising a crypto trading firm in a SIAC arbitration on potential liabilities arising from the insolvency of a crypto hedge fund. SIAC arbitration, Singapore law, Singapore seat.
  • Acting for shareholders and investors in a crypto platform in relation to dissipation of assets. HK court and HKIAC arbitration, HK law, HK seat.


  • Advising an international biotechnology company in disputes relating to the acquisition of a plasma manufacturing company including issues over breaches of good manufacturing practice and regulatory issues. PRC law, HKIAC arbitration, HK seat.
  • Advising in a dispute relating to an investment into a pharmaceutical business in the PRC. HKIAC arbitration, HK seat, HK law and freezing injunction in HK.
  • Advising a medical devices and health care company in relation to a number of disputes relating to its divestment of an asset in the PRC. English law, ICC arbitration, London seat.
  • Advising for one of the world's largest pharmaceutical companies in a litigation relating to the supply of contaminated active pharmaceutical ingredients by a PRC supplier. HK court, HK law.
  • Advising a global pharmaceutical company in relation to the theft of trade secrets and Anton Piller relief. HK court, HK law.


  • Advising an international lessor in a dispute against a Hong Kong based airline for outstanding rental payments and accompanying injunctive relief to ground two aircraft pending payment. HK arbitration, HK law and HK seat together with HK court.
  • Advising numerous international lessors in disputes against a major PRC regional airline including arbitration, litigation and insolvency processes. HK arbitration, HK law and HK seat together with PRC court.
  • Advising an aeronautical products company in a significant ICC arbitration with one of its business partners. ICC arbitration, French law and Paris seat.
  • Advising an aeronautics company in multiple arbitrations against joint venture partners. ICC arbitrations, HK law and HK seat.
  • Advising a Chinese lessor in a CIETAC dispute with a Chinese airline that had failed to take delivery of an aircraft. CIETAC arbitration, Chinese law and Beijing seat and enforcement challenge before Beijing Court and a Wuxi Court.

News and client work

View all news and client work featuring Thomas Walsh

Contact details

Career and qualifications

  • Trinity Hall, Cambridge (BA) 2001
  • Admitted as a solicitor in England & Wales 2007
  • Admitted as a solicitor in Hong Kong 2011
  • Admitted as a Foreign Legal Consultant in the Republic of Korea 2013
  • Joined Clifford Chance 2014
  • Head of Korean disputes practice 2014
  • Partner since 2019
  • Co-head of China International practice 2020

Professional bodies

  • Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (CIArb), CIArb Fellow 2015
  • KCAB Council for International Arbitration 2016
  • ICC Hong Kong Appointments Committee 2017
  • HKIAC HK45 Committee 2018
  • KCAB Next 2018
  • HKIAC Council 2020

Awards and citations

  • "Thomas is a very commercial arbitrator who knows his arbitration rules very well and deploys them in assistance with the commercial ends of clients."
    Chambers Greater China Region, Dispute Resolution: Arbitration (International Firms), 2023
  • "Tom Walsh is a dedicated and enthusiastic player at the heart of the dispute resolution scene in Hong Kong."
    Legal 500 Asia Pacific, Dispute Resolution: International Arbitration – Hong Kong, 2023
  • Leading Individual.
    Legal 500 Asia Pacific, Dispute Resolution: International Arbitration – Hong Kong, 2023
  • "Thomas Walsh is an exceptional lawyer; he has an infectious passion for arbitration and is incredibly grounded".
    Legal 500 Asia Pacific, Dispute Resolution: International Arbitration – Hong Kong, 2020
  • According to one source, Thomas Walsh is "a fountain of good ideas, and wise and experienced beyond his years." He typically handles commercial proceedings related to private equity investments, shareholder disputes and energy sector-related cases. One source comments: "He's very passionate about arbitration and getting the best possible outcome for clients. He puts in a real shift and works under difficult circumstances."
    Chambers Asia Pacific, Dispute Resolution: Arbitration (International Firms) – China 2020
  • Practice head Thomas Walsh is a particularly prominent figure on the international arbitration scene in Korea, bringing both academic rigour and hands-on experience as an arbitrator to his work for clients. Interviewees praise him highly, one commenting: "Tom is the complete package. He is very good with clients, writes very well and is an excellent oral advocate." Another source says: "He has an excellent ability to see the case from the widest perspective, is hands-on and detail-oriented and is an excellent person to work with."
    Chambers Asia Pacific, Dispute Resolution: International Firms – South Korea 2020
  • Clifford Chance’s Thomas Walsh wins high praise as “one of the best arbitration lawyers in the market”. He is “a top-notch advocate” who peers “cannot recommend highly enough”. Who's Who Arbitration: Future Leaders 2019
  • Thomas Walsh enters the rankings this year on the back of strong market feedback. He is active in arbitration proceedings spanning a wide range of areas, including energy and construction disputes. "The way he communicates legal concepts to the layman really impresses us," one source reports, while another explains: "He is very personable and well liked in the market. He is very well prepared and on top of things. I have been hugely impressed."
    Chambers Global, Dispute Resolution (International Firms) - China 2019
  • A "fierce advocate with a strong analytic mind," Thomas Walsh leads the Korean disputes practice, splitting his time between Seoul and Hong Kong. A market commentator notes: "Tom is very well regarded in the Seoul arbitration community."
    Chambers Global, Dispute Resolution: International Firms – South Korea 2019