Richard Bates

Richard Bates

Partner Hong Kong, Hong Kong

Richard Bates is the Head of Kennedys’ Corporate & Commercial Group in Hong Kong and Managing Partner of the Hong Kong office. He qualified in England and Wales in 1989 and in Hong Kong in 1995.

Richard has over 30 years’ experience advising on a wide range of corporate and commercial work, principally for a large number of life, health and general insurers and insurance intermediaries. This includes advising on the sale and purchase of companies, businesses and assets, corporate insurance, regulatory and compliance issues, licensing and registration, agency and distribution, product development, employment, information technology contracts, general commercial agreements, joint venture, shareholder and strategic alliance agreements, procurement and supply and the giving and taking of security. 

Richard is consistently recommended by the legal directories; he is A Recommended Lawyer (Corporate, Insurance and Employment) - The Legal 500 Asia Pacific and a Leading Individual (Insurance – Non-contentious) - Chambers Asia Pacific. He has a particular interest in the plain language drafting of contracts and other legal documents to ensure these are clear, concise and understandable.

Richard is co-author of Insurance and Reinsurance in Hong Kong, Thomson Reuters Practical Law.

He is an Associate External Academic Advisor for the Post Graduate Certificate in Laws (PCLL) at both City University and the Chinese University of Hong Kong. He is also a member of the Hong Kong Insurers Club and British Chamber of Commerce in Hong Kong.

He is also able to advise on licensing and product development within the sector and is popular among his clients, with one noting: 'He is my go-to for insurance regulatory work. He is very approachable and offers practical knowledge, strong relationships with regulators and a good breadth of experience in this market.'

Chambers Asia Pacific 2019

Market recognition

  • A Leading Individual for 'Insurance Non-Contentious (International Firms) (China)'
    "Richard Bates continues to advise on a range of transactional, corporate and regulatory issues relating to insurance companies. He is frequently sought after for his advice on policy wording, portfolio transfers and indemnities."
    Chambers Asia Pacific 2018
  • A Leading Individual for 'Employment (International Firms) (China)'
    "Richard Bates has an established practice representing both employees and employers, maintaining a strong client base in the banking and insurance sectors. His broad practice includes regularly acting for clients on termination and post-termination issues."
    Chambers Asia Pacific 2018
  • A Leading Individual for 'Insurance Non-Contentious (International Firms) (China)'
    "He is also able to advise on licensing and product development within the sector and is popular among his clients, with one noting: 'He is my go-to for insurance regulatory work. He is very approachable and offers practical knowledge, strong relationships with regulators and a good breadth of experience in this market.'"
    Chambers Asia Pacific 2019
  • A Leading Individual for 'Employment (International Firms) (China)'
    "Richard Bates is a long-standing adviser to both employers and employees, most notably in the banking and insurance sectors. He handles everything from drafting employment contracts to negotiating settlements to advising on discrimination claims."
    Chambers Asia Pacific 2019
  • A Recommended Lawyer for 'Insurance (Hong Kong)' and 'Employment (Hong Kong)' 
    The Legal 500 Asia Pacific 2018 - 2019

Work highlights

  • Winterthur Life - Re Winterthur Life & Anor [2005] 3 HKC 34 – first reported case on insurance portfolio transfers in Hong Kong
  • QBE - Purchase of PMI Mortgage Insurance Asia Limited from PMI Group Inc.
  • Dah Sing General Insurance – Domestication of Authorised Insurer
  • QBE – Purchase of Hang Seng General Insurance from HSBC
  • RL360° - Hong Kong counsel for purchase of Clerical Medical International from Lloyds Banking Group
Market recognition
  • Chambers 2018- Leading individual logo (Richard Bates).png

    Leading Individual

    Chambers Asia Pacific 2018

  • APL 500 - APAC 2018 Recommended Lawyer.png

    Recommended Lawyer

    The Legal 500 Asia Pacific 2018

  • Chambers 2019- Leading individual logo (Generic).jpg

    Leading Individual

    Chambers Asia Pacific 2019

  • ap_recommended_lawyer (002)

    Recommended Lawyer

    The Legal 500 Asia Pacific 2019