Kevin Kee is a Partner of Karas So LLP. He specialises in managing complex cross-border litigation from investigation through to trial and the enforcement of judgments.
Having acted in some of the largest corporate collapses in the Asia-Pacific region, Kevin has particular expertise in insolvency, fraud and professional negligence disputes. Kevin also has extensive experience in handling banking and finance, general commercial and employment litigation and contentious regulatory matters.
Kevin combines a breadth of legal knowledge with clear-eyed thinking to find innovative solutions that advance his client’s interests. He has a keen interest in using technology to aid investigations.
Kevin is a Solicitor Advocate, having been granted Higher Rights of Audience for civil proceedings in Hong Kong.
Commercial fraud and professional negligence investigations and litigation
When a corporate group collapses due to fraud or mismanagement, Kevin works with insolvency practitioners to find out what went wrong and to hold to account those responsible. This includes the primary wrongdoers (often senior management), recipients of funds wrongly paid away, and gatekeepers – professionals who owed duties to protect the group from loss (such as auditors, valuers and banks).
In Sino Forest, the CEO of a listed forestry company orchestrated an “extremely large and complex fraud, resulting in the loss by Sino-Forest of billions of dollars”. The fraud included: (a) creating vast holdings of fictitious forest assets in Mainland China to falsify assets, revenues and profits; (b) raising funds relying on these falsified financial figures; and (c) fraudulent transactions with connected parties to channel away the funds raised. We act for the litigation trustee in investigating and pursuing claims in various jurisdictions:
- Ontario court proceedings against the company’s CEO resulting in a US$2.6 billion judgment (Borrelli v Chan 2018 ONSC 1429; 2019 ONCA 525).
- Singapore court proceedings against the valuer of the company’s forest assets resulting in a settlement after a ten-week trial.
- Hong Kong court proceedings against the company’s auditors that are on-going.
Kevin acts or has acted in respect of metals trading, water treatment, dairy farming, fashion eyewear and electronics trading businesses and sovereign wealth funds, among others. In each case, it is crucial to develop a deep understanding of the business and the industry in which it operates.
Kevin has extensive experience in handling litigation funding and dealing with professional litigation funders : e.g. Hyflux Ltd v Lum Ooi Lin  SGHC 113 (funded plaintiffs could provide security for costs by a cost undertaking from funder).
Other fraud and banking and finance litigation
Numerous actions to recover funds transferred due to internet fraud, e.g. UniCredit Bank Austria v Dragonwise Trading  2 HKLRD 169.
Numerous actions involving claims against banks for mis-selling financial products.
Acting for a bank in defending claims of dishonest assistance in a breach of trust and receiving funds subject to a charge.
Insolvency and restructuring litigation and advisory
Acting in various matters relating to a liquidator’s powers to examine witnesses and require production of documents.
Acting for liquidators of a corporate group wound up following the discovery of potential widespread fraud (Re Days International Ltd  1 HKLRD 20).
Obtaining the appointment of provisional liquidators in connection with possibly the first use in Hong Kong of the provisional liquidation procedure to effect a pre-pack sale of assets (Egana).
Acting for a bank to appoint receivers over a corporate vehicle to realise security interests under an aircraft financing (Oasis Airlines). Acting in the subsequent arbitration against the founders of the airline to enforce guarantees given to the bank.
Acting for auditors in responding to investigations by the Accounting and Financial Reporting Council.
Acting on a number of significant contentious regulatory matters, including highly sensitive matters overseen by bank management at the highest levels, including:
- handling dawn-raids by regulatory investigators;
- acting for an individual defendant, an employee of a New York hedge fund, in Market Misconduct Tribunal proceedings relating to allegations of insider dealing and false trading;
- acting for individuals required to attend interviews, or handling document production requests by various regulatory bodies (such as the SFC, the HKMA and the FSA (now the FCA) and the police);
- assisting a bank's internal investigations and preparing detailed investigation reports;
- handling issues relating to enforcement and discipline, including preparing mitigation papers;
- advising a bank on the suitability of its processes for assessing the fitness and propriety of its staff and in assisting the bank with assessing the continued fitness and propriety of staff.
Acting for an international fashion brand in a shareholder dispute in respect of a retail and distribution joint venture involving minority oppression and a claim for just and equitable winding up (Quiksilver Greater China Ltd v Quiksilver Glorious Sun Licensing Ltd  HKCFI 1306;  4 HKLRD 759).
Acting for the successful plaintiff before the Court of Final Appeal in a leading case regarding the interpretation of a force majeure clause (Goldlion Properties Ltd v Regent National Enterprises Ltd  HKCFA 58).
Acting for an international investment bank in a high value and highly sensitive leasing dispute with its landlord, involving oversight from senior management in Hong Kong and New York.
Acting in a shareholder dispute relating to an entertainment joint venture, involving allegations of breach of fiduciary duty, fraud, and minority oppression.
Acting in a taxation appeal to Australia's apex court: Commissioner of Taxation v Citylink Melbourne Limited  HCA 35; (2006) 228 ALR 301.
Acting for the plaintiff employer in a team move matter. This matter gave rise to a judgment, Tullett Prebon (Hong Kong) Ltd v Chan Yeung Fong Nick  HKCFI 355, which is a leading case on non-party discovery in Hong Kong.
Acting for the plaintiff employer in HSBC Bank plc v Steven Andrew Wallace  1 HKLRD 613, a leading case in Hong Kong on the enforcement of post-termination restrictions.
- Karas So LLP, 2021
- Lipman Karas, 2014
- Allen & Overy, 2008
- Johnson Stokes & Master, 2007
- Freehills (now Herbert Smith Freehills), 2002
- Masters of Commercial Law, University of Melbourne
- Bachelor of Economics/Bachelor of Laws, Monash University
- Solicitor Advocate, Hong Kong, 2014
- High Court of Hong Kong, 2008
- Supreme Court of Victoria, 2003