The downturn in the Chinese property sector is creating new prospects in Hong Kong, both for firms looking to cash in on the need for professionals with expertise in restructuring and insolvency and for a city looking to cement its status as a legal hub.


When China Construction Bank (Asia) decided to file a liquidation petition in Hong Kong against property giant Shimao Group earlier this month, analysts saw it as a sign that China’s property sector was still in crisis. But restructuring, liquidation, and insolvency specialists saw something else—an opportunity to grow their business by taking advantage of burgeoning demand for their expertise.

“Many creditors are coming to us seeking advice… they have started to consider formal insolvency options,” said Tiffany Wong, managing director at Alvarez & Marsal. “As you can see in cases like Shimao and Country Garden, creditors are seeking alternative recovery options when consensual restructuring is not progressing after years of discussions.”