Adrian Halkes
Adrian Halkes

Hong Kong (2005)

Solicitor (HK) [1994-2005]
Solicitor (UK) [1995-]
Solicitor Queensland [2002-2004]


Adrian is an outcome focussed lawyer who has been on the frontline of developing liquor licensing and food & beverage law in Hong Kong over three decades. He also specialises in construction industry law, environmental consulting and safety and compliance law defence. He manages complex corporate compliance audits and structuring together with incident response and investigation management.

As a trial, appellate and judicial review advocate his regulatory and compliance practice has seen him advising the Hong Kong Government, SME operators and listed companies on legislative change, business establishment, acquisitions and sales. His knowledge of immigration law, Inland Revenue regulation, the Municipal Services and Administrative Appeals Board reviews plus the plethora of Government and statutory regulations in the HKSAR; sees him consulted by businesses in (or entering) Hong Kong before a single step is taken to open a business or acquire one.

As a Solicitor, AJ Halkes established his first law firm in Lan Kwai Fong and now practices as a Barrister-at-Law. He is known for his strategic approach to understanding complex business challenges, legal, and the forensic or engineering areas where criminal law meets regulatory control in a commercial context. This may involve the Police, Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC), Securities and Futures Commission (SFC), Government investigations and regulators.

His defence at trial, advocacy in the courts, tribunals and administrative appeals boards of Hong Kong is well known and he travels extensively advising clients not only within Asia Pacific. Adrian has acted in Europe and the USA having appeared in the courts of the Netherlands and Switzerland concerning Anti-Money Laundering and tax matters and in the Uninted States of America on evidence gathering and depositions related to criminal trial; including murder.

He has spoken publicly as an advocate in diverse forums including the Legislative Council of Hong Kong, the Ambassadors Round Table on IPR in China, APEC-ASEAN+3 in Tokyo, and seminars in Shanghai, Zhejiang and sessions of the NCAC in Beijing in the early days of Internet Regulation. 

His representation of Nancy Kissel and other defendants in selected complex criminal matters is well known together with multiple successful Judicial Reviews and appeals in respect of the actions of the HKSAR statutory bodies. He has acted in a number of death inquiries pertaining to workplace deaths and accidents, consumer product litigation and represented  professionals including stockbrokers, corporate directors and medical practitioners; he has also held appointments as an Examiner of the High Court and a Non-Executive Director.



HCAL 58/2008 & 16/2008
Multiple successful Judicial Reviews in relation to the conduct of the Director of Health and a related Appeal body resulting in total reversals of all adverse decisions; Counsel for four separate Appeals and two applications for leave for Judicial Review; Junior to Mr. Paul Harris S.C. at the substantive hearing including HCAL 66/2008.

HCAL 1448/2001
A pivotal Judicial Review that decided the ambit of the powers and functions of the Municipal Services Appeals Board in relation to Liquor Licensing Appeals.

HCAL 38 / 2010 & HCAL 71 / 2010
A sucessful case leading to the establishment of the principle that a “decision not to decide is a decision” and amenable to review.


CACC 414 / 2005, No. 64 of 2008, FACC 2 / 2009
Appearing as Junior to Mr. G.L.X McCoy S.C. Following being on the trial team, in the matter of the Appeal of Nancy Kissel; accused of the murder of her Merrill Lynch banker husband; ultimately leading to successfully overturning her conviction and a re-trial being ordered by the Court of Final Appeal.


MSAB 31 / 2000 & 33 / 2000
Twin Municipal Services Appeals that fundamentally changed the food and beverage landscape of the SoHo area of Hong Kong; liberating liquor sale from 11pm to 2am and allowing premises to operate with modern open frontages until 11pm as opposed to the previously restricted 6pm imposed via a covert policy decision.


HCA 4665 / 2002
Definitive contempt and stay of proceedings related matter concerning an alleged multi-million dollar fraud that determined the interaction of civil and criminal cases and related litigation in the complex commercial crime environment; and subsequent District Court criminal proceedings.


Hong Kong (2005)