O’Melveny Worldwide

Kieran Humphrey is a highly-regarded dispute resolution lawyer in O’Melveny’s Hong Kong office.  He regularly acts in arbitration and,  litigation for financial institutions, multinationals and listed companies.

Kieran is recognised for his expertise by leading legal directories, including Chambers Asia-Pacific, Chambers Global, Legal 500 and Benchmark Litigation. He holds multiple rankings in various dispute resolution categories.

He has been praised as “an excellent disputes lawyer with deep knowledge and commercial nous”,extremely intelligent and hardworking”, “responsive, insightful and provides commercially astute advice”, and a “trusted counsellor”.

Among his other credentials, Kieran is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (CIArb UK) and other regional arbitration institutes.  He is also a contributing author to a number of leading textbooks.

  • Advising a leading investment bank on arbitration relating to a failed investment in China worth over US$100 million
  • Acting for a major contractor in disputes arising from a multi-billion dollar rail project
  • Acting for Hong Kong investors in arbitration against a PRC media company for breach of a share purchase agreement
  • Representing an international pharmaceutical company in arbitration proceedings to resolve a dispute worth over US$100 million
  • Acting for a leading mining services provider in a long-running proceedings with a listed resource company
  • Acting for a state-owned enterprise in international arbitration and related court proceedings to resolve a multi-million dollar contractual dispute
  • Defending an international broker against high-value claims for professional negligence
  • Acting for an international software company in arbitration proceedings to resolve a multi-million dollar dispute with a former JV partner
  • Representing international insurers in arbitration and court proceedings arising from claims under financial lines and casualty insurance policies
  • Acting for a listed company in a dispute arising from the breach of restrictive covenants by a former management employee
  • Advising financial institutions and listed companies on cross-border debt enforcement matters
  • Advising on various corporate transactions, including drafting bespoke contracts, conducting due diligence on specialist issues, and assisting with contentious negotiations


Bar Admissions

  • Hong Kong
  • England & Wales
  • Australia

Court Admissions

  • High Court, Hong Kong 
  • High Court, England and Wales
  • High Court, Australia
  • Supreme Court, New South Wales 
  • Singapore International Commercial Court (Foreign Lawyer)


  • University of Sydney, LL.B. (First Class Honours)
  • University of Sydney, B.A. (History and Government & International Relations)

Honors & Awards

  • Chambers Asia-Pacific - Ranked as “Band 3” in contentious insurance and “Band 5” for Dispute Resolution.

  • Chambers Asia-Pacific says:
    • Kieran is always the lawyer that I go to for advice. He is responsive and understands our needs. We are impressed with his service and will continue to engage him.” (2023)

    • Kieran is an excellent disputes lawyer with deep knowledge and commercial nous. I have no hesitation in engaging Kieran to lead and navigate us through difficult, document-intensive and legally complicated disputes.” (2023)

    • A client notes: “Kieran is hard-working, client-focused and extremely pragmatic.” (2023)

    • Kieran Humphrey continues to advise on a diverse selection of disputes work, including product liability claims, employment disputes and joint venture disputes. A client says: “He was very hard-working and resourceful, and powered through a mountain of work without anything being too much a problem; he was able to take on everything we gave him, and was very good at delegating when necessary. He was extremely important to the process.” (2022)

    • Kieran Humphrey continues to advise on a diverse selection of disputes work, including product liability claims, employment disputes and joint venture disputes.  One client considers him “extremely intelligent and hard-working.” (2021)

    • Kieran Humphrey received “extensive praise for his broad commercial dispute resolution practice”.  Clients say: “he is responsive, insightful and provides commercially astute advice. He's a trusted adviser and a valued sounding board on legal and risk-related matters.” (2020)

    • Kieran Humphrey is commended by clients for being “very responsive and offering a personal touch on mandates.”  One client concludes: “I have always been impressed with how thorough he is. He is very detailed and he considers every possible angle and dimension that anyone could think of.” (2019)

    • Kieran Humphrey is praised by clients: “He is very responsive and is able to decode complex matters into understandable language.” (2018)

    • Kieran Humphrey impresses market observers, who single him out as “a safe pair of hands and a very good operator”. (2017)

    • Kieran Humphrey inspires “a strong degree of confidence” in his clients who praise him as “a solid performer” who “does a lot of the heavy lifting on cases.” (2016)
  • Chambers Global - Ranked as “Up and Coming” for Dispute Resolution.

  • Legal 500 – Ranked as a “Rising Star” for dispute resolution and recognised for his contentious insurance expertise.

  • Legal 500 says:
    • Kieran Humphrey is “recommended for financial lines and casualty insurance claims, regulatory investigations, fraud allegations and product liability matters”. (2023)

    • The team is very responsive, practical and commercial. I usually work with Kieran Humphrey…” (2023)

    • Kieran Humphrey is a “trusted counsellor and sounding board, and can be relied upon to give clear and practical advice, based on his extensive experience across a number of key markets and industries. He has always been focused on understanding and meeting our needs.” (2022)

    • One client says: “I would recommend Kieran Humphrey… I have been impressed in the past at how [he is] able to dissect the problem and provide very strong strategic advice to get to a desired outcome.” (2022)

    • Kieran Humphrey has “a strategic and pragmatic mindset with an innate ability to quickly understand client needs”. (2020)
  • Benchmark Litigation – Ranked as a “Future Star” International Arbitration and Commercial & Transactions Disputes.

  • Benchmark Litigation says:
    • [Kieran] listens carefully and then provides answers and solutions which show a thorough understanding of the law, but which also take into account the relevant circumstances and what is possible.  We always feel highly confident with his advice and feel he has understood what we are trying to achieve.” (2022)
  • Recognised for dispute resolution and nominated for the “Rising Star” award at the Benchmark Litigation Asia-Pacific Dispute Resolution Awards in 2016 and 2018 (formerly known as the AsiaLaw Dispute Resolution Awards).

Professional Activities


  • Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (CIArb)
  • Inter-Pacific Bar Association, Former Chair (2017 to 2021) and Vice-Chair (2016) of Committee
  • ICC-HK Arbitration & ADR Committee
  • Former Vice-Chair & Steering Committee Member, ARIAS Asia (Specialist Arbitration Institution for Insurance and Reinsurance)
  • Law Society of Hong Kong
  • Law Society of England & Wales
  • Society of Construction Lawyers

Author (contributing)

  • Bullen & Leake & Jacob’s Precedents of Pleadings (Hong Kong edition)
  • Emden’s Construction Law (Hong Kong edition)
  • Lexis Nexis’ Litigation Practical Legal Guidance and Employment Practical Legal Guidance
  • The White Book: Hong Kong Civil Procedure (2015 to date)
  • Commercial Litigation in Hong Kong (Second Edition)
  • Commercial Arbitration in Hong Kong (Second Edition)

Speaking Engagements

Kieran has presented to academic and professional audiences across various forums including at universities (as a guest lecturer), professional conferences (including the Inter-Pacific Bar Association’s Annual Conferences and Asset Recovery Asia Conference), professional institutes/bodies (including the Chartered Insurance Institute of Hong Kong, Malaysian Bar Association and ARIAS Asia) and client seminars.