Derek Lai

Vice Chair of Deloitte China

Global Leader | Belt & Road Initiative

Derek Lai

35/F One Pacific Place

88 Queensway

Hong Kong


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Derek Lai, who is a seasoned Restructuring Partner, Vice Chair of Deloitte China and Global Contingency Planning and Insolvency Leader of Deloitte Global.  He was the Managing Partner of Deloitte China Southern Region, National Functional Leader of Deloitte China Financial Advisory, and was a two-term Board Member of Deloitte China.

Derek has been instrumental in nurturing and developing Deloitte China's Restructuring and Insolvency practice.  Under his visionary leadership, the team has grown from less than 20 practitioners to over 300 practitioners, and is now a larger team than any of its competitors in China.

Derek has specialized in corporate restructuring and insolvency in Hong Kong and Mainland China for nearly 35 years.  He has worked on liquidation,  receivership, and corporate restructuring engagements (including schemes of arrangement) involving companies incorporated in Hong Kong, Mainland China and various international jurisdictions, including the British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Cook Islands, Jersey, and the United Kingdom.

Derek is experienced in formal restructurings and informal workouts.  He has acted in numerous high profile cases, including the receivership of the Baha Mar resort in the Caribbean, which was one of the largest corporate insolvency engagements in Deloitte. 

Derek has acted as provisional liquidator of numerous companies listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange that had business operations in mainland China. He has been successful in obtaining the relisting of shares of companies listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange, which had been suspended from trading due to financial difficulties and/or suspected irregularities.

Derek has a successful track record of disposing of interests in Mainland China-related joint ventures / businesses and assets.  He has advised numerous clients on appropriate exit strategies for their Chinese investments, so as to maximize returns and minimize adverse consequences from such exits.  Derek has also served on various liquidation committees established under the Bankruptcy law in Mainland China.

Derek has supervised and conducted investigations into the affairs of companies to identify undisclosed assets, possible misappropriations of funds, disposals of assets at undervalue and other potential claims against third parties.  He has also had charge of investigations into the conduct of directors of companies, including cases involving alleged breaches of fiduciary duties and he has managed legal proceedings brought against third parties to obtain recoveries for creditors. Derek was the Partner in charge of a financial investigation into a matter which, at the time, was referred to as the biggest single case of theft of funds reported in Mainland China since the founding of the People’s Republic of China in 1949.


Professional Qualifications 

Derek is the Past President (2006/07) and Honorary Adviser of CPA Australia Hong Kong China Division.  He is a Fellow of the Hong Kong Institute of Certified Public Accountants (HKICPA), a member of the Insolvency Practitioners Association of Australia, INSOL International, and the HKICPA’s Restructuring and Insolvency Faculty.  He was awarded the Specialist Designation (Insolvency) by the HKICPA in July 2011.

Derek is currently an Adjunct Professor at City University of Hong Kong. He is a frequent speaker at courses and conferences organised by universities and professional organisations in Hong Kong.