Our Heritage

Deacons was established in Hong Kong in 1851 and is Hong Kong’s oldest law firm.

Deacons takes its name from a young English solicitor, Victor Deacon, who arrived in the burgeoning British colony of Hong Kong in 1880 to join the legal practice established by William Bridges in 1851.

Within two years, the irrepressible Victor Deacon was made a partner and within 20 years, under his own name, he had firmly established Deacons as one of the leading law firms in Hong Kong, a position it has retained to this day.

Deacons grew steadily throughout the 20th century, flourishing during Hong Kong’s post-war boom. By the mid-1970s Deacons was a busy, full-service business law firm and a highly respected name in commercial circles throughout Asia.

We are proud to support The Photographic Heritage Foundation in their mission to locate and identify historical photographic images in archives and private collections; to revive their context and meaning; and to publish them with historical and contemporary texts in books, websites and exhibitions.

1851

1851


The firm now known as Deacons was established by William Bridges; the second barrister to commence practice in Hong Kong and, from time to time, the Colonial Secretary.

1860

1860


After relocating the offices to Queen’s Road, the firm was in closer proximity to the Supreme Court.

1880

1880


Victor Hobart Deacon was admitted to practice in Hong Kong. The firm then practised under the name Wotton & Deacon.

1898

1898


Frank Barrington Deacon (Victor Deacon’s nephew, and known as “Nipper Deacon”) was admitted to practise in Hong Kong. On his admission the firm became known as Deacon, Looker and Deacon.

1901

1901


The larger firm required bigger office space – Deacons moved to Ice House Street.

1904

1904


Deacons moved into Prince’s Building near the Supreme Court.

1912

1912


The Hong Kong Supreme Court moved to Statue Square, across from Deacons office.

1924

1924


The firm’s name is changed to Deacons. This was an early adoption of a modern naming method, given that both Victor and Frank Deacon had by now retired from the firm.

1951

1951


Deacons celebrates 100 years in Hong Kong.

1962

1962


Deacons moved from the now historic Prince’s Building, which had been zoned for demolition, to Union Building. This later became the location of Swire House and today Chater House.

1986

1986


Deacons opened an initial presence in Mainland China in Beijing.

1994

1994


A Deacons representative office is opened in Guangzhou.

1999

1999


A Deacons representative office is opened in Shanghai.

2002

2002


A Deacons representative office is opened in Beijing.

2008

2008


Deacons becomes Hong Kong’s largest independent law firm.

2010

2010


Deacons advises on the first RMB-denominated fund.

2011

2011


The firm commences participation in Operation Santa Claus.

2013

2013


Deacons (Beijing) Intellectual Property Agency is founded under the sole ownership of Deacons.

2014

2014


Deacons entrusts the University of Hong Kong with its carefully curated and preserved Deacons Archives containing more than 8,000 historical documents, most of which dated from the 1880s to 1950s.

2015

2015


Deacons advises on the first Mainland China-recognised fund under the Mainland China-Hong Kong mutual recognition regime.

2015

2015


Deacons has maintained a leading position in terms of IPO participation rate in the Hong Kong market.

2018

2018


Deacons advises on the debut RMB bill issuance by The People’s Bank of China in Hong Kong.

2020

2020


Deacons acts for Hong Kong’s first unlisted public open-ended fund company (OFC), as well as Hong Kong’s first umbrella private OFC.

2021

2021


Deacons celebrates 170 years in Hong Kong. Deacons Cares has been awarded as a Caring Company for 10 consecutive years by the Hong Kong Council of Social Service.

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