Joseph Lee

Call 2008 (Hong Kong)

LANGUAGES

English, Cantonese, Mandarin (Basic)

CONTACT

T: +852 2840 1130
E: joseph.lee@parksidechambers.com.hk

Secretary: Ms. Juliana Chan
E: juliana.chan@parksidechambers.com.hk

Profile

Joseph is a specialist defence advocate practising in all types of criminal cases. Renowned for his engaging court style, Joseph has established a strong track record, both as a leading junior, a led junior and acting alone.

To meet the wide variety of criminal cases he defends in, Joseph combines his meticulous approach to case preparation and a natural flair for advocacy with a robust and efficient style of cross examination of witnesses and experts. This has resulted in many successful results at all levels of the court, including prosecutions brought by the Customs & Excise Department, Immigration Department and the ICAC.

For general crime, Joseph has represented clients in a range of offences from violence, dishonesty and drugs to sexual misconduct and regulatory offences. He is also experienced in litigating sensitive issues relating to mental health and fitness to plead.

Joseph is regularly instructed in complex white collar criminal cases, including allegations of bribery and corruption, complex commercial fraud, and serious offences against individuals. He is able to master voluminous cases with precision and ease, and his expertise in the often complex and sensitive issues arising in such cases means that he is a skilled tactician who is able to rigorously challenge the prosecution case while bringing the best out of his client at trial.

He is highly committed to the defence of those he represents, with the ability to get on with clients from all walks of life, in the pursuit of his clients’ best interests and ensuring that each client is represented to the highest possible standards.

Joseph is also an experienced appellate advocate, with successful appearances, both as advocate and led junior, in all levels of criminal appellate courts in Hong Kong, including the Court of Final Appeal. His reported appeals have included successful conviction and sentence appeals and he has been instructed on a private and public basis.

Joseph is a contributing author to Archbold Hong Kong: Criminal Law and Procedure since 2016 and is currently a member of the Criminal Law & Procedure Committee of Hong Kong Bar Association.

Joseph’s expertise as a leading junior in both general and white collar crime has been recognised by the following legal directories:

– “Recommended” Junior Counsel, Doyles Guide 2019 (Leading Criminal Law Barristers – Hong Kong)

– “Leading” Junior Counsel, Doyles Guide 2020 and 2021 (Leading Criminal Law Barristers – Hong Kong)

– Tier 1, Leading Juniors, Legal 500 2021 (Hong Kong Bar – White Collar Crime)

– Tier 1, Leading Juniors, Legal 500 2022 (Hong Kong Bar – Regulatory, Investigations and Crime)

Practice Areas

General Criminal Litigation
White-Collar Crime
Industrial Summonses
  • Member of the Criminal Law & Procedure Committee, Hong Kong Bar Association (2013 – 2018, 2020 – current)
  • Deputy Magistrate (2016)
  • Contributing Editor, Archbold Hong Kong (2016 – 2021)
  • Speaker, Criminal Law Conference (2017)

White Collar Crime

Bribery and Corruption

  • HKSAR v Cheung: acted for the defendant, who was charged with conspiracy with an agent to accept advantages. She was acquitted after trial, after the judge found that her conduct was not done in relation to her employer bank’s affairs or business. (Led by Mr. Derek Chan S.C.)
  • HKSAR v Kwok: acted for the defendant, who faced a charge of engaging in corrupt conduct at an election by accepting an advantage. All his admissions to the ICAC, made on video, were successfully ruled out by the court.
  • HKSAR v Lau: acted for a customer relationship manager of a prominent bank, who faced 7 charges of accepting an advantage from his banking client. The defendant was acquitted of all the charges he faced, as the court found that the prosecution was unable to prove the corrupt intent. (Led by Mr. Selwyn Yu S.C.)
  • HKSAR v Ma & Others: acted for the three defendants in a trial in the High Court, who were all acquitted by the jury for all the counts they faced, involving bribes to a chief trader of derivative warrants of an international bank. (Led by Mr. Selwyn Yu S.C.)

Fraud and Money Laundering

  • HKSAR v Yu & Others: acted for the defendant, who faced a Money Laundering charge (Dealing with property known or believed to represent proceeds of an indictable offence). The Judge accepted the defendant’s explanation as possibly true and she was acquitted accordingly.
  • HKSAR v Mak & Others: acted for the 1st defendant, who pleaded guilty to a charge of conspiracy to defraud, in relation to the concrete testing procedure of the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau Bridge, in which the CEDD suffered losses of over HK$30 million.
  • HKSAR v Chan: acted for the defendant, who faced a charge of fraud against her own company. The court disbelieved the main prosecution witness and found that the prosecution failed to prove that the defendant had the necessary criminal intent, and acquitted her.
  • HKSAR v Choi: acted for the defendant who was acquitted of a charge of fraud and a charge of theft, in relation to the mortgage loan services provided by her for an overseas property.
  • HKSAR v Wong: acted for the defendant, who was charged with an offence under Section 9(3) of the POBO. The court wholly disbelieved the evidence of the key witness of the prosecution and acquitted the defendant, taking the view that the defence contention that the alleged forged documents were in fact genuine could be true.
  • HKSAR v Chan: acted for the defendant, who faced a charge of fraud. The court accepted the defence argument that the key witness of the prosecution was not worthy of belief and the defendant may be an innocent agent of others. The defendant was acquitted.
  • HKSAR v Chan: acted for a district councillor who was acquitted of 4 counts of fraud involving the use of his District Council staff for the purposes of his private company. (With Mr. Lawrence Hui)

Appeals

  • HKSAR v Chan [2022] HKCFI 14: acted for the appellant, who pleaded guilty earlier to a charge of conspiracy to defraud and was sentenced to two months’ imprisonment. On appeal, the Court of First Instance set aside the sentence and replaced it by a community service order.
  • HKSAR v Ha, FAMC41/2016: acted for the applicant in seeking leave to appeal in the Court of Final Appeal against an order of re-trial, where the applicant was alleged to have offered bribes totalling $24.8million to a chief trader of derivative warrants of an international bank. (Led by Mr. Andrew Bruce S.C.)
  • HKSAR v Chan & Others [2016] 1 HKLRD 1433: acted for the 1st and 3rd appellants in a successful appeal against conviction for accepting advantage as agents. (Led by Mr. Robert Lee S.C.)
  • HKSAR v Wong (2015) 18 HKCFAR 29: acted for the appellant in successfully overturning his conviction for conspiring to commit a money laundering offence. The Court of Final Appeal held that the money laundering offence charged against the appellant had not been established.
  • Secretary for Justice v Kan Ping Chee [2013] 5 HKLRD 362: acted for the respondent, a former champion horse racing trainer, for sentencing review in the Court of Appeal on a charge of engaging in corrupt conduct at an election. (Led by Mr. Graham Harris S.C.)
  • HKSAR v Shah, FAMC23/2013 (CFA) & [2013] 3 HKLRD 18 (CA): acted for the applicant, who was the 2nd defendant in the Lily Chiang trial, for leave to appeal in the Court of Final Appeal and the appeal in the Court of Appeal for a charge of conspiracy to defraud.

General Crime

Customs and Excise

  • HKSAR v Chau: acted for the defendant, who faced a charge of engaging in a commercial practice that is a misleading omission. Her confession was successfully excluded from the evidence at the end of the prosecution case, and she was acquitted after trial.
  • HKSAR v Cheung: acted for the defendant, who faced a charge of possession for sale or for any purpose of trade or manufacture goods to which a false trade description was applied (s.7 Trade Descriptions Ordinance), involving MSD vaccines which was alleged to be false. The defendant was acquitted after trial.

Dangerous Drugs

  • HKSAR v Lam: acted for the defendant, who faced a count of trafficking in a dangerous drug. The defendant’s confession to the Customs and Excise officer was successfully excluded from the evidence. After the closing of the prosecution case and after defence submissions, the Judge held that the chain of exhibits tendered by the C&E was broken and directed the jury to acquit the defendant.
  • HKSAR v Lam: the defendant faced a charge of trafficking in a dangerous drug, and was alleged to have made a full confession to the police. The jury unanimously acquitted the defendant for both trafficking and possession of the dangerous drug and she was released from custody immediately.

Immigration Offences

  • HKSAR v Mao: acted for the defendant, who was charged with being the employer of a person not lawfully employable. Her confession to the immigration department was successfully excluded from the evidence at the end of the prosecution case, and the court ruled that there was no case for the defendant to answer, and ordered her acquittal.
  • HKSAR v Xu: acted for the defendant, who was charged with possession of a forged identity card and possession of a false instrument. The court ruled that there was no case for the defendant to answer, and ordered her acquittal. (Led by Mr. Joseph Tse S.C.)
  • HKSAR v Li: acted for the defendant, who was charged with transferring a travel document to another without reasonable excuse. The court refused to accept the evidence of the immigration officers and excluded the admissions made by the defendant from the evidence. The court further accepted the defence submissions and ordered that there was no case for the defendant to answer. The defendant was acquitted.
  • HKSAR v Tam: acted for the defendant, who was charged with being the employer of a person not lawfully employable. After the conclusion of cross examination of the main prosecution witness, who accepted that he was negligent in making multiple errors on the material day, the prosecution accepted the defence offer of a plea to a lesser charge.

Offences involving violence

  • HKSAR v BG: acted for the defendant, who was charged with assault occasioning actual bodily harm and burglary. He was acquitted after trial in the District Court, as the court accepted the evidence of the defence psychiatrist that the defendant might not have possessed the requisite intention at the material time.
  • HKSAR v Ko: acted for the defendant who was charged with wounding. He was acquitted after trial as the court accepted that he was acting in self defence. The court ordered defence costs to be paid by the prosecution.
  • HKSAR v Leung: acted for the defendant who was charged with wounding. The court accepted the criticisms raised by the defence and wholly disbelieved the evidence of the victim. The defendant was acquitted.
  • HKSAR v Cheung: acted for the defendant who was charged with wounding with intent. Due to the unsatisfactory nature of the victim’s evidence, the Court ruled that there was no case for the defendant to answer and he was acquitted.

Road Traffic

  • HKSAR v Leung: acted for the defendant, who was acquitted of a charge of causing grievous bodily harm by dangerous driving, where the court substituted a conviction of careless driving instead.
  • HKSAR v Lu: acted for the defendant, who was charged with failing to provide specimen of blood for laboratory test with alcohol concentration likely to exceed prescribed limit. Accepting the defence submissions, the court ruled that there was no case for the defendant to answer due to the critical errors made by the officer in charge of the procedure, and the defendant was acquitted.
  • HKSAR v Law: acted for the defendant, who was acquitted of a charge of causing death by dangerous driving, where the court substituted a conviction of careless driving instead.

Sexual Offences

  • HKSAR v So: acted for the defendant who faced a charge of assisting in the management of a vice establishment. Her admissions to the police were successfully ruled out and she was acquitted after trial.
  • HKSAR v Keung: acted for the defendant, who was charged with unlawful sexual intercourse with a girl under 16. The Court disbelieved the key prosecution witness and acquitted the defendant.
  • HKSAR v Gonzalez: acted for the defendant, who faced a count of rape of his ex-wife. He was acquitted by the jury by a majority. (With the late Mr. Kevin Egan)

Others

  • HKSAR v Fung: acted for the defendant, who was charged with obtaining access to computer with a view to dishonest gain for oneself or another. She was acquitted after trial.
  • HKSAR v Tso: acted for the defendant, who was jointly charged with two others for theft of a motorcycle. The court accepted the evidence of the defendant that he honestly believed he was assisting his friend to deal with abandoned property, and acquitted him.

Appeals

  • HKSAR v Chow & Another [2021] HKCA 1655 (the DR appeal): acted for the 2nd appellant, who was convicted of a count of manslaughter after a trial of over 100 days. After a 5-day appeal, his appeal against conviction was dismissed but his sentence was reduced to 8 years’ imprisonment. (Led by Mr. Robert Pang S.C.)
  • HKSAR v Cheng [2021] HKCFI 2374: acted for the appellant, who was convicted of indecent assault. On appeal, the court agreed with Joseph’s submissions on the unsatisfactory quality and inconsistencies of the complainant’s evidence at trial, and quashed the conviction of the appellant.
  • HKSAR v A Company [2021] HKCFI 71: acted for the 1st appellant, who was convicted of engaging in commercial practice that constituted a bait and switch, contrary to Section 13H of the Trade Descriptions Ordinance. The court accepted Joseph’s submissions and allowed the appeal against conviction due to the trial magistrate’s errors in her consideration and rejection of the appellant’s evidence.
  • HKSAR v Herry [2021] 1 HKLRD 290: acted for the appellant, who pleaded guilty to trafficking in a dangerous drug. The Court of Appeal conducted a review of the sentencing regime for drug trafficking cases and issued its new guidance to the lower courts in its proper sentencing approach. It is expected that all lower courts must now consider this modified approach at the time of sentencing. The Court of Appeal also considered whether a forfeiture order forms part of a sentence and whether it has jurisdiction to entertain such an appeal as part of the defendant’s appeal against sentence. (Led by Mr. Wayne Walsh S.C.)
  • HKSAR v Kei [2020] HKCFI 2111: acted for the appellant, who was convicted of affray. His conviction was successfully overturned on appeal due to the trial magistrate’s erroneous rejection of the evidence showing that the appellant was acting in self defence.
  • HKSAR v Lau [2020] HKCFI 1880: acted for the appellant, whose indecent assault conviction was successfully overturned on appeal, due to the trial magistrate’s erroneous treatment of the evidence of the witnesses.
  • HKSAR v Chan [2019] HKCFA 49: acted for the applicant to seek leave to appeal in the Court of Final Appeal against convictions of indecent assault.
  • HKSAR v Shum (2019) 22 HKCFAR 11, [2019] HKCFA 2: acted for the appellant, who was convicted of a charge of making a false declaration to obtain registration for carrying on a vocation. The appeal turned on the mental element of the offence under section 37(a) of the Crimes Ordinance, and the meaning of the legal advice obtained by the appellant. The Court of Final Appeal unanimously allowed the appeal and quashed the conviction. (Led by Mr. Robert Pang S.C.)
  • HKSAR v Lam [2019] HKCFI 1733: acted for the appellant, who was convicted of common assault. His conviction was quashed on appeal as the magistrate erred in her treatment of the evidence of the independent witness
  • HKSAR v A Bank, HCMA74/2017: acted for the appellant bank on appeal against a forfeiture order.
  • HKSAR v Lam, CACC263/2015: acted for the appellant, who was convicted of Causing Death by Dangerous Driving. The conviction was successfully set aside on appeal by the Court of Appeal and a conviction of careless driving substituted.
  • HKSAR v Ng, HCMA516/2015: acted for the appellant, whose wounding conviction was quashed on appeal due to the magistrate having made critical errors in his handling of the voluntariness of the record of interview adduced at trial.
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