“Head of chambers Wayne Walsh SC frequently represents a wide range of clients, including high-net-worth individuals, financial institutions, and government departments, in financial crime prosecutions and regulatory compliance investigations” – Legal 500 2024
“Wayne is the leading expert on mutual legal assistance matters, as well as for white-collar crime more generally. He is very responsive, commercial, and user-friendly” – Legal 500 2023
“Global Leader (Recommended) – Business Crime Defence – Individuals” – Who’s Who Legal 2023
“Leading Criminal Law Silk, Hong Kong” – Doyle’s Guide 2023
Wayne has a mixed criminal and civil practice, specializing in financial crime and compliance, civil fraud and asset recovery. He also has extensive experience in public international law cases involving cross-border litigation.
Prior to commencing practice at the private Bar in 2018, Wayne spent a 25-year career with the Department of Justice, Hong Kong, where he prosecuted white-collar crime and corruption cases and oversaw all major criminal cases and certain civil cases involving cross-border litigation and international cooperation. Wayne has recognized expertise in the fields of Hong Kong extradition law, search warrants, mutual legal assistance, asset recovery and proceeds of crime. He has established an international and local profile in financial crime and regulatory compliance matters. He was a lead advisor to the Government on implementation of anti-money laundering and counter-financing of terrorism standards for many years and from 2010 to 2012 he co-chaired a Working Group of the Financial Action Task Force in Paris which revised the current international standards the FATF Recommendations.
Since moving to private practice, Wayne has been acting for a range of individuals and entities facing financial crime and regulatory compliance investigations including in cross-border context. Wayne has a standing practice in administrative and public international law, and in civil proceedings in the High Court especially in asset recovery context. Wayne is instructed in cases of extradition, mutual assistance and proceeds of crime, and in trials of white-collar crime, money laundering and serious predicate offences. He continues to advise the Hong Kong Monetary Authority on financial crime compliance standards and is periodically engaged by foreign governments and the International Monetary Fund on country missions and advisory work.
Wayne is the author of the legal text ‘Cross-Border Crime in Hong Kong: Extradition, Mutual Assistance, Financial Sanctions’ (2nd Ed.) LexisNexis 2020 which surveys the Hong Kong offence of money laundering and procedures for extradition, mutual assistance, prisoner transfer, implementation of sanctions against financing of terrorism and proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. Financing offences under the National Security Law and sanctions imposed by the United States on Hong Kong are also covered.
Mutual Assistance / Search Warrants
Wayne holds degrees from New Zealand Universities and spent periods studying in the United States and the Soviet Union.
From 1981 to 1984, he served as an Inspector in the Royal Hong Kong Police Force.
Wayne began his legal career in 1987 as a commercial litigator with the New Zealand law firm Russell McVeagh and then from 1990 – 1992 he was a prosecutor with the Serious Fraud Office.
In 2023, Mr Walsh was recognized by The Legal 500 as a leading Silk in Regulatory, Investigations and Crime, by Who’s Who Legal as a Global Leader (Recommended) in Business Crime Defence, and by Doyle’s Guide as a leading Criminal Law Silk in Hong Kong.