Lianjun Li Photo

Lianjun Li has been a partner of Reed Smith Richards Butler since 2004 and currently is a senior partner and the head of the transportation and commercial litigation practice in Hong Kong. He qualified as a solicitor in Hong Kong, England and Wales. 

He has extensive experience in dealing with legal issues and disputes relating to international trade, commercial transactions, transportation, shipping, cross-border investments, shareholder agreement and bond issuance. His clients include well-known domestic and foreign enterprises and organizations.


  • University of Hong Kong, 2000, Postgraduate Certificate in Laws
  • Manchester Metropolitan University, 1999, Postgraduate Diploma in Law, (Common Professional Examination)
  • Stockholm University, 1993, Master of Comparative Laws
  • World Maritime University, 1990, Master of Science in Maritime Administration
  • Dalian Maritime University, 1989, Postgraduate in International Economic Law
  • Dalian Maritime University, 1984, Bachelor of Science

  • Hong Kong
  • England and Wales

  • Supreme Court - Hong Kong
  • Supreme Court - England and Wales

Arbitrators and Mediators

  • BVI International Arbitration Centre – Panel Arbitrator
  • China International Economic Arbitration Commission – Panel Arbitrator
  • China Maritime Arbitration Commission – Panel Arbitrator
  • China (Zhejiang) Pilot Free Trade Zone Maritime Commercial Dispute Mediation Center – Mediator
  • Hong Kong International Arbitration Centre – Panel Arbitrator
  • Hong Kong Institute of Arbitrators – Fellow
  • Law Society of Hong Kong – Panel Arbitrator
  • London Maritime Arbitrators Association – Supporting Member
  • Singapore International Arbitration Centre – Panel Arbitrator
  • South China Economic and Trade Arbitration Commission (Shenzhen Court of International Arbitration) – Panel Arbitrator
  • Singapore Chambers of Maritime Arbitration – Panel Arbitrator
  • Wuhan Arbitration Commission – Panel Arbitrator
  • Xiamen Arbitration Commission – Panel Arbitrator
  • Zhuhai Arbitration Commission / Zhuhai International Arbitration Court – Panel Arbitrator

Professional Membership

  • China Maritime Law Association – Council Standing Member / Director
  • China Sub-committee of Hong Kong Ship Owner Association Member
  • Hong Kong Maritime Arbitration Group – Full Member
  • Hong Kong Maritime and Port Board – Member (2016-2022)
  • LMAA Supporting Members Liaison Committee (Asia Pacific) Member
  • Singapore Chambers of Maritime Arbitration – Member of SCMA Procedure Committee and Panel Arbitrator
  • The Law Society of Hong Kong – Transportation and Logistics Committee Member

Academic Affiliations

  • Dalian Maritime University – Visiting Professor
  • Shanghai Maritime University – Visiting Professor

  • Mandarin
  • English

Awards & Recognition

Lianjun is highly appraised by famous legal rating agencies such as Chambers and the Legal 500.


  • Ranked in Chambers Greater China Region / Asia Pacific for China Shipping: Litigation (International Firms), 2017 - 2023
  • Ranked in Chambers Greater China Region / Asia Pacific for China Dispute Resolution: Arbitration (International Firms), 2021 - 2023
  • Ranked in Chambers Global for China Dispute Resolution: Arbitration (International Firms), for China Shipping Litigation (International Firms), for Global Market Leaders Shipping: Litigation, and for Asia-Pacific Region Shipping: Finance, 2017 - 2023

Legal 500 Asia-Pacific:

  • Listed as a Leading Individual by Legal 500 Asia-Pacific 2023
    • Lianjun Li is a smooth commercial operator who is great with clients and strategy.
    • Lianjun Li is a pre-eminent lawyer in the shipping world. With his extensive legal knowledge and impressive experience in maritime disputes as well as his responsiveness, he sets the industry standard for professionalism and competence. He deserves credit for the excellent work delivered by Reed Smith lawyers under his leadership.
    • Lianjun continues to be a key name for work with connections to mainland China.
  • Listed as a Leading Individual by Legal 500 Asia-Pacific 2022
  • Listed as a Leading Individual by Legal 500 Asia-Pacific 2021
    • Lianjun Li  is noted for his expertise in advising on shipping matters; he jointly heads the practice.
  • The team is led by market-leading shipping litigator Lianjun Li , who 'provides practical, helpful and solutions-oriented advice' to P&I clubs, as well as PRC-based owners and charterers.
  • Listed as a Leading Individual by Legal 500 Asia-Pacific 2020
    • International Arbitration: Lianjun Li provides 'professional and practical advice' across a range of disputes, with a core focus on shipping matters.
    • Shipping: Team head Lianjun Li has 'rich experience' in relation to PRC-related shipping matters, where he benefits from 'good Mandarin speaking skills' and is 'able to quickly grasp the crux of the problem'.
  • Listed as a Leading Individual by Legal 500 Asia-Pacific 2019
    • Appreciated by clients for his 'familiarity with the business and practice in China' and ability to 'explain complicated legal opinions to Chinese clients in plain Mandarin', team head Lianjun Li has 'very rich shipping experience' across the panoply of corporate, commercial and litigation matters for a variety of shipowners, charterers and P&I clubs.
  • Listed as a Leading Individual by Legal 500 Asia-Pacific 2018
    • The firm’s excellent reputation for admiralty work should not however detract from its very solid offering across dry shipping matters including charterparty and bills of lading disputes. In this respect, Lianjun Li has vast experience in the market across a range of disputes and recently represented China National Chartering in a landmark case, which ended up before the Supreme Court in the UK, relating to the issue of unsafe ports and safe port warranties.
  • Listed as a Leading Individual by Legal 500 Asia- Pacific 2017
    • Legal 500 Asia – Pacific 2017 states that “Lianjun Li is ‘one of the best maritime lawyers in Hong Kong’”
  • Legal 500 Asia – Pacific 2016 states that Lianjun is ‘particularly good and able to explain complicated legal opinions to Chinese clients in Mandarin’;
  • Legal 500 Asia-Pacific 2015 states that the team lead by Lianjun is an excellent team which provides professional and efficient service to P&I clubs, charterers, shipowners and shipbuilders.

Nominated as a stand-out lawyer by Acritas Stars:

  • Often gives us some good tips and advice based on the changes of the market or some regulation.' Nomination was non-attributable, 2016
  • 'He has a very broad vision regarding cross-jurisdiction matters.' Nomination was non-attributable, 2018
  • 'We are quite familiar with him and he's the best of the best.' Nomination was non-attributable, 2018
  • 'He has dealt with complicated legal issues, he’s quite valuable, and very straightforward’ Nomination was non-attributable, 2018
  • ‘one or more of your clients has once again independently nominated you as one of the most outstanding lawyers they have worked with.’ 2019China Business Law Journal:
  • China’s Elite 100 Lawyers (Foreign Firms). 2019-2021

Who’s Who Legal:

  • Thought Leaders - Hong Kong 2021
    • ‘Lianjun Li is “a huge name in the region” according to impressed sources who commend his tremendous knowledge of maritime law’