In 2005, the University celebrated the inauguration of the first 8 Endowed Professorships,
a milestone in the University's history.
To date, a total of 108 Endowed Professorships have been established.
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Kerry Holdings Limited

Kerry Holdings Professorship in Law

"We are honoured to support The University of Hong Kong with this Endowed Professorship. It is our shared vision that this Endowed Professorship will enrich the resources available at the Faculty of Law and help uphold its high standards of scholarship, research and education." 

Kerry Holdings Limited

Douglas W Arner

Douglas W Arner

Appointed in 2017

Cryptocurrency Bitcoin made headlines around the world across last year as it surged from less than US$1,000 to over US$20,000 in less than one year, before crashing in January 2018. Its massive surge and price volatility raises many concerns, with many banking and government officials warning investors not to trust it and that it is a bubble waiting to burst.

While Bitcoin’s meteoric rise grabbed the headlines, it also put the spotlight on Financial Technology (FinTech). Today’s FinTech is the result of a long evolutionary interaction between finance, technology and regulation, which is transforming finance around the world, particularly in China. Increasingly, it represents technologies and technological innovation in the financial sector that are disrupting traditional financial services, including mobile payments, money transfers, loans, fundraising, and cryptocurrencies.

Professor Douglas Arner is the Kerry Holdings Professor in Law at The University of Hong Kong (HKU). He is the founding Director of the University’s LLM in Corporate and Financial Law and LLM in Compliance and Regulation programmes. He specialises in economic and financial law, and regulation and development, and is recognised for his work in FinTech and financial regulation, particularly in the context of Regulatory Technology (RegTech).

He is the Project Co-ordinator of a HK$15.36 million five-year project on “Enhancing Hong Kong’s Future as a Leading International Financial Centre” funded by the Hong Kong Research Grants Council Theme-based Research Scheme. He is also a member of the Hong Kong Financial Services Development Council, the Executive Committee of the Asia Pacific Structured Finance Association, and the Advisory Board of SuperCharger FinTech Accelerator.

After graduating with a BA from Drury College and a JD from Southern Methodist University, Professor Arner continued his studies at the University of London where he earned an LLM and a PhD. Prior to joining HKU in 2000, he was the Sir John Lubbock Support Fund Fellow at the Centre for Commercial Law Studies, Queen Mary University of London.

Professor Arner served as Head of the Department of Law at HKU (2011-14) and as Co-Director of the Duke University-HKU Asia-America Institute in Transnational Law (2005-16). During this time, he managed 70 full-time academic staff at HKU and was responsible for over 1,500 students. He also taught postgraduate teaching programmes, undertook a major reform of the curriculum, and oversaw a significant expansion in student and staff numbers.

He co-founded the Faculty’s Asian Institute of International Financial Law in 1999 and served as its Director in 2006-11. The Institute is considered today the leading academic research institute focusing on international financial law, regulation and policy in Asia. In 2007, he received HKU’s Outstanding Young Researcher Award.

The World Bank, the Asian Development Bank, and Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC), among others, have invited Professor Arner to serve as a consultant. He has been a visiting professor or fellow at numerous overseas universities, including the University of Melbourne where he is a Senior Fellow. More recently, he was the Ken Yun Visiting Professor at Duke University in 2017 and the Peter Ellinger Visiting Professor at the National University of Singapore in 2016.

He is author, co-author or editor of 15 books, and the author or co-author of more than 120 articles, chapters and reports on related subjects. His most recent books include Reconceptualizing Global Finance and its Regulation (Cambridge University Press 2016) and Financial Regulation in Hong Kong (Oxford University Press 2016).

His recent papers are available at the Social Science Research Network (SSRN) where he is among the top 1% of all authors by downloads and one of the top 25 law authors in the world.

Former Holder(s):

Michael Tilbury

Appointed in 2010

For more than 40 years, the Faculty of Law has been producing top-class legal professionals and community leaders. As a globally renowned law school, it is committed to educating lawyers capable of meeting the legal, political and social challenges of Hong Kong in the 21st century.

Building on the city’s unique position as the only common law jurisdiction in China, the Faculty has an irreplaceable role to play in scholarship, research and education across a broad range of disciplines, including common law, as well as the development of the rule of law in China.

Professor Michael Tilbury is the newest member of the Faculty to continue the University’s development of legal studies, arriving in March this year to take up the Kerry Holdings Professorship in Private Law.

Professor Tilbury’s background is as an academic lawyer and a law reform commissioner, while his principal areas of research are in private law and private international law. Private law is becoming increasingly important in common law systems of law, like Hong Kong, because common law originated and developed essentially as private law.

Professor Tilbury was Head of the School of Law at the University of New South Wales from 1991 to 1992 and Professor of Law and Head of the Department of Law at the University of Tasmania from 1993 to 1995. He twice served as the full-time Commissioner of the New South Wales Law Reform Commission, from 1994 to 1996 and then from 2002 to 2010.

He is a barrister of the Supreme Court of New South Wales, and of the High Court of Australia and has held the Edward Jenks Chair in Law at the University of Melbourne. His major innovations and achievements in leadership roles centre on supporting the advancement of emerging electronic resources in legal research; of formal staff development plans; and of curriculum development.

Professor Tilbury has taught various subjects including comparative law, conflict of laws, contract law, human rights law, international humanitarian law, international trade law, taxation law, torts, and the fundamentals of common law. He believes the development of legal skills in Hong Kong, through a critical approach in the foundation subjects of legal study that analyses the reasons and policies underlying the varying approaches in order to determine the best outcome, should instil in students a rigorous approach to legal materials in their subsequent legal studies.

Professor Tilbury is also widely published and has led, or contributed to, over 40 law reform projects. These have made formal recommendations for the reform of the law in diverse areas in two Australian states and Australia nationally.

This Endowed Professorship was inaugurated in 2007 and was originally designated to Commercial Law.


Remark: Previously known as Kerry Holdings Professorship in Private Law