Sonny Payne

Partner | Solicitor Advocate

Bachelor of Engineering with Honours, Civil Engineering, University of Nottingham, 1990
Master of Laws with Merit, School of Oriental & African Studies, University of London, 1999
Postgraduate Certificate in Laws,
City University of Hong Kong, 2008

Admissions and qualifications
Solicitor, Hong Kong, 2010
Solicitor Advocate, Hong Kong, 2022

Affiliations and memberships

Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators
Chartered Engineer, Engineering Council (UK)
Member of the Institution of Civil Engineers (UK)
Member of the Hong Kong Institution of Engineers

Languages in addition to English




Notable representations

Sonny is a disputes lawyer with a focus on commercial litigation and international arbitration. He has extensive experience in managing complex cases involving financial instruments and fraud in the Hong Kong courts, as well as representing clients (including as an advocate) before arbitral tribunals in a wide range of commercial disputes. Given his prior experience as a chartered civil engineer, he is particularly adept at handling disputes arising out of building and engineering projects.  

Key engagements on which Sonny has acted since cofounding GPS include: 

  • an arbitration between a main contractor and a sub-contractor arising out of a US$1.2 billion casino project in Macau
  • an arbitration between a main contractor and a sub-contractor arising out of a multi-billion dollar railway project in Hong Kong
  • a series of cases before the Hong Kong courts involving disputes over the ownership of US$400 million of convertible notes issued by a public listed energy company;
  • Mareva injunction and multi-jurisdictional enforcement proceedings (in Hong Kong, the BVI and England) to enforce a US$300 million CIETAC arbitral award.

In addition, and often prior to or in parallel with litigation or arbitration, he advises and guides clients through alternative forms of dispute resolution, including negotiation and mediation which he teaches as a part-time university lecturer.

Chambers Greater China Region 2023 - Construction (International Firms) - Ranked Lawyer

Chambers Greater China Region 2023 – Construction (International Firms)

The Legal 500 Asia Pacific | 2023 | Hong Kong | Construction