About Us    History

Deacons was established in Hong Kong in 1851 and is Hong Kong's oldest law firm.

The firm takes its name from a young English solicitor, Victor Deacon, who arrived in the burgeoning British colony of Hong Kong in 1880 to join the legal practice established by William Bridges in 1851.

Within two years, the irrepressible Victor Deacon was made a partner and within 20 years, under his own name, he had firmly established Deacons as one of the colony's leading law firms, a position it has retained to this day.

Deacons grew steadily throughout the 20th century, flourishing during Hong Kong's post-war boom. By the mid-1970s Deacons was a busy, full-service business law firm and a highly respected name in commercial circles throughout Asia.

Other interesting dates in the firm's history are:


Deacons celebrates 160 years in Hong Kong.


Deacons becomes Hong Kong's largest local law firm.


Deacons is the first firm to be awarded a third foreign law firm licence in mainland China.


Deacons established a representative office in Beijing and was one of the first Hong Kong law firms to be granted a licence to open a second office in the PRC.


Deacons celebrated its 150th anniversary.


Deacons opened a representative office in Shanghai.


Deacons received a licence from the Ministry of Justice to operate a representative office in Guangzhou.


Opened initial presence in the People's Republic of China in Beijing.


Deacons moved from the now historic Prince's Building, which had been zoned for demolition, to Union Building. This later became the location of Swire House and today Chater House.


The firm name is changed to Deacons. This was a remarkably early adoption of a modern naming method, given that both Victor and Frank Deacon had by now retired from the firm.


The Hong Kong Supreme Court moved to what is now the Legislative Council building, across Statue Square from Deacons office.


Deacons offices moved to the recently-completed Prince's Building, a luxury four-storey building at
1 Des Voeux Road on the new Chater reclamation. This is a fitting location for the firm, which had done the legal work for the reclamation on which Hong Kong Central now stands.


The larger firm required bigger office space - Deacons moved to Ice House Street.


Frank Barrington Deacon (Victor Deacon's nephew, and known as "Nipper Deacon") admitted to practise in Hong Kong. On his admission the firm became known as Deacon, Looker and Deacon.


Victor Hobart Deacon admitted to practice in Hong Kong. The firm now practised under the name Wotton & Deacon.


With offices on Queen's Road, the firm was based close to the Supreme Court.


The firm now known as Deacons was established by William Bridges, the second barrister to commence practice in Hong Kong and from time to time, the Colonial Secretary.

Today, the firm is the leading Hong Kong based law firm and by far the largest law firm based in Hong Kong.

Deacons Historical Archives

We have taken steps to preserve our firm's historical records, accumulated over more than one and a half centuries, so that they will be available as a record for those who may in future wish to look back at the colourful history of Hong Kong from the perspective of one of its very first professional firms.

We believe in the future and we acknowledge and celebrate our past which is encapsulated in our archives, which form the "memory" of our firm.

We also believe that those who come after us may learn from the history which we have preserved so that they may benefit from hindsight and context when making decisions about their own future. Deacons actively participates in various historical projects and organisations as part of its pro bono programme.