Hong Kong lawyers emerge as team acting for US whistleblower Snowden

Hong Kong firm Ho Tse Wai & Partners has been revealed as the legal team acting for American whistleblower Edward Snowden.

Former Democratic Partner chairman Albert Ho Chun-yan, senior partner of Ho Tse Wai, held eleventh-hour negotiations with a Hong Kong government official last Friday (21 June) on Snowden’s behalf, according to the South China Morning Post.

Barrister Robert Tibbo of Eastern Chambers and Ho Tse Wai solicitor Jonathan Man Ho-ching were also instructed around two weeks ago to represent the former CIA worker who fled to Hong Kong after blowing the whistle on internet and telephone surveillance by US intelligence.

Media outlets reported rumours of his flying from Hong Kong to Moscow on Sunday. He was expected to fly to Cuba today (24 June) but reportedly did not board the plane.

US Secretary of State John Kerry today warned the Russians of “consequences” should the country allow Snowden to leave.

The news comes amid close attention being paid to HBOS whistle-blower Paul Moore, who told The Lawyer in an exclusive interview that in-house counsel should take a central role in speaking out about bad management choices (24 June 2013).