Fred Kan is the founder and Senior Partner of Fred Kan & Co.
Kan graduated in 1964 from the University of Toronto in mechanical engineering and in 1967 in law.
Immediately after graduation, he served a brief stint as an adviser to the Canadian Delegation to the United Nations (New York) on the proposal to establish the post of UN High Commissioner for Human Rights.
Kan was called to the Bar in Ontario in 1969 and was admitted in Hong Kong as a solicitor in 1978.
Kan practised law in Toronto from 1969 to 1984 and has been practising law in Hong Kong since 1984.
From 1986 to 1989 Kan was the Hon. Secretary of the Hong Kong Branch of the International Law Association.
In 1987 Kan participated in the publication of香港法律十八講 (18 Lectures in Hong Kong Law) by商務印書館 (The Commercial Press). The book was the first comprehensive book on Hong Kong law written in Chinese and was for some years Hong Kong’s best seller in non-fiction. It went into 7 printings. Kan was the author of a chapter in the book on 香港對外關係簡介 (An Introduction to Hong Kong’s External Relations). The chapter was an effort to analyze the bilateral and multilateral international agreements then applicable to Hong Kong.
Kan was a Council Member of the Law Society of Hong Kong from 1997 to 2002. He is the past Chairman of its External Affairs Standing Committee, Annual Convention Committee, Law Week Committee, Member Benefits Committee and Teen Talk Committee. He is the Immediate Past Chairman of the Belt and Road Committee.
The Member Benefits Committee, under Kan’s chairmanship, brought about free disability insurance coverage for all Law Society members.
In 2010 Kan initiated Teen Talk (青Teen講場), an annual Law Society event engaging at its height participation from about 2,000 senior secondary school students, drawing them to discuss and express their views on various communal and legal topics. Teen Talk is evolving and is poised to become a training ground for future leaders of Hong Kong.
Kan was the Chairman of the Banking and Finance Law Standing Committee of LAWASIA (1997 to 1998) and its Banking, Finance and Insurance Law Standing Committee (1998 to 2001).
In December 1992, Kan chaired a seminar on banking law held in Hanoi by the Vietnam Ministry of Justice under UN auspices. In 1993 Kan financed the establishment of VILAF in Ho Chi Minh City, the first business law firm established in Vietnam after 1975.
Kan is an accredited arbitrator and mediator. He was a Council Member of the Hong Kong International Arbitration Centre from 2000 to 2016. Kan is also a member of the Board of Directors of the Financial Dispute Resolution Centre (FDRC) which has been established by the Government to manage an independent and impartial dispute resolution scheme by way of “mediation first, arbitration next.” He is the Chairman of FDRC’s Appointment Committee.
In 2008, Kan was the Chairman of the Public Education and Publicity Sub-Group under the Secretary for Justice’s Working Group on Mediation. The work of the Working Group on Mediation and its 3 Sub-Groups prepared for the eventual passing of the Mediation Ordinance in 2013 and the establishment of the current mediator-accreditation regime.
Kan was a Member of the City of Toronto Planning Board. He was an Honorary Research Fellow of the Centre for Urban Planning and Environmental Management, University of Hong Kong. He is the Honorary Legal Advisor to the Hong Kong Institute of Planners and the Hong Kong Planners Registration Board, as well as the publisher of the Urban Planning and Environmental Law Quarterly in Hong Kong which has been in continual publication since May 1992. In 2018 Fred Kan & Co. was the winner of the by LEGAL 100 Environmental Law Firm of the Year Award for Hong Kong.
Kan was a Member of the Macau Law Reform Advisory Committee from 2007 to 2016 and was a co-author of its position paper on establishing an arbitration and mediation regime in Macau.
Kan was the Deputy Chairman of the Hong Kong Review Body on Bid Challenges (under the WTO Government Procurement Agreement). In March and April 2010, he was a Visiting Scholar at the Public Procurement Research Group of the School of Law, University of Nottingham, UK, reading and researching into the monitoring mechanisms established in major member-states of the GPA and the problems and challenges facing China upon its accession to the GPA.
From 2016 to 2018 Kan was a member of the Executive Committee of UIA (Union Internationale des Avocats / International Association of Lawyers) and was its Director of National and Regional Activities.
Kan is interested in sports. He initiated the Guangdong, Hong Kong and Macau Lawyers’ Sports Meet and was the Chairman of the Organising Committee twice (2009 and 2015) when Hong Kong was the host. It was at the 2009 sports meet that the Guinness World Record for “Largest three-legged race – most pairs)” was broken. Kan was also the Chairman of the Organising Committee of the sports meet celebrating the centenary of the Law Society. Kan initiated the Rule of Law Marathon promoting public awareness of the rule of law which saw lawyer-athletes running with the Rule of Law Flag from Macau to Zhuhai, to Shenzhen and finally to Hong Kong to start the opening ceremony of the 6th Guangdong, Hong Kong and Macau Lawyers’ Sports Meet on 14 November 2015.
Kan’s passion is golf. He is currently the Captain of the Law Society Golf Team. In 2005 he initiated the Cross Strait Lawyers’ Golf Tournament (兩岸三地律師高球友誼賽) at a time when cross-strait relations were at a low ebb during Chen Shui-bian’s presidency. It was a good example of Hong Kong playing its traditional role of an honest middle-man. The tournament is now an annual event drawing over 200 lawyers from the Mainland, Taiwan and Hong Kong.
In May 2016 Kan was admitted to The Law Society of Hong Kong’s Roll of Honour in recognition of his distinguished service to the Law Society, to the Council and to the development of the practice of law in Hong Kong.