Wong Yan-lung

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Wong Yan-lung : biography

1963 –

Wong Yan-lung, SC, JP (born 1963) is a barrister and politician of Hong Kong. He has previously served as the second Secretary for Justice of Hong Kong between 20 October 2005 and 30 June 2012.


Wong has three daughters with his wife, Esther Chan. He met his wife while doing charity work between 1991 and 1996, and married in 1996. He received several hundred thousand Hong Kong dollars as a wedding gift from his wife’s wealthy family, which he, in turn, gave to organisations for the homeless.


Before his appointment, he was a barrister in private practice. In 1987, he was called to both the Bar of England & Wales and the Bar of Hong Kong. He was appointed a Senior Counsel in 2002.

He sat as a Deputy High Court Judge of the Court of First Instance in July and August 2003, and was a Council member of the Hong Kong Bar Association from 1989 to 1990, from 1997 to 2002 and from 2003 to 2005. He was also Chairman of the Special Committee on Legal Education of the Association from 2003 to 2005.

Wong has served as Chairman of the Buildings Appeal Tribunal, of the Criminal and Law Enforcement Injuries Compensation Boards, and of the Non-local Higher and Professional Education Appeal Board. He has also served as Vice-Chairman of the CEDAR Fund and Member of the Steering Committee and Volunteer of the Hong Kong Christian Concern for the Homeless.

Early years

Wong grew up in a small flat in Tai Wong Street East (大王東街) in Wan Chai. He sold ice cream with his father for a monthly income of HK$300-HK$400. Wong graduated from secondary school at Queen’s College in Causeway Bay, Hong Kong. His top marks meant that he secured scholarships every year while studying at the College.

In the 1980s, the family "upgraded" to Wah Fu Estate in Aberdeen. However, his father continued selling ice cream until Wong returned from studying in England. He graduated from Magdalene College, Cambridge while on , with a Bachelor of Arts (Law) and Master of Arts (Law) degree, the latter being conferred without needing further study.