Chief Justice Geoffrey Ma Tao Li is the Chief Justice of the Court of Final Appeal of the Hong Kong SAR Judiciary.
Chief Justice Ma was born in Hong Kong in 1956. He holds an LLB from Birmingham University in the UK, and completed the Bar Finals in 1978. He was called to the English Bar (Gray's Inn) in 1978, the Hong Kong Bar in 1980, the Bar of the State of Victoria in Australia in 1983 and the Bar of Singapore in 1990.
He began his private practice in 1980, practising in Hong Kong and in Singapore. Chief Justice Ma has wide legal experience in various areas of the civil law. His main areas of practice were: arbitration, commercial (including shipping, admiralty, banking, insurance), company, building, administrative and constitutional law. He was appointed Queen's Counsel in 1993.
Chief Justice Ma joined the Hong Kong Judiciary as a Recorder of the High Court in 2000, was appointed Judge of the Court of First Instance in 2001, and Justice of Appeal in 2002. He became Chief Judge of the High Court in 2003, with the responsibility of leading the High Court both judicially and administratively. As Court Leader, he had to ensure the smooth operation of the High Court and the efficient utilisation of judicial resources and court time, and had to advise the Chief Justice on policies, legislation and practices relating to the High Court.
He was appointed Chief Justice of the Court of Final Appeal in 2010.
Chief Justice Ma became an Honorary Bencher of Gray's Inn in 2004, an Honorary Fellow of Harris Manchester College, Oxford, in 2012, and an Honorary Bencher of the Middle Temple in 2016. He is a Patron of the Bingham Centre for the Rule of Law; he is also a Patron of the International Advocacy Training Council.
At the University of Hong Kong, Chief Justice Ma has served as an Honorary Lecturer in the Department of Professional Legal Education of the Faculty of Law since 1987 - generously sharing his expertise and experience with students and faculty members for over three decades.
He also holds honorary degrees from the University of Birmingham and from the Chinese University of Hong Kong.
Chief Justice Ma was awarded the Grand Bauhinia Medal in 2012.
In recognition of his contributions to Hong Kong and the rule of law, the University has resolved to confer upon him the degree of Doctor of Laws honoris causa.