Chris Devonshire-Ellis is the Founder of Dezan Shira & Associates and Chairman of the firms International Board of Equity Partners & Directors.
Established in 1992, the practice has eleven offices in China, two offices in India, two in Vietnam, one each in Hong Kong and Singapore, an alliance partnership with offices in Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines and Thailand, and liaison offices in Italy, Germany and the United States. Dezan Shira & Associates services mid-market multinational clients, specializing in foreign direct investment. This includes advising on legal structures and incorporation procedures, due diligence, financial investment planning, tax planning, country comparisons, and post incorporation work such as accounting, tax filing, bookkeeping and audit. In total the firm’s network extends to some 800 professional staff amongst 26 offices throughout Asia.
The firm is also a member of the Leading Edge Alliance of global accountants and auditors. The LEA alliance comprises over 190 firms, typically the largest non-big four practices in their regions, across 100 countries, and employs some 15,000 professionals worldwide. The LEA's combined global annual revenues were in excess of US$2.9 billion in 2013. Dezan Shira & Associates won the Leading Edge Alliance's, a peer group of global accountants highest award, "Most Innovative Firm of the Year" in 2012, its “Award of Excellence” in 2013 and its "On the Edge" award in 2014, the first time a firm has won three different awards in consecutive years within the global accounting profession. Chris was ranked one of the top ten most important consultants in China by Accountancy Age Magazine in 2011.
Continuing a 26-year career based in Asia, Chris ran Dezan Shira & Associates China operations from 1992-2009, and also established the firms India practice during this time. Chris is now based in Singapore. He is responsible for the development of the practice in Singapore and India, including provision of tax treaty and investment advice for foreign investors throughout the region, including American, European, Indian and Chinese companies looking to invest in China, India, ASEAN and emerging Asia. He is tax resident in Singapore but commutes regularly between the firm’s offices in the United States, Europe and Asia.
Prior to establishing Dezan Shira & Associates, Chris worked for Asia Law & Practice and the international law firm Mossack Fonseca based in Hong Kong. He has worked full time in Asia since 1986 and also fulfills pro-bono work on a number of Intra-Asian think tanks, including the United Nations Development Program's (UNDP) business advisory council for Northeast Asia, which includes the governments of China, Russia, Mongolia, North Korea and South Korea, serving as Vice-Chairman of their business advisory council, in addition to a main board directorship with the India-US Business Network based in Cincinnati and with the Gateway House Indian foreign policy think tank based in Mumbai. He is also a member of the Advisory Board of the Wong MNC Center in San Francisco.
Chris also founded the Asia Briefing publishing house in 1999 with its well-received Asia Briefing, ASEAN Briefing, China Briefing, India Briefing & Vietnam Briefing magazines, books and websites concerning matters of foreign investment business law and tax throughout Asia. These are consistently quoted and syndicated in international media.
Today, Chris is a member of the Royal Overseas League in London, the Institute of Directors in Hong Kong, the Hanoi Press Club, Singapore Cricket Club and the Port Credit Yacht Club, Lake Ontario. He is a regular personal contributor to numerous charitable organizations across Asia. In 2012, he commissioned a new piece of classical music, encompassing Chinese, India and European themes to mark the practices twentieth anniversary. He is a regular contributor to numerous regional charities, ranging from education for orphaned children in China, wildlife protection in Mongolia and the preservation of ancient buildings and temples in Tibet.