Saturday 22 November 2008

Chris Devonshire-Ellis is NOT a lawyer . . . .

This needs to be said over and over and over, and over. The man does not even have a law degree, despite what he has claimed in the past. Yes, he continues to make claims to be a legal professional - like in this comment at Silicon Hutong[link now broken, see updates for details]:

"I've been practicing on matters of China law and tax for over 16 years for goodness sakes - and just like any other expatriate lawyer - have not passed Chinese qualifications to do so."

For the record, Chris Devonshire Ellis is not registered as a legal professional anywhere, has not completed any formal schooling in law, or accountancy, or tax, or any area of study associated with them. He is not a registered trademark agent or patent agent. He has no professional qualifications of any kind. For a long time he claimed to have received "Church of England theology education", which, translated into English, apparently means that he went to a Church of England primary school, but this seems to be the limit of his education.

I'd like to go further, but first a little house-keeping. No, I have never met Chris Devonshire-Ellis, I am not associated with Lehman-Brown, the firm with which he had a long running dispute over meta-tagging (something which may or may not be trademark infringement), I am not a disgruntled former employee of his (although there seem to be more than a few of these). No, I'm just annoyed at seeing a man with such obviously dodgy credentials treated as an expert by people who ought to know better. His laughable pieces in the Beijing press on legal matters are a prime example of this. Here's him on IP protection in China in the Beijing Review:

"There is, however, a hole in the registration procedure for patents, which require they be registered and placed on public file for assessment prior to the patent being recognized as your own intellectual property. This means some entrepreneurial types scan such registrations specifically to steal designs and then immediately get into production even while your patent pending process is still ongoing."

The whole purpose of the patenting process is that we, the public, get to learn how to use an invention in exchange for granting the inventor the right to exercise a monopoly over the commercial exploitation of the invention. This system cannot work unless patents and patent applications are made available to the public, so that they can know in good time to avoid infringing the patent.

His knowledge of trademark law also seems a little off, for the record, the next time anyone says that they can get you a mainland China trademark by "going to the patent and trademark office in Wan Chai [i.e., in HK]", they likely don't know what they're talking about. I'm not qualified to say anything about taxes or accountancy, except to say that a company registered as a book-keeping company is not where I would go for advice on my company's future.

Final thought - always do due diligence on consultants, especially in a market with a still developing regulatory structure like China, because shysters abound.

Update: Wow, thank you to my anonymous commenter (email me whoever you are) I checked out Chris Devonshire-Ellis's Linkedin page. Yes, this is going a bit deeper into things than I would normally be comfortable with, but it really is amazing that someone could claim to have an LLB and then make this comment:

if you had researched further into that you would have found that the reason I took it down WAS precisely because it was wrong. The circumstances behind my not completing my exams at the time - more than three-quarters through my papers - however you are not aware of and it is not something I either wish to or have to justify to you, or anyone else. Suffice to say it had a lot to do with family tragedy and little to do with "fake".

So, the Dezhira website was wrong when they listed CDE as having graduated separately in law and marketing from two different universities, but CDE then goes and lists himself as having a law degree on his own Linkedin page.

Update part 2:

Silicon Hutong have taken that page down, but we all saw it folks, CDE clearly contradicted himself, and his previous statements regarding his qualifications.


Anonymous said...

Look at his Linkedin page here: Note how he does not mention any school at all. Is this so nobody can go to that school and prove he never attended. Mr. Devonshire Ellis, all you need to do to resolve all of this is to answer the following questions, WITH PROOF:

1. Did you ever attend any university, and if so, what one?

2. Did you ever graduate any university, and if so, what one?

3. Did you ever attain a law degree anywhere in the world, and if so, from where?

4. Are you licensed to practice law anywhere in the world, and if so, where?

5. Were you ever licensed to practice law anywhere in the world, and if so, where?

Your answer to this will tell us if you are a lying fraud or not.

Gilman Grundy said...

@Anonymous - I think Chris already answered that one with the comment over at Silicon Hutong - he claims to have attended both Strathclyde and the University of London, presumably simultaneously, since he claims to have left them due to the same 'family tragedy' The fact that these universities are hundreds of miles apart (a full day's travelling time)makes this deeply unlikely though.

Anonymous said...

A mildly amusing tidbit: Your link to the Silicon Hutong article went down. I checked the S.H. website, and, surprise surprise, it seems the article was harmonised. Must have happened recently; it was still there about two days ago.

Anonymous said...

Fortunately, almost all of it is still in Google's cache here:

Anonymous said...

He appears to have sunk even lower: Look here where he exploits the incident in Mumbai in a craven attempt to get more business: He claims damage to "his" office, but if you go here you can see that his office is Regus space: It would be interesting to know if he even has an office there or if this is just a post office address? Chris, please respond. I am going to email Mr. Ellis again to ask him to respond to this. Here is his the address he lists on his site: So what is the truth regarding Dezan Shira's office in Mumbai?

Gilman Grundy said...

@Mark - Well, Regus' website does say that space is available for six-month leases, presumably it is quite possible for a company to rent long-term. As for what the real truth is, the only way you're going to know is if you know someone who can visit the place themselves.

Anonymous said...

No my friends he is having a virtual office service package. And I think he pays for it by way of barter as he is listed as their marketing partner with Regus China. See here:

The man is delusional like Hillary was when she landed under sniper fire.

Anonymous said...

See below the offices of Dezan Shira matched with Regus in India. We could do the same for Vietnam.

So far for the bullshit "We invest in our offices and infrastructure"

Just a cross marketing deal. He brings in business by putting clients in Regus offices and gets to use them as virtual offices.

So where are all these lawyers and accountants? In the drawer somewhere?

Dezan Shira & Associates
Level 9, Raheja Towers
26-27, Mahatma Gandi Road

Regus Bangalore:
Level 9, Raheja Towers
Chennai Office
Dezan Shira & Associates
Chennai Citi Centre
Level 6, 10/11 Dr.Radhakrishna Salai

Regus Chennai:
CitiCentre. Level 6, 10/11 Dr. Radhakrishna Sala

Kolkata Office
Dezan Shira & Associates
Level 6, Constantia
Dr. U. N. Brahmachari Marg

Regus Kolkata:
Constantia Constantia, Dr. U. N. Brahmachari Marg

Delhi Office
Dezan Shira & Associates
Eros Corporate Towers
Level 15, Nehru Place

Regus Delhi:
Level 15, Eros Corporate Tower, Nehru Place, New Delhi

Anonymous said...

Vietnam is another location where DZ has invested in its own infrastructure and maintains its own offices....uhhhhh....NOT

Saigon office:
Dezan Shira & Associates
16/f Saigon Tower
29 Le Duan Street

Regus Saigon
Tower, 16F, Saigon Tower
Hanoi Office:
Dezan Shira & Associates
Suite 507, 5/F Hanoi Press Club
59a Ly Thai To Street

Regus Hanoi
Hanoi Press Club
59A Ly Thai To
Hoan Kiem District

Anonymous said...

To matters worse: He makes claims on two occasions that the office has suffered damage and even "extensive" damage.

No way. They are in business as usual. Not even a piece of shrapnel has damaged their office in Mumbai Centre Point.

Anonymous said...

Regus office that is

Anonymous said...

Thanks Anonymous for doing all this tracking. What kind of human being seeks to take advantage of a tragedy like this? I hope more people see this and learn the truth. I am going to put this on Digg for that very purpose.

Gilman Grundy said...

Well, it would be rather strange if his office had suffered damage - it's nowhere near the scene of the violence, in fact it's officially in the suburbs - check it out:

Anonymous said...

his virtual office that is

Gilman Grundy said...

Here's what he said:

"Come close of business yesterday, some 24 hours after the attacks, all personnel had been located – the missing individual had been among those held hostage – and our staff was helping all find alternative accommodation, putting them in touch with employers and families, and even arranging food, translations and petty cash. We couldn’t have done it remotely, watching what was going on via CNN from an office half a world away. I fly in next week to personally overview the damage caused to our own offices, deal with whatever needs to be done, and to ensure that staff morale and clients are all OK."

So yeah, he did claim that his own offices were damaged. The offices which are miles from the scene of the violence, and which do not appear to exclusively used by him.

Anonymous said...

You were not the first on this:

Gilman Grundy said...

@Marcus Pianta - However, that poster did not substantiate what they were saying. CDE may have started 8 Hong Kong companies and closed 6 of them due to law suits and debt - but do I have the evidence in front of me that he did? Is there any evidence that he did? There is a difference between putting all the evidence in front of people and merely repeating allegations.

Anonymous said...

As the allegations are that there are no offices in Mumbai or that the offices are damaged I picked up the phone and called Regus in Mumbai to check it out. A simple thing to do to get it over with and better than having yes/no discussions on this website.

Regus confirmed two things:

1. The Regus Centre point office has no damage whatsoever and is open for business.
2. Dezan Shira is what they call a "virtual client" . This means they have no office but use the Regus address for correspondence and hire a meeting room if the need arises.

That is very efficient and exactly why Regus offers value to its customers. It's a good concept but spinning a whole story around having your money tied up in on the ground investments, unlike the armchair mafia and claiming this office has been damaged for additional suspense and excitement goes too far. If "fake it until you make it" is the way DZ wants to run the business a bit more modest approach might be called for.

Mr. Ellis is a super marketeer but ethics, despite of his claimed theology education, is not something that is high on his agenda. It is all about the appearance. The lawyer thing he keeps going with appearance by association. Calling the business a practice, trying to get speaking engagements that make him look like a lawyer, not rectifying others if they refer to him as a lawyer. We have read that many times so nothing new there.

In reality Mr. Ellis is a bit of a bully if being confronted with criticism on his claims or behavior. In private as I stated in my posting on Silicon Hutong he is a really nice guy so Mr. Ellis if you read this, and I know you track anything written about you. Take a deep breath and edit your story or take it off your website. It is really too much off-track, really.

I write Mr. Ellis as the name Devonshire-Ellis seems another thing about appearances. He was born Christopher Ellis and then changed his name somewhere in time. Maybe because, from a marketing point of view, it would make him look more like someone who descended from British nobility, a Baron, Count maybe? No idea, just speculating here.

In the light of my findings and the piece on China-briefing I think that nobility by association should definitely be avoided. Not a noble piece of marketing. Scrapping the "o" out of these virtual titles seems more appropriate.

Anonymous said...

Make no mistake, this guy has done things that make it look like he was trying to fool people into thinking he is a lawyer, when he is not. He called his book, STORY OF A CHINA PRACTICE. Lawyers practice law. Doctors practice medicine. It certainly seems he was trying to get us to think he was practicing law. I mean, he could certainly have called it something like STORY OF A CHINA COMPANY. Oh, I note that this book gets the lowest number of stars at Amazon and a reviewer has this to say about it:

"Having read the book and having first-hand experience in the subject matter, this book is fill of half truths and outright falsehoods. The author has a very difficult time distinguishing hopeful fantasies from non-fiction regarding his own personal background and supposed accomplishments."

This seems to correspond with all that we are discussing here.

Anonymous said...

All I will say is that when a similar sort of discussion ensued on my blog, Mr. Ellis threatened to sue me despite my requests to him that he merely clear up the issues discussed. I know for a fact he has done this with other bloggers as well. In the end, I, and they, decided we could not keep the discussions going because we just did not have time to deal with his threats. I suspect this is exactly what he counts on and so I thank you FOARP for having the guts to keep this up here and to help educate people.

Anonymous said...

FOARP you are doing a good job. Thank God Chris Devonshire-Ellis is not pretending to be an MD but merely a lawyer.

Anonymous said...

A new rant on M7A and linguistics from the man who does not read or properly speaks Mandarin in the first place

But the best part is the comment from Violet:

1. Violet Meng Says:
December 3rd, 2008 at 5:29 pm

I think thats fair comment. In China law, you always have to consider the “duality” of language, then interpret what the government actually mean. The Chinese are past masters of writing regulations in a manner that leaves them open to interpretation in a manner that can fit potential future government manipulation. It’s clever, but extremely frustrating when trying to advise “less flexible” corporate counsel, especially in the US. As I think you pointed out in an earlier post here, conducting business in China requires experience, not just a law degree. I would suggest a healthy dose of Chinese writing, and especially the classics should also be part of any foreign lawyers curriculum when wanting to learn about how China governance works.

Really sad, writing your own comments to prove....well what actually?

Anonymous said...

How do you mean pretending to be a lawyer by association? A conference with key legal professionals from the region and with CDE included.

Gilman Grundy said...

@Anonymous - So, is Dezshira an 'FDI practice'? Survey says - no. I believe you are just proving our point, CDE cruises around PRETENDING to be a lawyer - and he's not, and if you go to that conference and listen to what he has to say you'll see exactly that.

Anonymous said...

How to appear to be a lawyer course.

Step 1: get listed as a speaker for a conference that deals with legal topics.

Next years 2nd China Globalization conference for example

Step 2: Take a topic that is normally presented by a lawyer

Structuring Cross-Border Contracts and Joint Ventures

Step 3: Call yourself a partner
Chris Devonshire-Ellis, Senior Partner, Dezan Shira & Associates

Step 4: Use the word practice and firm as often as you can in your description and make sure your business looks very big. Also make sure you keep as many law firms in your resume to make it appear you were a lawyer with these firms.

Chris Devonshire-Ellis
Senior Partner
International Practice, Country Manager, India
Chris is the founder of the firm. Previously with Asia Law & Practice in Hong Kong, the Hong Kong law firm Ng & Shum , and the International Law Firm Mossack Fonseca & Co. Chris established Dezan Shira & Associates in 1992 and has developed the practice from its original base in South China to the internationally recognized firm it is today with operations in China, Hong Kong, India and Vietnam. He remains the Senior Partner of the practice, yet nowadays has specific responsibilities for the development of the India practice in addition to chairing the firms board of international partners. He divides his time between Delhi and Beijing.

Step 5: Stay calm when presenting your stuff and avoid difficult question or don't answer them (The Palin doctrine)

Presto!!! You are now a lawyer.

Anonymous said...

An international network for Law Firms

The final presentation on China by Chris Devonshire Ellis stirred up great interest. It has at least now become clear to all conference participants how important and interesting China already is as a market today. This country also has a great need to catch up – especially in the legal sector – which could lead to exciting projects for Consulegis members.

Anonymous said...

See the special part on the bottom part of the page in which Chris is presented as a lawyer.

Anonymous said...

And here it is from Dezan Shira themselves:

An introduction to TEDA (Tianjin) published by Dezan Shira

With the following introduction to CDE:

Regional Partner
Our Regional (and Senior) Partner is Chris Devonshire-Ellis, one of China’s most experienced lawyers with over sixteen years PRC experience.

Thus at least in 2005 the people working at Dezan Shira were made to believe that CDE was a lawyer unless he edited this piece himself.

Anonymous said...

I'm convinced. This guy has been pawning himself off as a lawyer for years. The evidence is overwhelming. People tell me that he has flat out told potential clients that he is a lawyer. The amazing thing is I don't think he ever graduated from university!

Here's something else that is funny. You know how he touts all of his offices. Almost all of them are just virtual offices. One more thing he always does is brag about the revenues of some accounting group his firm is a member in. He will talk about 1.7 billion dollars in revenue for this group as though it is his own. I see this as deceptive also.

I also find it interesting how he is always shutting down these discussions whenever they pop up, rather than just answering the questions they raise. Mr. Ellis, please answer the questions posed by the first commenter. I dare you.

Has anyone checked out what it is he actually did for those HK firms before he came to China? Does anyone have anything good to say about the guy? In the interest of trying to be fair, I call on those with something good to say to speak out. Anyone going to defend him on anything? Maybe he really is an accountant?

Gilman Grundy said...

@Mark Pegler - CDE said he never got a university degree - he said it! But he continues to claim to have a law degree, except when it'spointed out to him, in which case he claims it was in error - but then continues to make statements identifying him as a lawyer.

Chris, baby, one of these days you're going to give some bad advice (or even just some good advice that got misapplied or ignored) and then you're going to be faced with litigation - at which point all of this is going to come down on your head. Stop it. Now. Before you get into a world of hurt.

Gilman Grundy said...

@Anonymous - So Consulegis sing the praise of a talk which they organised? Big deal.

Meanwhile, back in the real world, here are the kinds of emails CDE sends to people who hosts comments critical of him:

If I see any further commentary about us on your site, I can start to make a lot of commentary about you.
I think I have made my point today. So clear up your annoying tedious shit about us on your fucking ill informed website. "

I think we all know what CDE means when he says 'make commentary'

Likewise, when asked to explain why China Briefing copied verbatim an article from the Economist, this is what he had to say:

"Concerning the Economist piece, it was actually written by my colleague Rosario diMaggio in Guangzhou for Interfax, the Russian News agency with whom we have a publishing JV. The Economist pretty much copied it. The text is ours orginally [sic]. "

That's right Chris, The Economist (heard of them?) copied the all-powerful China Briefing, but somehow it was China Briefing that ended up taking their post down, Rather than, I dunno, suing the Economist for copyright infringement? You know, like an actual lawyer might?

Anonymous said...

Chris will show his real face even more when he posts messages all over the internet and then starts whining on his websites. It will be informative and entertaining.

Anonymous said...

a publishing JV with Interfax? Well that would be news for CB. Something like that would be published with pictures of a ceremony. CDE raising a glass and writing a story about it. Can't find anything on this JV. Probably top secret.

Interfax probably sold the mentioned article to The Economist as there are few magazines that can beat the quality of CB.

That must be it.

Anonymous said...

On Linkedin he studied, besides law (not) also Theocracy. Great studies!!!

See the explanation below:

"Theocracy is a form of government in which a god or deity is recognized as the state's supreme civil ruler,[1] or in a broader sense, a form of government in which a state is governed by immediate divine guidance or by officials who are regarded as divinely guided[2] For believers, theocracy is a form of government in which divine power governs an earthly human state, either in a personal incarnation or, more often, via religious institutional representatives (i.e., a church), replacing or dominating civil government.[3] Theocratic governments enact theonomic laws."

Anonymous said...

On LinkedIn:

Senior Partner at Dezan Shira & Associates

Law Practice

Law Practice????? WTF???

Anonymous said...

Chris Devonshire-ellis is at it again. This is why people don't like this man.

Anonymous said...

Chris Devonshire-Ellis always claimed to be a Scottish lawyer. He is no lawyer nor is he Scottish. He was born in Chichester, Sussex.

So what is actually true about his background? Anybody some info from his exploits in the UK?

Anonymous said...

One thing we all seem to be ignoring here, though, is Mr. Ellis's true life abilities to analyze the situation in China, both from the legal and the accounting side. I mean, I certainly am impressed with the fact that Mr. Ellis does now appear to realize we are in the midst of a credit crisis:

Anonymous said...

@ Mark

That is nothing short of brilliant!! Banks that do not lend even when they committed themselves some time ago. Yes that is called a credit crisis.

With regards to CDE he used to be active and super delusional on a website called talkingcock.

His profile tells a tale:

My HomePage:
Location: Beijing
Occupation: Dictator in Chief
Interest: Dark Women. Cigars. Large Quantities of Rum.

Baby Baby Can I Invade Your Country ?

Funny? Well maybe but for a 47/48 year old? For someone that age we are talking a psycho who has to look down on others to fight off his depressions

One of his more famous completely delusional comments he made was that he was a lawyer in Singapore in the mid-eighties. It is gone now from Talkingcock as he was getting nasty as usual so they deleted his contributions.

Please enjoy:

Fidel lived in Singapore in the mid 1980's and was working as a lawyer for one of the larger private companies here. I got a 3 bed apartment on Orchard Road, (now a 9 storey condo) a Mercedes and Tanglin membership. I soon found out why - it was to compensate me for all the drivel and crap I had to put up with when being faced with having to be the
hatchet man to close down all the dubious subsidiary companies my boss had been persuaded to invest
into !

I was somewhat unpopular in Tanglin circles for awhile and have only recently started to go back again as an overseas member...
However, in those halcyon days, where the Immigration wouldn't let in people with beards, long hair, and a work permit application had to be accompanied by a 2:1 university degree, and you
could get caned for spray painting cars (quite right) I compare with latter day Shanghai. It is expat-yob city.

An expat night out in Shanghai is now a run of the cheapest beer bars happy hours, followed by
attending ladies night at Zapatas where a bunch of overweight, fat gweipors with cut-down t-shirts
exposing their wobbling guts, quaff free tequila and dance around their fake Xiangyang market USD5 Loius Vuitton handbags, while hopeful (sad) expat men, praying they are not doomed to not another hand shandy tonight, gather with moronic intensity at the white girls having already been rejected by the local chicks.

Looking like cutting room rejects from a bad white-boy gangsta rap video, wearing back to front baseball caps, baggy cut off jeans and Lonsdale tshirts, they pretend to each other they are either hip
DJ's about to get a residency at Malones on Chivas night, are about to be hired as a "China Expert" by
McKinseys or indeed, as you say, are teaching English, despite not having any qualifications to do so
whatsoever. is now full of them, and it wasn't always so.

In which case, dear readers, the attempts by China to reach super-power status by relying on these imbeciles to educate their young in nternational language, etiquette and know-how are surely doomed.

But this is of course, all along the cunning plan of the West and the United States of America after all - as we all know down at Tanjong Pagar, all the bright students these days are returning Indians setting up IT companies in Bangalore, Bombay and Dehli.

China ? No chance. It's abacus versus windows XP professional.
Thank God for dodgy white expats in China. They may yet avert WW3 by keeping China dumb. They may
even do a better job than Mao himself did.

Heh heh heh

Anonymous said...

I hear that Mr. Ellis threatens people who try to discuss his real background. Are you getting threats from him? Here's a site that appears to have been threatened by him, but they just put the threat on their site. (right hand side). "I know where you live and I'm going to get you, c*nt" - Chris Devonshire-Ellis

I am going to ask this person to come on here and explain where he got this quote from.

Anonymous said...

One more thing, how is it that he got the name Devonshire-Ellis? I heard that he tells people it is because he is somehow related to the Duke of Devonshire, but that makes no sense because that would not give him the last name of Devonshire. Anyone know? Was he born with this name or did he create it to appear royal?

Am I the only one who pities this guy and wishes he would come on here to clear his name?

Anonymous said...

Maybe created to start afresh and without any old ghosts bothering him? There's plenty reasons to change your name, vanity is just one of them. It is simple to do in the UK and you do not have to file publicly.

Anonymous said...

More lies:

So CDE tends to bully webmaster who post critical comments about his fraudulent claims but does not correct anyone who claims he is a lawyer. 20 years in ass. Till 1997 he was in HK and if he was in China it was to get pissed in the snakepit in Shekou / Shenzhen. only in early 2000 he was in China.

Can anyone check out what this guy was doing in the UK. We know he did not study so what did he actually do?

"Chris Devonshire-Ellis is one of China’s best known foreign investment lawyers, and has been based in China for over 20 years. He lives in Beijing"

Anonymous said...

This introduction was written by him here:

You must have some guts touting yourself as a lawyer for the HK CPA organization. Note that in 2004 he just managed to license his business as a bookkeeping business in China.

A website with all his articles and cases where he touts himself as a lawyer would be cool and it might protect a client or two looking for real lawyer.

Presenters: Chris Devonshire-Ellis. Senior Partner, Dezan Shira & Associates, Beijing. Chris is one of China’s longest serving lawyers with some 16 years China experience and is the founder of Dezan Shira & Associates, China’s largest independent tax onsultants,
as well as publisher of the acclaimed “China Briefing” magazines and books. Chris arranges effective Joint Venture and Wholly Foreign Owned Enterprise tax structures and profits repatriation at the pre-incorporation planning stage in addition to servicing other
legal, contractual and tax issues for Dezan Shira’s clients – over 1,000 international small-medium enterprises from some 52 different
countries. He is based in Beijing.

Anonymous said...

Chris Devonshire-Ellis is not a fraud in the common sense, he is delusional. He believes he is a lawyer and very important. On Shanghaiexpat he used to post rants in which he assumed different identities and it was common knowledge that whilst writing it his state of mind was such that he believed he was either a lawyer or a Chinese who was a Kung Fu master or his famous Fidel character to name a few. The famous half naked Chris dancing on the bartable was one of the sad highlights and tells it all. He posted it himself and was mighty proud of it.

Maybe FOARP should post that picture on this site. Anybody still has a copy? A much better fit with his character than the silly one with a bowtie that can be found on the DZ website.

When kicked off the site he subsequently tried everything to get something posted on the site, anything. Be it the joys of camel porn, picture of lactating breasts or just plain incoherent lalalala posts.

Anonymous said...

The funny thing is that he will be speaking on legal issues at AmCham in May: How ridiculous is this? We should all alert AmCham to who this guy really is and then if they go forward with his speech, we should show up and just keep asking Devonshire-Ellis to respond to the accusations being made against him here. I have nothing against the guy, but I do think he should come on here and explain himself. Anyone with me on this?

Anonymous said...

What's the use? We saw the message he send to FOARP. Why would Chris Devonshire-Ellis come here and admit he is a notorious liar and can not separate facts from fiction? Not in his best interest. He will do what he always does....try to intimidate and if that does not work he will start moaning that everybody is bullying him, like the little smelly kid in school he bullied.

Gilman Grundy said...

Just to clarify, those messages were sent to me by someone whose website got on the wrong side of CDE. CDE doesn't have my email address - although I'm told he's been asking people for it - by the way, Chris, it's , although a quick internet search might have told you the same.

Anonymous said...

Chris Devonshire-Ellis ia a liar!!!He doesn't has any education in law, accountancy as well as tax. Before he went to China, he was in HK and try to do the same kind of business as he now did in China BUT a smart woman discover his lies and inform every business contact and this forced him escape to Shenzhen. He start his "lies" again in China as nobody will know his history there. How I know ? It's because I was one of the person that he lied to before in HK. ALL information in DShira web site about him are fake.

Anonymous said...

He also owed lots of people money and was forced to escape to Shenzhen in 1996. He start his "lies" again in China as he believe nobody will know his history/background there. Before he came to HK he was in Singapore for a short while and try to cheat a woman to marry him but fail. ALL information in DZ web site about his credential are fake. In fact, he did similar things in UK and after "overspend" a lot of his ex-girlfriend's brother's money, he escaped from UK to Singapore. There are some evidence (like I.O.U.paper,letter of his UK ex, letter from his parents etc.)and his letters to debtors are still kept by some women in HK.

Anonymous said...

Mr. Anonymous seems to know a bit about the old days but is not very specific. The main issue on this site is that he is a liar, that is correct but about his business we have no clue. There are no reports of deeply unhappy clients. It is about his credentials that are fake and the question is then if you can trust someone like CDE to have any real knowledge other than shameless self promotion?

Gilman Grundy said...

Right, from now on I'm going to have to ask all of you to at least give yourself a handle. Going anonymous is fine, but if there is more than one anonymous there is no knowing who is talking to who.

That said, I agree with the above poster, I cannot verify any of this stuff about debts, lies or the rest. Unless you are going to provide evidence supporting what you say, I don't see why anyone should care about it. His lies (and there is no other way you can describe them - these are not mistatements) about his credentials are what bothers me - and should bother anyone who sees people being tricked by them.

Anonymous said...

This lawyer(Mr Steve NG) is what CDE mentioned on his credential page. Mr S NG can confirm you that CDE is not a lawyer if you asked him.

I don't think Ng & Shum allowed him to use their name on his credential too. He knew Steve is too busy and not border to check it out.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous "Steve Ng post". Why don't you check it out? Why put a message for others to check? Contact him and get a written statement that he worked for them, or not and that he is a lawyer, or not.

They won't give you anything. Why would they waste their time on it?

Gilman Grundy said...

Right, that's it guys, next post under "anonymous" gets deleted.

Anonymous said...

I have actually called the University of London and they say that Chris Devonshire-Ellis, of whom they are well aware, never attended their university.

Also, at one point in time Chris posted that he was a lawyer graduated from U of L. He received a cease & Desist letter from U of L and then was forced to take that claim down.

Up until recently, on his website bio he claimed to have a "Bishop Wand education." That is merely a high school.

The guy is a fraud.

Then there is his association with the "Chinabounder" incident. On a popular expat website in Shanghai, Chris aka Fidel would post about lining up young Chinese girls bent over in a row and *&^%ing them one-by-one. When the Chinabounder incident broke in the press, Chris ran like a baby erasing everything disgusting he wrote about Chinese people and Chinese females in general. However, some people have saved all those comments. ;)

Gilman Grundy said...

@Joe C - It would be nice if you could show us your evidence for The University of London sending him a cease and desist letter. I went to Queen Mary, University of London, and I can tell you that under current policies they can not tell anyone whether I went there or not without my permission.

But then, we don't have to have the U. of L. tell us that he didn't go there - he himself said that he never graduated from university.

I for one don't believe the whole Chinabounder story. Not least because we already know who Chinabounder is - and it's not Chris. In fact Chris doesn't write anything like Chinabounder. I don't know who made those comments, there's no evidence whatsoever that CDE was involved. If you have any evidence, you can email me at .

Okay guys, I'm closing this thread down. Any new comments will be deleted.

Anonymous said...

Dezan Shira has an internship listed for a marketing position in Beijing this coming summer. Is this company even legit? Would this be a poor decision?

Just wondering if the company ACTUALLY exists, or if it would be a stain on my resume forever. Thanks.

Anonymous said...

I didn't say that Devonshire was Chinabounder. we all know that he isn't. But a lot of his posts on a certain Shanghai expat site were of the same type as Chinabounder's and when the Chinabounder incident broke, Chris was scared he'd be dragged into the net -- guilt by association (his same style posts). That's why he had all of his posts deleted on that website in fear of government reprisal.

Even though they were deleted, there are a lot of copies floating around that some people wisely saved.

Gilman Grundy said...

Oh well, I guess we've got room for a few more -

Firstly, yes, Dezshira does exist as a company - they're registered in HK and the mainland as far as I know. As for whether or not to apply for an internship, the job market at the moment is pretty bad, and you'd be on the marketing side, but still, I've heard so many bad things about Dezshira and Chris Ellis that I'd definitely think twice about it if I were you.

Joe C - Well, that is something, but to be frank, I'm not into dragging up dirt about someone just for the hell of it. It's his continual barefaced lying that gets me.

Anonymous said...

Chris Devonshire-Ellis spent most of 1992 signing on the dole, sharing a room in a flop-house in a bad part of Manchester, mingling with drug addicts and ex-cons.

Gilman Grundy said...

@Daz - It would be great if you could tell me how you know that. Hell, it would actually raise him in my eyes if that was true.

Anonymous said...


Is there a way to contact you privately?

Gilman Grundy said...

Certainly, just email me at

Anonymous said...

He wrote he is a lawyer

Go here:

So I think this is a separate issue. However, even as a lawyer running a tax practice in China, I’d rather go hang out with a foreign engineer for a beer on a Friday night; I’d learn far more from him about what goes on in China business practice than I would from most expat lawyers or consultants - those exceptions know who they are. So for cowboy operations - a lot can be laid at the door of poor and shoddy legal and consultancy work, meaning cheap, and the encouraging of businesses to set up in China that do not fully understand the financial implications or are willing to then duck and dive over QC themselves. The sort of consultant who says you can set up a FICE for RMB30,000 in registered capital or a manufacturing WFOE for RMB100,000 in RC. It’s utterly irresponsible. If any low end consultants / lawyers read this - you’re not making any money, you are doing more harm than good, and your business is inherently dangerous when encouraging poor investments at low cost. Please leave and go set up in Nigeria.

Bruce Wagner said...

I have never even heard of this Chris Ellis person. I was simply trying to figure out what the number 1 Trending Topic on - #cde - was... I googled and stumbled across this blog item. ...and couldn't stop reading!

Yes, this is yet another example of how I believe the Internet is one of the most amazing gifts from God, literally. The truth always comes out - from the collective consciousness of mankind - but it sure comes out faster thanks to the Internet. Anyway...

My advice to this guy, and anyone living life as a fraud is:

1. Come out. Admit it.
2. Apologize. And make it sound sincere.
3. Start over, never denying what happened, but sticking 100% to the truth.

Result: You have a brilliant mind. You wouldn't be able to fool so many people if you weren't very smart. However, in the end, that's not a game anyone can win.

Use your talents for good. Use your mind for helping people. You'll be rewarded greatly. Financially, and in every other way. And you'll be amazed that all this can happen faster than you can set up another fake company or more fake credentials.

In fact, AFTER you admit it, apologize, and start doing good works.... many people will actually begin to admire the brain, and cleverness, it took to do what you've been doing up until now.

You'll never be happy until you take this advice though.

I wish you, and all reading this, the best new life.

"Only Love."

Bruce Wagner

Anonymous said...


Here or "lawyer" gives the same advice as in India but as it is in China he skips the bribery part.

So he jut wanted to look like a cowboy in India then?

Gilman Grundy said...

@Rens - Editors aren't stupid and would intercept such comments even if CDE had tried to make them. As for the rest, it's either re-hashed from other sources, or just total baloney. The bit about the publication of patent applications being a 'loophole' in the system just shows how little he actually knows what he is talking about.

Anonymous said...

Posted by: China Law Blog | March 05, 2007 at 10:46 PM

Cantankerous ? Moi ? Surely not. Pretentious possibly. Magnificent - certainly. My own blog...? Jesus (or should I say "Confucius" ?) guys surely you get enough of me elsewhere. China Briefing and Dezan Shira's Intelligence Updates are all online and free for you to read. How about that. A Scottish lawyer who won't even charge you for reading what he writes . The worlds gone mad, and you can't give the stuff away now, although I do try. Scottish literature went seriously downhill after Robbie Burns and Billy Connelly it appears.

Anonymous said...

Maybe because the stuff HE writes isn't wort anything?

Anonymous said...

I have recruited 3 excellent local paralegals specializing in FDI registrations and changes from DZA in the past 3 years (1 from SZ, 1 from SH, 1 from BJ). So in that sense, he does (did?) have physical offices with chinese lawyers (verified) working for him doing compliance work for foreign companies. He may not be a lawyer, but he has hired some good folks in the past and was unable to retain them. Yes CDE is a talented promoter and guerrilla marketer, and from what I have seen on this and other blogs, most likely a liar and a fraud of sorts. From his book, It seems a lot of his business had been developed in expat watering holes (suspect). Thought I might add at least one positive on CDE here. Too bad my client has frozen hiring as there is at least one other compliance person there who is very strong and was not interested in changing careers when approached last year.

Headhunter in China

Anonymous said...

Who is mark pegler?

Gilman Grundy said...

I have no idea. Someone who appears to be CDE claimed to have played in the same kids football team as him back in the 70's, this was in CDE's bizarre obviously-written-by-himself Wikipedia article. If you know more, email me at

Anonymous said...

Look it is plain old Christopher Ellis, nothing more, nothing less.

Previously...when he played in that kids football team, he lived in Staines Middx. Where on earth he got "Devonshire" from...? pure fantasy.

At that time he had a brother called Nigel and a sister or half sister, Penny.Mind you he once passed himself off as Christopher Bernard Anthony Ellis...Bizare.

He went to Bishop Wand Secondary C of E, school,Laytons Lane Sunbury-on Thames UK. You can probably look that up on friends re-united, he would have left in 1977.

He worked at United Glass Staines and then for Twentys Holidays as a rep in the early 80's in Corfu. He did know a girl who's father chartered out boats but as far as I know, he has no Chandlery experience.

He did start some kind of Headhunting executive search type business in Manchester in the mid 80's but that failed and story was he left with everyone else picking up the pieces and worse but I couldn't prove that.

He once had a great boxer dog called biscuit and for a while he lived near Preston, Lancs.

From his picture, he seems to have got remarkably fat since I last saw him..Shame as in that kids football team, he was quite a good shot stopper.

He used to do the 1/2 time announcements at Staines FC and play a bit of music, on the turntables,actually he wasn't bad at that.

He did do some interviewing for Blues and Soul magazine, or a similar soul music magazine- a Bootsy Collins interview I seem to remember and was trying to be another Giles Peterson DJ type person, but obviously that didn't happen.

Still he does tell a good yarn and always did. I think he still has some of my vinyl records.

The best thing he ever did was work with some under privileged kids in Shepperton, he was pretty good at that and should have stuck at it.
I'd still like to know who that is masquerading as Mark Pegler, maybe its old Ellis himself...? As they say "any publicity is good publicity".

I see he still likes the group "Sparks"..At least that much is true. How the world turns.

where can I find that Wikipidea article?

Gilman Grundy said...

Here's the proposed page:

Somebody at the same IP address wrote the Dezshira and CDE pages, but unfortunately those have already been deleted as obvious self-advertising.

Weird thing is how often I get emails pointing this kind of thing out. Given the details that come out, anyone would think that all I do all day is search for info on the guy, but he just has so many enemies (even amongst those you would expect to remain loyal) that even if I was inclined to do so, I wouldn't need to.

It's not surprising that even the guy's enemies still have a lot of good things to say about him. I've never met him, but from everything I've heard his a real charmer and genuinely nice to be around. He just has a rather tenuous connection to reality, and lies the same way other people breath.

Yeah, I think Mark Pegler is often used as a pseudonym by CDE, but I think others are using it as well to criticise him - or perhaps even the original Pegler?

At the moment, I haven't anything more about him fabricating interviews or threatening innocent people with lawsuits or trouble from his 'pals' in the Chinese government, so, to tell the truth, I'm not all that bothered.

If you have anything you want to say in private (especially if you hear that he's getting up to his old tricks), send me an email at the above address. Please rest assured that I treat all such correspondence with the strictest confidence.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Gilman Grundy said...

That last link came up broken, and I would strongly discourage anyone from engaging in speculation about a man who is, as far as I know, still fit, healthy, and among the living.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Gilman Grundy said...

Once again, I'm not going to allow speculation on this subject.

"one of many disgruntled former employees" said...

you haven't met the guy. Good for you! You don't want to meet him....

Anonymous said...

Well said, great post! I love you

SE962582C said...

Interesting. Very Interesting. Thank you and thank you very much and very much indeed, compliments, and much obliged and appreciated for all of that.

Unless being a Military Lawyer with the Army, especially either at Gibraltar and/or at the Cyprus, NO Scottish Solicitors would work out-with outside of the Isles of the British Islands, √Čire-Ireland the Republic of √Čire-Ireland or Gibraltar, SANS/WITHOUT also registering with the Law Society of England & W. as a Solicitor of England & W..

The Scottish Solicitors DO resign to the fact that the Capital is at London and at Westminster, not at Edinburgh, and that works against them, somewhat.

London-Registration for the Solicitors from Northern Ireland SHOULD BE a matter of relatively simple and straight-forward formality.

(I am SICK of these "Lawyer" nonsense! Is the word "Solicitor" too difficult for some?! Reminds me of my days with the Inbreed of the Country in semi-rural Lincolnshire in my late teens.

(Still, for one thing, to the Credit of the Man and of the Gentleman NEVER claimed to be a "Barrister", be "Called to the Bar", and/or be a "Notary Public".)

SE962582C said...

He does not appear to be at the and at this very moment based or domiciled at either Shen-Zhen, at Canton/Guang-Zhou or at Beijing, or etc., etc., etc., or etc., as if he did, by his Comments under his own Articles, with some of the Comments too rude even for him to include as part of the Articles themselves,

Supporting and seconding the Free Tibet Movement and Campaign, of which he increasingly does in the year 2008 and since, he would had a very real "Wish" of a certain kind indeed.

"Free Tibet" are Deportable even from the Chinese Autonomous Special Administrative Region of Hong-Kong, at least in the year 2008, but are otherwise still tolerated enough that not all are Deported; where

Where a certain Mrs Kate SAUNDERS the former Journalist, the Lay and Secular Spokesman/Spokeswoman for the Dalai Lama, a non-Registered-Tibetan Member and Official of the Tibetan Government-in-Exile, and etc., etc., etc. and etc., was allowed in WITH A VISA, as both a English/British Citizen and as a English/British Passport-Holder, in the year 2009.

There is also Woeser Tsering, THE Woeser Tsering, of Beijing, ( of whom she is probably nothing more than and other than a Chinese Governmental Agent Provocateur of State.

What do you think about "Free Tibet" and the Dalai Lama anyway and anyhow, Sir?! As being Japan-Japanese-based rather than China-Chinese-based, Do Tell!

Gilman Grundy said...

That I am (or was) Japan based matters very little, if you are Japan-based and work in a serious profession there you are unlikely to have enough time to enjoy the country.

Gilman Grundy said...

Oh, and as for "Dezan Shira", Chris claims this is a Sinicisation of his name. It might just be at that.

Anonymous said...

Come on guys. This is not some a-hole guy. He is the 19th baron of Coigach, a real nobleman.

Anonymous said...

Read the comment from Laurentius below and lo and behold...our barn cunt now bought himself a title. Mr. Metaal seems to know him well.

I write Mr. Ellis as the name Devonshire-Ellis seems another thing about appearances. He was born Christopher Ellis and then changed his name somewhere in time. Maybe because, from a marketing point of view, it would make him look more like someone who descended from British nobility, a Baron, Count maybe? No idea, just speculating here.

Anonymous said...

See the latest post by CDE on his blog where he despairs about the lack of ethics/morality in China - Oh, the irony!

anjalimehtus said...

usa foreign education consultancies in hyderabad
we are the best and top rated study abroad consultancies in india with good visa assurance.we help you in filing the f1 visa for you in very less time. we are also help you with information needed to apply for the college university. abroad education consultants in hyderabad

George Mark said...

Really a great blog . Thanks for sharing this kind of valuable stuff. You may find best lawyer for legal service in china here : Shenzhen Lawyer