Christine Ching Kui Lee, 58, runs a firm with offices in London and Birmingham
“British Chinese” law firm Christine Lee & Co handles immigration, conveyancing and other run-of-the-mill legal work.
But according to MI5, Christine Ching Kui Lee herself leads a more exciting life. The British-Chinese solicitor has been named in a ‘Security Service Interference Alert’ saying that she is “knowingly engaged in political interference activities” on behalf of the Chinese Communist Party.
Christine Lee & Co has made almost £700,000 in political donations, according to Electoral Commission records, mainly to the Labour Party and Labour MP Barry Gardiner.
Gardiner told LBC radio yesterday that “she was a well-known figure who had been feted for her community work. I believed her to be bona fide, I believed her to be genuine. I am shocked”.
Lee, 58, reportedly moved from Hong Kong to the UK as a child. She was admitted as a solicitor in 2002 and owns Christine Lee & Co with her husband, Martin Wilkes, who also works there.
The firm’s head office is in Birmingham with a second office in London, according to Law Society records. It employs two solicitors aside from Lee and Wilkes, with practice areas including immigration, conveyancing, commercial property, private client and family.
Christine Lee & Co boasts of being “the first and only UK Chinese law firm authorised by the Chinese Ministry of Justice as a foreign law firm to operate in China”. Its website also says that the firm has been “Legal Advisor to the Embassy of the People’s Republic of China in the UK”.
Congratulations! 🎉 Madam Christine Lee has been appointed to Beijing City Overseas Chinese Legal Advisor. pic.twitter.com/2M2hmyHfxI
— Christine Lee & Co (@ChristineLee_Co) December 6, 2017
MI5’s notice says that the organisation Lee works for “seeks to cultivate relationships with influential figures in order to ensure the UK political landscape is favourable to the CCP’s agenda”. She is not accused of espionage.
Christine Lee & Co and the Solicitors Regulation Authority have been approached for comment.