Professor Douglas SO, BBS, JP
Professor Douglas So Cheung-tak, BBS, JP is a solicitor of Hong Kong and the United Kingdom. After obtaining his law degree from The University of Hong Kong (HKU), Douglas specialised in commercial law at Baker McKenzie, a leading international law firm. He advised the successful IPO of China Eastern Airlines in 1997 and PetroChina in 2000, amongst others, on the stock exchanges of Hong Kong and New York.
Douglas later became General Counsel, Company Secretary and Executive Director, Charities of The Hong Kong Jockey Club, where he served for nearly 15 years. Thereafter, Douglas was appointed Vice-President of HKU, his Alma Mater, in charge of institutional advancement. In 2023, he joined the HKU Faculty of Arts as a Professor of Practice to pursue his passion for teaching, learning and research.
In 2014, Douglas founded F11 Foto Museum (www.f11.com) inside an elegant 1930s art-deco style building in Happy Valley to promote photography, heritage conservation and private museums. Subsequently, he established f22 foto space (www.f22.com), an award-winning gallery in Wanchai, with a focus on photo art and creative design. In 2019, Douglas opened Hong Kong’s first Leica flagship store in Causeway Bay as a joint venture with the renowned German camera manufacturer. A year later, f22 added a fine vintage camera shop and a gallery to the Peninsula Hotel in Kowloon, a charming Grade 1 heritage building.
Douglas is devoted to serving the community. Currently, he is the Chairman of the following:
- Antiquities Advisory Board;
- Advisory Committee on Chinese Medicine Development Fund;
- Museum Advisory Committee;
- M Plus Collections Trust;
- Hong Kong Jockey Club Music and Dance Fund; and
- Human Resources Committee and Development Committee of The Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts (HKAPA), cum Deputy Chairman of the HKAPA Council.
In addition, he is a member of the Education Commission; a Board Member of Food Angel and HKBU Chinese Medicine Hospital, as well as an adviser to Our Hong Kong Foundation; Dashun Foundation and Hong Kong Architecture Centre. Furthermore, Douglas is a Member of the 6th Election Committee.
A former Board Member of the Community Chest; HK Phil; Prince Philip Dental Hospital; Duchess of Kent Children’s Hospital and HK Cyberport, Douglas also served as Secretary of UNICEF HK and Chairman of its Corporate Governance Committee for almost a decade. Moreover, he was a member of the Advisory Committee on Built Heritage Conservation and the HKU Foundation Disbursement Committee.
Over the years, Douglas has delightfully contributed his time and expertise serving as Juror for a number of professional competitions, including those organised by the HK Institute of Architects; HK Institute of Surveyors; Chartered Institute of Building and Leica Oskar Barnack Award in Germany. In 2021, he served as Head Juror of the Design Competition 1 + 1 for the expansion of HK Science Museum and HK Museum of History.
Douglas is a frequent speaker and moderator at conferences, such as talks hosted by the National Cultural Heritage Administration of China; GBA Built Heritage Summit; HK Museum Summit; Our HK Foundation; HK Rotary Club; HKU Museum; French Consulate of HK & Macau; Fine Art Asia; Digital Art Fair, to name a few. He has also given dozens of media interviews on a wide range of topics of public interest.
In recognition of his excellent public service and contributions to arts, culture and heritage conservation, Douglas was appointed a Justice of the Peace and awarded the Bronze Bauhinia Star by the Hong Kong SAR Government, as well as the honour of Chevalier dans l’ordre des Arts et des Lettres by the French Government.
In 2021, Douglas appeared on the Asia’s Most Influential List of HK Tatler. He was also one of Gafencu’s Power 300 from 2020 to 2022. Douglas was recently elected an Honorary Member of the American Institute of Architects (HK) “in recognition of his distinguished achievement in promoting heritage conservation and education, and his personal efforts at preserving a diverse range of Hong Kong’s cultural treasures for future generations to appreciate.”