Regulatory Compliance Advisory

Overview

Since the global financial crisis in 2008, regulators have heightened the standards for the conduct of business and, in so doing, have created an increasingly restrictive regulatory framework in which market participants must operate. In this environment, in advising our clients, it has been increasingly important for us to find the right balance between, on the one hand, the risks of non-compliance with the regulatory framework and any consequential regulatory enforcement action and, on the other hand, the need to achieve the commercial objectives which make any financial services business or business initiative profitable.

We bring an in-depth understanding of the laws and regulations governing the financial markets and those who participate in it. We regularly advise clients on the requirements of the Securities and Futures Ordinance, the Banking Ordinance, the Insurance Ordinance, the Mandatory Provident Fund Schemes Ordinance, the Payment and Stored Value Facilities Ordinance, and the Anti-Money Laundering Ordinance amongst others. Equally, we regularly advise on the codes and guidelines issued by the Securities and Futures Commission (“SFC”), the Insurance Authority ("IA"), and the Hong Kong Monetary Authority ("HKMA") which indicate how these regulators will exercise their discretion under the applicable statutory regimes. We have significant experience with the manner in which these regulators approach their exercise of such discretion.

We advise clients on a wide range of regulatory compliance related matters, including applications for licenses, registration or authorization, preparation for regulatory inspections, the management of conflicts of interest, the risk of market abuse and misconduct, the establishment and operation of anti-money laundering protocols and the development and implementation of compliance policies and procedures and internal controls.

Experience

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  • Counsel to a Northern American based private equity fund sponsor managing over USD12 billion in private equity, private credit and infrastructure investments on a capital raising exercise in Hong Kong

  • Counsel to a Hong Kong securities brokerage and asset management firm on the setting up of a fund, taking into account to major changes to regulatory requirements applicable to funds under the revised SFC Fund Manager Code of Conduct introduced in November 2018

  • Counsel to Fortune Global 100 financial institution in relation to the public launch of UCITS III equities and fixed income fund in Hong Kong

  • Counsel to a Fortune Global 100 financial institution in relation to the transition of EUR11 billion UCITS I equities fund to UCITS III

  • Counsel to a Fortune Global 100 financial institution in relation to the transition of EUR4 billion UCITS I fixed income fund to UCITS III

  • Counsel to Fortune Global 100 financial institution in relation establishment of fund marketing operations in Greater China

  • Counsel to a Fortune Global 100 financial institution in relation to the launch of a unit trust and mutual fund dealing and custody platform in Hong Kong

  • Counsel to a European based financial services company with a market capitalization of over USD10 billion on the establishment of fund marketing operations in Greater China

  • Advising a Hong Kong based long-short and event driven asset management firm with over USD275 million of assets under management focused on Japan in connection with a major overhaul of the client’s internal control and compliance systems and advising on major changes to regulatory requirements in Hong Kong applicable to fund managers

  • Advising a listed global insurance company with annual revenues over GBP17 billion and a market capitalization over GBP16 billion in respect of regulatory requirements applicable to its family of investment-linked assurance schemes

  • Advising a U.S. based multinational hospitality company with a market capitalization of over USD43 billion in connection with the application of Hong Kong securities law by reason of the definition of a "collective investment scheme” as a result of the launch of a proposed new timeshare and rewards scheme

  • Representing one of the world's largest derivatives exchange and clearing house operators with a market capitalization of over USD65 billion in securing (i) one of the first regulatory authorizations in Hong Kong to provide electronic access to a clearing system in respect of OTC derivatives, and (ii) regulatory authorization in Hong Kong to provide electronic access in Hong Kong to a clearing system in respect of futures

  • Representing one of the world's largest derivatives exchange and clearing house operators with a market capitalization of over USD65 billion in connection with statutory insolvency protection in connection with the trading and clearing of OTC derivatives

  • Advising a Canadian public investment management company listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange with over USD140 billion under management in connection with regulatory issues arising from its business in Hong Kong

  • Advising a leading Swiss private banking group with assets under management in excess of 350 billion Swiss Francs in connection to Hong Kong regulatory issues related to dealing in listed index options

  • Advising an NYSE listed asset management firm in connection with Hong Kong short selling reporting requirements

  • Advising Hong Kong asset managers in highlighting risks and recommendations in advance of SFC inspections

  • Advising a portfolio manager of a listed People’s Republic of China based financial services firm with a market capitalization of over USD16 billion in respect of managing liability exposure as a result of portfolio losses of as much as USD130 million in connection with a complex derivatives trading strategy

  • Advising a U.S. listed Internet company with a market capitalization of over USD60 billion, operating an electronic payment system available in over 200 markets in relation to the Hong Kong legal framework to implement local and international economic sanctions

  • Advising the operator of a cloud-based instant messaging and voice over IP service, which has a user base over more than 300 million globally, on the application of Hong Kong laws in connection with the roll-out of an e-wallet built for the purpose of holding and enabling payment of a blockchain based crypto-currency

  • Counsel to a Northern American based private equity fund sponsor managing over USD12 billion in private equity, private credit and infrastructure investments on a capital raising exercise in Hong Kong

  • Counsel to a Hong Kong securities brokerage and asset management firm on the setting up of a fund, taking into account to major changes to regulatory requirements applicable to funds under the revised SFC Fund Manager Code of Conduct introduced in November 2018

  • Counsel to Fortune Global 100 financial institution in relation to the public launch of UCITS III equities and fixed income fund in Hong Kong

  • Counsel to a Fortune Global 100 financial institution in relation to the transition of EUR11 billion UCITS I equities fund to UCITS III

  • Counsel to a Fortune Global 100 financial institution in relation to the transition of EUR4 billion UCITS I fixed income fund to UCITS III

  • Counsel to Fortune Global 100 financial institution in relation establishment of fund marketing operations in Greater China

  • Counsel to a Fortune Global 100 financial institution in relation to the launch of a unit trust and mutual fund dealing and custody platform in Hong Kong

  • Counsel to a European based financial services company with a market capitalization of over USD10 billion on the establishment of fund marketing operations in Greater China

  • Advising a Hong Kong based long-short and event driven asset management firm with over USD275 million of assets under management focused on Japan in connection with a major overhaul of the client’s internal control and compliance systems and advising on major changes to regulatory requirements in Hong Kong applicable to fund managers

  • Advising a listed global insurance company with annual revenues over GBP17 billion and a market capitalization over GBP16 billion in respect of regulatory requirements applicable to its family of investment-linked assurance schemes

  • Advising a U.S. based multinational hospitality company with a market capitalization of over USD43 billion in connection with the application of Hong Kong securities law by reason of the definition of a "collective investment scheme” as a result of the launch of a proposed new timeshare and rewards scheme

  • Representing one of the world's largest derivatives exchange and clearing house operators with a market capitalization of over USD65 billion in securing (i) one of the first regulatory authorizations in Hong Kong to provide electronic access to a clearing system in respect of OTC derivatives, and (ii) regulatory authorization in Hong Kong to provide electronic access in Hong Kong to a clearing system in respect of futures

  • Representing one of the world's largest derivatives exchange and clearing house operators with a market capitalization of over USD65 billion in connection with statutory insolvency protection in connection with the trading and clearing of OTC derivatives

  • Advising a Canadian public investment management company listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange with over USD140 billion under management in connection with regulatory issues arising from its business in Hong Kong

  • Advising a leading Swiss private banking group with assets under management in excess of 350 billion Swiss Francs in connection to Hong Kong regulatory issues related to dealing in listed index options

  • Advising an NYSE listed asset management firm in connection with Hong Kong short selling reporting requirements

  • Advising Hong Kong asset managers in highlighting risks and recommendations in advance of SFC inspections

  • Advising a portfolio manager of a listed People’s Republic of China based financial services firm with a market capitalization of over USD16 billion in respect of managing liability exposure as a result of portfolio losses of as much as USD130 million in connection with a complex derivatives trading strategy

  • Advising a U.S. listed Internet company with a market capitalization of over USD60 billion, operating an electronic payment system available in over 200 markets in relation to the Hong Kong legal framework to implement local and international economic sanctions

  • Advising the operator of a cloud-based instant messaging and voice over IP service, which has a user base over more than 300 million globally, on the application of Hong Kong laws in connection with the roll-out of an e-wallet built for the purpose of holding and enabling payment of a blockchain based crypto-currency

Awards

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  • IFLR 1000

    Leading Practice

    Private Equity

  • IFLR 1000

    "Positively Ranked"

    Private Equity

  • AsiaLaw Profiles

    Leading Practice

    Private Equity

  • Corporate INTL Magazine

    Regulatory Law Firm of the Year in Hong Kong

    Financial Services Regulatory

  • Chambers & Partners

    Leading Practice

    Financial Services Regulatory

  • Chambers & Partners

    Leading Individual

    Financial Services Regulatory

  • Legal 500

    Leading Individual

    Financial Services Regulatory

  • Legal 500

    "Recommended Practice"

    Financial Services Regulatory

  • IFLR 1000

    Leading Practice

    Financial Services Regulatory

  • Asialaw Profiles

    Leading Practice

    Financial Services Regulatory

  • Asialaw Profiles

    Market-Leading Lawyer

    Financial Services Regulatory

  • Chambers & Partners

    Leading Lawyer

    Financial Services Regulatory

  • Asialaw Leading Lawyers

    Market-Leading Lawyer

    Financial Services Regulatory

  • Asialaw Profiles

    Outstanding Practice

    Financial Services Regulatory

  • IFLR 1000

    "Positively Ranked"

    Financial Services Regulatory

  • IFLR 1000

    Highly Regarded Lawyer

    Financial Services Regulatory

  • Chambers & Partners

    Well Regarded Lawyer

    Financial Services Regulatory

  • Chambers & Partners

    Leading Practice

    Investment Funds

  • Chambers & Partners

    Leading Individual

    Investment Funds

  • Legal 500

    Recommended Practice

    Investment Funds

  • Chambers & Partners

    Leading Lawyer

    Investment Funds

  • Asialaw Profiles

    Leading Practice

    Investment Funds

  • Asialaw Profiles

    Market-Leading Lawyer

    Investment Funds

  • Asialaw Leading Lawyers

    Market-Leading Lawyer

    Investment Funds

  • Asialaw Profiles

    Highly Recommended

    Investment Funds

  • IFLR 1000

    Leading Practice

    Hedge Funds

  • IFLR 1000

    "Positively Ranked"

    Hedge Funds

  • IFLR 1000

    Leading Practice

    Hedge Funds

  • IFLR 1000

    "Positively Ranked"

    Hedge Funds

  • Who's Who Legal

    One of the World's Leading Practitioners

    Private Funds

  • IFLR 1000

    Leading Practice

    Private Equity

  • IFLR 1000

    "Positively Ranked"

    Private Equity

  • AsiaLaw Profiles

    Leading Practice

    Private Equity

  • Corporate INTL Magazine

    Regulatory Law Firm of the Year in Hong Kong

    Financial Services Regulatory

  • Chambers & Partners

    Leading Practice

    Financial Services Regulatory

  • Chambers & Partners

    Leading Individual

    Financial Services Regulatory

  • Legal 500

    Leading Individual

    Financial Services Regulatory

  • Legal 500

    "Recommended Practice"

    Financial Services Regulatory

  • IFLR 1000

    Leading Practice

    Financial Services Regulatory

  • Asialaw Profiles

    Leading Practice

    Financial Services Regulatory

  • Asialaw Profiles

    Market-Leading Lawyer

    Financial Services Regulatory

  • Chambers & Partners

    Leading Lawyer

    Financial Services Regulatory

  • Asialaw Leading Lawyers

    Market-Leading Lawyer

    Financial Services Regulatory

  • Asialaw Profiles

    Outstanding Practice

    Financial Services Regulatory

  • IFLR 1000

    "Positively Ranked"

    Financial Services Regulatory

  • IFLR 1000

    Highly Regarded Lawyer

    Financial Services Regulatory

  • Chambers & Partners

    Well Regarded Lawyer

    Financial Services Regulatory

  • Chambers & Partners

    Leading Practice

    Investment Funds

  • Chambers & Partners

    Leading Individual

    Investment Funds

  • Legal 500

    Recommended Practice

    Investment Funds

  • Chambers & Partners

    Leading Lawyer

    Investment Funds

  • Asialaw Profiles

    Leading Practice

    Investment Funds

  • Asialaw Profiles

    Market-Leading Lawyer

    Investment Funds

  • Asialaw Leading Lawyers

    Market-Leading Lawyer

    Investment Funds

  • Asialaw Profiles

    Highly Recommended

    Investment Funds

  • IFLR 1000

    Leading Practice

    Hedge Funds

  • IFLR 1000

    "Positively Ranked"

    Hedge Funds

  • IFLR 1000

    Leading Practice

    Hedge Funds

  • IFLR 1000

    "Positively Ranked"

    Hedge Funds

  • Who's Who Legal

    One of the World's Leading Practitioners

    Private Funds

Insights

  • Opening Bank Accounts: Duties of Banks in Hong Kong to Combat Tax Evasion

    Hong Kong money laundering laws require banks to assess the risk of tax evasion in evaluating bank account opening applications. Prospective customers applying to open bank accounts must exercise sensitivity in understanding how their overall profile looks objectively from a tax evasion perspective to a bank and must exercise care in managing the presentation of their profile.

  • Opening a Bank Account in Hong Kong: Latest Regulatory Developments

    For many new businesses, opening a bank account is a mission critical task. Unfortunately, as a result of significant growth in laws intended to combat money laundering and tax evasion and to enforce international sanctions, the process of doing so in Hong Kong has become a Herculean challenge which not infrequently results in a disappointing dismissal by the bank of the account opening application. In a recent circular to banks, the banking regulator attempts to address these difficulties.