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Hong Kong > Legal market overview
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English-speaking expats are edging out of the market as Chinese-speaking equivalents come to dominate the scene in Hong Kong, fulfilling the needs of many PRC clients, who not only value the language capabilities but also the cultural affinity with China. In perhaps one of the most high-profile moves of 2016, Chiann Bao joined the dispute resolution practice at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP, bringing not only Mandarin language skills but also vast experience as the former secretary general of the Hong Kong International Arbitration Centre (HKIAC).
Hong Kong remains a tough place for firms to operate in, owing to intense fee pressures, especially in areas such as Hong Kong IPOs, where lawyers have to work hard to complete deals while generating respectable margins. Indeed, many simply work on IPOs in the hope of developing longer-standing relationships with banks and issuers.
In an incredibly fluid market, Hong Kong continues to experience a high frequency of lateral moves. Many international firms continue to show determination in gaining a foothold in Asia’s principal financial centre outside of Japan. For example, Latham & Watkins LLP rebooted its Hong Kong practice with hire of M&A and private equity specialists Simon Cooke from Clifford Chance, Amy Beckingham from Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, and Frank Sun from Kirkland & Ellis. It also recruited acquisition and leveraged finance leader Gary Hamp from Hogan Lovells’ London office.
The market also experienced a number of senior-level retirements in 2015 and 2016. In the corporate and M&A segment, Roger Denny, Neil Hyman, Teresa Ma, Gary McLean and Jamie Barr all stepped down from Clifford Chance, Slaughter and May, Linklaters, Allen & Overy and Hogan Lovells respectively. In the debt capital markets space, Bryant Edwards retired from Latham & Watkins LLP and Jeremy Webb from Linklaters.
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In a recent speech given by Mr. Carlson Tong, Chairman of the Securities and Futures Commission, Mr. Tong pointed out that companies can improve corporate governance by attaching higher importance to the role of their board of directors as an internal gatekeeper. Mr. Tong said that this can be done more easily by having effective independent non-executive directors (INEDs) on the board.
Authorities in Hong Kong have taken further steps in their deliberate approach to enforcing the Competition Ordinance. A little over a year after it was appointed, the Competition Commission released a report in which it provides a brief introduction to the Ordinance as well as a roadmap leading to its full entry into force. The report also explains how the Commission will prioritise its enforcement activities, and identifies the guidelines, policies and compliance tools which it plans to release before the Ordinance is enforced. Currently only some of the institutional provisions of the Ordinance are effective, allowing the Commission and the Competition Tribunal to prepare for enforcement.
The Hong Kong Competition Ordinance was enacted by the Legislative Council in June 2012. You can download our briefing here .
A recent Hong Kong case reminded us of the importance of getting things right when executing documents in virtual closings, particularly in relation to deeds.
After years of debate, on 14 June 2012 and in its last days of office, the Legislative Council finally enacted Hong Kong’s first cross- sector competition law.
The Hong Kong Personal Data (Privacy) Ordinance Has Been Amended: Are Your Data Protection PracticesThe Personal Data (Privacy) Amendment Ordinance (the "Amendment Ordinance") was passed on 27 June 2012.
The Ministry of Commerce of the People's Republic of China (“MOFCOM”) passed the Provisional Measures on the Investigation and Handling of Concentrations between Business Operators which were Not Notified in accordance with the Law (the “Provisional Measures”) on 30 December 2011, and uploaded them on its website on 5 January 2012.
will it emerge (relatively) unscathed or is its very survival threatened?
Article by Timothy Loh and Sherry Xiao
The meltdown in global financial markets has triggered a consolidation of the financial services industry as securities firms, asset managers, insurers and banks alike spin-off assets and restructure their operations to shore up capital. These transactions are often global in nature, involving substantial Hong Kong operations. In this article, we review the basic Hong Kong legal and regulatory framework for these transactions and present some lessons learned.
KHASK is a Ukrainian major producer and exporter of self-adhesive tapes and packaging materials. The loan facility is used to finance the purchase and installation of a solvent recuperation system, related general construction and energy efficiency capital investments.
In light of the European Commission’s ruling, those that have suffered as a result of the truck cartel are now able to claim damages. That being said, it is important for them to not lose sight of the statute of limitations.
SyCip Salazar Hernandez & Gatmaitan (SyCipLaw) is pleased to announce the admission of Aaron Roi B. Riturban and Franco Aristotle G. Larcina to the partnership.
The Limay, Bataan power project was recognized by IJGlobal as the “Best Power Deal in the Asia Pacific Region”. SyCipLaw acted as local counsel to DBS Bank Ltd., Mizuho Bank, Ltd. and Standard Chartered Bank, the structuring banks in the US$400 million Project Financing of a new 300MW coal-fired power plant in Limay, Bataan of SMC Consolidated Power Corp. Read more information on this transaction .
SyCip Salazar Hernandez & Gatmaitan hosted the Pacific Rim Advisory Council (PRAC) 60th International Conference last September 24-27, 2016. The Conference gathered 43 delegates from PRAC member firms in Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Panama, Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, Spain, Taiwan, The Netherlands, and the United States of America. The conference program provided delegates with various learning and networking opportunities.
Bogus applicants who do not actually intend to take up a post cannot subsequently invoke anti-discrimination legislation. This comes from a ruling of the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU).
If the works council no longer indicates a willingness to continue negotiations to prevent collective redundancies, the employer can consider the consultation process pursuant to sec 17(2) of the Kündigungsschutzgesetz (KSchG) [German Employment Protection Act] to have come to an end.
The Singapore International Arbitration Centre (SIAC) held “The User’s Guide to the SIAC Rules 2016” last November 24, 2016 and the Young SIAC (YSIAC) Advocacy Workshop last November 25, 2016.
The Serious Fraud Office (SFO) has decided not to prosecute Soma Oil and Gas regarding corruption in Somalia, due to insufficient evidence. Aziz Rahman looks at what insufficient evidence means and how to challenge prosecution allegations.
JP Morgan is paying $264M to settle allegations of bribery over its hiring of children of key Chinese decision makers to try and secure business. Aziz Rahman explains what constitutes bribery and how to prevent it.