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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.
29 November, 2016
Issues about water use regulation, wastewater discharge discussed at VEGAS LEX / FAS Russia workshopOn November 24, 2016, the VEGAS LEX law firm, with the participation of FAS Russia, organized a workshop on the legal regulation and dispute resolution practice in the field of water management, water supply, sewerage and wastewater discharge.
Employers are going to have to adjust to changes in employment contracts. Going forward, claims arising from exclusion clauses shall only be required to be in text form instead of written form.
It is possible even in the absence of an objective reason to apply a fixed term of two years to an employment contract if there had previously been work-from-home arrangements. That was the verdict of the Bundesarbeitsgericht (BAG), Germany’s Federal Labour Court.
Bae, Kim & Lee LLC ("BKL") emerged from the ALB Korea Law Awards 2016 as one of the two biggest winners on the night, receiving highly coveted awards for "Deal Firm of the Year," "Litigation Law Firm of the Year," and "Intellectual Property Law Firm of the Year." In addition, the firm's reputation as advisor of choice on the biggest and most complex deals in the market was confirmed by wins for "Deal of the Year" in nearly all of the awarded categories, while BKL M&A partner Ri Bong HAN was honored as "Dealmaker of the Year" for the second consecutive year.
If it has been agreed that capital from an occupational pension scheme can be paid out in several instalments, the employer can take its bearings from the interest rates of secure forms of investment.
As in the case of a managing director of a German Gesellschaft mit beschränkter Haftung (GmbH) [private limited company], the director of a limited company (ltd.) can also be liable if payments are made after the company becomes insolvent.
On November 17, 2016 VEGAS LEX held a workshop on recent changes and judicial practices in the regulation of procurement by legal entities in the Russian fuel and energy sector.
Mortgage rates continue to fall. In view of this trend, withdrawing from a real estate loan that was taken out from June 10, 2010 onwards could be a financially attractive proposition.
22nd November 2016