Regulatory: anti-corruption and compliance in Hong Kong

Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP

Patrick Sinclair and Martin Rogers head up the team at Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP. Sinclair is well known for his expertise in handling internal investigations for multinational corporations in Asia, as well as risk assessment in the anti-corruption and sanctions spaces and white-collar criminal defence matters. Rogers' practice primarily focuses on financial services regulatory work. Life sciences is another core area of expertise for the group.

Practice head(s):

Martin Rogers; Patrick Sinclair

Work highlights

  • Advising a Fortune 50 company on the design of anti-corruption compliance programmes for a long-term media joint venture in China.
  • Representing a former China CFO of a global life sciences company in connection with inquiries from the US SEC and Department of Justice.
  • Conducting internal investigations responding to whistleblower allegations in Southeast Asian jurisdictions for a Fortune 100 life sciences company.

Herbert Smith Freehills

Noted for its 'tremendous presence in Asia', Herbert Smith Freehills' practice spans corporate investigations, white-collar defence work, anti-money laundering issues, regulatory enforcement proceedings, and internal investigations, to name a few areas. Practice head Kyle Wombolt is 'an exceptional technical lawyer who has seen everything; he has a huge presence and tremendous leadership qualities'. Consultant Pamela Kiesselbach is 'a tireless worker who is always very attentive to the client's needs'.

Practice head(s):

Kyle Wombolt

Other key lawyers:

Pamela Kiesselbach

Testimonials

‘Kyle Wombolt is undoubtedly the most impressive and his criminal and anti-corruption regulatory practice is unrivalled in Asia. I have seen the client’s top management and general counsels look up to him for direction as he brings a measure of calm in a situation of crisis and has the skill and ability to steer the ship out of stormy waters.’

Clifford Chance

Clifford Chance's team is led by Wendy Wysong, who is the head of the Asia Pacific anti-corruption practice and splits her time between Washington DC and Hong Kong. The firm counts multinational entities among its clients, which benefit from the practices US- and Asia Pacific-based expertise. The practice also reports an uptick in instructions from the insurance and fintech sectors.

Practice head(s):

Wendy Wysong

Work highlights

  • Advised the Hong Kong branch of one of the largest Chinese financial institutions on revising its economic sanctions compliance program, and has been assisting the client with revising its anti-money laundering policy.
  • Assisting a major Hong Kong-based airline lease finance company with implementing a comprehensive compliance program, covering anti-bribery and corruption, anti-money laundering, and economic sanctions compliance.

Gibson Dunn

Gibson Dunn has a focus on corporate and government internal investigations, frequently involving the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA), and also advises clients on trade controls, securities, and anti-money laundering issues. Kelly Austin leads the team, and is noted for assisting companies with creating effective compliance programmes. Associate Oliver Welch is also singled out.

Practice head(s):

Kelly Austin

Other key lawyers:

Oliver Welch

Ropes & Gray LLP

The team at Ropes & Gray LLP is jointly led by Mimi Yang and Andrew Dale. The group has seen an uptick in instructions concerning regulatory enforcement proceedings, which it handles for clients ranging from Asia-based corporate and government entities and global investors active in Asia, to life sciences entities and private equity firms. Geoffrey Atkins and David Zhang are also key contacts.

Practice head(s):

Andrew Dale: Mimi Yang

Other key lawyers:

Geoffrey Atkins; David Zhang

Debevoise & Plimpton LLP

Debevoise & Plimpton LLP's practice is headed up by Mark Johnson, Lord Peter Goldsmith and Gareth Hughes, who joined from Ashurst in December 2018. Recent work for the group includes handling FCPA investigations, compliance matters, criminal investigations, and cases involving alleged bribery and money laundering.

Practice head(s):

Mark Johnson; Lord Peter Goldsmith; Gareth Hughes

Key clients

Keppel Corporation

DLA Piper

The team at DLA Piper is jointly led by China head of compliance and investigations Sammy Fang and Singapore-based, Asia head of investigations Nathan Bush. Cybercrime, with a focus on cyber fraud, has been prominent in the group's recent workload.

Practice head(s):

Sammy Fang; Nathan Bush

King & Wood Mallesons

Paul Starr heads the team at King & Wood Mallesons, which advises clients drawn from a range of sectors on corporate and internal investigations involving fraud, corruption, embezzlement, and misconduct allegations. Barbara Chiu is a key name to note.

Practice head(s):

Paul Starr

Other key lawyers:

Barbara Chiu

Testimonials

An impressive team which is able to give wise counsel and highly effective representation‘.

Work highlights

  • Representing an oil and gas company in an investigation involving cross-border employee fraud and embezzlement, which had taken place over a nine-year period.
  • Representing a client in a cross-border corporate investigation case relating to shareholders’ disputes over the control and ownership of a family business with the Loyal Group corporate structure.

Kobre & Kim

Vasu Muthyala heads the team at Kobre & Kim, which counts disputes and investigations as the backbone of the practice. Instructions for the group often feature high-value misconduct and fraud cases. The last year has seen the firm handle several big-ticket cases with a mixed team containing Hong Kong, Shanghai, and US-based partners. Ryan Middlemas is another key contact.

Practice head(s):

Vasu Muthyala

Other key lawyers:

Ryan Middlemas

Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP

Steve Kwok is the key contact at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP, which has been kept busy representing clients drawn from a range of sectors in FCPA, SEC and internal investigations. Bradley Klein is now based in the firm's Washington DC office.

Practice head(s):

Steve Kwok

Baker McKenzie

At Baker McKenzie, recent work for the 'experienced and knowledgeable' team includes handling internal investigations, compliance issues, and bribery-related cases. The Asia Pacific head of compliance and investigations, Mini vandePol, heads up the team; she is noted for her 'sophisticated understanding of compliance and regulatory requirements'.

Practice head(s):

Mini vandePol

Key clients

Sumitomo Mitsui Trust Bank Ltd