On behalf of The Legal 500, it is our distinct pleasure to present the GC Powerlist: Hong Kong Teams 2023, marking a triumphant return after a pandemic-induced hiatus. In this inaugural edition, we are honored to shine a spotlight on some of Hong Kong’s most exceptional in-house legal teams. These teams stand as an example of legal prowess, having harnessed their legal acumen strategically to propel their organisations toward success.
The past year has unfolded as a dynamic and eventful period for Hong Kong’s in-house counsel. They have faced a myriad of new challenges, navigating the ever-shifting landscape of an increasingly demanding business environment. Foremost among these challenges has been the unwavering commitment to ensure compliance with an ever-expanding array of regulations. At the same time, the proactive implementation of Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) principles and Diversity & Inclusion (D&I) initiatives has introduced new complexities and responsibilities within these departments.
Amidst these formidable challenges, Hong Kong’s in-house counsel have continually displayed unwavering dedication and a commitment to excellence. They have been instrumental in facilitating some of the most substantial transactions that have graced the country’s recent history. Their reputation for innovation and excellence within the sphere of in-house legal affairs has remained steadfast, serving as a testament to their profound dedication and unmatched legal expertise. Furthermore, they have consistently played pivotal roles in dispute resolution, deftly liaising with external counsel and meticulously assessing potential risks. These skills have made them indispensable assets in safeguarding their companies’ interests.
The GC Powerlist: Hong Kong Teams 2023 is compilation that clearly reflects the resilience, adaptability and dedication of Hong Kong’s in-house counsel towards continuous growth and development in the face of global healthcare crises, rapidly developing technology, stringent ESG requirements, and necessary DE&I initiatives, while acting as true business partners by championing the use of dispute resolution. On the importance of an applicable dispute resolution stragey, China Orient Legal Department eloquently states:
“Our strategies, while protecting the company’s growth and interests, also consider the majority concern of all parties, emphasising early negotiations and settlements… This preparation enables us to construct an evidence chain, devise initial strategies, and minimise potential losses; we utilise legal and non-legal tools to develop effective response plans that uphold the company’s rights and interests.”
This stance is echoed by many others, along with the view that the creation of a dispute resolution strategy should include contributions from other departments for a more robust result.
In response to an ever-increasing need for actionable and effective ESG initiatives, general counsel in Hong Kong have leveraged their role in addressing this need, primarily by ensuring compliance with constantly developing ESG requirements. The legal team at COSCO Shipping Ports “proactively conducts in-depth analyses to grasp the new ESG requirements in regions where the company operates and proposes compliance initiatives to meet the ever-growing expectations and regulations surrounding ESG disclosures.”
Finally, in an era of increased focus on representation, in-house counsel have taken steps to ensure true inclusivity, creating teams that are more reflective of the diversity of society. BNP Paribas, for example, has a Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Committee that “actively promotes the creation of an inclusive working environment in which diversity is celebrated for all concerned, and the team has partnered with external organisations to generate internship opportunities for the benefit of candidates from ethnic minority backgrounds or who have physical disabilities.”
Hong Kong’s legal landscape will undoubtedly continue to grow and flourish. The GC Powerlist: Hong Kong Teams 2023 is a tribute to the impressive competence of these elite professionals at navigating this environment, expanding their roles to true business partners. Hence, it is easy to believe that these inspiring teams will continue to positively impact the legal environment, given their impressive resilience, adaptability, readiness to learn and innovative abilities.
Sara Maggi| Deputy Editor The Legal 500 GC Powerlist Series
Funke Olufon| Research Analyst The Legal 500 GC Powerlist Series
The Legal 500 granted the Ankara in-house community exclusive access to the groundbreaking GC Summit, an event dedicated solely to delving into the crucial legal challenges and opportunities faced by in-house legal specialists in the Turkish capital.
Setting the tone for the event, Murat Yazıcı, the founder of Yazıcı Attorney Partnership, delivered a compelling opening keynote address. He passionately explored the active role that general counsel can and should play in today’s dynamic world, addressing the imminent challenges on the horizon.
Throughout the day, we were privileged to glean insights from eminent private practice attorneys at Erciyas, Çakmak Avukatlık Ortaklığı, Gonen Law Office, and Tunca Attorney Partnership. Additionally, the perspectives and ideas of senior in-house attorneys from renowned companies such as LG Electronics, KİBAR Holding A.Ş., Hyundai Assan Otomotiv San. ve Tic. A.Ş., Rönesans Holding, Akfen Holding, Pragma, Gülermak Group, Kalyon Holding, Alacer Gold Madencilik A.Ş., COB Tüprag, and Limak Group of Companies, among others, enriched our understanding. The Istanbul Arbitration Centre also made valuable contributions.
The agenda encompassed a diverse range of topics, including navigating internal challenges with insights from leading in-house counsel; exploring current trends and sectorial insights in M&A transactions with a focus on key elements for a successful deal and legal challenges; mastering the art of crafting effective contracts by navigating drafting, negotiations, and key considerations; and delving into strategic investment dynamics in mining and energy, where discussions centered around navigating legal frameworks, building trust, and managing public perception for in-house success.
Bringing the event to a powerful conclusion, Başak Gürbüz, Visa’s principal regional counsel, delivered an inspiring presentation. She summarized the day’s key insights and explored the pivotal role of in-house counsel in today’s ever-evolving landscape, offering valuable insights on managing organizational expectations effectively.
We are grateful for the excellent response from sponsors, speakers and delegates.
Finally, we’d like to thank the moderators and panellists who helped construct a great program that ensured the summit’s success and enabled all of you to attend.
Until the next time, take care.