We have substantial experience in the resolution of government and regulatory investigations and commercial disputes. Much of the work that we have done for our clients is unknown to the public. The best outcome is achieved when enforcement action ends without trial or publicity.
We have a market leading practice in defending clients in Market Misconduct Tribunal proceedings, often acting for clients in pioneering cases setting market precedent. Our experience includes:
- Representing a director of a company listed on the Stock Exchange of Hong Kong ("SEHK") in Re AcrossAsia, the first case brought by the regulator alleging a breach of the statutory obligation to disclose inside information
- Representing an activist short seller in Re Evergrande, the first case brought by a regulator anywhere in the world against an activist short seller
Issuer and Board Representation
We represent companies listed or formerly listed on the SEHK as well as their directors in a wide variety of regulatory investigations and enforcement actions. Our experience extends to allegations of insider dealing, breaches of obligations to disclose inside information and positions, market manipulation, and breaches of the SEHK Listing Rules and the Takeovers Code. A sampling of our lawyers' work includes:
- Representing the directors and substantial shareholders of a company listed on the Stock Exchange of Hong Kong before the Takeovers Panel to defend allegations of a breach of the Takeovers Code in connection with a failed general offer to acquire the shares of the company
- Representing a company listed on the Stock Exchange of Hong Kong in connection with an allegation by the Stock Exchange of Hong Kong of a breach of the Listing Rules as a result of dealings by directors of the company ahead of the release of financial results
We act for clients in appeals in regulatory enforcement appeals, including appeals to the Securities and Futures Appeals Tribunal in disciplinary matters as well as appeals to the Courts. In this latter regard, our experience includes representing clients in appeals from the Magistracy Courts to the Court of First Instance and appeals to both the Court of Appeal and the Court of Final Appeal.
We acted in Pacific Sun v. Securities and Futures Commission, the seminal case before the Court of Final Appeal establishing the application of the professional investors exemption for offerings of investment products.
Regulated Firm Representation
We represent banks, asset managers, brokers and other regulated firms and their employees in investigations by the Hong Kong Monetary Authority ("HKMA") and the Securities and Futures Commission ("SFC") in relation to their conduct of business, market manipulation, short-selling, the carrying on of unlicensed regulated activities, the issue of investment offers without regulatory authorization, theft, fraud and money laundering.
- Representing a ultra high net worth individual in respect of an investigation by the Securities and Futures Commission alleging a breach of insider dealing laws
- Representing a former trader of a U.S. based global investment bank in relation to possible breaches of laws relating to theft and fraud arising from improper trading activities
Commercial Dispute Resolution
We represent clients in commercial disputes before the courts and arbitral tribunals. We have experience in disputes between bankers and their employers, disputes between financial institutions and their clients and disputes between commercial parties.
A sampling of our experience includes:
- Representing a private company valued at US$2 billion in connection with a contractual dispute with a counterparty with PRC operations, the provisional liquidation of that counterparty and the enforcement of judgment
- Representing a research analyst at a US global investment bank in connection with the termination of her employment as a result of allegations of breaches of internal compliance requirements relating to the distribution of research
- Representing a stock brokerage firm regulated by the Securities and Futures Commission in connection with claims by a client for restitution based on allegations of fraudulent and unauthorized loss of client assets