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Contentious Regulatory

We understand the difficulty you face when you or your business is under investigation. At ONC Lawyers, we assist our clients in investigations by regulatory authorities including the Securities and Futures Commission, the Independent Commission Against Corruption, the Stock Exchange of Hong Kong Limited and the Hong Kong Police Force. We also keep our clients accompanied and prepared during interviews and dawn raids to ensure that their rights are safeguarded throughout the entire process.

  • AML

As an international financial centre, Hong Kong attaches significance to safeguarding the integrity of our financial systems by implementing international standards on anti-money laundering and counter-financing of terrorism (“AML/CFT”) to deter and detect inward and outward flows of illicit funds. A number of legislations have been put in place to underpin the implementation of the AML/CFT regime in Hong Kong. At ONC Lawyers, our litigation and dispute resolution team works closely with our corporate and commercial team to provide the following services:

      • representing and advising clients on AML/CFT related investigations, enquires, interviews, document production and raids brought by the designated relevant authorities including Hong Kong Monetary Authority, Insurance Authority, Securities and Futures Commission and Customs and Excise Department.
      • advising clients on potential liability and obligations arising from AML/CFT related legislations, including Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorist Financing Ordinance (Cap. 615), Drug Trafficking (Recovery of Proceeds) Ordinance (Cap. 405), Organized and Serious Crimes Ordinance (Cap. 455), United Nations (Anti-Terrorism Measures) Ordinance (Cap. 575), United Nations Sanctions Ordinance (Cap. 537), Weapons of Mass Destruction (Control of Provision of Services) Ordinance (Cap. 526), Import and Export Ordinance (Cap. 60) and Cross-boundary Movement of Physical Currency and Bearer Negotiable Instruments Ordinance (Cap. 629).
      • advising clients on the statutory obligations of reporting suspected money laundering activities to the Joint Financial Intelligence Unit.
  • Insider dealing

The definition of insider dealing under the law is complicated. Yet in broad terms, insider dealing takes place when a person buys or sells shares in a listed company when he or she possesses inside information, or information about that listed company which the general public does not have and which, if known to the public, would have an impact on the price of the shares of that company. In light of the severe potential civil sanctions and criminal penalties for contravening the insider dealing provisions, it is vitally important to take due care in every steps to be taken once insider dealing is allegedly to have taken place.  At ONC Lawyers, our litigation and dispute resolution team works closely with our corporate and commercial team to provide the following services:advising clients on investigations and interviews by the Securities and Futures Commission (SFC);assisting clients with the handling of search warrants;assisting clients to deal with issues relating to legal professional privilege;advising and acting for clients in both civil and criminal proceedings commenced by the SFC; andadvising and acting for clients who are SFC licensees in disciplinary proceedings commenced by the SFC.

      • advising clients on investigations and interviews by the Securities and Futures Commission (SFC);
      • assisting clients with the handling of search warrants;
      • assisting clients to deal with issues relating to legal professional privilege;
      • advising and acting for clients in both civil and criminal proceedings commenced by the SFC; and
      • advising and acting for clients who are SFC licensees in disciplinary proceedings commenced by the SFC. 
  • Anti-bribery & corruption

Corruption occurs when an individual abuses his/her authority for personal gain at the expense of other people. Corruption erodes fairness and the rule of law, and in some cases, puts lives and property at risk. At ONC Lawyers, our litigation and dispute resolution team works closely with our corporate and commercial team to provide the following services:

      • advising and representing clients in relation to ICAC investigations, potential criminal liabilities and criminal prosecutions;
      • advising clients on potential liability and obligations arising from AML/CFT related legislations, including the Prevention of Bribery Ordinance (Cap.201);
      • advising companies and individuals of the best practice in respect of anti-bribery and corruption; and
      • advising clients in relation to the establishment of anti-bribery and corruption policies and procedures.
  • Fit and proper / market misconduct investigations

In Hong Kong, different regulatory and enforcement authorities have varying powers to conduct investigations and interviews including dawn raids. When the authorities conduct unannounced inspections at your offices, it is important that their powers are duly exercised. We are able to assist you to respond to any adverse and immediate market conduct events and enforcement activities.  At ONC Lawyers, our litigation and dispute resolution team consists of members having worked in in-house roles within both regulators and global financial institutions. In addition, we possess sophisticated document handling software in order for us to search and analyse all the necessary documents and critical information in a prompt manner.                   

Our team has extensive experiences in advising clients on sensitive regulatory investigations, which would put the company or the individual at reputational risk:

      • advising individuals in investigations by the Hong Kong Stock Exchange and/or the Securities and Futures Commission involving market misconduct and corporate governance issues;
      • advising banks and financial institutions in relation to regulatory investigations;
      • advising clients on investigations relating to the presentation of false and misleading information at initial public offerings;
      • attending interviews by the Securities and Futures Commission; and
      • representing clients to make submissions to the Stock Exchange of Hong Kong Limited, the Securities and Futures Commission and the Market Misconduct Tribunal. 

If you would like to know more about our regulatory & compliance practice or how we can help you or your business, please contact us at (852) 2810 1212 or at regcom@onc.hk.

Please refer to our articles in ‘Knowledge’

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