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Hong Kong Court Orders Director to Personally Pay Litigation Costs
Deacons, January 2019

It appears that Big Island Construction (HK) Limited (BIC) and Wu Yi have had a long drawn out battle since 2005, with numerous judgments reported, starting from the District Court and going all the way up to  the Court of Final Appeal...

Conviction for Failing to Keep Significant Controllers Register on the Increase
Deacons, January 2019

In the beginging of 2019, the Companies Registry announced that twelve Hong Kong companies were prosecuted for failing to keep the significant controllers register at their registered offices. The result of this prosecution led to the companies being fined...

China Encourages Share Repurchase by Revising the Company Law
Deacons, December 2018

On 26 October 2018, the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress approved a decision to revise the Company Law of the People’s Republic of China (Revision), with the aim of supplementing and improving the existing share repurchase regime. We have set out a brief introduction to this Revision below. Background It has only been five years since the last revision to the Company Law of the People’s Republic of China (Company Law)...

Broader Protection from Discrimination and Harassment on The Horizon
Deacons, December 2018

The Discrimination Legislation (Miscellaneous Amendments) Bill 2018 (Bill) was gazetted on 30 November 2018...

Hong Kong Court Holds That Claim in Tort Was Not Affected by Arbitration Clause
Deacons, December 2018

“Arbitration agreement” is defined under section 19 of the Arbitration Ordinance (Cap 609) as an agreement by the parties to submit to arbitration all or certain disputes which have arisen or which may arise between them in respect of a defined legal relationship, whether contractual or not. Disputes submitted to arbitration may involve contractual claims and non-contractual claims, such as tortious claims...

Insider Dealing - Deal or No Deal
Deacons, November 2018

In the Court of Appeal (CA) decision of Securities and Futures Commission v Cheng Chak Ngok (CACV 95/2017; [2018] HKCA 590), the less disputed element of insider dealing, namely the element of “dealing” was at issue. As there was no direct evidence showing the dealing in this case, the issue was whether the circumstantial evidence was sufficient to draw inferences that there was in fact dealing in the relevant shares...

China Passes New E-Commerce Law - A "Safe Harbour" With Chinese Characteristics
Deacons, November 2018

In less than a decade, China has become the largest e-commerce market in the world, accounting for over 40% of global e-commerce according to a recent report by McKinsey. The breath-taking speed of development has left law makers scrambling to regulate the booming e-commerce industry...

How is Project Insurance Coverage Affected by a Sub-Contractor Having its Own Insurance Coverage?
Deacons, October 2018

In Haberdashers’ Aske’s Federation Trust Ltd v Lakehouse Contracts Ltd [2018] EWHC 558 (TCC), England’s Technology and Construction Court had to decide on the extent of coverage (or inclusion) of a project insurance policy for a construction project and how that coverage was affected by a sub-contractor having its own insurance cover...

Hong Kong’s Simple Tax Code Days Are Over? – The Coming Storm
Deacons, June 2016

What is BEPS?Much has been said in both professional and commercial circles on the imminent introduction in Hong Kong of the Common Reporting Standard (CRS) regime for the automatic exchange of tax information between participating jurisdictions. There is, however, a much lesser awareness of the commitments undertaken by the Government to the new Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) standard to combat base erosion and profits shifting (BEPS)...

Claims arising from the sale of financial products
Deacons, March 2016

The Hong Kong Court of First Instance recently considered another claim by a client against a bank arising from the sale of a financial product. The Judgment in Li Kwok Heem John v Standard Chartered International (USA) Limited (formerly known as American Express Bank Limited) was handed down in early January 2016. In a lengthy Judgment, the Court considered a number of issues highly relevant to banks and other institutions engaged in selling financial products...

Further guidance from the SFC on mutual recognition of southbound funds
Deacons, June 2015

Following the regulatory workshop in Shenzhen on 5 June 2015 hosted by the SFC and CSRC/SAFE on mutual recognition of funds (MRF) between Hong Kong and the PRC, Hong Kong’s SFC has issued FAQs on the topics that were discussed.In the FAQs, the SFC offered guidance on some of the requirements for authorisation in Hong Kong of PRC funds. In summary:One-year track record: Numerous Cayman unit trusts have re-domiciled to Hong Kong...

Discharge Forms in Direct Settlement Cases
Deacons, May 2015

In employees’ compensation or personal injuries claims, it is not uncommon for the employer or its insurers to directly settle a claim with the injured person before any legal proceedings are commenced. The recent case of Chan Kwok Man v New World First Bus Services Limited DCEC No.186 of 2013 highlights the importance of ensuring that the wording used in discharge forms is clear, unambiguous and consistent and that the discharge form is properly executed...

The Hong Kong Capital Markets
Deacons, April 2015

In several recent years, Hong Kong’s equity capital market has raised the most new funds from IPOs, in some of those years raising more than London and New York combined. A global finance centre There were a number of massive listings in the market before the financial crisis, notably of state owned Chinese banks. These gave a strong impetus to the emergence of Hong Kong as a key financial centre...

New Immigration Requirements for Foreigners Entering China for Short-term Work Assignment
Deacons, March 2015

The Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Public Security, and the Ministry of Culture jointly issued a Notice on the Relevant Formalities for Foreigners Entering China for Completing Short-Term Work Assignment (for Trial Implementation) ("Notice") on 6 November 2014 which provides for new visa and residence requirements on foreigners entering and staying in China for work for no more than 90 days...

Hong Kong Government makes good on promise to axe stamp duty on exchange traded funds
Deacons, December 2014

On 5 December 2014, the Hong Kong Government formally released its draft legislation to waive stamp duty for the transfer of shares or units of all exchange traded funds (“ETFs”). The Stamp Duty (Amendment) Bill 2014 will be introduced into the Legislative Council on 17 December 2014 (“the Bill”). It is expected to have wide support...

Cyber-bullying and Personal Data Protection
Deacons, December 2014

Nowadays, we live in an information age (also known as the computer age, digital age or new media age) and the advancement of technologies has facilitated information flow and communication through social media. On one hand, people have easy and quick access to others’ information, enabling interaction with one another. However, the free flow of information and wide participation in social media networks also exposes a person to various risks or dangers...

Opportunities Amid Uncertainty: Preparing for Mutual Fund Recognition
Deacons, November 2014

This article first appeared in the November 2014 issue of Hong Kong Lawyer, the official journal of The Law Society of Hong Kong. In January 2013, Alexa Lam, the Deputy Chief Executive Officer of Hong Kong’s Securities and Futures Commission (SFC), announced that the SFC and the China Securities and Regulatory Commission (CSRC) planned to implement mutual fund recognition between Hong Kong and mainland Chinese fund products...

China's Merger Clearance Requirements – An Update
Deacons, July 2014

The Anti-Monopoly Bureau (AMB) of the Ministry of Commerce of China (MOFCOM) has recently published the following provisions and guidelines relating to the review procedure for merger clearance with AMB (AMB Clearance): (1) "Tentative Provisions on Standards for Simple Cases of Concentration of Undertakings " (Standards), published on 11 February 2014; (2) Trial Guidelines on Notification of Simple Cases of Concentration of Undertakings" (Trial Guidelines) , published on 18 April 2014; and (3) R

Take Care When Agreeing Settlement Terms!
Deacons, March 2014

The English case of Malcolm Newbury v Sun Microsystems Ltd, [2013] EWHC 2180 (Q8) illustrates the importance of carefully wording settlement offers. Although not a construction case, this of course applies equally to construction cases.  Malcolm Newbury ("Mr Newbury") commenced legal proceedings against Sun Microsystems Ltd ("Sun") for just over US$2 million, being commission payable under a contract, and Sun counterclaimed for an alleged overpayment...

Recent Case Considers "Pay When Paid" Issue
Deacons, November 2013

The "pay when paid" issue has troubled the construction industry for many years. It refers to payment terms contained in a sub-contract, which typically provide that the main contractor shall pay the sub-contractor a certain period of time after the main contractor has received payment from the employer. The controversy is whether the phrase should be construed as creating a condition precedent to the main contractor's liability to the sub-contractor...

Recent Developments in Hong Kong Short Sale Rules
Deacons, August 2013

Hong Kong prohibits naked short selling...

Key Employment Tips for China Operations
Deacons, August 2012

A number of laws and regulations have been promulgated in the past few years to introduce a series of changes to the PRC Labour Law, among which the key legislations are the PRC Labour Contract Law effective on 1 January 2008 and its detailed implementing regulations effective on 18 September 2008 ("Laws")...

Hong Kong's New Competition Ordinance
Deacons, August 2012

In our December 2011 newsletter we reported on Hong Kong's Competition Bill. Subsequent to that newsletter, further revisions were made to the original Bill and we outline below the provisions now to be enacted. The Bill was passed on 14 June 2012 and will come into effect on a day to be appointed by the Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development...

Companies Ordinance 2012
Deacons, August 2012

The new Companies Ordinance ("Ordinance") passed on 12 July 2012 is expected to become effective in 2014, whereupon:provisions about insolvency and winding up in the current Companies Ordinance ("Current CO") will be retained but retitled as the "Companies (Winding Up and Miscellaneous Provisions) Ordinance (Cap. 32)"; the prospectus regime under the Current CO will be moved into the Securities and Futures Ordinance (Cap. 577); and all other provisions under the Current CO will be repealed...

Hong Kong's OTC derivatives proposals - What do they mean for asset managers?
Deacons, August 2012

The Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) and the Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) are currently consulting on changes to the definition of type 9 regulated activity that will affect all Hong Kong asset managers who use over-the-counter (OTC) derivatives in their portfolios. The consultation ends on 31 August. We encourage you to read the consultation paper...

Closer Economic Partnership Arrangement Between Mainland China and Hong Kong
Deacons, August 2012

The Closer Economic Partnership Arrangement ("CEPA") is a free trade agreement between Mainland China and Hong Kong that offers Hong Kong products, companies and residents preferential access to the Mainland market. Many of the preferences go beyond China's WTO concessions. CEPA is not a closed agreement and both sides hold regular meetings on further concessions and the details for implementation...

Amendments to Hong Kong's Data Privacy Regime
Deacons, July 2012

The Personal Data (Privacy) (Amendment) Ordinance 2012 was formally adopted on 6 July 2012. The text of the Amendment Ordinance has undergone a number of changes since it was first introduced as the Personal Data (Privacy) (Amendment) Bill 2011 one year ago. One major change is the requirement to obtain express responses (as opposed to deemed consent) from the data subject for the use of personal data in direct marketing...

Opportunities for Foreign Investment in the Distribution Sector
Deacons, July 2012

China has traditionally restricted foreign investment in the retail and wholesale sectors with the aim of nurturing strong domestic players before their foreign counterparts would be allowed to enter the country. Since becoming a member of the World Trade Organisation, China has gradually opened up its distribution sector to foreign investment...

Unprecedented order by the Court against Hontex International Holdings Company Ltd for a HK$1.03 billion buy-back offer for false and misleading information in prospectus
Deacons, June 2012

On 20 June 2012, the Court of First Instance (in proceedings brought by the Securities and Futures Commission ("SFC")) ordered Hontex International Holdings Company Ltd ("Hontex") to make a repurchase offer to about 7,700 investors who had subscribed for Hontex shares in the initial public offering in December 2009 or purchased them in the secondary market during the 3 months after its shares were listed (by then the present action was taken by the SFC)...

Latest amendments to the Code of Conduct - How will they affect you?
Deacons, June 2012

The Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) issued its conclusions on its proposals in relation to the establishment of a financial dispute resolution centre and to amend the Code of Conduct (Code) on 21 May 2012 and the conclusions are available on the SFC website: http://www.sfc.hk/sfc/doc/EN/speeches/consult/Conclusions_Paper_FDRC_21May2012_EN.pdf On 19 June 2012 the SFC released the revised version of the Code which can be accessed here: http://www.sfc...

New regulatory measures under Securities and Futures (Amendment) Ordinance
Deacons, May 2012

The Securities and Futures (Amendment) Ordinance 2012 ("Amendment Ordinance"), except Part 2 of which in relation to disclosure of inside information, comes into operation as it is published in Gazette on 4 May 2012. The Amendment Ordinance has introduced several regulatory initiatives which will be discussed in brief details below...

Waiver of Privilege of not?
Deacons, April 2012

In a Judgment handed down on 28 March 2012, Mr. Justice Hartmann JA determined various questions relating to legal professional privilege. The case involved Citic Pacific...

Changes to Franchisor's Disclosure Obligations and Franchisee's Confidentiality Obligations
Deacons, April 2012

China effected major changes to its 1997 franchise administrative measures (trial) in 2005, defining more clearly the way foreign brands might operate franchise businesses in China...

New requirements for disclosure of short positions in Hong Kong listed shares
Deacons, April 2012

The Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) is introducing new disclosure requirements for short positions in certain Hong Kong listed shares. Background Part XV of the Securities and Futures Ordinance (Part XV) requires disclosure of short positions of over 1% held by substantial (5% or more) shareholders in a listed company, and of all short positions held by directors and chief executives of listed companies...

New Proposed Labour Regulations in Guangdong Province
Deacons, April 2012

The Government of Guangdong Province has recently put forward and is currently seeking public opinions on a series of draft labour law related regulations, namely, the Provisions of the Implementation of the Labour Contract Law of the People's Republic of China in Guangdong Province ( 《广东省实施 〈中华人民共和国劳动合同法〉若干规定》)

Closer Economic Partnership Arrangement Between Mainland China and Hong Kong Closer Economic Partnership Arrangement between Mainland China and Hong Kong
Deacons, April 2012

What is CEPA? The Closer Economic Partnership Arrangement ("CEPA") is a free trade agreement between Mainland China and Hong Kong that offers Hong Kong products, companies and residents preferential access to the Mainland market. Many of the preferences go beyond China's WTO concessions. CEPA is not a closed agreement and both sides hold regular meetings on further concessions and the details for implementation...

New Development Of PRC Social Insurance: Foreign Investors And Expatriates Beware
Deacons, December 2011

After being reviewed four times in three years, the Social Insurance Law of the People’s Republic of China (the “Social Insurance Law”) was finally adopted by the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress of China on 28 October 2010. Its implementation rules (the “Implementation Rules”) were subsequently released by the Ministry of Human Resource and Social Security (“MHRSS”) on 29 June 2011. Both the Social Insurance Law and the Implementation Rules came into force on 1 July 2011...

New Legal Regime of Representative Offices in China – Practical Implications
Deacons, April 2011

Early last year, the State Administration for Industry and Commerce (“SAIC”) and the Ministry of Public Security of the People’s Republic of China (“PRC”) jointly issued a Circular on Further Strengthening Administration of the Registration of Resident Representative Offices (“RO”) of Foreign Enterprises (“Circular”)...

Ministry of Commerce ("MOFCOM") Simplifies the Approval Process for Foreign Investments in Sales Projects Using the Internet or Vending Machines
Deacons, October 2010

Ministry of Commerce ("MOFCOM") simplifies the approval process for foreign investments in sales projects using the Internet or vending machines Since 2004, following MOFCOM's release of the "Measures for the Administration of Foreign Investment in the Commercial Sector" the distribution industry has been opened to foreign investment...

New Developments in China's Engergy Saving Industry
Deacons, September 2010

The People's Republic of China, a party to the Kyoto Protocol (2005), has been actively promulgating "greener" policies to improve China' environment and reduce carbon emissions. These green steps are creating potential new investment opportunities for foreign investors as China seeks to become more energy efficient...

Mutual Recognition of Islamic Funds between Hong Kong and Malaysia
Deacons, December 2009

As an initiative to develop Islamic finance and Islamic fund management in Hong Kong, the SFC signed a Declaration on Mutual Cooperation on Development of Islamic Capital Market and Islamic Collective Investment Schemes (Declaration) with the Securities Commission of Malaysia (MSC) on 9 November 2009, which provides a framework for the mutual recognition of Islamic funds (excluding hedge funds, wholesale funds and real estate investment trusts as defined in the

SFC- Authorised Funds: Pricing Errors
Deacons, December 2009

Chapter 10.2 of the SFC's Code on Unit Trusts and Mutual Funds (Code) requires that pricing errors for SFC authorised funds should be corrected as soon as possible and all necessary action should be taken to avoid errors occurring in the future. If the pricing error results in an incorrect price of 0...

Insider Dealing - Checklist for ROs
Deacons, December 2009

As a consequence of the recent wave of successful SFC insider dealing criminal prosecutions, responsible officers (ROs) are asking what they need to do to protect their companies and themselves. ROs are obliged to take all reasonable measures to ensure that proper safeguards exist to prevent the licensed corporation and its employees from insider dealing...

Proposed AML Legislation for Hong Kong's Financial Sector
Deacons, December 2009

Following the public consultation early this year on proposals for a legislative framework to upgrade the current anti-money laundering (AML) regime in the financial sector, Hong Kong's Financial Services and Treasury Bureau (FSTB) has launched a second-round consultation...

Recent Enforcement Action Against Responsible Officers in Hong Kong
Deacons, December 2009

The SFC has banned a former licensee from acting as a responsible officer (RO) for life and prohibited him from being licensed for three years. The licensee provided false evidence of his academic qualifications in support of his licence applications...

The Final Ruling on the Disputes Between Hospital Authority and the Doctors
Deacons, December 2009

In the case of Leung Ka Lau & Ors v The Hospital Authority [2006] HKEC 399, doctors working in public hospitals successfully claimed compensation in the Court of First Instance for "rest days" and "holidays" for which they had been deprived but lost their claim on compensation for "overtime" worked (Please refer to our newsletter issue 2006.2)...

Kwan Siu Wa Becky V. Cathay Pacific Airways Limited
Deacons, December 2009

The decision by presiding judge William Stone has overruled the Labour Tribunal decision in January 2009 and allowed the appeal of Cathay Pacific. The Tribunal presiding officer held that line duty and ground duty allowances could be characterized as "daily wages". They were recurrent in nature, calculated on a daily basis and directly related to the number of hours worked...

John Simpson Warham and others V. Cathay Pacific Airways Limited
Deacons, December 2009

Winning the case against its flight attendants, Cathay Pacific loses against a group of pilots they sacked during a 2001 industrial dispute. The airline, one of Asia's biggest, was ordered to pay damages to each of the 18 pilots whose employment had been terminated by Cathay Pacific...

Minimum Wage Bill
Deacons, December 2009

The statutory Minimum Wage Bill (the "Bill") was gazetted on 26 June 2009 and tabled at the Hong Kong Legislative Council on 8 July 2009. The Bill will require every employer to pay employees minimum wage at an hourly rate, however it does not seek to regulate the number of hours that employees spend at work...

Key Employment Tips for China Operations
Deacons, July 2009

A number of laws and regulations have been promulgated in the past few years to introduce a series of changes to the existing PRC Labour Law, among which the key legislations are the PRC Labour Contract Law effective on 1 January 2008 and its detailed implementing regulations effective on 18 September 2008 ("Laws")...



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