With effect from 13 November 2015, the Securities and Futures Ordinance (SFO) was amended to give new powers to the Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) to provide supervisory assistance to overseas regulators. The SFC now has the power to compel licensed corporations (LCs) to produce records and documents or provide answers upon the request of overseas regulators in a supervisory context.
Hong Kong SFC’s new power to provide overseas regulators with supervisory assistance – a glimpse of the regulators’ future cooperation
UK Court orders disclosure of confidential SFO and client documents: Harlequin Property (SVG) Ltd & Anor v Wilkins Kennedy
The recent case management decision in Harlequin Property (SVG) Ltd and Another v Wilkins Kennedy  EWHC 3050 (TCC) considered an application by the Defendant to withhold documents from inspection on the basis of confidentiality. The documents in question fell into two categories, namely: (i) documents created in the course of an investigation into the Claimants by the Serious Fraud Office ("SFO"); and (ii) documents that were confidential to the Defendant's third party clients.
The regulatory regime for dark pool operators in Hong Kong, as set out in the new paragraph 19 and Schedule 8 of the Code of Conduct for Persons Licensed by or Registered with the Securities and Futures Commission, will come into effect on 1 December 2015.
In a decision handed down earlier today, the High Court has upheld RBS's claim to privilege over certain documents which the bank had been ordered to produce to the court for inspection: Property Alliance Group Limited v The Royal Bank of Scotland Plc  EWHC 3187 (Ch).
The decision confirms that the protection of legal advice privilege is not restricted to actual legal advice. The privilege will protect other information communicated from the lawyer to the client (or vice versa) to enable the lawyer to advise and the client to make informed decisions in a relevant legal context. This may include references to matters in the public domain or to meetings and correspondence that would not, in themselves, be privileged.
On 26 October, the Court of Appeal handed down its long-awaited judgment regarding bribery charges against former TVB general manager and TV presenter, Stephen Chan and his assistant, Tseng Pei-kun. The men had twice been acquitted but now face jail terms when sentenced next month.
The judgment confirms the limited practical application of the "reasonable excuse" defence in the context of bribery offences. It also highlights the grave consequences that may flow from relatively small benefits when they are legally construed as unlawful advantages.
In a unanimous decision, the Supreme Court has confirmed that the right to draw down under loan agreements is caught by the expanded definition of "asset" contained in the current standard Commercial Court form of freezing order which includes "any asset which it (the respondent) has the power, directly or indirectly, to dispose of or deal with as if it were its own": JSC BTA Bank v Ablyazov  UKSC 64. To read more from our banking litigation team, click here.
On 26 October, the Court of Appeal handed down its long-awaited judgment regarding bribery charges against former TVB general manager and TV presenter, Stephen Chan and his assistant, Tseng Pei-kun. The men had twice been acquitted but now face jail terms when sentenced next month. The judgment confirms the limited practical application of the "reasonable excuse" defence in the context of bribery offences. It also highlights the grave consequences that may flow from relatively small benefits when they are legally construed as unlawful advantages.
The FCA and the PRA have both published policy statements on their new rules on whistleblowing as part of their series of policy changes focused on strengthening individual accountability within the banking and insurance sectors:
- FCA policy statement (PS15/24) entitled "Whistleblowing in deposit-takers, PRA-designated investment firms and insurers"; and
- PRA policy statement (PS24/15), also entitled "Whistleblowing in deposit-takers, PRA-designated investment firms and insurers" (Appendix 1, Appendix 2, Appendix 3) and accompanied by a supervisory statement (SS39/15).
These rules supplement the statutory protections all employees and workers have pursuant to the Public Interest Disclosure Act 1998 (the PIDA).
Welcome to the October 2015 edition of our corporate crime update – our round up of developments in relation to corruption, money laundering, fraud, sanctions and related matters. Our update now covers a number of jurisdictions. For the full update on each jurisdiction, please click on the name of the jurisdiction below. Below we provide a brief overview of what is covered in each update.
Now may be the time to review your cyber risk mitigation strategy and give serious consideration to whether the financial cost of cyber attacks could be transferred to insurers at a fair price.
Cyber security is amongst the leading risks for organisations around the globe. In the last few years most organisations have suffered cyber attacks of some sort and a series of notable breaches have received heavy media coverage and regulatory scrutiny. Breaches damage not only organisations but also their customers.