Welcome to Herbert Smith Freehills’ new monthly private wealth industry updates in Asia.

Every month we survey ten Asian jurisdictions for legal developments concerning trust and estate planning which are of interest to the private wealth industry, and provide a succinct summary in a table format.  The jurisdictions covered in the update are Hong Kong, Singapore, China, Taiwan, Japan, India, Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand and the Philippines. We hope that these updates will prove to be a useful resource to keep private clients, business people, and lawyers abreast of legal updates in the region.

Hong Kong

Directors’ duty of care in cyberfraud was established

  1. The recent Hong Kong High Court case of Emirate v AALL & Zyleman (2020 HKCFI 851) has established the standard of the duty of care owed to cyberfraud victims by a management services company that handled the defrauded companies’ remittances. Fraudulent instructions sent by impostors had tricked the management company into making US$ 1.9 million of remittances to them. The case was complicated by the fact that the victim companies had actually created the service company to handle its accounts.

Reports of record financial outflows to Singapore have been exaggerated

  1. Singapore’s Monetary Authority has published a media release to contradict press reports that Hong Kong bank deposit holders had moved record amounts of cash into Singapore banks.


Registration of persons with significant control is postponed

  1. The new requirement for Singapore companies to register their controlling persons with the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority, originally scheduled for this month, has been deferred until July 2020.


Tighter vetting for foreign investors building share portfolios

  1. The Indian government has drafted new and tougher rules for scrutiny of foreign portfolio investors from China and Hong Kong. India has already announced screening of all foreign direct investment from countries with which it shares a land border, to deter a rash of foreign takeovers while asset prices are weak due to COVID-19. The Indian finance ministry is also preparing regulations defining a beneficial ownership threshold, beyond which foreign investors will have to obtain advance clearance.

The contents of this document are for reference purposes only. Some of the information comes from public sources and this may not be comprehensive, accurate or up to date; where we have relied on third party information and sources, this has not been verified by us. The document does not constitute legal advice, and should not be relied upon as such. Specific legal advice about your specific circumstances should always be sought separately before taking any action based on this publication, and any facts in this document should be checked for your specific circumstances at the time you wish to use or refer to them.


Herbert Smith Freehills LLP is licensed to operate as a foreign law practice in Singapore. Where advice on Singapore law is required, we will refer the matter to and work with licensed Singapore law practices where necessary.