Eversheds Sutherland is the latest global firm to recruit a partner specializing in matters related to the Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission, the territory’s securities regulator.
John Siu was most recently a senior consultant with Herbert Smith Freehills, where he advised on investigations and compliance matters related to insider dealing, price rigging, misleading information and nondisclosure of interest.
Before joining the firm in 2014, he was a trial lawyer at the SFC, where he handled investigations and civil and criminal proceedings involving matters that arise from the Hong Kong Securities and Futures Ordinance. In 2012, he was involved in the SFC’s case against global auditor Ernst & Young for its refusal to hand over audit papers of client Chinese water treatment company Standard Water Ltd. (EY eventually handed over the audit papers in 2015.)
Eversheds Sutherland’s Asia managing partner Stephen Kitts said in a statement that Siu’s appointment will help clients navigate the increasingly complex regulatory environment. “His time at the [SFC] will provide clients with unique insights on how financial regulators approach investigations and enforcement actions,” he said.
Other global firms have been thinking along the same lines recently. Last month, Clifford Chance announced that the firm hired former SFC director Jimmy Chan as a partner; fellow Magic Circle firm Slaughter and May also recruited a former director, Wynne Mok, as a partner earlier this month.
Siu noted in the statement that regulators and policymakers continue to collaborate to prevent a repeat of the 2008 financial crisis.
“Major challenges for clients in 2018 are focused on the growth and speed of financial markets where technology allows transactions to occur in split seconds,“ he said, adding that compliance has become a priority for financial service organizations on a global scale.