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Dechert’s new Hong Kong managing partner expects increase in disputes

Maria Sit

Dechert appoints litigation and regulatory enforcement lawyer, Maria Sit, as the Hong Kong office’s taking care of associate, filling a posture that was vacant considering the fact that former head David Cho remaining in January to direct Milbank’s Seoul place of work.

“Hong Kong continues to produce options for Dechert’s worldwide shoppers and the lawful industry,” Sit instructed Asia Business Law Journal.

“For illustration, on the regulatory entrance, the SFC has launched a new regulatory framework with regards to digital property and a session paper to increase the SFC’s enforcement powers. With the appointment of the new enforcement head, we are probable to see an uptick in enforcement steps in the subsequent 12 to 24 months.”

Sit, who is also the Asia head and world wide co-chief of Dechert’s white collar, compliance and investigations observe, joined the firm in 2019 and was a lawful counsel at the Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) of Hong Kong from 2013-2014.

She has extra than two decades of practical experience, focusing on economical companies regulation and advanced civil litigation and dispute resolution in mainland China and Hong Kong.

Sit also envisioned a lot more disputes relating to electronic belongings to emerge, specially subsequent the Hong Kong government’s recently introduced guidelines to develop the digital belongings sector.

Hong Kong courts have listened to situations involving digital belongings, granting proprietary injunction more than bitcoins (Nico Constantijn Antonius Samara v Stive Jean Paul Dan, 2022), and summarised the features of Bitcoin and digital keys in judgment (Yan Yu Ying v Leung Wing Hei, 2022).

“Generally, in moments of economic downturn, disputes arising from distressed property are expected to improve,” stated Sit. “Currently, we are seeing a wave of defaults on debts by PRC house builders, but a identical effect may unfold to other industries.”

As the composition of these financing bargains is frequently complicated, involving entities in numerous jurisdictions, Sit saw additional disputes taking place with parallel proceedings in diverse jurisdictions or in court docket and arbitration. Not long ago, the jurisdiction of the court docket listening to winding-up petitions when an arbitration clause or an distinctive jurisdiction clause is in area has also become a hot lawful space.

Moreover, with the mounting desire in environmental, social and governance (ESG) investments, Hong Kong regulators have applied a range of new regulatory frameworks, including the SFC’s demands on chance administration and disclosures for ESG resources.

“With these extra needs, and taking into consideration the volatility in the fairness markets, we count on to see more circumstances of buyers litigating from ESG funds for mis-promoting promises, significantly to look for payment for the losses experienced as a outcome of a fund’s non-compliance with regulatory necessities,” Sit added.

In the dispute resolution landscape, Sit famous that the Mainland Judgments in Civil and Professional Issues (Reciprocal Enforcement) Bill, which was handed on 26 Oct, and is now awaiting to be gazetted, will be a true recreation changer after it is in force. Some 90% of mainland civil and professional judgments may possibly be instantly recognised and enforced in Hong Kong.