2017 Corporate Counsel Forum Hong Kong

Corporate Counsel Forum Hong Kong - 企業法律顧問香港論壇

Wednesday 22 February 2017
Four Seasons Hotel Hong Kong





Opening address from the co-chairs

Wai Zee, general counsel, WeWork Asia

Stephanie Cheung, executive vice president and chief legal officer, Melco Crown Entertainment


Presentation: Increasing Efficiency in Legal Operations

Today’s business reality of doing more with less has also extended to law firms and in-house legal departments. No one has the luxury of simply throwing more bodies at legal problems so innovation in legal operations has taken a critical role in effective legal teams. Not so long ago a career in legal operations might not have been seen as a viable career path and many would likely have struggled to come up with a good description of what legal operations managers actually do. Here today Mick Sheehy from the Australian Branch of Telstra will give you a unique insight into what has become an essential function within law firms and in-house legal teams, and talk about the innovation which has been a driving force behind the growth of Telstra’s legal function.

Mick Sheehy, general counsel, finance & strategy, Telstra


Panel: Diversity and Inclusion – the power of proactive engagement 

In business we often speak about the importance of culture – finding solutions to deal with corrupt employees or developing new strategies to encourage internal compliance are all areas we recognise, but what about diversity? In today’s society gender equality, sexual orientation, gender identity and intersex status discrimination still take place and companies are needing to develop effective ways for protecting, encouraging and retaining diverse talent. From very diverse backgrounds themselves, our panel of leading legal experts will take a look at the challenges facing senior leadership in corporations today as well as how to leverage diversity initiatives to increase acceptance.

Moderator:  Sophie Guerin, head of diversity & inclusion, Asia Pacific and Japan, Dell 

Fern Ngai, CEO, Community Business  

Peter Reading, legal counsel, Equal Opportunities Commission, Hong Kong & China

Marc Rubinstein, general counsel and managing director, Asia Pacific Land, co-founder, HKGALA  

Wally Suphap, vice president, legal and compliance, Morgan Stanley, co-founder, HKGALA


Networking and Refreshment Break 


Morning roundtables/ interactive breakout sessions

Breakout A - Weathering legal challenges during changes in administration

Historically, changes in government have led to pardons of certain political figures, changes in laws, increase in new legislation, and wider enforcement at both a local and international level. Following Brexit and the result of the US elections there are bound to be changes ahead but what are these likely to be and where will we see the most development?

South Korea, Malaysia, and other Asian nations which all have criticisms of their governments will also be discussed in this interactive session. We will look at how changes at government level will impact world order specifically in terms of diplomacy and trade as well as the potential changes to current laws and legislation in response to government reform.

Peter Guy, editor-in-chief, Regulation Asia, business and financial columnist, South China Morning Post

Alan Ho, vice president, general counsel & compliance, Zurich Insurance, Malaysia Berhad

Breakout B – Two sides of the same coin: making the move from legal to compliance

Have you ever considered swapping one hat for another? Is the compliance route one you’d like to take? We often speak about how the line between legal and compliance has disintegrated over time and more and more corporate counsel are taking on responsibility for the compliance aspect of the role. For many in-house counsels, this change in direction is one they might consider but no one really knows what that would entail and how you would go about making that change. Join this breakout session for an insight into the daily life of a compliance professional who made the leap from legal to compliance, the difficulties he faced and the challenges he overcame.

Jonathan Shun Wah, senior director, Pfizer

Breakout C – The Rise of Asian Regulators

Sponsored by Hogan Lovells

  Almost every company with operations in and across Asia will recognise the significant increase in regulatory scrutiny and enforcement in the region. Regulators are broadening the scope of compliance requirements, pushing companies in the Asian market to make regulatory compliance a concrete part of their corporate strategy. However, unlike other jurisdictions, the regulatory framework in Asia lacks harmonisation and often involves unexpected departures from international standards.

Join partners Mark Lin, Roy Zou and Mark Parsons in an intimate discussion on the structural barriers, and potential solutions to dealing with the expanding array of regulations and enforcement in the region.

Mark Lin, partner, Hogan Lovells

Mark Parsons, partner, Hogan Lovells

Roy Zou, partner, Hogan Lovells

Breakout D - Resilience and Reform: the true disruptor in the legal market

Sponsored by Pinsent Masons

In a market where legislation is outdated and often ineffectual, how can new businesses tackle stubborn regulators in order to initiate change? There continues to be the argument that disruptors cause more trouble than their worth but in reality, disruptors are transforming the way we do business. Join our panel as they explore tactics for dealing with unruly regulators, backwards legislation and barriers to change.

Paul Haswell, partner, Pinsent Masons

Royston Ng, director, head of legal, North Asia, PayPal

Hon Ng, senior legal counsel, Uber


Panel: Generation Warfare – managing millennials

Sponsored by Pillsbury

Weaned on a massively interconnected world, millennial workers are naturally fluent in technology, social sharers and motivated by regular engagement. For the older, less technologically astute and perhaps more conservative legal peers there is a stark difference between the mind set of millennials and themselves. But as new lawyers come through the system, our offices, and likewise our teams are becoming increasingly diverse. So how can you as a team leader manage the two generations and utilise their differences to your advantage? Strategies, war stories and so much more will be discussed here today as we identify the key challenges for corporate counsel at all levels of the in-house community.

Moderator: Gregor Miller, executive coach & leadership trainer, Visions Learning Hong Kong

Paul Jebley, managing partner, Pillsbury

Mark Lewis, general manager, Myanmar, Cambodia and Laos, Roche Pharmaceuticals


Lunch Break 


Afternoon roundtables/interactive breakout sessions

Breakout A – Lawtech – The X Y Z of Legal Technology

Legal technology is and has become a key part of how we do business. Our dependence on technology means that traditional legal systems are constantly being reformed to meet the tech need. It is clear that, although disruptive, legal technology is working in more ways than one. RegTech, Fintech, InsureTech will all be discussed in this vibrant breakout session as we explore how LawTech/RegTech disruption will be the catalyst for future innovation.

Janos Barberis, senior research fellow, The University of Hong Kong, founder, FinTech HK 

Brian Tang, managing director, Asia Capital Markets Institute (ACMI)

Breakout B – How’s your appetite? Enterprise risk management and risk tolerance on a plate

Practical application, communication, and adaptability…these are all vital components to successfully manage risk. First and foremost, in-house counsel need to understand their organisation's risk appetite before employing strategies to improve their tolerance to such risks. Here in this interactive breakout session, our speakers will explore the most critical components to enterprise risk management including how to balance risk and reward, ways in which you can articulate risk tolerance to stakeholders and new strategies for reducing gaps in your risk management programme.

Giselle Bates, senior lawyer and compliance expert

Paula Chung, senior counsel, head of legal, Rotam Global AgroSciences

Breakout C – The role of in-house counsel in ADR and Litigation

For most companies dealing with disputes – as either a claimant or a defendant – a strong understanding of the available dispute resolution options is a pre-requisite. General counsel, are often responsible for attaining this information but is it really their role? Here in this interactive session Kieren Barry and Jim Jamison will offer their perspectives on whether in-house counsel should be expected to establish expertise in mediation and litigation, or rather, look to outside counsel for ADR services? Other questions addressed will include:

-        To what extent do in-house counsel hold the decision-making role of directing a dispute to litigation or ADR?

-        What factors should they consider before pursuing either option?

Kieren Barry, group counsel, Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group 

Jim Jamison, general counsel, Deloitte


Networking and Refreshment Break


Panel: Respected or rejected? Life as a lawyer under the business thumb

In-house counsel can be one of two things. Respected and valued for their input and opinion, or rejected and ignored when it comes to some or all business matters. Of course, it’s not always that black and white but in principal, this is and can be a huge challenge for in-house counsel looking to be an integral part of the business. Join us as we explore how in-house change the way senior management can view them and their ability to make decisions for the business.

Moderator: Lisa Mather, vice president, division general counsel, Asia Pacific, Colgate-Palmolive

Francis Chang, executive vice president & general counsel, Asia Pacific and Middle East, Fox Networks Group

Lara Lightbody, head of legal, North East Asia and Japan, BT

Jacqueline Schrader, executive legal counsel, international financial services, Commonwealth Bank Group 


Closing remarks from the co-chairs


Close of conference