GIR Live: China’s WeChat obsession frustrates lawyers

GIR Live Hong Kong

20 October 2017

Lawyers say the use of social media for business in China creates a significant hurdle when conducting internal investigations.

DOJ has a “lifetime’s worth” of tax evasion leads in Hong Kong

18 October 2017

Hong Kong lawyers say they are still dealing with a multitude of US tax evasion investigations that sprung from settlements signed by 76 Swiss banks in 2013.


Martin Rogers

Davis Polk & Wardwell

Mr. Rogers is a partner in Davis Polk’s Litigation Department, based in Hong Kong. He is regarded as one of the market’s leading litigation and financial services regulatory lawyers with over 25 years’ experience in Asia, advising on complex litigation, arbitration, regulatory and white collar crime matters, with extensive experience advising leading corporates, the financial services industry and government bodies. Mr. Rogers is consistently recognized as a leading lawyer by the foremost legal directories, including Chambers Asia-PacificIFLR1000 and Asia Pacific Legal 500.

Kyle Wombolt

Herbert Smith Freehills

Mr. Wombolt is the global head of Herbert Smith Freehills' corporate crime and investigations practice, based in Hong Kong. Regarded as one of the Asian market's leading white collar and regulatory lawyers, he has been described as "one of the cornerstones of investigations work in Asia".  Mr. Wombolt has led investigations and compliance projects in more than 40 countries worldwide. He focuses on multi-jurisdictional corruption, money laundering, regulatory, fraud and accounting investigations, as well as trade and sanctions issues involving multinational and major regional corporates.  He has long been ranked as a leading individual by Chambers, The Legal 500 and IFLR and is a frequent speaker on criminal and regulatory enforcement issues arising in Asian markets.

Keynote Speaker

Wesley Wong SC

Solicitor General, Hong Kong Department of Justice

Wesley Wong SC is responsible for the development of legal policy, advising the Secretary for Justice on a wide range of complex and sensitive legal issues and overseeing the department's legislative programme. Wong has served in different divisions of the department for 22 years and has been a Deputy Director of Public Prosecutions since 2011. He was appointed Senior Counsel in 2013.


Mark Johnson

Debevoise & Plimpton

Mark Lin

Hogan Lovells

Catherine McBride

Head of Litigation and Regulatory Enforcement, Deutsche Bank

Sharon McCarthy

Kostelanetz & Fink

Jonathan Midgley


Gabriel Wong


Fay Zhou



9.00: Welcome coffee and registration

9.30: Chairs' opening remarks

Kyle Wombolt, Herbert Smith Freehills

9.40: Keynote address

Wesley Wong SC, Solicitor General, Hong Kong Department of Justice

10.10: Session one: Enforcement against Tax Evaders: What does it mean for Asia's Financial Centres?

US enforcement officials are looking for tax evaders with greater intent than ever before, and in some new jurisdictions. Asia in particular is feeling the brunt, on the heels of the "Panama Papers", the 1MDB matter, and now the US "Swiss Bank Programme" is concluded. This in turn has ramifications for banks in the regions, their employees, their clients and the lawyers who represent both. This panel will explore that ripple effect. To what extent does the pursuit of an individual customer for tax evasion trigger a host of problems for banks, and is there anything they can do to minimise the backwash?

Questions the panel are expected to discuss include:

  • How are banks exposed if their depositors are evading taxes?
  • What are the potential ramifications for individuals within the bank?
  • Are there money laundering implications?
  • How do data privacy laws alter tax-enforcement actions?
  • What is the extent of cooperation between various tax enforcement authorities? How do mutual legal assistance treaties come into play?
  • As counsel to a bank facing this problem, what are the key strategic decisions you face?

Kyle Wombolt, Herbert Smith Freehills

Mark Johnson, Debevoise & Plimpton 
Mark Lin, Hogan Lovells
Sharon McCarthy, Kostelanetz & Fink 

11.15: Coffee break

11.45: Session two: GIR Live Question Time

A panel of leading names will discuss hot topics submitted by the moderator and our audience.

Topics they're likely to discuss include:

  • The local anti-corruption enforcement landscape - how has it changed in recent years and why?
  • The extent of cooperation between authorities in Hong Kong and China
  • Is Hong Kong's legal environment influenced by China or vice versa?
  • Hong Kong's Anti-Money Laundering Ordinance - five year's after enactment what has been its impact?
  • Corporate versus individual criminal liability - what is Hong Kong's position and how has it changed?

Kyle Wombolt, Herbert Smith Freehills

Jonathan Midgley, Haldanes 
Catherine McBride, Head of Litigation and Regulatory Enforcement, Deutsche Bank 
Gabriel Wong, BDO

12.50: Chairs' closing remarks

Kyle Wombolt, Herbert Smith Freehills

13.00: Close of conference


Eaton House, Champion Tower, 3 Garden Road, Central, Hong Kong


  • “Excellent networking opportunities provided by the conference.”

    Charlie Goldschmid

    Marc Jacobs International

  • “Great chairs with in depth experience”

    Wanying Bin

    Mayer Brown LLP

Ticket Prices

Private Practitioner
Type Price Until
Super Early £375 8 September 2017
Early £475 6 October 2017
Standard £575 18 October 2017


Complimentary In-house/governmental registration available