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Conference Program

Please note that the below is a preliminary conference program and subject to change. Information correct as at 7 June 2019.

CPD Accreditation for Hong Kong SAR delegates
A maximum of 14 CPD points will be awarded for attendance of the full programme

Please note that the conference will be held across two different venues: The JW Marriott Hotel and the Hong Kong Convention & Exhibition Centre (HKCEC).

Monday, 4 November 2019
1400 – 1800 LAWASIA Executive Committee Meeting
ExCo Members only
Tuesday, 5 November 2019
1000 – 1600 Annual LAWASIA Council Meeting
LAWASIA Council Members only. This event is by direct invitation only.
1800 – 2000 Presidents’ Dinner
Invitation only
Wednesday, 6 November 2019
0830 – 0930 Registration
JW Marriott Hotel
0930 – 1030 Opening Ceremony
JW Marriott Hotel
1030 – 1100 Morning Refreshments & Networking
JW Marriott Hotel
1100 – 1230 Plenary Session
JW Marriott Hotel
1300 – 1430 Lunch & Guest Speech
Renaissance Harbour View Hotel

Note: One-way coach transfer from the JW Marriott Hotel to the Renaissance Harbour View Hotel will be provided.

1800 – 2200 Update on Global Legal Landscape and Welcome Reception & LAWASIA Cup
Happy Valley Racecourse
Thursday, 7 November 2019
0800 – 0900 Registration continues
Risk Management in Mediation and Arbitration for International and Cross-border Disputes

This topic aims to identify the common pitfalls and risk factors and discuss effective and efficient ways to manage those identified risks.


Taxing the digital economy: where do we stand now & what’s next?

In March 2018, the OECD issued a preliminary report discussing the challenges of taxing the digital economy. Drawing strength from Action 1 of the BEPS report, this recent report studies the characteristics of digital businesses including its remote presence, reliance on intangibles and data, and heavy user participation. Having said this, the notion of how to tax the digital economy remains a difficult question for countries worldwide. Despite the urgency on the part of tax authorities wanting to tax the digital economy, there is still no common global on how to achieve this. The new business models that the digital economy creates remain elusive from the taxation net and this is partially contributed to the fact existing tax laws and framework are not suited to effectively tackle this.

With international pressure and interest in this area, this session aims to discuss how tax authorities in this region are preparing to address the question of taxing the digital economy, which has revolutionised the manner in which people today live and conduct their daily lives including businesses. This session will also analyse the unilateral approaches taken by some governments are effective or are these pure interim measures.

Making Leniency Great Again – the Challenges of Cross-border Cartel Enforcement

Cartel enforcement by competition agencies across the region remains a priority. However, detection of anti-competitive conduct is increasingly becoming more challenging – as the benefits of immunity/ leniency programmes for companies and individuals no longer give sufficient bright-line incentives to cooperate with enforcement authorities. This panel will address the risks, benefits and incentives of leniency – and how both private sector and competition agencies view global trends and the impact on future enforcement.

1030 – 1100 Morning Refreshments & Networking
The extra-territorial impact of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) on businesses in the Asia Pacific region.

Privacy / Data protection is really a battle between individualism and right to information. The European Union has introduced the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) in May 2018, which is not only applicable to the European Economic Area (EEA), but also claims for applicability to third country data processors once EEA personal data is processed. The changes in the GDPR has also affected the enforcement of IP rights by brand-owners. This session will discuss when and how to comply with the GDPR, and enforcement risks for non EU or EEA processors under the GDPR. The session will also focus on the UK experience as an EU member and Switzerland’s experience of dealing with both Swiss national privacy law and GDPR as a non EU or EEA member state – as it is the case for Asian countries. Furthermore, this session will provide for inputs on how Japanese companies comply with GDPR in addition to the Japanese law maintaining good balance between GDPR and national privacy laws in Japan, on regulation of false information spreading on social networks with willful agenda in Taiwan, and application of GDPR in countries under Belt and Road and Hongkong.


Sports Contracts Management and Sports Dispute Resolution

Sports law, like the special characteristics and dynamics of sports, continues to grow and evolve over the years. As sports emerge as a global industry, stakeholders such as governments, sporting bodies, clubs, agents, managers and players are gaining awareness over the potential of criminality and abuses. Stricter laws are called to deal with cases in relation to corruption, match fixing and doping. In this session, experts are invited to analyse how sports disputes are different from commercial disputes and discuss the projected changes in sports law and their implications towards the sports industry over the coming years.

Harmonised regulation of E-Commerce in Asia and current UNCITRAL initiatives

This session will focus on the adoption and implementation of UNCITRAL’s e-Commerce Conventions and model laws, with particular emphasis upon the requirements of the revamped Trans Pacific Partnership and approaches within ASEAN to the regulation of electronic commerce.

1230 – 1345 Lunch & Networking
Renaissance Harbour View Hotel
1400 – 1530 BANKING & FINANCE
Fintech, Cryptocurrency and Initial Coin Offering

Fintech is revolutionising financial services globally. It has changed the nature of commerce and end-user expectations for payments and financial services. With this rise of technology, cryptocurrencies and initial coin offerings (ICOs) have been increasingly used as means for capital raising and investment, while the nature of bank has also been changed in that “virtual” banks are now in reality.

Accompanying the potential to improve efficiency for funding and financial inclusion, frauds and hacking incidents are more prone to happen with these digital assets and new mode of doing business, as laws and regulations always trail behind technology developments.

In this session, speakers will discuss the opportunities and risks entailed in this continuing trend of fintech, what should be done by the market players and regulators in better protecting the interests of public and developing the related infrastructure.


Legal responsibility of enterprises for climate change and its consequences

• Legal responsibilities and business risks of enterprises and their directors for the contribution and exposure of the enterprises’ activities, goods and services to climate change and its consequences
• Legal responsibilities and business risks of financiers of such enterprises
• Legal responsibilities and business risks of investors of such enterprises.

Employees Protection: Sexual Harassment, Equality and Diversity

With the rise of the #MeToo movement and its overwhelming impact across the globe, the movement has awakened the world to the prevalence of sexual harassment, especially in the workplace. It has also given a voice to silenced women and raises concerns of gender equality.

Aside from the above, as we live in a world that comprises of people from different race, sexual orientations, family status etc., it is therefore vital for employers to take positive steps to ensure equality and diversity in the workplace in order to provide safe and level playing fields for all their employees.

In this session, speakers will discuss (1) how law in different jurisdictions handles issues relating to sexual harassment, equality and diversity in the workplace; (2) what employers can do to protect themselves from being caught in claims arising from these issues; (3) what employers should do if they encountered these issues; and (4) the way forward.

1530 – 1600 Afternoon Refreshments & Networking
1600 – 1730 HUMAN RIGHTS
Human Rights Issues (including modern slavery) in the 21st Century Tackled at its Source

Through the implementation of International Covenants and constitutional instruments, every legal jurisdiction ensures that the human rights of their citizens and residents are protected. In the modern era of advanced technology, multi-dimensional connectivity, enormous wealth and new paradigms of innovation, human suffering continues to increase through poverty, lack of education, discrimination and slavery in all its forms. Speakers will consider the strengths, weaknesses and perspectives in their respective legal jurisdictions and provide possible solutions through local and international examples.


Building A Community of Common Destiny: BRI Legal Cooperation in the Asia Pacific Region

Since its inception in 2013, the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) has attracted a lot of attention and secured wide participation from the international community. To date, some 170 countries and international organisations have signed BRI cooperation documents. Pilot projects such as China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, China-Laos Railway and Jakarta-Bandung High-speed Railway have steadily progressed. A few developed countries have expressed their interest in conducting mutually beneficial cooperation with China as well as with any third party. The Belt and Road Initiative is opening up even broader prospects for development.

As the Belt and Road Initiative develops, there is an increase in the number of disputes arising from various fields such as investment, trade, taxation, finance, land and labour, which entails an urgent need to improve legal services and international dispute settlement mechanisms and strengthen international cooperation in relevant fields.

This session will: (1) discuss major legal risks and problems faced in Belt and Road Projects; (2) explore different routes to develop and improve international dispute settlement mechanisms within Asian-Pacific region; (3) summarise the practice and experience of transnational legal service; (4) discuss the role of lawyers and law firms in legal advice and dispute resolution and potential for further collaboration.

Legal Professional Privilege in In-house Environment – local and international challenges

It is important that clients are able to share information freely with their lawyers. The principle of legal professional privilege (LPP) prevents such information from being used against the clients themselves subsequently.

In-house lawyers’ communications are protected the same way as those of lawyers in private practice. However, the applicability of LPP may not be clear where in-house lawyers are seeking to retain privilege in documents, whilst they are performing roles of employees, legal advisers and business advisers.

In this session, speakers will share their experiences from the perspective of in-house lawyers on the challenges encountered and pitfalls to avoid.

1930 – 2200 Gala Dinner
The Grand Stage • Western Market

Note: One-way coach transfer from the HKCEC to The Grand Stage will be provided.

Friday, 8 November 2019
Legal and Regulatory Regimes regarding Asset Management Practice

This session will introduce to practitioners’ various recent initiatives in Hong Kong and Asia Pacific to develop the asset management industry. For example, Hong Kong has introduced various initiatives such as the new legal framework for open-ended fund companies, enhancements to asset management regulation and point-of-sale transparency, as well as new guidelines on online distribution and advisory platforms.


Law on Child Protection in a cross-border context

In the name of the child, parents and all connected parties are fighting for the best interest of the child in their perspective. Children are taken across the border away from their ordinary daily life at a time when they witness their own family breaking up. The 1980 Hague Convention established an international mechanism for signatories states to curb abduction of children without the consent of the other parent. How it works? What if the children are taken to non-signatories countries?

Other children are abducted from their parents for their personal gains. What legal protections are available for these children?

Managing a Law Firm in an Era of Increased Competition

This panel will discuss the strategies that law firm leaders can adopt, particularly in the mergers and acquisitions field, in the face of a return to the legal industry by law firms backed by the Big Four, and increased competition from alternative legal service providers. Competition can be tough, given that the new comers may provide a one-stop-shop package of legal and other professional services as opposed to the single dimensional legal services that traditional law firms provide.

1030 – 1100 Morning Refreshments & Networking
1100 – 1230 INSOLVENCY
Reorganisation Alternatives for Cross-Border Insolvency in Asia

This session will examine existing Cross-Border Insolvency regimes in Asia, and contrast the approaches to reorganisation under Hong Kong, Singapore, South Korean and Australian law, particularly in light of the 2017 Singapore legislative amendments. It is hoped to draw upon Judicial speakers for this session.


Anti-corruption and Anti-money Laundering in the Asia Pacific Region: Trends in Policy, Practice and Technology

In recent years, more sophisticated ways have been deployed by the criminals in corruption or money-laundering activities, against the background of increasing international trades and rapid development of fintech.

Speakers in this session will give participants an overview of the latest developments on anti-corruption and anti-money-laundering in their home jurisdictions, including the current regulatory and law enforcement environment, and what to look out for. Speakers will also examine how regtech may help combat corruption and money-laundering.

1230 – 1345 Lunch & Networking
Renaissance Harbour View Hotel
Enforcement of IP rights, with a focus on counterfeiting activity in the Asian region

The session will focus on:
Enforcing IP Rights in PRC – What Options Are Available & What is Most Effective
Counterfeiting and Remedies – Is enforcement effective?
Litigation v Mediation – What is best for IP Disputes
Domain Name Arbitration – Is the System still delivering effective results?


The Importance of the Interpretation and Implementation of the Constitution in the Maintenance of the Rule of Law

A Constitution creates government and its various branches, apportioning appropriate functions and powers to each. It also establishes principles for protection of the rights of the citizens and forms a blue print for the values of its jurisdiction. The application of constitutional principles and the proper interpretation of the constitution by an independent judiciary ensure the maintenance of the Rule of Law. Speakers will illustrate through examples how the courts have interpreted the constitution in their respective jurisdictions and provide suggestions on possible interpretive principles that could be adopted to understand and apply the constitution to issues that may arise.

Masterminding the Future: Age of Millennials and Gen-Z Lawyers

Young lawyers representatives from different jurisdictions will share their thoughts and experiences with individual presentations, focusing on practical tips and techniques for the modern young lawyer to thrive in today’s competitive legal environment, in particular in relation to client management, use and/or understanding of technology within the law firm and exploration of future paths including partnership and in-house opportunities.

The session serves to inspire and equip young lawyers to decode the legal matrix and mastermind their own unique blueprint to their ideal legal career. Experienced practitioners are welcome to participate.

1530 – 1600 Afternoon Refreshments & Networking
1600 – 1700 Closing Ceremony, including moot presentations and 2020 conference announcement
1700 End of Conference
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