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“The firm has strong links to the SFC and a large team that is well placed to handle SFC regulatory, licensing and compliance matters.” 

Legal 500 Asia Pacific

Committed to excellence in compliance and licensing

Hong Kong’s own world-class law firm, Deacons offers cutting-edge experience in all areas of licensing and compliance work.

Strong technical knowledge; good relationships with the regulators; and an instinctive grasp of how regulations will be applied – these are the key attributes of a successful compliance and licensing team. So we are delighted when our clients praise our ‘knowledge’ of Hong Kong’s regulatory requirements, and our ‘good working relationship’ with the SFC, to the independent researchers at Legal 500 Asia Pacific. Our SFC Compliance and Licensing team has also received a number of accolades over the years, including recognition at the ASIAN MENA COUNSEL Firm of the Year awards for Compliance & Regulatory work.

Our large team comprises former regulators, in-house counsel and compliance and audit professionals and has considerable experience in licensing and compliance matters of all types. In the licensing area, where our team enjoys a premier reputation, we help global fund managers, asset managers, investment advisors, distributors and brokers obtain SFC approvals. We also regularly advise on licensing compliance hurdles such as the approval of new substantial shareholders and regulatory breaches. Our experience in compliance matters, meanwhile, runs from advising clients on the Securities and Futures Ordinance and the rules and codes of the SFC to assisting financial services companies with regulatory inspections and investigations, pre-inspection onsite reviews, compliance manuals and other internal policies, compliance training, and compliance system set-up.

For example, recent highlights include: 

  • Advising on the spin-out of a global investment management firm in connection with its application to the SFC for a Type 9 licence; set to be the largest fund launch in the region;
  • Assisting one of the largest trading companies in Japan to obtain a licence with the Securities and Futures Commission and in connection with a wide range of regulatory advice, as they established a regional distribution outfit based in HK;
  • Preparing Mainland Chinese managers for SFC licensing and assisting throughout the licensing process;
  • Representing one of the largest North American banks in obtaining a licence with the Securities and Futures Commission and in connection with a wide range of regulatory advice, as they set up a regional presence in Hong Kong;
  • Guiding a global Private Equity Manager through the available securities licensing exemptions;
  • Assisting financial houses with handling serious financial resources rules breaches with the SFC;
  • Working with clients to update Compliance Manuals and other policies with the introduction of the customer due diligence requirements under the new Hong Kong anti-money laundering legislation;
  • Advising various clients, including Private Equity and Hedge Funds, Japanese advisory firms, and Swiss institutional asset managers, on preparing for SFC inspections and prudential visits, and assisting throughout the process;
  • Undertaking health checks and audits of the regulatory compliance infrastructure of a number of private equity funds and asset managers, highlighting risks and recommendations, in advance of SFC inspections. 

If you would like to discuss how we could help your company on any aspect of SFC licensing or compliance work, we would be delighted to hear from you.


SFC Compliance & Licensing SERVICES