An inconvenient surprise - Dealing with dawn raids in Hong Kong. 13 April 2021
- Adelaide Luke, Head of Competition – Asia, Herbert Smith Freehills
- Jeremy Birch, Partner, Corporate Crime & Investigations, Herbert Smith Freehills
Unannounced inspections by law enforcers and regulators at business or personal premises with the purpose of searching for and seizing evidence – commonly known as "Dawn Raids” - can be a potentially nerve-racking experience for subjects of the visit. In particular, Trust and Company Service Providers ("TCSPs") should be aware that the Registrar of Companies has conferred investigative powers under the Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorist Financing Ordinance ("AMLO") as part of the new TCSPs licensing regime which came into force in 2018. These include the power to enter and search premises of TCSPs to seize and remove records and documents required to be produced under the AMLO. In Hong Kong, the powers for conducting visits of this kind are vested in entities such as the Hong Kong Police, Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC), and the Competition Commission and the Securities and Futures Commission (SFC). Although such regulatory probes can have the effect of disrupting normal business operations and possibly even a company's reputation, effective preparation and action taken by businesses during the critical 'first hour' of the raid can help mitigate the damages which may occur.
Guest speakers from Herbert Smith Freehills will discuss issues that the typical procedures involve during a raid and how a company may best prepare for a raid. They will also share tips on how to protect you and your company's interests and handle complex situations during a raid, such as resolving privilege disputes with investigators.