Regulatory and Compliance Law


Tanner De Witt’s lawyers have significant experience dealing with and advising upon clients’ legal needs concerning regulation within Hong Kong and internationally. Our Regulatory and Compliance Group gives legal advice on both contentious and non-contentious matters. These include compliance, licensing, investigations and prosecutions, regulation-based claims, money laundering and related white collar criminal aspects. We advise across a wide range of sectors and industries and are familiar with a wide range of regulators.

Financial Services Regulation

Our lawyers within the regulatory practice deal with both Hong Kong and overseas financial regulators and act for regulated individuals, brokerages, fund managers, independent financial advisers and industry groups/associations within the wider financial services and insurance industry. Several of the firm’s lawyers also have direct industry experience having previously worked in house with major financial institutions.

Fintech and Regulation

We have a particular interest and focus upon fintech, which is at the intersection of technology and regulation. We regularly advise on the regulatory and contractual implications of innovative businesses in respect of regulations for payment systems and stored value facilities, money service operations, and money lending and factoring. Lawyers in our Digital Services team are members of the Fintech Association of Hong Kong, an independent, not-for-profit, membership-based association representing Hong Kong’s fintech community.

We have advised on several complex and cutting edge projects, including advising on all regulatory issues, arising from the deployment of blockchain and distributed ledger technology in respect of virtual assets.

Areas of Practice:

  • AML
  • Anti-bribery and corruption
  • Competition
  • Compliance
  • Data Privacy
  • Enquiries
  • ICO / Listing rules
  • Investigations and prosecutions
  • Licensing and supervision

Our experience includes advising on:

  • Banking Ordinance (BO)
  • Competition Ordinance (CO)
  • Hong Kong Customs & Excise Department (C&ED)
  • Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA)
  • Hong Kong Stock Exchange (HKEx)
  • Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC)
  • Insurance Authority (IA)
  • Insurance Ordinance (IO)
  • Market Misconduct Tribunal (MMT)
  • Money Lenders Ordinance (MLO)
  • Money Service Operators (MSO)
  • Privacy Commissioner for Personal Data (PCPD)
  • Securities and Futures Commission (SFC)
  • Securities and Futures Ordinance (SFO)
  • Stored Value Facility (SVF)


Tanner De Witt’s lawyers provide legal advice and representation to both Hong Kong based and international corporations and individuals in a wide range of domestic and cross-border regulatory matters. Some examples include:

  • Advising on financial industry licensing matters including applications for SFC licences (both corporations and individuals/representatives) and the implications of overseas investigations
  • Advising on general banking and financial compliance matters including implementation of regulatory and anti-money laundering measures
  • Lobbying, advising and commenting on financial regulatory consultations with regard to implementation of new regulations and practices, including OTC Derivatives
  • Advising on compliance with substantial shareholder filings regulations and requirements within the banking and wider financial services industry
  • Advising and acting in regulatory investigations and enforcement actions by Hong Kong and overseas regulators
  • Defending SFC and other financial regulators’ criminal prosecutions including accusations of financial misconduct, misselling, money laundering, false trading, market manipulation and related allegations
  • Advising on SFC investigations and disciplinary proceedings and appeals to the SFC appeals tribunal in response to fines, licence bans, prison sentences and other reprimands imposed by financial regulatory bodies
  • Judicial review proceedings against regulators and regulatory decisions.
  • Advising on whether various property based investment schemes constitute a “Collective Investment Scheme” (CIS)
  • Advising on general compliance issues, including as to capital adequacy requirements and regulated activity

Our Digital Services team advises clients on the following areas:

  • Regulatory advice on an algorithmic stable coin platform project
  • Regulatory advice on fund formation and tokenisation of fund interests in a commodity fund
  • Advice on online conditions of service in respect of real-time sale and purchase of cryptocurrency for a cryptocurrency payment business
  • Compliance and regulatory advice to businesses in virtual assets, including trading platforms and over-the-counter traders
  • Money service and money lending regulation as it applied to an online retail advance pay application, and preparation of associated terms of service
  • Payment regulation in respect of debit and credit card issuance projects
  • Regulatory issues and contractual arrangements for an online receivables financing and factoring platform