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(Webinar via Zoom) Competition Law Ordinance - 5 years on, a Reflection on the Development of First Conduct Rule Enforcement Action in Hong Kong
Connie Lee, Barrister-at-law, Des Voeux Chambers
Tommy Cheung, Barrister-at-law, Des Voeux Chambers
Date: 11 March 2021 (Thursday)
Time: 2:30pm - 5:45pm
Level: I (Intermediate)
For delegates who have prior knowledge of the subject area
Language: English
Fee: HK$ 1,700
Accreditation: 3 CPD pts (Accredited by The Law Society of Hong Kong)
Ref: L21CC01
Venue: Webinar Course
Presenter's Biography:

Connie is a Bar-Scholar and was called to the Bar in 2009. She has a broad civil and commercial practice with a particular emphasis on regulatory and competition law matters. She has experience in representing directors of listed companies in disciplinary proceedings of the Hong Kong Stock Exchange (both before the Listing Committee and the Listing Appeal Committee). She represented the SFC in the first trial for reversing an IPO (over a HK$1 billion buy-back offer) under section 213 of the Securities and Futures Ordinance: SFC v Hontex International Holdings CACV 128/2012 & HCMP630/2010.

Since 2016, she has been appointed to the Competition Commission's Panel of External Counsel. She represented one of the parties in a 4-week trial before the Competition Tribunal: Competition Commission v W. Hing Construction Company Limited & Ors, the first case on market sharing and price fixing [2019] 3 HKLRD 46, as well as determination of penalty in Hong Kong: [2020] 2 HKLRD 1229. See also: [2018] 5 HKLRD 437. She is also representing two parties in Competition Commission v T.H Lee Book Company Limited & Ors CTEA 2/2020, an enforcement action against alleged price fixing and bid-rigging involving textbooks for secondary schools in Hong Kong.

In September 2018 and 2019, Connie was appointed to sit as a Deputy District Judge. In September 2020, she was appointed to sit as a Temporary Deputy Registrar of the High Court. She is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators and a member of the HKIAC List of Arbitrators. She also serves on 6 administrative and quasi-judicial boards and tribunals.

Tommy has actively worked on insolvency and bankruptcy matters. Notably, he appeared as junior counsel in two milestone decisions in insolvency law: Re CW Advanced Technologies Ltd [2018] 3 HKLRD 552 (as amicus curiae, on issues to consider for common law recognition and assistance of a moratorium granted by a foreign Court, led by Dr William Wong SC) and Re CEFC Shanghai International Group Ltd [2020] 1 HKLRD 676 (the first application to Hong Kong Court for recognition of liquidation in Mainland China and cross-border insolvency assistance at common law, with Mr Look-Chan Ho). He was also instructed by a co-founder of the BaWang Group as sole counsel to present a petition to wind up the parent company of BaWang International (Group) Holding Limited.
Moreover, Tommy has handled cases concerning banking, land, trusts, probate, intellectual property, competition, employment, family, commercial and companies. Recently, he represented one of the parties in a 4-week trial before the Competition Tribunal: Competition Commission v W Hing Construction Co Ltd and Others [2020] 2 HKLRD 1229; [2019] 3 HKLRD 46; [2018] 5 HKLRD 437 (the pioneering case on market sharing, price fixing and determination of penalty in Hong Kong, with Ms Connie Lee). He is also regularly instructed to appear in interlocutory applications, including applications for ex parte orders and urgent injunctions as sole counsel. He is able to provide written submissions and conduct hearings in both English and Chinese, and has previously rendered Chinese opinions on Hong Kong laws for use in the People's Courts in Mainland China.
Alongside his practice, Tommy routinely gives seminars on recent developments in civil and commercial laws. He is also a part-time lecturer at the University of Hong Kong, and his teaching in land law, conveyancing, commercial law and legal research & writing was recognised by the Faculty of Law's Outstanding Teaching Award in 2020.

To review the landscape and foundations laid in the First Conduct Rule enforcement actions brought in Hong Kong since the Competition Ordinance (Cap 619) took effect in December 2015 and to discuss general outlook of enforcement directions with practical key takeaways for both newcomers and practitioners interested in this evolving area of law.

  1. Overview of the Competition Law Regime in Hong Kong

  2. Application of the First Conduct Rule (By Object vs. By Effect)

  3. Enforcement Actions Against Infringement of First Conduct Rule:

    1. Standard of Proof

    2. The Concept of an "Undertaking" and Attribution of Liability

    3. Review of Enforcement Decisions in Hong Kong and Latest Developments

  4. Defences

    1. Economic Efficiency Defence

    2. The Sub-Contractor Defence

    3. Other Defences

  5. The Carecraft Procedures and Leniency Policies/Cooperation Policies

  6. Determination of Penalties and Usual Orders Sought By The Competition Commission

    1. Discussion of Competition Commission v. W. Hing CTEA 2/2017 (which laid down the multi-step approach to determine penalties)

    2. Competition Commission's Policy on Recommended Pecuniary Penalties

    3. Directors' Disqualification Orders

    4. Legal Costs and Investigation Costs

  7. Outlook & Key Takeaways

Category: Corporate / Commercial
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