2018 Annual Conference of In-House Lawyers

The Annual Conference of In-House Lawyers is a signature event organised by the In-House Lawyers Committee (“IHLC”). The 2018 Conference was successfully held on 6 Jun at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre. This is the first time the Conference, since its inception in 2012, revolved around a theme, which was technology, one of the hottest topics in almost every aspect of today’s business world. The Conference attracted the attendance of over 400 legal professionals, with the majority being in-house lawyers from various sectors and industries.

One of the highlights of the full day event was the opening keynote speech by Mr. James Lau, Secretary for Financial Services and the Treasury, who highlighted how technology intersects with law and presents opportunities and challenges for the legal field.

Following the keynote speech was a panel discussion on the emergence of artificial intelligence (“AI”) in the legal world by Mr. Paul Haswell, Partner, Pinsent Masons LLP (moderator), Mr. Gerardo Salandra, Chairman, Artificial Intelligence Society of Hong Kong, and Mr. Tak Lo, Managing Director, Zeroth. Panelists shared their insights on the potentials and limits of AI in the legal field, and how legal professionals should prepare for the challenges.

Blockchain technology is also impacting the business world, especially the banking and finance industry. Mr. Paul Li, General Counsel, OAX Foundation, Mr. Pindar Wong, Co-Founder, Bsafe.Network, and Mr. Rocky Lee, International Partner, Managing Partner of Silicon Valley office, King & Wood Mallesons, shared their experience mainly on the use of smart/computable contracts that are run on blockchain or cryptocurrency technologies which automate certain legal functions. The panel discussion was moderated by Mr. Kevin Woo, Legal and Education Committee Member, Hong Kong Blockchain Society.

After the lunch break, a panel of industry experts led the audience into the fascinating world of eSports, which is also known as competitive video gaming. Speakers of this session included Mr. Alex Norman, Senior Associate, Bird & Bird, Mr. Derek Cheung, Founder & CEO, Hong Kong ESports Limited, and Ms. Karen Law, Vice-President – Strategy & Legal, Lan Kwai Fong Group, who provided an overview of the industry and the regulatory framework that governs eSports activities. The session was moderated by Ms. Cerin Yip, Senior Legal Counsel, Alibaba Group.

In the penultimate session, Mr. Brian Tang, Managing Director, Asia Capital Markets Institute, Dr. Paul Sin, Leader of Fintech Practice and Asia Pacific Blockchain Lab, Deloitte, and Mr. Charles To, Senior Legal Counsel, Technology Transactions Group, Tencent (moderator), provided an update to the audience on the fintech market and introduced some new business models in the digital age.

While cherishing the benefits which technology brings, one also needs to be cautious about data privacy and cyber security. The Conference concluded with a session on how in-house lawyers should respond to and prevent cybercrimes. Panelists included Mr. Dicky Wong, Detective Senior Inspector of Police, Cyber Security and Technology Crime Bureau, Hong Kong Police Force, Mr. Kok Tin Gan, Partner, Cyber Security and Privacy, PricewaterhouseCoopers, and moderator Mr. Billy Ng, Executive Director, Dennings Limited.

IHLC would like to express its heartfelt thanks to all panelists who shared with us on a variety of topics that are of interest to in-house lawyers, and the hard work of the Organising Committee which contributed to the success of this annual event. If you have any feedback on the 2018 Conference, or have any suggestions, please do not hesitate to contact IHLC on inhouselawyers@hklawsoc.org.hk.

Then President Thomas So kicked off the Conference with his welcoming remarks.

Mr. James Lau, Secretary for Financial Services and the Treasury, delivering the keynote speech.

Panelists of the AI session: (from left) Mr. Paul Haswell, Mr. Gerardo Salandra and Mr. Tak Lo.

IHLC Chairlady Maggie Tsui with panelists of the Blockchain session: (from left) Mr. Rocky Lee, Mr. Pindar Wong, Mr. Paul Li and Mr. Kevin Woo.

Panelists of the ESports session: (from left) Ms. Karen Law, Mr. Alex Norman, Mr. Derek Cheung and Ms. Cerin Yip.

Panelists of the Fintech session: (from left) Mr. Brian Tang, Dr. Paul Sin and Mr. Charles To.

Keynote Speaker Mr. James Lau (seventh from left) with Council members and IHLC members.

IHLC Chairlady Maggie Tsui with panelists of the Cybercrime session: (from left) Mr. Dicky Wong, Mr. Kok Tin Gan and Mr. Billy Ng.