Grace advises exchanges, startups and established technology companies on regulatory, licensing and compliance issues in Asia. Based in Hong Kong, her core focus is in assisting clients with regulatory issues in relation to exchanges, stored value facilities, initial coin offerings, financial services licensing, and payments and remittance systems. She is a member of the ASIFMA Fintech working group and was involved in drafting a set of Best Practices for Effective Development of Fintech for the development of fintech in the financial services industry. She is also currently working with ASIFMA to draft Best Practices for cryptocurrency exchanges in the region. She also previously held a position as an Assistant Director in the Capital Markets Department of the Monetary Authority of Singapore, and Singapore regulatory work is a key part of her fintech portfolio.
Prior to joining HSF, Grace also held an in-house position in the Global Internal Investigations Group in the HK headquarters of a large international bank. There she was involved in a wide range of internal investigations in several Asia Pacific countries, which had a legal, financial or reputational impact across the group. In this role, she was involved in matters involving the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, the UK Bribery Act, anti-money laundering laws, sanctions violations, and other financial crimes.
Grace has particular expertise in handling cross-border internal investigations, including in relation to money laundering, insider dealing, systems and controls breaches, mis-selling, and licensing issues. Grace has also been involved with advising clients on the implications arising from MiFID II, the new Hong Kong Manager in Charge regime, derivatives regulations, licensing applications and complaints-handling.
Grace's experience includes:
- advising various technology companies on the setup of cryptocurrency, commodities and or clearing exchanges in Asia
- working with ASIFMA on several fintech projects, including the development of Fintech Best Practices for the development of fintech in Asia Pacific, the impact of the forthcoming EU benchmark regulation on firms operating in Asia Pacific, develop KYC best practices for financial institutions in Asia, developing Best Practices for cryptocurrency exchanges
- advising on regulatory issues in relation to several initial coin offerings and blockchain projects
- advising various payments companies and acquirers, including a payments company in relation to the setup of a cryptocurrency product
- advising various fintech startups in relation to licensing and regulatory issues in relation to their setup in various jurisdictions including Hong Kong and Singapore, and the setup of their AML/CTF controls
- advising a global investment bank on full-scale investigations and responses to initial and follow up enquiries by all of the market regulators, including the SFC, HKMA and the Commercial Crime Bureau, including in relation to an investigation by the SFC into their role as a sponsor on the IPO of a failed public company
- advising a number of financial institutions in relation to regulatory investigations on AML breaches
- advising a global financial institution in relation to its anti-money laundering policies and procedures across multiple jurisdictions in Asia, the Middle East and Europe
- advising a commercial bank in relation to its investigation into foreign exchange trading practices at desks in Singapore and Hong Kong
- advising a number of international and local financial institutions on the implementation of the new Hong Kong Manager in Charge regime
- advising the Singapore branch of a global bank on potential legal issues in relation to proposed novations of derivatives contracts
- advising a number of investment banks and financial institutions on general compliance and regulatory issues in Hong Kong and Singapore
Grace studied law in University College London, where she graduated with a First Class and was awarded the International Corporate Rescue Award for Excellence for the best dissertation in the area of financial and/or corporate law. She has passed Level I of the CFA Program.