Our Mini-Theme: Hong Kong, Gateway to China

This BLT mini-theme is the first major project undertaken by the International Business Law Committee in cooperation with the Hong Kong Law Society, and is the fruition of planning that began at the 2012 ABA Annual Meeting. In this group of articles, authors from the Law Society have addressed many of the issues that we thought relevant to American business lawyers. We have enjoyed cooperation and participation at the highest levels of the Law Society, and extend our thanks particularly to Jean Wong and Kenneth Choy for their efforts in soliciting articles and coordinating the submissions. Both of them, and their president, will be speakers at the August 2013 ABA Annual Meeting, Business Law Section, in San Francisco, California. At the Annual Meeting, our Committee will be presenting an eponymous CLE program that will cover many of the mini-theme topics in greater depth, as well as some topics like taxation that will present a more comprehensive view of uses for Hong Kong (HK) companies, scheduled for Friday, August 9, from 10:30 a.m.–12:30 p.m. There will also be a speaker from the Law Society on the panel set up by the Dispute Resolution Committee on "Cross-Border Deals: State of the Art of International Negotiation, Mediation and Arbitration," scheduled for Friday, August 9, from 2:30 p.m.–4:30 p.m. 

On that point of departure, it was back in an LL.M. seminar on comparative tax systems that I first looked at the benefits of using Hong Kong as a holding company jurisdiction. It was on our list of favored "low-tax" jurisdictions because of its territorial approach to taxation, as unless there were HK-source income there was no tax imposed, and even HK income enjoys a low effective rate. We did have a weather eye on the 1997 turn-over from British colonial rule, but the intervening years have shown those fears to have been overblown. If anything, the jurisdiction is more attractive today due to the favorable trade and tax agreements now in force between HK and the Peoples’ Republic of China. 

The articles presented in this mini-theme are: 

  1. Melissa Kaye Pang: “Hong Kong as a Base for Doing Business in Mainland China” – This article highlights many of the advantages of using Hong Kong as a gateway jurisdiction.
  2. Basil Hwang and Selina Wong: “Setting up a Company in Hong Kong” – The requirements and features of the various corporate entity types are presented.
  3. Alex Que and James Fairley: “IPOs in Hong Kong” – It may not be the first market that comes to the mind of a U.S. securities lawyer for an exchange listing, but perhaps it should.
  4. Julianne Doe: “Takeovers in Hong Kong” – Local features of the securities markets and corporate ownership models affect acquisitions customs and practices.
  5. Adelaide Yu: “A Brief Guide to Intellectual Property in Hong Kong” – "One country, two systems" makes for many complications and surprises for the unwary.
  6. Joseph Li: “New Developments in Limited Liability Partnership Law in Hong Kong” – This article discusses the pending LLP statute that is intended to provide an entity suitable for professional services firms.
  7. Alex Lau: “Hong Kong Immigration Requirements for Business Executives and Professionals” – One country, three systems (Macau is the third) for immigration laws. Here is what U.S. lawyers need to know about the HK system. 

The International Business Law Committee provides a nexus for foreign lawyers and U.S. members to connect, collaborate, and forge new working relationships. If you have an interest in international business transactions, we encourage you to join the Committee. The trip to your "My ABA" portal is a short one; your complimentary membership awaits you there. . . .

Additional Resources

For other materials on this topic, please refer to the following 

Law Society of Hong Kong

For further information on the Law Society of Hong Kong, visit its International Section at http://www.hklawsoc.org.hk, or e-mail intldesk@hklawsoc.org.hk

ABA Annual Meeting (Business Law Section)

August 9-11, 2013
San Francisco, CA (Fairmont and InterContinental Mark Hopkins)
Program Schedule 
Program: Hong Kong – Gateway to Mainland China
Friday, August 09, 2013 – 10:30 AM - 12:30 PM
Sponsoring Committee: International Business Law
Co-chairs: Lawrence D. W. Graves and Thomas F. Morante 
Program: Cross-Border Deals – State of the Art of International Negotiation, Mediation and Arbitration
Friday, August 09, 2013 – 2:30 PM - 4:30 PM
Sponsoring Committee: Dispute Resolution
Chair - John Levitske 

ABA Web Store 

International Mergers and Acquisitions Due Diligence: Hong Kong (Downloadable PDF)
The above is a downloadable PDF chapter from the full publication of International Mergers and Acquisitions Due Diligence sponsored by the Business Law Section.
This chapter was written by the ABA Committee on Mergers & Acquisitions and the Cross Border Investment Committee of the Inter-Pacific Bar Association.



Nominations Sought for Section Leadership Positions

Do you know anyone who has what it takes to be a good Section leader? The Nominating Committee of the Section needs your recommendations for leadership positions for the 2017-2018 association year. Nominees will be selected for: Chair-elect (who automatically assumes the position of chair the following year); Secretary (who automatically assumes the position of vice chair the following year); Content Officer; two Section Delegates to the ABA House of Delegates; and five additional Council members for a four-year term expiring in 2021. The Nominating Committee will take into account the following principles in making its selections. It will: select nominees who have been substantial and active contributors to the Section; seek geographic diversity in the leadership of the Section; strive for representation from a broad cross-section of the areas of law represented in the Section; and seek to draw leaders from a broad cross-section of the various sectors of practice, including corporate law departments, government, academia and private law firms; and actively recruit nominees that reflect the diversity of the Section. Please send your nominations by email to susan.tobias@americanbar.org no later than November 18.

Question: Between November 2, 2015 and November 4, 2015, Harris Poll conducted an online survey of 2,017 adults ages 18 and older on behalf of NerdWallet, Inc. to understand U.S. consumers’ credit card payment habits and feelings around different types of debt. The results of this study were published in the 2015 American Household Credit Card Debt Study. According to the 2015 American Household Credit Card Debt Study, what percentage of U.S. adults would be more embarrassed to tell others about credit card debt than any other type of debt?
A. 10%
B. 35%
C. 55%
D. 90%

Question: From the late 1600s to the early 1800s, “debtors’ prisons” were commonplace with many cities and states operating brick-and-mortar detention facilities that were designed for incarcerating individuals who were unable or unwilling to pay their debts. Imprisonment for indebtedness was so commonplace that two signatories of the Declaration of Independence were jailed for failure to pay their debts. Can you name those two signatories?

The November issue of Business Law Today will focus on Nonprofits. Articles will range from the “Delaware Advantage” to nonprofit organizations needing nonprofit lawyers. In addition, other features include keeping pace with disruptive technological change, insurance bad faith recoveries, and constitutional issues in granting Americans a “Right to Dispute.”

Do you have a great idea for a BLT article? Would you like to see more of a featured column? Let us know how we can make Business Law Today the best resource for you and your clients. We welcome any suggestions. Please send us your feedback here.

Business Law Section Fall Meeting
November 18-19, 2016
Washington, DC

Business Law Section Spring Meeting
April 6-8, 2017
New Orleans, LA

Miscellaneous IT Related Legal News (MIRLN) 25 September - 15 October 2016 (v19.14)

BLT is a web-based publication drawing upon the best of the Section's resources, including featured articles and other information from around the Section. Stay informed on the latest business law practice news and information that will benefit you and your clients.