US-headquartered law firm, Dechert, has announced the appointment of Maria Sit as managing partner for its Hong Kong office, effective October 14.
“As an important financial hub, Hong Kong continues to generate opportunities to Dechert’s global clients and the legal industry. For example, on the regulatory front, the Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) has introduced a new regulatory framework regarding virtual assets and also a consultation paper to extend SFC’s enforcement powers. With the appointment of the new enforcement head, we are likely to see an uptick in enforcement actions in the next 12 to 24 months,” Sit told FinanceAsia.
Hong Kong’s regulators on Monday unveiled a new licensing regime for virtual asset service providers (VASP) in the territory at this week’s Fintech Week.
“We expect to see an increased demand for support in this area,” Sit added.
In addition to the new position, Sit will retain her role as the Asia head and global co-leader of the White Collar, Compliance and Investigations practice, she confirmed.
She replaces David Cho, who left Dechert to join Millbank as a partner, in January 2022. Eric Deltour, head of Dechert’s Asian offices, oversaw operations in Hong Kong in the interim.
Sit joined Dechert joined in 2019 from Davis Polk & Wardwell. Prior to this, she served as legal counsel at Hong Kong’s SFC.
Sit is currently advising Asia Cement Corporation on a litigation case involving Hong Kong, the Cayman Islands, the US and other jurisdictions. She described the situation as the “largest cement industry litigation saga” in these territories, while declining to disclose further details. Sit is also an advisor to Taiping Trustees, the investment arm of the Chinese state-owned insurance conglomerate, China Taiping Insurance Group, on a number of high-value investment disputes.
The Dechert team declined to comment on any future hiring plans.
The firm recently established its first restructuring unit in APAC with the appointment of Daniel Margulies, who recently told FA how current macro events are creating opportunities for the business.
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