Des Voeux Chambers‘ Catrina Lam joined forces with Paul Harris QC from London’s Monckton Chambers and David Chu, Litigation Partner from Proskauer Rose on Monday 11th September in a Competition Law training session aimed at general and in-house counsel from a range of Fortune 500 companies, SMEs and newly launched start-ups in association with the HKCCA. The event was held at Proskauer Rose’s offices.
Catrina‘s presentation covered compliance, dawn raids and risk management, David Chu weighed in on the Competition Commission’s investigatory powers and Paul Harris QC wrapped up with some insights as to how deal with such raids and investigations drawn from extensive experience in the UK and EU.
After an informative overview of the First Conduct Rule under the Competition Ordinance, Catrina outlined the do’s and don’ts associated with undertakings, agreements and concerted practices and turned the spotlight on serious anti-competitive conduct and its attendant implications. She also presented an engaging commentary on Information Exchange – including a segment on why divulging too much could cost you, and concluded with actionable take-aways for our audience on what constituted abuse of substantial market power in the context of the Second Conduct Rule.
David Chu addressed the subject of the investigatory powers of the Competition Commission, in particular its power of search and seizure during “dawn raids”, in addition to the provision of leniency agreements under the Competition Ordinance. Mr Chu discussed specific strategies for dealing with document production notices from the Commission including why voluntary disclosure beyond the scope required by a notice can be beneficial in certain circumstances. Mr Chu also highlighted the practical considerations for in-house counsel when responding to a dawn raid, including how to deal with issues of preserving legal professional privilege over relevant documents and what procedures to adopt during the search to ensure the search and confiscated or copied documents are properly documented.
Paul Harris QC concluded with some practical tips as to how to respond most effectively and efficiently as the subject of an investigation/raid, some further aspects of information exchange (including in the context of trade associations) and with some of the strategic considerations that arise with considering an application for leniency, especially under the Competition Ordinance and associated guidance.