Simon has extensive expertise in acting for financial institutions, their directors and senior management and professionals in financial insurance, insolvency and litigation; which includes their cyber, regulatory investigations and employment needs.
Simon has a high profile in financial lines insurance, particularly in trade-credit cover, directors and officers claims, financial institutions blanket bond cover, professional indemnity and fraud cases. Simon regularly acts in cyber attacks, incident response, and breach coach roles. His practice extends across the Asia Pacific region.
Apart from shareholders disputes, fraud, accounting irregularities and bribery/corruption, Simon’s financial institutions practice incorporates regulatory investigations. He currently acts for a number of financial and securities industry clients in confidential regulatory matters in Hong Kong and regionally.
Simon's employment practice is employer orientated and often involves contentious, complex matters in the Hong Kong Courts relating to team moves, senior management issues, breaches of duty, confidentiality, and restrictive covenant enforcement. It also extends to corporate restructuring, redundancy, employment contract and company policies.
Simon is a Council Member of Law Society of Hong Kong.
Simon is also a committee of Hong Kong Insurers Club. Simon is ranked in Chambers Asia Pacific 2022 (and has been for over a decade) in Band 1 for contentious insurance lawyers. Chambers states: “Simon McConnell is a market-leading lawyer specialising in contentious financial lines insurance matters, and also serves as managing partner of the Hong Kong office. "He is thorough and detail-oriented," according to one client, elaborating that "I particularly love his attitude and flexibility.”
Simon again been listed in the "Hall of Fame" for insurance in the Legal 500 Asia Pacific 2022 Guide, and has been ranked as a leading insurance practitioner in this category for over 10 years. Simon is also ranked in Who's Who Legal: Insurance & Reinsurance 2022, and in Who's Who Legal: Thought Leaders – Hong Kong 2020.
Simon is also ranked and recommended in Legal 500 (2021) Dispute Resolution: Litigation, as the head of a "clear thinking" Litigation team.
Simon is praised for providing "very pragmatic service for local and multinational corporates across the spectrum of their employment needs, from day-to-day human resources requirements to critical global business change projects" (Legal 500 Asia Pacific 2020: Hong Kong – Labour and Employment).
Financial Institutions, Directors, Regulatory Investigations and Cyber Experience
- Acting for multiple insurers in handling a significant number of US securities class actions against Chinese companies, involving very large exposures, regulatory investigations and cross-border issues
- Representing insurers in respect of losses arising from the Tianjin explosion in August 2015
- Acting for international banks the subject of fraud and employee dishonesty, including tracing of assets; recovery actions; regulatory investigations; and litigation
- Litigating Hong Kong and PRC joint venture disputes, including to the Hong Kong Court of Final Appeal
- Representing insurers in the context of Lehman Minibonds, regulatory investigation and litigation
- Advising in relation to data breaches involving hospitality and leisure companies in Hong Kong and regionally
Restructuring & Insolvency Experience
- Representing the liquidators of a group of Hong Kong companies in the pursuit of controllers/ directors, parent company and related parties comprising a fraudulent scheme, including European VAT Fraud
- Acting for a Mainland Chinese Bank in High Court Litigation against multiple financial Institutions and insolvent/ liquidated companies arising from letters of credit for hundreds of millions of US dollars
- Representing liquidators, and Voluntary administrators, appointed to a global retail group. Including insolvent trading claims against directors and the parent company/ de facto directors
- Representing a core unsecured creditor in the collapse (provisional liquidation) of a major Hong Kong listed construction group
- Representing D&O insurers, and insured directors, in insolvent/ wrongful trading and breach of duty claims in Hong Kong, Mainland China, Cayman Islands, and USA
- Advising insolvency practitioners/ and creditors on voidable transactions, 'clawback's', retention of title, liens and other possessory securities
- Advising Asian airlines as to director's duties generally and pre-and post-appointment of external administrators/ liquidators
- Representing corporates (listed and non-listed) as to their reporting and disclosure obligations to the market, and other stakeholders, including in the context of CoVid-19 disruption
- Advising as to restructuring proposals, shareholders consents and sale of core assets in distressed circumstances
- Advising a globally diversified financial services group on the employment aspects of the acquisition of an international insurer including in relation to due diligence, the transfer of employees to business purchasers, and the creation of a comprehensive employee benefits program.
- Advising participants of the financial services industry on 'team moves', employment laws, regulatory issues, restrictive covenants and injunctive relief in Hong Kong.
- Advising a number of companies on general immigration queries regarding Hong Kong permanent residency and nationality, MPF and tax requirements.
- Review of employment contract, localized an English employment contract into a Hong Kong employment contract for a risk management firm.
- Advising a financial services company on employment disputes in relation to probationary issue.
- Participated in negotiations in relation to termination arrangements of a senior employee/director; prepared severance and release documents on behalf of a leading marine insurance underwriter.
- Advising a hospitality chain to review various employment documents, including worldwide employment policies, employee's handbook, offer letter/ contract, HR policies on harassment, disciplinary procedures, fair treatment, ethical conduct, confidential information, information security, copyright, personal information privacy, etc.
- Advising a financial services companies and airlines on employment disputes in relation to summary dismissal.
- Advising various clients on HR matters, including drafting and reviewing company handbooks, tax benefit schemes, and annual leave / sickness allowance.
- Advising an international insurance broker on dealing with the allegation of unlawful dismissal claim raised by a former senior employee.
- Advising an international retail chain of an employment issue arising from misconduct of staff behaviour in their frontline retail stores