The Managing Partner of Dechert's Hong Kong office, Maria Sit is the Asia head and global co-leader of the firm’s White Collar, Compliance and Investigations practice. She is a former in-house counsel at the Securities and Futures Commission of Hong Kong.
Ms. Sit has expertise in handling joint investigations by a range of regulatory bodies, both in Asia and elsewhere. These include the U.S. Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control, the U.S. Commerce Department’s Bureau of Industry and Security, U.S. Department of Justice, China Securities Regulatory Commission, Securities & Futures Commission of Hong Kong, Hong Kong Monetary Authority, the Commercial Crime Bureau of Hong Kong, the Hong Kong Independent Commission Against Corruption, Monetary Authority of Singapore and Financial Supervisory Commission (Taiwan).
Ms. Sit has built her career as a litigator with two decades of experience focusing on complex commercial litigation and has a notable track record representing clients in a broad variety of high-profile cases in China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, and other jurisdictions around the world including the United Kingdom, the Cayman Islands, the British Virgin Islands and Bermuda.
Most recently, Ms. Sit has been ranked by Chambers Greater China 2022 as a leading lawyer for China Financial Services: Contentious Regulatory. Clients have also commented in Legal500 Asia Pacific 2022 that “Maria can always grasp the key points of the problem quickly and accurately. She has solid business knowledge” and “is bilingual, responsive, and able to provide our company with comprehensive legal services with high efficiency and quality. She is our preferred legal counsel”. She was “Highly Commended” in the Financial Times’ Innovative Lawyers Asia Pacific 2020 report, and singled out by the Financial Times individually for significant achievement in a complex global wire fraud with a full recovery for a client in a matter of 4 days, a feat described by a Hong Kong Judge as “exceptionally rare.” In addition, Ms. Sit has been recognized among Global Investigations Review’s 100 leading women in investigations and shortlisted as one of the finalists in the ‘Financial Services Regulatory’ category by IFLR's Women in Business Law Awards 2020 – Asia. Ms. Sit has also been recognized by IFLR1000 Women in Business Expert Guides 2022 for Financial Services Regulatory in Hong Kong.
Prior to joining Dechert, Ms. Sit practiced at a global law firm in Hong Kong and worked in offices in London and Tokyo at another global law firm.
- A Taiwan-listed company in the largest cement industry litigation saga in Hong Kong and in the Cayman Islands.
- A Chinese energy company in both litigation and arbitration in Hong Kong and in the United Kingdom.
- An international financial institution on large-scale global internal investigations.
- Asia-listed companies and their directors and officers on a broad range of regulatory issues.
- A major U.S. law firm in a professional negligence claim in the High Court of Hong Kong.
- U.S.-based mutual funds on cross-border litigation and global recovery actions.
- Financial institutions on regulatory matters, including major compliance failures and market misconduct, and also conducted internal investigations.
- Clients in regulatory investigations and enforcement actions by the Securities and Futures Commission, the Hong Kong Monetary Authority, and the Independent Commission Against Corruption.
- A U.S. mutual fund in the Market Misconduct Tribunal concerning insider dealing by one of its U.S. fund managers.
- The Stock Exchange of Hong Kong Limited on judicial review in relation to the Listing Appeals Committee’s decision.
- A consortium of Chinese investors in Hong Kong court proceedings regarding disputes over land development projects in Shanghai and Beijing.
- The investment arm of the Dubai Government in Hong Kong court proceedings concerning the exercise of a share option of a Hong Kong listed company.
- The Law Society of Hong Kong in appeal proceedings concerning the decisions of the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal.
- A consortium of Japanese-listed companies in an LCIA arbitration.
- A multinational energy company in an ICC arbitration.
- A venture capital fund in a HKIAC arbitration.
- Lloyd’s underwriters in an LCIA arbitration.
Includes matters handled at Dechert or prior to joining the firm.
Corporate, The New Normal Law Guide 2020, LexisNexis (August 2020)
Arbitrator, Shenzhen Court of International Arbitration (also known as South China International Economic and Trade Arbitration Commission)
- University of Hong Kong, LL.B., Law, 2000
- University of Hong Kong, Postgraduate Certificate in Laws, 2001
- Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, M.B.A., 2008
- Hong Kong
- England and Wales