Kareena Teh

kareena-teh

Kareena Teh

Senior Partner

Hong Kong | Dechert, 31/F Jardine House, One Connaught Place, Central, Hong Kong
+852 3518 4755 | +852 3518 4777

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Kareena Teh represents corporations and individuals in governance, regulatory and compliance matters, as well as in corporate and commercial disputes. Ms. Teh’s experience in these areas includes representing clients in government, regulatory and internal investigations into bribery, corruption, fraud, market misconduct, money laundering and securities fraud issues, in corporate compliance counselling and in disputes relating to directors’ and officers’ liability, shareholders’ remedies, investments and joint ventures, insolvency as well as in asset-tracing claims, recovery actions and insurance litigation.

Ms. Teh is the first female solicitor in Hong Kong to be granted higher rights of audience, a recently established designation that permits select, highly-qualified litigators to represent clients in civil matters in all levels of Hong Kong’s judicial system.

Ms. Teh has been recognized by Chambers Global, Chambers Asia Pacific and The Legal 500 Asia Pacific for her dispute resolution practice in China and Hong Kong, and the most recent editions of Chambers note that she "can think on her feet" and is a "star in the making".  In addition, she has been recognized by The Legal 500 Asia Pacific for her regulatory, anti-corruption and compliance work in Hong Kong. She was “Highly Commended” in the Financial Times “Asia-Pacific Innovative Lawyers” Report 2017 for her work in the Dispute Resolution category, and profiled in Global Investigations Review’s 2015 “Women in Investigations” that highlighted 100 top women in investigations globally.  

Prior to joining Dechert, she was a partner in the Hong Kong office of an international law firm.

Significant Representations

Government and Internal Investigations

  • Advising a multinational pharmaceutical company in government and internal investigations of its Chinese subsidiary focusing on business operations and marketing activities with healthcare professionals and hospitals in China involving hospitality, sponsorships, donations and advertising, and in labor claims arising therefrom.
  • Representing a former executive of a multinational banking and financial services company in investigations by inter alia the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, the U.S. Department of Justice and the Hong Kong Independent Commission Against Corruption into the company’s hiring practices.
  • Advising an Indian private equity fund manager in relation to potential exposure under the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and U.K. Bribery Act arising from a joint venture investment in South East Asia.
  • Advising a Chinese oil & gas company on potential exposure under the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and the U.K. Bribery Act arising from alleged payments made by its European-based subsidiary to certain African government officials in connection to the award of exploration rights.
  • Advising a multinational life science company on possible compliance issues in China related to clinical trials of a new drugs.
  • Representing a leading multinational manufacturer of safety equipment in an internal investigation into an alleged kick-back scheme between its employees and its suppliers in Hong Kong and China.
  • Advising a multinational life science company on aspects of Hong Kong’s anti-corruption and competition laws and their application to specific sales practices adopted in relation to various medical institutions (both Government and privately owned) in Hong Kong.
  • Advising a leading international mining group in relation to investigations in Hong Kong, China and Mongolia relating to allegations of corruption, fraud and insider dealing, evaluating internal controls and compliance policies, and responding to inquiries from regulators in British Columbia and the U.S.
  • Advising multi-national corporations in relation to investigations in China, Hong Kong, Vietnam and Indonesia into possible fraud, corruption, smuggling, and money laundering issues, and disclosure to foreign and domestic regulators.
  • Representing a multinational supplier of fresh produce in internal investigations arising out of alleged customs violations in China, evaluating risks, and advising on governance issues and internal controls.
  • Advising and acting for multi-national corporations, financial institutions, fund managers, and lawyers on money laundering issues: setting up and implementing anti-money laundering policies and procedures; advising on disclosure obligations, preparing suspicious transaction reports and liaising with authorities; advising on liability of organization, officers and employees for dealing non-disclosure offences, adequacy of internal reporting procedures, scope and application of restraint and charging orders prohibiting disposal of assets, production orders and cooperation with authorities in investigations; and advising on information sharing and provision of assistance by local and overseas authorities, including under the Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters Ordinance.
  • Conducting compliance due diligence advising on risks and appropriate measures to minimize liability in cross-border transactions and investments and conducting customized compliance training for senior management, legal counsel, compliance officers, operational staff and third parties of multinational clients with operations in Asia.
  • Acting (on secondment) as compliance officer to a major multinational trading group, advising on compliance issues, policies and procedures.

Regulatory Enforcement

  • Advising a multinational investment firm in investigations into its Chinese operations in relation to allegations of market manipulation (arising from the use of algorithmic and high-frequency trading), corruption, tax evasion and money laundering in the context of China’s stock market crash in mid-2015.
  • Representing a substantial licensed securities brokerage firm in investigations by the Securities and Futures Commision into various aspects of its cross-border (Hong Kong / China) online operations, including its complaince with anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism financing obligations.
  • Representing a trader in connection with investigations by the Hong Kong Monetary Authority into alleged manipulation of foreign exchange benchmarks and collusion among foreign exchange traders.
  • Advising a Hong Kong licensed corporation on Hong Kong regulatory matters including an investigation by the Securities and Futures Commission into algorithmic and high speed trading in stocks listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange and related issues.
  • Advising a European alternative investment manager in relation to alleged false or misleading statements in the IPO prospectus of a Hong Kong listed company in which it made investments and potential claims against the listed company, its directors and the IPO sponsors, located in Hong Kong, China and other jurisdictions, and complaints to the Securities and Futures Commission.
  • Advising publicly traded U.S. corporations, whose main operations are in China, in respect of internal investigations into possible securities fraud and corruption issues, evaluating the companies’ compliance programmes, and responding to requests contained in Securities and Exchange Commission investigative subpoenas.
  • Representing a former director of a Hong Kong-listed company, in regulatory investigation into numerous allegations including breaches of disclosure requirements, providing false and misleading information, and insider dealing under the Securities and Futures Ordinance arising from inter alia the operations of the company’s offshore subsidiaries. The investigation also includes allegations that arise out of disputes between substantial shareholders and directors including that the business of the company is being conducted in a manner oppressive to its members or a part of its members.
  • Representing the former director and CFO of a Hong Kong-listed company in investigations by the Hong Kong Stock Exchange into various substantial payments and loans made by the company in relation to the potential acquisition of a target company that did not ultimately proceed.
  • Advising on disclosure of litigation risks in relation to an initial public offering in Hong Kong arising from high profile cross border shareholders’ disputes.

Complex Commercial Litigation

  • Advising a multinational company in investigations into a global fraud perpetrated against numerous parties involved in the financing of shipments of metal products by multinational shipping companies, filing a complaint with governmental authorities, tracing assets and pursuing recovery actions including successfully obtaining asset freezing orders and disclosure orders in support of LCIA arbitrations and U.S. court proceedings. The engagement also involves assisting our client with numerous disputes with multinational shipping companies, freight forwarders and shippers over title to the metal products and liability for costs and expenses associated with the shipping and storage of the metal products.
  • Representing a leading multinational corporation in the automotive industry in defending claims in excess of US$150 million, involving allegations of fraud and bribery, disputes as to the authenticity of documentary evidence and competency of a key witness to give witness. We successfully obtained orders for the issuance of a letter of request for depositions to be taken from foreign officials.
  • Representing a China-based U.S.-listed online game operator in a dispute arising from a joint venture agreement for the development and operation of a massively multiplayer online game in China.
  • Representing a global technology leader and supplier to rail, mining and energy industries in enforcing a substantial HKIAC arbitral award of approximately US$500 million in various jurisdictions, including Hong Kong and China. We successfully obtained orders in Hong Kong setting aside fraudulent transactions, damages, an order and warrant for committal, and indemnity costs.
  • Representing a U.S. based investment fund in proceedings in the U.S., Hong Kong and Singapore to enforce a judgment for approximately US$50 million against a multi-national manufacturing conglomerate. The engagement involved numerous novel legal issues, including the enforceability of a renewed U.S. court judgment in Hong Kong and Singapore, and obtaining worldwide freezing orders against the judgment debtors and accounts receivable from their third party trade partners in those jurisdictions.
  • Representing minority shareholders of a BVI incorporated SPV involved in a joint venture to construct and operate the Sichuan Yi Chuan Expressway in unfair prejudice claims against the majority shareholder for exclusion from management, excessive directors’ remuneration and breach of dividend policies.
  • Advising offshore convertible bond holders on cross border recovery actions in the context of a Chinese court led reorganization.
  • Representing a renowned electronics multinational in Hong Kong and Chinese proceedings regarding the ownership of important trademark registrations in China.
  • Representing a Hong Kong listed company (and its officers) acting as a white knight concerning allegations of breach of fiduciary duties in relation to the management of the affairs of the Hong Kong listed restructuring target resulting ultimately in Hong Kong’s largest insolvency (at that time) of a reputed deficit of US$1.2 billion.
  • Representing the potential beneficiary of estate assets in the form of shareholding in a major Hong Kong corporate group valued at tens of billions of dollars and involving numerous pieces of commercial litigation, including claims concerning the ownership, control and management of a principal holding company within the group with assets worth up to HK$7 billion, and claims to recover fees and costs of up to HK$300 million.
  • Representing privately-held companies in disputes over ownership and control of major assets valued at several hundred million U.S. dollars, resisting Mareva injunctions and the appointment of receivers and managers.
  • Representing former directors of Japanese and Hong Kong privately held companies in claims for misappropriation of company assets and corporate opportunities.
  • Acting in claims for breach of trust in one of New Zealand’s most significant trusts disputes involving assets worth up to NZ$70 million. These claims included access to trust documents, removal of trustees and settling aside resettlements.
  • Representing indemnifiers of a merchant bank in one of New Zealand’s longest-running and most significant corporate disputes relating to the provision of financial assistance in the purchase of shares in a listed company.    

Includes matters handled at Dechert or prior to joining the firm.

Education
  • University of Canterbury, New Zealand, LL.B., 1989, with Honors
  • Institute of Professional Legal Studies, 1989
Admissions
  • Hong Kong
  • New Zealand
  • England and Wales (non-practicing)
Languages
  • English
  • Bahasa Malaysia
  • Simplified Chinese
Memberships

Hong Kong Law Society – Anti-Money Laundering Committee and Solicitor Advocates Interest Group
Hong Kong Institute of Directors
Hong Kong Institute of Certified Public Accountants - Restructuring and Insolvency Faculty
International Women’s Insolvency and Restructuring Confederation in Hong Kong
American Chamber of Commerce in Hong Kong