Highly Regarded Financial Regulatory Lawyer Joins Latham & Watkins in Hong Kong

Arrival of Simon Hawkins further strengthens Latham’s integrated global financial regulatory practice.

June 07, 2017

Latham & Watkins is pleased to announce that Simon Hawkins has joined the firm’s Hong Kong office as a counsel in the Financial Institutions Group. Hawkins has significant experience advising banks, insurance companies, securities firms, fund managers, and FinTech companies on a variety of complex transactions and regulatory matters including licensing, prime brokerage arrangements, securities dealing, financial market regulations, intermediary and distribution arrangements, and product development and structuring. 

Hawkins also frequently advises on the regulatory aspects of capital markets and M&A deals involving financial institutions, and he has particular expertise in structuring and negotiating bancassurance arrangements. Over the years, he has advised clients in relation to regulatory investigations, data privacy, and compliance with the Securities and Futures Ordinance, in particular market misconduct offences and disclosure of interest rules, as well as conducting multi-jurisdictional financial services regulatory surveys in the Asia-Pacific region. 

“We are delighted to welcome Simon to the firm,” said Josef Athanas, Office Managing Partner of Latham & Watkins in Hong Kong. “Simon has practised in Hong Kong for the past eight years and, during this time, he has played a lead role on several major regulatory matters that further demonstrate the increasing complexity of the market. His experience complements our market-leading practice in Asia, and he will be a great asset to clients who are navigating ever-growing regulatory issues crossing multiple jurisdictions, as well as fast-evolving areas like FinTech."

Rob Moulton, Global Co-Chair of Latham & Watkins’ Financial Institutions Industry Group, added: “Simon is well-known and highly regarded among the financial services industry in Hong Kong and more widely across the region. He is a gifted lawyer whose practical, commercial approach resonates with clients navigating the regulatory environment. He has that rare combination of a deep understanding of market forces and regulations and his broad practice will significantly enhance our capabilities in Asia.” 

“Financial institutions are facing a rapidly evolving regulatory environment, where changes in any one jurisdiction can have far-reaching consequences for the entire global operation,” said Witold Balaban, Global Co-Chair of Latham’s Financial Institutions Group and Global Co-Chair of the firm’s Capital Markets Practice. “We are committed to establishing the preeminent integrated global financial regulatory practice, with market-leading strength in the US, Europe and Asia to serve our clients on their most complex transactional, regulatory, FinTech and enforcement matters. To cover this industry on a global basis, you need strength and scale around the world: we have aggressively grown top-tier practices on both sides of the Atlantic, and done so in a truly integrated fashion, and Simon’s arrival in Hong Kong is an important step forward in the execution of our global strategy.” 

Hawkins joins Latham & Watkins from the Hong Kong office of Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer. He received a BA in Chinese & Asia Pacific Studies from the University of Leeds in the UK before completing his GDL and LPC at BPP Law School in London. 

Hawkins’ arrival in Hong Kong follows recent high profile additions to the firm’s global Financial Institutions Group. In addition to Rob Moulton, partners Nicola Higgs and Wenchi Hu have joined Latham in London and New York, respectively. Moulton and Higgs are among the UK’s leading financial regulatory practitioners with vast experience advising financial institutions and market infrastructure providers on a wide range of complex domestic and cross-border regulatory issues. Hu joined Latham from the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), where she served as Head of the Office of Clearance and Settlement Supervision. Her practice focuses on financial regulation, risk management and market infrastructure. 

About Latham & Watkins

Latham & Watkins is a global law firm with more than 2,400 lawyers in its offices located in Asia, Europe, the Middle East and the United States, including: Barcelona, Beijing, Boston, Brussels, Century City, Chicago, Dubai, Düsseldorf, Frankfurt, Hamburg, Hong Kong, Houston, London, Los Angeles, Madrid, Milan, Moscow, Munich, New York, Orange County, Paris, Riyadh, Rome, San Diego, San Francisco, Seoul, Shanghai, Silicon Valley, Singapore, Tokyo and Washington, D.C. For more information on Latham & Watkins, please visit the website at www.lw.com

Notes to Editors

Latham & Watkins operates as a limited liability partnership worldwide with affiliated limited liability partnerships conducting the practice in the United Kingdom, France and Italy and affiliated partnerships conducting the practice in Hong Kong, Japan and Singapore. Latham & Watkins operates in Seoul as a Foreign Legal Consultant Office. Latham & Watkins practices in Saudi Arabia in association with the Law Office of Salman M. Al-Sudairi. 


Josef Athanas, Hong Kong Office Managing Partner, +852.2912.2718

Rob Moulton, Global Co-Chair of the Financial Institutions Industry Group, +44.20.7710.4523

Witold Balaban, Global Co-Chair of the Financial Institutions Group and Global Co-Chair of the Capital Markets Practice, +1.212.906.4550

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