Keynote Speakers

Opening Keynote Sponsored by Lex Mundi

Dane ChamorroThe Association of Corporate Counsel is pleased to introduce Dane Chamorro as our opening keynote speaker to the 2019 ACC Asia-Pacific Annual Meeting.

The opening keynote presentation will address the topic of 'navigating the new geo-political and economic reality in the Asia Pacific region.'

Since the end of the Cold War, multinationals have increased their share of the global economy and now dominate global trade and financial flows. An international footprint naturally increases exposure to the vagaries of geopolitics, from trade wars to extraterritorial regulatory sanctions. The degree of political risk faced by companies has intensified - locating a new factory is now a political statement as much as a commercial consideration. Data is being regulated as never before. China has risen as an external economic juggernaut but also a source of concern. South and Southeast Asia's electoral cycles are changing policy. Over 100 million new urbanites will become part of the consuming class in Vietnam, Indonesia and the Philippines. What are some of the unique challenges investors in Asia will face in 2019? How can business realise the considerable commercial opportunities while mitigating the risks?

Dane Chamorro is a Senior Partner in Control Risks Asia Pacific business and has more than 25 years' experience in the region. A former US diplomat, Dane specialises in business intelligence and regularly advises strategic investors and private equity firms on political and partner risks, corporate governance and high-profile business disputes.

A frequent speaker at international conferences on China and Asian politics, governance and investment, Dane previously worked as a government programs manager for Swiss group SGS (Société Générale de Surveillance) developing fiscal governance programmes for sovereign clients in South and South-East Asia. He also previously worked as a consultant for the Hong Kong office of Chicago's Technomic Consultants, Thailand's Manager Media Group and advised on government relations for the world's largest nuclear fuel trading firm.

Dane has a degree in international finance from Georgetown University's School of Foreign Service and completed graduate research on comparative Asian political-economy and security issues at the University of California. He is an honours graduate of the US Army Intelligence School, speaks Mandarin Chinese and is a Certified Fraud Examiner and licensed investigator in Singapore. Dane is also a member of the Pacific Council on International Policy.

Q & A with Dane Chamorro about the evolving role of in-house in the Asia-Pacific region:

1. In-house counsel are increasingly viewed as strategic advisors to their organisations; What are the key short-term regional strategic considerations in-house lawyers across Asia should be mindful of while advising their organisations?
Politics is number one right now - whether domestic or international - but it's important not to be distracted by the "sensational" (Trump tweets, N Korea, etc). The things that we see ensnaring our clients the most is the day to day issues - governance failures, 'new' regulations , competitors playing dirty, etc.
2. What are the long-term trends that will impact businesses operating across the Asian region should be mindful of?
What I've seen is a general displacement of FDI from Europe and North America by North Asian corporates. This is changing the competitive nature of many sectors/markets and this in turn will have a knock on effect on regulatory structures over time. An example would be China's 'Digital Silk Road', 5G etc. You will have really for the first time Asian corporations and technology setting the standards and specifications for some sectors.
3. In considering parallels between a geo-political and economic reality, do you also see a growing legal reality for businesses operating in Asia? Considering increased regulation, protectionism, anti-bribery, etc?
Certainly. Increased regulation is an unstoppable trend. Sometimes its filling a severe need, eg, better environmental protection. But regulatory systems can also be 'weaponised', esp against foreign players. This is actually one of our top 5 risks for business in Asia in 2019 - the weaponisation of environmental regulation.
4. ACC recently released the 2019 Chief Legal Officers survey, developed from a survey of over 1600 Chief Legal Officers globally. Asian respondents highlighted that the three issues expected to have the biggest impact on legal departments in 2019 are Mergers and Acquisitions, Ethics and compliance; and Regulatory and Governmental changes. Based on your experience and exposure within the region, do you agree and what if any other factors do you expect to impact on in-house legal departments across Asia over the next 12 months?
Completely agree. I would also add 'resilience'. We define this as the ability to anticipate, mitigate and recover from external shocks to the business. Organizations that do this well realize opportunity sustainably, those that don't often destroy value when confronting a crisis. And even if you do everything right in emerging markets they have a tendency to generate unexpected shocks.


Closing Keynote Presentation

Winnie YeungACC is pleased to announce Winnie Cheung will deliver the closing keynote presentation to the 2019 ACC Asia-Pacific Annual Meeting.

In her closing presentation, Winnie will discuss the converging legal and ethical issues arising from programming, robotics and artificial intelligence.

As Artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning algorithms continue to advance, ensuring that AI is legally compliant and ethical is one of the great issues for humankind – and for lawyers. As technology advances, the machines and algorithms being driven by AI are becoming increasingly complex and our ability to control them and the decisions they make is becoming ever more limited. In this new world, ensuring that AI entities can explain their decision-making processes will be extremely important. This session explores the ethical issues which are becoming ever more relevant in today’s technological workplace.

Winnie Yeung is the Chief Legal Director at Microsoft Hong Kong. Within that role, Winnie is responsible for all government, industry and community affairs activities as well as legal work at Microsoft Hong Kong. Yeung plays a leading role at the Company on intellectual property, corporate compliance, privacy and other Internet legal and public policy issues while also overseeing the strategy development and delivery of the Company’s citizenship initiative.

Yeung has extensive experience in the IT and media/entertainment industries. Before joining Microsoft®, she was in private practice in Hong Kong, specialising in IT licensing, Intellectual Property Rights protection and enforcement. Prior to taking up her current position, she also acted as the regional LCA lead for Microsoft’s Xbox® team in Asia.

Yeung graduated from the Faculty of Law at the University of Hong Kong. She is accredited as a solicitor in Hong Kong and England and Wales. She also holds an MBA from the University of Toronto.