Grace Chong

Of Counsel

Singapore

T +65 6831 5626
M +65 8869 0445
grace.chong@simmons-simmons.com

General Experience

Grace has over a decade of experience in advising financial institutions and corporates on regulatory and fintech matters in Southeast Asia, with a focus on Singapore and Hong Kong. A former in-house counsel at the Monetary Authority of Singapore, she regularly interacts with key regulators, is closely involved in regional regulatory reform initiatives and has led discussions with regulators on behalf of the financial services industry.

She has broad experience of advising on a range of regulatory topics, which include licensing and conduct of business requirements, anti-money laundering and sanctions, market misconduct, cross-border marketing, senior management accountability, corporate governance, resolution planning, and compliance framework assessments. She is also currently a member of the Asia Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association, the Alternative Investment Management Association and the Anti-Money Laundering Committee of the Law Society of Singapore.

Grace is a strong advocate for digital innovation, investments and critical infrastructural transformation. She has advised companies on regulatory issues in relation to licensing and payments services regulations, digital assets, robo-advice and online distribution platforms, virtual banking, custody and clearing, data protection and security, and outsourcing. She is also a certified cybersecurity professional (GLEG) and has experience conducting cybersecurity assessments and investigations in Asia.

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Recent Work

General Advisory

Advising several global banks, asset managers and corporates in relation to:

  • anti-money laundering policies and procedures and data retention policies across multiple jurisdictions in Asia, the Middle East and Europe
  • cross-border marketing and representative licensing arrangements in Asia
  • licensing and notification requirements in relation to new product offerings in Hong Kong and Singapore
  • capital markets compliance, including insider dealing and market misconduct issues, regulatory obligations as listed company sponsors, and issues arising out of pre-sounding and wall-crossing of buy-side market participants

Fintech / ICT

  • several technology / blockchain companies on the setup of cryptocurrency, commodities and/or clearing exchanges or other blockchain projects in Asia
  • several payment companies on their launch of new products and registration / licensing matters in Singapore an Hong Kong
  • several crypto brokerages on various regulatory matters and their launch of new services in Asia, and the development of frameworks for digital token due diligence

Regulatory Investigations

  • a global investment bank on investigations by the Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) in relation to the bank's role as an IPO sponsor
  • a commercial bank on its investigation into foreign exchange trading practices at desks in Singapore and Hong Kong
  • several investment managers in relation to their internal investigations into potential insider dealing and breaches of short-selling regulations
Background

Grace is admitted to practice law in Singapore and Hong Kong.

Grace has worked with ASIFMA to draft best practices for the development of fintech and for digital asset exchanges, as well as whitepapers on the impact of the forthcoming EU Benchmark Regulation on financial services firms operating in Asia Pacific. She also regularly speaks at various blockchain conferences, most recently at the Singapore Fintech Festival, Block Live Asia, Women on the Block, Beyond Blocks, SPOT, Duxes, and ETF-GI. She was also invited by the Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission to deliver a presentation on digital asset exchanges in 2018, and regularly contributes to various publications on a wide range of regulatory and fintech topics, including Regulation Asia.

Prior to joining the firm, Grace worked in the Hong Kong and Singapore financial services regulatory and litigation teams of various law firms. She has worked in the Global Internal Investigations Group of a large international bank, where she was involved in a wide range of internal investigations in several Asia Pacific countries, which had a legal, financial or reputational impact across the group. In this role, she was involved in matters involving the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, the UK Bribery Act, anti-money laundering laws, sanctions violations, and other financial crimes.

She also previously held a position as an Assistant Director in the Capital Markets Department of MAS.

Grace studied law on a MAS scholarship in University College London, where she graduated with a First Class and was awarded the International Corporate Rescue Award for Excellence for the best dissertation in the area of financial and/or corporate law. She has passed Level I of the CFA Program.