NEOH, Anthony Francis SC
Chairman, Asian Academy of International Law
Anthony Neoh is a senior member of the Hong Kong Bar, active in civil appellate and international litigation and arbitration. Born and educated in Hong Kong, he is a Chinese National and a permanent resident of the HKSAR. From 1964- 66, he was a High School Mathematics Teacher and from 1966-1979, he was a member of the HK Civil Service, the last 10 years as a Member of the Administrative Service. Among his civil service appointments, he was Secretary to the Chinese Language Committee (1970-1971) and City District Commissioner for Kowloon (1974-1975). His last posting was as an Assistant Director of the ICAC (1976-1979). He took no pay leave between 1975-1976 to complete his legal qualifications in the United Kingdom. In 1979, he left the Civil Service and commenced private legal practice at the Hong Kong Bar. He was appointed Queen’s Counsel (re-named Senior Counsel from 1 July 1997) in 1990 and in 1991, was appointed Deputy Judge of the High Court. He returned to public office in 1995. From 1995-1998, he was Chairman of the Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission during which time, he was the first Asian to be elected to the Technical Committee of the International Organisation for Securities Commissions. From 1999-2004, he was Chief Advisor to the China Securities Regulatory Commission (“CSRC”) at the personal invitation of former Premier Zhu Rongji.
He has been an Arbitrator for the China International Economic and Trade Arbitration Commission since 1989, International Economic Adviser for Fujian Province (2001-2004), Xiamen Municipal Government (1993-1996), Shenzhen Municipal Government (1989 – 1997), and Senior Economic Adviser of the City of Tianjin (2000 – 2003), Senior Adviser of the Bank of China Hong Kong (2002-2004), Member of the Board of the Hospital Authority (1989- 1995) and Member of the Standing Committee on Directorate Salaries and Conditions of Service Standing Committee on Judicial Salaries and Conditions of Service (1992- 1998), and a Member of the ICAC Review Committee (1990-1991). He was a Council Member and Member of the Listing Committee of the Hong Kong Stock Exchange from 1992-1995, during which time he was Leader of the Stock Exchange Legal Group which formulated the legal structure for the listing of the shares of Chinese companies in Hong Kong, Chair of the Disciplinary Committee and Chair of the Debt Securities Group. From 1986 – 1995, he was Legal Advisor to the Chinese Delegation of the Land Commission under the Sino-British Joint Liaison Committee. He also assisted the Central Military Commission in drafting the Garrison Law for the HKSAR. From 1997 – 2007, he was a Member of the Hong Kong Basic Law Committee of the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress. Since 1992, he has been a Council Member of the Chinese University of Hong Kong and is currently, its Treasurer.
Since returning to private legal practice in 2004, he has appeared as leading Counsel in many cases before the Hong Kong Courts (including the Victoria Harbour Case for the Hong Kong Society for the Protection of the Harbour, in which the Court of Final Appeal affirmed the Order of the High Court preventing further reclamation of Victoria Harbour). In addition, he has been active as an international arbitrator in commercial and investment cases and was appointed by the PRC as one of eight persons from the PRC (and the only HK person) to the PRC’s Country Section in the List of Conciliators and Arbitrators in the World Bank’s International Centre for Investment Disputes, an international arbitral body set up to arbitrate international investment disputes between private investors and States.
In addition to his legal and arbitration practice, Mr. Neoh had been a board member of a number of prominent PRC listed companies, among which was the Bank of China (2004 – 2014), China Life (2009 – 2015), Shenhua Energy Holdings Company (2008-2013). He presently serves on three boards as Independent Non-executive director – Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, Citic Limited and New China Life Insurance Company. Because of his continuing involvement in financial services in the PRC, he was elected in May 2018, National Co-chair of the China Securities Forum (a national non-governmental body formed by financial institutions, law firms and individuals) formed to promote asset securitisation in China (a nascent market, now standing at over 3 Trillion RMB). He is also appointed in May 2018, Honorary Chairman and Adviser to the Asian Alliance of Financial Information Technology, a non-profit formed to promote standards in Fintech in Asia.
In the academic field, Mr Neoh has been Visiting Professor of many prestigious universities including Peking University, Tsinghua University, Zhejiang University and Zhongshan University. He is Honorary Professor to the Open University and Lingnan University. He has also been Visiting Professor and Visiting Scholar of the School of Law at Harvard University, USA, and from 2000-2003, he was an Adjunct Professor of the National College of Public Administration, Beijing. He was also a frequent lecturer on financial regulation in the Central Party School, Beijing from 1999 – 2003. He presently serves as Dean’s Visiting Professor at the Business Faculty, National University of Singapore. He was awarded Doctor of Laws, honoris causa, by the Chinese University in 2003. In 2009, he was elected an Academician of the Eurasian Academy of Sciences, received the International Award for Service to Finance by the Chartered Institute of Financial Analysts and was elected an Honorary Fellow of the HK Institute of Securities and Investment. In 2012 and 2016, he was awarded Doctor of Social Science, honoris causa, by the Open University and the Lingnan University respectively.
His research interests are in legal and financial history, comparative legal systems and current global issues of financial regulation and technology. He frequently lectures internationally on these subjects.
Apart from his experience in global issues in financial regulation and in international arbitration, he has kept up over the years a keen and continuing interest in other areas of public international law. He was one of the founding members of the International Law Society of Hong Kong and has lectured on public international law in financial and non-financial issues in many universities in the world. He judged many regional Jessup and Red Cross International Law Finals. Over the years he has kept up a long friendship and contact with international law practitioners.