Hong Kong Regulatory Update – October 2019

Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP


This update provides an overview of key regulatory developments in the past three months relevant to companies listed, or planning to list, on The Stock Exchange of Hong Kong Limited (HKEx), and their advisers. In particular, it covers amendments to the Rules Governing the Listing of Securities on HKEx (Listing Rules) as well as announcements, guidance and enforcement-related news from HKEx and the Securities and Futures Commission (SFC). From time to time it may also cover other recent market developments. It is not our intention to cover all updates that may be relevant, but we welcome feedback, and if there are any other topics of interest that you'd like us to cover in the future please contact us.

SFC Statement on the Conduct and Duties of Directors When Considering Corporate Acquisitions or Disposals

HKEx Publishes Consultation Conclusions on Listing Rule Amendments to Crack Down on Backdoor Listing and Shell Activities

HKEx Publishes Consultation Paper on ‘Codification of General Waivers and Principles Relating to IPOs and Listed Issuers and Minor Rule Amendments’

HKEx Welcomes Public Consultation by SSE and SZSE on WVR-Related Rules Changes

Stock Connect Inclusion Arrangements Agreed Upon for A+H Companies Listed on STAR Market

Signing of Tri-Partite MoU on Audit Working Papers by Ministry of Finance, CSRC and SFC

HKEx Listing Committee Censures Shandong Molong and Some of its Former Directors for Disclosing Inaccurate Financial Information

Takeovers Panel Rules Against Waiver of General Offer Obligation in Proposed Maanshan Iron Acquisition

Market Misconduct Tribunal Fines Health and Happiness and its Officers for Late Disclosure of Inside Information

Current Regulatory Landscape of Security Token Offerings in Hong Kong

SFC Statement on the Conduct and Duties of Directors When Considering Corporate Acquisitions or Disposals

Shareholder litigation remains very rare in Hong Kong, and, in its absence, the SFC continues to step up its scrutiny of corporate transactions to ensure that directors are properly fulfilling their duties. In July 2019, the SFC published a statement on the conduct and duties of directors of listed companies when considering corporate acquisitions or disposals (the Statement).

The Statement highlights some common types of misconduct the SFC has observed during the course of its investigations and serves to remind directors and their advisers to comply with their statutory and other legal duties when evaluating or approving an acquisition or disposal. The Statement identifies the following key areas of concern:

  • Lack of independent professional valuation. While obtaining an independent professional valuation in relation to a planned acquisition or disposal is not expressly required by law or the Listing Rules, the SFC noted that failure to obtain a professional valuation may expose directors to a heightened risk of failing to exercise the necessary degree of care, skill and diligence.
  • Lack of independent judgment and accountability. Where an independent professional valuation was obtained, in some cases the directors simply relied on the vendor's forecasts in assessing the consideration for the target businesses, and the valuers also used those forecasts as the basis for their valuation without performing any independent due diligence. The SFC also noted that some valuers had “cherry-picked” comparable companies to justify a predetermined estimate of the target business.
  • Lack of assessment of quality of earnings of targets. The SFC noted instances where directors or their advisers performed little or no independent due diligence on or assessment of the forecasts, assumptions or business plans that were provided by the vendors or management of the targets. Some apparent risk factors, such as historical losses, sudden and unexplained increases in sales, unjustifiably high margins compared to industry peers, suspect nonrecurring items and apparently questionable or unsustainable sources of revenue were largely ignored.
  • Lack of fair presentation of comparables. Valuers and directors must use their own independent and professional judgment to select companies that have suitably similar characteristics to the target company and ensure that the comparables referred to in the valuation constitute a fair and representative sample.
  • Inadequate assessment of impact of planned acquisitions. In a number of cases, it appeared that companies would require substantial additional funds to meet the forecasts provided by the vendors, and these cash expenditures would have a substantial impact on the company’s financial position.
  • Inadequate protection or compensation sought from vendor. Many transactions involved companies paying consideration up front based on a profit forecast prepared by the vendor and a bare undertaking by the vendor to compensate the purchaser if the forecast was not met. However, there was inadequate verification performed of the vendor's ability to pay the compensation, or other alternative precautions such as holding funds in escrow, to protect the listed company's interests.
  • Suspicious connected parties. The SFC also noted suspicious transactions that suggest an undisclosed relationship or arrangement among purported independent third parties, particularly in situations where there are undisclosed arrangements or understandings that cause them to act in a coordinated manner to the detriment of the listed company and its shareholders.

The SFC Statement would seem to fly in the face of the “business judgment rule” applied by courts when assessing the conduct of directors and suggests that Hong Kong’s regulators will indeed second-guess the business judgment of directors when scrutinizing the transactions entered into by listed companies. Listed companies and their advisers will need to ensure that the process by which transactions are assessed and approved are properly conducted and fully documented to ensure the decision-making process is able to withstand regulatory scrutiny.

HKEx Publishes Consultation Conclusions on Listing Rule Amendments to Crack Down on Backdoor Listing and Shell Activities

On 26 July 2019, HKEx published conclusions to its consultation paper regarding “backdoor” listings and “shell” companies, continuing listing criteria and other related Listing Rule amendments. The corresponding amendments to the Listing Rules will come into effect on 1 October 2019.

The amendments are intended to crack down on companies that do not have a substantial business (known as shell companies) but maintain their listing status with a view to being purchased by buyers who wish to go public but are unable or unwilling to go through the “front door” to seek a listing status, and thus achieve their listing by acquiring shell companies and then injecting assets or businesses into them, a process known as a “reverse takeover” (RTO) or “backdoor listing.”

For further information on the consultation paper, the proposed amendments to the Listing Rules to combat backdoor listings and shell creation activities, please see our 1 August 2019 Hong Kong Regulatory Update. The proposed amendments detailed in that update will be implemented. We set out below the notable amendments.

The fundamental position that an acquisition by a listed company of a target larger than itself within close proximity of a change of control will be treated as an RTO necessitating a new listing application remains unchanged, albeit with some new modifications.

Amendments Relating to Backdoor Listings:

  • a number of rules previously contained in Guidance Letters published by HKEx have now been codified into the Listing Rules. These include the six RTO assessment criteria set out in Guidance Letter GL78-14 (i.e., transaction size, target quality, nature and scale of issuer's business, fundamental change in principal business, change in control/de facto control, and series of transactions or arrangements to list the acquisition targets); and the “extreme VSA” (very substantial acquisition) in Guidance Letter GL78-14;
  • amending existing RTO rules to capture VSAs of assets from a controlling shareholder and/or its associates within 36 months of a change of control (compared to the existing 24 months), and to restrict disposals (or distributions in specie) of all or a material part of a listed company's business within 36 months after a change in control or de facto control;
  • broadening the previous assessment criteria relating to the “issue of restricted convertible securities providing de facto control”;
  • two additional factors will be used in assessing whether a change in control or de facto control has occurred will be incorporated into Listing Rule 14.06, namely (a) any change in control of the controlling shareholder of the listed company, and (b) any change in the single largest substantial shareholder who is able to exercise effective control over the listed company, as indicated by factors such as a substantial change to its board of directors and/or senior management;
  • adoption of a new Listing Rule to prevent large scale issues of securities for cash, where there is, or the issue will result in, a change of control or de facto control of the issuer, and the proceeds will be applied to acquire and/or develop new business;
  • listed issuers conducting extreme transactions will be required to appoint a financial advisor who must conduct a due diligence process similar to that for an IPO and for them to give the same declaration to HKEx as that given by a listing sponsor, including that the target meets the new listing requirements; and
  • a new Guidance Letter GL104-19 will provide guidance on the application of the revised RTO rules described above.

Amendments Relating to Shell Companies:

  • amending Listing Rule 13.24 to require a company to carry out a business with a sufficient level of operations and (previously “or”) have assets of sufficient value to justify its continuing listing; and
  • extending the definition of “short-dated securities” under Rule 14.82 (commonly known as the "Cash Company Rule") and renaming them “short-term investments.”

A transitional period of 12 months will apply to listed issuers that do not comply with the new shell company rules.

HKEx Publishes Consultation Paper on ‘Codification of General Waivers and Principles Relating to IPOs and Listed Issuers and Minor Rule Amendments’

On 2 August 2019, HKEx published a consultation paper on “Codification of General Waivers and Principles relating to IPOs and Listed Issuers and Minor Rule Amendments” (Paper). The Paper proposes to codify certain waivers from strict compliance of the Listing Rules that are commonly granted to new applicants and issuers, helping to clarify the Listing Rules and simplify the listing process consistent with current market practice. 

Among the various amendments to the Listing Rules and codification of waivers and market practices contained in the Paper, key proposals include the following:

Financial disclosure

  • new applicants may apply for a waiver to exclude from their accountants’ report the historical financial information of a business acquired, or to be acquired, after the trading record period:
    (a) if the acquisition is not material (i.e., the highest applicable percentage ratio is less than 5%);
    (b) where the acquisition is to be financed by the listing proceeds, a certificate of exemption is obtained from the SFC; and
    (c) with respect to:
    • new applicants whose principal activity is to acquire equity securities (e.g., an investment company), (a) the new applicant would not gain control or significant influence over the target, and (b) the listing document discloses the reasons for the acquisition and includes a confirmation that the counterparties are independent of the new applicant and its connected persons; or
    • the acquisition of a business or a subsidiary other than in the circumstances covered above, if (a) the historical information is unavailable and it would be unduly burdensome to obtain the information, and (b) the listing document satisfies the disclosure requirements under Rule 14.58 and 14.60.
  • changes in financial year end during the trading record period would not affect a new applicant’s suitability for listing if (a) the new applicant is an investment holding company and the change is to align its financial year with a majority of its operating subsidiaries, (b) the change is not designed to circumvent the requirements under Listing Rule 8.05 and (c) the change would not materially affect the financial information disclosed or omit any material information.
  • newly listed issuers may apply for a waiver exempting them from publishing their first preliminary results announcement and distributing the corresponding financial report to shareholders if (a) the financial results are already included in the listing document, and (b) in relation to annual reports, the listing document already discloses the new applicant’s compliance with the Corporate Governance Code or the reasons for any deviations.

Share option schemes

  • Listing Rule 17.05 will be amended to state clearly that the restricted period for grant of share options would cover the trading day after the announcement is made with respect to inside information. This prevents abuses where option grantees can gain an unfair advantage through the grant as the prevailing share price has not reflected the inside information if the grant takes place immediately after the announcement of inside information but before shares are traded to reflect the effect of the inside information.
  • PRC incorporated issuers dual-listed on the HKEx and a PRC exchange may set the exercise price under Chapter 17 share option schemes with reference to the market price of A shares if (a) the scheme only involves A shares, and (b) the exercise price is no less than the prevailing market price of the A shares on the PRC exchange at the time of grant.

Company Secretaries

  • for issuers applying for a waiver to appoint a company secretary who does not meet Rule 3.28 qualifications, the HKEx would take into account (a) whether the issuer’s principal business is outside of Hong Kong, (b) the reasons why the directors believe the candidate is suitable to act as the issuer’s company secretary and (c) whether a person who meets Rule 3.28 qualifications would assist the candidate during the waiver period (i.e., not more than three years).

Financial Institutions

  • new applicants that are banking companies regulated by an overseas regulator similar to the Hong Kong Monetary Authority ( HKMA) may apply for a waiver exempting compliance with HKMA’s “Guideline on the Application of the Banking (Disclosure) Rules” if the applicant can demonstrate to the HKEx (a) that the overseas banking regulator provides adequate supervision to the new applicant; and (b) alternative disclosure is sufficient for potential investors to make a fully informed investment decision;
  • new applicants and issuers that are banking or insurance companies are exempted from providing a working capital confirmation in their listing document or circular (as appropriate) where there is sufficient alternative disclosure on solvency.

The Paper also proposes codifying the following general waivers into the Listing Rules:

  • an issuer’s stock code may be displayed in the “corporate information” or “shareholder information” section of the annual or interim report instead of on the cover;
  • bonus or capitalization issues by PRC incorporated issuers would be exempt from shareholder approvals at general and separate class meetings; and
  • for PRC incorporated issuers with domestic shares listed on a PRC exchange, the “consideration ratio” for assessing notifiable transactions may use the market price of its A or B shares (as opposed to H shares) to calculate the market capitalization (denominator for the consideration ratio).

HKEx Welcomes Public Consultation by SSE and SZSE on WVR-Related Rules Changes

As noted in our Hong Kong Regulatory Update (April 2019), HKEx reached an agreement with the Shanghai and Shenzhen Stock Exchanges to permit companies with dual-class share structures listed in Hong Kong — referred to as weighted voting rights (WVRs) companies — to be traded by Mainland-based investors (southbound trading) through the Stock Connect program .

In preparation for the inclusion of WVR companies in southbound trading of Stock Connect, the Shanghai and Shenzhen Stock Exchanges have proposed corresponding changes to their business rules. Such changes include requiring WVR companies to satisfy the following additional requirements before being admitted to the Stock Connect program:

(a) be listed on HKEx for at least 6 months and 20 trading days;

(b) market capitalization of not less than HK$20 billion;

(c) total trading turnover of not less than HK$6 billion over the most recent 183 days;

(d) compliance with relevant laws, regulations and policies by the issuer and its WVR beneficiaries; and

(e) other requirements identified by the Shanghai and Shenzhen Stock Exchanges.

Stock Connect Inclusion Arrangements Agreed Upon for A+H Companies Listed on STAR Market

HKEx and Shanghai and Shenzhen Stock Exchanges have agreed on arrangements for including companies with dual listings on HKEx and the Shanghai Stock Exchange’s Sci-Tech Innovation Board (STAR Market) in the Stock Connect program. Shanghai Stock Exchange’s new STAR Market is different from its main board in terms of trading, regulations and investor eligibility.

Currently, A+H companies listed on the HKEx and Shanghai or Shenzhen Stock Exchanges are eligible for trading via Stock Connect. This arrangement will be extended to include A+H companies listed on the STAR Market. A date for inclusion in the northbound trading and subsequently the southbound trading will be announced in due course.

Signing of Tri-Partite MoU on Audit Working Papers by Ministry of Finance, CSRC and SFC

The Ministry of Finance of the People’s Republic of China (MOF), the China Securities Regulatory Commission (CSRC) and the SFC have entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) concerning access to audit working papers in Mainland China arising from the audits of Hong Kong-listed Mainland Chinese companies. Access by Hong Kong regulators to audit working papers kept in the Mainland in the past has not been straightforward as Mainland Chinese laws contain restrictions against transfer of documents outside of the jurisdiction, including those that contain state secrets. The MoU will facilitate the SFC’s access to audit working papers — created by Hong Kong accounting firms in their audits and kept in Mainland China — when conducting investigations into Mainland Chinese based issuers or listed companies, and their related entities or persons. Under the MoU, the MOF and the CSRC will provide the fullest assistance in response to the SFC’s requests for investigative assistance regarding the provision of audit working papers.

HKEx Listing Committee Censures Shandong Molong and Some of its Former Directors for Disclosing Inaccurate Financial Information

In a recent case, the HKEx Listing Committee censured Shandong Molong Petroleum Machinery Company Limited (Shandong Molong), which is also listed in the Shenzhen Stock Exchange, and certain of its former directors and supervisors in connection with inaccurate financial disclosures. In 2017, Shandong Molong made various revisions to the financial information contained in a series of results announcements and interim reports from 2015 and 2016, revealing significant discrepancies between the actual amounts and the financial information initially disclosed.

The Listing Committee found:

  • Shandong Molong did not maintain adequate and effective risk management and internal control systems to ensure that the financial disclosures were accurate and to enable the proper discharge of a director’s duties;
  • certain former directors breached their directors’ duties given (a) one director had no knowledge about the company’s operations and yet he approved the financial disclosures (this director willfully and persistently failed to discharge his responsibilities as an executive director and chairman under the Listing Rules for a prolonged period (between 2005 and February 2017), as he delegated his responsibilities to his son and only attended board meetings of the company by teleconference, and no one reported to him anything about the company’s operations or financial performance save for the provision of its quarterly, interim and annual results to him), and (b) the two other directors were aware of adjustments to the financial results having been made but chose to approve the incorrect disclosures;
  • former directors failed to ensure that Shandong Molong had adequate and effective risk management and internal control systems. There was no evidence that these former directors took any steps to (a) ensure that there were proper reporting procedures of Shandong Molong’s affairs; (b) make any enquiries or consider whether there were any internal control implications given the significant discrepancies when red flags should have been raised; (c) make any enquiries as to what had caused the discrepancies; (d) consider whether there were any risk management and internal control deficiencies, or how to address such deficiencies; or (e) consider whether there were any Listing Rule implications;

The case serves to remind listed companies and their directors, among other matters:

  • to ensure adequate and effective risk management and internal control systems are implemented;
  • that delegation of responsibility to a director or other staff does not absolve other directors individually or collectively from taking all reasonable steps to monitor the execution of the delegated task, and to take prompt and effective remedial action where deficiencies in execution are noted;
  • to read, understand and focus on the contents of its disclosure of financial information, and to take all reasonable steps to ensure that the financial information to be disclosed is accurate, and, where necessary, to make further enquiries and follow up on anything untoward that comes to their attention; and
  • to review the contribution and ability required of each director in order for him to be able to discharge his director’s duties and responsibilities. Unless a director, the board of directors and the listed issuer are satisfied that the relevant director can devote sufficient time and attention required of him in due performance of his director’s duties, he should resign — HKEx is of the view that a director does not satisfy the required levels of skill, care and diligence required from him under the Listing Rules if he only pays attention to the issuer’s affairs at formal meetings.

Takeovers Panel Rules Against Waiver of General Offer Obligation in Proposed Maanshan Iron Acquisition

The Takeovers and Mergers Panel has declined to grant a requested waiver from the general offer obligation under the Takeovers Code in relation to the proposed acquisition of a controlling shareholding interest in Maanshan Iron & Steel Company Limited (Maanshan Iron) from the Anhui province state-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission (Anhui SASAC) by China Baowu Steel Group Corporation Limited (China Baowu) at nil consideration.

The panel considered and ruled, among other things, that:

  • waivers to the general offer obligation under Rule 26.1 of the Takeovers Code should only be granted in a comparatively narrow range of circumstances;
  • the application in the present case had been made under Note 6(a) to Rule 26.1. The Panel ruled that a waiver from the general offer obligation under Note 6(a) may be granted, if in the true sense of the words there is not a change in control in question, and, on the basis that a concert party group was, as a matter of fact, in existence in the first place. However, the parties in the present case have not been able to demonstrate that China Baowu and Anhui SASAC had been acting in concert at any relevant time prior to the proposed acquisition;
  • even if China Baowu and Anhui SASAC had been acting in concert, China Baowu would become the new leader of a concert group as a result of the proposed transaction and there would be a fundamental change in the balance of the shareholding in Maanshan Iron; and
  • a waiver from the mandatory general offer obligation that would be triggered upon completion of the Proposed Acquisition will not be granted.

Further, the panel ruled that the applicable offer price would be the volume-weighted average price of Maanshan Iron’s H shares on the last trading day before its possible offer announcement pursuant to Rule 3.7 of the Takeovers Code.

Market Misconduct Tribunal Fines Health and Happiness and its Officers for Late Disclosure of Inside Information

Listed companies are reminded to make profit warning announcements in a timely manner, and that the SFC will take action against companies that delay informing the market about a deterioration in their profits. In a recent case, Health and Happiness International Holdings Ltd (Health and Happiness) and its chairman and executive director, Mr. Luo Fei, became aware on or around 23 June 2015 of the company’s financial deterioration for the five months ended 31 May 2015 compared with the same period in the previous year. However, the company did not announce such financial deterioration to the market until 23 July 2015 when it issued the profit warning — a delay of four weeks. The SFC said that this information was specific, price sensitive and not generally known to the public at the material time, and would likely have materially affected Health and Happiness’ share price had it been known to the investing public. The Market Misconduct Tribunal found that Health and Happiness and Luo had failed to disclose inside information to the public as soon as reasonably practicable, and levied fines upon both.

Current Regulatory Landscape of Security Token Offerings in Hong Kong

Since 2017, the SFC has issued a number of statements with the aim of regulating digital token offerings within Hong Kong’s existing framework of securities laws and regulations.

Initial coin offerings (ICOs) typically have concerned digital tokens that had characteristics of “virtual commodities,” such as cryptocurrencies (designed to act as fiat currencies and used for payment purposes) and utility tokens (which gave token holders access to certain services, similar to a loyalty points system). This was typical of the majority of fundraisings taking place in 2017 and the first-half of 2018. Over time, digital token offerings evolved such that issuers began offering digital tokens that had terms and features similar to “securities,” “futures contracts” or “debentures” (collectively, security tokens), for example, giving token holders an equity or ownership interest in a project, or offering tokens that represented an acknowledgement of debt or liability owed by the issuer. The SFC has termed this latter type of offering “security token offerings” (STOs).

On 28 March 2017, the SFC issued its latest policy statement, “Statement on Security Token Offerings,” making clear that certain types of digital tokens, depending on the purpose for which they are, or are intended to be, offered or purchased, may be considered “securities,” “futures contracts,” “debentures” or “complex products” and also may constitute “collective investment schemes.” If a digital token is classified as a security token, dealings concerning the digital token would fall within Hong Kong’s existing framework of securities laws and regulations.

Regulated or Supervised Activities in Hong Kong

The following are regulated and/or supervised activities concerning security tokens in Hong Kong:

  • distributing from funds that invest in either “virtual commodities” or “security tokens” in Hong Kong (collectively, virtual assets). This includes persons licensed to engage in a Type 1 regulated activity (dealing in securities);
  • persons licensed to engage in a Type 9 regulated activity (asset management) that manages a fund that invests in security tokens, subject to a de minimis exemption if the fund intends to invest less than 10% of the portfolio’s gross asset value (GAV) in virtual assets; and
  • dealing in security tokens, which falls within the scope of a Type 1 regulated activity (dealing in securities).

The following are currently outside of the scope of regulated or supervised activities:

  • managing a fund that only invests in virtual commodities (being virtual assets not characterised as security tokens), or invests in virtual assets but falls within the de minimis exemption (or exceeds the 10% threshold only due to an increase in the value of the virtual assets within the portfolio); and
  • operating a trading platform for virtual commodities only.

Relevant Regulation Surrounding Regulated or Supervised Activities

  • Security token offerings are regulated by the Securities and Futures Ordinance (Chapter 571 of the Laws of Hong Kong) (SFO), as well as the prospectus regime under Part II and Part XII of the Companies (Winding Up and Miscellaneous Provisions) Ordinance.
  • Licensed persons or persons engaged in a regulated or supervised activity in Hong Kong (including intermediaries, such as wallet holders, and platform operators) should be aware of their existing obligations and licensing requirements under the SFC’s code of conduct, guidelines, circulars and FAQs, issued from time to time, and, most notably, be aware of their obligations under the Code of Conduct for Persons Licensed by or Registered with the Securities and Futures Commission (October 2013) (Code of Conduct), as well as publications issued by the SFC that specifically concern virtual assets.
  • In particular, licensed persons or persons engaged in a regulated or supervised activity in Hong Kong should observe their obligations on suitability requirements under paragraph 5.2 of the Code of Conduct, as supplemented by two suitability FAQs, and ensure that a recommendation or solicitation involving virtual assets is suitable for their clients, typically being “professional investors” (including “professional institutional investors”), in all circumstances.

Prepared with the assistance of associates Joanne Loi, Johanna Yau, Shimeng Zhang and Gabriel Lee. 

Download PDF

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

© Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP | Attorney Advertising

Written by:

Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP

Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP on:

Readers' Choice 2017
Reporters on Deadline

"My best business intelligence, in one easy email…"

Your first step to building a free, personalized, morning email brief covering pertinent authors and topics on JD Supra:
*By using the service, you signify your acceptance of JD Supra's Privacy Policy.
Custom Email Digest
- hide

JD Supra Privacy Policy

Updated: May 25, 2018:

JD Supra is a legal publishing service that connects experts and their content with broader audiences of professionals, journalists and associations.

This Privacy Policy describes how JD Supra, LLC ("JD Supra" or "we," "us," or "our") collects, uses and shares personal data collected from visitors to our website (located at www.jdsupra.com) (our "Website") who view only publicly-available content as well as subscribers to our services (such as our email digests or author tools)(our "Services"). By using our Website and registering for one of our Services, you are agreeing to the terms of this Privacy Policy.

Please note that if you subscribe to one of our Services, you can make choices about how we collect, use and share your information through our Privacy Center under the "My Account" dashboard (available if you are logged into your JD Supra account).

Collection of Information

Registration Information. When you register with JD Supra for our Website and Services, either as an author or as a subscriber, you will be asked to provide identifying information to create your JD Supra account ("Registration Data"), such as your:

  • Email
  • First Name
  • Last Name
  • Company Name
  • Company Industry
  • Title
  • Country

Other Information: We also collect other information you may voluntarily provide. This may include content you provide for publication. We may also receive your communications with others through our Website and Services (such as contacting an author through our Website) or communications directly with us (such as through email, feedback or other forms or social media). If you are a subscribed user, we will also collect your user preferences, such as the types of articles you would like to read.

Information from third parties (such as, from your employer or LinkedIn): We may also receive information about you from third party sources. For example, your employer may provide your information to us, such as in connection with an article submitted by your employer for publication. If you choose to use LinkedIn to subscribe to our Website and Services, we also collect information related to your LinkedIn account and profile.

Your interactions with our Website and Services: As is true of most websites, we gather certain information automatically. This information includes IP addresses, browser type, Internet service provider (ISP), referring/exit pages, operating system, date/time stamp and clickstream data. We use this information to analyze trends, to administer the Website and our Services, to improve the content and performance of our Website and Services, and to track users' movements around the site. We may also link this automatically-collected data to personal information, for example, to inform authors about who has read their articles. Some of this data is collected through information sent by your web browser. We also use cookies and other tracking technologies to collect this information. To learn more about cookies and other tracking technologies that JD Supra may use on our Website and Services please see our "Cookies Guide" page.

How do we use this information?

We use the information and data we collect principally in order to provide our Website and Services. More specifically, we may use your personal information to:

  • Operate our Website and Services and publish content;
  • Distribute content to you in accordance with your preferences as well as to provide other notifications to you (for example, updates about our policies and terms);
  • Measure readership and usage of the Website and Services;
  • Communicate with you regarding your questions and requests;
  • Authenticate users and to provide for the safety and security of our Website and Services;
  • Conduct research and similar activities to improve our Website and Services; and
  • Comply with our legal and regulatory responsibilities and to enforce our rights.

How is your information shared?

  • Content and other public information (such as an author profile) is shared on our Website and Services, including via email digests and social media feeds, and is accessible to the general public.
  • If you choose to use our Website and Services to communicate directly with a company or individual, such communication may be shared accordingly.
  • Readership information is provided to publishing law firms and authors of content to give them insight into their readership and to help them to improve their content.
  • Our Website may offer you the opportunity to share information through our Website, such as through Facebook's "Like" or Twitter's "Tweet" button. We offer this functionality to help generate interest in our Website and content and to permit you to recommend content to your contacts. You should be aware that sharing through such functionality may result in information being collected by the applicable social media network and possibly being made publicly available (for example, through a search engine). Any such information collection would be subject to such third party social media network's privacy policy.
  • Your information may also be shared to parties who support our business, such as professional advisors as well as web-hosting providers, analytics providers and other information technology providers.
  • Any court, governmental authority, law enforcement agency or other third party where we believe disclosure is necessary to comply with a legal or regulatory obligation, or otherwise to protect our rights, the rights of any third party or individuals' personal safety, or to detect, prevent, or otherwise address fraud, security or safety issues.
  • To our affiliated entities and in connection with the sale, assignment or other transfer of our company or our business.

How We Protect Your Information

JD Supra takes reasonable and appropriate precautions to insure that user information is protected from loss, misuse and unauthorized access, disclosure, alteration and destruction. We restrict access to user information to those individuals who reasonably need access to perform their job functions, such as our third party email service, customer service personnel and technical staff. You should keep in mind that no Internet transmission is ever 100% secure or error-free. Where you use log-in credentials (usernames, passwords) on our Website, please remember that it is your responsibility to safeguard them. If you believe that your log-in credentials have been compromised, please contact us at privacy@jdsupra.com.

Children's Information

Our Website and Services are not directed at children under the age of 16 and we do not knowingly collect personal information from children under the age of 16 through our Website and/or Services. If you have reason to believe that a child under the age of 16 has provided personal information to us, please contact us, and we will endeavor to delete that information from our databases.

Links to Other Websites

Our Website and Services may contain links to other websites. The operators of such other websites may collect information about you, including through cookies or other technologies. If you are using our Website or Services and click a link to another site, you will leave our Website and this Policy will not apply to your use of and activity on those other sites. We encourage you to read the legal notices posted on those sites, including their privacy policies. We are not responsible for the data collection and use practices of such other sites. This Policy applies solely to the information collected in connection with your use of our Website and Services and does not apply to any practices conducted offline or in connection with any other websites.

Information for EU and Swiss Residents

JD Supra's principal place of business is in the United States. By subscribing to our website, you expressly consent to your information being processed in the United States.

  • Our Legal Basis for Processing: Generally, we rely on our legitimate interests in order to process your personal information. For example, we rely on this legal ground if we use your personal information to manage your Registration Data and administer our relationship with you; to deliver our Website and Services; understand and improve our Website and Services; report reader analytics to our authors; to personalize your experience on our Website and Services; and where necessary to protect or defend our or another's rights or property, or to detect, prevent, or otherwise address fraud, security, safety or privacy issues. Please see Article 6(1)(f) of the E.U. General Data Protection Regulation ("GDPR") In addition, there may be other situations where other grounds for processing may exist, such as where processing is a result of legal requirements (GDPR Article 6(1)(c)) or for reasons of public interest (GDPR Article 6(1)(e)). Please see the "Your Rights" section of this Privacy Policy immediately below for more information about how you may request that we limit or refrain from processing your personal information.
  • Your Rights
    • Right of Access/Portability: You can ask to review details about the information we hold about you and how that information has been used and disclosed. Note that we may request to verify your identification before fulfilling your request. You can also request that your personal information is provided to you in a commonly used electronic format so that you can share it with other organizations.
    • Right to Correct Information: You may ask that we make corrections to any information we hold, if you believe such correction to be necessary.
    • Right to Restrict Our Processing or Erasure of Information: You also have the right in certain circumstances to ask us to restrict processing of your personal information or to erase your personal information. Where you have consented to our use of your personal information, you can withdraw your consent at any time.

You can make a request to exercise any of these rights by emailing us at privacy@jdsupra.com or by writing to us at:

Privacy Officer
JD Supra, LLC
10 Liberty Ship Way, Suite 300
Sausalito, California 94965

You can also manage your profile and subscriptions through our Privacy Center under the "My Account" dashboard.

We will make all practical efforts to respect your wishes. There may be times, however, where we are not able to fulfill your request, for example, if applicable law prohibits our compliance. Please note that JD Supra does not use "automatic decision making" or "profiling" as those terms are defined in the GDPR.

  • Timeframe for retaining your personal information: We will retain your personal information in a form that identifies you only for as long as it serves the purpose(s) for which it was initially collected as stated in this Privacy Policy, or subsequently authorized. We may continue processing your personal information for longer periods, but only for the time and to the extent such processing reasonably serves the purposes of archiving in the public interest, journalism, literature and art, scientific or historical research and statistical analysis, and subject to the protection of this Privacy Policy. For example, if you are an author, your personal information may continue to be published in connection with your article indefinitely. When we have no ongoing legitimate business need to process your personal information, we will either delete or anonymize it, or, if this is not possible (for example, because your personal information has been stored in backup archives), then we will securely store your personal information and isolate it from any further processing until deletion is possible.
  • Onward Transfer to Third Parties: As noted in the "How We Share Your Data" Section above, JD Supra may share your information with third parties. When JD Supra discloses your personal information to third parties, we have ensured that such third parties have either certified under the EU-U.S. or Swiss Privacy Shield Framework and will process all personal data received from EU member states/Switzerland in reliance on the applicable Privacy Shield Framework or that they have been subjected to strict contractual provisions in their contract with us to guarantee an adequate level of data protection for your data.

California Privacy Rights

Pursuant to Section 1798.83 of the California Civil Code, our customers who are California residents have the right to request certain information regarding our disclosure of personal information to third parties for their direct marketing purposes.

You can make a request for this information by emailing us at privacy@jdsupra.com or by writing to us at:

Privacy Officer
JD Supra, LLC
10 Liberty Ship Way, Suite 300
Sausalito, California 94965

Some browsers have incorporated a Do Not Track (DNT) feature. These features, when turned on, send a signal that you prefer that the website you are visiting not collect and use data regarding your online searching and browsing activities. As there is not yet a common understanding on how to interpret the DNT signal, we currently do not respond to DNT signals on our site.

Access/Correct/Update/Delete Personal Information

For non-EU/Swiss residents, if you would like to know what personal information we have about you, you can send an e-mail to privacy@jdsupra.com. We will be in contact with you (by mail or otherwise) to verify your identity and provide you the information you request. We will respond within 30 days to your request for access to your personal information. In some cases, we may not be able to remove your personal information, in which case we will let you know if we are unable to do so and why. If you would like to correct or update your personal information, you can manage your profile and subscriptions through our Privacy Center under the "My Account" dashboard. If you would like to delete your account or remove your information from our Website and Services, send an e-mail to privacy@jdsupra.com.

Changes in Our Privacy Policy

We reserve the right to change this Privacy Policy at any time. Please refer to the date at the top of this page to determine when this Policy was last revised. Any changes to our Privacy Policy will become effective upon posting of the revised policy on the Website. By continuing to use our Website and Services following such changes, you will be deemed to have agreed to such changes.

Contacting JD Supra

If you have any questions about this Privacy Policy, the practices of this site, your dealings with our Website or Services, or if you would like to change any of the information you have provided to us, please contact us at: privacy@jdsupra.com.

JD Supra Cookie Guide

As with many websites, JD Supra's website (located at www.jdsupra.com) (our "Website") and our services (such as our email article digests)(our "Services") use a standard technology called a "cookie" and other similar technologies (such as, pixels and web beacons), which are small data files that are transferred to your computer when you use our Website and Services. These technologies automatically identify your browser whenever you interact with our Website and Services.

How We Use Cookies and Other Tracking Technologies

We use cookies and other tracking technologies to:

  1. Improve the user experience on our Website and Services;
  2. Store the authorization token that users receive when they login to the private areas of our Website. This token is specific to a user's login session and requires a valid username and password to obtain. It is required to access the user's profile information, subscriptions, and analytics;
  3. Track anonymous site usage; and
  4. Permit connectivity with social media networks to permit content sharing.

There are different types of cookies and other technologies used our Website, notably:

  • "Session cookies" - These cookies only last as long as your online session, and disappear from your computer or device when you close your browser (like Internet Explorer, Google Chrome or Safari).
  • "Persistent cookies" - These cookies stay on your computer or device after your browser has been closed and last for a time specified in the cookie. We use persistent cookies when we need to know who you are for more than one browsing session. For example, we use them to remember your preferences for the next time you visit.
  • "Web Beacons/Pixels" - Some of our web pages and emails may also contain small electronic images known as web beacons, clear GIFs or single-pixel GIFs. These images are placed on a web page or email and typically work in conjunction with cookies to collect data. We use these images to identify our users and user behavior, such as counting the number of users who have visited a web page or acted upon one of our email digests.

JD Supra Cookies. We place our own cookies on your computer to track certain information about you while you are using our Website and Services. For example, we place a session cookie on your computer each time you visit our Website. We use these cookies to allow you to log-in to your subscriber account. In addition, through these cookies we are able to collect information about how you use the Website, including what browser you may be using, your IP address, and the URL address you came from upon visiting our Website and the URL you next visit (even if those URLs are not on our Website). We also utilize email web beacons to monitor whether our emails are being delivered and read. We also use these tools to help deliver reader analytics to our authors to give them insight into their readership and help them to improve their content, so that it is most useful for our users.

Analytics/Performance Cookies. JD Supra also uses the following analytic tools to help us analyze the performance of our Website and Services as well as how visitors use our Website and Services:

  • HubSpot - For more information about HubSpot cookies, please visit legal.hubspot.com/privacy-policy.
  • New Relic - For more information on New Relic cookies, please visit www.newrelic.com/privacy.
  • Google Analytics - For more information on Google Analytics cookies, visit www.google.com/policies. To opt-out of being tracked by Google Analytics across all websites visit http://tools.google.com/dlpage/gaoptout. This will allow you to download and install a Google Analytics cookie-free web browser.

Facebook, Twitter and other Social Network Cookies. Our content pages allow you to share content appearing on our Website and Services to your social media accounts through the "Like," "Tweet," or similar buttons displayed on such pages. To accomplish this Service, we embed code that such third party social networks provide and that we do not control. These buttons know that you are logged in to your social network account and therefore such social networks could also know that you are viewing the JD Supra Website.

Controlling and Deleting Cookies

If you would like to change how a browser uses cookies, including blocking or deleting cookies from the JD Supra Website and Services you can do so by changing the settings in your web browser. To control cookies, most browsers allow you to either accept or reject all cookies, only accept certain types of cookies, or prompt you every time a site wishes to save a cookie. It's also easy to delete cookies that are already saved on your device by a browser.

The processes for controlling and deleting cookies vary depending on which browser you use. To find out how to do so with a particular browser, you can use your browser's "Help" function or alternatively, you can visit http://www.aboutcookies.org which explains, step-by-step, how to control and delete cookies in most browsers.

Updates to This Policy

We may update this cookie policy and our Privacy Policy from time-to-time, particularly as technology changes. You can always check this page for the latest version. We may also notify you of changes to our privacy policy by email.

Contacting JD Supra

If you have any questions about how we use cookies and other tracking technologies, please contact us at: privacy@jdsupra.com.

- hide

This website uses cookies to improve user experience, track anonymous site usage, store authorization tokens and permit sharing on social media networks. By continuing to browse this website you accept the use of cookies. Click here to read more about how we use cookies.