Academic Staff

Syren Johnstone

BA (Hons 1), MSc (Oxford), MA (Law)

Adjunct Associate Professor, Faculty of Law

Syren Johnstone is an Adjunct Associate Professor at the Faculty of Law of the University of Hong Kong (HKU) and a Fellow of the Asian Institute of International Financial Law. He is a Consultant and Examiner to the Hong Kong Securities and Investment Institute (HKSI) and provides staff training on securities laws and regulations to the Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission (SFC). Syren is a Member of the SFC's Fintech Advisory Group.

As an educator at HKU he teaches courses forming part of the Master of Laws in Corporate and Financial Law including Securities Regulation, Mergers & Acquisitions, and Compliance in the Hong Kong Securities Industry. He also teaches Listed Companies as part of the Postgraduate Certificate in Laws (PCLL) program.

As a Consultant to the HKSI he is responsible for the writing and updating of syllabuses for the Licensing Examination for securities and futures intermediaries, the industry benchmark examination recognized by the SFC, covering regulation of the securities markets and intermediaries, corporate finance, sponsor work, asset management, and credit rating agencies.

He has published numerous articles in recognized academic journals and co-authored "Financial Markets in Hong Kong: Law and Practice" published by Oxford University Press, regarded as a cornerstone publication in this field.

Syren is also active in providing transaction-based consulting services in the commercial sector.

His professional experience commenced as a solicitor with Linklaters (admitted England 1993, Hong Kong 1994) including working in Tokyo for Mori Hamada & Matsumoto. He subsequently undertook Director level roles as Regional Head (Asia) of Legal & Compliance at Banco Santander before joining Societe Generale as Regional Head (Asia) of Transaction Management where he was licensed with the SFC as responsible officer for Equity Corporate Finance. He has worked on transactions encompassing Europe, Asia including Japan, and Latin America involving takeovers, acquisitions and disposals, joint ventures, capital raising via IPO and institutional investment funds, structuring cross-border investments, as well as regulatory matters concerning exchanges and financial intermediaries in both the securities and futures markets.

Specialized areas: corporate finance, mergers and acquisitions, financial services law, regulation of the securities industry, Fintech, listed companies, joint ventures.



SSRN papers:


S. Johnstone, N Davis & DW Arner "A principles-based response to the proposed reform of the governance structure for listing regulation in Hong Kong" AIIFL Working Paper No. 19, November 2016

S. Johnstone, "A Red Flag for Hong Kong Credit Ratings", AIIFL Working Paper No. 18, July 2016

DW Arner, BFC Hsu, SH Goo, S Johnstone & P Lejot "Financial Markets in Hong Kong: Law and Practice" 2ed Oxford University Press (2016)

S. Johnstone, AM Da Roza, and N Davis "IPO sponsors and prospectus liability: The bridge too far?" AIIFL Working Paper No. 17, August 2015.

S Johnstone and P Espinasse “Study Manual for Paper 15 Sponsors (Principals) and Paper 16 Sponsors (Representatives) of the Licensing Examination for Securities and Futures Intermediaries”, Hong Kong Securities & Investment Institute, (2013)

S Johnstone and D Arner “Regulation of Corporate Finance”, Hong Kong Securities & Investment Institute, (2012)

S Johnstone and D Arner “Regulation of Credit Rating Services”, Hong Kong Securities & Investment Institute, (2011)

S Johnstone and D Arner “Fundamentals of Securities and Futures Regulation”, Hong Kong Securities & Investment Institute, (2011)

D Arner, B Hsu, A De Roza, F Da Roza, S Johnstone and P Lejot “The Global Financial Crisis and the Failure of Financial Regulation in Hong Kong” AIIFL Working Paper No. 4 (2009)

S Johnstone and D Arner “Regulation of Asset Management”, Hong Kong Securities & Investment Institute, (2009)

B Hsu, DW Arner, M Tse and S Johnstone “Hong Kong financial markets: law and practice”, published by Oxford University Press (2006)

S Johnstone, D Arner, B Hsu and M Tse “Corporate capital, governance and takeovers”, Hong Kong Securities & Investment Institute, Coursebook for the Professional Diploma in Financial Management, Module 5, published (2006)

D Arner, B Hsu, S Johnstone and M Tse “Regulatory framework: securities and futures industry”, Hong Kong Securities & Investment Institute, Coursebook for the Professional Diploma in Financial Management, Module 4 (2006)

Journal articles, book chapters, papers presented:

S. Johnstone, A Da Roze, N davis "Are sponsors of Hong Kong IPOs subject to prospectus law liability?" Oxford Business Law Blog, 19 August 2016

S. Johnstone, "Equity crowdfunding: caveat emptor?", International Financial Law Review, April 2016, pp43-45

S Johnstone, A Da Roza & N Davis, "Deconstructing Sponsor Prospectus Liability" (2016) 46 Hong Kong Law Journal Part 1

S. Johnstone, "A flawed debate", International Financial Law Review, May 2015, 38-39

“Law, Regulation And Smart Regulation – Where To Next?” Colloquium on Current Issues In Financial Regulation, Chinese University of Hong Kong, 12 January 2010

S Johnstone, AM Da Roza and BFC Hsu “Regulator Accountability”, International Financial Law Review, May 2009

DW Arner, B Hsu, CK Low, GP Lienke and S Johnstone “Hong Kong commentary”, chapter in International Securities Regulation eds RC Rosen, IM Pollac and E Levy, published by Oceana Publications (2006)

“Hong Kong financial markets – developing regulation”, Law Lecturers for Practitioners conference, 21 April 2006

Guest Speaker, Merrill Lynch Investment Management Workshop, 24 April 2004, KL, Malaysia

S Johnstone “Hong Kong Equity Offerings:  An Analysis of Credit Risks”, Butterworths Journal of International Banking and Financial Law, Vol 12, No 8. (1997)

S Johnstone and D Mullarkey “Exchange Traded Equity Options and Financial Futures in Hong Kong”, chapter in The Capital Guide to Financial Futures and Traded Options in Asia, published by The International Securities Institute (1996)

S Johnstone “A Safe Harbour”, New Law Journal, July and August (1993)

Summary of academic publications in scientific monographs and journals (non-legal)


“Neurophysiological analysis of striatal function” in Neurophysiological disorders associated with subcortical lesions, Oxford University Press (1992)

Human information processing: Measures, mechanisms and models, Elsevier science Publishers (1989)

Journal articles: Brain Research (1990), Vision Research (1988), Perception (1987, 1988, 1989, 1990)