Syren Johnstone


Principal Lecturer
Executive Director, LLM Compliance & Regulation Programme
BA (Hons), MSc (Oxf.), MA (Law) (Lond.)
Solicitor (England & Wales and Hong Kong)


Following private practice with Linklaters (London, Tokyo and Hong Kong), and in Tokyo with Mori Hamada & Matsumoto, Syren undertook senior management roles including as Regional Head (Asia) of Legal & Compliance at Banco Santander, and Regional Head (Asia) of Transaction Management with Société Générale where he was licensed with the Securities and Futures Commission of Hong Kong (SFC) as responsible officer for Equity Corporate Finance and as a Principal with The Stock Exchange of Hong Kong.

He is a Fellow of the Asian Institute of International Financial Law, a Consultant and Examiner to the Hong Kong Securities and Investment Institute (HKSI) for the Licensing Examinations for securities and futures intermediaries, the industry benchmark examination recognized by the SFC, and a Member of the Fintech Advisory Group of the SFC (2016-2021).

As an educator at HKU he directs the Master of Laws in Compliance & Regulation Programme and teaches courses covering the regulation of the securities market, corporate finance practices, mergers & acquisitions, the prospects and challenges of new financial technologies and sustainable finance products, and associated industry compliance issues.

He has published widely in recognized academic journals. He is the author of “Rethinking the Regulation of Cryptoassets: Cryptographic Consensus Technology and the New Prospect” (E. Elgar 2021), and co-authored “Financial Markets in Hong Kong: Law and Practice” (OUP, 2006/2016), regarded as a cornerstone publication in this field. His academic works have been referenced in Hong Kong’s Legislative Council and the Court of Appeal.

Research Area

  • Regulation of the Securities Industry
  • Financial Services Law
  • Listed Companies
  • ESG and Sustainable Finance
  • Compliance Processes
  • Corporate Finance
  • Mergers and Acquisitions
  • FinTech
  • Joint Ventures

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Journal articles

Books and book chapters

Monographs and other papers

SFC Licensing Examination Manuals (HKSI)

Summary of scientific publications