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Jeremy Phillips QC and Michael Fry act on Major Casino Due Diligence

Jeremy Phillips QC
Michael Fry

It has recently been announced on the website of the Hong Kong Stock Exchange that a very substantial proposed acquisition and associated reverse takeover involving a new listing application relating to the parent company of one of London’s elite casinos, Les Ambassadeurs, has been terminated. 
 
Over the last nine months, barristers and leading gambling law specialists Jeremy Phillips QC and Michael Fry have been instructed to provide a substantial opinion for the purchaser advising on the licensing and regulatory laws applicable to Les Ambassadeurs. This required a comprehensive assessment of the controls, implementation and compliance with those laws, which was to be submitted to the Hong Kong Stock Exchange as well for their assessment of the acquisition. The acquisition was an international effort – although directly instructed, Jeremy and Michael worked closely with the UK and Hong Kong teams of Eversheds Sutherland and Hogan Lovells.
 
Jeremy Phillips QC said: “In these days of ever-increasing regulation and monetary control the need for businesses to adapt their systems to ensure full compliance is critical. By so doing they not only avoid the intervention of their regulators, but also ensure that asset-value is maximised. The Gambling Commission is an active regulator, and the breadth of relevant legislation, particularly outside the expected licensing regime, is significant – from GDPR to modern slavery to anti-money laundering.”
 
Michael Fry added: “Although we are naturally disappointed that this transaction is no longer going ahead, it was an excellent opportunity to review the relevant legislation and a casino’s compliance with what amounts to a moving target. What was clear from our extensive research is that gambling operators generally – and not just land- based casinos - would be well advised to consider independent third-party oversight over their activities. In this case our work on this project revealed that Les A has some best in class policies and practices and an extremely well-informed management team delivering a high quality and well run business”’