Staff and Consultants

Phillip Layton

Phill is both the founder and CEO of KBC. He has been in Asia for more than 38 years, having joined the Hong Kong Police Force as an inspector in 1969. With his many years of experience, he brings profound insight and a through understanding of law enforcement, Government operations and the security and risk requirements of major corporations to the clients that he serves.


He spent over 14 years with the Hong Kong Police’s Commercial Crime Bureau, where he was responsible for task force investigations of bank fraud and publicly quoted companies. As deputy head of the Bureau, he was responsible for managing the investigations of some 300 staff working in multi-disciplinary teams in every aspect of commercial crime, including fraud and other counterfeit-related areas.


Many of the most high profile fraud investigations in Hong Kong's history have reached prosecution under Phill’s direction. These include the prosecution of executive directors and shareholders of a number of banks and publicly listed companies.


He served on a Hong Kong Government Advisory Committee, relating to changes in the law and legal procedures in the intellectual property and trade mark protection field, and has assisted many multinational corporations with the formulation of both strategy and policy to attack counterfeiters and their products in the Asian region.


In 1992, he entered the private sector and incorporated Traquair (Hong Kong) Ltd. At Traquair, he provided investigative and risk management services to a number of well known multi-nationals both in the protection of intellectual property rights and on fraud and FCPA-related issues in the Asia Pacific region.


Upon Traquair’s acquisition by ArmorGroup, Phill served as a director, before becoming CEO of their Asia Pacific operations. Upon the retrenchment of ArmorGroup from providing investigative services in the Asia Pacific region, and in 2003, KBC was incorporated to continue providing quality investigation and security services in the region.

Robert Holland

Bob brings his considerable expertise on plant-related security issues, working on clients’ behalf to assess their environmental, criminal, security and political risks.


Commissioned into the Royal Military Police (RMP), he left the British Army after seven years to work with the Malaysian, Bruneian and Omani armed forces, subsequently joining the Hong Kong Police Force, where he worked for over 20 years.


The majority of his service in Hong Kong was spent in the Explosive Ordnance Disposal Unit, which he commanded as a Senior Superintendent of Police. His training in the disposal of conventional munitions, Improvised Explosive Devices and Bomb Scene Investigations was received with the British Forces, the Metropolitan Police and the Australian Federal Forensic Laboratories. His qualifications cover Nuclear, Chemical and Biological render safe procedures, evacuations and decontamination. He was responsible for all matters involving explosives from procurement, to storage, to usage and final disposal for the Police Force in Hong Kong and also took care of reviews and standing operation procedures for all explosive related matters, including recommendations for Airport Security.


He has worked closely with the Environment Protection Department to resolve potential environmental protection problems in relation to the storage and disposal of hazardous substances and has acted as “the” authority and "expert witness" on explosive-related matters in the Courts of Hong Kong.


Bob is a Life Member of the International Association of Bomb Technicians and Investigators, and has also served as secretary for the Hong Kong chapter of the Institute of Explosives Engineers.

Ian Peggs

Having served for almost 35 years with the Hong Kong Police Force. Ian has a wide variety of operational and staffing command experience both within the general force as well as in several of its more specialist units, including the territory’s elite Tactical Unit, as well as Traffic, CID, Training and Marine. He thus has a thorough understanding of tactical issues as well as widespread experience in crisis management.


Ian achieved the rank of Chief Superintendent and was Deputy Commander of a number of Districts in Hong Kong before taking up the post of Commander of Shatin District. With a population of over 700,000 people, Shatin is the largest District by population in the HKSAR. In addition to having over 700 officers under his command, he was responsible for all levels of operational, investigative and staff policing at both the tactical and strategic level.


Ian holds a degree in Economics from the University of Bradford, a Masters’ Degree in Public Administration from the University of Hong Kong as well as a post Graduate Diploma in Police Administration from Northwestern University. He has received extensive training both within Hong Kong and around the world, with stints in the USA, UK and Europe as well as China and Korea. In 1990, he was awarded the Colonial Police Medal for Meritorious service by Queen Elizabeth II.


James Ross BSc, CEng, MIMMM

Building on more than forty years of experience in the manufacturing industry and industry-support institutions, gained both in Scotland and Hong Kong, James now provides consultancy services – investigating, reviewing, auditing and reporting on operational, security and risk factors throughout the entire manufacturing process. His current activities include the investigation of on-site accidents; conducting company-wide security and management reviews; carrying out process audits; compiling technical requirements, quality acceptance standards and operator manuals; evaluating management calibre and the quality of manufacturing facilities; as well as inspecting suspected counterfeit accessories for authentication.


With a background in metallurgy, materials technology and welding engineering, James has been involved in every aspect of manufacturing and factory operation. He has worked in diverse areas – from aero engines and earthmoving equipment to injection moulding machines, business machines and computers, with former employers including Rolls-Royce, Caterpillar Tractors, Burroughs Machines, GKN, and the Hong Kong Productivity Council.


Having spent some 12 years as Deputy Director of the Hong Kong Polytechnic University’s Industrial Centre, he has conducted a number of specialist post-experience courses with regard to the use of technology in occupational health and safety for the Hong Kong Factory Inspectorate and senior personnel from the industry. During this time, he not only undertook a number of industrial accident investigations with regard to personal injury claims, he also acted as an independent advisor and expert witness in Hong Kong’s High Court. The transfer of technology has also played an important part of his work in Hong Kong.


Valerie Colbourn 

Valerie has more than 15 years of legal and government relations experience in Asia. Most recently, she was Head of Government Relations and Legal Counsel in Asia Pacific for eBay Inc where she was responsible for public policy for the eBay family of companies which includes Paypal and Skype. Managing a team of government relation specialists and lawyers in offices in India, China, Korea, Hong Kong, Singapore and Australia, she was responsible for setting up a monitoring and lobbying infrastructure as well as for influencing public policy and driving legislative reform especially in China and India. In addition to corporate crisis management, the regulatory work involved close liaison with local governments and leading international organisations such as WTO and APEC to remove barriers to e-commerce, develop business licensing and corporate structures, regulate online payments, establish VOIP policy, etc.


Prior to joining eBay, Valerie was Regional Corporate Attorney for Microsoft Corporation in Asia, with particular responsibility for IPR policy and enforcement and e-commerce policy. During that time, as Microsoft's lead attorney she played a strategic role in the first software enforcement raids in China. She also acted as the US software industry’s representative in US-China government trade negotiations and served as Vice President of the Business Software Alliance (BSA), the software industry's trade and policy association. Prior to joining Microsoft, Valerie specialised in litigation and dispute resolution at Baker & McKenzie in Hong Kong.

She was educated in the United Kingdom, where she obtained her LLB in Law, and she is admitted to practice as a lawyer in England & Wales, Hong Kong and Australia. She also holds an MA degree in International Relations from the School of Political Science at the University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia.


Liza Lee - Consultant  

Liza has over 23 years extensive experience in IT Consulting Industry in Hong Kong and the Asia Pacific region with Accounting firms Ernst & Young, Peat Marwick as well as with computer giants Hewlett Packard and Oracle Systems. During these years she was exposed to customer service environments with many different forms of engagement. These included small to large scale IT System implementation, operational reviews and advisories for the efficient operation of organisations, sales and marketing of consulting work, control and audit of new and existing engagements in the form of project management, implementation of standards and ISO implementation for Consulting organisations. She was also exposed to regional roles in projects as well as the internal operation of organisation to a scale of 3000+ full time consultants.

She has more recently taken on building businesses with Global Direct Marketing companies. She has 6 years experience in this field developed in a number of countries in the South Pacific region and Asia region involving teams of 4,500+ people with significant turnover.

Liza holds a Bachelor of Business from the University of Southern Queensland. She was a Certified Project Management Professional and was also an active player in the PMO HK Chapter while she was in Hong Kong.

She is currently active in research projects for KBC.


Keith de la Cruz  

Keith comes from an extensive defence background of 37 years in the Australian Defence Force (ADF) of which 20 years were in air traffic control. He is currently active as a specialist trainer on airfield safety and security which involves emergency operation activation procedures and implementing coordination procedures with numerous emergency services. As a Reserve Officer in the ADF, Keith has extensive experience in surveillance and security measures on an organisational scale down to unit level. Keith’s educational background was mainly with defence and in aviation studies attaining an Advance Diploma in Air Traffic Control, Diploma in Administrative Studies and Diploma in Business - Front Line Management. Keith has travelled extensively throughout SE Asia and has over six years experience in ‘niche’ marketing and was instrumental in establishing logistics and setting up a new market region for a major US marketing company. Keith is currently active in network marketing and sees ‘security’ as an expanding industry globally that will continue to escalate into the future.




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