Hong Kong SAR

Reviews

Practice area

IFLR1000 Reviews

Overview

Solicitors governing body: 香港律師會 - The Law Society of Hong Kong 

Competition authority: Hong Kong Competition Commission 

Financial regulator: Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) 

IFLR1000 ranking categories for this jurisdiction:

Financial and corporate (published October) – Banking, Capital markets: Debt, Capital markets: Equity, Capital markets: Structured finance and securitisation, Competition, Financial services regulatoryHedge funds, Private equity fundsReal estate fundsRetail fundsM&A, Private equityProject financeRestructuring and insolvency, Financial and corporate: Offshore, Investment funds: Offshore

Jurisdiction overview

Under the ‘one country, two systems’ principle, Hong Kong’s previous legal system remained intact when it moved from British to Chinese control in the 1990s. The Basic Law—a mini constitution for the special administrative region—mandates this unless any previous measure violates it. Chinese national laws are not applicable except for laws relating to defence and foreign affairs.  

Regulated by the Law Society of Hong Kong and the Hong Kong Bar Association, the legal profession is divided into solicitors and barristers. Also, with well over 1000 foreign lawyers Hong Kong is known for its open policy. 

The legal market has been open since the 1970s, and foreign law firms have been free to practice foreign law under fairly informal regulations overseen by the Law Society and immigration department. Foreign law firms were not allowed to practice Hong Kong law, but domestic firms could engage them to assist on matters pertaining to other jurisdictions. Over time—as the number of foreign lawyers swelled—a more formal regulatory regime was implemented. 

In 1995 statutory registration requirements of foreign lawyers and foreign law firms came into effect allowing foreign law firms to establish practices and advise on foreign law, and to form associations with Hong Kong firms to share offices and profit costs with the purpose of converting into local firms while retaining foreign trade names.

It was the Closer Economic Partnership Arrangement (CEPA) between Hong Kong and the Mainland that improved access between Hong Kong’s legal sector and the mainland. The residence requirement for representatives of representative offices of the Hong Kong law firm on the mainland has been relaxed; Hong Kong permanent residents may sit the National Judicial Examinations; Hong Kong lawyers are allowed to be employed as legal consultants by mainland law firms; and restrictions on association between Hong Kong and mainland law firms have been relaxed. 

The legal market itself is made up of a rich mix of international, domestic, offshore, and PRC firms. Owing to its colonial legacy, the UK headquartered magic circle firms have been a mainstay in the legal landscape, but more recently they have been challenged by white shoe law firms in the US and an emerging red circle from the mainland.

Rather than developing comprehensive services, PRC firms are following their outbound Chinese clients and many US firms have entered the market specifically targeting high-end lucrative areas such as M&A, private equity and capital markets in profitable sectors such as technology. With China's Anti-Monopoly Law gaining momentum and the Hong Kong Competition Ordinance due to take full effect on December 14 2015, one can be reasonably confident of that the competition to deliver legal services will heat up. 

Adam Majeed - Asia-Pacific Editor

IFLR1000 2019: China and Hong Kong market trends and developments

Financial and corporate
Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld

Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld caters to the greater China market through its offices in Hong Kong and Beijing. This year, the firm was particularly busy with equity capital markets and restructuring and insolvency work. 

Highlights from the recent research period include managing cross-border restructurings and advising on initial public offerings in Hong Kong. 

Key clients include CW Group, Jiangsu Innovative Ecological New Materials and Byleasing Holdings.

A notable recent staffing change saw partner Allen Shyu join from Stephenson Harwood.   

Recent Deal Data highlights

•Byleasing Holdings HKSE IPO

•Hyflux S$2 billion debt structuring

•Jiangsu Innovative Ecological New Materials HKSE IPO

•Noble Group financial restructuring

•Zhejiang New Century Hotel Management HKSE IPO

 

Ashurst

Ashurst possesses a diverse roster of lawyers offering a broad range of legal services from Hong Kong and China. The firm is ranked highest in structured finance and securitisation, has a strong debt capital markets team with a dedicated India practice group, and acts for Chinese banks in outbound projects. The firm also has a pan-Asian equity capital markets practice often acting for Indian, Malaysian and Indonesian clients.

The firm’s equity capital markets practice has had a busy year advising on Indonesian IPOs and a spate of Indian block trade deals, while its debt capital markets team advised the issuer on a $4.1 billion notes financing to acquire the world’s most expensive single building, The Center.

The projects practice continued to act on the first high speed railway project in Indonesia, and a coal-fired thermal power plant in Chittagong, which at $2 billion is the largest private sector investment in Bangladesh's power sector.

In the research period the firm lost regulatory partner Gareth Hughes to Debevoise & Plimpton.    

Recent Deal Data highlights

•                      Asuransi Tugu Pratama IDX IPO

•                      Chittagong 2x660MW coal-fired thermal power plant

•                      CHMT Peaceful Development Asia Property $4.1 billion dual-tranche ($3.3 billion and $811.5 million) secured bond issue

•                      Hangzhou Fuyang Chengtou Group $230 million 6.8% bond issue

•                      Jakarta-Bandung high-speed railway

•                      Pengxin Mining $1 billion acquisition of Martabe Gold Mine

•                      Studio City Finance $600 million 7.250% bond issue

•                      Tata Consultancy Services $1.38 billion block trade

Client feedback

"Ashurst is an innovative law firm. The teams we have dealt with are able to deliver creative solutions to our legal needs. From top to bottom, we feel that the teams communicate internally very well and are extremely coordinated. This is something we sometimes have trouble with when using some of the bigger city firms where we find that in cross-practice deals, teams from different practices do not speak to each other and we would have to repeat ourselves." - Banking

“Ashurst has an excellent banking and finance team under the leadership of Eric Tan. Its lawyers are very responsive and easily available. It is knowledgeable and able to provide practical solutions to us, instead of just leaving us to make 'commercial calls' all the time as some law firms do. It understands our requirements very well. I would say that it provides us with an impeccable service with some of the finest legal minds in Hong Kong." - Banking

"Technically and commercially sound, user friendly, responsive and competitive in pricing. Mandarin capability in its financing team is also a big plus considering our client profile." – Banking

"Professional, high efficiency and very kind." - Banking

"Helpful and professional." – Capital markets: Debt

"Excellent. It has a magical combination of talent across the debt capital markets. Wonderful expertise, responsiveness and attention to detail." - Capital markets: Debt

"Generally very satisfied with Ashurst. It is very competent and commercial and the rates are competitive." - Capital markets: Debt

"The counsel in the derivatives team always produces high quality work in a timely and efficient manner. It is very diligent and approachable." – Capital markets: Derivatives

"Ashurst is very professional and the team has strong experience in Hong Kong equity market." – Capital markets: Equity 

"High prospectus drafting quality. Also provides sufficient resources for transactions." - Capital markets: Equity 

"Responsive and eager to please. Does not rest on its laurels unlike a number of the magic circle or Wall Street firms that brush aside client queries that it thinks the client should know already." - Capital markets: Equity

"Very thorough and thoughtful work. The partners are very hands on and pay attention to detail. Very responsive to clients' requests." - Capital markets: Equity

"I think Ashurst combined technical expertise with really good client coverage. Whether it is on the issuer's side or bank side, I trust it isn't trying to simply score points. The firm wants to ensure the deal is successful." – Capital markets: High-yield  

"Very pleased with Christopher Whiteley and Kai Loon Loh's approach and enjoy working with them. People one can trust in the market." – Capital markets: Structured finance and securitisation

"The firm is responsive and has a good understanding of commercial objectives and cost efficiency." - Financial services regulatory

"Very thorough and diligent. Receptive of feedback, with nuanced responses." – Investment funds

"Ashurst is very client oriented, knowledgeable, flexible and pragmatic." – Investment funds

"Ashurst provides premium work at reasonable prices. The team is responsive and gives practical advice." – M&A

"The firm has been fantastic. Its work is top notch. It continuously identifies hazards for me and its drafting is excellent. Our counterparty is not sophisticated, so Ashurst had to do a lot of the heavy lifting to get this transaction over the line." – M&A

"The firm has a good team and is able to handle negotiations well, with good attention to detail." – Private equity

"Ashurst is very experienced in the field, and it is very professional, highly efficient and easy to communicate with. The firm did a good job in the project, and even when the deal closed it was still willing to provide help." – Project finance

Frank Bi

"Mr Bi is a Hong Kong capital markets veteran. He has solid legal knowledge and an intensive network with other players in the market and regulators. He is diligent with prudence as well as very innovative."

Stephanie Chan

"Stephanie Chan is very capable, sensible, and sensitive to clients' needs. She is well equipped to cater to and address the needs of those based in the People's Republic of China."  

Chin Chuan Chen

"Chin Chuan Chen is professional and efficient."

Priscilla Chen

"Since becoming a partner, Priscilla has created a leading practice in the area. She has an exceptional knowledge of repackagings, prime brokerage and securities lending. She is extremely commercial and well loved by clients and, of course, a native Mandarin speaker."

Zhibin Fan

"Zhibin Fan is a very good lawyer, a professional, hardworking and tries his best to service his client. I really appreciate his efforts in the deals that we worked on together. I hope he can make partner of the law firm in the near future."

Ben Hammond

"Very good commercial understanding of what we are trying to achieve. Pragmatic adviser."

Li Jiang

"Li is a very capable. She is able to understand the client's business well, and deliver high-quality prospectus drafting work."

Jini Lee

"Professional and efficient."

Kai Loon Loh

"Very strong technical skills, produces high quality work, is diligent and dedicated to meet tight deadlines."

Dean Moroz

"Thorough and diligent with nuanced responses."

"Very client oriented, knowledgeable, flexible and pragmatic."

"Dean Moroz is our go-to partner at Ashurst for our investment work. His strength is that he has ample experience acting for institutional investors in joint ventures, private investment funds and club deals. He produces very commercially friendly advice."

Nigel Pridmore

"An excellent lawyer. Very experienced and commercial. Gives practical and value added advice."   

Stuart Rubin

"He is an experienced US lawyer in Hong Kong capital markets transactions. He is very hands on and heavily involved in deal execution. Good communication skills with clients and thoughtful over the issues."

Anna-Marie Slot

"Anna-Marie has technical skills, knowledge of the jurisdictions she operates in, and is 'user friendly'. She can break down complex issues for the client and spells out your options. She can unite both sides. She's just an extremely competent and likeable lawyer."  

Eric Tan

"He is highly intuitive to client needs and goals and is able to get to the critical points quickly and deliver. We have been very impressed with his team and how they presented themselves. This team shines in comparison with the other banking teams that we have dealt with in other city firms. We have been extremely impressed."

"Commercially sensitive and client oriented. Reliable and a very good pair of hands to have on board on our deals. He does what it takes at all hours to get the deal done - so that his clients can rest easy." 

"Eric is a very diligent and professional lawyer who provides services which always exceed my expectations. He is very hands on and is very willing to work on documents and attend conference calls, unlike partners in some law firms who seldom appear after the fee quote is agreed. He is very good at working with clients and understands the needs of clients very well. He is commercial and practical. I would describe Eric as one of the most talented and promising young banking and finance partners in Hong Kong."

"Eric is technically sound, commercially astute and also very responsive to client needs. He is also effectively bilingual which is particularly helpful given our client profile is largely Chinese."

Christopher Whiteley

"Excellent. Approachable and commercial. I very much enjoy working with him."

Chin Yeoh

"Chin is technically skilled, responsive and a hands on partner. I have found in the past that it matters not so much which firm one works with but which partner. There are magic circle firms whose partners' work is disappointing. Chin is able to deliver premium quality work at reasonable prices."

"Chin is practical and very detailed."

"He is excellent. Sharp, client friendly and a great advocate."

 

Baker McKenzie

Baker McKenzie is best known in Hong Kong and China for its finance, regulatory, M&A and investment funds work where it has onshore domestic Rmb funds capability through the Baker & McKenzie FenXun (FTZ) Joint Operation Office in the Shanghai Free Trade Zone. It also has a large 11-partner-strong restructuring and insolvency team.

In the research period it has also been active in fintech regulatory matters, having advised Tencent Holdings on the establishment of the joint venture Infinium and in its successful application for a virtual banking license from the Hong Kong Monetary Authority.

The firm has also been active in private equity and in real estate funds where it advised Canada Pension Plan Investment Board on its cornerstone investment into the largest ever Japan-focused logistics private real estate fund.

In M&A the firm has kept busy with acquisition and joint venture work in the technology and retail industries.

The firm lost insolvency partner Soo Khim Keoy to Withers in October 2018.

Recent Deal Data highlights

•                      Akzo Nobel acquisition of Swire Industrial decorative paints joint venture

•                      Gaw Capital consortium HK$12 billion acquisition of 12 retail properties

•                      General Nice Resources insolvency

•                      GLP $5.5 billion Japan Development Partners III

•                      Tencent Holdings acquisition of Sharkmob

•                      Weave Co-Living $181 million private equity investment

•                      Westinghouse Electric Corporation restructuring

•                      Wolverine World Wide joint venture with Xtep International Holdings

Client feedback

 

"Very good technical knowledge and timely responses." – Restructuring and insolvency

 

Bird & Bird

In the financial and corporate space, Bird & Bird’s corporate practice is very much focused on technology. It advises clients through the value chain from start-ups to multinationals. 

The firm is also active in the healthcare, private equity, retail, entertainment and aviation industries. Over the research period the firm acted in a number of joint venture mandates in the automotive, aviation, biotech and agricultural industries. In one interesting mandate, the firm advised Primary Group on a $7 million Series A investment in Roojai by IFC, a member of the World Bank Group.  

Key clients include China Huarong Overseas Investment Holdings Company, Israel Aerospace Industries, Weiye Holdings, Natural Beauty Bio-Technology, Beijing Xinwei Technology Group and VSeA Valeo Siemens e-Automotive. 

Recent Deal Data highlights

•Roojai $7 million series A financing

•VSeA Valeo Siemens e-Automotive €50 million joint venture with Fawer Automotive Parts

 

Charltons

Charltons is a Hong Kong boutique that provides legal services in the corporate finance, capital markets, M&A, financial regulatory, and private equity space. With offices also located in Shanghai, Beijing, and Yangon, the firm advises both domestic and international clients with an emphasis on the mining sector.  

This year, Charltons focused on matters concerning capital markets and corporate M&A. Highlights include advising banks on the repurchase of shares, negotiating fund investments, and managing non-public issuances of shares. 

Key clients include CICC Hong Kong Securities, Oceanwide Capital, Alliance Capital Partners, Taiping Financial Holdings Company, China Taiping Insurance Group, and Shangdong Xinhua Pharmaceutical Company. 

Recent Deal Data highlights

•Tianli Education Group HKSE IPO

•Taiping Financial Holdings Company HK$550 million term loan facility

Client feedback

"Overall very positive, strong client service, individual attention, real interest in the subject matter of the deal and understanding of the private equity industry." – Private equity

Julia Charlton

"Excellent lawyer, listens to clients, gets the facts and works through the issues."

 

Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton

Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton is best known for its capital markets, private equity, funds, and M&A work in Hong Kong and China. The firm has offices in Beijing and Hong Kong and offers advice on US, English and Hong Kong law.  

During the research period, the firm was busy advising issuers and underwriters on listings in the US and Hong Kong. It has also been active in the formation of private equity funds and has engaged in M&A and private equity acquisitive work in the technology, banking, consumer goods and food and beverage industries.

In September 2018, the firm was hit with the departure of M&A and private equity partner Ling Huang, who left to join King & Wood Mallesons.

Recent Deal Data highlights

•AsiaInfo Technologies HKSE IPO

•Huabao International $695 million acquisition of Jiahao Foodstuff

•Lenovo Group $675 million 3.375% convertible bond issue

•Luckin Coffee Nasdaq IPO 

•MBK Partners Special Situations I LP

•SenseTime Group $620 million series C+ financing 

•TPG Asia VII

•Weidai NYSE IPO

 

Clifford Chance

Arguably the most visible magic circle firm in the Hong Kong and China market, Clifford Chance occupies tier one across an array of practice areas as it has the largest banking team in Hong Kong and strong relationships with Chinese policy and commercial banks. The firm’s IPO practice enjoys a dominant market share and huge deal flow when it comes to debt securities.

Over the research period the firm successfully completed over 100 debt capital markets transactions, including the world’s largest single tranche additional tier 1 deal in 2018, and the first panda bonds successfully issued in the China inter-bank bond market by a Hong Kong-based investment bank.

Its equity capital markets team completed nine IPOs on Hong Kong’s stock exchange raising $15.84 billion in aggregate, which amounted to over 45% of the total proceeds raised by all Hong Kong IPOs in 2018. This included advising the joint sponsors and underwriters in China Tower’s IPO, which was among the world’s largest in the past two years. 

The firm bolstered its regulatory practice with the hire of partner Jimmy Chan from Hong Kong’s Securities and Futures Commission. Its equity capital markets team was boosted by the return of Lorna Lyu, but lost counsel Yufei Liao who moved in-house.

Recent Deal Data highlights

•                      ABC International Holdings Rmb3 billion panda bond issue

•                      Bank of China $3 billion AT1 capital securities issue

•                      China Tower HKSE IPO

•                      Noble Group financial restructuring 

•                      Ping An Healthcare and Technology Company HKSE IPO

•                      Tsinghua Unigroup €2.3 billion acquisition of Linxens

•                      Xiaomi Corporation HKSE IPO

•                      Zhongsheng Group HK$4.7 billion zero coupon convertible bond issue

Client feedback

"Very professional and takes its work seriously." – Banking

"Clifford Chance understands our bank's structure and needs, so this puts them at an advantage when we need urgent and accurate legal advice on bespoke points of law." – Capital markets: Debt

 "Very professional and experienced." – Capital markets: Equity

 "Detailed and professional." – Financial services regulatory

"Responsive and practical advice. It has experience dealing with the regulator and understanding the commercial imperatives of our business line." – Financial services regulatory

"Timely and fruitful responses." – Financial services regulatory

"The partners and the lawyers in the team are technically excellent. The team gave concise, timely and pragmatic advice throughout the entire process, from the initial structuring stage all the way to the fund documentation drafting and negotiation stage. During the entire time, it showed a deep understanding on how the products work and how the industry and its stakeholders work in practice. The firm also gave excellent insights into the latest approach adopted by regulators which we found extremely useful." – Investment funds

"The team was very responsive and able to think outside of the box on various points. It has been instrumental in helping us through the start-up phase of our business and continues to be our preferred legal adviser." – Investment funds

"We were very satisfied with the quality of work." – Investment funds

"Clifford Chance is very knowledgeable and up-to-date with legal and regulatory issues." – Investment funds

"Clifford Chance Hong Kong has a very good understanding of the asset management industry, the current product trends in the market, stakeholders in the market and operational processes involved in our business across the region. As always, we can rely on it to analyse complex problems and provide advice that is concise, pragmatic and relevant for our business. If there is a solution to a problem, we can rely on the firm to find it for us." – Investment funds

"Clifford Chance provided excellent client service on the matter. It worked closely with us to design creative solutions to complex structuring challenges. In general, Clifford Chance's team in Hong Kong is very broad and capable of handling nearly any type of investment fund. Clifford Chance's global funds team is strong and well connected, which enables them to offer strong, coordinated support to us in different regions. Its strength lies in its broad coverage. The firm has experienced lawyers available who are able to advise on local Hong Kong regulatory issues while also maintaining an international perspective." – Investment funds

"Clifford Chance provided excellent guidance throughout our negotiations with the SEC joint venture partner. It was especially well positioned to provide us with the support we needed in China as well as offshore. It is simply the best firm to work with in China for any international firm looking to do business with an SOE." – Investment funds 

"Clifford Chance, Hong Kong, has provided an excellent service to us. Its work is extremely high quality, consistent and reliable. The firm benefits from having an extremely broad and well-connected international network." – Investment funds

"It was very impressive work done by the partner Virginia Lee, and also her associate, Winnie Poon, who is very junior, but very very good. The project had to be done in a very tight timeframe, and in a new area of law, and the joint venture relationship with our partners was very complex. Clifford Chance did a good job in safeguarding our interests in the negotiations." – M&A

"Strong and dedicated team that can understand our commercial interests and desires in order to formulate appropriate strategies for the bank." – Restructuring and insolvency

Jimmy Chan

"Very detailed and professional, offering good quality advice and solutions."

"Jimmy is a man of high calibre who has a deep understanding of the regulatory landscape across Asia. He can always offer pragmatic solutions, and he is a pleasant person to work with."

Mark Chan

"Very solid legal knowledge on new areas of laws such as LIBOR, HIBOR and LAC Rules."

Robert Child

"Robert is a strong lawyer that engages very well with his clients. He is accessible and responsive to requests and can provide clear and concise advice."

"Very pleasant to work with."

Matt Feldman

"He has great commercial acumen and knows exactly what we need and is able to deliver to our expectations. Other than looking at the questions that we ask, he would highlight other areas that we should pay attention to, not in an attempt to create more business, but genuinely out of concern for our business. For these reasons, I find him extremely reliable and his work represents great value for money."

Virginia Lee

"Virginia is very good and has worked on deals with our bank for many years now. She understands very well the nuances and internal management structure and style, and also just as important is that she understands the synergies of our bank vis-a-vis our bank group."

Viola Liu

"The work provided by the team has been clear and well thought out.We appreciate the attention to detail which has allowed for speedy turnaround and limited revisions."  

Mark Shipman

"Very experienced and has good knowledge of the industry and market practice. Advice is always clear, concise and pragmatic. Confident in presenting his views and interpretation of the regulations. Very responsive and easy to work with."

"Mark Shipman provides excellent client service. He is flexible in his approach and is willing to adjust based on his clients' needs. He brings a great deal of experience and a truly international perspective. He is a trusted adviser on both Hong Kong and international regulatory issues."

"Excellent for fund formation advice."

"Very knowledgeable and up-to-date with legal and regulatory matters."

"Mark is a true expert in investment funds and related regulatory matters. He is able to provide efficient, consistent advice on a broad range of topics. He is a true partner to our business."

Anthony Wang

"Clifford Chance's Anthony Wang is widely regarded as a 'legend of the industry' in the market. He has been working for 24 hours a day and seven days a week for more than 20 years, but is still able to produce perfectly watertight finance documents for his clients in the transactions he handles."

Tim Wang

"Very professional and committed."

Ying White

"Ying is technically excellent, has great knowledge on cross-border fund structures and the related legal and commercial issues. She is very responsive and offers pragmatic advice that we found very useful. She is a top lawyer in the cross-border funds space."

"Ying White provides excellent client service. She is one of the few lawyers in China that truly understand international firms and the challenges they face in China. Her guidance and advice on cross-border matters is extremely valuable for any global firm looking to grow in China."

 

 

 

Davis Polk & Wardwell

Davis Polk & Wardwell is well established in Hong Kong and has traditional strength in the equity capital markets with a strong flow of Hong Kong, US IPOs and follow-on offerings, while occupying a dominant position for high-yield and investment grade debt. The firm is also solid handling private equity and M&A work.

The firm has completed over 90 high-yield deals in China since the start of 2018, with deal flow emanating from the real estate, gaming, energy, industrials, and e-commerce industries, while its equity capital markets team closed 10 Hong Kong IPOs and 10 US IPOs in the same period.

Davis Polk’s M&A and private equity team also had a solid year and the practice is accustomed to handling inbound and outbound deals, joint ventures, spinoffs and privatisations in the TMT, biotech, education, energy, financial institutions, healthcare, real estate and retail sectors.

Its private equity practice handles fund formation, structuring, investments, recapitalisations and dispositions.

Recent Deal Data highlights

•                      BeiGene HKSE IPO

•                      China Evergrande $3 billion triple tranche (7.0% 6.25% and 8.25%) high-yield bond issue

•                      Heineken €1.9 billion joint venture with China Resources Enterprise and China Resources Beer Holdings

•                      iQIYI’s $750 million 3.75% convertible bond issue

•                      Ping An Healthcare and Technology HKSE IPO

•                      Sands China $5.5 billion triple tranche (4.6% 5.125% and 5.4%) high-yield bond issue 

•                      Tencent Music Entertainment Group NYSE IPO

•                      Yunfeng Capital, Alibaba Group Holding and iKang senior management $1.2 billion acquisition of iKang Healthcare Group

Client feedback

"The firm is knowledgeable, hardworking, meets timelines and is commercial." – Capital markets: Debt

"High quality personnel, great support, great advice, and a detailed analysis of pros and cons." – Capital markets: Debt

"Top ranking law firm. Its Hong Kong debt capital markets team is number one on the street." – Capital markets: Debt

"The firm is responsive, professional, and highly commercial." – Capital markets: Equity

"Best in class. User-friendly subject matter experts who boast deep knowledge of the law, regulation and regulatory expectations, while demonstrating commercial and practical sensitivity. Its lawyers further offer considerable cognitive, gender and ethnic diversity ensuring that we don't approach difficult decisions with subconscious blinders on." – Financial services regulatory

"The firm and the team it fielded was knowledgable, commercially minded and also very responsive to queries." – Financial services regulatory

Gerhard Radtke

"He's incredible. A long term and loyal service provider. He's my go-to person on any questions - even when DPW are not advising on the trade. He's excellent, approachable, incredibly hardworking, commercial and thoughtful. Easily one of the top capital markets lawyers in the region.”

"Gerhard Radtke is one of the best debt capital markets lawyers on the street. He is very experienced and innovative since the day I started working with him in 2011."

"All-rounder in debt. Personally, I can't find a better counsel."

Martin Rogers

"Martin is very knowledgeable and experienced in his space and is certainly one of the top names on the list of go to lawyers for contentious regulatory or regulatory investigations work."

James Wadham

"James provides thoughtful, strategic thinking; is attentive to billing; has excellent anticipation of regulatory thinking and expectations; and is a key player with a strong, deep, diverse team."  

Howard Zhang

"Howard is very responsive and highly commercial." 

 

Deacons

Hong Kong's oldest and largest independent full-service law firm, Deacons dominates in retail funds and hedge funds. It has the largest investment funds team in Hong Kong, and covers PRC-related funds and mandatory provident fund (MPF) funds, which are unique to Hong Kong.

Over the research period the firm’s finance practice often acted for borrowers in real estate finance or refinancing mandates, and the M&A team advised on logistics, real estate and aviation mandates.

The firm’s funds team had another strong year and acted in the establishment of the Invesco Belt and Road Bond Fund, which is the first fund linked to China’s Belt & Road initiative to be authorised by the SFC.

Finally, the firm’s capital markets team had a stellar year acting on the debut Rmb bill issuances by the People's Bank of China in Hong Kong, and in Rmb10 billion sovereign bonds issued by China’s Ministry of Finance in Hong Kong. Deacons’ IPO practice also had a hot streak from May 2018 to June 2019 advising 20 successful launches in that period, including Xinyi Energy Holdings IPO and Tai Hing Group Holdings’ IPO, which became the largest Hong Kong-listed cha chaan teng—Hong Kong-style restaurant—group on the HKSE.

The firm bolstered its corporate practice with the hires of partner Peter Cheng from Davis Polk & Wardwell and senior compliance and regulatory officer from the listing department of Hong Kong’s stock exchange.

Recent Deal Data highlights

•                      Hong Kong Aircraft Engineering Company HK$3 billion privatisation

•                      Invesco Belt and Road Bond Fund

•                      PRC Ministry of Finance Rmb10 billion sovereign bond issue

•                      Tai Hing Group Holdings HKSE IPO

•                      Timenew HK$900 million acquisition of majority stake in Manfield Chemical Holdings

•                      The People's Bank of China Rmb40 billion dual-tranche (Rmb 20 billion each) bond issue

•                      Xinyi Energy Holdings HKSE IPO

•                      Yincheng International Holding HKSE IPO

Client feedback

"Deacons has deep knowledge of the local banking and financial markets including Chinese owned banks." - Banking

"Its overall performance was professional." - Banking

"The firm does great work in transactions and is efficient with high quality." – Banking 

"Deacons provides us with a professional attitude and responsive support. Its work has reflected that it is not only experienced in legal and compliance regulations and keeps abreast of the latest industry knowledge, but also assists clients in exploring resolutions under various commercial circumstances. We consider its performance and advice as valuable." – Banking

"Deacons is responsive and usually provides practical advice. Its licensing, compliance and regulatory team is knowledgeable and experienced in the SFC regime. Particularly, it creates excellent compliance manuals and procedures as well as policies for clients." – Financial services regulatory

"The firm can provide succinct advice on SFC regulatory requests and licensing requirements." – Financial services regulatory

"Excellent firm, providing expertise of the local markets and regulator. In addition to the excellent service which we have to date received, it charges a fair rate for the work which it undertakes." – Investment funds  

"Top quality. The firm has subject matter expertise in funds." – Investment funds

"Deacons is the go-to firm in Hong Kong for investment fund issues, both for day to day support on fund registration as well as more contentious topics." – Investment funds

"Deacons is a full service law firm that can provide us with a one stop shop service. This is extremely helpful as we do not need to look for different law firms to assist us in a project involving different legal expertise. The partners and associates are extremely responsive and we are very comfortable that our projects are in good hands." – M&A

Su Cheen Chuah

"She is very knowledgeable about our business and gives advice that is tailored to our needs and requirements."

"Very knowledgeable and responsive."

Jeremy Lam

"Jeremy has been the go-to lawyer for Hong Kong investment fund topics for many years. He has good interaction with the local regulator and can be relied upon to give practical advice on how to manage regulatory risk."

Teresa Lau

"Teresa provides great legal services to us and always offers good advice during the transaction."

"We are impressed by Ms Teresa Lau and her team's professional attitude, industry knowledge, commercial sensibility, and responsive and continuous support to clients."

Virginia Lee

"Virginia is friendly, knowledgeable and provides a timely service. I look forward to dealing with Virginia in the future."  

Jane McBride

"Jane is a brilliant lawyer that can offer practical and useful legal advice to cater to our business needs."

Lavita Pong

"Lavita is very experienced within the compliance and regulatory field. She provides excellent advice and drafted procedures which no other law firms can provide. Deacons has a monopoly in this field."

Myles Seto

"Myles is a very experienced partner who can take good care of our projects. He is very responsive and is always reachable. He always gives practical advice and is able to assist us in driving the deal in an efficient and effective way."

 

Debevoise & Plimpton

Owing to the strength of its relationships with private equity firms, Debevoise & Plimpton is among the leaders in private funds work in Asia for quite some time often acting in some of the largest fund-raisings in the market,. The firm is also active representing private equity firms in their investments and acquisitive dealings across the region. It has offices in Shanghai and Hong Kong, which lead its work throughout Asia alongside its counterparts in Tokyo.  

During the research period, the firm kept busy advising its clients on pan-Asian mega-funds, funds catering to Thailand and Southeast Asia, and funds focused on China’s life sciences sector. The firm also acted for HarbourVest Partners as lead investor in a single asset fund restructuring that brought together the law firm’s funds and M&A practices. 

In a rare lateral hire for Debevoise & Plimpton, the firm hired litigation and contentious regulatory investigations partner Gareth Hughes from Ashurst.  

Recent Deal Data highlights

•Baring Private Equity Asia Fund VII 

•BPEA Real Estate Fund II

•North Haven Thai Private Equity Fund LP

•Resolution Life A$3.3 billion acquisition AMP’s Australian and New Zealand wealth protection and mature businesses

•Southern Capital Fund IV

•Unicharm Corporation $530 million acquisition of DSG International

Client feedback

"The lawyers have a lot of experience in their field and are able to give very reasoned advice based on very good precedent and knowledge of what actually does and does not work." – Capital markets: Equity

"It was very commercial, practical, and responsive." – Investment funds

"Excellent. The firm was super responsive with direct access to the most senior partners. It offered commercially sound practical advice with loads of insight from decades of practice." – Investment funds

"Outstanding. D&P has the best investment funds practice in Asia. Led by the preeminent Andrew Ostrognai, D&P has an impressive team of first class lawyers who are able to provide sensible and solutions-oriented advice and cross-border service to clients." – Investment funds

"It was extremely helpful. The firm is very close to the market and has good market knowledge." – Private equity

"The best funds team in Asia-Pacific." – Private equity funds

 

Dechert

Dechert is best known in Hong Kong for its investment funds work, particularly in private equity and hedge funds where it has secured a tier two berth this year. The firm is also expanding its equity capital markets, M&A and banking practices.

In the past 12 months, the firm’s China team has advised on the establishment of more than 28 private equity funds and 30 hedge funds. It has been attending to the fundraising needs of Primavera, China Everbright, Silk Road Fund and China Resources Capital Management, while acting on hedge funds including Brilliant Partners Fund, Formosa Asia Opportunity Fund, Everbright Dynamic Bond Fund and Everbright China Focus Fund.

Dechert is known worldwide for its fund formation capabilities, acting for 18 of the 20 largest global asset managers and more than 700 private funds and fund management groups.

Recent Deal Data highlights

•                      CEL $543 million global investment LP fund

•                      Charles Schwab $1.76 billion worldwide funds

•                      Everbright dynamic bond fund

•                      Hibiki Cayman Islands hedge fund

•                      Manulife global multi-asset registered fund

•                      Ping An China asset management RAIF fund

Client feedback

"Dechert is the most professional law firm that I've met in Hong Kong. It is very experienced and efficient. It can think all around and provide the best advice and solutions for all parties."

Yang Wang

"Yang helped me with the full workload of a private equity investment from deal structure, due diligence, transaction documents and then later the VIE set up. Yang is perfect."

 

Dentons

Dentons China is formerly known as Dacheng Law Firm but is structured as a Swiss Verein since international firms cannot practice PRC law. In fact, in Chinese the firm is still known as Dacheng (大成). The firm is strongest in private equity and investment funds where it is ranked highest, but it has a highly active securitisation practice and a diverse offering across the board with expertise in numerous industries such as technology and telecommunications, entertainment, pharmaceuticals, healthcare, insurance, automotive, aviation, manufacturing and mining. 

The firm’s capital markets practice has had a mixture of Hong Kong IPO and bond work, including corporate and convertible issuances, and a strong flow of securitisation mandates over the research period.

Its private equity team kept busy with transactions at different stages of funding, and its corporate team acted in insurance, energy, technology and real estate related deals. 

Recent Deal Data highlights  

•51 Credit Card HKSE IPO 

•Beijing Century Chemsunny Property Management Rmb1.54 billion property maintenance charge asset-backed securitisation 

•Brunei PMB Island integrated refining and petrochemical plant 

•Citic Bank Rmb40 billion convertible bond issue 

•Finger Tango HKSE IPO 

•Haier Group Rmb10 billion supply chain finance ABS 

•Tailong Commercial Bank Rmb16.7 billion credit ABS 

•Tech-New Group Rmb100 million acquisition of Jinan Maiteli Technology Group  

Client feedback

"The firm is strong in reviewing contracts and providing comments, negotiation, problem solving and cost saving." – Banking

"It's impressive and professional." – Banking

"Lawyer (Yingying) Li's team has never let us down. Our colleagues speak highly of them. It stands out among many law firms and its lawyers always have the acumen to find the key breaking points in tricky and complicated cases. This acumen depends to a large extent on their full understanding of the business models, project practices, laws and regulations and judicial tendencies of the industry to which a given case is related. Dentons is a law firm that we can trust." – Banking

"The firm is speedy and replies professionally." - Banking

Cathy Wang

"Cathy is a good communicator. She has good knowledge in aviation and strictly insists on a client's benefit."

Liang Zhou

"I'm Impressed. Zhou Liang is professional."

 

Dorsey & Whitney

Dorsey & Whitney’s Hong Kong office occupies a unique space as it is primarily focused on the Indian capital markets. It was among the first international firm participants in the Indian equity capital markets, and has been building out its India debt capital markets practice in recent times. 

The firm acted for Citicorp International in Vedanta Resources’ rule 144A $1 billion dual tranche senior unsecured high-yield issue, which was the largest high-yield offering out of India this year and was listed on the Singapore Stock Exchange.

During the research period, the firm brought in partner David Cameron from Allen & Overy to develop its India debt capital markets practice, and it also hired capital markets expert Debolina Saha from Cantor Fitzgerald in March 2019. 

Recent Deal Data highlights

•Vedanta Resources $1 billion 8.75% high-yield bond issue

 

Eversheds Sutherland

Eversheds Sutherland’s Hong Kong practice is best known for its work in restructuring and insolvency and structured finance and securitisation. Other notable fields include banking and M&A.

During the research period, the firm advised on refinancing, restructuring, and liquidation mandates. Other highlights include arranging securitisation transactions for foreign actors.   

Key clients include WeLend, Hong Kong Capital Finance, Modern Success Global, Meritz Securities, E-Land Group, China Merchants Securities, Liberty Group, Gibson Innovations, and Axis Bank. 

A notable recent staffing change saw counsel Simon Barrell join from Shearman & Sterling. 

Recent Deal Data highlights

•Gibson Innovations insolvency

•Maplin Electronics insolvency

•Tewoo Group corporate restructuring

Client feedback

''The firm are usually prompt and pragmatic in its advice, and commercial in its outlook." – Banking

"I'm entirely happy with the firm's services." - Banking

"The firm is responsive and tailors its services to its clients' needs." – Capital markets: Debt

"Eversheds Sutherland's advice is very practical and very good." – Restructuring and insolvency

“It's pricing is competitive and the lawyers are readily available and willing to help." – Restructuring and insolvency

 

Fangda Partners

Fangda Partners is one of China’s elite law firms with traditional strength in private equity. It was one of the earliest entrants into the PRC fund formation market and its team has the dual capacity to advise on renminbi and offshore US dollar fund formation matters. M&A is a core focus of the firm, while its capital markets team has TMT expertise, and the finance team is especially potent in acquisition financing.  

In the research period the firm strengthened its presence in the debt securities market, having successfully closed over 20 deals including high-yield, investment grade and panda bond issuances.  

The firm’s renowned funds practice has been active in the private equity, venture capital, renminbi and secondaries space in sectors such as insurance, real estate and healthcare.  

It’s M&A team has been catering to mandates in the healthcare, biotech, automotive and food and beverage industries.  

In mid-2018, the firm brought in debt capital markets partner Christine Chen and banking partner Laurence Yuan from King & Wood Mallesons. The firm also poached fro international firm Shearman & Sterling hiring Colin Law, Peter Chen, Edward Bong and Arman Lie, thereby strengthening its Hong Kong law capabilities.  

Recent Deal Data highlights  

•Boyu Rmb10.22 billion RMB Fund III 

•BMW Group Rmb29 billion acquisition of 25% stake in BMW Brilliance Automotive  

•Carlyle Rmb1.5 billion RMB Fund II 

•Commercial Properties $450 million 7.3% high-yield bond issue 

•FountainVest Rmb500 million acquisition financing 

•Sun Hung Kai Properties Rmb1.2 billion panda bond issue 

•United Overseas Bank Rmb2 billion 3.49% panda bond issue 

•YF Capital Rmb8.55 billion RMB Fund IV 

Client feedback

"It's very professional, and especially helpful that the partner in charge, Christine (Chen), is New York trained and able to bridge the gap between domestic standards and foreign expectations." – Capital markets: Debt

"Colin Law and his team, who joined from their legacy firm in Fangda, performed excellent work on Hong Kong law matters.  Xueyan Jiang, Wanhua Huo and their team performed excellent work on PRC law matters. The firm is responsive and can identify key issues and provide feasible solutions." – Capital markets: Equity

"The services were of great quality, and I will highly recommend the firm to my friends." – Capital markets: Structured finance and securitisation

"Fangda is professional and very efficient." - Capital markets: Structured finance and securitisation 

"Mr Fang Jian and Ms Grace Yu have the expertise in this area. They are responsive, hard-working and have delivered the work in the professional way." – M&A

"The law firm provides a consistently high quality service, with very good business sense and an incredibly speedy and in-depth legal analysis." – M&A

"The firm's professionals have great knowledge regarding the TMT industry and can help us solve difficult legal and commercial issues." – M&A

"Very professional, responsive and with high quality." – M&A

"Fangda's team has repeatedly proved its professionalism, diligence, communication skills, and more importantly commercial sense and good judgement, to identify risk, address issues, and achieve positive business results." – Private equity

"Fangda did a great job. The team always responds to our requests very quickly. It consists of lawyers with the knowledge of several jurisdictions, which is very important for cross-border transactions and projects. We wish they could have more offices abroad, especially in some important jurisdictions like UK and Europe to provide more on the ground legal work for us." – Project development

"Fangda Partners has very good teamwork between different groups, good cooperation with clients, such that the client has confidence to engage it in some difficult situations and complex tasks." – Project development

"The overall service from Fangda's team is brilliant. Its service is professional, efficient and always meets our time requirements and provides workable solutions under difficult situations. Most importantly, its price is reasonable and fair." – Project finance

"The firm has a commercial and efficient approach." – Project finance

Zhou Biqing

"Zhou Biqing has excellent communication skills and is very responsive with great legal knowledge. The firm needs to expand its international network in line with trends as more and more projects are related to more than two or three jurisdictions."

"Mr Zhou has all the legal expertise needed in our project. He is always answerable to all kinds of tricky issues and his input forms an integral part of the success of our project."

"Zhou is professional, skilled and good at communication."

Christine Chen

"Christine Chen was able to bridge domestic standards and foreign expectations."

Fang Jian

"Mr Fang is the top lawyer in this area (M&A). He is technically strong, experienced, responsive and hard-working."

Colin Law

"Colin Law is responsive, innovative, and professionally committed."

Kewu Li

"Kewu knows how to provide creative legal solutions in a continuously changing world we are facing nowadays."

Wang Lingqi

"Lingqi is very helpful in providing both legal advice and industry/market colour. He is very efficient and proactive. We like his frank approach and he gives clients' advice to best suit clients' interest."

Michael Tam

"Michael is commercial, efficient and client oriented."

Yan Yan

"The quality of the delivered work was highly appreciated."

"He is very professional and can always help solve problems. He is a good leader, and our cooperation with his team is very successful."

Lily Yin

"Highly competent attorney, very responsive, great business sense, and gives timely practical advice."

Amanda Zhou

"Amanda Zhou is the most seasoned transactional lawyer - with amazing commercial sense - that I have worked with on numerous investment and acquisition deals."

 

Gallant

Gallant is an independent Hong Kong law firm that is most notable for its work in the areas of banking and M&A. With additional offices in Guangzhou and Shanghai, the practice specialises in cross-border legal services between Hong Kong and mainland China. 

Gallant is also a member of Meritas, a global alliance consisting of 181 independent law firms. 

This year, the firm advised on acquisitions of Hong Kong and offshore companies. 

Key clients include Fullsun International Holdings Group.

Recent Deal Data highlights

•Fullsun International Holdings Group HKD$920 million acquisition of Hong Kong and offshore company 

Client feedback

"Gallant provides professional legal services with outstanding efficiency and quality. Its experienced solicitors offer advice based on in-depth understanding of client's specific business needs." – Banking

"Gallant can always provide prompt and useful legal advice to our company." – Financial services regulatory

"Gallant's partners are very experienced and it has been providing efficient and quality services to us for a long time at a reasonable cost. It provides sound legal solutions and will also at the same time consider the commercial implications. This helps our management a lot in consideration of risk and finance for the project investment. The firm is professional and efficient. It has a stable professional workforce and each matter is closely supervised by a partner." – Project development

Angela Lau

"Angela is responsive and devoted. She can always provide appropriate and useful advice to our company."

Kelvin Leung

"Kelvin Leung has strong expertise in the banking and financing sector; he works with high efficiency and delivers quality work that meets clients' needs."

Philip Wong

"Philip is very professional and efficiently provides advice and feedback to our requests."

 

Gibson Dunn & Crutcher

Gibson Dunn & Crutcher in China operates from its Beijing office, where it also coordinates with Hong Kong and Singapore. It is best known for its work in M&A, project finance, and project development.

This year, the firm focused on investment funds and project development matters. Highlights include representing Asian private equity firms in the formation of new investment funds, advising energy corporations on their ownership interests, and managing the development, construction, and financing of a transportation project.

Key clients include Boyu Capital, CITIC Capital, New Horizon Capital, PAG, Lupin Capital, Meralco PowerGen Corporation, Yida China Holdings, DCP Capital, and Trustbridge Partners.

A notable recent development saw funds partners John Fadely and Albert Cho join from Weil Gotshal & Manges.  

Recent Deal Data highlights

•Blackstone Group $945 million acquisition of Geo-Young

•Boyu Capital fund IV

•CITIC Capital China fund IV

•CITIC Capital and Caixin Global $181 million of Global Markets Intelligence Division

•MRT-7 project

•PAG China special situation fund

•Trustbridge Partners VI 

 

Goodwin Procter

Goodwin Procter is best known for its private equity work in the technology and life sciences sectors. Its clientele includes regional and international funds such as Carlyle, Canyon Bridge, DST Global, Falcon Edge Capital, FountainVest Partners, Hillhouse Capital, Horizons Ventures, and LionRock Capital.

During the research period, the firm kept busy advising on various funding rounds and investments, trade sales, privatisations, pre-IPO investments and selling shareholder dealings in the technology, biotech and healthcare industries.

The firm strengthened its team with the hires of private equity transactional specialist Bosco Yiu from Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton and debt finance lawyer Daniel Lindsey from Kirkland & Ellis.

Recent Deal Data highlights

•Alibaba $2.23 billion acquisition of Focus Media Information Technology

•eHi Car Services $1.1 billion going private

•Gossamer Bio $230 million series B financing

•iKang Healthcare $1.4 billion going private 

•Lufax $1.3 billion financing 

 

HM Chan & Co in association with Taylor Wessing

HM Chan & Co is a Hong Kong corporate law firm focused on providing legal services to clients located in Asia-Pacific. Its association with international firm Taylor Wessing expands this reach to 19 jurisdictions across Asia, Europe, and the Middle East. 

This year the firm focused on capital markets, M&A and private equity deals. For example, it assisted a company on its preferred shares issuance and advised on the initial public offerings of Asian food and beverage companies on the Hong Kong stock exchange’s growth enterprise market (GEM).  

Key clients include CW Group Holdings, BreadTalk Group, Agribuddy, JLogo Holdings, and Grace Wine Holdings.

Recent Deal Data highlights

•CW Group Holdings $131 million acquisition of Brownstone Ventures

•Grace Wine Holdings HKSE (GEM) IPO

•Jlogo Holdings HKSE (GEM) IPO

Client feedback

"The firm offers first class service and is proactive in solving issues." - Capital markets: Equity

"Mark (Chan) and his team are responsive and understand the commercial and business context for a deal." – M&A

"The firm is responsive and efficient." - M&A

"The firm helped to establish a Hong Kong joint venture for our investment in a European company together with co-investors. Its service was pretty good." – Private equity

"The team at HM Chan & Co works quickly and efficiently to provide effective and commercially sound solutions. They are able to deliver within tight timeframes without compromising quality or level of service." – Private equity

Mark Chan

"One of the best corporate lawyers in Hong Kong. He's extremely competent and reliable."

"Efficient."

Howse Williams

Howse Williams is an independent, full service law firm in Hong Kong that offers legal services in corporate finance, M&A, restructuring, and regulatory matters. During the research period, the practice was particularly focused on financial services regulatory mandates.

For example, Howse Williams advised a client on the legal issues regarding a cybersecurity breach where the credit details of senior Hong Kong government officials were accessed. Other highlights include managing the structure of a cross-border acquisition made by a Chinese conglomerate. 

A notable recent staffing change saw consultant Vic Choi join from Imperial Pacific International Holdings. 

Client feedback

"The firm shows technical strength, with a sound grasp of the intricacies of Hong Kong securities laws. The firm is practical and is easy to work with." – Financial services regulatory

 

K&L Gates

K&L Gates in Hong Kong was the international law firm’s first established office in Asia. Located on five continents, the practice benefits from its global network. 

Although it is a full service law firm, the firm’s work in Hong Kong is most notable in M&A, capital markets and structured finance and securitisation. This year, K&L Gates was particularly busy with deals concerning the capital markets and M&A. 

For example, it represented companies in cross-border acquisition transactions and acted as the trustee, security trustee, and settlement agent when managing bond payments.   

Key clients include Protective Industrial Products, Iron Mountain, Pharmadax, Johnson Controls International, Tonghua Dongbao and Citicorp International. 

Recent Deal Data highlights

•Glory Land Company $100 million 10% bond issue

•Hejun Shunze Investment $250 million 11% bond issue

•Resorts World Las Vegas and RWLV Capital $1 billion 4.625% bond issue

Client feedback

"Excellent lawyer is Frank Voon. His support is outstanding." – M&A

"The advice from the partner was pragmatic, clear, and prompt, but initial analysis was done by associates not familiar with the deal and led to incorrect guidance regarding the requirements of the contract. This was eventually corrected, but after much effort - I think more oversight of associates' work might have prevented this." – M&A

 

King & Wood Mallesons

Sino-Australian venture King & Wood Mallesons (KWM) is a dominant player in China’s legal market. It is the only international firm that can practise PRC law and so a go-to counsel for A-Share, H-Share, and panda bond transactions. The firm is also strong in projects, private equity, finance, M&A, and structured finance and securitisation—especially in Korean cross-border ABS deals, cross-border auto loan securitisations and retail structured products.

The breadth of KWM’s capabilities can be seen from the instructions the firm receives. For example, its equity capital markets team advised on two unique transactions where both OPUS Group and Dragon Mining moved from the Australian securities exchange to the Hong Kong’s stock exchange. The IPO practice also advised the issuers in one of the world’s largest IPOs in recent times, the first publicly-traded live streaming platform in Hong Kong, and acted for the underwriters on the first PRC based fintech company to list in Hong Kong.

The firm also helped establish virtual bank ZhongAn Virtual Finance, which is only one of three virtual bank applicants approved by Hong Kong’s monetary authority, and it helped launch the CLP Home Loan Scheme to aid those looking to buy a first home in Hong Kong.

KWM’s private equity team advised on one of the most significant financings in China’s entertainment industry in 2018, and its project team has been engaged in a host of domestic and outbound projects including the first PPP arrangement for the redevelopment of Ghana’s rail network and one of the largest developments tendered by the Hong Kong government.

In the research period, the firm brought in finance partners Ashley Wong and Katherine Ke from Mayer Brown and Clifford Chance respectively. The regulatory practice brought in partner Rachel Yu from Herbert Smith Freehills, while the corporate and securities team brought in Wang Yu from Morrison & Foerster and counsel Anthony Jacobsen from the Hong Kong Stock Exchange.

Recent Deal Data highlights

•                      51 Credit Card HKSE IPO

•                      China Tower HKSE IPO

•                      CMC Rmb10 billion series A equity financing

•                      Dragon Mining ASX delisting and HKSE listing

•                      Ghana western railway line BOT

•                      Inke HKSE IPO

•                      Kai Tak Sports Park

•                      OPUS Group ASX delisting and HKSE listing

Client feedback

"Its advice and solutions are practical and commercially sensible. The firm is also tenacious and can deliver a complex project within a short timeframe." – Banking

"The firm is responsive, customer friendly and sensitive to our specific requirements." - Banking

"KWM is an expert in cross-border transactions." - Banking

"KWM is willing to help solve problems in short time." – Capital markets: Debt

"First class quality delivered seamlessly." – Capital markets: Debt

"The firm has provided a high level of service on technically complicated issues. There is a clear commitment by the firm to understand my business and to ensure that the advice provided can be used. I appreciate that the firm is results oriented rather than merely providing me with unusable legal summaries." – Financial services regulatory

"Hardworking and very professional. The firm is focused on economy, efficiency, effectiveness and high standards." – Restructuring and insolvency

David Lam

"David is a state-of-the-art lawyer and has an impeccable legal mind."

"He has plenty of experience in handling cross-border deals, and is one of the few in the market who is Hong Kong, English and PRC qualified. I would describe David as a practical and solution-oriented lawyer."

Michael Lu

"Excellent in knowledge and very helpful."

Crystal Luk

"Diligent and practical, very professional."

Richard Mazzochi

"Richard and his team are highly experienced and professional. He is sensitive to our requirements, responsive and flexible. I enjoy working with him very much."

"Excellent legal and market knowledge. First class service."

Urszula McCormack

"Urszula has a level of knowledge in the financial technology regulatory field which is unrivalled in Hong Kong. I have dealt with many of her peers in the market and none have both the legal and technical understanding that she has."

Jason Qiu

"Jason is an excellent relationship partner who's willing to go an extra mile for the client to deliver practical and think-out-of-the-box solutions."

 

Kirkland & Ellis

With 80% of its lawyers practising primarily in private equity, Kirkland & Ellis (K&E) excels in leveraged buyouts, M&A, private investments in public equity, and joint ventures that is paired with a market leading private equity funds team. The firm also has a very strong restructuring and insolvency practice acting for bondholders, companies and banks, and a sponsor side leveraged finance practice.

It has been another strong year for the firm whose funds team has been raising billions of dollars for PAG Asia Capital, working on healthcare focused funds and increasing its profile in real estate funds work. K&E has also been representing sovereign wealth funds in the largest single-funding round ever at $14 billion, and acted for Boeing its joint venture with Commercial Aircraft Corporation of China, which was the clients first overseas completion centre and a landmark joint venture project between the US and China.

The firm’s restructuring and insolvency team has bifurcated into specialists that drive China restructuring mandates and those that cater to South East Asia. The team acted for commodity trader Noble Group in its widely covered debt restructuring and K&E’s Hong Kong based lawyers were also involved in the Chapter 11 bankruptcy of Toys R Us, which is the third largest retail bankruptcy filing in US history.

In the research period, the firm had a round of internal promotions to partnership and brought in regulatory partner Richard Sharpe from Clifford Chance. K&E’s private equity practice took a hit with partners Henry Yin and Paula Liu leaving for Cooley and PRC firm Han Kun respectively.

Recent Deal Data highlights

•                      Ant Financial $14 billion series C equity financing

•                      Boeing Company joint venture with Commercial Aircraft Corporation of China

•                      C-Bridge Capital Healthcare Fund IV

•                      China Fishery Group restructuring

•                      Luckin Coffee series A and B financing

•                      Noble Group financial restructuring 

•                      PAG Asia III $6 billion LP fund

•                      Toys R Us insolvency

Client feedback

"Excellent work product. A pleasure to work with the Kirkland & Ellis team. Always available and very responsive." – Banking

"It is generally good but can be very expensive." – Capital markets: Debt

"Good quality work." – Private equity

"The best firm for international restructuring situations in Asia." – Restructuring and insolvency

 

Latham & Watkins

Latham & Watkins traditional strength in the market is in M&A and capital markets, but in recent times, it has made its presence felt in regional private equity and leveraged finance, where it has a unique practice that acts for lenders, sponsors and borrowers.  

While China outbound M&A has been challenging of late due to macro factors, Latham & Watkins showed the breadth of its practice by acting for the target in the second largest inbound M&A deal of last year in Vietnam. Additionally, the firm’s private equity team acted for Carlyle Group in one of the biggest private equity exits ever out of Korea.

Its impressive finance team has been engaged in acquisition financing over the research period acting for the borrowers in the largest syndicated outbound M&A financing into Latin America and for the lenders in the largest outbound M&A financing into Europe in 2018.

The firm also handled the largest restructuring of the past 12 months and its regulatory team is gaining traction advising on fintech matters.

Recent Deal Data highlights

•                      Charoen Pokphand Foods C$498 million acquisition of Hylife Investments

•                      CITIC Capital and FountainVest Rmb2,5 billion acquisition of majority stake in China Merchants Loscam International Holdings

•                      GIC Private $1.3 billion investment in Vinhomes

•                      FountainVest €4.2 billion recourse and non-recourse financing

•                      Noble Group financial restructuring

•                      Rolta India restructuring

•                      SK Telecom and MIRA $2.63 billion acquisition of ADT Caps

•                      Tianqi Lithium Industries $3.5 billion term loan facilities

Client feedback

"Outstanding. We worked across multiple jurisdictions and in emerging markets. On the transactions it advised, it was able to master the complexities that were thrown up and enabled local counsel to take a novel and commercial view on seemingly impassable roadblocks. Client service is a particular strength and the transactions which we worked on were extremely complex and time pressured. We would not have been able to close the transactions in the timeline without its responsiveness and commerciality. Although not the cheapest, for the most high profile and complex transactions it is fantastic value for money." - Banking

"Strong US expertise with good market and technical knowledge. The firm can sometimes be aggressive on terms that are favourable to its sponsor clients when acting for banks turnaround times.” – Banking

"I am extremely happy with the Latham & Watkins teams, including its counterpart law firms in different jurisdictions that I am working with. The firm is knowledgeable in all of its areas of expertise, very professional in conducting discussions and negotiations, and very thorough and organised in its documentation. Most of all, client protection is utmost to them." – Project finance

"The firm is knowledgeable in its areas of expertise, very professional in conducting discussions and negotiations, and very thorough and organised in its documentation. It provides workable and practical solutions to problems. I can sleep at night if it is my counsel." – Project finance

Gary Hamp

"Strong relationship partner with good market knowledge, technical skills, and intelligence."

"He is a man of keen intellectual insight, commerciality and deal closing EQ. There is little more that can be done to improve his work bar offering it for free." 

 

LC Lawyers

LC Lawyers is an independent Hong Kong law firm and a member firm of EY Law, the legal services arm of rebranded accounting firm Ernst & Young. It is most active in the equity capital markets and M&A.

In the research period the firm’s IPO practice has been very busy often advising issuers—but also underwriters—in Hong Kong listings. It also advised Hanergy Mobile Energy Holding Group in the withdrawal by Hanergy Thin Film Power Group of its Hong Kong listing status through a scheme of arrangement, which was the first of its kind in Hong Kong used to achieve listing status outside Hong Kong while maintaining the interests of independent shareholders.  

In the first half of 2019, the firm boosted its team with the hires of partners Jason Wang and Bonnie Yung from Paul Hastings.

Recent Deal Data highlights

•Hanergy Thin Film Power Group HKSE scheme of arrangement

•Miji International Holdings HKSE IPO

 

Mayer Brown

Mayer Brown is best known in Hong Kong and China for its restructuring and insolvency, banking and debt capital markets practice where it is ranked highest—its high-yield practice is active often representing trustees on bond issuances.  It has a strong regulatory practice that has moved up a tier this year and its projects team is gaining traction entering the China rankings in this edition too. 

In the research period, the firm’s banking practice has been active advising Chinese banks in high value term, syndicated and revolving facilities, while its projects team has been acting for Chinese banks, export-import banks, regional development banks, and EPC contractors in a host of outbound projects in countries such as Vietnam, Argentina, Papua New Guinea, Kenya and Benin. The firm’s debt capital markets practice has captured a good portion of the Mongolian and South Asian high-yield and sovereign debt securities market.     

In early 2019, the firm strengthened its corporate practice with the hires of partners Steven Tran and Sheng Wu from Hogan Lovells and DLA Piper respectively, while the firm boosted its projects practice in 2018 with the hire of partner Hallam Chow from White & Case.  

Recent Deal Data highlights  

•Anhui Provincial Investment Group Holding $400 million 4.875% bond issue 

•Changgang Dunxin's restructuring 

•Development Bank of Mongolia $500 million 7.25% bond issue 

•Glo Djigbé International Airport Development 

•Mongolian Mortgage Corporation $250 million 9.75% high-yield bond issue 

•Ramu II 180MW hydropower project 

•Sino Land, K Wah, Wheelock, Shimao and SEA Group consortium HK$9.55 billion real estate financing  

•Sri Lanka $1.25 billion dual-tranche (5.75% and 6.75%) sovereign bond issue 

Client feedback

"It is professional and very efficient." – Banking

"It offers quick turnaround, diligent work and excellent advice." - Banking

"Excellent and professional services, very efficient and responsive.  Excellent law firm." – Banking 

"Solid work, could improve on being more proactive in terms of responding to clients, even if with a 'will do' or similar email." – Capital markets: Debt

"The firm's lawyers are very responsive and provide high quality and commercial legal advice." – Capital markets: Debt

"Strong attention to detail, ability to resolve complex problems, and works well in a team." – Capital markets: Debt

"Excellent. Good advice on strategy and tactics of identifying and addressing key issues." – Capital markets: Debt

"The firm has superb and deep knowledge of securities law in Hong Kong. As a result, questions are promptly answered and advice flows freely. It has a genuine interest in the client's business and supports it however it can." – Capital markets: Structured finance and securitisation

"Deep knowledge, prompt service and good standing with the regulator. The firm as a whole seems very busy and I wish some work was delivered sooner." – Financial services regulatory 

"Overall, Mayer Brown's work was very effective and thorough. Its report was a good reference for us to determine whether or not the GP made its best effort to address a potential conflict of interest." – Investment funds

"Extremely professional, able to assess issues quickly, and responsive on a timely basis." – M&A

"Our group has been working with Mayer Brown (and its firm before merger - Johnson Stoke & Master) for over 35 years. Mayer Brown is one of the best law firms we have worked with so far. It provides quick and professional legal advice to us as we used to ask Mayer Brown to draft legal agreements urgently (most of the time).  Not only its Hong Kong branch, but its affiliated firms in other countries like Europe and USA are also very professional. Whenever we need legal advice in Hong Kong, China, Europe and USA, Mayer Brown could always find the right person to deal with us professionally. We will definitely continue working with Mayer Brown in future." – M&A

"The level of service provided has been good. It has a good understanding of PRC regulations, and the ability to offer solutions applicable to our industry." – M&A

"The partner and associate (Mark Uhrynuk and Karen Chong) were a good team and guided our deal team through a complex multi-jurisdictional deal. They were able to quickly understand our business case and ensure the legal position was explained to us clearly.  They were very strong in helping defend our negotiating positions when required." – Private equity 

"Very experienced with China work and debt restructuring." – Restructuring and insolvency 

"Solid firm that I have used for a number of years now. The restructuring team has good experience in the region and provides us with consistently sound advice." – Restructuring and insolvency 

Francis Chen

"Francis is very technical and diligent." 

Hallam Chow

"Hallam Chow of Mayer Brown has worked with our company for many years, from banking facilities to M&A projects. He has very good industry sense combined with an excellent legal background, and the company has had very good experiences working with him."

"Solid law background with industry sense."

"He's very efficient and effective with short turnaround times."

Jason Elder 

"He has a firm grasp of the issues relating to capital markets transactions."

"He's extremely knowledgeable on debt capital market transactions as well as on our firm and country."

Hannah Ha

"The partner, Ms Hannah Ha, who we've worked very closely with for years is exceptionally professional, she is always able to provide extremely commercially sensible legal advice to the group topped with great wisdom. We are thankful to have wise and helpful lawyers like her to work hand-in-hand with us."

"Extremely professional and wise, with great commercial sense and a wonderful personality. What else can a client ask for?"

"She's very competent and responsive to inquiries and requests."

"She offers a good level of service, is responsive, meets deadlines, and has the ability to quickly pick up industry knowledge."

“She has good knowledge of our business and legal expertise for legal matters in Hong Kong and China. She is very responsive, helpful and willing to meet our tight deadlines."

Thomas Kollar

"Extremely responsive. Has the ability to navigate difficult situations well with strong structuring skills."

"He is an approachable lawyer; he understands and focuses on the issues very quickly, providing high quality and commercial legal solutions."

Alan Linning

"He has encyclopedic knowledge of the securities laws in Hong Kong and can explain them and implement them as they relate to the business."

John Marsden

"John is very experienced, client centric, commercial and responsive."

"Responsive and client focused."

Tom Pugh

"Tom is a personable lawyer that has solid experience in the region. He is accessible and responsive to requests and can provide clear/concise advice tailored to particular circumstances."

Mark Uhrynuk

"Mark has deep experience in the field. He knows how to get deals done and has years of global practice experience to draw on to ensure we are able to see issues from all sides and pick the best path forward."

Robert Woll

"We are pleased with the quality of Mr Woll's work. He is great to work with and listens to our requests attentively and then addresses them effectively."

Morgan Lewis & Bockius

Morgan Lewis & Bockius’ equity capital markets and private equity practice is gaining traction in the Chinese market. The firm is now a leader in the Hong Kong IPO market—in terms of volume—having completed nine IPOs in 2018 and 2019. Its private equity practice has grown organically and can leverage off the strength of its capital markets practice to provide its clients a sound exit strategy. 

Over the research period, Morgan Lewis & Bockius’ IPO practice was very busy advising issuers and underwriters on a spate of education listings on the Hong Kong;s stock exchange. This included advising China Xinhua Education Group on its IPO, which was the first mainland educator to list in Hong Kong in 2018. The firm was also busy advising issuers in bond offerings, and its private equity practice was engaged in mandates in the sports, technology, and food industries, while advising key client Warburg Pincus in its various investments. 

In September 2018, the firm bolstered its corporate practice with the hire of partner Hao Su from Clifford Chance. 

Recent Deal Data highlights   

•ANTA Sports Products $5.39 billion acquisition of Amer Sports 

•Bojun Education Company HKSE IPO

•China 21st Century Education Group HKSE IPO

•China Hongqiao Group $450 million 6.85% bond issue

•China Xinhua Education Group HKSE IPO

•Gaorong Capital $940 million investment in Nuro

 

Morley Chow Seto

Morley Chow Seto is a Hong Kong criminal law firm specialising in commercial crime and financial services regulatory. The practice assists its clients in navigating the processes of the criminal justice system and in filing complaints against the authorities. 

This year, Morley Chow Seto was particularly focused on financial services regulatory matters. For example, the firm defended warrant traders in Hong Kong who were charged with false trading under the Securities and Futures Ordinance. 

 

Morrison & Foerster

Morrison & Foerster’s Hong Kong and China office is strongest in equity capital markets, M&A and private equity where it is ranked highest. The firm’s fund formation expertise in Asia—especially in private equity and real estate fundscontinues to gain traction with a dedicated practice now assembled.

In the research period, the firm was highly active in private equity advising Alibaba in relation to Ant Financial’s $14 billion series C financing, which was the largest ever single-funding round ever; and advising key client Softbank in its vision fund’s various investments. The firm’s growing funds team helped GLP establish the largest ever Japan-focused logistics private real estate fund, while the capital markets team was active in a spate of IPOs and rights issues.

The firm brought in equity capital markets expert Ke Huang from O'Melveny & Myers and M&A counsel Bryan Snyder from Davis Polk & Wardwell.

Recent Deal Data highlights

•                      Ant Financial $14 billion series C equity financing

•                      Binjiang Service Group HKSE IPO

•                      GLP $5.5 billion Japan Development Partners III

•                      IndoSpace $580 million Logistic Parks III

•                      Prinx Chengshan Holding HKSE IPO

•                      SoftBank Vision Fund $1.5 billion investment in Chehaoduo

•                      Softbank Vision Fund $3 billion investment in Local Services Holding Company

•                      Xinjiang Goldwind Science & Technology $706 million (A and H share) rights issue

O'Melveny & Myers

O’Melveny & Myers is best known in the Chinese market for its capital markets work. This is especially true for its equity capital markets practice as the firm has been working on over 25 Hong Kong IPO transactions, and a number of US IPO transactions for China-based issuers.   

Over the research period, the firm has been preoccupied with a spate of biotech listings in Hong Kong. It has also been engaged with Hong Kong IPO mandates in the healthcare, education, technology real estate and pharmaceutical sectors; and advised on private placements and UP Fintech Holding’s listing on Nasdaq.

Key clients of the firm include Viva Biotech, CICC, Deutsche Bank, Guotai Junan Securities, Dexin China Holdings, MicuRx Pharmaceuticals and China Securities International. 

Recent Deal Data highlights   

•Dexin China Holdings HKSE IPO

•Sinopec Oilfield Service Corporation $1.2 billion private placement

•UP Fintech Holding Nasdaq IPO

•Viva Biotech HKSE IPO

 

Orrick Herrington & Sutcliffe

Orrick Herrington & Sutcliffe is best known in Hong Kong for its private equity, M&A and fund formation work, particularly for its pan-Asia and China real estate funds.

In the past 12 months, the firm has been increasingly active in private equity fund formation and investor representation for global and regional funds, as well as private equity real estate work, joint venture work, venture capital fund formation and downstream venture formation. It acted for the parent company in the largest private fund raising in China’s logistics industry, and also advised the buyer in the first acquisition of a German company by Chinese investors under Germany’s new China-focused foreign trade legislation.

In the research period, the firm bolstered its M&A and private equity team with the hires of partners Jeff Zhang and Sarah Zeng from King & Wood Mallesons and Dentons respectively. It also brought in of counsel William Ho from Paul Weiss Rifkind Wharton & Garrison.

Recent Deal Data highlights

•                      China Resources $2 billion healthcare LP fund

•                      Everpine Capital $60 million acquisition of Children’s Group

•                      Grail $300 million series C financing

•                      Intermediate Capital Group $300 million bank loan fund

•                      JD Health $1 billion series A financing

•                      JD Logistics $2.5 billion financing

•                      QFAT Investment and ICP Integrity Capital Partners acquisition of majority stake in COTESA

•                      Tuspark $1 billion one belt one road fund

Paul Hastings

Paul Weiss has been in the Chinese market for quite some time having opened its office in Beijing in 1981. It is clearly focused on private equity and M&A—particularly in the TMT space—in Hong Kong and mainland China where it offers services in Chinese, Hong Kong and US law.

Over the research period, the firm was preoccupied with an array of private equity mandates in the technology, fintech, entertainment, gaming and retail industries. 

In August 2018, the firm lost counsel Po Ying Lo who departed for Baring Private Equity Asia.  

Recent Deal Data highlights

•Adobe $1.68 billion acquisition of Magento Commerce

•Hony Capital $100 million investment in STX Entertainment 

•KKR and Tencent $175 million investment in Voyager Innovations

•SoftBank Vision Fund $1.9 billion investment in Full Truck Alliance 

Client feedback

“The firm is commercially driven, efficient and very responsive.” – M&A 

“Paul Weiss has been quite helpful with its solid professional knowledge and rich experience in the M&A field. It is also practical and often serves as a guide to some new deal structures on the market. Overall the firm is professional, responsive, flexible, practical, has commercial sense, and is thoughtful.” – M&A

"Some deals are pretty complicated from a commercial and legal standpoint. Paul Weiss has been providing its clients with helpful and reliable work with consistency. Its China offices rank at the top of our external counsels' list. In addition, the firm understands the priority of its clients. Usually, we do not have to overstate our needs and demands, and it would easily know what we want. Overall, we are very happy with Paul Weiss's services."

“The firm's M&A capabilities are excellent with Corinna Yu having a deep understanding of private equity needs and concerns.” – Private equity 

“Partners in the law firm are very hands-on and responsive. The firm is very experienced and puts the client's needs first.” – Private equity

 

Paul Weiss Rifkind Wharton & Garrison

Paul Weiss has been in the Chinese market for quite some time having opened its office in Beijing in 1981. It is clearly focused on private equity and M&A—particularly in the TMT space—in Hong Kong and mainland China where it offers services in Chinese, Hong Kong and US law.

Over the research period, the firm was preoccupied with an array of private equity mandates in the technology, fintech, entertainment, gaming and retail industries. 

In August 2018, the firm lost counsel Po Ying Lo who departed for Baring Private Equity Asia.  

Recent Deal Data highlights

•Adobe $1.68 billion acquisition of Magento Commerce

•Hony Capital $100 million investment in STX Entertainment 

•KKR and Tencent $175 million investment in Voyager Innovations

•SoftBank Vision Fund $1.9 billion investment in Full Truck Alliance 

Client feedback

“The firm is commercially driven, efficient and very responsive.” – M&A 

“Paul Weiss has been quite helpful with its solid professional knowledge and rich experience in the M&A field. It is also practical and often serves as a guide to some new deal structures on the market. Overall the firm is professional, responsive, flexible, practical, has commercial sense, and is thoughtful.” – M&A

"Some deals are pretty complicated from a commercial and legal standpoint. Paul Weiss has been providing its clients with helpful and reliable work with consistency. Its China offices rank at the top of our external counsels' list. In addition, the firm understands the priority of its clients. Usually, we do not have to overstate our needs and demands, and it would easily know what we want. Overall, we are very happy with Paul Weiss's services." – M&A

“The firm's M&A capabilities are excellent with Corinna Yu having a deep understanding of private equity needs and concerns.” – Private equity 

“Partners in the law firm are very hands-on and responsive. The firm is very experienced and puts the client's needs first.” – Private equity

 

Proskauer Rose

With offices in Hong Kong and China alongside its experience in Hong Kong, PRC, US and English law, Proskauer Rose is most notable for its work in M&A, private equity and private equity funds.  

During the research period, the firm advised on a cross-border alliance between healthcare companies, managed the global expansion of an Asian-based real estate group and assisted businesses in direct investments and private equity fund management. Highlights include negotiating a commercial arrangement between Grifols and Shanghai RAAS Blood Products to manufacture, market, and develop plasma products in the Chinese market. 

Key clients include Grifols, Accor, Formosa International Hotels Corporation, Mori Building Real Estate Advisory, Schroder Adveq Management, Publicis Groupe, and Country Garden Asset Management.

Recent Deal Data highlights

•Grifols Diagnostic Solutions $1.9 billion strategic alliance with Shanghai RAAS Blood Products

•Mori Building Real Estate Investment Advisory $100 million acquisition of stake in Aloft hotel

Client feedback

"The partner who is Jay Tai is very professional and also commercial oriented. The associate, Vivian Ho is very detail oriented.  They managed the process well and fought for our interest." – Capital markets: Debt 

"Proskauer shows street smarts and a sound grasp of the technical aspects of the law." – Financial services regulatory

"Generally delivered high-quality documents in a timely manner. Responded to our requests promptly." – Investment funds

"The teams work well together to provide seamless service to its clients." – M&A

"The partner in charge did an excellent job and really understood the economic goals of the transaction while not wasting time negotiating unnecessary clauses." – Private equity

"The partners and associates of the law firm are very helpful and can provide speedy, practical and valuable legal advice." – Private equity

"Proskauer is very professional, efficient and amicable. Very good communications skills and able to find the balance to meet clients' requests while holding on to its legal integrity." – Private equity

"Swift response, correct understanding of instructions, advising on potential risks and guiding on proper procedures." – Private equity 

"Jay Tai and his team demonstrated a total commitment to helping the client achieve the commercial goal. Jay listened to our concerns and was quick in coming up with solutions which were both commercially and legally sound. The entire team was extremely responsive, diligent and easy to work with and we felt we were in good hands." – Private equity 

"Vivian Ho is an experienced M&A/PE lawyer and is always responsive. She is helpful in giving in practical solutions." – Private equity 

 

Reed Smith Richards Butler

Reed Smith’s strongest practice is in M&A where it has earned plenty of experience acting for Hong Kong listed companies in their Greater China and regional transactions; acting for private and state-owned PRC entities in their outbound investments and offshore transactions; and advising foreign clients on investments into the Mainland.

During the research period, the firm kept busy advising on the privatisations of a sportswear and shipping company, while also engaging corporate mandates in the construction and healthcare industries. 

The firm also boosted its corporate team with the hire of counsel Ke Zhang from Paul Hastings. 

Recent Deal Data highlights

•Alibaba Health Information Technology HK$10 billion acquisition of Ali JK Nutritional Products Holding 

•Pou Sheng $1.4 billion privatisation

•Sinotrans Shipping HK$3.4 billion privatisation

 

Ropes & Gray

Ropes & Gray in Hong Kong and China has come on very strongly in the past few years, with its increasingly active sponsor side leveraged finance practice going alongside its strong private equity, M&A and fund formation practices. The firm also has a strong restructuring and insolvency practice primarily advising bondholders.

Bain Capital is a key client of the firm, it was busy during the research period advising it on private equity and acquisition finance mandates. The firm also acted for TPG Capital and Kohlberg Kravis Roberts (KKR) in a host of transactions, and it is a strong adviser to Alibaba in its corporate and M&A work. The firm’s restructuring and insolvency practice was engaged in bondholder work in some top regional restructurings.

The firm brought in counsel Chune Loong Lum from Skadden in Singapore, senior finance lawyer Lucy Wu from Latham & Watkins, and promoted M&A practitioner Oliver Nip to partnership.

Recent Deal Data highlights

•                      Alibaba $1.38 billion investment in ZTO Express

•                      Ant Financial joint venture with OpenRice Group

•                      Bain Capital acquisition of World-Wide Packaging

•                      Global A&T Electronics restructuring

•                      iKang Healthcare Group $1.4 billion take-private

•                      KKR mixed-use real estate project financing

•                      Rolta India restructuring

•                      SenseTime $600 million series C financing

Seyfarth Shaw in association with Wong Wan & Partners

With a pan-Asia practice, US-based law firm Seyfarth Shaw has been active in the region for some time with offices in Shanghai and Australia. Its Hong Kong office is a more recent addition, having been established in 2017 in association with Wong Wan & Partners. 

The firm is focused on equity capital markets and M&A work and kept busy during the research period advising on acquisitions, divestments and joint ventures in the insurance, consumer goods and technology sectors. Its equity capital markets team was assisting a Singaporean demolition services provider in its aim to list in Hong Kong, while aiding an oil and gas company access new capital through the issuance of warrants. 

Recent Deal Data highlights

•NiuTouBang Asset Management acquisition of Keen Eagle Insurance Brokers

•Persta Resources HK$25.3 million warrants issue

•Recruit joint venture with Shenzhen Yeahka Technology 

 

Shearman & Sterling

Shearman & Sterling has a very strong debt capital markets practice in Hong Kong advising on investment grade and high yield capital markets transactions across the region. The firm also has a diverse funds practice offering private equity and hedge funds expertise to its GP and LP clients, and it has a solid outbound energy projects practice.

In the past year, the firm has been busy acting in a spate of high-yield and investment grade bond issuances almost exclusively acting for the underwriters. The firm’s funds team has been engaged in LP mandates, technology funds and sovereign wealth fund matters, while its projects practice continues to act on large outbound conventional energy and oil and gas mandates for its Chinese clients Brazil, Africa and Vietnam.

The firm’s equity capital markets practice took a hit this year with the departures of partners Colin Law and Peter Chen to PRC firm Fangda Partners, and the exit of Paloma Wang to Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom and Yang Ge to DLA Piper. The firm has sought to rebuild its Hong Kong listings practice with the recent hire of Max Hua from Haiwen & Partners.

The firm also lost M&A partner Stephanie Tang to Hogan Lovells, but brought in finance counsel Kenneth Ching from Allen & Overy and funds counsel Sean Murphy from Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton in New York.

Recent Deal Data highlights

•                      Brazil integrated oil and gas project

•                      China Creation Ventures $200 million flagship fund

•                      Lamu 930MW coal-fired power plant

•                      Mongolian Mining Corporation and Energy Resources $440 million 9.25% high-yield bond issue

•                      Perusahaan Perseroan PT Perusahaan Listrik Negara $1 billion 6.150% bond issue

•                      Sunac China Holdings $800 million 7.875% high-yield bond issue

•                      Thar 4 1000MW mine mouth power project

•                      WuXi AppTec HKSE IPO

Client feedback

"The firm's service was high quality. Kenneth Ching, the lawyer in charge, is technically strong and is very attentive and responsive." – Banking

"Shearman & Sterling contributed a lot and demonstrated its worldwide and professional business capabilities during this deal. It deals with multinational teams with professional skill and patience. It understood our complex deal fully and gave us so many useful suggestions, and persuaded the counterparty's lawyer of our argumentation. The firm has demonstrated its expertise in bank financing structures and is willing to find several feasible solutions for clients." - Banking

"Shearman has a very strong banking and capital markets practice, especially in Asia." - Banking

"Very strong overall in legal analysis, great in client management, very trustworthy and reliable." – Capital markets: Debt

"Excellent. Efficient and focused on material issues." – Capital markets: Equity

 "Provides thoughtful insights and efficient solutions." - Capital markets: Structured finance and securitisation

"We are happy with Shearman's work. The lead partner and associates it staffs on our transactions are familiar with our positions and requests. it is experienced, knows the market trends and is able to provide us with valuable suggestions. Also, the firm is well-organised, responsive and efficient." – Investment funds

"Brings detailed knowledge of the private equity laws and regulations in Hong Kong, China and the US, and is able to suggest sensible solutions." – Private equity

Matthew Bersani

"Excellent at identifying critical issues. He does not spin wheels."

Lorna Chen

"Lorna is able to identify the key issues and use her knowledge of other cases and other jurisdictions to identify good solutions."

"Lorna Chen is our relationship partner and Shearman's head of Greater China. She spent a lot of time training her team on our positions, which is very helpful. Lorna is experienced, diligent, has commercial sense and cares very much about client relationships. She seeks our feedback on a regular basis which is helpful to maintain high quality work performance."

Kenneth Ching

"Kenneth is technically strong and is very attentive and responsive. He safeguards clients' interests and facilitates completion of transactions by providing practical solutions. His involvement is reassuring for us and makes us feel like we are in safe hands."    

"Smart and efficient with good knowledge of clients' needs."

"Kenneth is a knowledgeable lawyer in finance, banking and M&A. He has been able to provide good legal advice on China corporate deals and private equity sponsor trade transactions."

"Based on my experience with Kenneth, I can say that he is very patient, full of knowledge of bank financing, and fully devoted to our deals. He can always understand clients' standpoints and gives us useful suggestions detailing risks and benefits. His management skills are quite outstanding as we needed to deal with Hong Kong, Chile, PRC, US and Macanese lawyers at the same time in a deal, and he always delivers the results with high quality."

Alan Yeung

"A great long term partner. Hard to find a better counsel."

 

 

Simpson Thacher & Bartlett

Simpson Thacher & Bartlett (STB) is best known for its private equity and M&A work in Hong Kong and China. The firm has one of the leading China fund formation practices in the market offering US and Hong Kong law capability, and it has a strong reputation in US and Hong Kong IPOs. The firm has also developed its regional leveraged finance capability that has a strong Hong Kong/Japan nexus.

The firm had another strong year in private equity acting for key global client Kohlberg Kravis Roberts (KKR) in its acquisitions in Japan, Taiwan and India, which was one of the largest buyouts in India and the first in the country’s environmental services sector. It also represented Ant Financial in the largest single-funding round ever. Since the start of 2018 the STB’s equity capital markets practice has acted in 10 Hong Kong IPOs, nine US NYSE or Nasdaq IPOs and four follow-on offerings.

In the research period, the firm sought to strengthen its leveraged and acquisition finance practice, and promoted fluent Japanese speaker Makiko Harunari to front the firm’s Asian banking and credit practice in Hong Kong. Also counsel Ethle Tang left the firm to assume partnership at PRC firm Han Kun.

Recent Deal Data highlights

•                      Ant Financial $14 billion series C equity financing

•                      ChemChina $5.5 billion syndicated term loan facility

•                      Ganfeng Lithium HKSE IPO

•                      KKR Consortium $1.56 billion acquisition of LCY Chemical

•                      KKR $530 million acquisition of Ramky Enviro Engineers

•                      OneSmart Education NYSE IPO

•                      Ruhnn Holding Nasdaq IPO

•                      Yunfeng $2.5 billion LP fund III

Client feedback

"Outstanding in advisory matters and in financing." – Banking

"Wonderful. The firm is really focused on spot-on legal issues and is able to identify commercial and financial structuring issues immediately with highly effective solutions." - Banking

"Excellent and efficient advice. Very effective at driving transactions forward." – Investment funds

"Professional and responsive." – Private equity

Adam Furber

"We are grateful for the wonderful fund formation work Adam has done for us. We highly value his advice."

Makiko Harunari

"Outstanding knowledge and expertise. Extremely client friendly and helpful."

"Makiko advises us on all financing-related items and is able to provide effective insights on structuring, financing arrangements, and implications of key items to recommend innovative solutions. She handles the negotiations with counterparty lawyers as well as coordinates all documentation extremely well."

 

 

Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom

High-end M&A and private equity is core to Skadden’s Hong Kong and China capabilities, and it is a go-to issuer counsel for Chinese companies involved in US and Hong Kong IPOs as it secured a top tier berth in the Hong Kong and China rankings this year. The firm’s funds practice has also come along strongly in order to complete the life cycle for private equity.

In the past year, the firm has dominated the market for Chinese issuers completing US IPOs with 20 completed since the start of 2018. It also acted in the first two IPOs under new Hong Kong rules permitting listings of new economy companies with weighted voting rights, and advised on three of the first—and the two largest—IPOs under new rules to permit pre-revenue biotech listings in Hong Kong.

In terms of personnel during the research period, the firm brought in equity capital markets expert Paloma Wang from Shearman & Sterling, but lost corporate specialist Will Cai who left to launch Cooley’s office in Hong Kong.

Recent Deal Data highlights

•                      BeiGene HKSE IPO

•                      CITIC $2.3 billion PE fund III

•                      Hopu $2.6 billion fund III

•                      iQIYI Nasdaq IPO

•                      Meituan-Dianping $3.7 billion acquisition of Mobike

•                      Sands China $5.5 billion triple tranche (4.6%, 5.125% and 5.4%) high-yield bond issue 

•                      Tencent Music Entertainment Group NYSE IPO

•                      Xiaomi Corporation HKSE IPO

Slaughter and May

Slaughter and May is a unique firm in Hong Kong’s legal market as it has no hourly or billing targets for its lawyers and takes a multi-specialist approach to developing its lawyers in a collegiate atmosphere that makes it a stable choice as counsel. Its corporate practice is renowned for public takeovers, mergers and private acquisitions as it secures a top tier berth this year.

The firm also has a strong capital markets practice that acted for the underwriters in the first dual primary listing of a company on the Australian stock exchange and Hong Kong stock exchange during the research period, and represented Sands China in relation its first ever issue of debt securities. In M&A, the firm recently acted for Richard Li’s FWD Group in the largest insurance M&A deal in South East Asia, and it represented Cathay Pacific in its foray into low-cost travel by acquiring HK Express.

In the research period, the firm brought back partner Jing Chen from the listing division of Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing (HKEX), and despite Slaughter & May’s traditional reluctance for lateral hires; it hired Wynne Mok from the Securities and Futures Commission (SFC). In addition, capital markets partner Roger Cheng left for the SFC.

Recent Deal Data highlights

•                      Cathay Pacific Airways HK$4.93 billion acquisition of Hong Kong Express Airways

•                      FWD Group $3 billion acquisition of SCB Life Assurance

•                      Hong Kong Aircraft Engineering Company HK$3 billion privatisation

•                      Sands China $5.5 billion triple tranche (4.6%, 5.125% and 5.4%) high-yield bond issue 

•                      Swire Properties $500 million 3.50% green bond issue

•                      Times Holdings II HK$3.3 billion acquisition of majority stake in Hong Kong International Construction Investment Management Group

•                      United Energy Group $650 million acquisition of Kuwait Energy

•                      Yancoal HKSE IPO

Client feedback

"There is no doubt that Peter (Lake) has extensive experience and is definitely an expert in this area. He and his team were able to provide advice in a transaction from both the lender and borrower's perspective, which was extremely helpful for us to have a different level of understanding of the transaction/documents and assess the potential risks thereof. We especially appreciate the manner of the team handling the matter where we did receive regular follow up and suggestions. The work was allocated to each team member in a very effective way so that we as the client know exactly who to approach for any particular issue. The whole team was very responsive even after-working hours. Some of the team members are young and junior so Peter's constant supervision and guidance was required. However, this did not pose any problem to us. In summary, we enjoy and appreciate working together with Peter's team." – Banking  

"Excellent work. Providing prompt responses, services tailored to clients' needs, effective communication, and creative strategies to solve problems." - Banking 

"The team we worked with, led by Peter Lake, was well organised with lawyers of different seniority. Work was allocated among team members in a very efficient way that we knew exactly who to approach for a particular kind of issue. The whole team was very responsive even after working hours, which is important as our transaction involved counter parties from different time zones. We enjoyed, in addition to the professionalism and expertise, the close and regular follow ups which gave us as a client extra comfort and confidence in working with the team." – Banking

"Responsive, diligent and professional." – Capital markets: Equity

"Benita Yu is our go-to person. She offers practical advice and really understands the client." – Capital markets: Equity 

"S&M is very professional in serving clients with in-depth analysis and advice. Not only can the team work seamlessly with other parties to orchestrate advice or solutions of all sorts, but it also copes with tight time and work pressures in unique transactions." – Capital markets: Equity

"The firm has reliable expertise in the US and Hong Kong regulatory landscape for equity capital markets transactions. John Moore is a great addition to the firm to enhance its US regulatory capability." – Capital markets: Equity

"The in-charge partner, Peter Lake, is very detail-oriented, responsive, and can understand the concern and shareholding complexity of a high-net-worth family very well. The client's application for the transfer of banking licence is a very difficult legal matter and Peter was able to give solutions to the client." – Financial services regulatory

"Very responsive, clear with its advice, and commercially minded." – Financial services regulatory

"Great law firm offering prompt and professional services." – Financial services regulatory

"I've worked primarily with Peter Lake on regulatory matters and his advice is always practical and timely." – Financial services regulatory

"The S&M team was just wonderful. It is professional, timely, understands clients' needs, and is proactive. I particularly like its can-do attitude, which helped the negotiation process a lot. We were very pleased with its service throughout the whole process." – M&A

"Slaughter and May is our trusted legal advisor, working hand in hand with our corporation on many major transactions. It is thorough, commercial and responsive. Throughout our longstanding working relationship, it fully understands the way we operate and always provides practical and helpful advice to assist us." – M&A  

"The M&A work of Slaughter and May is excellent." – M&A

"By far the best in Hong Kong for M&A. Technically extremely knowledgeable, pragmatic, very committed and persistent, and extremely responsive." – M&A

Clara Choi

"Responsive, diligent and professional."

Lisa Chung

"Excellent. The best corporate and M&A lawyer in Hong Kong by a long way. Extremely capable and knowledgeable, and works incredibly hard."

Peter Lake

"Excellent work helping build effective communication between the client and the Hong Kong Monetary Authority. He proposes innovative solutions."

"There is no doubt that Peter is an expert in the financing area and has extensive experience. What is more important is that Peter is willing to analyse and advise from both the lender and borrower's perspective, which was definitely helpful for us to do a different level of assessment of the risks involved. Peter was always patient and understanding. His team consists of lawyers of different seniority and Peter's constant supervision and guidance to the whole team was very impressive."

"Excellent lawyer delivering prompt and professional services."

John Moore

"Very responsive. When we had an unusual US regulatory issue, he was willing to spend the time to walk us through it."

Jason Webber

"He pays attention to detail but doesn't lose sight of the big picture. A strong communicator, flexible, resourceful, and an excellent negotiator. He is the best."

"Jason always provides excellent advice and support to our team. He thoroughly understands our business and works hand in hand with us when we need assistance. His advice is thorough, practical and timely."

Benita Yu

"A most responsive, knowledgeable and helpful lawyer."

"She is very experienced but accessible for critical input. She works well with clients and professional parties."

Stephenson Harwood

Stephenson Harwood’s office in Hong Kong is its largest in Asia. It is active in regulatory matters, disputes, competition, financial and corporate matters, employment, intellectual property, shipping, projects, private wealth, real estate, and restructuring and insolvency.

The firm has had an active year in financial services regulatory advising clients in setting up P2P lending platforms and funds and establishing incubator funds to support start-ups in Hong Kong. Technology has been a strong focus with the firm also advising an online trading platform for digital options, securities and cryptocurrencies on doing business in Hong Kong.

Key clients of the firm include China Hanya Securities, Mayapada Group, Goldenwise Capital Group, Guggenheim Investment Advisors, IQ Option, HEX Technologies, PrimeCredit and Kiwoom Securities. 

Client feedback

“The firm has very good knowledge of the legislation; and offers direct advice with a solutions-driven approach.” – Financial services regulatory

“The team responded promptly with clear and elaborate answers to all queries and handle each and every issue with the utmost professionalism.” - Financial services regulatory 

“Stephenson Harwood's lawyers are sophisticated and professional.” – Private equity

 

Sullivan & Cromwell

Sullivan & Cromwell’s core focus in Hong Kong is to provide US and Hong Kong law advice to its clients across Greater China and Asia-Pacific in M&A, private equity and equity capital markets matters. The firm is also increasingly active advising on investment grade and high-yield bond offerings.

Sullivan & Cromwell has a strong track record having acted on an aggregate of $380 billion in greater China M&A transactions and $84 billion in Hong Kong IPOs. In the past 12 months, the firm acted for a cornerstone investor in the largest and one of the first IPOs by a biotech company under the new Hong Kong listing rules for biotech issuers, and its M&A team acted for one of Hong Kong’s wealthiest families and in Taiwan’s largest cement manufacturer’s first investment outside Asia. It also acted in the largest ever education sector IPO.

Recent Deal Data highlights

•                      BeiGene HKSE IPO

•                      Booking Holdings $200 million investment in Grab

•                      China East Education Holdings HKSE IPO

•                      Granda Century $235 million 7.50% bond issue

•                      Mulsanne Group Holding HKSE IPO

•                      NWS Holdings $2.75 billion acquisition of FTLife Insurance

•                      Taiwan Cement Corporation $400 million zero coupon convertible bond issue

•                      Taiwan Cement Corporation $1.1 billion investment in Ordu Yardimlasma Kurumu

Tanner De Witt

Tanner De Witt is an independent law firm in Hong Kong that has a core focus on litigation, corporate law, restructuring and insolvency, employment law, family law, and criminal law including white collar crimes. The firm excels in restructuring and insolvency where it is ranked highest.

The firm has had a busy year with insolvency work, acting for trustees and liquidators in mandates involving pension and Cayman funds. It has also been busy with insolvency mandates in the construction and retail industries and advised iconic guitar brand, Gibson, with Hong Kong concerns related to its Chapter 11 bankruptcy.

In the research period, the firm brought in venture capital and corporate partner Pádraig Walsh from Bird & Bird. 

Recent Deal Data highlights

•Gibson Innovations insolvency

Client feedback

"It's very experienced in the Hong Kong market. The firm has strong common law lawyers and is familiar with the Hong Kong/offshore dynamic. It has the ability to service Chinese speaking clients effectively while simultaneously working well with English speaking leading counsel and offshore counsel." – Restructuring and insolvency

"The firm is highly knowledgeable and experienced in restructuring and insolvency. It's extremely good at litigation and client management, and is proactive in clients' interests and overall very pleasant and friendly to work with." – Restructuring and insolvency

"The firm provides strong insightful comments that are commercially realistic." – Restructuring and insolvency

"Its work is excellent and it is quite knowledgeable in restructuring and insolvency." – Restructuring and insolvency

 

Timothy Loh

Timothy Loh is an independent Hong Kong firm that advises multinational companies, family offices, asset managers, and financial institutions in matters of Hong Kong and international law. It is ranked highest in retail and private equity funds, and financial services regulatory.

During the research period the firm kept busy advising on an array of private equity and M&A mandates. Highlights include advising a portfolio company of a private equity fund in connection with a merger of the client with a marine and offshore solutions provider; advising a US-based private equity fund sponsor on a capital raising exercise in Hong Kong; and advising a Fortune 500 company on an insurance company acquisition.

The firm has also had a very active year in the regulatory space advising on market misconduct proceedings, regulatory advice pertaining to an investigation into a cryptocurrency derivative products platform, and providing advice on Hong Kong requirements in the context of payment systems using cryptocurrencies

 

Vivien Teu & Co – Hong Kong

Vivien Teu & Co is a boutique independent Hong Kong firm specialised in asset management and financial services. The firm has strong experience on a range of investment funds and strategies, including retail, securities, hedge, private equity and real estate funds.

Over the research period, the firm has been preoccupied with fund formation mandates, the establishment of pre-IPO share option schemes, and prospectus updates of mainland funds in light of the new liquidity rules.

It has also been advising on investments in structured notes and its underlying assets, including securitisation and restructuring of note arrangements.

 

Watson Farley & Williams

Finance is core to Watson Farley & Williams’ practice in Hong Kong and China and the firm is often active beyond the Chinese market in Vietnam, Korea, Singapore and Laos in the shipping, aviation, energy and natural resources industries.

During the research period, the firm has been busy with restructuring and refinancing mandates, and Japanese Operating Lease with Call Option (JOLCO) financing structures in the challenging shipping sector. Its projects team has strong market share in energy work in Vietnam, acting in a series of energy mandates including those involving coal-fired plants, solar projects and liquefied natural gas strategy. 

In February 2019, the firm brought in finance and shipping expert Guan Jian as of counsel from China Merchants Commerce Financial Leasing. 

Recent Deal Data highlights

•China Shipping Group $267 million JOLCO financing

•Dung Quat II 750MW gas-fired combined cycle power plant

•Nghi Son 2 1200MW coal-fired power project

•Ninh Thuan 168MW solar project

•Pacific Basin Shipping $325 million refinancing  

•Vinh Tan 3 1980MW coal-fired power plant

Client feedback

“Watson Farley & Williams' strengths are its expertise on financial markets to provide comprehensive counsel, and taking a client-centered responsive approach with honesty, integrity and professionalism.” – Capital markets: Debt

“The firm knows how to provide high quality legal services with speed. It's good enough to impress clients like us. WFW has nice legal staff that are humble but professional.” – Capital markets: Debt

"The firm provides a flexible and comfortable service." – Capital markets: Debt

 

Weil Gotshal & Manges

Weil Gotshal & Manges has long enjoyed a solid reputation for regional private equity work from Hong Kong. The firm only targets mandates at the high-end and is ably supported by its strong leveraged financing practice for sponsors and lenders.

Weil in Asia acted on over $44 billion’s worth of announced Asia-Pacific private equity deals last year with a greater focus on e-commerce, healthcare, infrastructure and early-stage technology mandates. It is very experienced acting for boards of directors in going-private transactions, acted for Softbank Vision Fund in one of South Korea’s largest transactions in 2018, and also acted for the buyer in one of Asia’s largest healthcare transactions this year.

The firm brought in M&A counsel Sandy Lin from Eversheds Sutherland, but lost finance counsel Eng-Lye Ong to Dechert.  

Recent Deal Data highlights

•                      Advent International Corporation acquisition of BioDuro

•                      Alibaba acquisition of Daraz

•                      Baring Private Equity Asia $300 million acquisition of Wall Street English

•                      eHi Car Services $850 million take-private

•                      iKang Healthcare Group $1.4 billion take-private

•                      Shanghai Pharmaceuticals $1.2 billion acquisition of Cardinal Health’s China distribution business

•                      Softbank Vision Fund $2 billion investment in Coupang

•                      Vistra Group acquisition of Radius Group

Client feedback

"Weil's team in Hong Kong is very business-focused and solution-oriented. It provides advice on not only legal issues but also business issues based on its transactional experience. It is extremely responsive to clients' requests." – M&A

"Sophisticated, detailed, and thoughtful transaction documents. Responsive and diligent. It worked with us without 'hiding the ball' and copied us on all document related matters, and we copied them on all PRC law matters." – Private equity   

"Its service was solid and professional." – Private equity

Tim Gardner

"Extremely detail oriented. He asks the right questions. Tim is a good team player and thinks only of the client and not himself."

Henry Ong

"He's very responsive, very experienced, and easy to work with."

"Henry is a great lawyer with deep understanding of related legal and business issues and extensive experience in cross-border M&A transactions. Henry is my trusted advisor in M&A transactions in Hong Kong. I am also extremely happy with Henry's responsiveness."

Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati

US-based firm Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati has offices in Hong Kong, Shanghai and Beijing. The firm’s Greater China practice advises on global equity offerings, including SEC registered offerings and Hong Kong IPOs. The firm’s M&A team is experienced advising on both the buy and sell side in the technology, healthcare, and consumer goods and services industries.

The firm has had a very busy year advising non-US issuers and underwriters in US listings on the NYSE and Nasdaq. It has also acted in a number of Hong Kong listings. It’s M&A team has been acting in healthcare and biotech privatisations and acquisitions.

During the research period, the firm brought in Hong Kong capital markets partner Wanda Woo from Kirkland & Ellis to replace partner Khoon Jin Tan, who left for Winston & Strawn.   

Recent Deal Data highlights

•Ant Financial $14 billion series C equity financing

•iKang Healthcare Group $1.4 billion take-private

•Opera Nasdaq IPO 

•Puxin NYSE IPO 

•Tencent Music Entertainment Group NYSE IPO

•WuXi AppTec HKSE IPO 

 

Winston & Strawn

Winston & Strawn is a large US headquartered law firm known for its traditional strength in litigation. The firm is vying for equity capital markets, private equity and M&A market share in the Hong Kong and China market.

During the research period, the firm’s capital markets team has been active in Hong Kong and New York listings, capital raisings, private placements and the restructuring of convertible bonds. It was also busy acting in acquisitions and private equity mandates in the technology, logistics, automotive, pharmaceutical and medical sectors.       

In March 2019, the firm bolstered its capital markets team with the hire of partner Khoon Jin Tan from Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati. 

Recent Deal Data highlights

•Danfoss $100 million acquisition of UQM Technologies 

•New Frontier Corporation NYSE IPO

•NGK Spark Plug $133.5 million acquisition of Chart Industries’ oxygen-related products business 

•Universal Star Holding HKSE IPO

 

Withers

Withersworldwide is known for tax, trust and estate planning as well as litigation. However, the firm has recently made a transactional push in Hong Kong expanding its corporate capabilities in M&A, joint ventures, IPOs, corporate restructuring, private equity, and real estate matters.

Over the research period the firm’s equity capital markets team kept busy with securities compliance work, prospective listings on the Hong Kong stock exchange, and a fintech Nasdaq IPO. Its M&A team advised on acquisitions and restructuring mandates in the mining, energy, real estate, luxury goods, automotive, and food and beverages sectors. 

The firm initially bolstered its Greater China corporate team in 2017 with the hire of Mabel Lui and her team, and in the research period, added funds capability with the hire of Junko Shiokawa from Harneys. In the same period, the firm also lost corporate partner Denis Petkovic to Fitzgerald Lawyer. 

Recent Deal Data highlights

•SOCAM Development HK$304 million acquisition of No. 93 Wai Yip Street commercial building

•Tongguan Gold Group HK$300 million acquisition of Tongguan County gold mine

•UP Fintech Holding Nasdaq IPO

Client feedback

"The firm is very efficient and effective." – Capital markets: Equity

"Overall, its service was good. One observation is the strong capability of the co-working attorney." – M&A

"The firm is good in listening to and understanding a client's instructions and responding promptly." – M&A

Mabel Lui

"She provides professional legal advice to clients, is accessible, and offers prompt reaction to clients' needs."

Mike Suen

"Mike is very efficient and helpful."

 

Woo Kwan Lee & Lo

Having been founded in 1973, Woo Kwan Lee & Lo is a longstanding independent firm. It is strong in real estate often acting for real estate developers and in corporate matters including in Hong Kong listings.    

Over the research period, the firm kept busy advising property developers on corporate matters involving privatisations, mergers and disposals. For example, it advised Hopewell Holdings in respect to the privatisation of Hopewell by an offeror consortium led by Sir Gordon Ying Sheung Wu by way of a scheme of arrangement.               

Recent Deal Data highlights

•Hopewell Holdings HK$21.2 billion privatisation   

•Tianjin TEDA Tsinlien Electric Power Rmb10.1 billion merger with Tianjin TEDA Electric Power

 

Financial and corporate : Offshore
Appleby

Appleby has English, Cantonese and Mandarin-speaking lawyers providing Bermuda, British Virgin Islands (BVI) and Cayman Islands legal advice from Hong Kong. The firm is best known for its work in the Hong Kong offshore IPO market, and has a solid finance, M&A and private equity practice. The firm is also developing its expertise in fintech after launching its global technology & innovation sector group in 2018.

In 2018, Appleby advised on 51 listings on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange and accounted for 35% of the exchange’s offshore listings.

In the research period the finance practice was occupied with financing and refinancing work, including syndicated acquisition facilities and debt capital markets transactions, asset finance and a growth in insurance premium financing work.

The firm’s funds practice acts on various specialist fund structures but is particularly known for Cayman funds.

Recent Deal Data highlights

•                      II‐VI Incorporated $85 million acquisition of CoAdna Holdings

•                      Fusen Pharmaceutical Company GEM HKSE IPO

•                      InfraRed NF Investment Advisers $92.2 million financing

•                      Minmetals Land $300 million 6.4% bond issue

•                      Portico International Holdings HK$573 million privatisation

•                      Shandong Gold Mining HKSE IPO

•                      Tsit Wing International Holdings HKSE IPO

•                      Yincheng International Holding HKSE IPO

Client feedback

"Its service is prompt, quote competitive, and has bilingual capability." - Banking

"The team provides feedback swiftly and accurately. The team has strong knowledge in this area." - Banking

"I have always found Appleby to be professional, responsive and very knowledgeable. In particular, Paul Cheuk on Bermuda matters is my go-to counsel as he is very knowledgeable and experienced." – Capital markets: Equity

"Excellent support in legal matters, especially in offshore legal matters. Efficient, responsive and reliable." - Capital markets: Equity

"Good understanding of the Cayman product, efficient and responsive." - Capital markets: Structured finance and securitisation 

"Very responsive, helpful and flexible." – Financial services regulatory

"Competent and responsive. The team that we normally work with have good knowledge of the local market in Hong Kong and are able to deliver work in a cost effective manner." – M&A  

"Appleby delivered prompt, clear and constructive advice that was delivered within budget." – M&A

Fiona Chan

"Fiona is personable, prompt and bilingual."

Vincent Chan

"Competent, knowledgeable and very responsive." 

Paul Cheuk

"Paul is very technical and experienced on Bermuda law. He is a bit conservative and therefore not everyone's cup of tea, but I appreciate his thoughtfulness."

"Knowledgeable and responsive."

Nicholas Davies

"Very good, responsive and understands the product."

Judy Lee

"Very responsive and client-friendly."

"Great commercial acumen and follows industry trends."

 

"Judy is a pleasure to deal with. Very straightforward, accessible, responsive, insightful and helpful. I only have good words to say."

 

Carey Olsen

Carey Olsen in Hong Kong represents one-half of the firm’s Asian presence. With 230 attorneys and 50 partners globally, the practice provides legal services in the areas of private wealth, restructuring and insolvency, financial regulatory, and dispute resolution. 

This year, Carey Olsen was particularly focused on investment funds and financial and corporate matters. For example, the firm advised clients on private equity financing and managed acquisition projects. 

Key clients include Carlyle Group, Varde Partners, SoftBank, Pacific Star Development, and The Luxe Nomad.

Notable recent staffing changes saw partner Michael Padarin join from Walkers and counsel Andrew Tually move to DMAW Lawyers in Australia.  

Recent Deal Data highlights

•BIS Industries Group A$820 million restructuring

•Softbank $1.5 billion financing

 

Conyers Dill & Pearman

Conyers Dill & Pearman is the oldest offshore firm in Asia and among the strongest in Hong Kong where it has secured a dominant market share of the Hong Kong IPO market, and traditionally of the major offshore M&A deals.

In the past 12 months the firm has been very busy providing British Virgin Islands (BVI) and Cayman Islands legal advice to various issuers in connection with their Hong Kong IPOs in raisings ranging from HK$56 million to HK$1.24 billion, and it acted as Bermuda counsel to commodity trader Noble Group in its widely covered debt restructuring.

The firm also has a strong funds practice providing Bermuda, BVI and the Cayman Islands legal advice, and it recently developed a Cayman Islands and BVI funds eTool platform for individuals to identity fund structures appropriate to their objectives in a tech-savvy way.

Recent Deal Data highlights

•                      Ever Sunshine Lifestyle Services Group HKSE IPO

•                      Haidilao International Holding HKSE IPO

•                      Hanwha Q Cells $825 million take-private

•                      International Alliance Financial Leasing HKSE IPO

•                      New World Development $310 million 4.75% bond issue

•                      Noble Group financial restructuring

•                      Sunac China Holdings $800 million 7.875% bond issue

•                      Wanka Online HKSE IPO

Client feedback

"The firm is efficient and able to meet clients' timeframes. It provide legal solutions to issues at hand." - Banking 

"Very prompt and helpful." - Banking

"The firm can always find someone to cover for others when necessary." - Banking

"The team led by Vivien Fung has always been providing efficient and quality offshore legal services to our firm. Regardless of the complexity of the matter, it has always been able to provide professional advice in a timely manner." - Banking

"The firm can give quick and accurate opinions and understands a client's need. It also has good time management." – Banking

"We usually recommend our clients, who are companies incorporated in overseas jurisdictions, to engage Conyers for legal services as Conyers is highly responsive. Its advice is commercial and practical.  Whenever applicable and necessary, the firm always gives alternative solutions to clients for consideration." – Capital markets: Equity  

"Efficient and professional advice." – Capital markets: Equity

"Working with Conyers has been very pleasant. Colleagues at Conyers are quite helpful and responsive. The firm is capable of not only providing legal advice from a local law perspective but also making good suggestions in light of particular commercial dynamics." – Investment funds

"Very efficient and professional. Provided swift responses to any inquiries." – M&A

"I am pleased with the seamless cooperation between the BVI—or offshore teams—with the Hong Kong team. We were also impressed with the Hong Kong team who are highly experienced with offshore laws and requirements so that we can largely rely on the advice provided by the Hong Kong team and do not need to wait another 24 hours to get an opinion from the offshore lawyers. In addition to the BVI matter, Conyers is my must-go choice for Bermuda cases as I have handled not less than five restructuring cases in Bermuda and all of them were handled by the Conyers team.  Also, the Conyers Hong Kong team has the largest team who can speak Cantonese/Mandarin Chinese and this becoming more important nowadays as it can help communicate with Chinese clients directly without the need to translate." – Restructuring and insolvency

"Conyers' lawyers responded fast and communicated well to understand my requirements. I am very happy with its services." – Restructuring and insolvency

"High quality advice, responsive and able to solve problems." – Restructuring and insolvency   

Bernadette Chen

"Responsive, helpful and excellent services."

"She can provide the answers that we require most of the time."

Vivien Fung

"Vivien has always been providing timely advice regardless of how urgent the case is. She is detail-minded and able to provide solutions acceptable to both the financing and borrowing parties."

Norman Hau

"Norman Hau is highly experienced and maintains good relationships with clients. He can provide pragmatic and innovative solutions to tackle problems and, at the same time, has strong technical skills at his feet. He is also able to understand the required work and provide a cost effective quotation to suit a client's needs."  

"Efficient and willing to listen."

Joanna Kee

"I am satisfied with her work and have worked with her for 10 years. She understands my needs very well and can give timely opinions. She handles all my work with great care."   

Teresa Tsai

"Efficient and effective."  

"Teresa is efficient, responsive, accessible, and provides solutions to the issues at hand."

Winnie Wong

"Winnie is technically excellent in the sense that she provided very valuable advice to help us better structure negotiations of the deals we worked on. She is also very responsive and will always get back to us with her feedback under a tight time schedule."

 

Harneys

Harneys growth strategy from a few years back has created one of the largest offshore teams in the region with offices in Shanghai and Singapore alongside Hong Kong. The firm’s corporate and funds practice is growing fast, while its finance team continues to strengthen.

Among the fastest-growing offshore firms in Asia, Harneys has sought to increase its market share of blue chip and cross-border finance deals, from acquisition financing and margin lending deals to restructuring and structured finance work. It has also led and acted as offshore counsel on a range of fund establishments including hedge and private equity, and has deepened its bench to include several trilingual associates—fluent in Mandarin, Cantonese and English—to cater to the increasing stream of instructions from Chinese-speaking clients.

Over the research period, the firm brought in funds partner Yin Xu from Walkers and finance partner Lishi Fong from Norton Rose Fulbright in Singapore. It also relocated counsel Mirza Manraj from the British Virgin Islands (BVI) to Hong Kong; however, there have been a number of departures with partners Ellie Crespi relocating to the BVI office, David Meredith leaving to co-found his own company, and counsel Shirley Fu departing for SF Lawyers.

The firm’s funds team was also hit with the departures of Junko Shiokawa to Withers, and the departures of the Shanghai and Singapore offices managing partners Kristy Calvert and Lisa Pearce. Finally, the firm’s Hong Kong managing partner Jonathan Culshaw sadly passed away in September last year.

Recent Deal Data highlights

•                      AsiaInfo Technologies HKSE IPO

•                      Meituan-Dianping $3.7 billion acquisition of Mobike

•                      VCredit Holdings HKSE IPO

•                      Wheelock and Company $5 billion MTN programme

Client feedback

"Outstanding. Excellent responsiveness and first class commercial advice." - Banking

"The banking team has bandwidth. It is responsive and keen." - Banking

"Very efficient with high quality." - Banking

"Very responsive, takes the time and effort to understand the underlying structure, provides detailed and to-the-point analysis and advice, strong team." – Banking

"Excellent. Harneys are professional and responsive." – Capital markets: Debt

"We have found Harneys to be extremely helpful in providing business-oriented advice. The team led by Paul Sephton is incredibly responsive and we have been extremely fortunate to have such a highly capable law firm advising us on some of our most significant corporate transactions." – Capital markets: Debt

"Harneys replies quickly with in-depth understanding of legal principles." – Capital markets: Equity

"It has given helpful advice and was very efficient in managing the matter." – Investment funds

"Marc Parrott from Harneys is very experienced with offshore funds formation and general investment funds work. He is a seasoned lawyer and takes a very pragmatic approach when dealing with client matters. Generally, he's very responsive to clients' needs as well." – Investment funds

"The lawyers have demonstrated a high level of commitment throughout the whole case. It is worth noting that it frequently sends notices and warnings ahead of time, which validates its performance due to its high level of professionalism and diligence. The firm's quick response time has left us with a very good impression. Despite the fact that the firm is extremely diligent and rightfully so, that diligence sometimes conflicts with our increased amount of workload as we are unable to complete certain tasks in the desired time span." – Investment funds

"Raymond Ng is extremely responsive and hands-on. He provides cost-efficient and commercial advice and solutions to clients, and he is always accessible. Highly recommended." – M&A

"Working with Harneys on this merger was very pleasing and productive. The firm's partner, Raymond Ng, was very hands-on, attentive and responsive. As the transaction was extremely fast-paced, we needed its advice with short notices and Harneys never disappointed us. We also encountered many new issues and Raymond was very solution-oriented and provided us with high-quality and practical advice, which we highly appreciated." – M&A

"Client oriented and responsive." – M&A

"It can always deliver high quality work under a tight timeframe, and is able to give full-on advice on matters involving private equity, finance and funds." – Private equity

Monica Chu

"Quick responses and willing to cater to a client's need."

"She is quite responsive and always tries to meet our expectations and requests."

"Responsible and efficient."

Maggie Kwok

"Ms Kwok was cordial and attentive throughout our whole correspondence, and replied at all times of the day."

Raymond Ng

"Raymond was very responsive, hands-on and problem-solving. He has provided valuable and high-quality legal services on short notice. He knows clients' needs and the regulatory regime well. With his professional assistance, we have sailed in the correct direction and delivered work products highly appreciated by the client."

"Raymond is an experienced M&A lawyer and is always responsive. He is helpful in giving practical solutions in a way that may facilitate the transactions and protect clients' interests."

Marc Parrott

"Very knowledgeable and helpful."

"Quick replies and willing to help clients."

Paul Sephton

"Absolutely first class. Paul has a real understanding of the broader transaction and is able to tailor his advice accordingly. Excellent all round."

"Paul is the quintessential offshore lawyer, and his team is our go-to team for complex structured lending transactions. Paul is responsive, takes the time to understand complex structures to provide tailored and innovative solutions, and runs a very strong team."

"Paul is an incredibly skilled lawyer. At the same time, he provides business-oriented practical advice that is very much welcomed and appreciated. We are very fortunate to be working with Paul."

"A consummate offshore operator. He knows where his value add is, and focuses his practice there."

"Paul is technically strong and responsive."

 

 

 

Maples Group

At the start of the year, Maples and Calder and MaplesFS consolidated its business under a single brand called the Maples Group. The firm has a market leading offshore practice in Hong Kong and is no stranger to acting on landmark mandates—and this year is no different.

The firm has a dominant share of the largest corporate finance transactions available to offshore law firms in Asia and acted on some of the largest Hong Kong IPOs this year. This included acting for the largest biotech company, the largest online healthcare platform operator, and the issuer in the largest Hong Kong IPO last year with a valuation of $4.7 billion. The firm also acted for the consortium on Asia’s largest ever private equity acquisition; acted for the seller in a transaction that set a world record for the highest price paid for a single building; and advised the issuer in the first ever bond issue from Cambodia.

In the research period, finance partner James Kinsley relocated to Singapore from the firm’s Dubai office and Mac Imrie transferred back to Cayman Islands. In addition, funds partner James Gaden departed for Walkers.

Recent Deal Data highlights

•                      Alibaba $9.5 billion acquisition of Ele.me

•                      CHMT Peaceful Development Asia Property $5.2 billion acquisition of The Center

•                      Global Logistics Properties $11.6 billion privatisation

•                      Innovent Biologics HKSE IPO

•                      Meituan Dianping HKSE IPO

•                      NagaCorp $300 million 9.375% high-yield bond issue

•                      Ping An Healthcare and Technology HKSE IPO

•                      Xiaomi Corporation HKSE IPO

Client feedback

"Timely and quality services are provided by Maples." – Banking

"Very knowledgeable and offers bespoke tailored advice. The firm is proactive and responds with a very high standard work product." – Financial services regulatory

"Support has been brilliant. The team in question is always professional and uses highly skilled business sense and problem solving skills. Maples is one of our go-to Cayman law firms in Hong Kong for its sound and smart legal advice." – Investment funds 

"I always work with Sharon Yap. She is always attentive to all matters and responds to any queries and needs we have. Also she and her team are very kind and good at coordinating with Maples's other service arms, such as MaplesFS." – Investment funds

"Maples consistently provides high-quality legal advice on Cayman matters. It is responsive and commercial. Anthony Webster and Sharon Yap are first-rate, and Andrew Wood and Dan Won are also strong, up-and-coming lawyers." – Investment funds

"Maples is one of the more sophisticated offshore law firms that regularly handles complex fund formation work." – Investment funds

"Very responsive and always willing to help. Often goes the extra mile. It is also open to collaboration with onshore firms, which has led to certain 'wins' as prospective clients like the joined-up nature of a combined offering." – M&A

"Strong support team that pays attention to details." – M&A

Terence Ho

"We are very happy with the quality of Terence's work. Not only does he and his team have the necessary knowledge to tackle complicated deal structures, they are also extremely responsive. We will definitely continue to engage Terence in upcoming projects."

"He handles many of the Greater China based managers' offshore funds and understands clients' needs."

Lorraine Pao

"Lorraine has always been very responsive to different kinds of enquiries and is willing to work around the clock to meet clients' tight deadlines."

"Excellent work allocation to meet tight time schedules."

Matt Roberts

"Matt is my go-to offshore counsel. We work together regularly and I always know he will give my work due attention, no matter how trivial it appears to be, and turn it around quickly. Matt is technically excellent, pragmatic and commercial, and a thoroughly nice guy to work with."

Sharon Yap

"She is always responsive to the needs we have on any investment funds work. She is diligent in trying to understand new schemes and unique requirements that clients have."

"Sharon is responsive and commercial, and she has shown herself to be a versatile Cayman lawyer, having advised my clients on various types of fund-related transactions."

 

Mourant Ozannes

Offshore firm Mourant Ozannes has expertise advising on British Virgin Islands (BVI), Cayman Islands, Guernsey and Jersey law. It often works on cross-border mandates linked to venture capital, private equity and real estate. The firm continues to grow its Asia practice to service its Chinese clients on outbound investments. 

Of late, the firm has acted in a series of M&A, private equity and privatisation mandates in the logistics, aviation, pharmaceutical and telecommunications industries. This includes providing BVI and Cayman Islands legal advice in relation to China Vanke's participation in a consortium to take private Global Logistic Properties for $11.6 billion, which was Asia's largest ever private equity buyout. Mourant Ozannes has also been active in the real estate and private equity funds space. 

During the research period, the firm’s Asia team grew by 35% to a total of 42 staff memebers. This included the hire of restructuring and insolvency partner Justine Lau from Mayer Brown in Hong Kong, and senior lawyer hires from rival Maples & Calder. 

Recent Deal Data highlights

•Beigene HKSE IPO

•Gateway Fund VI 

•Hopewell Holdings HK$21.2 billion privatisation   

•Nesta Investment Management S$16 billion acquisition of Global Logistic Properties

•Orix $2.21 billion acquisition of 30% stake in Avolon Holdings

Client feedback

“Excellent service and responsiveness from this firm. It really understands the requirements of the transaction and provides a first class consistent service every time. Definitely in the top tier for this work in Hong Kong.” – Banking

“The service is generally very responsive and pleasant. In terms of quality, the advice is fast, solid and on point.” – Private equity

“Solid litigation strategies. Very good sense on how cases should be litigated based on its professional experience and interaction with the court.” – Restructuring and insolvency

 

Ogier

Offshore firm Ogier is best known for its British Virgin Islands (BVI) and Cayman Islands practice. It also has a strong Mandarin speaking team working on China focused deals and is capable in providing Guernsey and Jersey legal services to its Asia-Pacific clients.

The firm has been engaged in a broad range of transactional mandates in the past year. Its IPO practice has been active as BVI and Cayman counsel for issuers on China's largest domestic listing since 2015 and a listing on Nasdaq, while its debt capital markets practice has raised billion in US dollars for Chinese issuers including state owned enterprises. The firm also has a solid funds practice and is a leading adviser to Japanese hedge funds being the only offshore law firm with a presence in Japan.

The firm has strengthened its team over the research period with the hires of partner David Nelson from Walkers and counsel Geoff Tang from Linklaters.

Recent Deal Data highlights

•                      China Fortune Land Development $940 million 9.0% bond issue

•                      Cybernaut $300 million new frontier venture fund

•                      Foxconn Industrial Internet SSE IPO

•                      HNA Group corporate restructuring

•                      JSR Corporation $400 million acquisition of Crown Bioscience International

•                      LionRock Capital €150 million acquisition of minority stake in Inter Milan

•                      Ruhnn Holding Nasdaq IPO

•                      WeWork $400 million acquisition of Naked Hub

Client feedback

"It has in depth knowledge of offshore legal issues, is responsive, and good quality at reasonable cost." – Capital markets: Derivatives 

"High quality and timely work. The firm is understanding and flexible on fees." - Capital markets: Derivatives

"High commercial awareness especially on PRC clients' demands and PRC regulatory requirements, responsive and quick turnaround with quality work." – Capital markets: Equity

"Great. Experienced and knowledgeable lawyers with very fast turnaround speeds. It made our lives much easier." – Investment funds

"Ogier has expertise on offshore matters⁠—in our case, Cayman Islands⁠—and is able to provide insights to market practice." – Investment funds

"Excellent advice and very proactive." – Investment funds

"It has good knowledge, experience in Luxembourg rules and laws, a good working attitude, and takes the initiative on issues." – Investment funds

"I am very pleased. Nice people to work with and responsive. I trust its judgement. It is a relative attractive value for money proposition in the Hong Kong market when compared to the bigger names." – Private equity

"Excellent. Extremely technically knowledgeable, very client focused and responsive. The firm has an international presence in nearly all of the offshore centres which makes international restructuring cases run smoothly and efficiently." – Restructuring and insolvency

Richard Bennett

"He's approachable. Nice to work with and a good discussion partner."

Janice Chu

"Janice has a strong technical background in IPO and corporate finance work, and is incredibly hardworking and commercial. She is very responsive and pragmatic, always provides reliable and quality bilingual work. She also speaks fluent English and Mandarin, and communicates well with PRC clients in Chinese correspondence. Janice really impressed me and my clients with her can-do attitude even though she is relatively junior and only recently joined the offshore field. I would consider her as a rising star as she progresses in her career."

Bernard Elslander

"He is attentive and willing to elaborate with accurate and polite follow ups."

Kate Hodson

"I have great comfort when working with Ogier. Kate Hodson is one of the best lawyers I have ever worked with. Kate translates 'legal language' into 'commercial business language' very well. This has helped me a lot over the years. I also appreciate how responsive she is which is great for us as a client when we have tight deadlines. Kate and her team's depth of knowledge in offshore laws and regulatory changes; its ability and passion to explain items in detail, and its fast turnaround times for anything urgent has always been helpful in this era of regulatory changes."

David Nelson

"I have worked with David for a long time since he was an associate at Linklaters. A top notch lawyer who is very friendly and easy to work with. Humble, diligent, always sticks to deadlines, and produces high quality work."

"David is extremely responsive and helpful. David goes the extra mile in ensuring our sometimes difficult timelines are met."

Oliver Payne

"He is extremely intelligent, professional and efficient. A delight to work with. He will go the extra mile for clients."

Nicholas Plowman

"He is familiar with market trends and is able to respond to queries quickly."

 

 

Walkers

Walkers celebrated the 15th anniversary of its Hong Kong office in 2018. The 13-partner-strong team has a deep bench of lawyers and is among the largest offshore law firms that provides British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands and—through its associated firm, Taylors—Bermuda law advice.

During the research period, Walkers was involved in a number of acquisition, restructuring, privatisation, and private equity mandates. It was also busy advising on a host of Hong Kong and US listings and bond issuances often acting for the issuer. The firm acted in a number of landmark transactions, including acting for Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation, MUFG Bank and Mizuho Bank in Bain Capital's acquisition of Toshiba Memory, which was the largest ever leveraged buyout in Asia. 

Throughout 2018 and 2019 there have been a number of lateral movements at the firm, with partners Jo Lit, Callum McNeil, Alice Moran and James Gaden joining from Appleby, Campbells, King & Wood Mallesons and Maples & Calder respectively. However, it was also hit with the departures of partners Jenny Nip and Yin Xu who left for Campbells and Harneys. Additionally, Rowena Lawrence returned to the UK and funds partner Arwel Lewis retired.  

Recent Deal Data highlights

•Ascletis Pharma HKSE IPO

•Bain Capital/Apple consortium $18 billion acquisition of Toshiba chip unit

•Hopewell Holdings HK$21.2 billion privatisation   

•iQiyi's $1.2 billion convertible bond issue

•iQiyi Nasdaq IPO

•Nesta Investment Management S$16 billion acquisition of Global Logistic Properties

•Noble Group financial restructuring 

•Sands China $5.5 billion triple tranche (4.6% 5.125% and 5.4%) high-yield bond issue