Solicitors governing body: 中華民國律師公會全國聯合會 - Taiwan Bar Association
Competition authority: Fair Trade Commission (FTC)
Financial regulator: 金融監督管理委員會全球資訊網 - Financial Supervisory Commission (FSC)
IFLR1000 ranking categories for this jurisdiction:
Financial and corporate (published October) - Banking and finance, Capital markets, M&A, Restructuring and insolvency
Taiwan is a civil law jurisdiction. The legal market is dominated by local firms with a handful of international firms also present and there are minimal restrictions placed on international firms practicing.
One oddity of the legal market, before a recent change, was that Hong Kong law firms were neither considered local or foreign, and that there was no way for them to be properly registered to carry on legal practice there. Considering the business potential arising from increased cooperation among Taiwan, the Chinese Mainland and Hong Kong and the fact that Taiwan is one of Hong Kong’s largest trading partners with a growing Taiwanese company presence in Hong Kong, this was a strange state of affairs.
Section 47 of the Taiwan’s Lawyers Act rectified the situation and now Hong Kong solicitors can apply for registration as a foreign lawyer and practice in Taiwan. As a foreign lawyer in Taiwan, the successful applicant will only be allowed to practice the law of his or her home jurisdiction and international law, but can practice as an employee in a local firm, as a sole practitioner or in partnership with other foreign or Taiwanese lawyers.
With a relative lack of substantial high-end transactional work, there isn’t too much interest in Taiwan from global law firms. One continuing concern in the market is that price competition for commoditised work is having an adverse impact.
Adam Majeed - Asia-Pacific Editor
Baker McKenzie is a leading firm in banking and finance, capital markets and M&A in Taiwan.
Recent deal highlights saw the firm represent the Taiwan branch of ANZ in a demerger that transferred the company’s retail and wealth management business to DBS Bank, and the Taiwan branch of ING in a receivables purchase agreement with Wistron Corporation and a master participation agreement with other lenders.
Key clients include Google, ANZ, ING, Far Eastern International Bank, and MediaTek.
Chen & Lin’s main strength lies in M&A, where it works with both domestic and international companies.
An important deal for the firm was providing counsel to Uni-President Enterprises Corporation and President Chain Store Corporation in a deal with Starbucks Coffee International. The firm also advised AVX Corporation in its acquisition of Ethertronics.
Chien Yeh Law Offices has strong connections with law firms from the United States, Japan and China.
Major deals include advising Horng Shiue Holding on its IPO, and acting as counsel to Profound Technology when the company was taken over.
Formosan Brothers specialises in corporate matters, including restructuring and insolvency and M&A.
The firm provided legal counsel to a German company during the acquisition of a Taiwanese subsidiary from its competitors, and additionally represented a Taiwanese manufacturing company facing anti-dumping charges under EU law.
K&L Gates works with companies across Asia, particularly in cross-border transactions.
A notable deal had the firm act as counsel to II-VI in its complete acquisition of CoAdna in a cross-border transaction deal involving Cayman, Hong Kong, US, China and Taiwanese law. The firm also represented Asian Pharmaceuticals, a Cayman company headquartered in Singapore, in its Taiwanese IPO.
Key clients include Yuanta Securities, ASLAN Pharmaceuticals and II-IV.
LCS & Partners’ strength is M&A work in Taiwan.
The firm recently aided O-Bank in establishing a REIT in Taiwan and acted as counsel to Minth Group in its acquisition of shares from United Alloy-Tech Company.
Key clients include MaxLinear, Long Chen Paper, and Netflix Asia.
Lee and Li remains one of Taiwan’s leading firms in banking and finance, capital markets and M&A.
Notable deals include advising Bank of China, Mizuho Bank and Sumimoto Mitsui Banking Corporation in a project financing for Formosa Ha Tinh Steel Corporation’s construction of a steel plant, a power plant and a port in Vietnam, as well as acting as local counsel to Google for the acquisition of assets from HTC Corporation.
Key clients include CTBC Bank, HSBC, Crédit Agricole, BNP Paribas, Standard Chartered, ANZ, and Citibank.
Lexcel Partners has experience in capital markets work and M&A, often working with financial institutions.
The firm assisted in the acquisition of Charlemagne Capital by Fiera Capital Corporation and acted as legal counsel in the merger between Taishin Securities and Ta Chong Securities.
Key clients include HSBC, UBS and Credit Suisse.
Lin & Partners has experience working with both financial institutions and corporate clients.
The firm advised Credit Suisse on Taiwanese legal matters regarding its sale of structured notes; and provided counsel to TPBI Public Company in its acquisition of shares in a Taiwanese private company.
Key clients include Credit Suisse, eBay and BitFenix.
“Great support in English and Chinese. Detailed knowledge of accounting practices in both Taiwan and USA.” – Banking
Russin & Vecchi’s Taiwan branch most often works with international companies in both banking and M&A.
The firm acted as lead counsel to many companies issuing Formosa bonds, including Citigroup, JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America and ANZ. In addition, the firm also represented Phoenix Contact in the acquisition of a Taiwanese tool company.
Zoomlaw Attorneys at Law is well connected with other law firms all over the world and has expertise in intellectual property work.
Key clients include Asia Vital Components and ThroughTek.