- What is the Corporate Counsel 100?
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- Top 100: Africa
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- Top 100: United Kingdom - Rising Stars
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- Top 100: United States - Rising Stars
- How do the awards work?
- The Legal 500 United Kingdom Awards 2014
- The Legal 500 United States Awards 2014 - In-house winners
- The Legal 500 United States Awards 2014 - Law firm winners
- The Legal 500 Latin America Awards (coming soon)
- The Legal 500 Germany Awards (coming soon)
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The past year saw a general reduction in China-related M&A activity, with the weak global economy, the sovereign debt crisis in Europe and China’s leadership change all being contributing factors. The private equity sector in Greater China has also struggled in recent times, and the continued uncertainty in the global economy and shifting investment strategies have led to an increase in divestments by multinational companies and other foreign investors.
Nonetheless, the enthusiasm of Chinese state-owned enterprises (SOEs) for energy and resources assets continues to drive outbound investment, as indicated by several significant oil and gas deals announced by Chinese oil companies in relation to assets in Latin America, Canada, the US, Australia and Africa, as well as increased activity in the renewable sectors, both on the inbound and outbound sides.
King & Wood Mallesons again provided the legal market’s breaking news, in July 2013 sealing a merger with UK legal practice SJ Berwin LLP; the tie-up is set to go live in November 2013. Other highlights included Norton Rose LLP’s combination with US law firm Fulbright & Jaworski LLP to form Norton Rose Fulbright, adding Hong Kong and Beijing-based Jeffrey Blount and Jie Zhang to the practice.
Recently opened mainland China offices for international firms include Eversheds LLP launching in Beijing with two new partner hires in corporate energy law expert Ingrid Zhu-Clark, who joined from the Beijing office of Morgan Lewis LLP, and corporate lawyer Jay Ze; and Seyfarth Shaw LLP opening a new Shanghai office after hiring DLA Piper’s Wan Li as its chief representative. DLA Piper also recruited, bringing in Hong Kong based China energy head Carolyn Dong from King & Wood Mallesons.
Among other developments, Vinson & Elkins L.L.P. announced the closure of its Shanghai office; Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy LLP appointed new leadership in China, with Anthony Root, the former head of its Asian corporate practice and Greater China offices, retiring in May 2013 and corporate partner Edward Sun, the chief representative of the firm’s Beijing base, set to leave before the end of the year; and Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP bolstered its Beijing corporate practice with the addition of Chen Li, who joined from Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy LLP.
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On November 13, 2013, the Shanghai Municipal Government issued the Tentative Measures on the Administration of Foreign Owned Medical Institutions in China (Shanghai) Pilot Free Trade Zone [Hu-Fu-Ban-Fa  No.63] (" Measures "). According to the Measures, a foreign investor, who has engaged in medical institution investment or management for 5 years or more, may, upon the approval by the relevant local government authorities, set up a wholly foreign owned medical institution (" Medical WOFE ") in the Shanghai Pilot Free Trade Zone (" Shanghai FTZ "). Also, the Measures might open up an investment opportunity for foreign capital to enter the nursing home market in China.
The General Administration of Customs (" GAC ") issued Announcement  No. 58 (" Announcement ") on October 30, 2013, announcing its decision to further reform the customs clearance procedures for importation and exportation, whereby as from November 1, 2013, an AA Category enterprise in China Customs' AEO (Authorized Economic Operator) program, after filing application and signing an MOU with the customs, may choose to file import/export declarations and have the goods cleared at the local customs office of the place where such enterprise is located rather than where the port of entry or exit is located (" Privileged Model ").
Chinese customs authorities have recently stepped up price investigations focusing on cross-border payments of intellectual property ("IP") royalties or license fees. More and more multinational companies ("MNC") have been chosen by the customs as principal audit/investigation targets for their royalty arrangements between Chinese subsidiaries and foreign parent companies or other associated parties. HaoLiWen customs practice lawyers have been approached by some of MNCs to advise on dutiability of such royalty payments and any risk exposure to customs law violation or even smuggling.
On August, 2013, a consumer filed a complaint for misleading advertising with Dong Xin AIC (Zhejiang province) against Hangzhou-based roasted nut and dry-food producer Yaotaitai.
The State Council has approved establishment of China (Shanghai) Pilot Free Trade Area ("SHFTA") and more flexible, efficient and open economic administration will be carried out within SHFTA. In summary, two aspects of breakthroughs are relevant to foreign direct investment in SHFTA.
On August 22, 2013, MOFCOM announced that the State Council of China approved the establishment of Shanghai Pilot Free Trade Area ("SHFTA") to cover four customs supervision zones (Shanghai Waigaoqiao Free Trade Zone, Waigaoqiao Bonded Logistics Park, Yangshan Bonded Port and Shanghai Pudong Airport Free Trade Zone), with a total area of 28.78 square kilometers. It was reported that SHFTA will be formally established by the end of September, 2013. Early in September, the NPC StandingCommittee will determine adjusting some administrative examination and approval measures under some laws to be applied to SHFTA.
Normally perceived as a very small piece in the whole picture of production and distribution, product labeling is seldom taken seriously by distributors. However, the consequences of improper label are exceptionally severe in serious cases, including but not limited to:
China's regulation of so called " Novel food " is changing.
In this issue:
Product design is playing an increasingly important role in commercial competition nowadays. Other than product quality, it is the design of a product that draws consumer's attention. A well designed product is more likely to impress consumers with its fashion appearance.
Kyiv, 11 August 2014 - Avellum Partners announced that it has acted as the Ukrainian legal counsel to Ferrexpo in connection with the following three export financing credits:
Avellum Partners announced that it has acted as the Ukrainian legal counsel to Ferrexpo in connection with the acquisition of an electrified railway of over two kilometers long and a power line.
Avellum Partners acted as the legal counsel to the owners of a leading Ukrainian FMCG producer in connection with its sale to a private investor.
KKR, a leading global investment firm, announced an investment in arago AG ("arago"). arago is a German-based high-tech company specialised in IT automation. KKR will acquire a minority stake in arago and support the global roll-out of arago's product portfolio with growth equity.
Funds Legal and Regulatory Update- Ogier
In early August 2014 „Popov & Partners" Law office was selected by the Ministry of Justice of the Republic of Bulgaria to perform public procurement named „Research and analysis of existing systems for enforcement in the EU Member States, research and exchange of the European good practices related to the construction of electronic system/portal for enforcement". The research is in the framework of „Effective and transparent enforcement, integrated with national and European electronic legal systems" implemented with the grant of the Operational Programme „Administrative Capacity", co-financed by the European Union through the European Social Fund.
In the middle of July 2014 "Popov and Partners" law office was awarded a public procurement, announced by the Ministry of Finance, with subject matter "Analysis of the structure of the Managing Authority of Operational Programme "Administrative Capacity" (OPAC) and development of an offer for structure of the Managing Authority of Operational Programme "Good Governance" (OPGG) in relation to the 2014-2020 programming period". The public procurement is part of a project for analysis of the structure of the Ministry of Finance and Operational Programme "Administrative Capacity" Directorate, realized with the financial support of Operational Programme "Administrative Capacity" (OPAC), co-funded by the European Union through the European Social Fund. The most fundamental aim of all project activities is to guarantee the effective execution of Operational Programme "Administrative Capacity" Directorate at the Ministry of Finance, in its capacity of Managing authority of the new Operational Programme "Good Governance" 2014 - 2020, which will replace Operational Programme "Administrative Capacity" and Operational Programme "Technical Assistance", implemented during the past programming period.
The international media company Bertelsmann is increasing its ownership of Gruner + Jahr to 100 percent by acquiring Jahr Holding's 25.1 percent shareholding. The transaction was agreed among Gruner + Jahr's shareholders. Bertelsmann's acquisition of the remaining shares in Gruner + Jahr will become effective on November 1, 2014. The purchase price is being paid in cash, and the parties have agreed not to disclose the amount.
Hengeler Mueller advises LEG Immobilien AG on acquisition of portfolio of around 9,600 residential uA subsidiary of LEG Immobilien AG ("LEG"), acting as the buyer, and Deutsche Annington Immobilien SE ("Deutsche Annington"), acting as the seller, yesterday signed an agreement for a portfolio transaction for around 9,600 residential units and related employees in North Rhine-Westphalia by way of share deal. The total transaction volume amounts to €484m. Following antitrust approval, the closing of the transaction is expected by the end of October 2014.