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Internationally renowned for competition and antitrust, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer’s Greater China practice comprises Hong Kong and Beijing-based lawyers with longstanding experience in the region. Its global platform allows it to take lead roles on major multi-jurisdictional deals; in a recent highlight, the integrated China team advised AB InBev on the merger control aspects of its acquisition of SABMiller. It is also frequently instructed for compliance counselling and training, and for representation in antitrust investigations before the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) and Hong Kong Competition Commission (HKCC). Nicholas French and counsel Ninette Dodoo are names to note (the former splits his time between the Beijing, Hong Kong and London offices). Alastair Mordaunt and William Robinson are key contacts in Hong Kong.

Combining domestic and international competition law expertise, Linklaters regularly has a hand in high-profile transactions in China, and its antitrust capabilities in the region and globally ensure a strong flow of multi-jurisdictional deals. The team advised SABMiller on its acquisition by AB InBev in a transaction that involved over 25 merger filings globally. Other major deals included assisting CMA CGB (as buyer) with the acquisition of Neptune Orient Lines, where both parties were major players in the container shipping industry. On the conduct side, the Greater China team has a broad behavioural competition practice that takes in advisory work and representation in cartel investigations. 2016 and 2017 saw it acting in numerous investigations brought by Chinese and Hong Kong authorities. In Beijing are practice co-head Fay Zhou, who brings significant experience both from private practice in international firms and from an eight-year stint at MOFCOM, and counsel Yuan Cheng. Clara Ingen-Housz jointly leads the practice alongside Zhou and handles global antitrust cases from the Hong Kong office, where managing associates Marcus Pollard, who re-joined the firm from the HKCC in 2016, and Xi Liao are also based.

Allen & Overy LLP takes a ‘real interest’ in its clients and provides ‘very precise’ advice. Based primarily out of the Hong Kong office, François Renard ‘goes the extra mile to provide the best quality service’ and demonstrates an ‘eagerness to fully understand his clients’ businesses’. Counsel Charles Pommiès, in Beijing, is another key practitioner, who advises Asian, European and US companies in transactional and behavioural antitrust matters. In 2016, he and associate Liwei Wang advised Saudi Aramco on the MOFCOM clearance of a joint venture with Lanxess.

At Hogan Lovells International LLP, practice head and Mandarin speaker Adrian Emch is recommended; working alongside him are a group of associates, including former MOFCOM official Andy Huang. The China practice is integrated with the firm’s strong US and EU competition teams and often works on a cross-office basis with colleagues overseas. Its client base comprises household-name multinational companies, including several leading players in the TMT and maritime sectors. Highlights included advising FIH Mobile on the MOFCOM merger control proceedings for its acquisition of Microsoft’s mobile phone business; Emch led on the transaction, with support from associate Jiaming Zhang.

Baker McKenzie FenXun Joint Operation Office has a seamless domestic and international antitrust law practice. Bao Zhi heads the practice in Beijing, while the Hong Kong office acts as the base for Stephen Crosswell, who oversees antitrust matters in Greater China and across the Asia Pacific region. Clients include leading multinationals, such as L’Oréal, British American Tobacco and Nokia, and a range of Chinese clients. The team recently assisted Platinum Equity with the China merger control clearance of two separate acquisitions.

The ‘excellent’ and ‘client-centric’ team at Norton Rose Fulbright comprises five dedicated antitrust specialists based in the Hong Kong office, who work alongside colleagues in Beijing and Shanghai with regulatory and competition expertise. Under the leadership of ‘top-class professionalMarc Waha, the team shows a ‘willingness to adapt to clients’ needs’ and ‘build long-term relationships’. It handles antitrust cases in China, the Asia Pacific region and globally, with team members frequently flying to Brussels to represent clients in hearings and meetings with the European Commission. Waha and associate Sophie Chen are currently advising a Chinese client on global antitrust issues connected with its acquisition of an asset in South America. Maxime Vanhollebeke was promoted to of counsel in June 2017. Associate Pearl Yeung also receives praise.

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