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Fangda Partners is a popular choice for handling merger filings in major PRC-related M&A, as well as for antitrust investigations and litigation. Michael Han and Hong Kong-based Andrew Skudder successfully defended Höegh Autoliners in the first acquittal of a multinational company accused in a National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) cartel investigation into the roll-on roll-off (RoRo) vehicle shipping cartel. Han also advised Nokia and Merck in the Chinese merger filings of the acquisition of Alcatel-Lucent and Sigma-Aldrich respectively. Fang Qi and Dixon Zhang are recommended for IP-related antitrust litigation and compliance. Alibaba, Blackstone, Adidas and Bayer are also clients.

JunHe LLP impresses its clients with its ‘comprehensive industry knowledge, accuracy in its professional advice, and the excellent care for its clients’ business values’. Yingling Wei heads the team, which also includes Janet Hui, who is regarded by some as being ‘one of the best competition lawyers in China’. In 2015, Hui assisted Royal Dutch Shell with the merger control aspects of its acquisition of the share capital of BG. The group also handles governmental investigations as well as litigation, such as representing Johnson & Johnson in the vertical monopoly case and assisting Glodon Software Company during the administrative monopoly case. Other clients include Peugeot Citroën Automobiles SA, Samsung SDI and Exor.

King & Wood Mallesons combines a ‘speedy response, deep understanding of competition law and the ability to provide appropriate commercial advice’. Leveraging its global network, the team assisted BG Group during its acquisition by Royal Dutch Shell to obtain unconditional clearance from both MOFCOM and the Australia Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC). In another highlight, the highly regarded Susan Ning and Hazel Yin assisted Lockheed Martin with the merger control filing of its acquisition of Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation. The ‘commercially minded’ Kate Peng and Cheng Liu are other names to note.

T & D Associates is highly recommended for merger control filing and acting for multinational companies responding to anti-monopoly litigation and investigations initiated by NDRC and State Administration for Industry & Commerce (SAIC). Managing partner Yong Ren is ‘extremely well connected and knowledgeable’.

Zhong Lun Law Firm stands out for its extensive experience in merger control fillings and investigations initiated by the antitrust authorities. The team is led by four well-regarded practitioners, one of whom – Peng Wu – acted for Wallenius Wilhelmsen logistics in responding to an NDRC investigation. Tongwei, China Advanced Gas Resources and Wuxi Taiji Industrial Company are also clients. Scott Yu and Yi Xue are ‘highly committed and knowledgeable’.

At AnJie Law Firm, Michael Gu assisted Honeywell International with the merger control aspects of its £3.3bn acquisition of Elster. In another highlight, Hao Zhan and Ying Song successfully defended Sinopec and the Yunnan branch of Sinopec against claims by Yingding Bio-energy of Sinopec’s abuse of dominant market position in the biodiesel sector.

Broad & Bright’s full-service antitrust practice is well regarded and is particularly strong in merger control clearance. Recent highlights include assisting Seagate in successfully obtaining approval by MOFCOM to lift its ‘hold separate’ restriction and advising Amphenol on its acquisition of FCI Asia after obtaining unconditional clearance by MOFCOM. Ying Yang and Yao Feng are key names to note.

Han Kun Law Offices handled two NDRC’s cartel investigation cases for multinational clients and assisted GlaxoSmithKline in securing MOFCOM’s unconditional clearance of its OTC joint venture with Novartis. American Express, Baidu, Delphi Automotive and FountainVest Partners are also clients. The team is also active in antitrust disputes and bolstered its IP-related antitrust practice by recruiting Yan Wang, who joined from Fangda Partners in September 2015. Chen Ma and Joyce Li are highly recommended.

Wei Huang at Tian Yuan Law Firm has recently assisted in filing complaints with NDRC against the horizontal price cartel and filing an NDRC antitrust complaint requesting an investigation into InterDigital Communication for an alleged abuse of market dominance in relation to wireless telecoms signal transfer points.

Dentons China’s recent highlights include advising an international oil company and a building materials company on MOFCOM merger review issues. Jet Deng, Ken Dai, Feng Lin, Edwin Li and Paul Lee are the key names to note.

DeHeng Law Offices routinely represents clients in domestic and overseas antitrust litigation; recent highlights include acting for four Chinese companies against Hitachi Metals in an abuse of dominance claim in the rare-earth permanent magnets market. China Mobile, Roche Pharmaceuticals and Qualcomm are also clients of practice head Liang Ding.

At FenXun Partners, the ‘solution-oriented’ Zhi Bao acted for Ecolab on the Chinese merger control aspects of its acquisition of Jianghai Environmental Protection, and assisted Georg Fischer and Linamar Corporation on the Chinese merger control aspects of the establishment of a joint venture in North America. The firm now has a tie-up with Baker McKenzie in the China Free Trade Zone.

Jingtian & Gongcheng has particular expertise in advising Chinese internet companies on merger control issues involving VIE structures. Practice head Yongqing Huang assisted Citic Heavy Industries with its antitrust filing pertaining to the acquisition of Kaifeng.

Lifang & Partners leverages its IP practice to regularly handle IP-related antitrust investigations and litigation. Guanbin Xie is praised for his ‘ability to communicate clearly and his logical thinking’. Recent instructions include handling an abuse of market dominance dispute, antitrust clearance work and an NDRC investigation.

Llinks Law Offices assists listed companies with the competition aspects of their merger activities. Clients include BesTV New Media, Unifrax Asia-Pacific Holding and Jiangsu Yuyue Science & Technology Development. Wayne Chen is the main contact.

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Legal Developments in China

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