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Editorial

PRC firms

Index of tables

  1. Banking and finance: PRC firms
  2. Leading individuals
  3. Next generation lawyers

Leading individuals

  1. 1

Next generation lawyers

  1. 1

Who Represents Who

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JunHe LLP has sustained its prominent position in acquisition finance, real estate finance, structured lending and syndicated transactions. Recent highlights include advising Ping An Bank on its extension of a loan to CDH China HF Holdings Company (a member of the consortium) relating to its acquisition of Playtika, advising a consortium of lenders on the RMB2.8bn refinancing of a project development loan, and assisting a syndicate comprising China Development Bank, Bank of China, China Minsheng Bank and China CITIC Bank with financing the acquisition of a copper and cobalt mine in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The ten-partner practice is jointly led by Shanghai-based Hui Zhou, and Beijing-based Shijian Liu, Jian Wang and Jun Zhou. Also recommended are David Liu, who is an ‘expert in financing and refinancing transactions’, and Gang Wang, who is particularly experienced in asset finance and aircraft finance.

King & Wood Mallesons has a fine record in acquisition, aircraft and structured finance transactions. It is also particularly active in the fintech space, advising a large number of key players in the market including Ant Financial, Lufax, Suning Commerce Group, Haier Financial and 360 Finance. In 2016, Stanley Zhou and Maggie Luan advised a syndicate consisting of Ping An Bank and Shanghai Pudong Development Bank on the leveraged buyout facility and management facility to Wuxi Merger and Group & Cloud for the privatisation of Wuxi Pharma Tech (Cayman). In other work, Feng Ma assisted China Development Bank (Henan branch) with a loan to a joint venture leasing company in order to lease a number of aircraft to a Russian airline. Jack Wang handles a large number of cross-border transactions and excels in the loan facilities and acquisition finance space; managing partner Ling Wang is highly recommended for aircraft leasing and project finance; and Yun Chen’s expertise lies in foreign exchange law and syndicated lending.

Zhong Lun Law Firm’s ‘highly commercial’ practice covers all key product areas and has a broad roster of clients. Its experience spans term loan facilities, project finance, asset securitisation and banking compliance. Dongyue Chen assisted International Finance Corporation with its loan to Houze Small Loan and its equity investment in the latter’s Cayman shareholding; Shirley Lu advised borrower Biostime International Holdings on its syndicated loan arrangement for the acquisition of shares in Swisse Wellness Group. Group head Wantao Yang is highly recommended for his expertise in project finance, syndicated loans and securitisation. Other clients include Tsinghua Unigroup, China CITIC Bank, China Merchants Bank and Volkswagen Finance (China). Joy Gao and Cheng Ni are also recommended.

Fangda Partners is particularly noted for domestic and international acquisition finance matters, and project finance. Zheng Xie acted as local counsel for the sponsor in a syndicated loan provided by China Merchants Bank for the privatisation of Qihoo 360 Technology, and advised China Merchants Bank on its syndicated loan facilities for the privatisation of Dalian Wanda Commercial Properties. Stanley Chen advised the management of Mindray Medical International on a $2.05bn loan facility to perform a single-step merger, and advised Ping An Bank on its bridge loan to finance the take-private of China Nepstar Chain Drugstore.

Global Law Office’s client list includes a range of Chinese banks, international commercial banks and investment banks. The group is jointly led by Lawrence Lin and Xin Zhang, who are highly recommended for project finance and asset finance. Zhang and Li Zhu acted for The Export-Import Bank of China, China Development Bank, Silk Road Fund and International Finance Corporation during the $1.69bn financing (on a limited-recourse basis) for the development of a hydro-power plant in Pakistan, and advised China CITIC Bank Corporation, China CITIC Bank International and The Export-Import Bank of China on a $3bn cross-border acquisition financing transaction following the acquisition of Lexmark International by a group of investors. Asset and trade finance specialist May Liu is ‘capable of bridging the gap between the creditors and the debtors, and can always identify the core legal and regulatory risks’. Minghao Xu is ‘professional and diligent’, and Miller Wang and Jeffrey Zhu are further names to note.

AllBright Law Offices recent work includes complex cross-border matters including project finance, foreign trade finance and real estate finance, and a large number of asset-backed securitisation instructions. In a particular highlight, a team led by Lin Sun assisted Tebon Securities and CITIC Securities with high-value asset-backed securitisations, and Xianming Li advised Southwest Securities on a RMB430m asset-backed securitisation loan transaction. Other clients include Cathay United Bank, Wuxi Vanke Real Estate, China Merchants Securities and China Fortune Securities.

DeHeng Law Offices’ practice focuses on cross-border acquisition finance and project finance as well as advising foreign banks on establishing representative offices or branches in China. Clients include China Development Bank, Bank of Communications, Bank of China, China Merchants Bank and Banco de la Nación Argentina; the team also acts for borrowers in acquisition finance matters. Recent highlights include acting for China Development Bank in a credit facility to the government of Zambia for the development of a network of solar-powered maize-grinding mills. Kai Ma, Sisi Shen and the ‘responsive’ Xu Zhang are key names to note in Beijing.

Dentons China’s broad banking and finance practice spans trade finance, cross-border corporate finance, project finance, derivative finance, asset-backed finance and acquisition finance. It advises a healthy balance of financial institutions and listed companies; HSBC Canada, China Merchants Bank and CITIC Prudential Life Insurance Company are among the client list. Highlights included acting for Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (Asia) on financing the acquisition of Esteemed Zone, and assisting China Huarong Asset Management with its RMB25bn bond issuance. Leo Zhou is a key figure, who specialises in cross-border finance transactions. Qing Guo, Lihong Wang, Yunfeng Song and Feng Qu are further names to note.

Han Kun Law Offices expanded through the hires of Xiaoming Li and Jun Wan from White & Case LLP and JPMorgan Chase Bank (China) respectively. Li specialises in cross-border finance and M&A transactions, while Wan is particularly experienced in the fintech space. Other names to note include Shu Wang, who is recommended for aviation finance, and Jun Zhu, who specialises in project finance, as well as the establishment of financial institutions and regulation compliance. Recent work highlights for the firm include advising CCB International on the establishment of its $5bn medium term notes programme, assisting China Southern Airlines Company with a number of aircraft leases, advising Car on its issuance of RMB2bn panda bonds, and acting for Reignwood Group during its refinancing of a $100m term loan facility with Credit Suisse AG for the acquisition of an office building in London.

Jingtian & Gongcheng is recommended for acquisition, project, trade and asset finance, and clients include China Development Bank, United Overseas Bank, Huabao Investment Trust and New China Fushi Asset Management. Practice head Jiejiang Wu acted as PRC counsel for a consortium of banks on the $3.4bn syndicated loan facility for the development of Dubai Hassyan’s clean coal power plant project, and advised on a multimillion-dollar term loan facility in relation to a cross-border debt restructuring and financing. Maoxian Qin has notable experience advising financial institutions on asset management, and Hongjiu Zhang handles the finance aspects of large cross-border M&A transactions.

Anjie Law Firm is particularly active in cross-border project finance. For example, practice head Gulong Ren assisted China Shenhua Energy Company with the $520m financing for its first and $1.3bn financing for its second overseas coal-fired power plant project in Indonesia. Ren also advised China Development Bank on its loan to China General Nuclear to finance its investment in the Hinckley Point C nuclear power project, and acted for a Chinese bank on its €1.8bn loan to an investment company relating to the acquisition of a brewing company in multiple jurisdictions. Further names to note include George Zhang, who is recommended for advising multinational companies on their investments in China, and Di Zhang, who joined from Zhong Yin Law Firm in 2016.

Jointly led by Dorothy Xing and Jennifer Zhang, East & Concord Partners’ team advises a range of domestic and foreign banks, other financial institutions and large corporates. For example, clients include China CITIC Bank International, SPD Silicon Valley Bank, Ping An Trust & Investment, New China Life Insurance Company and EverBright Prestige Capital Asset Management. Recent highlights include acting for CITIC Trust on the issuance of asset-backed noted for CITIC Offshore Helicopter.

FenXun Partners advises banks and other financial institutions on pre-IPO finance, and structured and project finance transactions. Leveraging its association with Baker McKenzie (through Baker McKenzie FenXun Joint Operation Office), the team advises on domestic and cross-border financings for a range of clients including multinational companies, Chinese SOEs and private companies. Founding partner Xusheng Yang recently handled a number of aircraft leasing transactions for a Chinese leasing company. Asset management specialist Sue Liu ‘understands clients’ needs and provides advice that is easy to digest’.

Grandall Law Firm’s recent highlights include advising Fortune 500 company SAIC Motor on its RMB20bn syndicated loan from 12 commercial banks. Other clients include Shanghai Datang Financing Lease, Bank of Communications, HSBC Bank (China) Company and The Macau Chinese Bank. Kenneth Xue is the key name to note, and other key contacts include Yixiong Li, who specialises in structured finance and securitisation, and Charles Guan, who is particularly experienced in project finance. Julia Zhu is also recommended.

Jincheng Tongda & Neal’s 21-partner team acts for clients such as China Development Bank, China Agriculture Bank, International Financial Capital and Xinda Asset Management Company, as well as a number of US, European and Asian banks and financial institutions. Recent highlights include acting for Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC) on restructuring the RMB1.3bn of debt of Sanjiu Group and the RMB700m of debt of Materials Group. Biaochong Chen, Haibo Xu and Lan Lan are key names.


Foreign firms

Index of tables

  1. Banking and finance: foreign firms
  2. Other recommended firms
  3. Leading individuals
  4. Next generation lawyers

Leading individuals

  1. 1

Next generation lawyers

  1. 1
    • Daniel Lau - Allen & Overy LLP
    • Frank Shu - White & Case LLP
    • Emma Zhang - Ashurst

Who Represents Who

Find out which law firms are representing which Foreign firms clients in China using The Legal 500's new comprehensive database of law firm/client relationships. Instantly search over 925,000 relationships, including over 83,000 Fortune 500, 46,000 FTSE350 and 13,000 DAX 30 relationships globally. Access is free for in-house lawyers, and by subscription for law firms. For more information, contact david.burgess@legal500.com.

CLICK HERE TO VISIT THE WHO REPRESENTS WHO SITE

Allen & Overy LLPprovides a top-notch service and is very experienced in the banking and finance space’. The practice has a longstanding China presence and the client base includes Chinese and international investment and commercial banks, and local and multinational corporations, as well as a growing list of funds and other non-bank financial institutions. Key names include Bank of China, Asian Development Bank, Mizuho Bank, Standard Chartered Bank and Wing Lung Bank. The team’s range of work includes lending products, such as secured and unsecured bilateral and syndicated lending; acquisition financing; real estate financing; and project financing. Other areas of strength include complex and innovative structured transactions, equity-backed financings and fund financings. Recent highlights include acting for China CITIC Bank, as global co-ordinator and mandated lead arranger, in a $12.7bn secured facility for ChemChina group to fund its acquisition of Syngenta. Hong Kong’s Roger Lui and Beijing-based Yvonne Ho, who is recommended for project financing, export credit financing, structured lending, acquisition finance and asset finance, are highly rated; and Shanghai-based Matthew Bisley acts in real estate finance, project finance (including energy), export credit finance, asset finance (including aviation and shipping), and general corporate finance transactions. Bisley and Ho are ‘definitely lawyers that clients want on their team; they are technically sound, have deep industry knowledge, and provide commercially workable solutions to issues that arise’. Beijing counsel Daniel Lau has experience advising major Chinese banks on financing overseas acquisitions by Chinese companies.

A go-to firm for complex cross-border financing transactions, Clifford Chance LLP’s ‘lawyers are knowledgeable and helpful, and respond to questions in a timely manner, even during public holidays’. It has highly rated expertise in complex syndicated financings, bilateral and corporate loans, leveraged and acquisition finance, and project and infrastructure finance. The team is also recommended for real estate and development financing, as well as structured finance transactions. It advised Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, Bank of China, China Construction Bank Corporation and The Export-Import Bank of China on the $1.5bn-plus financing of an oil shale-fired mine mouth power station and open cast oil shale mine in Jordan, which was provided on the basis of an export credit insurance granted by China Export & Credit Insurance Corporation (Sinosure). Other work highlights saw the firm acting for a consortium of investors, led by CREAT Tiancheng Investment Holdings Company, in a €940m financing for the takeover offer by Tiancheng (Germany) Pharmaceutical Holdings to acquire Biotest, a blood products business. Jiahua Ni, who divides time between Shanghai and Beijing, focuses on significant outbound financings for major Chinese banks, including export credit finance, project finance, structured finance, and general corporate finance. In Beijing, recently promoted finance partner Timothy Democratis and financial services expert Tiecheng Yang are other key advisers. In Hong Kong, Maggie Lo has extensive experience advising Chinese and international financial institutions on cross-border financings, including project finance, acquisition finance, receivables finance, pre-IPO finance and corporate loan transactions. Anthony Wang (‘an extremely clever, experienced and careful lawyer, who provides perfectly watertight finance documents’) and Singapore’s Nicholas Wong, were recently appointed co-heads of the Asia Pacific finance practice.

Well staffed at all levels’, Linklaters’ ‘excellent team impresses with its overall level of service, which includes prompt responses at all times and at any hour, and in-depth legal analyses’. The practice focuses on sophisticated matters involving syndicated lending, leveraged and acquisition financing, structured finance, and margin loan transactions. It is well known for its advice to arrangers during private equity-backed LBOs, with a particular emphasis on China-related acquisitions; and the firm fields lawyers with sector specialisms in financial services, TMT, real estate, and energy, resources and infrastructure. It acted for Bank of China, China Merchants Bank and CTBC Bank on facilities for the circa-$2bn acquisition of the China and Hong Kong business of McDonald’s; it also advised China Construction Bank, and other banks, on a headline HK$39bn term loan facility for China Cinda Asset Management Co.’s acquisition of Nanyang Commercial Bank. Beijing’s Xiaohui Ji specialises in project financing, acquisition financing and general corporate loans; and Hong Kong’s Asia Pacific banking head Nathalie Hobbs is ‘a well-rounded lawyer and a great team leader, who is good at communicating with clients and understanding their needs’. Also in Hong Kong, Davide Mencacci and Frank Cui are key figures. The practice enhanced its Shanghai base through the hire of project development and finance partner Andrew Ruff from Shearman & Sterling LLP.

Baker McKenzie FenXun Joint Operation Office’s advice spans the full range of banking and finance services in the Greater China region. The team’s areas of specialisation include syndicated loans, project finance, structured financing and financial services regulation. Additional areas of note include acquisition and trade finance, derivatives and restructuring, and it has particular aviation finance experience. Hong Kong-based Sally Hung advised Hang Seng Bank in a secured term loan facility for Fosun Property Holdings for the acquisition of shares in an overseas company. Simon Leung in Beijing is also recommended, as are Hong Kong-based department heads Andrew Lockhart and Barry Cheng.

Norton Rose Fulbright is strong in asset finance (particularly shipping), acquisition finance, project finance, export credit finance, structured trade and commodity finance, and general bilateral and syndicated lending; and the practice has sector strengths in energy and resources, infrastructure, mining and commodities, transport, and financial institutions. It acted for China Development Bank in its largest US-dollar loan in recent years, which was granted to a US subsidiary of Qingdao Haier (QH) to support QH’s acquisition of General Electric’s appliance business. China banking and finance head Fei Kwok, who divides time between Shanghai and Beijing, advises on inbound and outbound project financings, regarding oil and gas, renewable energy and petrochemicals, as well as the asset financing of ships, aircraft, rail and large equipment. Beijing-based Paul Wee Ei Don is a project finance lawyer, who works predominantly on outbound project and export credit financings, with a particular focus on the mining and metals, oil and gas, power and infrastructure sectors; and Tom Luckock advises Chinese sponsors on international energy and infrastructure projects, and has particular knowledge of power projects in Pakistan. Shanghai-based Simon Barrell is a key senior associate and Peter Haslam is head of the Hong Kong banking and finance team.

White & Case LLPprovides a consistently good service at reasonable rates’. The practice is highly rated for its experience in leveraged acquisition finance and high-yield deals, asset finance and project finance transactions. Highlights included advising a group of Chinese banks on an aggregate $2.63bn secured term loan, provided to a consortium to finance the acquisition of US-headquartered Lexmark International, which manufactures laser printers and provides enterprise software. Beijing-based David Li, who is ‘extremely responsive and has great business acumen and market knowledge’, is highly regarded for inbound and outbound financing transactions in China; and Hallam Chow is noted for project financing and structured financing, and is also experienced in asset-based financing, including equipment and facility leasing. Hong Kong-based Asia-Pacific banking and restructuring practice co-head Baldwin Cheng, global banking practice head Eric Berg, who divides time between the firm’s Hong Kong and Singapore offices, and Eugene Man are also recommended. In Shanghai, senior legal consultant Frank Shu is a name to note. Former China practice head Xiaoming Li left for Han Kun Law Offices.

Providing good value for money’, Ashurst’s ‘service is very timely and evidences excellent industry and regulatory knowledge’. The Beijing office has highly rated project finance and real estate finance expertise, as well as cross-border margin loans experience; recent highlights include advising Industrial and Commercial Bank of China on its facility to Republic of Cameroon, regarding the design and construction of a hydroelectric power project. Patrick Phua, who ‘has solid and comprehensive understanding of the market and the relevant legal issues, and whose advice is clear and to the point’, is the managing partner of the Beijing office, where he heads the firm’s derivatives and structured finance practice in China. Chin Chuan Chen, who divides time between Singapore and Beijing, has a strong track record of working extensively with Chinese financial institutions on their outbound financing transactions, particularly in the energy, mining and infrastructure space. Emma Zhang is a highly regarded Beijing counsel.

DLA Piper’s practice includes acquisition finance, asset finance and leasing, and project finance. Other notable strengths are real estate finance, restructuring, structured trade and commodity finance. Recent work included advising Haitong International Securities Company on the financing aspects of the mandatory unconditional cash offer by Gorgeous Investment Group Holding Co. to acquire all the issued shares and outstanding convertible bonds of China Smarter Energy Group Holdings. Hong Kong-based Paul Lee is Asia finance and projects head; and Carolyn Dong, who divides time between Hong Kong and Beijing, leads the China energy practice. Matthias Schemuth joined the Hong Kong office from Ashurst.

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer’s recent work was characterised by cross-border acquisition financings; a large number of corporate treasury matters; and ongoing high-level activities by international and Chinese banks, development banks and private equity funds. The practice advised China’s Midea Group (Midea) as borrower under a €4.6bn bridge loan from ICBC to finance Midea’s headline acquisition of Frankfurt-listed robotics company Kuka. In Hong Kong, Andrew Heathcote is department head, and Daniel French, Thomas Ng and Richard Perks are highly rated.

Herbert Smith Freehills LLP has particular expertise in structured financings, real estate finance and trade finance. It has also developed experience in lending transactions for non-bank lenders, many of which are highly structured off-market private deals. Other areas of strength are cross-border deals, including export credit and trade finance transactions; and the group also assists with commercial bank lending, debt capital markets, project finance and asset-based finance. The team advised Agricultural Bank of China, as English law legal advisers, on its total commitment of $6.75bn in facilities to be granted to ChemChina-related companies, with respect to ChemChina’s acquisition of Syngenta, a European agribusiness company. Hong Kong-based Alexander Aitken leads the Greater China finance team and William Ku is also highly regarded. Fergus Smith left for White & Case.

Hogan Lovells International LLP advises international financial institutions, private equity funds and multinational companies on complex and structured cross-border transactions. The practice has a particular focus on onshore and offshore financings involving PRC banks and borrowers. It is also recommended for China outbound financings in Africa, Latin America and the wider Asia region. The team acted for a syndicate of banks, led by Citibank, on facilities granted to Tencent Asset Management, a wholly owned subsidiary of Tencent Holdings. Beijing-based Jun Wei and Hong Kong-based Owen Chan are the key figures.

Kirkland & Ellis International LLP is recommended for private equity, borrower and credit fund matters. The practice advised Blackstone Singapore on a senior leveraged financing, partly to fund its acquisition of a majority stake in Hewlett Packard Enterprise’s stake in Mphasis, an India-based outsourcing firm. David Irvine is department head, and Daniel Abercromby and recently promoted partner Daniel Lindsey are also highly regarded. All named lawyers are based in Hong Kong.

Latham & Watkins LLP handles Asian bank and English law financings, loan facilities and high-yield bonds, as well as advising on both the lender and borrower side in significant acquisition finance transactions. It acted for HSBC, as sole financier, on the financing for Kuala Lumpur Kehong Berhad’s offer for London-listed M.P. Evans. Gary Hamp co-chairs the global banking practice and Howard Lam heads the Hong Kong finance department. Posit Laohaphan is also a key practitioner and Manas Chandrashekar joined as counsel from White & Case. All named lawyers are based in Hong Kong.

Paul Hastings LLP’s key areas of strength and expertise include real estate and infrastructure finance, project and leveraged financing, and shadow banking. The team acted for China Everbright, an environmental solution provider, in its provision of a $350m loan facility to Beyond Border Investments. Brett King, Vivian Lam and Raymond Li are highly rated; and James Ma was promoted to partner. All partners mentioned are in Hong Kong.

Simmons & Simmons is highly rated for its trade and commodity finance, fund finance, acquisition finance and margin finance practices. Among its significant acquisition financing transactions that involve multi-jurisdictional security packages, the team acted for United Overseas Bank in a facility provided to MSREF Century Palace (Retail). Beijing’s Yongmei Cai is a key name, Hong Kong-based Rolfe Hayden is Asia financial markets head, and Richard McKeown and Jolyon Ellwood-Russell are also highly rated.

Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP has a particularly strong borrower-side practice that it deploys during the financing of PRC going-private acquisitions deals and other acquisition transactions. Recent highlights include the team’s advice to Baidu on its $2bn syndicated loan facility. Hong Kong-based Clive Rough heads the firm’s banking and finance practice in Asia.

Acting both for lenders and borrowers, Stephenson Harwood is highly rated for its asset finance and trade finance experience. Mark Reed heads the non-contentious side of both the finance group and the financial services group; King Tak Fung specialises in international trade law; and Stephanie Wong advises local, PRC and international banks on banking transactions, including ship finance. Elton Chan was made partner. All named practitioners are based in Hong Kong.


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