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China > Banking and finance > Banking and finance: PRC firms > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings

Editorial

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

Fangda Partners is a well-known firm in the areas of syndicated acquisition finance and leveraged buy-out finance, non-recourse and limited recourse project finance, and structured finance. Stand-out highlights include Stanley Chen acting as PRC counsel to 14 international banks in relation to a $3.5bn acquisition finance facility, and Romy Zhuo advising an equity investment fund on the provision of a trust loan for a debt refinancing. Additionally, the team is especially active in China's real estate sector, where Xie Zheng assisted a lending syndicate led by China Merchants Bank with the provision of a RMB11.9bn onshore term loan to R&F Properties for the acquisition of 77 hotels from Dalian Wanda Group. Rock Wang, who has experience in debt financing and restructuring, was promoted to partner, and Laurence Yuan, who has expertise in a range of financing transactions including trade financing, joined the team from King & Wood Mallesons.

Global Law Office is rated for its 'ability to bridge the gap between the bank and the customer' and 'can identify and resolve the core operational and legal issues that are required to get a deal done smoothly'. Jointly headed by Lawrence Lin and Xin Zhang, the team acts for domestic financial institutions and major US and European banks on a variety of financing transactions including ABS, acquisition finance, projects finance, FDI, and structured finance. Recent highlights have included Lin advising HSBC Bank and HSBC Bank Middle East on syndicated loans to various quality management system companies for the acquisition of barges, and Zhang acting as PRC counsel to Bangkok Bank Public Company and the Export-Import Bank of China in relation to the provision of dual USD and THB-denominated facilities to an offshore subsidiary of a Chinese company. The team welcomed a number of new promotions and lateral hires recently, including Jin Liu and Isabella Liu who joined from JunHe LLP and RBS (China), respectively. Li Zhu is also recommended.

JunHe LLP provides 'high-quality' service in aviation finance and general loan transactions, and is instructed in the development of new financing products. In one particularly stand-out matter, Fang Yi advised Standard Chartered Bank (Hong Kong) and HSBC on a refinancing transaction involving onshore and offshore facilities. Headed by Hui Zhou, the team is also active in transactions involving non-performing loans. For example, Qinghui Miao advised Bain Capital Credit Group on its acquisition of a significant non-performing loan portfolio from Huarong AMC Jiangsu Branch. The department also has experience in real estate finance and project finance, where it has advised borrowers such as Shanghai Lingang Wind Farm. Liang Deng handled a number of high-value investment transactions, and Gang Wang specialises in asset and aviation finance. Associates Jianwei Yang and Yifeng Yuan are also recommended.

King & Wood Mallesons is active across the gamut of banking and finance mandates and has a particularly 'strong understanding of the new regulatory developments' in China. Molly Su has been involved in a number of high-value acquisition finance transactions, which included advising Bank of China Shanghai Branch on the loan refinancing of Ctrip's acquisition of Skyscanner. In the project finance space, Zhigang Liu has acted for lenders such as Export-Import Bank of China and Industrial and Commercial Bank of China in relation to financing mandates involving projects in African and Southeast Asian jurisdictions. Also of note, Stanley Zhou advised OAX Foundation on its initial crypto-token sale, and Feng Ma, who has expertise in aviation finance, assisted the Henan branch of China Development Bank on the financing provisions to a joint venture leasing company to facilitate a lease of several aircraft to a Russian airline. Moreover, the team has invested heavily in its ABS and fintech capabilities, and recently promoted Jieyu Gu, Linlin Liu, and Shulin Sun to partner. Cheng Xueli and Ning Zhang left the team in 2018. Also recommended are Jack Wang, Ling Wang, and Xiaoxue Wang.

Zhong Lun Law Firm is regularly involved in substantial domestic and cross-border acquisition and project finance matters and also has a specialised ABS practice, which focuses on shipping and aviation finance. Wayne Wang assisted a Chinese policy bank with the provision of an extremely high-value loan for the refinancing of a project in Australia, and Dongyue Chen advises investment funds on cross-border financing mandates and also has experience in trade finance. Though the department is most active for lenders, it also has an active borrower side practice, where recent work has included Shirley Lu advising the borrowers on the $1.4bn term loan in relation to Carlyle Group's acquisition of Atotech. A team including Yacheng Zhou and Borong Liu acts as permanent counsel to China Construction Bank and China Merchants Bank in relation to their private banking business, and Zhou also assists China CITIC Bank with its family trust business. Also recommended are Wantao Yang, Joy Gao, and senior associate Cheng Ni.

AllBright Law Offices advises lenders and borrowers in general banking matters and debt investment transactions, but the firm is especially well-known in the financial trust market. Indeed, led by Xianming Li, the team handles all aspects of trust establishment, management, and investment activity. In one example, Xianying Li acted for Huaneng Guicheng Trust Corporation in relation to the issuance of RMB1.79bn asset-backed notes, which were secured by the income of the Peking University Science Park. The department is also active in the financial regulatory space, where Menghan Zou and Jun Ouyang have handled comprehensive compliance exercises for clients such as Bank of East Asia and Xiamen Rural Commercial Bank. Zhongqing Guo is another key contact.

DeHeng Law Offices makes itself 'readily available at any time of day' and provides 'a very satisfactory combination of legal knowledge and rich industry experience'. The team focuses on cross-border mandates, where it often acts as lead counsel in acquisition and project finance transactions, aircraft and ship finance, and debt restructuring matters. Xu Zhang, who leads on acquisition and project finance matters, acted as lead counsel to China Development Bank in relation to the provision of a credit facility for the development of a hydropower project in Peru. Indeed, the team is especially active in South America-facing matters, which also included Zhang advising Shandong Gold, as borrowers, on the financing for its acquisition of a 50% equity stake in the Veladero mine in Argentina. In the transportation finance space, the highly recommended Sisi Shen advised Export-Import Bank of China, as PRC counsel, on the high-value financing for Minsheng Financial Leasing's acquisition of two aircraft, which were leased to Asiana Airlines. Kai Ma is also recommended.

With particular expertise in structured finance matters such as credit securitisation and derivatives transactions, Dentons China is instructed by domestic and international banks, and a variety of financial institutions including insurers, auto finance groups and leasing companies. Of note, the team is retained by clients such as China Financial Futures Exchange and Dalian Commodity Exchange, and has been working with Shanghai Futures Exchange to structure a platform through which the client may further open itself to the global market. Feng Qu assisted numerous domestic commercial banks with credit asset securitisations, and also advised a foreign bank on the provision of a high-value syndicated loan to a lease finance company. Additional contacts include Huimin Fang and Leo Zhou, the latter of whom has assisted banking institutions with cross-border financing products aimed at the internationalisation of RMB.

Han Kun Law Offices acts for foreign and domestic lenders and borrowers in a variety of general banking matters. The team is particularly singled out for its aviation finance capabilities, and acts for all types of market participants in aviation finance mandates. Shu Wang assisted China Southern Airlines with its financial leasing of 15 aircraft from China Southern Leasing and Jun Zhu advised Kunlun Financial Leasing on its Irish tax structure leasing of seven aircraft to China Southern Airlines. The team also acted for Export-Import Bank of China on its provision of loan facilities to five Irish SPVs for the financing of aircraft leased to Aeroflot. Additional clients include ICBC Financial Leasing, CITIC Bank, and Bank of China (Hong Kong). Yin Ge and Tiecheng Yang joined from Clifford Chance LLP, and will strengthen the team's financial regulatory and compliance practice.

Jingtian & Gongcheng's finance department is jointly led by Hongjiu Zhang and Jiejiang Wu, and has expertise in cross-border acquisition finance and project finance transactions. Moreover, it has considerable experience in trade finance and transportation finance mandates. The group has been instructed by a range of foreign and domestic lenders including China Development Bank, ICBC Asia, ANZ, Export-Import Bank of China, and China CITIC Bank International.

The banking team at AnJie Law Firm is active in infrastructure, transportation, mining, energy, and property sectors, and has particular expertise in cross-border project finance transactions. Practice head Gulong Ren acted as PRC counsel to Industrial and Commercial Bank of China in relation to its provision of a $405m loan to the Republic of Angola for the development of electricity projects, and advised Agricultural Bank of China on the provision of a loan facility to Great Wall Pan Asian International Investment to finance its acquisition of SABMiller's businesses in multiple European jurisdictions. The team has recently seen a spate of instructions from international arrangers concerning debt offerings by various Chinese banks. Additional contacts include Jing Feng , who joined the team from Jincheng Tongda & Neal.

The banking team at East & Concord Partners has an active borrower side practice, and also advises bank lenders and non-banking financial institutions on a range of capital markets transactions, investment mandates, and fund management and establishment. Headed by Dorothy Xing, the department has been particularly active in financial compliance matters, and is looking to develop its asset-based lending practice. In one key financing highlight, Zhifang Lu assisted Beijing Gas Group, as borrower, with a $250m loan from Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, which marked the first loan in China and its first loan without a sovereign guarantee. Zhonghe Zhang joined the team from Beijing International Trust & Investment Company, but Yueping Zhong left for Merits & Tree Law Offices.

Headed by Xusheng Yang, the banking team at FenXun Partners has been instructed by bank and non-bank lenders and leasing companies in relation to aviation and general loan transactions. Sue Liu is another key figure in the team, and major clients have included China Development Bank Financial Leasing, China International Capital Corporation, ICBC, and Siam Commercial Bank.

The banking team at Guantao Law Firm specialises in advising Chinese policy banks and large commercial banks on syndicated loan transactions and project finance mandates. Of particular note, the firm has developed close ties with Ashurst, and furthered that integration in 2018 with the establishment of a joint operation office in the Shanghai free trade zone. In one long-running mandate, which reached financial close in 2017, Weihong Tan led a team that acted alongside Ashurst to advise China Development Bank on the financing of the Jakarta-Bandung high-speed rail project in Indonesia.   Hongli Zou has been involved in syndicated loan transactions for Bank of China Shanghai Yangpu Sub-branch and multiple branches of Bank of Communications. Yewen Qian and Yandi Liu are additional contacts in the department, which counts China Renaissance and Bank of Dalian among its key clients.

Llinks Law Offices places banking and finance work among its main areas of focus. Acting for domestic and international banks and non-bank lenders, borrowers and export credit agencies, the team has extensive expertise in project finance and is regularly involved in cross-border multi-currency financing transactions. Key contacts in the department include Michael Mei and Charles Chen, who acted for a Chinese policy bank in relation to the provision of a high-value loan for the acquisition of certain upstream energy contracts. Additionally, the pair advised the Hong Kong branch of an international bank on its provision of an acquisition finance loan, and also has experience in ship finance. Moreover, the team has grown significantly in 2017-2018, with a host of lateral hires and promotions.

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