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PRC firms

Index of tables

  1. Private equity/venture capital: PRC firms
  2. Leading individuals
  3. Next generation lawyers

Leading individuals

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Next generation lawyers

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Who Represents Who

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Highly regarded for mid-cap transactions, Fangda Partners regularly advises private equity funds on their investments and assists start-up companies with their financings. Among the recent workload, Peng Tan acted for Chinese ride-hailing giant Didi Chuxing (formal trading name as Xiaoju Kuaizhi) on its Series B-2 financing of $5.5bn; Leo Lou advised PAG, one of Asia’s largest alternative investment management firms, on its HK$11bn acquisition of Yingde Gases Group Company; and Norman Zhong assisted a consortium of investors led by Standard Chartered Private Equity with acquiring a majority stake in Chinese beauty care service provider Shanghai Siyanli Industrial in a leveraged buy-out transaction. In other work, group head Jonathan Zhou is advising CVC Capital Partners on the $600m sale of Chinese overseas educational counselling service provider Education International Corporation to a consortium led by NLD Investment, a Chinese private equity fund; and Jeffrey Ding advised Primavera Capital and Ant Financial Services Group on their $460m purchase of Yum China, a new spin-out from Yum Brands.

Han Kun Law Offices acts for a large number of global investors such as Warburg Pincus, Cathy Capital, Sequoia, Legend Capital and GE Capital, as well investees; it handled over 50 big-ticket private equity transactions in 2016. For example, Yijun Chao and counsel Sheng Li advised Ucar on raising RMB2.8bn in funds from Yunfeng Capital and other investors for listing on the National Equities Exchanges and Quotations (NEEQ); Yong Wang and Yang Chen acted for China Post Capital in its Round B capital increase investment in Zhejiang Ant Micro Financial Service Group; Chaoying Li advised Genesis Capital, IFC and Baidu Capital on a series of financings for Truck Alliance, an online long-haul logistics platform start-up; and Li and Ying Xu advised OFO on its RMB3.1bn Series D financing. Other clients include Baidu and Yixin Capital. The ‘solid’ team is also ‘excellent at non-partner level’, where Zaiguang Lu and Sheng Listand out’.

Zhong Lun Law Firm has a solid track record advising equity investors on their start-up, expansion and acquisition activities. In 2016, Shanghai-based Anthony Zhao acted as PRC counsel to Khazanah Nasional Berhad on the RMB11bn restructuring and financing of Cainiao Logistics, an affiliate of Alibaba Group, and advised China Taiping Group on its Series A financing of JD Finance Group, a subsidiary of JD.com. Zhao and Luke Zhang also acted for Goldman Sachs and Muhe Capital Partners on the Series C+ financing of Shanghai Yiguo E-Commerce and assisted H&Q Asia Pacific with the Series B financing of Huizuche, a car rental search and booking service platform. Other highlights saw Lefan Gong advising Goldman Sachs International on the investment with EBRD and Credit Suisse in TFI – TAB Gıda Yatirimlari and acting for Guangdong New Value Investment during its acquisition of Education International Corporation. Ray Wang, Daniel Shen and Jinhua Song are also names to note.

Global Law Office impresses in domestic and multi-jurisdictional transactions. Among them, Huawei Lin acted for Blackstone during its RMB13bn sale of majority equity interest in SCPG to a joint venture led by Vanke, assisted Warburg Pincus on the formation of a RMB10bn fund with China Aviation Trust to invest in industrial parks, and advised Primavera Capital on its $800m acquisition of Kerr Investment, with Xiwang Foodstuffs. Steven Yu advised Loyal Valley Innovation Capital as the lead investor in its Series C-1 preferred share investment in Bilibili, a Cayman company operating via a variable interest entity (VIE) structure; and handled Tencent’s Series A financing in movie production company CKF Pictures. Managing partner Jinrong Liu is also recommended, as is Michael Yu, who focuses on M&A and private equity transactions, particularly in the healthcare space.

JunHe LLP is well known for advising private equity funds on bridge loans and other financing transactions; its practice also spans private equity fund formation, acquisitions and exits. The firm recently acted for a consortium, led by Blackstone, in the acquisition of Pactera Technology, and advised Hofu Fund on financing for its investment in Xiaomi. The team is led by Beijing-based Vivian Xie, and also includes Shanghai-based Binxue Sang, Nelson Zhou and Chunyang Shao. Lan Lou in Beijing is also recommended.

King & Wood Mallesons is adapt at advising private equity funds, asset management companies and financial institutions on large financing and investment mandates. Among its recent workload, the team advised a consortium of international investors on their RMB3.8bn equity investment in Neusoft’s two subsidiaries: Neusoft Medical Systems and Neusoft Xikang Healthcare Technology. It also acted for Poly Capital management in investing around $400m in Didi Chuxing’s series A financing under an offshore red-chip structure, and assisted Coatue Management with its Series D financing in OFO International, a venture-backed bicycle-sharing start-up company. The team is jointly led by Mulong Gong, who specialises in private equity fund formation, downstream investment, and onshore and offshore M&A, and Yi Zhang, who focuses on fund formation and outbound investments by Chinese companies. Other main contacts include Qingjun Jin, Helena Huang and Zhijun Lin, who was promoted to the partnership. Rocky Lee joined from Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft LLP in January 2017 and splits his time between Beijing and Silicon Valley.

Dentons China has handled a number of multibillion-RMB fund formations and investment mandates recently. For example, it assisted a domestic oil and gas sector client with raising its RMB10bn buyout fund, acted for SAIF Partners China on establishing its RMB1bn medical industry fund, and advised an investment company on raising a private equity fund focusing on the sports industry. Xianlai Liu has notable experience in fund formation, venture capital investment and post-investment management matters.

Grandall Law Firm’s ‘highly experienced’ team is recommended for cross-border private equity investments; for example, Charles Guan led a multi-disciplinary team advising Giant Network Technology on acquiring Playtika with a number of leading private equity funds and institutional investors. In other work, the ‘excellent’ Naijing Liu and Shuang Liang assisted Jingjinji Intercity Railway Investment with the establishment of RMB60bn funds; Jing Zou advised Morningside Venture Capital and Lightspeed Venture Partners on the formation of RMB500m funds; Qiang Li advised AcFun on SB China Venture Capital’s investment of RMB100m in its Series A financing; and Xiaoliang Wu handles various rounds of equity financing of Mobike with the transaction amount exceeding $550m.

Leveraging its strong position in the capital markets space, Jingtian & Gongcheng is well equipped to advise on a wide range of transactions, ranging from early-stage onshore and offshore investments to assisting private equity sponsors with IPOs. Its client list includes a number of private equity firms such as The Carlyle Group, Goldman Sachs, CITIC Group as well as companies such as Focus Media, Wanda Cinema Line, Meitu and Twi Pharmaceuticals. Zhengzheng Hu acted for Sequoia Capital during its investments in VoxelCloud and Tianjin Hero Sports Management; Jinjin Chen assisted CITIC Capital with its investment in Didi Chixing’s Series A-18 financing; and Rongsheng Zhang advised JD Group on the RMB14.3bn round A financing of its spin-off finance business JD Finance.

Llinks Law Offices advises on fund formation and fund raising activities including RMB funds, joint venture funds and offshore funds. Its recent highlights include advising Shanghai Yiguo E-Commerce on its $500m series C financing by a consortium of investors, and assisting Capital Today Group with its RMB1.5bn investment in Zhihu’s Series D financing. David Yu and Nicholas Lou are recommended, as are associates Cathy Huang and Colin Shi.

Commerce & Finance Law Office specialises in private equity financings and advising companies that private equity funds are investing in. Yi Zheng advised CDH Investments on its RMB790m investment in Alibaba’s internet ticketing service Hangzhou Aurora Multi-Media Technology. The team also advised Yangtze River Jingkai Telematics Fund on its investment in Zhejiang E-Carx Technology. Other clients include Perennial Healthcare, Beijing Yijiupi E-commerce and Kascend.


Foreign firms

Index of tables

  1. Private equity/venture capital: foreign firms
  2. Other recommended firms
  3. Leading individuals
  4. Next generation lawyers

Leading individuals

  1. 1

Next generation lawyers

  1. 1

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

Clifford Chance LLP has a long-established practice in Asia in both upstream fund formation and downstream transactional work, and it has strong relationships with pan-Asian and China-based funds, as well as sovereign wealth funds. The private equity group is also complemented by the firm’s highly rated finance practice. Beijing-based Terence Foo heads the private equity practice in mainland China; he advises private equity clients and sovereign wealth funds on buyouts, public-to-privates, PIPEs, venture capital deals, and pre-IPO and cornerstone investments in China. Recent work saw Foo assist Standard Chartered Private Equity with its strategic investment in Chayora Holdings, a data centre project developer and operator in China. Hong Zhang is a key counsel.

Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP advises on some of the most complex and challenging private equity deals that impact China and its surrounding jurisdictions. In Beijing, Judie Ng Shortell is highly rated, and Greg Liu advised IDG Capital, and its portfolio company Titan Gas Technology Holdings, on the acquisition of a controlling stake in Shun Cheong Holdings. Other work highlights saw Jack Lange and Betty Yap in Hong Kong assist Hillhouse Capital Management with its $250m investment in Magento Commerce, a global provider of cloud digital commerce innovation. China managing partner Jeanette Chan splits her time between Beijing and Hong Kong.

Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP has extensive experience acting for major international and local private equity firms in complex cross-border transactions and private equity fund formation in China. In the Beijing office, Ling Huang is highly rated and Denise Shiu led advice to TPG Capital, as a member of a consortium that included MBK Partners, on the acquisition of internet provider Wharf T&T.

Kirkland & Ellis International LLP is highly rated for its handling of fund formation, LBOs, recapitalisations, restructurings, going-private transactions and exits. It acted for The Carlyle Group, CITIC and CITIC Capital Holdings in the $2.08bn acquisition of a majority stake in a newly formed company that will act as the master franchisee for McDonald’s in China and Hong Kong. Beijing-based Chuan Li is recommended, as is Hong Kong-based Daniel Dusek, who recently joined from Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP.

Recent developments at Linklaters included the hiring of corporate partner Simon Meng from King & Wood Mallesons and the promotion of John Xu to partner. The firm acts for clients at all stages, from establishing funds and making and financing investments, to ongoing portfolio assistance (including restructuring advice) to investment exits. Robert Cleaver advised The Bank of East Asia on the sale, together with NWS Holdings, of Tricor Holdings to private equity firm Permira. Fang Jian and Gilbert Li are also highly rated.

Morrison & Foerster LLP enjoys long-term relationships with some of China’s leading private equity entities and major multinational private equity funds that invest in China. In 2016, the practice acted for Ally Bridge Group in numerous matters, which involved new investments and/or asset management-related advice. In Shanghai, Maria Wang is recommended, and in Hong Kong, Marcia Ellis, Thomas Chou and Jeremy Hunt are the names to note.

Ropes & Gray LLP is recommended for high-end private equity deals across the Asia Pacific region. Shanghai-based Arthur Mok is managing partner of the Asia offices. He recently advised Temasek on its joint venture with Columbia Pacific Healthcare, a Seattle-based fund and operator of healthcare facilities.

Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP recently promoted Beijing’s Yang Wang to counsel. The team is highly rated for its representation of private equity clients, both in strategic investments and fund formation. It acted for Alibaba in its recent acquisition of Damai.cn, an online ticketing platform in China. Beijing-based Shaolin Luo is highly rated for his advice to private equity firms regarding their investments in China.

Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP is well known for its advice to Chinese companies investing in the US and for acting in going-private deals; however, the team also assists non-Chinese parties with making direct investments or establishing joint ventures or wholly owned businesses in China. Head of the Beijing office Peter Huang led the advice to a buyer consortium, consisting of affiliates of Forebright Capital Management (Hong Kong), on its going-private acquisition of Jinpan International (China). Daniel Dusek left for Kirkland & Ellis’ corporate practice group in Hong Kong and Jon Christianson retired from the partnership.

Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP advises on the full spectrum of transactions, from auctions, exits, take-privates and growth investments to distressed deals, PIPEs and other public deals. Charles Ching, who divides time between Shanghai, Beijing and Hong Kong, advised Primavera Capital Group, as lead investor, on an investment in Koubei. Ching ‘has a very user-friendly and commercial mindset, combined with an instinctive understanding of the commercial goals and thinking of Chinese clients, which makes him very solution-oriented when executing cross-border deals’. Tim Gardner and Akiko Mikumo are the key Hong Kong contacts.

Allen & Overy LLP is recommended for its sector experience in the real estate, insurance and energy industries. Other areas of strength for the private equity team include telecoms, infrastructure and life sciences. Shanghai’s Ji Zou is highly rated, as is Ling Li in Hong Kong. M&A and private equity specialist Wayne Lee joined the Hong Kong office from Shearman & Sterling LLP.

Expertise at Baker McKenzie FenXun Joint Operation Office spans fund formation, pre-IPO investments, PIPEs, buyouts, strategic investments, follow-on acquisitions, and exits, whether by way of IPO, trade sale or secondary buyouts. Bee Chun Boo in Beijing is regularly involved in private equity and venture capital transactions, and has substantial experience in fund-of-funds investments, direct investments and fund establishment. In Hong Kong, Dorothea Koo and Jason Ng are highly regarded.

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer promoted Beijing lawyers Jason Xu and Yan Chen to the partnership. The firm’s corporate practice handles private equity deals, including acquisitions of (and investments into) portfolio companies, and exits from such investments through private M&A deals or IPOs. Beijing and Shanghai-based Alan Wang, Shanghai-based Jack Wang and Robert Ashworth in Hong Kong are also recommended.

O'Melvenyprovides a practical approach to solving problems that fits with clients’ needs’. The team stands out for its handling of a range of US-China cross-border deals. For some, Shanghai-based Walker Wallace is ‘the best lawyer around for China-related transactions’, and Beijing-based Ke Geng is ‘a quick and responsive partner, who is very hands-on when executing deals’. Nima Amini and James Ford are key Hong Kong names. David Roberts left the firm.

Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP’s Hong Kong office recruited M&A and private equity specialists Scott Peterman and Mark Lehmkuhler from Jones Day and Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP, respectively; meanwhile, Ning Zhang, Maurice Hoo, the firm’s former global co-head of M&A and private equity, and Connie Cheung joined Morgan Lewis & Bockius LLP. The practice regularly advises private equity and venture capital sponsors, investment funds and portfolio companies on investment activity, management and regulatory issues. It also assists Chinese company founders and their businesses with financing rounds. Practice head Jeffrey Sun divides his time between Shanghai and Beijing.

Paul Hastings LLP continued to advise on significant TMT-related deals and the practice is also highly regarded for real estate private equity transactions. David Wang and Jia Yan jointly chair the Shanghai and Beijing offices. Douglas Freeman, Victor Chen and Vivian Lam are the key Hong Kong names.

Sidley Austin LLP’s domestic and cross-border private equity transactional practice advises on LBOs, distressed debt investments, recapitalisations and reorganisations, growth and venture capital investments, and PIPE investments. Joseph Chan in Shanghai advised Modern Metal & Refining (MM), a portfolio company of Swedish private equity fund EQT Partners, on the sale of a controlling interest to Jiu Ding Capital, a China-based private equity fund. Hong Kong-based Christopher Cheng and Raymond Oh are also highly rated.

DLA Piper’s Greater China team regularly advises on private equity deals, growth equity and venture capital transactions, and strategic investments, and the team frequently works alongside the firm’s fund formation practice. Qiang Li and Stewart Wang are recommended names in the Shanghai office, and Gloria Liu and Paul Chen are key contacts in Hong Kong.

Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP’s ‘work is always of excellent quality and the team is consistently responsive and able to provide insightful advice on complex legal issues’. It has a significant cross-border track record, particularly regarding China outbound acquisition matters. Recent highlights include handling a complex, high-value going-private deal. Howard Zhang and Li He in Beijing are highly regarded.

Herbert Smith Freehills LLP’s workload includes public-to-private deals and management buy-outs and buy-ins, and the team also assists with investments and purchases by private equity investors and funds, as well as exits by way of sale or flotation. Sector expertise spans energy and renewables, financial services, infrastructure, TMT, and consumer products. Matt Emsley and Tommy Tong in Hong Kong are highly rated.

Hogan Lovells International LLP acts for private equity firms, venture capital investors, portfolio companies, start-up companies, financial institutions and fund managers, among others. Sector strengths include life sciences, healthcare, education, insurance, energy and TMT. Shanghai-based China and Asia Pacific corporate head Andrew McGinty and Beijing’s Steven Robinson are the key names. Michael Chin joined Simmons & Simmons LLP’s Hong Kong office.

Latham & Watkins LLP is experienced in transactions involving the technology, logistics, hospitality, and healthcare sectors; the practice also fields lawyers with industry expertise in real estate, energy, consumer products and financial institutions. Shanghai managing partner Rowland Cheng is noted alongside Hong Kong lawyers Amy Beckingham, David Blumental, Simon Cooke and Frank Sun.

Morgan Lewis & Bockius LLP recruited Ning Zhang, Maurice Hoo and Connie Cheung from Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP, where Hoo was global co-chair of the M&A and private equity group. The team recently acted for Warburg Pincus on a $120m series E investment in Yuanfudao, an online tutoring service provider in China. Edwin Luk is also a key contact.

Shearman & Sterling LLP handles private equity transactions, private equity and hedge fund formations and complex regulatory advice, among other matters. Beijing-based Lee Edwards is recommended for assisting Chinese and international clients with going-private deals, tender offers, stock and asset purchase transactions, and venture capital matters.

Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton LLP’s ‘level of service is very good; the team is close-knit, responsive and does not hesitate to work late or during weekends to meet tight timelines’. It regularly advises private equity firms on investments, acquisitions and portfolio company restructurings. Shanghai managing partner Don Williams is recommended for private equity and venture capital financings, M&A deals and public offerings; he has ‘vast experience and industry knowledge, a hands-on approach, and his advice is commercially practical’. Tony Mou is also highly rated.

Sullivan & Cromwell’s recent experience includes acting for China Mengniu Dairy Company in its acquisition of a minority shareholding interest in China Modern Dairy Holdings from a KKR affiliate. Gwen Wong, Chun Wei, Garth Bray, Michael DeSombre and Kay Ian Ng are the names to note.

White & Case LLP houses ‘smart, capable lawyers’, who are experienced in fund formation, financing, M&A, portfolio assistance and exits. The firm recruited Andre Zhu from Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP and promoted Jiong Deng to local partner. Deng’s strengths are his ‘incredible responsiveness, attention to detail, positive attitude in the face of adversity and pleasant demeanour’. Alex Zhang and Asia private equity head Peggy Wang are also highly rated. Former China practice head Xiaoming Li joined Han Kun Law Offices.


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