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PRC firms

Index of tables

  1. Projects and energy: 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’s team of ‘genuine specialists’ has been particularly active in the transportation space and in advising on big-ticket project financings. Clients include local governments, project companies and their sponsors, investors, domestic and overseas financial institutions, and project contractors. Among its impressive workload, the firm advised on a number of multibillion-RMB subway line and rail PPP projects, and acted for an SOE during its participation in a PPP rail corridor project in Australia. The construction and engineering team advised Kimberly-Clark on the investment, development and construction of its baby care product plant facility in Tianjin, and advised Shanghai Electric Group Company on the construction of a power plant in Guangdong. On the project finance front, it assisted Beijing Drainage Group with its financing for a series of projects to facilitate the collection and treatment of sewage and reclamation of treated wastewater. Group head Jianan Yuan is recommended for high-value cross-border finance matters in the energy and natural resources sector. Jiangang Wang, Yu Qin, George Zhu, Fang Yi and Shijian Liu are also key names.

Jointly led by Wenjing Tian and Handel Lee, King & Wood Mallesons’ team is adapt at advising on the full cycle of infrastructure and energy projects; its client roster features Chinese SOEs and private companies as well as international energy companies. Tian and project finance specialist Zhigang Liu advised Zonergy on a number of high-profile investments in solar power projects in Pakistan, and a team including Lee and cross-border M&A expert Ping Xu continues to advise China General Nuclear Power Group on its landmark £6bn investment in the Hinkley Point C plant in the UK. Other highlights include advising a consortium of investors, led by Beijing Infrastructure Investment, on the Urumqi Line 2 phase 1 concession project, assisting a well-known multinational company with its investment in wind and solar power projects in various provinces in China, and acting for a syndicate of banks on the $700m financing of a hydro-electric power plant. Also recommended are Xiaolian Zhang, Rong Fang, Jin Xiong and Shenzhen-based Xueli Cheng.

Zhong Lun Law Firm excels in advising on complex bidding processes, large public building projects and disputes involving the construction of large infrastructure projects. Beijing-based Jihong Wang advised key client Powerchina Road Bridge Group on a number of big-ticket transactions such as its RMB42.8bn investment in the construction and operation of Taihang Mountain highway. Wang also assisted Sinohydro Foundation Engineering with its investment in the Yunjin Food and Medicine Industry Garden PPP project in Guizhou. In its Shanghai office, Jinlin Nan advised a SOE contractor SUMEC Hardware & Tools on an EPC power station project in Pakistan; Gavin Zhang counts Riverside Investment Group, Shanghai Lake Dianshan Newtown Development and Beijing Shouhuan Cultural Tourism Investment as his key clients; and Lanping Zhou is particularly experienced in infrastructure investment and financing of BOT and PPP projects in the fields of transportation, regional development and public facilities.

Global Law Office advises on the bidding, development and project financing aspects of large infrastructure projects, and the firm is also recommended for contentious matters. Miller Wang is advising Xinjiang Wujing Tiejian Rail Transportation on the issuance of RMB4bn green bonds in the interbank bond market and the subsequent construction of the Urumqi subway PPP project. Wang and Kevin Wang assisted Beijing Jingtou Transportation Development with the construction of the Beijing new airport highway project. On the contentious side, Wang represented CGGC-UN Power in an EPC contract case against Shanxi Energy Investment Agriculture Development regarding the delayed payment for the construction of a 20MW photovoltaic power station project, and acted for a state-owned high-tech green energy company in arbitration proceedings against its equipment supplier regarding poor-quality products and related damages.

Guantao Law Firm’s team, jointly led by Hong Kong-based Pengpeng Yan and Beijing-based Ling Xu, is particularly experienced in advising energy and resources clients on development, operation and financing matters. Wei Jiang is acting for China Power Engineering Consulting Group on the construction of a BOT thermal power plant in Hai Duong. Hongli Zou is advising Shanghai World Expo Construction & Development on the dismantling and reconstruction of the World Expo 2010 stadium, and assisting Shanghai Rainbow Investment with the construction of the Hongqiao integrated transport hub. Other clients include Central Asia Energy, Shaanxi Yanchang Petroleum (Group), Hao Tian Development Group and Shanghai Shendi Group.

Sunshine Law Firm specialises in energy and infrastructure projects, both domestic and international. It acts for a large number of energy and natural resources clients including National Energy Administration, State Nuclear Power Technology, China Three Gorges International Corporation and Shenhua Ningxia Coal Group. In 2016, a team, led by Jane Chen, advised Sanmen Nuclear Power Company on a range of issues regarding the construction of two 1250MW nuclear power generating units; Hongwen Zhu and Yuxiang Song acted for TBEA SunOasis in a series of overseas solar power projects including a 120MW plant in Egypt, a 350MW plant in Abu Dhabi, an 800MW plant in Dubai, a 135MW plant in Morocco and a power substation and transmission project in Thailand; Song Shen and Zhu advised a consortium (including Avic International and Shanghai Electrical Power) on bidding for two solar photovoltaic IPP projects in Zambia. Lizhong Lu has notable expertise in PPP projects, and M&A transactions in renewable energy, natural resources and infrastructure sectors.

Broad & Bright has particular expertise in cross-border M&A and financing transactions in the oil and gas sector, and contentious matters including the resolution of environmental pollution disputes. Recent highlights include representing a Chinese oil company in a multi-jurisdictional arbitration regarding a product-sharing contract. The ‘experienced and diligent’ Libin Zhang and Yuping He head the team, which hired Ren Jiang from Shell (China).

Leveraging its global network of offices, Dentons China’s 15-partner team regularly handles large cross-border infrastructure and energy projects. Yunfeng Song and Wen He are advising a client on investing in photovoltaic projects in a number of provinces in China, and acted for a Chinese investment company on the purchase of equity interest in a number of energy companies from a state-owned investment company. Nancy Sun heads the energy, mining and natural resources group, and focuses on project finance and cross-border M&A transactions.

Grandall Law Firm’s recent highlights include acting for Chengdu Metro on the procurement of a railway line PPP project, and advising Fuyuan Municipal Government of Heilongjiang Province on investment in the Eastern town project at Heixiazi Island. Key names to note include Bo Shi, who focuses on project finance and development, Junsheng Zhou, who advises on PPP projects, and Weidong Wang, who advises power sector clients on IPO and the reorganisation of material assets.

The team at Jincheng Tongda & Neal is singled out for its ‘responsiveness’ and ‘professionalism’. It recently advised MTR on its RMB3bn investment in Shenyang metro lines and is assisting China Nonferrous Metal Industry's Foreign Engineering and Construction with the construction of a copper smelting plant in Vietnam. Mingkai Wang, corporate partners Annie Wu and Jun Peng, and international trade specialist Chen Yang are the main contacts.

At Tian Yuan Law Firm, practice heads Yanling Ren and Zaizai Huang are advising Shenzhen Municipal People’s government on the RMB31m financing of the Shenzhen Convention & Exhibition Centre. Other highlights include advising Beijing State-owned Capital Operation and Management Centre on PPP projects, and advising CECEP Wind-power on its joint investment with Goldwind for the development of White Rock wind farm in Australia. Jie Chai is also recommended.


Foreign firms

Index of tables

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

Leading individuals

  1. 1
    • Yvonne Ho - Allen & Overy LLP
    • Xiaohui Ji - Linklaters
    • Monica Sun - Herbert Smith Freehills LLP

Next generation lawyers

  1. 1
    • Ronan Diot - Gide Loyrette Nouel A.A.R.P.I.
    • Zhibin Fan - Ashurst
    • Daniel Lau - Allen & Overy LLP
    • Jianbin Wang - Linklaters
    • Li Wei - Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy 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 LLP’s focus is on project finance transactions, as well as assisting with corporate, capital markets, regulatory, antitrust and contentious matters involving the energy sector. The client base includes export credit agencies, multilateral development banks, financiers (including state-owned Chinese banks), project sponsors and developers. Beijing-based senior finance partner Yvonne Ho led the advice to China Three Gorges International Corporation in relation to the Pakistan hydro project in Karot. In Shanghai, banking and finance partner Matthew Bisley, who is particularly experienced in energy matters, acted for multilateral lender Asian Development Bank in loan facilities for CT Environmental Group, a Chinese environmental protection business. Bisley is ‘always ready to jump on a call to talk through the issues, understand banks’ concerns, and offer options and solutions’. In Beijing, Victor Ho and counsel Daniel Lau are also key contacts, while in Hong Kong, Roger Lui and Matthew Gearing are recommended. Ling Li (also in Hong Kong) has a practice that revolves predominantly around advising Chinese energy companies on their outbound activities.

Clifford Chance LLP stands out for complex cross-border financings; for example, the practice was lead counsel and English counsel to China Development Bank, as lender, during its high-value oil-backed term facility to Petróleo Brasileiro-Petrobras. It also acted for Chinese mandated lead arrangers, Bank of China and Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, in the $1.6bn limited recourse project financing of an oil shale-fired mine mouth power plant in Jordan. Other work of note included assisting China Export-Import Bank with the high-value financing for the development of coal-fired power plant projects in Indonesia. 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 is also highly rated, as are Hong Kong lawyers Maggie Lo, banking and finance partner Dauwood Malik and consultant Vicky Ma; the latter relocated from London to Hong Kong in 2016.

Herbert Smith Freehills LLP’s energy practice is highly rated for its experience in oil and gas, power, mining, and nuclear and renewable energy; and it regularly assists with M&A deals, project development, project financing, construction issues and related disputes. Recent highlights include acting for Silk Road Fund in the acquisition of a minority stake in Sibur, Russia’s largest gas processing and petrochemical conglomerate. It also assisted Beijing Gas Group with a cooperation agreement and an agreement to acquire 20% of Verkhnechonskneftegaz from Rosneft. Beijing-based Monica Sun and Hong Kong-based lawyers Hilary Lau and Danila Logofet are key names. Fergus Smith left for White & Case.

Linklaters recently hired Andrew Ruff, who is well known for energy infrastructure investments and project finance deals, and Crystal Chen from Shearman & Sterling LLP. The firm also promoted Jianbin Wang to managing associate. The practice has significant energy sector expertise as well as experience in infrastructure matters. It acted for CDB, ICBC and CCB, and a group of Pakistani banks, in the project financing of a $1.95bn coal mine and pit mouth coal-fired power project in Pakistan. Xiaohui Ji is highly rated for PRC project finance matters and has very strong relationships with major Chinese financiers. Also noted are Stuart Salt, who advises on a range of corporate and finance matters, and James McLaren, who has extensive experience in advising lenders and sponsors on project and structured financings, project developments, and transactional matters such as joint ventures, acquisitions and disposals.

Norton Rose Fulbright acts for sponsors and lenders in project finance matters; highlights included acting for the Ministry of Finance of the Republic of Angola in several Chinese bank financings, including a high-value Sinosure-backed financing for the construction of the largest power project in Angolan history; it also advised a consortium on the bid, development, construction and financing of a coal-fired project in Pakistan. Tom Luckock specialises in both inbound and outbound projects in the power, infrastructure and water sectors; Barbara Li acts for Chinese and international sponsors in the corporate and construction aspects of power and oil and gas matters; Beijing office head Wang Yi advises Chinese sponsors on natural resources project acquisitions; and project finance specialist Paul Wee Ei Don has a particular focus on the mining and metals, oil and gas, power, and infrastructure sectors. Other recommended advisers include Fei Kwok, and Peter Haslam, who heads the Hong Kong banking and finance team.

Baker Botts L.L.P. is well known for its energy and natural resources expertise, particularly in relation to upstream and midstream projects. In a headline transaction, the team acted for Halliburton in its $34.6bn proposed acquisition of Baker Hughes. Beijing-based Jeff Layman’s experience includes advising sponsors and lenders on projects involving thermal power, waste-to-energy, coal gasification, wind energy and wastewater treatment facilities. The recommended names are Russell Wilkinson, Michael Arruda and Joanne Du. Phillip Georgiou has left the firm to set up a boutique practice.

Baker McKenzie FenXun Joint Operation Office fields lawyers with expertise in cross-border transactions involving roads, ports, airports, rail, water and wastewater facilities, and telecoms infrastructure. Other areas of strength include power, oil and gas, petrochemicals, mining and metals, and renewable energy, and the team recently acted for IDG Energy Investment Group in its $278m acquisition of oil and gas assets. Stanley Jia is the chief representative of the Beijing office, and has extensive experience in foreign indirect investment projects in China, particularly those involving the energy and oil and gas sectors. Bee Chun Boo and Simon Leung are other key Beijing names. Chief representative of the Shanghai office Danian Zhang is also recommended, as is Barry Cheng, who co-heads the firm’s banking and finance practice in China and Hong Kong.

Shearman & Sterling LLP has strong relationships with many of China’s state-owned enterprises and financial institutions, and increasingly acts for multilateral development banks and export credit agencies. It advised Industrial and Commercial Bank of China and other lenders on the proposed financing of a 930MW coal-fired power plant in Kenya. Xiaogang (Sean) Wang divides his time between Hong Kong and Beijing, while project development and finance partner Andrew Ruff joined Linklaters’ Shanghai office.

Regularly acting for Chinese companies and lenders, White & Case LLP is highly rated for oil and gas projects. The firm’s China outbound investment experience in Africa and Latin America is also a draw, as is its track record in the Chinese water infrastructure space. Recent matters saw the team act for Kazakhstan Petrochemical Industries in the development, construction and financing of a $2bn petrochemical complex in Kazakhstan. In Beijing, Hallam Chow’s practice is focused on project financing, structured financing and joint ventures in the energy, infrastructure and oil and gas sectors, and David Li is ‘quick to provide commercial solutions, as well as being responsive and flexible with fee arrangements’. Former group leader Xiaoming Li left for Han Kun Law Offices.

Experienced in advising project sponsors and lenders, Ashurst has a highly rated project finance practice, with particular strength in the transport, power, natural resources and leisure sectors. It acted for a syndicate of lenders, comprising Industrial and Commercial Bank of China and other Chinese financial institutions, in the provision of a term loan facility of over $4bn to the Republic of Angola to finance the construction of a hydroelectric power project. Chin Chuan Chen, who divides time between Singapore and Beijing, is experienced in energy and financing transactions throughout Asia, Latin America, Africa and Eastern Europe. Counsel Emma Zhang in Beijing is noted for banking and project finance work in the power, resources and infrastructure (including rail) sectors.

The ‘very professional’ team at DLA Piper’s ‘provides both legal advice and commercial solutions’. The firm recently hired former Ashurst partner Matthias Schemuth, who is experienced in project finance, particularly in the oil and gas, LNG, petrochemical, metal and mining sectors. The group regularly advises on high-profile, cross-border M&A and project financing transactions; for example, it advised China Shenhua Energy Company, a Chinese coal mining state-owned enterprise, on the tendering, development, financing, construction, management and operation of a power plant in Indonesia. China energy head Carolyn Dong is ‘easy to communicate with and has outstanding professional skills’, Paul Lee is Asia finance and projects head, of counsel Lijie Han is experienced in advising Chinese state-owned companies, and Simin Yu assists international and Chinese energy companies with M&A deals and project development matters.

Hogan Lovells International LLP’s China projects and infrastructure practice assists lenders, investors and sponsors with the full lifespan of projects, including greenfield development, PPP, M&A and financings, as well as restructuring issues, funds matters and disputes. Beijing office managing partner Jun Wei, together with the firm’s Singapore office, acted for CDB in the $1.4bn on-lending financing of a potash project in Belarus. Michael Zou is a highly rated of counsel.

Jones Day’s energy practice handles upstream and downstream oil and gas, LNG, renewable energy, mining and power instructions, as well as energy-sector capital markets mandates. The projects practice covers development, financing, construction and operation issues. In Beijing, Dirk Walker focuses on cross-border M&A, oil and gas transactions and project development, and Dina Yin, and Jessie Tang are other key names. Angel Huang, in Shanghai, is highly rated, as are Hong Kong-based lawyers Ben McQuhae, Graham Lim and Maria Tan Pedersen. Kanyi Lui joined the Beijing office from Hogan Lovells International LLP; he advised Bank of China on a facility for a solid waste-to-energy incinerator project in Thailand. Former Beijing partner in charge John Kao left the firm.

Latham & Watkins LLP regularly acts for Chinese and international clients in major energy transactions in Asia. Recent highlights include advising a consortium of three state-owned Indian oil and gas companies on its acquisition from Rosneft of a 29.9% working interest in the Taas-Yuriakh licenses in Eastern Siberia. Shanghai office managing partner Rowland Cheng is highly rated and Hong Kong-based David Blumental is experienced in project development and financing, and private equity investments that focus on upstream oil and gas, LNG and mining. Other notable advisers include Benjamin Carale, Posit Laohaphan, Ji Liu and Joseph Bevash, who divides his time between Hong Kong, Singapore, Tokyo and Seoul.

Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy LLPprovides the best possible legal representation clients could ask for and the firm can always assemble a team that has in-depth industry knowledge’. It has particular sector strength in power, energy, and natural resources, with a geographical focus on North America, Latin America, Middle East and the Asia Pacific region. The team acted for the lenders in the $910m acquisition financing to HNA Aviation (Hong Kong) Ground Handling Holdings Co. In Beijing, the ‘knowledgeable, responsive and very personable’ Shepard Liu handles large-scale energy, natural resources, power and infrastructure projects around the world, and senior associate Li Wei is ‘a forward-thinking lawyer, who provides tenacious representation and obtains outstanding results’. Desiree Woo is a key Hong Kong of counsel.

Pinsent Masons is well known for energy and infrastructure project mandates. Ellen Zhang in Beijing advises large Chinese companies on overseas projects; and Hong Kong’s John Yeap is recommended for finance, transactional and regulatory advice concerning energy and infrastructure projects. Other notable advisers include counsel Longfei Wang and senior associate Sunday Wang (both in Beijing).

Simmons & Simmons acts for energy and natural resources clients in corporate and M&A matters, projects, capital markets, finance and insurance matters. Sector specific advice also extends to employment law, IP and IT, and dispute resolution. Beijing-based Eric Lin assisted Shell International with the high-value development of a petrochemical project, as a part of a joint venture with CNOOC. Ian Wood is a key Hong Kong contact.

Vinson & Elkins LLP is highly rated for its experience in cross-border transactions involving the oil and gas sector. Beijing and Hong Kong managing partner Jay Kolb, who is recommended for major energy M&A, project development and finance transactions across Asia, Europe, South America, the Middle East and the US, advised CNOOC on certain aspects of its LNG shipping, trading, re-gasification and gas transportation arrangements in mainland China. Former China practice head Xiao Yong and Nicholas Song joined Dechert LLP.

Dechert LLP grew its practice through the hire of Vinson & Elkins LLP’ former China practice head Xiao Yong and Nicholas Song in its Hong Kong and Beijing offices, respectively. The team is experienced in advising energy companies on their cross-border transactions involving the US, Middle East and Asia, and regularly works alongside the firm’s corporate and dispute resolution groups.

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer’s scope of practice covers power and energy utilities, oil and gas, mining and metals, and low carbon energy. Among recent work highlights, the team advised PetroChina Company on its consolidation of three pipeline operators into PetroChina Pipelines Co. The key contacts are Alan Wang, Richard Wang and Jack Wang.

Gide Loyrette Nouel A.A.R.P.I.’s expertise includes energy, mining, real estate and infrastructure projects. Although the firm is well known for its French client base, it also acts for other multinational European companies as well as Chinese SOEs. The team recently advised Vallourec on its acquisition of 50.61% of the entire issued share capital of Hong Kong Stock Exchange-listed Anhui Tianda Oil Pipe Co, a Chinese seamless pipe manufacturer. In Shanghai, Fan Jiannian is ‘responsive and has a very clear understanding of European companies’ business in China’. In Beijing, Guo Min is a key name and Ronan Diot is a highly rated counsel.

Morrison & Foerster LLP’s practice is particularly experienced in outbound work. Beijing managing partner Paul McKenzie is noted for his advice to international and Chinese corporations on resource development projects and real estate development projects, while Sherry Yin is recommended for her experience in energy matters, particularly cleantech issues.

Sidley Austin LLP advises energy clients on a broad array of issues, including equity and debt capital markets, M&A, regulatory matters, dispute resolution and arbitration, and restructurings. Beijing-based Lan Tao’s experience includes significant outbound transactions in the oil and gas, mining, energy and infrastructure sectors.


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