China > Projects and energy
Index of tables
Projects and energy: Beijing
Other recommended firms
Beijing Hesen Law Firm
Commerce & Finance Law Office
Concord & Partners
DeHeng Law Office
- Jingtian & Gongcheng
Leading individuals: local firms
King & Wood Mallesons welcomed partner Dirk Walker and of counsel Dina Yin from Dewey & LeBoeuf LLP in Beijing and Linklaters respectively. Walker’s experience includes representing state-owned Chinese oil companies in outbound acquisitions and the development of upstream and downstream projects in Africa, South America, the US, and the CIS. Yin focuses on representing PRC and international energy and mining companies in both outbound and inbound acquisitions and projects. The practice acted for Yanzhou Coal Mining, through its Australian subsidiary, on the $2.13bn takeover of Australian mining company Gloucester Coal. PRC managing partner and ‘formidable lawyer’ Wang Ling is a key contact.
Grandall Law Firm’s representative experience includes advising on highway, port, bridge, water and waste, and telecommunications projects. The firm’s assistance covers project development, contractual issues, project finance, the privatisation of public infrastructure, and the settlement of disputes relating to infrastructure. The ‘highly respected’ Weidong Wang is the Beijing managing partner.
Jun He Law Offices’ Qin Yu led the team advising ConocoPhillips Australia and Origin Australia in a $1.5bn transaction with Sinopec, involving a share purchase and 20-year gas supply and offtake agreement. Co-led by Wang Jinghua and Jianan Yuan, the practice also advised China Minsheng Banking Corporation on the syndication of a $200m loan facility to finance the acquisition by Gold Channel Group and Hua Xin Asia Investments of the Australian company Victorian Iron. In other work, the practice advised Shanghai Gas Group on its regional market integration programme, which involved the acquisition of three gas companies; and a team led by George Zhu and Zhou Jun represented GE (China) and Shenhua Coal to Liquid and Chemical Company on the establishment of a Sino-foreign joint venture.
Recent experience for Global Law Office includes advising on China Railway Resources Group’s acquisition of Qinghai Golden Star Mining; and assisting a Chinese oil corporation on fuel-depot construction projects and acquisitions in various Chinese provinces.
Guantao Law Firm acted for Sinopec Kantons Holdings in the equity acquisition of Zhan Jiang Port Petrochemical Jetty Company; and advised China Guangdong Nuclear Power Holding Corporation (one of the PRC’s largest state-owned nuclear power producers) on its potential £756m acquisition of the Namibian mining group, Kalahari Minerals. Xiao Hongming and Xu Ling are key contacts.
Zhong Lun Law Firm’s practice encompasses energy, mining and infrastructure projects, in addition to regulatory matters and litigation. Its client base includes China National Petroleum Corporation, State Development & Investment Corporation, SK Energy and Zhengzhou Coal & Electric.
Index of tables
Projects and energy: foreign firms
Allen & Overy LLP
Clifford Chance LLP
Vinson & Elkins L.L.P.
- Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP
Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP
Simmons & Simmons LLP
Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP
Other recommended firms
Leading individuals: foreign firms
Allen & Overy LLP is ‘committed to providing high-quality work in a timely and responsive manner’. The practice assisted the Exim Bank of China in relation to a financing of up to $2.5bn for the construction and development of a resort project in the Bahamas. The practice also acts in energy arbitrations, antitrust matters and energy-related international trade issues. Beijing-based Matthias Voss is head of PRC Energy; and Yvonne Ho is frequently praised. Matthew Bisley in the Shanghai office and Cindy Lo in Beijing, were both promoted to partner. Bisley is ‘technically sound, user-friendly, solutions-driven and very calm – even under immense pressure’.
Clifford Chance LLP’s recent highlights included assisting AEI on the sale of its China gas distribution business to China Resources Gas Group, a deal involving 40 target companies engaged in gas sales, distribution and transportation in mainland China. Huw Jenkins in Hong Kong is rated; ‘talented legal adviser’ Stephen Harder is the Beijing and Shanghai managing partner; and Beijing-based Maggie Lo is also a key contact. Chin Chuan Chen rejoined the firm in December 2011 as counsel in the banking and finance group, splitting his time between the Beijing and Singapore offices. Bruce Schulberg exited for Hogan Lovells Lee & Lee in Singapore.
Comprised of over 60 lawyers, Linklaters’ Greater China energy and natural resources (ENR) team is based out of Beijing, Shanghai and Hong Kong. It advised Glencore on its ‘merger of equals’ agreement with Xstrata, which will potentially create a major natural resources group with a combined equity market value of approximately $90bn. It also acted for China Development Bank on its €350m project financing of a 300MW mine-mouth, coal-fired power plant in Bosnia and Herzegovina, marking the first ever project financing led by a Chinese bank in Europe. Beijing-based James Douglass heads the China energy and natural resources (ENR) team; Thomas Ng has acted on large project financings involving Chinese banks; and Beijing counsel Xiaohui Ji is a respected adviser. Hong Kong-based Asia ENR head Christopher Kelly and recently elected partner Craig Dally play lead roles on significant ENR listings in the Greater China region. The firm recently signed a collaboration agreement with Allens (formerly Allens Arthur Robinson), which included the establishment of an ENR joint venture in Asia.
Frequently praised by the market, the Hong Kong and Beijing-based Xiao Yong is Vinson & Elkins L.L.P.’s China practice head. The team represented Apache Corporation, as operator and lead-sponsor, in connection with developing Canada’s first liquefied natural gas (LNG) facility and export terminal. It also advised Unipec (a subsidiary of Sinopec), as LNG purchaser, in connection with the LNG purchase arrangements under Sinopec’s increase of its stake in the Australia Pacific LNG project. Key contacts include Tju Liang Chua and Jay Kolb in Shanghai; Paul Deemer, Rob Patterson and Nicholas Song in Beijing; and David Blumental, who divides his time between Shanghai and Beijing.
Baker & McKenzie’s expertise incorporates power, oil and gas, petrochemicals, mining and metals, infrastructure, and renewable energy. The practice represented the lenders in relation to a Sinosure-supported export credit facility, made available to Vietnam Electricity for the development of the Duyen Hai 1 thermal power project in Vietnam. Stanley Jia, Barbara Li and Boo Bee Chun in Beijing are key contacts; Shanghai-based Danian Zhang is an experienced practitioner.
DLA Piper recently welcomed Robert Caldwell as a partner in its Hong Kong and Greater China finance and projects practice from King & Wood Mallesons in Hong Kong. The team advised Linc Energy on its joint venture with GCL Projects to commercialise underground coal gasification to gas-to-liquids in China. Shanghai-based Wan Li is recommended.
Herbert Smith Freehills assists on major energy and infrastructure projects, including the development of regulatory frameworks and contractual structures, together with advice on sector governance, and economic, commercial and environmental regulations. The practice assisted China National Offshore Oil Corporation on its investment in BG Group’s Queensland Curtis LNG project and the purchase of 3.6 MTPA of LNG from the project, including negotiating over 20 project agreements, and marking China’s largest ever export transaction with Australia, valued at approximately up to $80bn. Tom Chau, Betty Tam and Karen Ip are rated contacts. Alexander Aitken in Hong Kong is a ‘very good, technical lawyer’, and Hilary Lau in Hong Kong is also well regarded. Anna Howell relocated to London, and Simon Meng joined King & Wood Mallesons in Shanghai.
Hogan Lovells International LLP welcomed Singapore and Beijing-based Bruce Schulberg to the practice from Clifford Chance LLP. Highlights include acting for one of the largest municipal state-owned enterprises in China, Chongqing Expressway Group, on the landmark sale of a 49% stake in the target company by Chongqing SASAC to India’s ITNL International. Department head Jun Wei and Roy Zou are highly regarded lawyers.
Jones Day is ‘consistently excellent in all respects’. The practice was project counsel to Chevron Corporation in relation to the development and construction of a sour gas production facility in Sichuan Province. The practice also advised Castle Peak Power Company, a joint venture company between ExxonMobil Energy and CLP Power Hong Kong, on its gas purchase from PetroChina International Company. Ivanhoe Cambridge, Parsons Brinckerhoff, China Railway Construction, China Triumph Construction and Worthington Industries are active clients. Beijing-based Ashley Howlett is ‘an outstanding construction lawyer whose formidable legal and commercial expertise extends well beyond the boundaries of the construction sector and construction law issues’. Michael Arruda and Ben McQuhae in Hong Kong are also recommended.
‘Good at understanding clients’ requirements’, Pinsent Masons’ practice covers the whole ENR spectrum, but is a go-to firm for major construction projects in the region. The group also acts on contentious issues arising from large-scale projects. Representative experience includes international road, railway and oil and gas projects, as well as several huge power station projects, and the mining and minerals field. The practice advised China Petroleum Pipeline Bureau in a bid for a major pipeline installation contract in Iraq. Shanghai office head Hew Kian Heong is ‘not only a lawyer, but he also has a deep understanding of the energy industry’. Beijing office head John Bishop, Hong Kong-based John Yeap, Ian Laing and Vincent Connor are key contacts.
Shearman & Sterling LLP maintains strong relationships with many of the region’s leading companies and financial institutions. The team represented Hanlong on various aspects of the financing of a molybdenum/iron mine project in western Australia, in which it co-invested with Moly Mines. It also advised EAP Management Consulting (Nanjing) on the tolling arrangements for an LNG receiving terminal (the first such agreement in the PRC), including the drafting of a model LNG terminal use agreement of international standards. Andrew Ruff is Shanghai office managing partner. Ruff is a ‘brilliant lawyer who is easily able to gain the trust and respect of the other side so as to broker deals effectively’. Xiaogang (Sean) Wang in Shanghai and Hong Kong-based counsel Nick Wang are rated.
Highly recommended for its ‘completely integrated Chinese service’, White & Case LLP is ‘commercial in its approach’. The practice advised longstanding client Saudi Aramco on the proposed formation of a joint venture company with PetroChina and Yunnan Yuntianhua, to build, own and operate a crude-oil refinery located in Yunnan Province. It also advised China Development Bank on its commitment of $750m to SPI Solar and KDC Solar to fund the procurement, construction, installation and operation of solar power projects in the US. In Beijing, Xiaoming Li and Steve Payne are praised; and Hong Kong-based Hallam Chow is ‘responsive and helpful’.
Baker Botts L.L.P. continued its corporate representation of Power Capital Global in connection with the development of its coal logistics business in China and Indonesia, and the acquisition of privately held coal-handling assets in North China. The practice also continued its representation of OAO Rosneft, Russia’s largest oil producer, in connection with its matters in China, including its joint venture with China National Petroleum to build a multibillion-dollar refinery in China. Jeff Layman is the resident partner in Beijing; and, according to one Chinese client, Hong Kong-based John Kuzmik ‘knows more about things Chinese than any other lawyer alive’. David Renton departed to join Bird & Bird’s international energy and corporate group in Hong Kong.
Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer’s project finance practice covers a broad range of sectors, including oil and gas, water, electricity, mining, and renewable energy, as well as the development of airports, roads, tunnels, railways and ports. The practice acted for the borrower, AES VCM Mong Duong Power Company, and principal sponsor, The AES Corporation, in relation to the development of the $1.9bn 1,240MW Mong Duong II coal-fired power project in Northern Vietnam. In Hong Kong, department head David Winfield and Robert Lonergan are rated, and Howard Lam joined from Linklaters. Former Dewey & LeBoeuf partner Yuan Gang was appointed as China head of energy and natural resources in Beijing.
Energy law is a core practice area for Fulbright & Jaworski LLP and a key part of its international expansion. The practice represented Sinopec in connection with its purchase from an affiliate of Devon Energy Corporation of a 33.3% interest in approximately 1.2m acres of oil and gas properties located in Mississippi, Colorado, Wyoming, Oklahoma, Ohio and Michigan, the transaction marking Sinopec’s first investment in the US. It also assisted Kerr McGee China Petroleum in China on significant issues associated with its Chinese upstream interests. Ben Smith in Hong Kong is praised, and Jeffrey Blount is partner-in-charge of Beijing and Hong Kong. Blunt has ‘substantial experience in Asia and has developed a highly-skilled team of Chinese associates’. Former Asia Pacific energy head Stefan Ricketts left to become general counsel at EnQuest.
Gide Loyrette Nouel A.A.R.P.I. has a long history of advising global groups and governments on major projects, PPPs, energy matters and infrastructure transactions, including landmark power projects. The practice advised Air Liquide on a project with Sinopec to establish a gas joint venture. Thomas Urlacher and Yue Liu in Beijing, and Hong Kong-based Rebecca Silli are principal contacts.
Latham & Watkins LLP’s Hong Kong-based David Miles heads up the firm’s English law finance practice in Asia. The team represented Merrill Lynch (Asia Pacific) and Merrill Lynch Far East, who acted as sole financial advisor and underwriter in relation to Sinopec Kantons Holdings’ HK$2.22bn acquisition of interests in five joint ventures in the PRC from their ultimate controlling shareholder, China Petroleum & Chemical Corporation. Shanghai managing partner Rowland Cheng’s recent experience includes advising on the China-related elements of an oil and gas project in Australia, the lenders of which were China-based.
Norton Rose LLP has strong projects, infrastructure and energy capability across Asia. It is particularly strong in mining, metals, natural gas and power. The practice advised SEHK-listed China Daye Non-Ferrous Metals Mining on its acquisition of Prosper Well Group, which is the ultimate holding company of four copper mines and their related PRC-based production facilities. Tom Luckock, Wang Yi, Michael Wilton and Nigel Ward in Beijing are rated. Shanghai-based Fei Kwok is an experienced adviser.
Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP recently represented China’s Sichuan Hongda Group on its joint venture with Tanzania’s National Development Corporation to implement an integrated coal mine and power plant project and an integrated iron ore mine and steel mill project in Tanzania. The two projects represent a total investment of up to $3bn and constitute the single largest investment venture in East Africa.
Deacons is noted for its work on water treatment facilities and in the clean development mechanism sector. The practice assisted a major French energy company in connection with the due diligence concerning twelve 49.5MW wind power generation facilities. Beijing-based Franki Cheung, and Edwarde Webre and Machiuanna Chu in Hong Kong are principal contacts.
In 2012, Minter Ellison’s Nigel Clark relocated from London to become the head partner of the Beijing representative office. The team advised Evernal Energy on its coal trading activities, encompassing both downstream and upstream supply agreements. Hong Kong, Beijing and Shanghai-based Sam Farrands is recommended.
Experienced in energy/infrastructure project development and finance, Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP frequently advises on project matters in Greater China. The team stands out for its Vietnam practice. Hong Kong partner Christopher Stephens and senior counsel Linh Quynh Doan are key practitioners.
Simmons & Simmons LLP’s advice is ‘technically excellent, prompt and delivered with a keen eye on the commercial environment’. The practice has strong power-sector expertise, and recently experienced an increase in instructions from regional clients investing in projects in Africa and the Middle East. The practice advised Qatar Petroleum International on its joint venture project in China for the development of an oil refinery and petrochemicals plant. Brian Downie is Asia projects head; Vivien Yang joined from Clifford Chance LLP’s Hong Kong office, where she was previously the head of natural resources; and Yongmei Cai in Beijing arrived from King & Wood. Tom Deegan heads the Asia corporate, and energy and infrastructure, groups. Hong Kong and Shanghai-based Richard McKeown, and Beijing-based Eric Lin, are key lawyers.
Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP’s energy and natural resources practice includes lawyers from its PRC, Hong Kong and Singapore offices. Key matters include representing China Three Gorges Corporation in its €2.69bn acquisition of a 21.35% stake in EDP, the largest-ever Chinese investment in Europe to date. Gregory Miao and Peter Huang are well-regarded lawyers.