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PRC firms

Index of tables

  1. Real estate and construction: PRC firms
  2. Leading individuals
  3. Next generation lawyers

Leading individuals

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Next generation lawyers

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Fangda Partnersstands out for its quality of advice’. The team assisted Merlin Entertainments with opening its Legoland Park in Shanghai and has handled a number of PPP projects for Shanghai Electric. Stephen Lin advised Nan Fung Group on property management and the leasing of Nan Fung Tower to WPP; he and Yingying Wang also assisted Novartis with the $1bn-plus construction of its Shanghai campus. Dispute resolution specialist Ji Nuo was instructed on a number of complex real estate and construction disputes. Other clients include Kimberly-Clark, Daimler, AstraZeneca and Johnson Controls.

A prominent player in the real estate and construction arenas, Zhong Lun Law Firm’s ‘excellent’ team had another prolific year with a number of big-ticket deals featured in its highlights. Its clients include private equity funds, financial institutions, real estate developers and government agencies. Anthony Qiao assisted The Link Management with its indirect acquisition of the issued share capital of a project company, which holds two premium commercial towers in Shanghai, and Jihong Wang is acting for the investor in a $1.23bn transport reconstruction PPP project. Song Mu, Maoyuan Zhu and Jiong Zhang are other names to note.

City Development Law Firm has ‘one of the best construction practices in China’. The team, which is led by the well-known Shuying Zhu, handles a broad spectrum of mandates, including litigation, commercial and residential property development work as well as large infrastructure projects. A cross-office team recently represented a large SOE in a BOT highway project dispute with the project company. Shan Cao has ‘depth of industry knowledge in the Chinese construction market’.

DeHeng Law Offices is a popular choice for PPP project and mega overseas construction projects; it has particular expertise in senior housing projects. Huaiyuan Jia, who splits his time between Beijing and Dubai, regularly advises investors and developers with projects in a number of jurisdictions, particularly in the Middle East. Clients include Beijing Municipal Commission of Development & Reform, China Orient Asset Management, Beijing Real Estate Development and China Merchants Fund Management Company. Xiongwei Li and Ganghong Sun are recommended.

King & Wood Mallesons’ highly impressive year included advising clients on the establishment of REITs in domestic and offshore capital markets and advising on complex real estate financing transaction. The team acted as part of a multi-jurisdictional team advising China Life Investment Holding Company on its acquisition of 99 Bishopsgate in London from a Brookfield subsidiary. Rong Fang, who is praised as having ‘strong negotiation skill and broad sector knowledge’, assisted Hainan Airlines with listing quasi-REITs on the Shanghai Stock Exchange using its office building in Shanghai as an underlying asset. Beijing-based Harry Du heads the team and is supported by Hangzhou-based William Jiang and Shenzhen-based Zhangqi Tao.

Boss & Young, Attorneys At Law’s recent highlights include advising a European real estate fund on its acquisition of Chinese commercial real estate and acting for Shanghai Luwan district government on its handling of distressed assets, including resuming construction processes, project refinancing and sales pertaining to its property. Guofei Lu and Liting Zhu are the main contacts.

Dentons China’s team has solid experience acting for international real estate investment funds, financial institutions and multinational companies in a broad range of cross-border and domestic real estate transactions. Charles Wu, William Mok and Summit Chen are the names to note.

Jincheng Tongda & Neal handles big-ticket transactional matters as well as construction disputes. Nancy Zhang is assisting Macquarie Retail Management (Asia) with a review of leases at its nine malls across China and Jun Peng is acting for a real estate group in its publicly placed bond offering. Other clients include LimeTree Capital, the Export-Import Bank of China and Jones Lang LaSalle.

Hesen Law Firm in alliance with Pinsent Masons LLP is a popular choice for large PRC contractors seeking advice on domestic and international projects. Elvis Zhou is assisting China 22MCC Group in an indemnificatory and comfortable housing project in Russia.

JunHe LLP is recommended for its expertise in acting on large investment and acquisition deals. Recent highlights include acting for CapitaLand on its sale of a shopping mall in Kunshan to a Hangzhou-based company, and assisting Baiyi Investment, a subsidiary of China Merchants Holdings (International) Company in its RMB2bn buyout of Shenzhen Jinyurongtai Investment Development Company. Xueping Yu heads the team, in which counsel Lishan Li and Yue Tang are also main contacts.

At Llinks Law Offices, David Yu handles real estate fund formation, acquisition and financing transactions. Bernie Liu recently assisted Straits Real Estate with setting up a wholly foreign-owned enterprise to acquire a shopping mall from Beijing Dacheng Property Development.

Yingke Law Firm’s real estate and construction team advises clients on PPP projects in various provinces throughout China. Longxing Wang assisted Yida Science and Technology City with the development and operation of several industrial parks.

Real estate and construction is the core practice area at Zhonglun Wen De Law Firm, which handles a broad range of development work, transactions and disputes. Recent instructions include advising on large EPC projects, construction disputes and real estate finance. Haijun Zhang and Yuqin Xia are the main contacts.

Foreign firms

Index of tables

  1. Real estate and construction: foreign firms
  2. Other recommended firms
  3. Leading individuals
  4. Next generation lawyers

Leading individuals

  1. 1

Next generation lawyers

  1. 1

Allen & Overy LLP’s ‘technically strong and solution-oriented’ team primarily acts for sponsor clients, including private equity, pension and sovereign funds. Practice head Richard Kim advised Brookfield Strategic Real Estate Partners on a number of matters concerning its investment in China Xintiandi, including the latter’s disposal of a high-value office complex in Shanghai. Other clients include Standard Chartered, Vanke and CBRE Global Investors. The Shanghai-based team includes Matthew Bisley, a ‘very sharp blade’, whose expertise covers transactions concerning commercial, hotel, retail and residential properties.

The ‘responsive, effective and efficient’ department at DLA Piper is experienced in handling a wide range of work – including retail, commercial, hospitality and development – with a growing focus on core asset management. Lillian Duan, who splits her time between Shanghai and Beijing, advised CBRE Global Investors on the disposal of a major shopping centre in Shanghai. Hong Kong-based Susheela Rivers leads the practice, which recruited Beijing-based Wayne Ma from Paul Hastings LLP.

Mayer Brown JSM specialises in major outbound investment work, often advising developers and financial institutions. Hong Kong partner Alan Yip advised the joint venture company established between LKK Health Products and Vanke on its RMB5.7bn acquisition of the holding company that owned 99% of a property in a major shopping and entertainment district from Shui On Land. The team includes construction arbitration specialist Tom Fu in Beijing and Andy Yeo in Shanghai. Keith Cheung heads the group in Hong Kong.

Baker McKenzie’s expertise covers a number of sectors, including hotels and tourism, industrial and residential real estate. The Shanghai team includes tax practice co-head Brendan Kelly and banking partner Harvey Lau, who often advises financial institutions and other corporate clients on financial regulatory issues. Michelle Gon joined MWE China Law Offices (Strategic alliance with McDermott Will & Emery).

Clifford Chance excels in real estate-related M&A, joint ventures and IPO work, regularly advising Chinese clients on investing in European assets. On the inbound side, the group specialises in handling logistics and TMT-related development matters. Beijing partner Terence Foo advised Standard Chartered Bank Principal Finance Real Estate (SCB PFRE) on its $73m investment in Chayora Holdings, a Chinese data centre project developer and operator. Hong Kong-based Matthias Feldmann and Dauwood Malik head the practice, which also includes corporate partner Kelly Gregory in Shanghai and funds and investment expert Ying White in Beijing.

Morrison & Foerster LLP’s team mainly handles inbound investments, with a particular expertise in advising on inbound matters in the residential and retail space. In Hong Kong, Marcia Ellis advised Global Logistic Properties (GLP) on the establishment of a $7bn infrastructure fund focused on China. Shanghai-based Maria Wang, who often handles equity and debt-related transactions, is a key partner. Gregory Tan left the firm for an in-house role.

Paul Hastings LLP has experienced a significant increase in outbound investment work, counting Ping An Insurance, Yuzhou Properties and Mapletree Investments among its domestic clients. Practice head David Blumenfeld, Paul Guan and Palo Alto-based Rob Carlson advised insurer China Life on the formation of its partnership with GLP. Wayne Ma is now at DLA Piper.

White & Case’s team is experienced in handling real estate finance, capital market and investment fund matters and is headed by Hong Kong-based Baldwin Cheng. Beijing-based David Li led advice to a syndicate of Chinese and international lenders on a €1.3bn structured acquisition financing to transfer Louvre Hotel Group from Starwood Capital Group to Chinese tourism SOE Jin Jiang. Other clients include Deutsche Bank, Gaw Capital Partners and Greentown China.

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Legal Developments in China

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  • What is the relationship between PPP and concessions?

    From fledgling concessions to PPP that is sweeping the country today, there are two major sets of regulations to be followed: one being regulations for concessions led by the National Development and Reform Commission (“NDRC”) and the other the series of regulations for PPP led by the Ministry of Finance (“MoF”).  However, to date, there is still not one law that expressly defines the relationship between the two, resulting in much confusion and many impediments in practice.  The relationship between concessions and PPP is an issue currently desperately needing clarification.
  • Thought on Developing Convention on Enforceability of Settlement Agreements Reached Through Concilia

    The UN Commission on International Trade Law (“UNCITRAL”) held its 47th session in New York on 7-18 July 2014 and the Author had the privilege of attending the conference at invitation of Mr. Yu Jianlong, President of the Asia Pacific Regional Arbitration Group (“APRAG”). During the conference, the U.S. Government submitted a proposal suggesting Working Group II (Arbitration and Conciliation) of UNCITRAL (“Working Group II”) to develop a multilateral convention with respect of the enforceability of international commercial settlement agreements reached through conciliation (“Enforceability Convention”) for the purpose of encouraging the use of conciliation in resolving international commercial disputes.  Read more
  • Impact of Article 43 of the Commercial Bank Law on PPP Projects

    With the widespread use of the PPP model in China, financing channels for PPP projects have also increasingly diversified.  Bank, trust, fund and insurance channels of capital have all rushed onto the stage of project financing. Subject to Article 43 of the Commercial Bank Law, banks, as the traditional big brother of financing, have always played the role of lender.  In practice, the opinions as to whether they can participate in the bidding on, and contributing capital to, PPP projects as private investors have been mixed.

    The current PPP tide in China driven by the Ministry of Finance and the National Development and Reform Commission witnesses the transformation and upgrading of large state-owned enterprises.  These enterprises that have traditionally only been familiar with bid invitation, bid submission, and construction, have started to have an impact on numerous new areas such as project proposal and planning, company establishment and acquisition, fund establishment and operation, etc.  Certain state-owned enterprises that got their starts fairly early have cultivated teams with extensive experience in investing, and certain enterprises that are just starting up are selecting young talent from various entities in all out effort to catch up.  Private enterprises also participate enthusiastically.
  • Transfer Pricing – New Risks in Declaring Price Impact of Special Relationship to China Customs

    China Customs recently requires that the importer or exporter of record declare the impact on the import or export price of its special relationship with the counterpart (“Price Impact”). Specifically the declaring party must state whether its special relationship, if any, would affect the transaction value or price as declared to the China Customs. Previously the special relationship was an item of declaration subsequent to a specific request from the Customs. However, the impact of the special relationship was not an item of declaration, and the declaration party even had a general defense right to disprove such Price Impact. The Price Impact, if any, has been a pre-condition for  the Customs not to accept the declared transfer price for the purpose of ascertaining dutiable price of a given import or export shipment, in which case, China Customs shall re-value the given shipment according to China customs valuation rules.
  • New China Customs Taxation Policy on Cross-Border B2C E-Commerce Imports

    The Ministry of Finance, General Administration of Customs and State Administration of Taxation of China jointly issued a circular (“Joint Circular ”) relating to the taxation policy on the cross-border e-commerce retailing imports, with effect as from April 8, 2016.
  • ICC and CIETAC Arbitration Practice Comparison - Case Study Note 1

    One of the most important negotiated points by parties in contract negotiations is the dispute resolution clause. If parties agree on arbitration, they often negotiate which arbitration institution or arbitration rules will apply in resolving potential disputes.
  • Interpretation of New Anti-monopoly Provisions in the Field of Intellectual Property Rights:

    Ren Qing and Wu Peng, Partners in Zhong Lun Law Firm

    By Steve Zhao
  • Zhong Lun Advises Chinese Consortium on $1.9 Billion Acquisition of OmniVision Technologies, Inc.

    On April 30, 2015, OmniVision Technologies, Inc. (OVTI, a Delaware company listed on NASDAQ) announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement to be acquired by a consortium composed of Hua Capital Management Co. Ltd. (“Hua Capital Management”), CITIC Capital Holdings Limited (“CITIC Capital”) and GoldStone Investment Co. Ltd. (“GoldStone Investment”) (collectively, the “Consortium”). Under the terms of the agreement, OmniVision stockholders will receive $29.75 per share in cash, or a total of approximately $1.9 billion. The agreement was unanimously approved by OmniVision’s Board of Directors.

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