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Index of tables

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

Leading individuals

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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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