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Editorial

Debt

Index of tables

  1. Capital markets (debt)
  2. Leading individuals
  3. Next generation lawyers

Leading individuals

  1. 1

Next generation lawyers

  1. 1
    • Mark Chan - Clifford Chance
    • Julie Song - Allen & Overy
    • Julia Zhu - Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer

Who Represents Who

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Clifford Chance has an outstanding track record in novel and landmark debt capital markets transactions, which was illustrated in 2016 when Asia Pacific capital markets practice head Connie Heng led a team, including Alexander Lloyd, and senior associates Mark Chan and Song Yue, in the advice to the joint lead managers on the Bank of China’s $3.03bn green bonds issuance; this matter represented the first time that two offshore branches of a PRC-based financial institution have issued green bonds. Another highly significant deal involved Heng and others acting for the joint lead managers in Bank of China’s $500m green covered bonds issuance, which was the first-ever sale of such bonds by a Chinese bank. Elsewhere, Fang Liu, Angela Chan were among the advisers to China Minsheng Bank on the circa $1.4bn issuance of non-cumulative perpetual offshore preference shares. Another highlight saw the team assist the underwriters with China Yangtze Power’s dual-currency exchangeable bond issue. The team also acts for Chinese state-owned and privately owned enterprises, as well as foreign companies. In 2017, David Tsai made partner, while Chan and Corey Zhang were promoted to consultants. Matthew Fairclough, Richard Lee and James Booth are other recommended individuals in the team.

Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP reputation as a market leader is underscored by its particularly strong position in the high-yield arena; at the time of writing, it had handled more than 60 high-yield deals since January 2016. Its strengths in this space are illustrated by its spread of work across the Chinese real estate, energy and utilities sectors, among others. Among the particularly complex and landmark high-yield offerings, William Barron and Gerhard Radtke acted for HT Global as the issuer in its innovative sponsor-backed high-yield offering. Another highlight involved acting for the managers in the $6.6bn concurrent exchange offer and new issue for China Evergrande. The firm also garners praise for its high-end investment grade work, where it acts for Chinese state-owned enterprises (SOEs), local government financing vehicles (LGFVs), financial institutions and issuers, among other clients. Paul Chow advised China Reinsurance (Group) Corporation on the $800m notes issuance by its subsidiary China Reinsurance Finance Corporation Limited. James Lin acted for the underwriters in the $3bn Rule 144A and Regulation S notes offering by Sinopec Group Overseas Development (a wholly owned subsidiary of China Petrochemical Corporation). Other areas of expertise include hybrid and equity-linked securities. Counsel Margie Chan is also recommended.

Linklaters is ‘one of the top English law firms’ in the debt capital markets space, which attracts praise for its ‘great attention to detail and keenness to drive transactions’. The team has developed a first-class reputation in landmark debt, liability management and regulatory capital transactions, acting for issuers and corporates in securities matters in China and across the Asia Pacific. US securities law expert Patrick Sheil who relocated to the Hong Kong office from London, adds to the firm’s high-yield debt expertise. Michael Ng and William Liu acted for the Bank of China (London branch) in the establishment of its $5bn China covered note programme and $500m issuance of green covered notes on the London Stock Exchange; this transaction represented the first international notes issuance by a Chinese entity that is secured by onshore debt securities assets. The ‘highly reliable’ Hwang Hwa Sim assisted China Yangtze Power Company with its $300m and €200m concurrent dual-currency exchangeable bonds issuance; this was the first dual-currency exchangeable bonds issuance in the international capital markets. Sim’s other experience includes issuances of panda bonds and green bonds. Liu, recently promoted partner Iris Leung and Terence Lau acted for Chinese state-owned asset management company China Cinda Asset Management in its $3.2bn non-cumulative perpetual offshore preference shares issuance. Andrew Malcolm and Jonathan Horan are also recommended.

Allen & Overy’s ‘very responsive and reliable’ team is lauded for its ‘great business acumen and client management skills’. One of its main areas of activity has been in the Indian debt capital markets arena where, under the stewardship of Amit Singh, it is ‘particularly strong’ (including in relation to Indian green bonds and masala bonds). In 2016, Singh and others assisted Axis Bank, HSBC, MUFG and Standard Chartered Bank as the joint lead managers in the INR20bn green masala bond issue by India’s largest power utility company NTPC. Indonesia has been another sweet spot of activity for the firm. Elsewhere, the firm has strong track record in the panda bonds market; Agnes Tsang was part of a cross-office team, which acted for the Ministry of Finance of the Republic of Poland in its issue of RMB3bn panda bonds. Tsang also worked with John Lee to assist China Construction Bank (Asia) – a major subsidiary of China Construction Bank – with its RMB2bn panda bonds issuance. On the sovereign bonds front, Singh and others acted for The Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka in its $1.5bn dual tranche sovereign bond issuance. Michele Discepola is ‘a joy to work with’, and John Lee’s diverse practice covers convertible and exchangeable bonds, dim sum bonds and investment grade bonds, among other offerings. In recent developments, Stephen Miller relocated from the London office to Hong Kong to head up the Asia Pacific capital markets practice. In addition, New York and Hong Kong-qualified lawyer Alex Tao joined from Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP.

Shearman & Sterling’s level of experience in high-yield debt and a broad spectrum of investment grade transactions sees it generate a healthy pipeline of work from Chinese state-owned entities, financial institutions and corporate issuers. In 2016, Alan Yeung was part of a cross-office team that acted as US law counsel to ANZ, Citigroup, Credit Suisse, Deutsche Bank and J.P. Morgan as the underwriters in the $500m bond offering by UPL Corporation. In another highlight, Yeung, counsel Hae-Ran Song and others acted as US law counsel to the arrangers and dealers in the establishment by PT Perusahaan Listrik Negara of a $2bn medium-term note (MTN) programme and drawdown. In the high-yield arena, highlights included acting as US law counsel to the underwriters in Yida China’s $300m offering, and acting as US and Hong Kong law counsel to Future Land Development Holdings as the issuer in its $350m offering.

Sidley Austin is among the most active participants in the market for issuer-side China high-yield transactions, and has particularly strong client relationships with PRC real estate developers, with the firm recently undertaking mandates for clients such as Guangzhou R&F Properties and Fantasia Holdings, among others. In a groundbreaking highlight, Carrie Li led a team, which included Constance Choy and counsel Robert Mason, in the advice to Modern Land (China) on a $350m high-yield Regulation S green bonds offering, representing the first-ever green bonds offering by a PRC real estate developer. Outside of real estate, Renee Xiong was the lead adviser to China Oil and Gas Group in its $350m Regulation S high-yield bond issue. The team also has an excellent reputation in investment grade transactions, where it acts for clients such as The Export-Import Bank of China and China Orient Asset Management (International), and which was demonstrated when Li, senior associate Oliver Zhong and others acted for the joint lead managers in the debut $500m Regulation S bond offering by Caiyun International Investment. Choy heads up the practice with Timothy Li and Matthew Sheridan, who divides his time between Hong Kong and Singapore.

Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP’s English, US and Hong Kong Law capabilities give its practice an edge in cross-border securities offerings, where it acts for Asian (including Chinese) and US companies, financial intermediaries and global investment banks, among other clients. In 2016, Julie Gao and Jonathan Stone were part of a cross-office team, which advised Ctrip.com International on its $2.6bn concurrent offering of American depositary shares and convertible senior notes. Gao and Stone also acted for JD.com in its $1bn dual-tranche bond offering. Another notable highlight involved Edward Lam, Jonathan Stone and ‘very efficient’ associate Vincent Sze acting for Merrill Lynch International as initial purchaser in a $400m Regulation S high-yield bond offering by 361 Degrees International. Lam has ‘what you would typically expect from a Skadden lawyer – strong technical skills, good commercial sense, and most importantly, he knows that being overly conservative and speaking a lot of legalese won’t help the transaction’.

Ashurst’s high-calibre team features prominently in some of the most sophisticated and high-end cross-border debt capital markets transactions in the market. The group’s extensive expertise spans a multitude of products, such as corporate bonds (Regulation S and 144A), high-yield bonds, convertible and exchangeable bonds, liability management, covered bonds and equity-linked notes, among others. In their role as international counsel, Jini Lee and others recently acted for HeSteel Hong Kong Co. and also its guarantor in HeSteel’s $500m debut international bond issuance. In 2016, Lee and Nigel Pridmore advised the joint bookrunners on Maybank’s issue of fixed-rate subordinated notes, a matter which represented the first-ever Basel III-compliant tier two securities to be issued by a Malaysian bank. Global head of high-yield Anna-Marie Slot acted for the joint bookrunners and lead managers in Greenko Investment Company’s $500m high-yield green bond issuance, which was the first ever in India. In another standout highlight, Slot, Stuart Rubin and senior associate Li Jiang advised Studio City Company on its $1.2bn high-yield offering. Slot, Lee and Pridmore jointly head the practice, along with Peter Kwon; all four partners collectively have 70 years of debt capital markets experience.

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer’s clients are drawn to the firm’s extensive coverage of the Greater China and pan-Asian markets, its breadth and depth of expertise across a variety of products and strong track record in landmark transactions. The firm particularly showcases its capabilities in novel and complex high-yield offerings, corporate hybrid deals and investment-grade CNY and dollar-bond issuances. In 2016, team head Andrew Heathcote and Bing Guan acted as Hong Kong counsel to Television Broadcasts in its debut $500m senior guaranteed notes issuance. Heathcote and counsel James Hyre acted as issuer’s counsel to Li & Fung in the establishment of a $2bn MTN and perpetual securities programme. Another notable individual is David Ludwick, who worked with Hyre to assist BOC Aviation with a $500m notes issuance under its $5bn global MTN programme. BNP Paribas, HSBC and Tus Holdings are among other clients of the practice. Calvin Lai and senior associate Julia Zhu are recommended, as is recently promoted counsel Constance Chou.

King & Wood Mallesonsalways provides suitable advice based on what is happening in the market’. One of the standout practitioners in the team is ‘role model’ Christine Chen, who ‘demonstrates excellent execution capabilities in complex transactions’. A hallmark of the firm is its ability to provide Hong Kong, PRC, US and English law advice in Hong Kong, giving it an excellent platform in domestic and cross-border transactions. The team has a particularly sizeable market share of LGFV offerings, with it handling 16 out of 43 deals in the market in 2016. The year was also marked by the firm featuring prominently in a number of landmark transactions; Richard Mazzochi, Minny Siu and Chen acted for The World Bank in the issue of the first Special Drawing Rights (SDR) denominated bond in the Chinese inter-bank bond market. The firm also acted as international and PRC counsel for the joint lead managers in the debut offering of green bonds by Zhejiang Geely, representing the Chinese auto industry’s first offshore bond issuance. In another matter, Hao Zhou and others assisted Xinhu Zhongbao as the issuer with the US and PRC law aspects of its $700m high-yield bond offering; this was the largest debut issuance by a PRC company since January 2013. The practice was strengthened at senior associate level in 2016 by the arrivals of David Liao (‘he always recommends suitable products’) and Annie Shen (she is ‘really good at working with people, as well as dealing with legal rules’) from Linklaters and Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP respectively.

Latham & Watkins LLP is a leading player in the investment grade market, where it benefits from excellent relationships with Chinese SOEs and LGFVs. Ji Liu recently assisted ChemChina with its $600m perpetual capital securities offering, and worked with James Burnett to advise China Southern Power Grid Co. as US counsel on its $1.5bn senior guaranteed notes offering. On the underwriter side, Liu was the lead adviser to Credit Suisse and Nomura on the $500m bond offering by Want Want China Finance. Elsewhere, the team is extremely active in the high-yield debt space, as was illustrated by it acting for Xinjiang Guanghui Industry Investment Group in its $300m offering, and also when it assisted the underwriters with the $200m issuance by Reward International Investment. Other areas of expertise in the diverse practice include convertible bonds, exchange offers and private placements, as well as the establishment of (and updates to) global MTN programmes and European MTN programmes. Terris Tang rejoined the firm as counsel from Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft LLP in December 2016, following the latter’s closure of its Hong Kong office. Another counsel Simon Hawkins joined from Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer in June 2017. Benjamin Carale, Posit Laohaphan and counsel Louis Rabinowitz are among other active practitioners in the team.

Mayer Brown JSM has an impressive record of success in all types of debt offerings, and is particularly well known in the high-yield sphere, where its team has a wealth of experience of complex Asian and global transactions. In 2016, a particularly high-profile matter involved Jason Elder, Thomas Kollar and others acting for The Ministry of Finance of the government of Mongolia in its $500m high-yield sovereign issuance. Kollar also worked with Jeckle Chiu and Billy Au to advise Jiayuan International Group as the issuer on its $100m high-yield bond offering. Beyond high-yield work, the team covers an extensive range of other matters, such as investment grade, hybrid securities and structured debt transactions. Another sweet spot of the practice is in the corporate trust and agency sphere, where the team assists trustees and agents with liability management exercises, bond issuances and restructurings, among other matters. Phill Smith retired from private practice.

Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy’s practice has a multi-jurisdictional flavour, which has been reflected by the firm recently handling mandates with a nexus to (or acting for clients based in) countries throughout the Asia Pacific region. James Grandolfo and senior associate Kurtis Sherwood acted for Credit Suisse and J.P. Morgan as dealer managers and initial purchasers in a $600m sovereign bond exchange offer and new issuance by the government of Mongolia. Grandolfo was also a key adviser to Citi, Deutsche Bank, HSBC and Standard Chartered Bank in a 144A/Regulation S1.5bn sovereign bond offering by the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka. The Philippines is a notable hotbed of activity for the firm; Grandolfo, Asian counsel Paul Pery, and others acted for Deutsche Bank as dealer manager in the liability management exercise of Energy Development Corporation, the largest producer of geothermal energy in the Philippines. US and Hong Kong-qualified lawyer David Kuo handles a wide range of matters, including high-yield and investment grade offerings, as well as convertibles transactions.

Simmons & Simmons LLP is a first port of call for clients in many of their most high-profile and complex debt capital markets mandates, which includes offerings of convertible/exchangeable (and other equity-linked) bonds and high-yield bonds, and MTN programmes. Jay Lee has been at the forefront of the development of RMB Bonds in Hong Kong since their inception. US-qualified lawyer David Neuville, who has been a fixture of the Hong Kong market for more than 20 years, has vast experience of acting for issuers and underwriters in cross-border transactions across Asia. The firm’s broad base of clients includes names such as Bank of China, Citi, ICBC and Standard Chartered Bank. In addition, it also acts for large companies, asset management firms and funds. Christine Zhao departed for an in-house role at Bank of China.

Slaughter and May acts for corporate issuers and investment banks in a wide range of matters, including issues of bonds, warrants and convertibles. Peter Lake and Clara Choi recently advised Standard Chartered Bank (Hong Kong) on its issue of $800m tier two notes. Benita Yu is assisting Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corporation with its $450m zero coupon convertible bonds issue. Its team also has expertise in debt programmes; Roger Cheng, who made partner in 2016, advised Wing Tai Properties on the annual update of the $1bn MTN programme of its subsidiary Wing Tai Properties (Finance), and also assisted MTR Corporation and MTR Corporation (C.I.) with the annual update of their $4bn MTN programme. Lisa Chung is another key individual in the team.

White & Case’s international footprint makes its well placed to advise Asia-based and western issuers on the full spectrum of cross-border transactions. The firm also has a significant number of key bank clients; Jessica Zhou, who is ‘very detail-oriented and efficient’, and counsel Stephen Howard were among the members of a cross-office team, which advised Deutsche Bank, Bank of America Merrill Lynch, ANZ and BOC International on the $1.2bn Rule 144A/Regulation S high-yield issuance by Studio City Company in 2016. In an issuer-side mandate, Zhou was a key adviser to China Water Affairs on its $300m Regulation S debut bond offering. Another area of strength for the firm is in real estate related matters; Baldwin Cheng and Zhou were among the advisers to China Cinda (HK) Asset Management Company and PAG on a private placement of $100m senior secured notes. Catherine Tsang, along with Zhou and Cheng, assisted CDBI Treasure I (as issuer), China Development Bank International Holdings (as guarantor) and China Development Bank Capital Corporation (as keepwell and EIPU provider) with the establishment of a $500m MTN programme and subsequent drawdown

Baker McKenzie handles both issuer and underwriter-side mandates, giving its team a broad perspective in bonds/notes/commercial paper issuances, Regulation 144A offerings and MTN programmes. Dorothea Koo acted for Yuexiu Property Company in the RMB8bn corporate bond issuance by a subsidiary of the client to qualified investors in the PRC. Edmund Chan and Christine Lee are other names to note in Hong Kong. Beijing-based Jackie Lo succeeded Elsa Chan as practice head of the Greater China team, following Chan’s retirement from private practice. Edwin Li has also left the firm.

Deacons handled a notable share of issuer-side landmark transactions in 2016; Kevin Tong and senior associate Icarus Yuen acted for the Hong Kong Monetary Authority in the issuance of the first Silver bond for subscription by Hong Kong residents aged 65 and above. Another highlight involved Tong, Yuen and senior associate Christine Li advising Chinese state-owned construction company Xi’an Municipal Infrastructure Construction Investment Group on its $500m offshore bond issuance, representing the first offshore issuance by an SOE based in Xi’an. Tong and others also assisted Guangxi Communications Investment Group with being the first SOE in Guangxi Province to undertake an offshore bond issuance. Underwriter-side highlights included advising the joint lead managers on the issuance of bonds by CALC Bond 1, CALC Bond 2 and CALC Bond 3. Tong and others also acted for the issuing and lodging agent, as well as the joint lead managers in the issuance of RMB28bn sovereign bonds in two tranches by the PRC Ministry of Finance.

Herbert Smith Freehills’ debt capital markets practice is led by William Ku, who handles a comprehensive range of debt and equity-linked transactions for issuers, underwriters and trustees. Ku recently acted for Qinghai Provincial Investment Group on its landmark $300m debut issue of Regulation S bonds, which were listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange; this matter was the first time an LGFV from Qinghai Province had issued offshore bonds. In 2016, Ku acted for Citicorp International as trustee and agent in the issue of $300m Regulation S exchangeable bonds by CP Foods Holdings. Other clients of the practice include Deutsche Bank, The Bank of New York Mellon and China Metal Resources Utilization.

Paul Hastings LLP is particularly active in high-yield transactions in the real estate sector, where it has an outstanding track record acting for PRC-based property developers. Raymond Li, Vivian Lam and recently promoted of counsel James Ma acted for Yuzhou Properties in its $250m senior notes issuance in 2016. Another highlight saw the team advising Mingfa Group on its issuance of guaranteed bonds to Haitong International Securities Company. The practice also generates a healthy mix of investment grade offerings; Lam and Ma assisted China Everbright with its two-tranche RMB 12.8bn panda bonds issuance. Although the firm is known for acting for issuers in the debt capital markets space, and this remains the core focus of the work, it also generates mandates from underwriters.

At Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton (Hong Kong), Freeman Chan and counsel Robert Williams acted for Lenovo Group in a $500m Regulation S notes offering, and concurrently, handled a $850m Regulation S issuance of perpetual securities for Lenovo Perpetual Securities. The team also advises on convertible bond offerings and high-yield issuances, among other matters.

DLA Piper’s team has expertise in a broad cross-section of debt products, including high-yield debt, investment grade securities and RMB dim sum bonds. It is also knowledgeable about various types of equity-linked products, including convertible bonds and exchangeable bonds. Melody He-Chen, who is the lead partner in the team, worked with of counsel Janny Tai to advise Chiho Environmental Group as the issuer on a $200m notes offering. Yue Xue Securities and China ZhengTong Auto Services Holdings are other key clients.

K&L Gates’ multifaceted practice covers high-yield and investment grade transactions, sovereign bond issuances, hybrid securities, MTN programmes and liability management transactions, among many other areas. Philip Hyde and Neil Campbell lead the team, which acts for issuers, underwriters and sponsors. DB Trustees (Hong Kong) and Citicorp International are among the key clients.


Equity

Index of tables

  1. Capital markets (equity)
  2. Leading individuals
  3. Next generation lawyers

Leading individuals

  1. 1

Next generation lawyers

  1. 1

Who Represents Who

Find out which law firms are representing which Equity clients in Hong Kong 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 captures a large segment of the Hong Kong IPO market, which was illustrated in 2016, when the firm advised on ten public offerings on the Main Board of the Hong Kong Stock Exchange (HKEX) (the proceeds of which amounted to around 60% of all net proceeds raised by all Hong Kong IPOs during the year). Key highlights included Amy Lo, Fang Liu and counsel Tianning Xiang working with the Beijing office to advise all 26 underwriters on the $7.6bn HKEX listing of Postal Savings Bank of China; this was the largest IPO globally in 2016, and the largest in Hong Kong since 2011. Other highlights saw the firm act for China Resources Pharmaceutical Group in its $1.8bn Hong Kong IPO and listing, and act for all 20 underwriters in the $1.1bn Hong Kong IPO of Everbright Securities. In 2017, Virginia Lee was part of a cross-office team that advised 20 underwriters on Guotai Junan’s $2.1bn Hong Kong H Share IPO. Frank Yuen, who recently joined the group from Woo Kwan Lee & Lo, is dual-qualified to practise in Hong Kong and England and Wales. Beijing-based Tim Wang is also active in Hong Kong related IPOs.

Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP’s ‘professional’ team had a strong 2016, featuring prominently in a significant number of the most high-profile Hong Kong IPOs; Bonnie Chan, who provides ‘valuable insight on critical issues’, and Beijing-based Li Hie acted as international counsel to Postal Savings Bank of China in its $7.6bn offering and listing. The firm also assisted CSC Financial, China Development Bank Financial Leasing and Orient Securities with their Hong Kong IPOs and global offerings. Outside of the Hong Kong IPO market, William Barron, Gerhard Radtke and Faisal Baloch advised the global co-coordinators and bookrunning lead managers on the circa $908m IPO and listing of ICICI Prudential Life Insurance Company on the Bombay Stock Exchange and National Stock Exchange of India. The practice also marks an uptick in US IPO mandates, particularly acting for issuers in the technology and life sciences sectors. James Lin handled various US follow-on offerings, including those for Advanced Semiconductor Engineering and TTM Technologies. Antony Dapiran joined Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP.

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer’s credentials as a top-tier firm are burnished by its outstanding track record undertaking some of the largest, most high-profile and groundbreaking IPOs in the Hong Kong market. In 2016, Teresa Ko, Calvin Lai and recently promoted counsel Constance Chou were part of a cross-office team, which acted for China Resources Pharmaceutical Group in its $1.8bn IPO; this was the second largest in Hong Kong to take place during the year, and the second-largest Hong Kong IPO ever in the Chinese pharmaceutical sector. In 2017, a team including Ko, Lai and Grace Huang advised BOCOM International on its $230m spin-off and separate listing from Bank of Communications (representing the first spin-off and listing of a Hong Kong securities business from a PRC state-owned joint stock commercial bank). Another recent highlight for the firm involved advising Guotai Junan Securities on its $2.1bn global offering (one of the largest IPOs in the Asia Pacific region to date). Richard Wang in Beijing heads up the Greater China equity capital markets practice, which includes recently promoted partner Yan Chen, who divides time between the Hong Kong and Beijing offices. In addition to being a key adviser on Hong Kong IPOs, David Ludwick acted for the placing agents in various secondary equity placements, including offerings of shares in Lotte Shopping and Korea Aerospace Industries.

Kirkland & Ellis, which ‘stands out in terms of quality of legal advice and responsiveness to client demands’, is equally adept in high-profile US and Hong Kong IPOs, where it acts for Chinese issuers and Chinese/global investment banks. David Zhang, Benjamin Su and Gary Li were part of a cross-office team that acted for the underwriters in the $1.4bn IPO of ZTO Express (Cayman) on the New York Stock Exchange; this was the largest US IPO since 2014, and the third largest in the US by a China-based company. In another matter, Zhang, Li-Chien Wong and Judy Yam advised Morgan Stanley, Credit Suisse, China Merchant Securities, CCB International Capital and UBS on the $629m Hong Kong IPO and listing of PRC mobile internet company Meitu. On the issuer side, the team assisted Datang Environment Industry Group with its $263m Hong Kong IPO. In recent developments, Jacqueline Tang joined from Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP. Dominic Tsun retired from private practice and Stephanie Lau moved to Hong Kong Exchange and Clearing (HKEX). Shawn Tai also departed the firm. Yam and Arthur Tso recently made partner.

Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP attracts a significant number of instructions in the US equity capital markets arena, where it handles high-profile IPOs and other equity offerings; in 2016, Chris Lin, Daniel Fertig and Yi Gao acted for Credit Suisse, Deutsche Bank Securities and China Renaissance as the underwriters in Baozun Inc’s $73.5m follow-on offering of American Depositary Shares on the NASDAQ Global Select Market. In another matter, Fertig and David Lee advised GDS Holdings on its $200.7m NASDAQ IPO. In the Hong Kong market, highlights included assisting China Logistics Properties with its $434.3m IPO and Rule 144A/Regulation S offering, and advising Apax Partners on the cornerstone investment by Apax IX Fund into Guotai Junan’s IPO. The team is also experienced in Taiwanese transactions, and acted for Nomura and Citi as the initial purchasers in the $469.2m offering of global depositary shares by GlobalWafers. Gao, Lee and Marjory Ding made counsel in January 2017. Celia Lam, Christopher Wong and associate Howie Farn are other names to note.

Allen & Overy has significantly upgraded its offering, having made a number of key additions to its team recently: Jonathan Hsui and Lina Lee joined from Ashurst in January 2017 with a team of associates; Michael Jacobs, who has particular experience of acting for international banks, relocated to Hong Kong from the firm’s London office; and Mandarin-speaking US securities expert Alex Tao joined from Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP in 2016. The arrivals have put the firm on a stronger footing to handle an extensive range of transactions for Chinese and international investment banks, state-owned enterprises (SOEs) and foreign issuers. In 2016, a highlight for the firm was acting as Hong Kong and US counsel for Bank of China in BOC Aviation’s spin-off and separate listing on the HKEX. In a more recent matter, it advised Kingboard Chemical on its HK$1.2bn block trade of 4% shares of Kingboard Laminates (an entity which was spun-off from Kingboard Chemical for separate listing in 2006). Lee leads the team, which also includes of counsel Donnelly Chan.

Herbert Smith Freehills’ team provides ‘good value for money’, with ‘very hands-on’ practice head Matt Emsley being sought-after by clients for his ‘immense IPO experience’. ‘Seasoned lawyer’ Sherry Lai is also highly regarded. The group’s extensive practice covers cross-border IPOs and listings, as well as rights issues, placements, block trades and accelerated entitlement offerings. Emsley worked with the Melbourne office to advise MMG on a circa $510m rights issue, which was launched in November 2016. In another highlight, Emsley and others acted for BNP Paribas Securities (Asia) as underwriters’ Hong Kong and US counsel in the Hong Kong listing of China New Higher Education Group. Jason Sung and Tommy Tong are other recommended individuals in the Hong Kong team, which works closely with colleagues in Beijing such as Tom Chau and Zhong Wang.

Latham & Watkins LLP’s Hong Kong team is part of a wider Greater China group, which includes lawyers in the Beijing and Shanghai offices. Big-ticket Hong Kong IPOs and other equity offerings (acting for issuers and underwriters) are the mainstay of the practice; in 2016, Cathy Yeung and William Woo were the lead advisers to Everbright Securities on its $1.1bn Hong Kong IPO and listing, and they also recently acted for Jilin Jiutai Rural Commercial Bank on its $446m Hong Kong IPO. Yuk Wing Group Holdings, Huishang Bank Corporation and Franshion Properties are other notable clients. Terris Tang, who rejoined the firm as a counsel from Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft LLP, was (along with Yeung) a key adviser to Kunming Dianchi Water Treatment on its $171.1m Hong Kong IPO and global offering. Another recent addition to the team was Simon Hawkins, who moved from Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer. Allen Wang splits his time between the Hong Kong and Boston offices, and Ji Liu is also recommended.

Linklaters’ clients turn to the firm during their most complex matters, which span IPOs, open offers and rights issues, among a variety of other equity offerings. The firm has thus far played a key role in several of the largest block trades in Hong Kong in 2017; recent work included practice head Robert Cleaver, Gilbert Li and newly promoted partner Iris Leung acting for Morgan Stanley, CMB International and Fosun Hani Securities as the placing agents in Shanghai Fosun Pharmaceuticals’ HK$2.32bn placing of new H shares. In another highlight, Leung, Craig Dally and Patrick Sheil advised Goldman Sachs and Bank of America Merrill Lynch as placing agents on Huaneng Renewables’ HK$2.19bn issuance of new H shares. In another matter, Cleaver, Li and Pam Shores acted as Hong Kong and US counsel to Goldman Sachs, BOCI and Morgan Stanley as joint global coordinators in BOC Aviation’s global offering and spin-off listing on the HKEX Main Board in 2016. Shores also worked with Kevin Cheung to advise Goldman Sachs, Nomura and Citi as sponsors and underwriters on the HK$7.8bn Hong Kong IPO of DFZQ (Orient Securities Company). Alexandra Bidlake and counsel Christopher Yip are other names to note.

Morrison & Foerster’s Venatius Tan, and of counsels Samuel Ng and Yu Wang, acted for Shanghai Dazhong Public Utilities in its HK$1.7bn offering of H shares. In another matter, Tan was the lead adviser to sole sponsor BOCOM International (Asia) on Hebei Yichen’s HK$670m Hong Kong IPO. Other notable clients of the practice include Bank of China International (BOCI) Asia, Nan Hai Corporation and China Huarong International Holdings. Recent hire Vivian Yiu, who joined from Allen & Overy, is also recommended. Charles Chau moved to Jones Day and Donna Ko has also left the firm.

At Norton Rose Fulbright, ‘partners are generally deeply involved and take a hands-on approach’, including practice head Psyche Tai, who is ‘always quick in getting to know clients’ commercial needs’. The team covers the gamut of equity capital markets transactions for issuers and underwriters across a range of sectors, with particular experience of real estate, financial institutions, healthcare, technology, natural resources and infrastructure, among others. In 2016, Terence Lau and senior associate Priscilla Lee advised Asia Allied Infrastructure Holdings on a $48m open offer, and more recently, they acted for Jefferies Hong Kong in the $61m top-up placing of shares of O-Net Technologies. Doris Ng and Vicky Lam made partner in May 2017, and Emma de Ronde and senior associate Aldo Chan are other notable individuals in the team. Jon Perry relocated to the firm’s London office.

Paul Hastings LLP is a strong performer in high-profile transactions; in 2016, it acted for Bank of Tianjin in its $948m global offering and H-share IPO on the HKEX Main Board, representing one of the largest IPOs by a Chinese bank since 2014. The group includes Raymond Li, Nan Li and Zhaoyu Ren, who were the lead advisers to Morgan Stanley, Credit Suisse and China Merchants Securities as the underwriters on Zhou Hei Ya’s $322m Hong Kong IPO and global offering. On the issuer side, Li, Steven Winegar and Bonnie Yung assisted Greentown Service Group with its $180m Hong Kong IPO and global offering. Outside of Hong Kong, Winegar recently acted for the joint bookrunners in the $580m IPO of Eco World International on the Main Market of Bursa Malaysia. Elsewhere, the team has vast experience of other matters, such as rights issues, follow-on offerings and secondary share sales; it assisted Chinese private equity investor CDH Investments with the $900m sale of shares in WH Group (the second largest block trade in Asia in 2016, outside of Japan), and also advised the same client on a subsequent $800m placing of shares in the same company. Of counsel Vincent Wang is also recommended.

Shearman & Sterling’s excellent reputation makes it a go-to firm for a number of investment banks, as well as Hong Kong, PRC and multinational companies, in a range of Hong Kong and US equity capital markets transactions. Although the firm actively represents clients across a variety of industries, its core areas of strength are in the healthcare, real estate and fintech sectors. In 2016, Colin Law led a team, including Alan Yeung and counsel Edward Bong, which acted as Hong Kong and US counsel to generic drug company Jacobson Pharma Corporation (as the issuer) in its $85m global offering and Hong Kong Main Board IPO. Law also recently worked with Paloma Wang and Matthew Bersani to advise Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Morgan Stanley and China Merchant Securities (the joint sponsors, global coordinators and bookrunners) on the global offering and Hong Kong IPO of WuXi Biologics. Peter Chen was, along with Law and Yeung, among the key advisers to Vpower Group on its Hong Kong listing. Wanda Woo is a highly regarded associate.

Sidley Austin handled eight Main Board listings and four Growth Enterprise Market (GEM) listings in 2016, representing 10% of all new listings in Hong Kong that year. The firm is particularly active in underwriter-side representations, but also generates work from issuers, including Fortune 500 organisations and emerging companies. In what is expected to be one of the largest Hong Kong IPOs of 2017, Carrie Li was a lead adviser to the joint sponsors and underwriters on the circa $1bn offering and Main Board listing of Guangzhou Rural Commercial Bank. Another recent highlight for the firm involved Constance Choy and members of the Beijing office acting for CITIC CLSA Capital Markets (as the sole sponsor) and various underwriters in the circa $198m offering and Main Board IPO of China YuHua Education Corporation. Other clients of the practice include Credit Suisse, Deutsche Bank and Nameson Holdings. Gloria Lam has experience leading on more than 100 Main Board and GEM listings, and Raymond Oh, Renee Xiong and Sherlyn Lau are other names to note.

Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP has a longstanding track record acting for Chinese and other Asia-based issuers in US IPOs, and is also seeing an uptick in offerings and listings in the Hong Kong market. Julie Gao was part of a cross-office team that acted for ZTO Express (Cayman) in its $1.4bn IPO of American Depositary Shares and New York Stock Exchange listing. Gao also worked with Will Cai, Christopher Betts and others to advise Meitu on its $630m IPO and Hong Kong listing. China YuHua Education Corporation, China Online Education Group and Guangdong Kanghua Healthcare are among other notable clients of the practice. Jonathan Stone leads the team, which also includes of counsel Antony Dapiran, who joined from Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP in September 2017, and Edward Lam. Daniel Dusek moved to Kirkland & Ellis.

Slaughter and May’s team has the ability to advise on Hong Kong, US and English law, making it well positioned to handle the most sophisticated domestic and cross-border equity capital markets transactions for issuers and sponsors/underwriters. Illustrative of the spread of its work, it covers IPOs and listings, rights issues and block trades. John Moore was the firm’s lead adviser to Dasin Retail Trust Management on the US law aspects of its S$128.9m IPO and Singapore Stock Exchange listing, which was completed in February 2017. Another matter involved Moore and Benita Yu acting for the underwriters as US and Hong Kong law counsel in Union Medical Healthcare’s global offering and listing on the HKEX Main Board. Elsewhere, the firm has been active in secondary placings of shares in listed companies; Moore and others recently acted for Credit Suisse as the placing agent in a HK$156m secondary placing and sale of shares in Tian Ge Interactive Holdings. Lisa Chung, Clara Choi and Roger Cheng are other notable practitioners.

Sullivan & Cromwell’s ‘quick-thinking team’ is praised for its ‘innovative approach’ in standalone US and Hong Kong IPOs, dual listings and follow-on offerings. Kay Ian Ng and Garth Bray recently acted for New Century Healthcare in its $114m IPO and HKEX listing, and also advised Haitong International Securities Company as the sole global coordinator on China Unienergy Group’s Hong Kong listing and HK$208.8m IPO. Another matter saw Ng advise China Mobile Communications Corporation on a placement of shares, which raised circa $58m. Hong Kong managing partner Chun Wei leads the practice in Asia.

Ashurst’s Stuart Rubin has more than 15 years of equity capital markets experience, which has seen him undertake transactions across Asia and build up an impressive following of bank clients, including Morgan Stanley, Nomura and CIMB. Rubin jointly leads the practice with PH Chik, who moved from Linklaters, and has particular experience in acting for large-scale Chinese SOEs and their Hong Kong subsidiaries. The firm also generates mandates from private corporate clients. In 2016, Rubin acted for Bank of America Merrill Lynch in the spin-off of QinQin Foodstuffs Group from Hengan International Group, and also in QinQin’s listing on the HKEX Main Board. Rubin also more recently acted for Goldman Sachs as the sole placing agent in the $50m block trade in shares of Taiwan-listed LandMark Optoelectronics. Chik advised Beijing Beida Jade Bird on its HK$138.7m placing of new H shares on the HKEX. Senior associate Li Jiang is another name to note in the group. Jonathan Hsui and Lina Lee moved to Allen & Overy.

DLA Piper’s team has ‘strong technical skills, understands the commercial issues well and provides solutions that are practical and business-friendly’. It is particularly active in advising issuers from mainland China, Hong Kong and Taiwan on their listings in Hong Kong and the US, as well as assisting with their post-listing compliance and regulatory issues, and follow-on offerings. In 2016, Liu Wei (who splits his time between the Hong Kong and Beijing offices), of counsel Christina Loh and others acted for PRC-headquartered Smart-Core Holdings on its HK$230m Hong Kong IPO and Main Board listing. The firm’s other clients include Fosun International, Ping An Insurance, China Shenhua Energy Company and China Southern Airlines. Melody He-Chen ‘pays very good attention to detail’ and Janny Tai is ‘very hardworking’. In 2016, Jeffrey Mak departed to establish Jeffrey Mak Law Firm and Stephen Peepels moved to Hogan Lovells.

Deacons’ longstanding track record has made it a reliable choice for sponsors, underwriters and issuers in Hong Kong Main Board IPOs and GEM listings, placings and rights issues, among other matters. This was evident in 2016 when Ronny Chow and Kelvan Cheung acted for sole sponsor, South China Capital, and the underwriters in the global offering and Hong Kong Main Board listing of China Art Financial. Chow also worked with Ronnie Bow to advise joint sponsors China Industrial Securities International Capital and Haitong International Capital on CISI Financial’s HK$1.39bn global offering and GEM listing. Another notable individual, Sabrina Fung was the lead partner acting for the sole sponsor, Guotai Junan Capital, and the underwriters in the Hong Kong Main Board IPO of Pine Care Group. Rhoda Yung is recommended for her expertise in listing rules compliance. Doris Leung is a highly regarded associate.

Hogan Lovells is equally highly regarded by bulge-bracket investment banks and regional and international corporate issuers in Hong Kong and cross-border transactions, combining wide-ranging transactional expertise with extensive regulatory/compliance knowledge and broad sector coverage. The arrivals of Sammy Li and Stephen Peepels in 2016 from Paul Hastings LLP and DLA Piper respectively have further added to the firm’s global offering; Peepels is working with the Washington DC office to advise a number of prospective issuers, such as China Telecom Global and Prosperous Printing Company, on the applicability and possible impact of US/EU/UN/Australian sanctions and export controls on their proposed IPOs on the HKEX. Also recommended is Nelson Tang, who recently acted for UBS, China Merchants Securities and CMB International Capital as joint placing agents in Zhaojin Mining Industry’s $155.4m H-share placing.

King & Wood Mallesons enjoys strong relationships with Chinese investment banks and issuers, for whom it leverages its PRC/Hong Kong/US law expertise in onshore and offshore IPOs, secondary offerings and various other matters. In a high-profile and landmark transaction, Gary Lock and Jason Qiu were among the firm’s advisers to CISI Financial on the Hong Kong and PRC law aspects of its HK$1.283bn GEM IPO in 2016; this matter represented the largest GEM IPO since 2006 and the first-ever spinoff listing by a PRC-based securities company. Another key contact in the team is Sheldon Tse, who worked alongside members of the Beijing office to assist China Digital Video as the issuer with its HK$278.5m GEM listing. The firm also has a strong track record in Main Board offerings, which was recently illustrated when it handled the Hong Kong and PRC law aspects of Persta Resources’ listing. Candy Chan, Anthony Wan and John Baptist Chan are other active partners. Christine Chen divides her time between the Hong Kong and Beijing offices. Rayond Wong recently left for Seyfarth Shaw LLP.

Mayer Brown JSM maintains a balanced mix of issuer and underwriter-side representations, with work for PRC-based banks in particular being a growth area of its practice. One of the main contacts in the team is Billy Au, who has notable experience of acting for Chinese SOEs and privately owned enterprises, and was the lead adviser to Risecomm Group Holdings on its HK$210m global offering and listing on the HKEX Main Board. Au also assisted Jiayuan International Group with a placing of existing shares and subscription for new shares. Derek Tsang acted for Guotai Junan Capital and the underwriters in the global offering and Hong Kong Main Board listing of Star Properties Group (Cayman Islands). Other clients of the practice include BOCI Asia, CCB International Capital, Sky Light Holdings and Glorious Sun Enterprises.

Morgan, Lewis & Bockius (in association with Luk & Partners) recently launched a team in Hong Kong when a number of lawyers moved from Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP, many of whom are sought-after for their capital markets experience; Edwin Luk, Billy Wong, Keith Cheung, Rosita Chu, Louise Liu, June Chan and Eli Gao were the partner-level arrivals. The group acts for China-based issuers and underwriters, and is also increasingly instructed by international corporates seeking listings in Hong Kong. Luk and Wong acted for China New Higher Education in its $102m Hong Kong Main Board listing and Rule 144A placement to global investors. Biostime International Holdings, Bocom International (Asia) and 361 Degrees International are among other clients.

At Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton (Hong Kong), Freeman Chan, Shuang Zhao and counsel Robert Williams handle US and Hong Kong IPOs and other offerings for issuers and underwriters. A 2016 highlight saw the team acting as Hong Kong and US counsel to COFCO Meat Holdings and its selling shareholders in the company’s HK$2bn Hong Kong IPO. In another matter, Zhao was the lead adviser to Morgan Stanley as the sole bookrunner in an SEC-registered secondary offering of 2,775,000 shares of common stock in China Biologic Products by Warburg Pincus. Lenovo, Jefferies and Genting Hong Kong are other key clients.

Eversheds Sutherland’s team head Stephen Mok, who has over 25 years’ experience in the equity capital markets arena, has successfully assisted more than 30 companies with achieving a listing on the HKEX. Mok is currently working with Norman Hui, senior associate Rachel Han and others to advise Nomura International (Hong Kong) as the sole sponsor on Nissin Food Company’s proposed Main Board listing. Hui also acted for TEM Holdings in its successful GEM listing by way of a placing of 150,000 shares. The team also works with colleagues internationally to assist clients with IPOs and other offerings elsewhere in Asia, and further afield on the London Stock Exchange and Frankfurt Stock Exchange.

Jones Day’s global reach sees advise Asia-based issuers and investment banks on listings (and assist with follow-on offerings) in Hong Kong and across the Asia Pacific region, including in Singapore and India, as well as London. The group also particularly excels in US equity capital markets transactions, such as SEC-registered offerings and private placements under Rule 144A, Regulation S and Regulation D, among others. Another area of strength is in handling M&A deals with a capital markets component. In 2016, practice head Joelle Lau was the lead adviser to the underwriters (CITIC CLSA, China International Capital Corporation, Goldman Sachs and Agricultural Bank of China) on China Zheshang Bank’s HK$13bn Hong Kong Main Board IPO; the listing involved concurrent Regulation S and Rule 144A offerings. In a more recent matter, Lau, Peggy Cheung and others assisted Automated Systems Holdings with its acquisition of Grid Dynamics International, which involved financing by way of a HK$193m rights issue and HK$350m convertible bonds placing. Benedict Tai has more than 25 years of experience in cross-border corporate finance transactions, including equity securities issuances. Maria Tan Pedersen is another recommended partner.

Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy has an outstanding track record in handling particularly complex, groundbreaking transactions across the entire Asia Pacific region. In 2016, US-qualified partner James Grandolfo, senior associate Kurtis Sherwood and associate Cesareo Singzon acted for BNP Paribas, Deutsche Bank, J.P. Morgan and Viet Capital as placement agents in the circa $170m IPO of Vietnamese budget airline VietJet on the Ho Chi Minh City Stock Exchange; this was the first internationally marketed IPO in Vietnam’s history. Illustrative of the team’s spread of the work, Grandolfo and Sherwood were also recently key advisers to Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Axis Capital, Citi, JM Financial and SBI Capital Markets (as bookrunning lead managers) in Hindalco Industries’ $500m qualified institutional placement; this was Hindalco’s first successful equity raise in more than seven years, and the largest non-bank qualified institutional placement in India in more than two years. The team is also particularly active in the Philippines market, where it advised UBS as placement agent on the offer and sale of circa $100m treasury shares of Aboitiz Equity Ventures, and also assisted J.P. Morgan as global underwriter with the $400m IPO of Pilipinas Shell Petroleum Corporation.

Minter Ellison’s ‘extremely professional team’ acts for mid-cap PRC and international businesses. In addition to advising on IPOs, it also assists with all manner of secondary offerings, provides regulatory compliance advice and also assists with spinoff transactions (and associated listings), among other matters. Anne Ko and senior associate George Tong acted for Fortunet E-Commerce in its HK$569m placing, which completed in January 2017. In 2016, Ko was the lead adviser to Celestial Capital on the GEM IPO of Gudou Holdings. Hong Kong managing partner Fred Kinmonth leads the team, which recently won mandates from new clients such as Innovax Capital, Changjiang Corporate Finance (HK) and Southwest Securities (HK) Capital. Barbara Mok and Katherine U are other highly regarded practitioners in the group.

Reed Smith Richards Butler’s practice dates back over 20 years, during which time the firm has handled the listings of more than 260 companies in Hong Kong. Also reflective of its standing, the firm was involved in the drafting of Hong Kong’s listing regulations. The team provides a full spectrum of advice, including on Main Board and GEM IPOs, rights issues, spinoff transactions, placings and block trades. Denise Jong, Anthony Woo and Jay Yan were the firm’s lead advisers to Dalian Wanda Commercial Properties on its high-profile $4.6bn bid to delist in 2016; the largest delisting in Hong Kong that year. Delpha Ho, Angel Ng and others recently assisted RKE International Holdings (a spin-off of Road King Infrastructure) with its HKEX listing application. Another highlight involved acting for Hong Kong International Construction Investment Management Group in it is $1.2bn rights issue. Michael Pepper, Ivy Lai, Gregory Wang and Patrick Wong are other notable individuals.

Ropes & Gray LLP’s first-rate reputation and full-service capabilities see it act (often on a repeat basis) for Hong Kong-listed and multinational corporates, Chinese and global private equity funds, sovereign wealth funds and financial institutions. Victoria Lloyd, who leads the team, advised Sun Hung Kai Investment Services as the underwriter on a proposed open offer of shares in Hong Kong-listed company Asia Allied Infrastructure Holdings. Lloyd is also currently advising PRC-based private equity fund CMC on the pre-IPO structuring of one of its portfolio companies. Another key figure is senior associate Irene Lau who, like Lloyd, is fluent in Mandarin, Cantonese and English.

Focused on small to mid-cap deals, Troutman Sanders LLP’s team includes Allen Shyu, who divides time between the Beijing and Hong Kong offices, and acted for CMON in its $6.4m placing on the HKEX GEM Board. Another key contact is Rossana Chu, who worked with Shyu to advise Quanzhou Huixin Micro-credit Co on its $38.7m Main Board IPO. Jason Kuo was hired in 2016 from Sidley Austin, while energy sector specialist Lynia Lau more recently joined as a consultant from Stephenson Harwood. Olivia Lee retired from private practice.

Addleshaw Goddard primarily acts for sponsors and underwriters in Hong Kong Main Board and GEM Board IPOs. It recorded a number of successfully completed transactions in 2016, which included Daniel Wan acting for the sponsor Guotai Junan Capital and the underwriters in Ever Harvest Group’s Main Board listing. Wan also advised sponsor Ample Capital and the underwriters on the GEM Board listing of Worldgate Global Logistics, representing the first time a Malaysian business has listed on the GEM Board. Innovax Capital, Dakin Capital and Orient Capital (Hong Kong) are recent client wins.

In addition to acting for underwriters, Baker McKenzie assists issuer clients with IPOs and various other secondary offerings in the Hong Kong and US markets, including secondary share offerings, warrants and options. It also handles spinoff listings, and provides compliance advice to companies listed on the Hong Kong and New York Stock Exchanges, among other matters. Christina Lee, who is an English, Cantonese and Mandarin-speaking partner, is a name to note in Hong Kong. In 2016, Lee advised BOE Technology on its subscription of a controlling interest in Varitronix International. Elsa Chan retired from private practice.

Howse Williams Bowers’ team has been particularly active in undertaking corporate matters for clients in the healthcare sector (particularly healthcare providers); in 2016, this included acting for Medicskin Holdings as the issuer in its HK$52m placing of new shares. Outside of the healthcare sector, highlights for the firm included advising Able Engineering Holdings Company as the issuer on its HK$550m Main Board IPO and acting for Sinolink Securities (HK) as the sole sponsor, sole global coordinator and sole bookrunner in the HK$262m Main Board IPO of Morris Holdings. Brian Ho, Christopher Yu and Chia Ching Tan are among the names to note in the team. Heidi Lee joined in December 2016 from Ashurst.

Kwok Yih & Chan has a tremendous record acting for issuers and sponsors in GEM IPOs, which was recently illustrated when Conrad Chan, consultant Michelle Liu and others acted for ECI Technology Holdings as the issuer in the HK$230m listing of its shares. A sponsor-side mandate involved Chan and Leon Saw advising KGI Capital Asia on Anacle System’s HK$300m placing and GEM listing in 2016. The firm also handles Main Board IPOs, as well as private placements and rights issues, among other matters. Dieter Yih is a member of the Listing Committee of the Hong Kong Stock Exchange and Larry Kwok is also recommended. Another key individual, Denise Chan has experience of Hong Kong Listing Rules compliance matters.

Thanks to the presence of US-qualified partner David Neuville and Joseph Lee, Simmons & Simmons LLP handles a blend of Hong Kong and cross-border (including India-related) equity securities offerings for issuers and underwriters. Clients include Standard Chartered, Bank of China and Haitong Securities.

Stephenson Harwood’s longstanding presence in Greater China and international reach have made it a point of contact for Chinese corporates in domestic and cross-border ECM transactions; Ivan Tan was the firm’s lead adviser to CMON on the Hong Kong law aspects of its GEM listing by way of a circa HK$70m placing. In addition, the practice is increasingly winning work from sponsors; Eugene Lai, senior associate Ivy Wong and Clement Lai were part of a team that advised China Industrial Securities International Capital as the sole sponsor in Da Sen Holdings’ Hong Kong Main Board listing application. Paul Westover leads the team, which also includes Voon Keat Lai. -


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