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Editorial

Capital markets (debt)

Index of tables

  1. Capital markets (debt)
  2. Leading individuals
  3. Next Generation Partners

Leading individuals

  1. 1
    • William Barron - Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP
    • Paul Chow - Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP
    • Jason Elder - Mayer Brown
    • Matthew Fairclough - Clifford Chance
    • James Grandolfo - Milbank
    • Andrew Heathcote - Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer
    • Connie Heng - Clifford Chance
    • Edward Lam - Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP
    • John Lee - Allen & Overy
    • Ji Liu - Latham & Watkins LLP
    • William Liu - Linklaters
    • Nigel Pridmore - Ashurst
    • Hwang Hwa Sim - Linklaters
    • Jonathan Stone - Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP

Next Generation Partners

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

Clifford Chance consistently distinguishes itself in the market by excelling in the most groundbreaking and innovative bond issuances, and other complex offerings. The firm's top-tier status is also underscored by the breadth and depth of its coverage of a wide range of products across a multitude of industries. Connie Heng leads the team, which has a stellar record in issuances of Reg S/Rule 144A bonds, high-yield bonds, hybrid securities and the establishment of medium term note programmes, among other areas. It also assists clients with navigating complex credit enhancement structures, such as the keepwell deed and the standby letter of credit. Matthew Fairclough  is particularly knowledgeable about regulatory issues impacting banks in the Asia-Pacific region, including those centred on regulatory capital, and he is also a name to note for liability management transactions. Richard Lee and Alexander Lloyd are recommended for their strong capabilities in pan-Asian high-yield debt transactions. Other strong partners include Fang Liu, Angela Chan and David Tsai; consultants Corey Zhang, Mark Chan and James Booth are also highly rated. The firm acts for a wide variety of clients, such as Chinese state-owned enterprises, overseas-based corporates and local government financing vehicles.

Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP captures a large proportion of the market for complex high-yield debt transactions, where it acts for issuers and sponsors; William Barron and recently promoted partner Gerhard Radtke, who have a particularly strong reputation in the market for their high-yield expertise, worked alongside counsel Terrence O’Donnell to advise the initial purchasers on a $500m Rule 144A/Regulation S high-yield offering by Yingde Gases Investment (a wholly-owned subsidiary of Yingde Gases Group). Barron and Radtke also acted for the underwriters on the $670m Rule 144A/Regulation S senior notes offering by WTT Investment. At the time of writing, Radtke has handled more than 40 high-yield deals since January 2017. The firm is also a formidable player on the investment grade debt front; Radtke and Paul Chow have a wealth of experience in this area. Equity-linked and hybrid securities transactions are also staples of the practice; Chow, James Lin and others are advising Zhongsheng Group Holdings on its HK$2.35bn convertible bonds repurchase and its HK$3.925bn convertible bonds issuance. The team also has an excellent record in large liability management and restructuring exercises. Yang Chu, Stephenie Fung and Bingqing Pan have all been promoted to counsel. Margie Chan has joined Norton Rose Fulbright as a partner.

Linklaters' 'very responsive and professional' team ranks 'among the best' for debt capital markets transactions, with clients particularly noting 'its experience in offshore debt issuances by PRC-domiciled issuers'. It is equally strong acting for underwriters. William Liu heads up the team, which is 'able to keep up to date with the latest market developments, while balancing out all parties' interests in document negotiations'. Clients benefit from the knowledge of US securities law expert Patrick Sheil, who has previous experience of working on some of the first high-yield debt transactions in Asia. Hwang Hwa Sim has vast expertise in convertible bonds and exchangeable bonds, cross-border bond issuances by PRC companies, panda bonds and green bonds, among other debt products. Other key figures include Michael Ng, who is 'detail-oriented and has strong interpersonal skills', Andrew Malcolm, Terence Lau and recently promoted partner Gloria Cheung. In a matter connected with China's Belt and Road Initiative, Ng advised Bank of China on updating and upsizing its $40bn medium-term note programme, and is currently assisting the client with an international bond offering, which has been denominated into four currencies, divided into six tranches and involves four branches. In addition, in 2017 Lau and Liu acted for Postal Savings Bank of China on its $7.25bn fixed income issuance; this is the largest fixed income issuance by an Asian issuer to be offered on a Reg S-only basis. The team has also recently handled mandates for clients such as Deutsche Bank, BOCI Asia, China Huarong Asset Management and ICBC.

Allen & Overy's Hong Kong team serves clients located throughout the Asia-Pacific region on their most complex transactions, including many of the largest and most innovative bond issues in India, including masala bonds and green bonds. Asia Pacific capital markets head Stephen Miller has been instrumental in the growth of the practice since his relocation from London in 2016. Miller and John Lee worked with members of the Singapore office to advise a group of underwriters on ICBC's inaugural $2.15bn green bond offering on the Luxembourg Green Exchange. Elsewhere, the firm has been increasingly active in China-related leasing transactions; Lee recently acted for the underwriters on the establishment of a $7bn medium-term note programme by the leasing arm of Bank of Communications (BoCom Leasing), as well as on several drawdowns under the programme. Agnes Tsang specialises in debt capital markets transactions with a nexus to Greater China, and acted for Bank of China on its RMB9bn panda bond issue in 2017. Liang Tao is a dual New York- and Hong Kong-qualified partner; also of note are of counsel Jaclyn Yeap and associate Julie Song. Joining the team is of counsel Kung-Wei Liu who has arrived from Sullivan & Cromwell. Amit Singh and Michele Discepola have left the firm to join Linklaters in Singapore, while David Cameron has joined Dorsey & Whitney LLP.

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer is one of the leading firms for large, high-stakes and frequently landmark transactions with a nexus to Greater China and Southeast Asia. Under the leadership of Andrew Heathcote, its team undertakes a number of first-of-their-kind transactions across the debt capital markets spectrum. Its extensive workload includes liability management exercises (including tender offers, exchange offers and consent solicitations), medium-term note programmes, equity-linked issuances and regulatory capital issuances. Counsel Bing Guan is the head of China debt capital markets at the firm, and acts for financial institutions, Chinese state-owned enterprises, privately owned companies, local governments and municipalities. A recent highlight for the team involved acting for Guotai Junan Securities as the sole global coordinator, and other financial institutions as the joint lead managers and bookrunners, on a $300m bonds issuance by Jiaxing City Investment and Development Group. Other work included acting for China CITIC Bank on its $1.8bn issuance of four tranches of bonds (two fixed rate, two floating rate), and advising the placing agents on the issue and placing of $150m notes by Hongkong International (Qingdao). Associate Michelle Chen is a name to note. David Ludwick relocated to the London office.

Shearman & Sterling¬†fields a team with English, Hong Kong and US law expertise. It¬†demonstrates strong capabilities in sophisticated and landmark debt offerings in Greater China and further afield in Asia, where it acts for governments, state-owned enterprises, corporate issuers and financial institutions. In 2017, Alan Yeung¬†led a cross-office team that acted for the joint global coordinators, joint lead managers and joint bookrunners on China Three Gorges' ‚ā¨650m green bonds issuance; this was the first-ever euro-denominated green bonds issuance by a Chinese company. Yeung also acted for BOCI Asia as the initial purchaser in China Huiyuan Juice Group's $150m notes offering and subsequent $50m tap offering, constituting the company's first international bond offering. The firm has also acted as US counsel to New Metro Global (as well as to Future Land Holdings as the guarantor) on a series of high-yield debt offerings.¬†CK Hutchison, JP Morgan and Morgan Stanley are other notable clients. Matthew Bersani¬†is the global head of corporate finance, while¬†Colin Law¬†leads the capital markets team in Asia.

Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP's longstanding track record in business-critical debt capital markets transactions has made it a destination firm for clients in Hong Kong, mainland China and the wider Asia-Pacific region. In addition to acting for underwriters, the firm acts for a sizeable corporate issuer client base spanning sectors such as gaming, technology and energy, among others. Jonathan Stone and Julie Gao jointly lead the team, which is noted for its ability to cover the English, US and Hong Kong law aspects of cross-border transactions. It also benefits from the support of a global network. Stone co-led a cross-office team, which advised PT Paiton Energy, the largest independent power producer in Indonesia, on its $2bn Regulation S/Rule 144A project bond issuance as part of a coal-fired power plant debt refinancing; this was the first Asian project bond in nearly two decades and involved a novel issuance structure. In another matter, Edward Lam, Christopher Betts and others acted for Wynn Macau on its $1.35bn Rule 144A/Regulation S high-yield debt offering. The team has also recently handled transactions for other notable corporate clients, including Baidu, Weibo and 21Vianet Group. Lam also acted for the initial purchasers in a $300m Regulation S offering of senior perpetual securities by Yuzhou Properties Company Limited (Hong Kong).

Ashurst's credentials in cross-border transactions are highlighted by the fact that it fields a multilingual team, with practitioners being native speakers of Mandarin, Cantonese, English, Japanese and Korean. Operating as part of a global practice, the group advises on the full spectrum of debt capital markets products, including Regulation S/Rule 144A corporate bonds, dim sum bonds, green bonds, liability management, and equity-linked and other structured products. US securities law expert Anna-Marie Slot is the firm's global head of high-yield, and also assists corporates and banks with other transactions. Another key figure is Nigel Pridmore, who has circa 30 years of experience handling debt capital markets transactions across the Asia-Pacific region and elsewhere globally. Jini Lee and Christopher Whiteley were part of the team that recently acted as Hong Kong legal advisers to the CHMT Peaceful Development Asia Property consortium, as issuer, on a $4.1bn bond issuance to finance its acquisition of the world's most expensive building, known as The Center, from Cheung Kong. In addition, Lee, Slot, and senior associates Wendi Xu and Derek Leung, advised MIE Holdings on its circa HK$340m convertible bonds issuance. The firm's base of institutional clients includes Shanghai Pudong Development Bank, CITIC Securities, Credit Suisse and Morgan Stanley. Peter Kwon is particularly active in advising Korean clients on multi-jurisdictional transactions.

Richard Mazzochi¬†leads¬†King & Wood Mallesons'¬†team, which is rated by clients as 'one of the most experienced' for debt transactions involving Chinese and international elements; its breadth of expertise means it can advise on PRC, Hong Kong, Australian, US and English law (as well as a range of European laws). The firm has a particularly strong track record handling debut issuances involving Chinese companies, as was evidenced when¬†Hao Zhou¬†and senior associate¬†Michael Lu¬†recently advised Triceratops Capital on its debut ‚ā¨500m bond offering. In 2017, Zhou and Lu acted for China International Capital, as sole lead manager and global coordinator, on the $300m debut bonds issuance by Chengdu Communications Investment Group. Another highlight involved advising Weichai Power on its¬†$775m debut perpetual securities offering in the international bond market; this was the largest perpetual bond offering ever by a PRC-based company. Further illustrative of the firm's excellent reputation in highly significant transactions, Zhou and Lu were among the advisers to China General Nuclear Power on its overseas issuance of multi-currency bonds. Elsewhere, the firm has been at the forefront of the growing panda bond market, and it also stands out for its strengths in special drawing rights (SDR) bonds and high-yield debt. US-qualified senior associate¬†Paul Marks¬†joined from¬†Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP¬†in January 2018.

Latham & Watkins LLP¬†is one of the most active firms acting as issuer's counsel in the Hong Kong and PRC bond markets. It also has strong capabilities in relation to US listings, where its team is particularly highly regarded for its regulatory expertise. Jointly led by¬†Ji Liu¬†and¬†James Burnett, the team handles a broad cross-section of matters for issuers, underwriters and placement agents. Its wide-ranging areas of expertise include investment grade bonds, convertible bonds, global and European medium-term note programmes and exchange offers. In the high-yield space, Burnett, who has more than a decade of experience of the London high-yield debt market, advised the underwriters on Yango Justice International's $200m bond offering. The firm's other recent work includes Liu acting for China National Chemical (ChemChina) as issuer on a series of bond offerings, and also assisting Tianjin Rail Transit Group with a ‚ā¨400m bonds issuance. In 2017,¬†Cathy Yeung,¬†Allen Wang¬†and Terris Tang, who has recently made partner, advised Franshion Brilliant on a $500m senior guaranteed perpetual capital securities offering. In other developments, the practice was significantly strengthened recently when¬†Benjamin Su¬†re-joined the firm from¬†Kirkland & Ellis.¬†Counsel¬†Daying Zhang¬†has also been hired from the same firm.

Mayer Brown's clients turn to the firm for their most structurally complex transactions, and matters involving intricate subordination and intercreditor issues. Jason Elder heads the team, which has strong New York, English and Hong Kong law capabilities. It serves clients from throughout Hong Kong and the PRC, as well as those in emerging markets across the Asia-Pacific region. The firm has a particularly outstanding reputation for high-yield debt transactions; Thomas Kollar has been a major figure in the Asian market for more than 15 years, and also has a wealth of experience executing a sizeable number of high-yield transactions globally. Beyond high-yield transactions, the group covers other types of matters, including investment grade and hybrid securities offerings, as well as structured debt transactions. It also has stellar credentials in the corporate trust and agency arena, which involves acting for trustees and agents on bond issuances, liability management exercises and restructurings. Illustrative of the firm's high-quality work, in 2017 Elder and Kollar were among the advisers to PT Indika Energy as issuer on a $575m bond offering, which was part of a larger bridge-to-bond acquisition financing transaction for the client to increase its stake in Indonesia's third-largest coal mine. Kollar and Elder were also part of a cross-office team, which acted for the joint lead managers and bookrunners in a £2.5bn dual-tranche offering by the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka. Other clients include The Bank of New York Mellon, China State Construction International Holdings and Sinochem Offshore Capital. Derek Tsang left the firm to set up his own private practice in April 2018.

Milbank's team brings its expertise to bear in market-shaping transactions throughout the Asia-Pacific region. Practice head James Grandolfo has more than 20 years of experience acting for issuers and banks in this part of the world. Other names to note include David Kuo, senior associate Kurtis Sherwood and dual US/Philippines-qualified counsel Paul Pery. While high-yield offerings are a particular sweet spot for the practice, the team excels in all types of debt and equity-linked transactions, including those involving regulatory capital, corporate hybrids and investment grade offerings. In 2017, Grandolfo and Pery acted for Deutsche Bank, HSBC and J.P. Morgan as the joint lead managers in a landmark $400m non-deferrable 'fixed for life' perpetual securities issuance by AYC Finance (a wholly-owned subsidiary of Ayala); this transaction was the first of its kind in Southeast Asia. Another highlight saw Grandolfo and Pery advise DBS and HSBC as joint dealer managers and joint lead underwriters on a tender offer and $350m notes issuance by Vista Land, one of the Philippines' largest real estate developers. In addition, Grandolfo's team acted for Credit Suisse, Deutsche Bank and J.P. Morgan as joint dealer managers on a tender offer and $800m notes issuance; this was the second time the government of Mongolia tapped the US dollar bond market in 2017, following a $600m sovereign bond exchange offer and new issuance earlier in the year.

Simmons & Simmons LLP's Hong Kong team has a notable record of success in a diverse range of complex transactions in Asia. Led by Jay Lee, it generates a strong pipeline of work from global asset managers, hedge funds, private equity funds, asset management arms of financial institutions and corporates. The group is frequently sought to advise on new and emerging products, as has been evidenced by its involvement in a number of the most high-profile Asian green bonds offerings in the market. In 2017, Lee and supervising associate Barry Lau acted as English law transaction counsel to Mizuho Securities Asia as sole bookrunner and sole lead manager on a $100m green bonds issuance by PRC-based Hitachi Capital Management (China), which was guaranteed by Japan-based Hitachi Capital. The firm also has a strong track record acting for banks and issuers in RMB-denominated bonds transactions. Other areas of expertise include convertible bonds and exchangeable bonds, medium-term note programmes and certificate of deposit programmes. David Neuville has assisted Hainan Airlines and its affiliates with a series of bond offerings since 2010. Supervising associate Anna Burns is another name to note. Simon McKnight has left the firm.

Slaughter and May's team includes John Moore, who is recommended for his US securities law expertise. Lisa Chung and Roger Cheng are other key figures in the group, which recently saw David Watkins relocate to the London office.

White & Case's Hong Kong team works alongside other offices in the Asia-Pacific region to handle high-stakes cross-border transactions for Hong Kong-, PRC- and Macau-based companies, or to act for financial institutions on the opposite side. Reflective of the firm's experience in the Macau gaming sector, Jessica Zhou and Eugene Man recently worked with the Singapore office to advise a group of banks, including Australia and New Zealand Banking Group (ANZ), Merrill Lynch International and BOC Asia (among others) as initial purchasers on the circa $650m Rule 144A/Regulation S notes offering by Melco Resorts Finance (a wholly-owned subsidiary of Melco Resorts & Entertainment). The same team also handled a related circa $350m follow-on offering for the bank syndicate. In a separate matter, Zhou and others acted for first-time issuer Gangtai Group on its debut $100m Regulation S bond offering. Elsewhere, Baldwin Cheng was part of a cross-office team that advised Chinese luxury real estate developer Greentown China Holdings on its circa $450m global Regulation S offering of senior perpetual capital securities. The Indonesian market is also a source of work for the team, particularly in the context of high-yield deals. It is also sought to advise foreign issuers looking to access the capital markets in Asia. Zhou co-heads the practice with Catherine Tsang.

Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton's team, which is jointly led by Freeman Chan and Shuang Zhao, advises on the Hong Kong, US and English law aspects of convertible bond offerings, high-yield issuances, liability management transactions and various other matters. In 2017, Chan, Zhao, counsels Robert Williams, Raymond Lam and others acted for China Lodging Group on a $425m convertible notes offering, and concurrent American depositary share (ADS) transaction and capped-call transaction. Another notable highlight involved advising Lenovo Group on a $750m Regulation S notes offering under its $3bn medium-term note programme, as well as on a concurrent US exclusionary waterfall tender offer.

Illustrative of Deacons' market profile, it has advised clients on sovereign RMB bond issuances by the Ministry of Finance of the People's Republic of China in Hong Kong since 2010; in 2017, Kevin Tong and senior associate Icarus Yuen acted for Bank of Communications on the RMB14bn issuance of sovereign bonds in two batches by the PRC's Ministry of Finance. The firm also undertakes a significant amount of work for The Hong Kong Monetary Authority; Tong and Yuen advised the client on the HK$3bn issuance of the second batch of Silver Bonds by Hong Kong residents aged 65 and above. Further reflective of the firm's high-quality work, Tong, Yuen and senior associate Christine Li acted for Wharf Real Estate Investment in the establishment of a $3bn medium-term note programme. Another highlight for the firm involved acting for the dealers and arrangers on the establishment of a $3bn medium-term note programme by CALC Bonds, which was guaranteed by China Aircraft Leasing Group Holdings. Ronny Chow and Eugina Chan jointly lead the team. Gary Wong and Maynard Leung made partner.

At Herbert Smith Freehills, William Ku is the main partner in the Hong Kong team, which works closely with practitioners in Beijing (including Tom Chau and Zhong Wang) to act for issuers, underwriters and trustees in high-value deals. Ku's wide-ranging expertise includes investment grade and high-yield bonds, convertible and exchangeable bonds, medium-term note programmes and liability management exercises. He has successfully driven the growth of the firm's workload, particularly in relation to matters involving PRC-based issuers. A notable area of strength of the team is in matters involving credit-enhanced structures, such as guarantees, standby letters of credit and keepwell deeds. A recent highlight led by Ku involved acting for Qinghai Provincial Investment Group on a $250m bonds issuance, with the bonds being listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange. Ku also served as the lead adviser to China Shipbuilding Capital on its $1bn exchangeable bonds offering. Senior associates Sherry Lai and George Wu are other notable individuals in Hong Kong.

Paul Hastings LLP has had an uptick in underwriter-side mandates, and its practice is rounded out by work for its sizeable bank of PRC issuer clients. Under the leadership of Greater China practice head Raymond Li, the team demonstrates particularly strong capabilities in complex bond issuances, real estate sector transactions (notably involving work for PRC property developers and real estate companies) and high-yield offerings. Vivian Lam recently acted as the lead adviser to Chinese property developer Yuzhou Properties on its $375m senior notes offering, and in 2017, worked with James Ma to assist Sino-Ocean Land with its $600m perpetual securities issuance. Other clients include West China Cement, VLL International and Deutsche Bank.


Capital markets (equity)

Index of tables

  1. Capital markets (equity)
  2. Leading individuals
  3. Next Generation Partners

Leading individuals

  1. 1

Next Generation Partners

  1. 1
    • Aldo Chan - Norton Rose Fulbright
    • Donnelly Chan - Allen & Overy
    • Marjory Ding - Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP
    • Li Jiang - Ashurst
    • Doris Leung - Deacons
    • Vincent Wang - Paul Hastings LLP

Between 2012 and 2017, Clifford Chance handled 19 out of 35 Hong Kong IPOs where the offering size was circa $1bn or above. Amy Lo and Beijing-based Tim Wang jointly led a team that included Liu Fang, consultant Christine Xu and Lawrence Zhang in advice to the joint sponsors and underwriters (including Morgan Stanley, Bank of America Merrill Lynch and Credit Suisse) on China Literature's $1.1bn spin-off listing on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange. The firm has handled other high-profile listings, as was evidenced when Virginia Lee and others acted for the joint global coordinators in BOCOM International's $230m IPO and listing on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange; this matter represented the first listing of a securities brokerage business on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange by a PRC bank. Another highlight involved acting for the joint sponsors on Shandong International Trust's $378m IPO, the first-ever Hong Kong IPO of a Chinese trust company. The firm also has strong US law capabilities, encompassing SEC-registered offerings as well as Regulation S and Rule 144A deals; Fang was one of the lead advisers to the underwriters (led by Jefferies) on Secoo's $110.5m IPO and listing of American depositary shares on the Nasdaq Global Market. Complementing the firm's strong underwriter-side capabilities is its excellent work for corporates. Frank Yuen is another key figure in the team, which also advises clients on public takeovers and pre- and post-IPO fundraisings.

Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP's Hong Kong team has an outstanding track record in high-profile Hong Kong and US IPOs,: it is an equally strong performer in secondary capital markets transactions, providing notable regulatory expertise. Bonnie Chan, Li He and counsel Yang Chu recently acted for the underwriters on the $1.12bn Hong Kong IPO and listing of Ping An Healthcare and Technology (also known as Ping An Good Doctor). Also notable is that Li and James Lin advised Sunlands Online Education Group on its $149.5m IPO and listing on the New York Stock Exchange. In addition, Lin and counsel Terrence O’Donnell handled the $27.5m NASDAQ IPO by iClick Interactive Asia Group for the underwriters. China Everbright Greentech, Razer and Tencent Holdings are other key clients of the team, which also includes counsels Stephenie Fung and Bingqing Pan. Paul Chow is also recommended.

Since 2013, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer has advised on 49 Hong Kong IPOs, with a total market capitalisation of more than $200bn. The firm's excellent credentials in large, complex and often first-to-the-market listings are underpinned by its team's awareness of regulatory developments. Teresa Ko, who founded the firm's Asia equity capital markets practice, has more than 26 years of experience undertaking high-profile securities transactions for Chinese and international clients. Other notable individuals are Grace Huang and counsel Constance Chou, who acted for Sisram Medical on its $125m Hong Kong Stock Exchange IPO; this matter represented the first-ever listing by an Israeli issuer in Hong Kong. On the underwriter side, Calvin Lai, Ko and others advised HSBC, Huatai Securities and Morgan Stanley as joint global coordinators on A Living's spin-off from Agile Group, and on A-Living's separate listing on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange. Yixin Group, Hebei Construction and Inner Mongolia Energy Engineering are among the firm's recent client wins. The Hong Kong team works closely with Richard Wang and Jason Xu, who are both based in Beijing. David Ludwick relocated to the London office.

Kirkland & Ellis provides full-service support to clients on premium US and Hong Kong IPOs, and is also a first port of call for secondary offerings, share sales and take-private transactions. The team, which is jointly led by David Zhang and Li-Chien Wong, is always up speed with regulatory developments, owing to its engagements with regulatory bodies such as the SEC, SFC, Hong Stock Exchange and New York Stock Exchange. In 2017, Zhang co-led a cross-office team, which acted for the underwriters (Morgan Stanley, Credit Suisse, Citigroup, CICC and UBS) on Qudian's $1.04bn New York Stock Exchange IPO; this matter represented the largest listing by a Chinese fintech company in the US to date. In addition, Zhang and Ben James were among the advisers to Sea Limited on its $884m New York Stock Exchange listing. In the education sector, the team has also recently handled US listings for clients such as Four Seasons Education (Cayman) and Rise Education, and acted for the underwriters on the IPO and listing of RYB Education. Outside of the US, a highlight involved acting for CLSA Capital Markets (as sole sponsor) and CLSA (as sole global coordinator and bookrunner) in Vobile Group's HK$237m IPO and listing. Meng Ding has joined from Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP, while Wanda Woo is a recent addition from Shearman & Sterling.

Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP fields 'some of the best practitioners in the business'; its team is praised for its 'professionalism' and 'domain knowledge'. It was involved in two of the three largest US IPOs by Chinese companies in 2017; Chris Lin, Daniel Fertig and counsel David Lee advised Qudian on its $975.5m New York Stock Exchange IPO (this was the largest US IPO by a Chinese company in 2017, and the largest by a Chinese fintech company to date). In addition, Lin, Fertig and counsel Yi Gao acted for BEST Inc. on its $520m New York Stock Exchange IPO, which was the third-largest in the US by a Chinese company in 2017. The firm also assisted GreenTree Hospitality Group with its $142.8m New York Stock Exchange IPO, and acted for the underwriters (led by Morgan Stanley) on OneSmart Education's New York listing. Elsewhere, Christopher Wong and others have acted for issuers on a number of IPOs in Hong Kong, including for Zhenro Properties Group and Shandong International Trust. Follow-on offerings and offerings of global depositary shares are another mainstay of the firm's equity capital markets practice. In addition, the team has a notable specialism in Taiwan-related matters; the firm has completed more than 100 transactions involving Taiwan issuers since the early 1990s. Celia Lam and counsel Marjory Ding are also recommended.

Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP's team is a regular fixture in big-ticket, landmark listings and other offerings. It was involved in three of the ten largest listings in Hong Kong in 2017, and has particularly made a name for itself in 'new economy' IPOs; Julie Gao, Christopher Betts, Will Cai and counsel Anthony Pang acted for ZhongAn Online P&C Insurance on its $1.53bn IPO of H shares; this was the first public offering of its kind for an internet-only insurer. Gao, Betts and others also  advised China Literature Limited on its spin-off from Tencent via a $1.06bn IPO and listing. In addition, the group advised Chinese online car retailer Yixin Group on its spin-off from Bitauto Holdings (China) via an $870m IPO. Another highlight saw Betts act as the lead adviser to China Education Group Holdings (Hong Kong) on its $430m IPO; this is the largest-ever education sector IPO in Hong Kong to date. The team also recently acted for Xiaomi on its circa $4.7bn Hong Kong listing. The firm is a powerhouse for IPOs and other offerings outside of Hong Kong, having advised on more than 70 NASDAQ and New York Stock Exchange IPOs by Asia-based private companies since 2003. It has featured in more than 60% of the US IPOs involving China-domiciled companies since 2009, and was issuers' counsel on most of those deals. In a recent matter, Gao and Cai acted for iQiyi on its $2.25bn IPO of American depositary shares and NASDAQ listing; this was the largest IPO out of Asia in the first quarter of 2018. Jonathan Stone, Edward Lam, and of counsels Antony Dapiran and Paloma Wang, are also highly recommended.

Allen & Overy demonstrates 'a clear commitment to ensuring the best possible outcome for its clients, delivered in a sensible and pragmatic way'. Its team, which is led by Lina Lee, is 'very responsive, hands-on, and most importantly, commercial'. The firm's practice has gone from strength to strength since it underwent a major overhaul of its equity capital markets practice in 2016; this saw Mandarin-speaking US securities partner Liang Tao join from Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP, and Lee and Jonathan Hsui arrive from Ashurst. In addition, Michael Jacobs relocated to the Hong Kong office from London in 2017 and, in a more recent development, Kung-Wei Liu joined as an of counsel from Sullivan & Cromwell. The strengthening of the team has enhanced the firm's market profile, and enabled it to increase its volume of high-quality mandates from issuer and underwriter clients, including Chinese and international bulge-bracket investment banks. Its recent mandates have spanned a wide variety of industries, particularly the TMT, education, life sciences and automotive sectors. Lee, Hsui and others have advised Morgan Stanley on a number of matters, including the placement of new shares by Hong Kong Stock Exchange-listed company China ZhengTong Auto Services.  In another matter, Lee and senior associate Sylvester Sung advised CIMB Securities as sponsor on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange listing of Xinghua Port Holdings (a spin-off of Singapore-listed Pan-United Corporation). Also notable is that Hsui, Tao and others acted for BNP Paribas, CITIC CLSA, ICBCI, CCBI and ABCI in the $435m Hong Kong IPO and listing of China Education Group. Other clients include Kingboard Chemical, Fosun International and China Medical System. Of counsel Donnelly Chan is a name to note.

Herbert Smith Freehills' practice in Greater China is headed by Matthew Emsley, who was recently appointed as a member of the Listing Committee of the Main Board and GEM of the Hong Kong Stock Exchange. Emsley's team provides the full spectrum of advice to clients (including financial institutions, as well as Chinese and international corporates) on cross-border IPOs, as well as other matters, such as rights issuances, placements and block trades. In addition to having resources in Hong Kong, the firm is also able to leverage the expertise of its wider network, where required. In 2017, Emsley, senior associate George Wu and Singapore-based US securities expert Siddhartha Sivaramakrishnan were among the advisers to China International Capital and CEB International Capital as underwriters on the $376m Hong Kong Stock Exchange IPO and spin-off listing of China Everbright Greentech. In the education sector, Emsley, Sivaramakrishnan and others acted for Macquarie Capital and Citigroup Global Markets Asia as underwriters and joint sponsors in the $178m listing of Minsheng Education Group on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange. Emsley's team also acted for the underwriters on other education sector listings in Hong Kong, including those involving China Xinhua Education Group and China New Higher Education Group. Pharmaceuticals, oil and gas, real estate and telecoms are among other areas of activity. In addition to acting for financial institutions, Jason Sung acts for Chinese state-owned enterprises and privately owned companies. The Hong Kong team also includes Tommy Tong, senior associate Charles Wang and senior assistant Stanley Xie. It also works closely with Tom Chau and Zhong Wang in Beijing.

Latham & Watkins LLP combines local law expertise with the resources of its international platform, putting it in high demand among issuers and underwriters for advice on their most challenging, big-ticket Hong Kong and US IPOs, and other equity offerings. The firm has more than two decades' experience of the Greater China market, and assists clients with the full range of issues from a Hong Kong, US and English law angle. A key figure at the firm is Cathy Yeung, who is global co-chair of the capital markets practice and also serves as chair of the Greater China practice. Illustrative of the firm's excellent reputation for assisting PRC banks with Hong Kong listings, Yeung worked alongside Allen Wang, recently promoted partner Terris Tang and others to act for Bank of Gansu on its HK$6bn IPO on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange. In the public utilities sector, Yeung and Tang were the lead advisers to Kunming Dianchi Water Treatment, a Yunnan-based wastewater treatment and reclaimed water supplier, on its $171m Hong Kong Stock Exchange IPO of H shares. In the US, a notable highlight saw Wang lead a cross-office team that acted for the underwriters (including Citigroup Global Markets, Goldman Sachs and J.P. Morgan, among others) in BEST Inc's $450m IPO on the New York Stock Exchange. The team also acted for the underwriters (including Morgan Stanley, UBS and Bank of America Merrill Lynch) on GreenTree Hospitality Group's $143m IPO on the New York Stock Exchange. Other notable individuals include Amy Beckingham and Simon Cooke, who advised MBK Partners HK on a block trade of 34 million H shares on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange. Benjamin Su and Daying Zhang recently rejoined the firm from Kirkland & Ellis. Zheng Wang made counsel in 2017.

Led by Robert Cleaver, Linklaters' highly regarded team serves as a trusted adviser to corporates as well as bulge-bracket investment banks and other financial institutions on many of their most significant equity transactions. It provides local law and cross-border advice on all aspects of IPOs, rights issuances and open offers. Block trades are a particular area of strength for the group; at the time of writing, it had advised on 20 of the largest block trades in Hong Kong, with a collective value of more than $6bn. A notable individual is Iris Leung, who is dual-qualified in Hong Kong and US law, and has more than 13 years of experience advising corporates and financial institutions on major Asian and US capital markets transactions. Showcasing the firm's strengths in block trades, Leung acted for Morgan Stanley and Merrill Lynch as placing agents in a $650m sell-down of shares by WuXi Biologics Holdings of its 10.83% shareholding of the issued shares in WuXi Biologics (Cayman). Kevin Cheung and Gilbert Li jointly head up the firm's China desk. Li is particularly knowledgeable about the TMT, fintech, healthcare and biotech sectors, but also advises clients on matters involving other industries, as was illustrated when he acted for Deutsche Bank, Citigroup Global Markets and BOCI Asia (as placing agents) on China SCE Property's proposed $203m top-up placing in 2017. Another highlight saw Li, Cleaver and Leung advise Morgan Stanley as placing agent on the $292m issuance and placing of new H shares in Shanghai Fosun Pharmaceutical. Li more recently acted for Deutsche Bank as placing agent in Future Land Development Holdings' $198m top-up placing. Craig Dally is a thought-leader when it comes to the regulatory regime in Hong Kong, and has contributed to various regulatory initiatives, such as the Asia Securities Industry & Financial Markets Association (ASIFMA)'s reform of the block-trade launch process.

Norton Rose Fulbright's experienced team covers the full range of equity transactions for companies, international banks and Chinese underwriters. Off the back of changes to listing rules in Hong Kong, the group has been increasingly sought to advise technology and biotech companies in particular on their capital raising activities. It is also a go-to firm for transactions spanning a wide range of other industries, such as technology, financial services, consumer and real estate, and has excellent cross-border capabilities. Practice head Psyche Tai, Doris Ng, and Harold Tin are the key names to note. Winnie Chan, Emma de Ronde, Terence Lau and Vicky Lam are also recommended; Aldo Chan is a senior associate to note.

Paul Hastings LLP's prominence in the Hong Kong listings market is reflected by the fact that the matters it handled in 2017 accounted for 11% (circa $1.8bn) of funds raised across all IPOs in Hong Kong that year. Its practice also extends to IPOs and global offerings elsewhere in the Asia-Pacific region, including Malaysia, the Philippines and South Korea. It is also extremely active in the US. Further underlining the firm's reputation, it acts for many of the leading investment banks and other financial institutions, including Morgan Stanley, Credit Suisse, BOCI Asia and CIMB Investment Bank. Raymond Li, Zhaoyu Ren, Bonnie Yung and of counsel Vincent Wang were among the advisers to the joint sponsors (CMB International Capital, CCB International Capital, Huatai Financial Holdings (Hong Kong), Guotai Junan Capital and BOCI Asia) on Bank of Gansu's $761m Hong Kong IPO. Yung and of counsel Bonnie Kong were also part of a cross-office team that assisted SoftBank Vision Fund with its $550m investment into the $1.5bn Hong Kong IPO of ZhongAn Online Property and Casualty Insurance. On the issuer side, Li, Kong and others acted for New Focus Auto on its proposed issuance of new shares to two investors, raising circa $128m. Clients also benefit from the experience of Nan Li. Steven Winegar left to go in-house at Ping An Group.

Shearman & Sterling is highly rated by issuer and underwriter clients for high-profile and complex Hong Kong Stock Exchange, New York Stock Exchange and NASDAQ listings. Its team has increasingly become a first port of call for offerings in the healthcare, technology and real estate sectors. In 2017, global corporate finance head Matthew Bersani acted for Goldman Sachs, Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Deutsche Bank, China Renaissance and ICBCI on LexinFintech's $108m IPO and listing on the NASDAQ Global Market. In Hong Kong, Asia capital markets head Colin Law, Bersani and others advised Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Morgan Stanley and China Merchant Securities as joint sponsors, joint global coordinators and joint bookrunners on the $510m global offering and Main Board IPO of WuXi Biologics; this is only the second time a former US-listed company has relisted in Hong Kong. Law has also led the advice to WuXi Biologics on a series of block trades. Elsewhere, Peter Chen, counsel Edward Bong and others acted for Tianjin Tianbao Energy on the placing and IPO of its H shares on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange Main Board. Paloma Wang moved to Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP.

Slaughter and May's team, which is led by John Moore and Benita Yu, has a first-rate reputation assisting issuers and underwriters with landmark equity capital markets transactions. The scope of its work is wide-ranging, including IPOs, secondary placings and post-listing M&A. The group’s ability to leverage Hong Kong, English and US law expertise is a notable value-add.

Sullivan & Cromwell established a presence in Hong Kong 25 years ago, and has since handled $84bn-worth of Hong Kong IPOs. Although the overwhelming majority of its work has tended to be for Greater China-based issuers, the firm also acts for clients located elsewhere in the Asia-Pacific region and in the US. In addition to handling standalone Hong Kong listings, the team is experienced in dual listings involving the Hong Kong Stock Exchange and Shanghai Stock Exchange, as well as dual listings involving the Hong Kong Stock Exchange and US-based stock exchanges. In a matter representing the largest Hong Kong IPO of a Chinese bank in 2017, Kay Ian Ng and Garth Bray were the lead advisers to the underwriters on Zhongyuan Bank's $1.19bn listing of H shares on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange and IPO. Other work included Ng, Bray, Ching-Yang Lin, and other members of a cross-office team advising the underwriters (with Goldman Sachs as the sole sponsor and global coordinator) on the Hong Kong and US law aspects of AK Medical Holdings' $64m global offering and Hong Kong Stock Exchange listing. Another highlight saw Chun Wei and others act for Bank of America Merrill Lynch as the sole global coordinator, bookrunner and underwriter on China Power International's $576m one-for-three rights issue.

At Ashurst, Stuart Rubin has worked on equity capital markets transactions involving every major listing venue globally, and is highly active in matters across Asia. Rubin has particularly strong relationships with a number of bulge-bracket investment banks, including Goldman Sachs and Bank of America Merrill Lynch. Rubin co-heads the practice with Frank Bi, a recent hire from Slaughter and May, whose arrival is seen as key to growing the firm's offering to China-facing issuers and sponsors. The practice has a particular focus on equity offerings and transactions that are linked to highly regulated and cutting-edge sectors, such as banking and financial services, biotech and pharmaceuticals, the digital economy, and energy and natural resources. In 2017, Rubin acted as special counsel to Nomura, as one of the bookrunning lead managers, on the $1.5bn Indian IPO of New India Assurance; this was the third-largest IPO in India ever. Another India-related matter saw Rubin and New York-qualified senior associate Li Jiang advise Citi as placing agent on a $1.38bn block trade of shares by Tata Consultancy Services. Rubin was also the lead adviser to UBS as a joint broker on a $510m block trade of shares in Bharti Infratel by Bharti subsidiary Nettle Infrastructure Investment. The Indonesian market has been another major source of work; a highlight for the firm involved Rubin acting as international legal counsel to the underwriters on the $95m Indonesian IPO of GMF Aero Asia. Other clients include Kotak Mahindra Bank, DBS and RHB.

In terms of deal volume, Deacons is one of the most active firms in the market for Hong Kong offerings. Between 2013 and 2017, it handled 70 completed IPOs and new listings, with the work spanning industries such as gaming, construction, healthcare and oil and gas. Its longstanding first-rate reputation has also seen it become a destination firm for secondary offerings and regulatory advice. The firm's full-service offering and depth of expertise have enabled it to become a trusted adviser to multinational and domestic corporates, as well as Chinese and international sponsors and underwriters. In 2017, a team including Ronny Chow, Rhoda Yung and Maynard Leung acted for The Wharf, Wheelock (Wharf's holding company) and Wharf Real Estate Investment Company (Wharf REIC) in Wharf REIC's spin-off and HK$151.8bn Main Board listing. On the underwriter side, Chow and Leung advised BNP Paribas Securities (Asia) as sole global coordinator, bookrunner and underwriter on a circa HK$2bn one-for-three rights issuance by TCL Multimedia Technology Holdings. Chow co-heads the practice with Eugina Chan. Another name to note is Sabrina Fung, who has more than 18 years of corporate finance experience, and acted for Huajin Securities (International) as one of the placing agents in a HK$1.4bn top-up placing by Jiayuan International Group. Also recommended are newly promoted partner Gary Wong, senior associate Veronica Hui  and associate Doris Leung. Peter Cheng joined from Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP.

DLA Piper's full-service offering is a major draw for clients, as is illustrated by the fact that more than 30 Hong Kong-listed companies turn to the firm for post-listings and compliance support in relation to the Hong Kong Listing Rules and Hong Kong Takeovers Code. Melody He-Chen, who heads the practice with Liu Wei, is US- and Hong Kong-qualified. Her experience includes acting for sponsors and companies on global offerings and Hong Kong Stock Exchange listings, rights issuances and share placings. Newly promoted partner Christina Loh co-led a cross-office team in advice to longstanding client Ping An Insurance (Group) as controlling shareholder on the $1.1bn listing of Ping An Healthcare and Technology (also known as Ping An Good Doctor) on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange; this was the largest Hong Kong IPO in the first quarter of 2018. Another high-profile mandate saw He-Chen, Loh, of counsel Janny Tai and Christine Chen act for China Merchants Securities as the sole sponsor, global coordinator and bookrunner on CSMall Group's circa HK$462m global offering and Hong Kong Main Board listing. In addition, Wei and Loh were the lead advisers to China Maple Leaf Educational Systems on its HK$1bn+ top-up placing of shares. The firm has also recently handled mandates for clients such as KGI Capital Asia, China Southern Airlines and Yestock. Henry Cheng joined from Kirkland & Ellis, while Mike Suen left to join Withers.

Hogan Lovells' equity capital markets practice in Asia has been growing, following the arrivals in 2016 of Sammy Li and Stephen Peepels from Paul Hastings LLP and DLA Piper respectively. In addition to working with other offices on multi-jurisdictional matters originated from the firm's wider network, the Hong Kong team has built up its own portfolio of cross-border work from clients in Greater China and the wider Asia-Pacific region. Li, Peepels and Nelson Tang jointly head up the team, which has become particularly active in emerging markets such as India, Indonesia and Vietnam. The firm has a strong client following on the institutional side; in 2017, Tang and senior associate Jeffrey Lee acted for RaffAello Capital as the sole sponsor and RaffAello Securities (HK) as the sole bookrunner and lead manager on the HK$79m Hong Kong GEM Board IPO of Fineland Real Estate Services Group. In addition, Lee was the lead adviser to the sole sponsor and the underwriters on the HK$70m Hong Kong IPO of restaurant group 1957 & Co. (Hospitality). A key differentiator of the firm's offering is its ability to leverage the network to assist issuers with the most complex aspects of their listings, where appropriate; Peepels has been working alongside members of the international trade and investment team in Washington DC in the advice to more than 20 companies on the applicability of US, EU, UN and Australian economic sanctions and export controls in the context of their Hong Kong IPOs. In addition to handling IPOs and secondary offerings, the team also acts for listed companies in corporate transactions, as was illustrated when Tang and Lee advised Hong Kong listed company Welling on its circa $237m privatisation by Midea by way of a scheme of arrangement.

King & Wood Mallesons provides support to Chinese companies on all aspects of their listing requirements, with its work spanning Hong Kong Main Board and GEM listings (including spin-off transactions), US listings and dual listings. Secondary offerings and public takeovers are among other pillars of the highly regarded practice, which is co-led by Sheldon Tse, Gary Lock and Candy Chan. The team also has strong client relationships with a number of Chinese investment banks, for which it leverages its extensive knowledge about the Chinese legal and regulatory environment to cover various issues. Acting as PRC, Hong Kong and US counsel, Chan and Christine Chen were part of the team that advised Guangzhou Rural Commercial Bank on its HK$9.28bn Hong Kong Main Board IPO; this was one of the largest listings in Hong Kong in 2017. In a more recent matter, Tse, Chen and senior associate Sheryl Cheung acted as Hong Kong counsel to China Boqi Environmental Holdings on its circa HK$605m global offering and Hong Kong Main Board listing. A notable underwriter-side mandate involved acting as Hong Kong counsel to SPDB International Capital as sole sponsor on the circa HK$147m Hong Kong Main Board IPO by PRC-based Putian Communication Group. Other clients include Zhongyuan Bank, Persta Resources and BOCOM International Holdings. Anthony Wan and John Baptist Chan are also recommended.

Mayer Brown's group is led by Jason Elder, and includes highly respected partners Billy Au and Jeckle Chiu. Equally strong in issuer- and underwriter-side work, the group excels in global offerings and Hong Kong listings, spin-offs, right issuances and various other equity capital markets transactions. In 2017, Au and senior associate Jeremy Hsu advised Risecomm Group Holdings on its $27m listing and global offering on the Main Board of the Hong Kong Stock Exchange. In addition, Au and Carmen Yuen assisted Jiayuan International Group with a placing of existing shares and subscription for new shares, which raised circa HK$1.18bn in gross proceeds. The team also advised the same client on a subsequent HK$1.4bn placing and top-up. Another highlight involved acting for China Overseas Land & Investment and China Overseas Property Holdings Limited (COPL) on COPL's spin-off and separate Hong Kong listing. The team also acts for issuers and underwriters on transactions further afield across Asia.

Morgan, Lewis & Bockius (in association with Luk & Partners)' equity capital markets offering underwent significant expansion in 2017, when the firm hired a team of lawyers from Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP. One of these lawyers was Edwin Luk, who heads the capital markets practice in Asia, and is also global leader of the securities practice. Luk has led the strengthened team to complete nine Hong Kong IPOs in 2017 and, at the time of writing, two Hong Kong IPOs in 2018. During this period, three of these IPOs were in the top ten of the largest in Hong Kong, in terms of funds raised at completion. One of the matters saw Luk and Billy Wong acting as Hong Kong and US counsel to China Xinhua Education Group on its $168m Regulation S/Rule 144A Hong Kong Main Board IPO. Another highlight saw Luk and June Chan advise Guotai Junan Capital as sole sponsor on Ruifeng Power Group's $43m Hong Kong Main Board IPO. In 2017, Luk and Chan acted as Hong Kong and US counsel to Minsheng Education Group in its $178m Main Board IPO, which involved a Rule 144A international placement. In addition to advising on standalone listings in Hong Kong, the team has also become known for advising companies listed elsewhere internationally on dual listings in Hong Kong; a recent highlight involved advising Singapore Catalist Board-listed company LHN on its $10m Hong Kong Main Board dual listing. Elsewhere, other areas of activity have included secondary offerings and privatisations. Luk's team also includes practitioners such as Keith Cheung and Ning Zhang.

Morrison & Foerster has benefited from the synergy between its excellent track record in Hong Kong listings (and the entire ambit of capital markets transactions more generally) and its particularly strong reputation in the life sciences sector. Practice head Venantius Tan has led the team on a number of biotech transactions for clients such as GenScript Biotech, Jacobson Pharma, Fosun Pharma and Sinopharm. In addition, adding to the firm's credibility in the area, the group includes of counsel Yu Wang and associate Alex Cao, who hold Ph.D.s in scientific subjects. The firm also generates work involving other industries; in the consumer goods sector, Vivian Yiu and of counsel Samuel Ng recently acted for BOCI and BOSCI as joint sponsors in the circa $67.5m Hong Kong IPO of Tsit Wing. Another highlight saw Yiu advise PRC-based real estate developer Sunshine 100 China Holdings on a circa $93m share issuance to Huarong International Financial Holdings.

Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton's platform supports issuers and underwriters on complex listings and other offerings, including SEC-registered offerings and Regulation S/Rule 144A IPOs. Clients benefit from the firm's blend of Hong Kong, English and US law expertise. The team includes New York- and Hong Kong-qualified partner Shuang Zhao and counsel Robert Williams, who acted for iClick Interactive Asia Group on its $300m SEC-registered IPO and NASDAQ listing in 2017. Zhao was also the lead adviser to Credit Suisse and Citigroup as the lead bookrunners on the $271m SEC-registered IPO and New York Stock Exchange listing by PPDAI Group. Freeman Chan, who has nearly 30 years of Hong Kong capital markets experience, worked with Zhao, counsel Raymond Lam and others to advise JP Morgan, Credit Suisse, UBS and CMB International as joint sponsors and joint global coordinators on the $1.5bn Hong Kong IPO of ZhongAn Online Property and Casualty Insurance, along with a concurrent Regulation S/Rule 144A global offering. Jinko Solar, Bestway Global Holding and Lenovo Group are among other active clients. Chan and Zhao co-head the practice.

Eversheds Sutherland's global footprint makes it a strong choice for issuers seeking to list in Hong Kong and elsewhere in Asia, as well as for those looking to raise capital through public markets further afield, particularly in the US. Under the leadership of Stephen Mok, the team is particularly active in complex offerings including groundbreaking listings. Mok recently led a team that included Norman Hui and consultant Sin-Joh Chuang in advising Datang Power on its non-public issuance of A-shares to its controlling shareholder (China Datang Corporation, hereafter CDC), and also its non-public issuance of H-shares to a wholly owned subsidiary of CDC for circa $2.1bn; this marked the first time a whitewash waiver was used in Hong Kong for such issuances. Mok, Hui, Amy Yu and others acted as Hong Kong counsel to Precision Tsugami (China) on its $64m spin-off listing on the Main Board of the Hong Kong Stock Exchange; this listing was the first in Hong Kong to involve a spin-off from a Japanese company listed on the Tokyo Stock Exchange. In addition, Mok's team served as Hong Kong legal advisers to Nomura as the sole sponsor on Nissin Foods' circa $121m spin-off listing on the Main Board; this was the second listing in Hong Kong to involve a spin-off from a Japanese company listed on the Tokyo Stock Exchange. Beyond new listings and follow-on offerings, other work included Mok and others advising listed company New World Department Store (China) on its proposed privatisation by parent firm New World Development.

Although Jones Day is active in equity capital markets transactions involving traditional industries, such as financial services and infrastructure, it is experiencing a particularly significant uptick in work in more cutting-edge sectors, such as healthcare, life sciences, biotech and TMT. The firm's hire of Charles Chau from Morrison & Foerster in 2017 has been a particular boon to the practice, with it winning work from a number of new clients, including China Everbright Securities International, GenScript Biotech and CCB International Capital. The firm has particularly strong capabilities in equity transactions with a nexus to Japan, as was demonstrated when team head Joelle Lau and associates Terry Kwok and Halent Zhang acted for sole sponsor Halcyon Capital and a syndicate of underwriters on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange IPO of Precision Tsugami (China) as part of a spin-off by Tokyo-listed parent company Tsugami. Elsewhere, further showcasing the firm's cross-border work, Lau, Kwok and Zhang advised Evergreen Products Group, all of whose productions and operations are based in Bangladesh, on its $39m Hong Kong Stock Exchange IPO. Another highlight saw Lau and others assist Automated Systems Holdings with a HK$542m rights issuance and convertible bonds placement to facilitate its merger with Grid Dynamics International. Maria Pedersen  and associate Donna Ko are also recommended.

Milbank excels in high-profile and milestone offerings across Asia. In 2017, team head James Grandolfo led a team that included associates Kurtis Sherwood and Cesareo Singzon in acting for the underwriters on the $1.3bn IPO of SBI Life Insurance (a subsidiary of State Bank of India); this was the first billion-dollar IPO in India since 2010. In another headline mandate, Grandolfo, Asia counsel Paul Pery, Singzon and others recently advised BPI Capital and Maybank Kim Eng Securities as joint global coordinators and bookrunners on the $152m IPO of D.M. Wenceslao & Associates; this was the first IPO in the Phillipines in 2018, and the first international IPO out of the Philippines in nearly two years. Other clients include Axis Capital, Bank of America Merrill Lynch and Viet Capital.

Minter Ellison's 'organised, efficient' team combines a comprehensive understanding of the intricacies of capital raisings with regulatory expertise to advise mid-market Chinese and international corporates and entrepreneurs on their most complex requirements. It also has a strong sponsor-side practice. At the time of writing, its team, led by office managing partner Fred Kinmonth, is advising on ten Hong Kong IPOs. George Tong recently acted for Somerley Capital as sponsor on the £8m GEM IPO of Amasse Capital Holdings, while a team led by Anne Ko advised Innovax Capital as sponsor on MECOM Power and Construction's Main Board listing. Ko also acted for Oriental Capital (Hong Kong) as sponsor on the listing of Jiangsu Innovative Ecological New Materials. Other clients include Feishang Anthracite Resources, D&G Technology Holding and Parkson Retail Group. Barbara Mok and Katherine U  are recommended.

O'Melveny, which has an equally strong reputation among corporate issuers and financial institutions, has a varied workload of US IPOs, Hong Kong IPOs and a wide variety of secondary offerings, among other matters. It is particularly active in transactions connected with the life sciences and biotech space, and has been at the forefront of advice to clients seeking listings under the new chapter 18A of the Hong Kong Listing Rules. Edwin Kwok, counsel Lillian Cheung and members of the San Francisco office advised Shanghai-based drug development company Hua Medicine on its $110m IPO on the Main Board of the Hong Kong Stock Exchange; it is the third biotech company to complete an IPO under chapter 18A. Elsewhere, Kwok, and counsels Ke Huang and Ke Zhu acted for China Securities (International) Corporate Finance on the $300m IPO of online game publishing company FingerTango. In addition, the firm has a wider Indonesian and Southeast Asia equity capital markets practice, which is led by Andrew Hutton (who divides time between Hong Kong and Singapore).  Li Han recently joined from Shanda Group.

Reed Smith Richards Butler's market presence is illustrated by the fact that it has been involved in the listings of more than 260 companies out of 2,253 currently listed in Hong Kong to date. Its team is also vastly experienced in spin-offs, dual listings, secondary offerings (such as rights issues, placings and block trades) and privatisations of listed companies. Denise Jong, who leads the practice group in Asia, as well May Wong and Anthony Woo are names to note. The team's work also spans other industries, including telecoms, mining, gaming and logistics. Other key figures in the team are Michael Pepper, Delpha Ho, Ivy Lai and KC Mok.

Ropes & Gray LLP's practice is led by Victoria Lloyd, a fluent speaker of Mandarin, Cantonese and English with over two decades' experience undertaking the gamut of equity capital markets transactions. Lloyd's team acts for a wide range of market participants, including sovereign wealth funds, investment banks, private equity houses, and multinational corporates, on their most complex matters. Lloyd is advising Sun Hung Kai Financial as placing agent on a private placement, which involves the change of control and board composition of a Hong Kong-listed company. Lloyd is also assisting China-based private equity fund CMC with the pre-IPO structuring of one of its portfolio companies. Associate Irene Lau is also recommended.

Addleshaw Goddard, which is becoming 'increasingly prominent in the market', has been involved in 13 completed IPOs since 2016, on which it has acted for sponsors and underwriters. Clients highlight its team's 'business acumen, industry knowledge' and 'practical, effective advice'. Practice head Daniel Wan is 'easy to communicate with on legal points and issues'; his wide-ranging areas of expertise include pre-IPO restructurings and investments, Hong Kong IPOs, post-IPO regulatory and compliance, and secondary offerings. Clients include CMB International Capital, Haitong International Capital, Guotai Junan Capital and TC Capital Asia.

Baker McKenzie's team acts as Hong Kong and US legal counsel to sponsors and underwriters on the entire ambit of capital markets transactions. Its recent work included Christina Lee acting for Hong Kong Stock Exchange Main Board-listed company REXLot Holdings on a HK$25m rights issue. Lee also worked with Beijing-based Greater China practice head Jackie Lo to advise HNA Finance I and CCB International  Capital as the underwriters on the circa HK$9.25bn rights issuance by Hong Kong International Construction Investment Management Group in 2017. Another key figure in Hong Kong is Ivy Wong, who was the lead adviser to Everbright Grand China Assets on its $20m global offering and Hong Kong Main Board IPO. In addition to advising issuers and underwriters on IPOs and secondary offerings, the team also assists listed companies with compliance-related issues and public takeovers, among various other matters.

Howse Williams is particularly active in advising small- to mid-cap companies, as well as sponsors, on Hong Kong Stock Exchange listings; it completed 11 IPOs in 2017, and completed another three in the first quarter of 2018. Several of the listings handled by the firm involved companies with operations in Singapore and Malaysia. Brian Ho and Denise Che recently acted as Hong Kong counsel to Singapore-headquartered asset manager ZACD Group on its HK$160m global offering and GEM Board listing. The firm also advised on the IPOs of Chinese companies, including Morris Holdings, Trio Engineering and Wah Sun Handbags. Elsewhere, beyond IPOs, another highlight involved acting for China Oceanwide International Financial on a HK$5.1bn rights issuance. Other recommended practitioners are Chia Ching Tan, Chris Williams, Christopher Yu and Heidi Lee.

Kwok Yih & Chan acts for a broad base of clients, such as corporate issuers, listed companies, funds and investment banks. Its equity capital markets work is a cornerstone of the firm's broader corporate offering, with the firm assisting clients with Hong Kong Stock Exchange listings, secondary issuances, rights issuances, private placements and regulatory compliance, among other matters. In a recent mandate in the education sector, Larry Kwok and Leon Saw were among the advisers to Kingsley EduGroup on its HK$80m GEM Board listing. On the sponsor side, Dieter Yih, Cecil Kwong and others acted for KGI Capital Asia Limited on the circa HK$200m GEM Board IPO and listing of Ying Kee Tea House Group. Also recommended are Conrad Chan and consultants Denise Chan and Michelle Liu.

Stephenson Harwood has been an active player in the Greater China capital markets arena since the 1970s, and it significantly strengthened its offering recently by hiring a team of 11 fee-earners from Troutman Sanders LLP to its Beijing office. Allen Shyu, who led the group in the move across, divides time between his new firm's Beijing and Hong Kong offices, and handles Hong Kong and US capital markets transactions and regulatory issues. Paul Westover heads the practice, which covers a full spectrum of matters, including IPOs, secondary listings, dual listings and spin-off transactions. In a recent highlight, Anthony Chan and others acted as Hong Kong legal advisers to Zioncom Holdings on its GEM Board listing. In addition, Voon Keat Lai and Ivan Tan were part of a cross-office team that advised AIQ on its listing and admission on the Standard segment of the Main Market of the London Stock Exchange. Recently promoted partner Ivy Wong is also recommended.


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