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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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