Hong Kong > Investment funds
Index of tables
- Milton Cheng - Baker & McKenzie
Philip Culhane -
Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP
- Justin Dolling - Kirkland & Ellis
- John Fadely - Weil, Gotshal & Manges
- Rory Gallaher - Deacons
- Sharon Hartline - White & Case
Rolfe Hayden -
Simmons & Simmons LLP
Angelyn Lim -
- Andrew Ostrognai - Debevoise & Plimpton LLP
- Scott Peterman - Sidley Austin
Mark Shipman -
- Effie Vasilopoulos - Sidley Austin
The Investment funds section includes firms that field an outstanding practice in each of the fund areas (including private equity, real estate, hedge and retail/registered funds), as well as those firms that maintain strong practices across a number of the sub-categories. The ranking primarily considers fund formation work carried out by partners based in Hong Kong.
’Quality firm’ Clifford Chance is ’very strong in this area’. It acts for private equity funds, real estate funds, hedge funds, registered funds and RMB-denominated funds, and also has an eminent regulatory practice. Mark Shipman leads the four-partner team, and recently advised CIC on its first investment in a hedge fund. Matthias Feldmann is also recommended.
For some, Deacons remains ’the dominant firm for funds-related work’, particularly in the retail funds arena, where it is ’head and shoulders above the competition’. Financial services practice head Rory Gallaher has worked in the funds industry for over 30 years, and Taylor Hui is singled out for being ’practical, proactive and friendly’. Susan Gordon and Jeremy Lam are also highly regarded. The team also handles private equity funds, SFC licensing, and regulatory compliance matters.
’One of the best firms for private equity funds’, Debevoise & Plimpton LLP represents sponsors, investors and target companies in fund formations and investments throughout the Asia Pacific region. Andrew Ostrognai leads the firm’s Asia private equity practice, and is ’the lawyer to beat’. Ostrognai recently advised Hony Capital on its $2.4bn fund formation of Hony Capital Fund V.
’Among the best in the hedge funds space’, Sidley Austin shows ’genuine interest towards its client’s business, and is very proactive in explaining new regulations’. While clients note that ’every professional at the firm, from partner to associate, is top notch’, the ’knowledgeable, sincere and empathetic’ Effie Vasilopoulos is singled out as ’a joy to work with’. Scott Peterman is also recommended, for his ’extensive experience and knowledge of the securities markets throughout Asia’. Raymond Oh made partner in 2012.
Simmons & Simmons LLP provides an ’extremely professional’ service, and is ’very knowledgeable and up-to-date with the latest regulatory sentiment’. The firm maintains a top reputation for ETFs, but also has strong expertise in retail funds, registered funds, and hedge funds. Rolfe Hayden has ’a deep understanding of clients’ needs’, and recently advised Bosera Asset Management on the establishment and SFC authorisation of Bosera RMB Bond Fund, which was among the first batch of RQFII funds approved by both the SFC and the CSRC. Paul Li is also recommended.
Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP exhibits ’excellent business judgement and industry knowledge’, and is very well respected in the private equity funds space. Philip Culhane and newly promoted counsel Adam Furber lead the team, which acts for The Blackstone Group, Temasek and NewQuest Capital Partners. Culhane recently led a team that served as outside counsel to New Horizon Capital Advisors on one of the fastest fundraisings of 2011.
Baker & McKenzie is ’an industry leader for REIT work’, an area where Milton Cheng is ’extremely pre-eminent’, and Jason Ng is also highly regarded. Martin Tam is recommended for ETF work, and recently represented China Merchant Securities on its first ETF established in Hong Kong. The team is praised for its ’very business-oriented and client-focused’ approach.
Dechert is ’a very professional, yet personable firm that provides excellent technical knowledge as well as pragmatic advice’. The team handles a range of fund types, including registered and retail funds, hedge funds and private equity funds. The ’superb’ Angelyn Lim and the ’unique’ Karl Paulson Egbert, who demonstrates ’in-depth knowledge of both Hong Kong and US law’, are recommended.
King & Wood Mallesons houses a sizeable team that deals with various fund types across the Asia Pacific region. The group is particularly well versed in private equity funds, and recently assisted Harvest Fund Management Company on one of the first and largest offshore private equity funds, sponsored by Chinese general partnerships that target investment in global media industries. Hayden Flinn and former Kirkland & Ellis partner Helena Huang are recommended.
’Always up to date on key trends in the fundraising market’, Kirkland & Ellis provides ’sound legal advice, while thinking about the commercial impact on the client’. The team represents leading private fund managers across Asia, and retains a strong flow of Korean transactions thanks to the expertise of Albert Cho. Justin Dolling and Christopher Braunack are singled out for their ’very knowledgeable, hardworking and thorough’ demeanour.
Weil, Gotshal & Manges’ team delivers ’invaluable advice in a professional and prompt manner’. Practice head John Fadely has been instrumental in raising the Hong Kong office’s profile as ’a specialist firm for Asia-focused private equity funds’. In 2011, the group formed funds for ARA Managers, Boyu Capital and CICC, among others.
White & Case is ’always responsive and approachable, with strong insight into industry practice’. Practice head Sharon Hartline has ’a deep bench’ of experience in private equity, hedge and hybrid funds, while Anthony Wong is appreciated for his ’client-focused’ approach. In 2012, the group bolstered its regulatory and licensing expertise with the arrival of Jane Cooper, from an in-house position.
Alan Ewins’ team at Allen & Overy is well regarded for fund formation and structuring, and is also experienced in SFC licensing and regulatory issues. Associate Nicolas Papavoine recently relocated from Luxembourg, and has niche expertise in establishing Luxembourg funds.
Ashurst Hong Kong is particularly active in the private funds space, but also has experience in real estate matters. Counsel Dean Moroz leads the team, which acts for clients such as Asian Development Bank and APG Investments Asia.
Bingham McCutchen LLP provides ’an exemplary service’, and has ’in-depth knowledge of related regulations’. Team head Anne-Marie Godfrey regularly works on hedge and mutual funds, and is ’always on hand to provide advice’.
DLA Piper handles a healthy mix of hedge fund, private equity fund, real estate fund and SFC licensing matters. Luke Gannon heads the Asia funds and asset management practice, and has 20 years’ experience in the field. He recently advised on a complex restructuring of fund management business Apex Capital.
Linklaters has ’excellent commercial and legal expertise’, and is ’a reliable and strong choice for fund investment’. Its workload comprises a mix of private, real estate and hedge fund mandates. Team head Edward Smith is ’very insightful on governance issues’.
The ’responsive and experienced’ team at Mayer Brown JSM is led by Phill Smith, who ’gets very involved in transactions’. The group acts for fund managers on forming private equity funds and hedge funds, and also provides advice on mutual funds and REITs.
O’Melveny & Myers LLP is best known for private equity fund formation, and has strong experience and knowledge of the Indonesian and Chinese markets. James Ford is the main contact in Hong Kong, and works closely with Dean Collins in Singapore, and Larry Sussman in Beijing.
Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP handles a steady diet of regulatory matters, as well as private equity, hedge and real estate funds. It reported increased interest in emerging markets such as Mongolia and Vietnam in 2012. Sook Young Yeu is the key contact.
Paul Hastings LLP is particularly strong in real estate work, and handles real estate private equity funds for clients such as Carlyle and Blackstone. Derek Roth and John Cahill recently represented Tan-Eu Capital as co-sponsor, in the closing of a real estate private equity vehicle. Vivian Lam is also recommended.
Ropes & Gray LLP impresses with its ’quality legal advice and competitive pricing’. Practice head Geoffrey Chan (recommended for his business acumen and responsive service) is primarily based in Shanghai, but spends a significant proportion of his time in Hong Kong. The group handles both domestic and offshore funds.
SJ Berwin LLP’s ’technical expertise in the area of private equity fund structures is excellent’. Tony Gibson has over nine years’ experience in the field and demonstrates ’strong knowledge of private equity documentation and industry issues’. In 2012, co-head of the international funds department George Pinkham transferred from the firm’s Paris office to head-up the Hong Kong group.
The ’very reasonable and efficient’ team at Shearman & Sterling LLP delivers expertise in both hedge and private equity funds. Practice head Lorna Chen is qualified in New York, PRC and Hong Kong, and is ’a pleasure to work with’. Senior counsel Richard Metsch has 15 years of private fund formation experience and is also well versed in real estate funds.