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- The Legal 500 United Kingdom Awards 2013
- The Legal 500 United States Awards 2014 - In-house winners
- The Legal 500 United States Awards 2014 - Law firm winners
- The Legal 500 Latin America Awards (coming soon)
- The Legal 500 Germany Awards (coming soon)
- Frequently asked questions
Hong Kong > Legal market overview
- Legal market overview
- Asset finance
- Banking and finance
- Capital markets (debt)
- Capital markets (equity)
- Corporate (including M&A)
- Dispute resolution
- Intellectual property
- International arbitration
- Investment funds
- Offshore law firms
- Private equity
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- Structured finance and securitisation
- Tax and trusts
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- Ivory Coast
- Latin America: International firms
- Netherlands Antilles
- New Zealand
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- Saudi Arabia
- South Africa
- South Korea
- Sri Lanka
- St Barts
- St Vincent
- United Kingdom
- United Arab Emirates
- United States
After several years of fluidity, Hong Kong’s legal market remained fairly stable in 2012 and 2013. The preceding years involved a series of lateral partner moves, with Hong Kong qualified partners departing Magic Circle firms for US competitors. This was largely in the corporate and corporate finance sector, as US firms sought to exploit the buoyancy in the Hong Kong capital markets and an expectation that M&A, including People’s Republic of China (PRC) outbound acquisitions, would grow. However, since 2011, Hong Kong’s capital markets have been far from lively, particularly on the equity side. Even so, US firms such as Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP are clearly developing a greater market share and are eating into the traditional hegemony of Magic Circle practices such as Clifford Chance, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer and Linklaters.
At the end of 2012, Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP made another huge splash by hiring celebrated litigator and financial institutions regulatory specialist Martin Rogers and his right-hand-man James Wadham from Clifford Chance. This precipitated a series of headline lateral moves in the financial institutions regulatory space, with Tim Mak leaving Herbert Smith Freehills for Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer. These moves illustrate a recognition that regulatory issues and investigations are now big business for firms on a global basis and also that this area provides a counter-balance to a lethargic corporate finance segment.
International firms are on the whole still committed to Hong Kong, in part because of the attraction of it as a location for PRC and other Asian companies to raise money. Enterprises that list on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange will often continue to access the capital markets, whether through equity or debt transactions. In addition, they will be party to M&A transactions, disputes and all manner of matters that will come under Hong Kong law. And so for this reason, Hong Kong’s legal profession should remain in rude health for many years to come. At the time of going to press, King & Wood Mallesons and SJ Berwin LLP are set to merge in November 2013.
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After years of debate, on 14 June 2012 and in its last days of office, the Legislative Council finally enacted Hong Kong’s first cross- sector competition law.
The Hong Kong Personal Data (Privacy) Ordinance Has Been Amended: Are Your Data Protection PracticesThe Personal Data (Privacy) Amendment Ordinance (the "Amendment Ordinance") was passed on 27 June 2012.
The Ministry of Commerce of the People's Republic of China (“MOFCOM”) passed the Provisional Measures on the Investigation and Handling of Concentrations between Business Operators which were Not Notified in accordance with the Law (the “Provisional Measures”) on 30 December 2011, and uploaded them on its website on 5 January 2012.
will it emerge (relatively) unscathed or is its very survival threatened?
Article by Timothy Loh and Sherry Xiao
Are the Courts sealing the fate of struggling hedge funds too early or should they be given further time to recover and realize their potential for investors?
The long-awaited Securities and Investment Business Bill, 2010 (commonly referred to as “SIBA”) received its first reading by the BVI House of Assembly on 18 March 2010. This follows public consultation in Summer 2009.
The United States’ Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware has recognised the liquidation of a Cayman company, Saad Investments Finance Company (No5) Limited (“SIFCO5”) (an SPV established to operate as an investment company), as a “foreign main proceeding” under Chapter 15 of the United States’ Bankruptcy Code.
As the British Virgin Islands continues to play a vital role in facilitating global trade and investment, it turns its attention to helping its more than 60,000 new companies per year build a business environment where innovation can be a key economic driver. Towards this end, the BVI Financial Services Commission (the “FSC”), which is the public body with responsibility for, among other things, administering the intellectual property laws of the BVI, announced on 5 January 2010 the establishment of a Focus Group to review and revise the existing IP laws
With a global economic downturn in full swing, companies around the world are looking for ways to safeguard their future existence. The strategies employed to do so are numerous and varied but a number of companies have employed the use of corporate arrangement schemes entered into with their creditors, investors and other stakeholders as a way to refocus and preserve their business.
The Exempted Limited Partnership Law, 2014 (the New ELP Law ) has replaced the Exempted Limited Partnership Law (2013 Revision) (the Previous Law ). The New Law includes significant changes to the Cayman Islands' statutory framework regulating exempted limited partnerships ( ELPs ) that will increase the attractiveness of ELPs and will be appreciated by managers, investors and creditors alike. Private equity sponsors in particular will notice substantial improvements that are indicative of Cayman's continuing commitment to balanced and commercially sensible legislation. Read more...
RESTRUCTURING - COURT PROCEDURES
On 23 May 2014, the States of Jersey passed the Companies (Amendment No. 11) (Jersey) Law 201- (the Amendment Law ). This will now be sent to the UK Privy Council for consideration, then laid before the States of Jersey for a final time before coming into force. The latest information we have is that the Privy Council will be approving the law on 19 July 2014 and it may come into effect as soon as 4 August 2014.
The Hague, 4 July 2014 - BarentsKrans has appointed Joost Fanoy as a partner in the Antitrust & Public Procurement department, effective as of July 1, 2014. Joost specializes in European law in general with a particular focus on European and Dutch competition, public procurement and state aid law and is the head of the Antitrust and Public Procurement Practice Group. Joost is also a member of the Cartel damages team of BarentsKrans.
PineBridge Investments Middle East, a global multi-asset class investment manager with regional headquarters in Bahrain, and nearly 60 years of experience in emerging and developed markets, has acquired a 50% equity stake in Romatem, the leading physical therapy and rehabilitation services chain in Turkey.
Isbank issued 750 million USD notes under its GMTN programme established in 2013. The notes are listed on the Irish Stock Exchange and bear interest at the rate of 5 % with a maturity date 2021. Mr. Omer Collak (partner) and Mr. Baris Kencebay (head of tax practice) have acted for the joint lead managers Barclays, Citigroup, HSBC, National Bank of Abu Dhabi and The Royal Bank of Scotland.
Halkbank issued five-year term fixed interest rate US currency notes, with a total amount of USD 500 million with an interest rate of 4.765 % and an annual coupon rate of 4.750 %. The notes offered the lowest borrowing rate in the first five-month period of 2014, and total demand rose nearly nine-fold due to high investor interest. The note issuance drew great interest from international investors settled in the Middle East and Asia, as well as those investors based in the US and Europe. Mr Omer Collak (partner) and Mr Baris Kencebay (head of tax practice) have advised the joint lead managers.
Turkiye Finans issued the first ringgit sukuk originating from Turkey. The bank initially raised MYR 1 billion with a five-year commodity sukuk on June 30, with an annual return of 6 %. The sukuk under the programme will have tenure of one to 20 years. Funds raised will go towards general corporate purposes. The sukuk will be issued through TF Varlik Kiralama A.S., a wholly-owned subsidiary of Turkiye Finans. Malaysia's RAM Ratings has accorded the programme an indicative long-term rating of AA3. HSBC Amanah Malaysia and Standard Chartered Saadiq were the joint advisers. Mr Omer Collak (partner) and Mr Baris Kencebay (head of tax practice) have advised Turkiye Finans and the issuer TF Varlik Kiralama A.S.
Ziraat Bank, the largest state owned bank of Turkey, established GMTN programme on 21 May 2014, for the notes to be issued up to USD 2 billion listed on Irish Stock Exchange. The notes are unconditional, unsubordinated and unsecured obligations, and rank pari-passu with Ziraat Bank's other senior unsecured obligations.
Vakifbank issued EUR 500 million 5-year unsecured and unsubordinated notes under the first GMTN programme of Turkey established in 2013. The notes are listed on Irish Stock Exchange and bear interest at the rate of 3.5 % p.a. with a maturity date 17 June 2019. This is the very first EUR denominated RegS offering of a Turkish entity.