Hong Kong > Offshore law firms
Offshore law firms
Maples and Calder’s team provides ’high-quality work at reasonable fees’, with expertise in corporate, investment funds, finance and trusts work, and experience and knowledge on Cayman law that is ’superb’. The team continued to grow in 2012 with the addition of four associates and two newly appointed partners in the ’brilliant’ Ann Ng and ’detailed lawyer’ Nick Harrold. Gareth Griffiths is now managing partner of the office, and is aided by former office head Christine Chang. The group recently acted as Cayman Islands counsel for Nestlé in its $1.7bn acquisition of a 60% stake in Singapore-listed Hsu Fu Chi International, one of the largest foreign takeovers of a Chinese company in 2012. Chang also acted for Cheung Kong Bond Securities in its issuance of $417m senior perpetual securities.
Walkers has ’unparalleled depth across the bench, and its finance and ICR teams are without peer’. The firm is ’at the top of its game for complex structured transactions’, and also has strengths across corporate and insolvency matters. ’Sharp and driven’ managing partner Andy Randall leads a ’very dynamic’ office, which houses a number of standout lawyers, including the ’fantastic’ Arwel Lewis; Rod Palmer, who has ’a fantastic grasp of nuances both legal and commercial’; and Thomas Granger, who has ’a great understanding of Japanese matters’. Team head Denise Wong is ’a delight to work with’, and recently acted as Cayman Islands counsel to Shanda Interactive Entertainment in its $2.3bn take-private merger. Ashley Davies acted as Cayman Islands and BVI counsel to Alibaba’s financiers on its $3bn privatisation. Fraser Hern is the ’go-to person’ for insolvency and corporate restructuring matters.
Conyers Dill & Pearman is the ’go-to firm for advice on Bermudan law’, and is particularly recommended for IPO and M&A work. ’The firm has been in Hong Kong a long time, and has a lot of history and knowledge as to how (and why) offshore entities fit into Hong Kong transactions.’ It recently acted as Cayman Islands counsel for Global Education & Technology Group in relation to its $294m sale to Pearson through a merger with a wholly owned indirect subsidiary. The team includes Piers Alexander, a ’safe and reliable pair of offshore hands’, and on the corporate side, Christopher Bickley and Lilian Woo, who are also ’generously responsive and helpful’. Richard Hall is ’very responsive and hands on, with extensive IPO experience’. In 2012 David Lamb acted for Yoku in its high-profile $1.5bn merger with Tudou Holdings.
Ogier’s James Bergstrom heads the four-partner Hong Kong office, which has a strong grounding in investment funds, corporate and financial matters. On the IPO side, Nathan Powell recently advised on the BVI, Cayman Islands and Jersey law aspects of Graff Diamonds’ prospective $1bn IPO on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange. Nicholas Plowman ’focuses on the crux of the issue’, and acted for Oracle on the establishment of its investment fund. In 2011 the firm opened an office in mainland China, led by Kristy Calvert.
Appleby provides ’a practical, tailored, business-friendly advice, and the lawyers in the firm have an uncanny habit of hitting the nail on the head from the outset’. In 2012 it welcomed Eliot Simpson and John Melia, partners from the BVI and Isle of Mann offices respectively, taking the group up to five partners. Managing partner Frances Woo is ’able to tap into worldwide expertise to handle offshore issues anywhere from Mauritius to Bermuda; she is a no-nonsense practical adviser who is very responsive and efficient’. The team acted as Cayman Islands counsel for Softbank in relation to the $6bn settlement of a dispute between Yahoo! and Alibaba Group over Alipay.com.
Harney Westwood & Riegels’ ’unbelievably responsive and client-minded’ team has undergone significant changes in recent years, with the ’outstanding’ Jonathan Culshaw transferring from the London office to become managing partner of the Hong Kong office. The team has also been bolstered by the arrival of former Cayman Islands office head Timothy Bridges from Ogier. Culshaw and Bridges ’make a formidable team in the offshore investment funds space’. Corporate and finance, investment funds and litigation and restructuring are all key strengths. Work highlights included acting as Cayman Islands counsel to Silver Lake Partners in its $1.6bn investment in Alibaba Group. Ian Mann is ’a pleasure to work with’. Paul Lau left for CWL Partners.