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Hong Kong > Projects and energy > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings

Editorial

Index of tables

  1. Projects and energy
  2. Leading individuals
  3. Next generation lawyers

Leading individuals

  1. 1
    • Sam Farrands - Minter Ellison
    • Hilary Lau - Herbert Smith Freehills
    • Ben McQuhae - Jones Day
    • Stuart Salt - Linklaters
    • Matthias Schemuth - Ashurst
    • John Tivey - White & Case
    • John Yeap - Pinsent Masons
    • Xiao Yong - Vinson & Elkins LLP

Next generation lawyers

  1. 1
    • Andrew Compton - Linklaters
    • Steven Choo - Ashurst
    • Calvin Ho - Herbert Smith Freehills

Who Represents Who

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Herbert Smith Freehills is advising Poly-GCL on all aspects of the development of its $4bn Ethiopia-Djibouti gas-to-LNG landmark project, one of the largest gas projects in Africa. Leading this matter, which also involves other partners in the Hong Kong and Beijing offices, Hilary Lau has ‘valuable market intelligence and strong business sense’. He also led the advice to MIE Holdings during its disposal of 60% interest in Palaeonto, which indirectly holds oil and gas assets in Kazakhstan.

Leveraging the firm’s outstanding financial capabilities, Linklaters’ projects and energy team is assisting Victoria International Container Terminal with the $500m project financing of a container terminal in Melbourne. The group is also at the forefront of advising on projects under China’s One Belt, One Road initiative, including four IPPs along the China-Pakistan economic corridor. Practice head Stuart Salt shows ‘exceptional understanding of issues and drives a transaction forward’. James McLaren is also recommended, as is Andrew Compton, who joined as counsel from Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy in 2015.

Ashurst advised ANZ and 18 syndicate banks on the co-financing with Asian Development Bank of wastewater projects in China. The team is also working with the Singapore office to act for LNG Japan during its participation in the Tangguh LNG project. Matthias Schemuth is the key partner, who shows ‘enormous energy and patience, and good communication skills’. BP, Bank of China, and China General Nuclear Power Group are also clients.

Baker Botts L.L.P. is handling all of the China/Hong Kong issues relating to the $34.6bn merger between Houston-based oil giants Halliburton and Baker Hughes. In other work highlights, team head Russell Wilkinson and Joanna Du are advising an exploration and production company on matters relating to a cross-border pipeline system. Phillip Georgiou and Michael Arruda are also key partners.

Jones Day is assisting a Philippine geothermal power project conglomerate with construction and supplier contract issues. Maria Tan Pedersen led this work and is also well versed in Indonesian project matters. Ben McQuhae is recommended for his ‘flexibility on fee structures and technical ability’. Dina Yin and Dirk Walker joined the Beijing office from King & Wood Mallesons in March 2016.

Sharp and innovative in its advice’, the team at Minter Ellison is advising Evernal Energy on the development and financing of a $5bn marquee LNG terminal project in Southern China through a joint venture with one of the largest Chinese state-owned enterprises. The ‘outstanding’ Sam Farrands leads the four-partner team, and ‘strikes the best balance between commercial and legal’. Rebecca Silli is also singled out.

At Pinsent Masons, practice head John Yeap has ‘established himself as one of the best in the area’ and provides ‘excellent response times’. Working with the Singapore and Beijing offices, Yeap is advising various clients on the first power project in Pakistan utilising indigenous coal under a complex tariff structure.

Vinson & Elkins LLP advised Sinopec on the purchase of a 10% stake in Sibur, Russia’s largest integrated gas processing and petrochemicals business. Beijing-based Nicholas Song is recommended, as is Jay Kolb and head of the firm’s China practice Xiao Yong, who split their time between Beijing and Hong Kong. EuroChem, Genting Energy and China National Offshore Oil are also clients.

At Watson Farley & Williams, of counsel and Vietnam specialist Linh Doan is ‘passionate and a real pleasure to work with, demonstrating excellent knowledge of the law and industry expertise’. The team is advising JAKS Hai Duong Power Company on the construction and operation of a coal-fired thermal power project in Hai Duong, Vietnam.

White & Case’s global head of mining John Tivey acted for the MMG consortium during the $7bn acquisition of the Las Bambas copper project from Glencore Xstrata. In other work highlights, Hallam Chow, Eugene Man and Anthony Vasey were involved in assisting China Water Affairs with an equity investment in order to expedite the expansion of its business in China.

Allen & Overy’s Roger Lui advised Pertama Ferroalloys on the $446m project financing of one of the first large-scale manganese and ferrosilicon plants in Malaysia. In other work highlights, Fiona Cumming led the advice to the lenders in a syndicated project finance deal involving a $3bn refinancing facility.

Baker McKenzie’s Edwin Li assisted Huadian Power International with the acquisition from its controlling shareholder of a majority interest in Huadian Hubei Power Generation Company, which operates thermal power plants in China’s Hubei province. David Smith, Korea specialist Won Lee and Barry Cheng are also key contacts.

At DLA Piper, head of the China energy group Carolyn Dong, and ‘the helpful and knowledgeablePaul Lee are the names to note. The firm is advising the lenders on a $1bn club facility to Sinopec Canada Energy to refinance its intercompany loan, a mandate that is connected to an acquisition of interest in an LNG project and upstream oil and gas assets in British Columbia.

Patricia Tan Openshaw and of counsel Cristina Uy-Tioco are the key figures at Gibson Dunn, which recently acted for a subsidiary of Aboitiz Power in the issuance of the first climate bond in Asia, valued at $262m and backed by Asian Development Bank. The team also continues to advise Universal LRT on the $2bn MRT-7 project in the Philippines.

The ‘very client-focused and solution-oriented’ team at King & Wood Mallesons is led by Neil Carabine (‘focused on the outcomes’) and David Lam (‘the authority on onshore/offshore financing transactions’). Recent mandates include acting for Asciano, which operates a port, rail and logistics business, on a high-value competitive takeover bid by Brookfield Infrastructure Partners and Qube Holdings.

At Latham & Watkins LLP, David Blumental led a cross-office team acting for Harbin Electric International in its joint bid with Acqwa for the development of the Hassyan clean coal power project in Dubai. Ben Carale acted with the Tokyo office in advising San Miguel Corporation as sponsors in financing the Limay power project, a 300MW coal-fired generating facility in the Philippines.

At Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy, Beijing-based practice head Shepard Liu and of counsel Desiree Woo are key figures. Recent mandates include advising Chinese wind energy developer Honiton Energy on a competitive auction sale of renewable energy assets.

David Barzilai and Peter Haslam are the key contacts at Norton Rose Fulbright. Demonstrating its strengths in Bangladeshi matters, the firm advised HSBC on a loan to Akij Particle Board Mills (a private Bangladeshi company) for the construction of a new particle board production line. Ben Smith and James Rogers recently relocated to the Singapore and London offices respectively.

At Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP, Peter Cleary is well versed in cross-border energy, infrastructure, and oil and gas matters. Cleary is working with capital markets partner Edwin Luk in advising China Hongqiao Group, PT Cita Mineral Investindo and Winning International Group as sponsors regarding the development, construction and financing of an alumina refinery and captive thermal power plant in Indonesia.

Sidley Austin has a focus on natural resources and energy matters in Asia, sectors that corporate partner Tom Deegan is particularly experienced in. The team is advising a Chinese state-owned oil and gas company on issues concerning a downstream petrochemical project in the US.

The team at Simmons & Simmons LLP has ‘excellent expertise’ and includes Vivien Yang, whose ‘professional manner is highly recognised’. The firm is advising CMEC on its investment in a 2x350MW coal-fired power project in Port Qasim, Pakistan. It is also assisting a London-headquartered energy company with the development of an energy efficiency project in Mainland China.

Lynia Lau is the key contact at Stephenson Harwood, where recent work highlights include assisting China State Construction Engineering with a highway project in Albania worth $194m. Eugene Lai is also recommended for advising PRC state-owned and private enterprises on their overseas projects.

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