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Editorial

Index of tables

  1. TMT
  2. Leading individuals
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Leading individuals

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Next generation lawyers

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    • Kirstin McCracken - Eversheds Sutherland
    • Jolene Reimerson - Pinsent Masons

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Frequently leveraging the firm’s strong IP practice should the need arise, Bird & Bird also handles TMT work from a regulatory, transactional and dispute resolution perspective. Michelle Chan is ‘excellent in matters involving the telecoms sector’, particularly corporate, commercial and regulatory matters. Chan has also been active of late advising on numerous projects involving disruptive technologies including fintech. Counsel Clarice Yue leads the firm’s efforts on the data protection front and is regularly involved in handling mandates requiring harmonisation across various jurisdictions throughout the Asia Pacific region. Yue has also been busy advising clients on compliance issues relating to China’s new cybersecurity law which recently came into force. Justin Walkey heads the firm’s sports practice and along with associate Alex Norman recently advised The Hong Kong Jockey Club on its sponsorship arrangement with Longines. Other clients include Huawei, Intel and HSBC. Pádraig Walsh has left the firm to join Tanner De Witt.

Working closely with its colleagues in Shanghai, Baker McKenzie’s Hong Kong office forms an integral part of the firm’s Greater China TMT offering. Team head Nancy Leigh is particularly active in the IT and communications space, where her work includes corporate and commercial (including M&A, outsourcing and technology licensing), and regulatory advice. Leigh recently advised a global consultancy group on the establishment of two joint ventures with Chinese state-owned enterprises for the provision of IT services. The ‘excellent’ Paolo Sbuttoni is noted for his expertise within the fintech space, in addition to work relating to data privacy/cybersecurity.

DLA Piper’s team has been strengthened by a number of lateral hires in recent years, most recently that of technology associate Hayden Lau from Latham & Watkins LLP in March 2017. The TMT practice is particularly strong in the fintech space, where work has included advice on joint ventures, regulatory and licensing matters. As a result of his IP and computer science background, Scott Thiel has real insight into the technical aspects underscoring the ICT and outsourcing projects handled by the team; he recently advised Payoneer Hong Kong on the local regulatory issues impacting on its payment services offerings in Hong Kong. Thiel also regularly advises traditional banks on their outsourcing projects including his recent work for new client Goldman Sachs on a data centre outsourcing project with a Japanese telecoms company. Of counsel Carolyn Bigg has a focus on data protection across Asia Pacific.

Headed by Nigel Stamp, the team at Eversheds Sutherland is best known for advising financial services clients on their major outsourcing projects. In this regard, Stamp is assisting Nomura with the negotiation and drafting of the renewal, novation and expansion in scope of its global utility outsourcing arrangements with Hitachi Data Systems. Consultant Kirstin McCracken is also regularly involved in commercial and regulatory TMT matters, and has been particularly active of late advising clients on the impact of China’s new cybersecurity law. Other clients include Bank of China International, Standard Chartered Bank and WorldVentures Holdings.

Aided by the firm’s international network of offices, Hogan Lovells’ TMT practice has recently been busy advising Hong Kong and Chinese entities in the sector on their international expansion plans. Led out of Hong Kong by practice head Mark Parsons and involving cross-disciplinary input from practitioners across its offices in Europe, Middle East and the Americas, the team is acting for Chinese TMT giant Tencent on numerous international projects including on the overseas expansion of its cloud computing service platform. The ‘business savvy’ Kenny Wong has a strong reputation in the media space, where he is able to leverage his ‘impressive IP expertise’ to good effect. Wong continues to advise several of the largest film production companies across Greater China on a raft of commercial issues including financing, distribution and advertising agreements.

Able to leverage the firm’s global presence, particularly in key technology-focused offices such as Palo Alto in the US, Morrison & Foerster’s Hong Kong practice excels in cross-border technology M&A and other corporate transactions including the structuring of joint ventures and strategic alliances. Co-head of the firm’s Asia private equity group, Thomas Chou has a particular niche advising on public and private M&A in the TMT sector. Practice head Gordon Milner was recently part of a large cross-office team that advised Wal-Mart Stores and its global ecommerce division on the formation of a strategic alliance with JD.com, China’s largest e-commerce company by revenue. Chuan Sun was also involved in the aforementioned deal and in addition to his expertise in technology and corporate/commercial transactions, also regularly advises on data privacy and cloud computing issues. Other clients include Intel, Oracle, and China Telecom Global.

The ‘superb’ team at Norton Rose Fulbright provides a ‘very rounded’ perspective across the latest issues affecting the sector including data protection and cyber security matters. Its full-service approach ensures that it is active across transactional work, regulatory advice and dispute resolution, and maintains very close links to the office’s strong IP team, given the obvious synergies between the two. ‘Very experienced’ team head Anna Gamvros has ‘in-depth legal knowledge’ across outsourcing, data protection and telecoms regulatory issues, and has galvanised the team since she joined from Baker McKenzie in 2016. Gamvros recently advised an international financial institution on the outsourcing of its client due diligence process to a leading professional services company and coordinated a firm wide global team in providing the regulatory advice to fashion brand Thakoon regarding its plans to establish a global e-commerce website for use in over 40 countries. Other clients include Accenture, Amazon and AT&T.

Leveraging its global footprint and corporate/M&A, capital markets capability, Allen & Overy’s Hong office is particularly accomplished at handling big-ticket cross-border TMT transactions. Team head Will McAuliffe handles a mix of M&A matters and outsourcing work; he recently advised Thomson Reuters on the disposal of a data terminals business in Asia by way of a competitive auction. The Hong Kong team was also a key part in the firm’s representation of Shanghai Giant Network Technology on its consortium-led $4.4bn acquisition of Playtika. Other clients include Baidu and 21st Century Fox.

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer handles some of the largest TMT-related transactions by virtue of its leading M&A reputation and global coverage. Corporate partner Simon Weller recently advised New World Development on the $650m sale of its fixed-line and broadband telecoms services and online marketing solution service business to Hong Kong-listed HKBN.

Herbert Smith Freehills’ cross-disciplinary TMT group services an impressive roster of clients including Accenture, Apple and China Telecom across the gamut of commercial, transactional, regulatory and contentious matters. Corporate partner Tommy Tong has a strong track record advising on M&A matters in the sector and recently acted for Telefonica 02 on the proposed $13.1bn acquisition by Hutchison Whampoa (the deal fell through for competition law reasons). Damien Bailey provides commercial and regulatory advice in the sector, and is assisting with the regulatory and licensing issues associated with Google’s investment in the Pacific Light Cable Network subsea cable project. May Tai is recommended for TMT-related litigation.

The recent relocation of leading telecoms practitioner Neil Carabine from Australia is reflective of the growing focus in King & Wood Mallesons’ Hong Kong office on work in the TMT sector. Although he is best known for his regulatory telecoms proficiency, Carabine’s expertise extends beyond that, as was recently exemplified by his advice to CLP on its joint venture with Smart Charge to offer total electric vehicle-charging solutions in Hong Kong. The ‘excellent’ Peter Bullock ‘really understands technology’ and as well as litigation expertise is also active advising on regulatory areas including cyber risks, data law, fintech and the digital economy.

Benefiting from deeply embedded relationships with local clients, by virtue of the firm’s longstanding presence in the market, Mayer Brown JSM handles domestic and multi-jurisdictional mandates across the TMT spectrum ranging from complex M&A and outsourcing projects to IT agreements and licensing issues. Gabriela Kennedy is the lynchpin of the practice and provides ‘very insightful advice’ to clients across a range of TMT matters including data privacy, cloud computing and fintech. Kennedy is advising Airport Authority Hong Kong on data privacy matters and also continues to represent TVB in two judicial reviews stemming from decisions issued by the Communications Authority regarding advertising guidelines. Other clients include Entertainment One, Bloomberg and Mandarin Oriental.

Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison provides ‘first-class’ M&A and corporate expertise to major Asian TMT clients during their local transactions as well as their outbound investments (where the team frequently works alongside lawyers from its US offices). Department head Jeanette Chan has an ‘excellent reputation’ for handling transactional work in the sector and recently advised Tencent as part of a consortium on the $550m acquisition of Yixin Capital. Jack Lange and Betty Yap acted for Hillhouse Capital Management on its $250m investment in Magento Commerce, a global provider in cloud digital commerce innovation. Other clients include Baidu, Microsoft and DreamWorks Animation.

Pinsent Masons acts for providers and users of technology in the gamut of contentious and non-contentious matters including on cutting-edge technology developments relating to fintech, cyber security and cryptocurrency. Team head Paul Haswell is ‘very well regarded for work within the IT space’ and regularly advises clients on commercial contracts, outsourcing arrangements, complex IT and telecoms projects, and the disputes that can arise from these. Recent highlights include acting for HSBC on a major cross-border outsourcing project and advising Hutchison Telecommunications on the development and use of cryptocurrency for new business functions to be potentially deployed on a global basis. Senior associate Jolene Reimerson is also recommended and regularly works alongside Haswell on the highest-profile matters handled by the team including representing Litegrid Holdings as plaintiff in two major disputes arising out of the construction of a fibre optic communications network in Hong Kong.

Led by Joshua Cole, the team at Ashurst handles corporate and commercial transactions for numerous high-profile telecoms and technology sector clients. Cole has a strong track record advising on cross-border M&A transactions and commercial contracts for telecoms providers across numerous Asian jurisdictions. He recently advised new client Facebook on the Hong Kong aspects of its joint venture with Google and Pacific Light Data Company to build and operate a sub-sea telecoms system linking Hong Kong, the Philippines and the US. Chin Yeoh also has experience of handling M&A transactions in the telecoms sector.

Although much of Simmons & Simmons LLP’s TMT work is handled out of its China offices, the firm’s Hong Kong practice is particularly active in the fintech space and has handled numerous transactions for financial institutions on their investments in the sector. Ian Wood heads the firm’s Asia corporate and commercial practice and often handles TMT-related transactions.

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