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Hong Kong > TMT > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings

Editorial

Index of tables

  1. TMT
  2. Leading individuals
  3. Next Generation Partners

Leading individuals

  1. 1

Next Generation Partners

  1. 1
    • Jolene Reimerson - Pinsent Masons

'Very knowledgeable in the TMT space', Bird & Bird has expertise in acting for a varied array of regional and international corporates on the gamut of litigation, transactional and regulatory work. 'An expert in the sector', Michelle Chan has 'genuine subject matter expertise' and has recently handled a significant amount of work involving disruptive technologies, including online payment services and the "Internet of Things". Chan recently advised a leading international luxury brand on the legal and regulatory risks associated with its intention to roll out a new technology in Hong Kong that is able to track consumers that have visited, or were in the vicinity of, "super-brand" boutiques. This is one of a slew of matters handled by the office relating to data privacy issues, an area on which 'very analytical and responsive' counsel Clarice Yue has been especially focused, particularly as it pertains to Hong Kong and global entities with operations in China that have had to navigate new cybersecurity laws in the country. Justin Walkey has wide-ranging experience of the corporate, commercial and regulatory aspects of the media, sports and entertainment industries.

Able to call upon IT and e-commerce experts from across the firm's global network, Baker McKenzie excels at handling multi-jurisdictional mandates on behalf of both end-users and producers of technology. 'Particularly noted for its transactional work', the firm is able to provide a multi-disciplinary approach to M&A matters in the sector, which brings together practitioners with  regulatory, transactional and IP expertise. Corporate partner Nancy Leigh excels at handling regulatory and transactional matters in the IT and communications space, while Paolo Sbuttoni is noted for his expertise in the fintech space in addition to work relating to data privacy and cybersecurity. Clients include eBay, Google, China Eastern Airlines and SAP.

The 'excellent' team at DLA Piper excels at handling high-profile, strategically important IT projects on behalf of an impressive range of clients, including Maxwell Technologies, HSBC, Barings and Intercontinental Hotels Group. Combining IP knowledge with computer science expertise, team head Scott Thiel has a unique insight into IT work; he is regularly at the forefront of the most significant mandates handled by the team, including its recent work for HSBC Hong Kong and HSBC Singapore on the establishment of a cloud services master framework agreement with Google. Thiel also has significant expertise in the fintech sector, and recently acted for Ping An Technology on successfully securing the contract to design, implement, deploy and provide support and maintenance services for a blockchain-based trade finance platform. Drawing on the expertise of practitioners spread throughout the firm's extensive network of offices, a significant amount of the team's work relates to handling multi-jurisdictional projects requiring a global coordinated approach; it is currently acting on several multi-jurisdictional data protection compliance projects. Of counsel Carolyn Bigg is recommended for her privacy and data protection expertise throughout the Asia-Pacific region.

Hogan Lovells' versatile practice is active across the spectrum of commercial and regulatory matters affecting clients in the TMT sector. Led by Mark Parsons, the team has moved with the market and is at the vanguard of the most cutting-edge areas of law, including rapidly developing concepts such as blockchain technology and other fintech issues. Parsons continues to act for Citigroup on its Hong Kong digital banking initiatives, which entailed the drafting and negotiation of technology agreements and the provision of regulatory advice on data protection implications. Other highlights included advising Gogo on its strategic alliance with Cathay Pacific in order to provide in-flight Wi-Fi to customers, and acting for China Telecom Global on a range of matters, including a global data policy review. Kenny Wong is recommended for his work in the media sector. Other clients include Tencent, Google and StubHub.

Benefiting from 'very strong knowledge of technology law matters', Morrison & Foerster provides 'responsive, clear and concise advice' across the gamut of operational and transactional matters affecting clients in the sector. Team head Gordon Milner has 'deep knowledge' of a range of IT matters, with particular expertise in cross-border commercial technology transactions in Asia. Milner recently advised consumer lending technology provider Oriente on its partnership with an existing financial institution to facilitate the roll-out of consumer lending services in the Philippines. Chuan Sun is 'particularly strong on IT agreements', including matters relating to software licensing and IT procurement contracts. Sun also excels at handling cross-border TMT transactions, and recently represented Tencent on its patent cross-licence arrangement with Google. Able to effectively draw upon the resources both from the Hong Kong office and globally, particularly out of Silicon Valley, the team also excels in handling venture capital- and private equity-related transactions in the TMT sector. In this regard, the 'responsive and commercial' Thomas Chou has a particularly strong reputation, garnered through 'decades of experience in the US and Asia'. 'Very responsive and commercial' associate Gigi Yuen has a burgeoning reputation across both M&A work in the technology sector and advisory matters relating to data privacy and regulatory compliance. Other clients include SoftBank, Intel and Everest Medicines.

The 'excellent' team at Norton Rose Fulbright benefits from 'extensive industry knowledge' across all the issues du jour, for which it is able to direct significant resources both from a local and global perspective. Drawing on a wide base of experience, both within the region and during her time in London, 'very commercial and responsive' team head Anna Gamvros is recognised as 'a thoroughbred IT lawyer: she has lots of traditional deal experience that is still relevant to the industry, including outsourcing and system integration, while also focusing on growing areas of relevance including digital business'. 'Very business-minded and client-friendly', Gamvros is perhaps best-known for her 'depth of knowledge managing cyber-breach incidents', and for her expertise in general data protection and data privacy matters, where she is recognised as 'one of the leaders in Asia'.

Led by 'outstanding' Hong Kong- and UK-qualified partner Paul Haswell, Pinsent Masons acts for both technology providers and users of technology on commercial contracts, outsourcing arrangements, complex IT and telecoms projects and the disputes that can arise from these. Haswell is also well-versed in fintech matters, from both a regulatory and a transactional perspective; he recently advised start-up Gini on the launch of Hong Kong’s first-ever personal financial management mobile app, which allows users to view and track integrated bank account information from across all the major local banks. He also acted for Netherlands-based online global payments solution provider PayFlixis on the technology and regulatory licensing issues pursuant to the setting up of its new business operations in Hong Kong. Senior associate Jolene Reimerson is also recommended. Other clients include Lenovo, NTT Communications and Hutchison Telecommunications.

Allen & Overy is particularly accomplished at handling corporate and finance mandates for TMT clients. Corporate head Will McAuliffe regularly handles M&A in the TMT sector; he recently advised FIS Global on the sale of its subsidiary Sungard Kingstar Data Systems, a large Chinese software company, to Zhongping Capital, and acted for Thomson Reuters on the disposal of a data terminals business in Asia by way of a competitive auction. McAuliffe also recently advised Swiss watchmaker Tag Heuer on the launch of its smartwatch in Hong Kong. The office regularly handles capital markets and banking matters for TMT clients, including its work for ICBCI on the IPO and listing on the HKEX of Transtech Optelecom Science Holdings.

With lawyers on the ground in Hong Kong and mainland China, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer provides a multi-disciplinary service to many of the sector's largest entities, including Lenovo and Television Broadcasts; it draws upon the expertise of lawyers within the firm's corporate, finance, litigation and IP departments. Richard Bird heads the IP and commercial group in Asia and is consequently engaged in a significant volume of TMT-related work, including his representation of Starbucks in its groundbreaking digital collaborations with internet giants Tencent and Alibaba in mainland China; this included acceptance of their digital payment services in Starbucks’ Chinese stores. On the corporate transactional front, Robert Ashworth recently advised Hutchison Telecommunications on the $1.86bn sale of its fixed line business to I Squared Capital.

Led from Hong Kong by of counsel Sheena Loi, and benefiting from a significant presence in key Asia-Pacific jurisdictions including Australia, Singapore and mainland China, Herbert Smith Freehills has the critical mass and geographical diversity to be able to handle the full range of corporate, operational and regulatory matters for clients from across the TMT firmament. As well as her involvement in many of the TMT corporate transactions handled by the office, including providing input on the firm's high-profile representation of I Squared Capital on its $1.86bn acquisition of Hutchison Telecommunications' fixed-line business, Loi regularly handles IT outsourcing and procurement projects for telecoms and financial services clients. Corporate partner Tommy Tong has significant TMT-related transactional experience, and recently acted for fintech giant Ant Financial as co-investor on its acquisition of a minority stake in MassMutual Asia. On the contentious front, May Tai regularly handles TMT-related litigation as part of her broad-ranging disputes practice.

Benefiting from 'a great depth of talent' across both Hong Kong and China, King & Wood Mallesons provides 'an excellent level of service' in relation to transactional, regulatory and litigation matters for an impressive roster of clients, including Turner Broadcasting System, Azeus Systems and OAX Foundation. 'Very knowledgeable about the IT industry', Peter Bullock provides 'practical advice' on contentious and non-contentious matters including representing Airport Authority of Hong Kong, as app developer and data user and controller, on contractual and data protection compliance issues surrounding the multi-functional app for navigation, sales generation and baggage tracking across Hong Kong International Airport. Neil Carabine has an excellent track record in telecoms-related M&A work, Urszula McCormack often handles fintech-related work as part of her financial services regulatory practice, and Helena Huang's private equity transactional work regularly involves the acquisition or disposal of TMT assets.

Benefiting from deeply embedded ties with local entities cultivated throughout the firm's longstanding presence in the market, and drawing on the firm's international network, Mayer Brown advises local and international entities across the TMT spectrum on work ranging from complex M&A and outsourcing projects to IT agreements and licensing issues. Gabriela Kennedy has 'excellent knowledge of the TMT sector' and is able to leverage her 'considerable' IP expertise, as well as her commercial and regulatory prowess, to provide very effective service to a range of high-profile clients including Alibaba, Airport Authority Hong Kong and Television Broadcasts. Kennedy has been very active of late in relation to fintech matters, and recently acted for a global bank on the launch of a mobile e-wallet payment platform. A counsel in the IP and TMT group, Amita Haylock's wide-ranging contentious and non-contentious expertise includes the representation of applicants and respondents in a number of high-profile judicial reviews concerning telecoms and broadcasting issues in Hong Kong. Senior associate Karen Lee has extensive experience advising on data privacy issues as part of her TMT practice.

Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison provides 'responsive and detail-oriented service' to major Asian TMT clients on their local transactions as well as on their outbound investments, where the team frequently works alongside lawyers from the firm's US offices. Jeanette Chan handles a significant amount of work for Chinese internet giant Tencent, including in relation to its $604m investment in Vipshop Holdings, a major Chinese online discount apparel retailer. Betty Yap is also recommended for her transactional TMT work on behalf of sovereign wealth funds and private equity sponsors. Other clients include Baidu, Microsoft and Dalian Wanda Group.

Leveraging the expertise of lawyers in the office's corporate practice as well as drawing on practitioners across the Asia-Pacific region, Ashurst's TMT practice focuses primarily on M&A, as well as on joint venture transactions. Corporate partner Joshua Cole regularly handles TMT-related M&A mandates, including recently acting for VimpelCom on the sale of its controlling interest in a Lao mobile telecoms business. The team was strengthened, particularly in relation to commercial TMT work (including outsourcing, technology licensing and data privacy matters), by the arrival in October 2017 of Hoi Tak Leung from Hogan Lovells.

Leveraging the expertise of practitioners from the firm's IP, corporate, tax and employment teams, Deacons' cross-practice team handles a range of work for clients in the TMT sector. The 'very commercial'  Machiuanna Chu provides an 'engaging service' to TMT clients on M&A and other corporate transactions in the sector, including recently advising a health tech start-up on its fundraising and establishment of a joint venture. 'Experienced, friendly and very professional' IP practitioner Charmaine Koo has significant expertise in the commercialisation of technological inventions. Senior associate David Swaine is also praised for his 'professional, detailed and useful advice'.

With practitioners on the ground in Hong Kong, and benefiting from a strong presence in mainland China, Simmons & Simmons LLP provides a co-ordinated offering to international and Chinese TMT companies, as well as to strategic and financial investors engaged in corporate activity in the sector. A newly promoted partner within the firm's corporate and commercial group, Jingyuan Shi has a focus on handling private equity and venture capital transactions in the TMT sector. In addition to her transactional expertise, Shi is well-versed in the regulatory and IP concerns impacting clients in the sector, particularly as they relate to fintech matters. Ian Wood  is also well-versed in handling TMT corporate and commercial transactions, and has recently acted for numerous fintech start-ups across a range of regulatory and commercial matters relating to their businesses. Wood recently advised Neat, a fintech mobile account provider, on its structuring and establishment, including partnering with a provider of stored value facilities and Mastercard services, and advising on customer terms and data protection issues.

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