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Simmons & Simmons LLP

13TH FLOOR, ONE PACIFIC PLACE, 88 QUEENSWAY, HONG KONG
Tel:
Work +852 2868 1131
Fax:
Fax +852 2810 5040
Email:
Web:
www.simmons-simmons.com

Hong Kong

Banking and finance
Banking and finance - ranked: tier 4

Simmons & Simmons LLP

Simmons & Simmons LLP has a particularly strong reputation in trade and commodities finance, where the firm acts for borrowers and banks. Richard McKeown and Catherine Kwong have been assisting Société Générale with launching a new receivables purchase product for customers in Hong Kong and Singapore, and they also recently advised metal trader Golden Habour International Trading on the structuring of its proposed cross-border metal repurchase transactions. The firm also has strong capabilities in the acquisition finance arena; a recent highlight saw McKeown and others advise United Overseas Bank on a circa HK$145m loan provided to Anise Investment Holdings’ to enable it to refinance its acquisition of Dynamax Holdings. In addition, the team is active in the funds finance space and is also becoming increasingly involved in fintech matters, where it advises banks on payment and cross-border settlement processes. Jolyon Ellwood-Russell is another highly regarded practitioner in the team, which also acts for Agricultural Bank of China, Mizuho Bank and Rabobank.

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Corporate (including M&A)
Corporate (including M&A) - ranked: tier 4

Simmons & Simmons LLP

Simmons & Simmons LLP’s practice is centred on advising PRC clients expanding internationally, which includes SOEs and private companies, as well as international investors investing into China. The firm is known for its particular focus on corporate work connected with financial institutions, asset management and investment funds, and TMT. In one of the team’s recent highlights, Joseph Lee, Claudia Yiu and Christopher Ma acted for the controlling shareholders of Hong Kong-listed entity Advanced Card Systems Holdings in the sale of a 61.4% stake in the company. Asia corporate head Ian Wood advised the management team of Fitness First on the merger of the business with Celebrity Fitness by their respective owners Oaktree Capital and Navis Capital Partners. Seung Chong and Vivien Yang also have active practices. Michael Chin joined from Hogan Lovells in July 2017.

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Insurance
Insurance - ranked: tier 4

Simmons & Simmons LLP

At Simmons & Simmons LLP, top insurance sector regulatory lawyer Martin Lister left in March 2017 to become general counsel of Transamerica Life (Bermuda), however the firm continues to be noted for contentious insurance matters through experienced consultant Robert Lewington. Lewington has an especially strong record in professional indemnity claims. Asia head of dispute resolution Tom Fyfe is another key name on the contentious side.

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Intellectual property
Other recommended firms - ranked: tier 1

Simmons & Simmons LLP

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Investment funds
Investment funds - ranked: tier 1

Simmons & Simmons LLP

Simmons & Simmons LLP’s asset management group demonstrates strong fund formation and management expertise across a wide range of structures, which are backed up by the resources of the wider network. In the retail funds space, the firm has been at the forefront of the development of leveraged and inverse (L&I) products and exchange-traded funds (ETFs); Eva Chan, who made partner in 2016, has advised on more than half of the ETFs listed in Hong Kong, and acted for clients such as Samsung Asset Management (Hong Kong) and Mirae Asset Global Investments (Hong Kong) in the establishment, SFC authorisation and listing of the first L&I products in the local market. The group also assists fund managers with obtaining SFC authorisation of funds that have a nexus to mainland China, such as RMB-denominated funds and private funds investing in PRC securities. In addition, the firm is highly regarded in the hedge funds arena, and is particularly noted for launches of hedge fund start-ups; in 2016, it handled hedge fund launches for clients such as Asia Lion, CICC Investment Solutions Management and HZ Capital. Private equity fund structurings are another aspect of the work handled by the team. Rolfe Hayden heads the practice.

Leading individuals

Rolfe Hayden - Simmons & Simmons LLP

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Labour and employment
Labour and employment - ranked: tier 1

Simmons & Simmons LLP

Simmons & Simmons LLP’s two-partner team has an ‘excellent reputation’ in the region and provides ‘responsive, knowledgeable and well-thought-out advice’ for an enviable roster of local and multinational clients across a range of non-contentious and contentious employment issues including employee misconduct, employment matters relating to business restructurings and incentive schemes. The ‘service-oriented and practical’ Sarah Berkeley provides ‘excellent legal analysis’ to financial services companies including advice on the structuring and operating of incentive schemes, negotiated terminations and employment disputes. With almost 30 years’ experience working in Hong Kong, team head Fiona Loughrey is able to provide ‘very strong advice’ across a range of employment matters for financial institutions and multinational corporates.

Leading individuals

Fiona Loughrey - Simmons & Simmons LLP

Sarah Berkeley - Simmons & Simmons LLP

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Projects and energy
Projects and energy - ranked: tier 3

Simmons & Simmons LLP

Simmons & Simmons LLP is noted for its projects and energy experience in mainland China and its work for Chinese clients in other jurisdictions. The Hong Kong team works closely with colleagues in Beijing and had a key role in advising Shell on the development of the Huizhou Phase 2 petrochemical project in Guangdong, China, through a joint venture with CNOOC. Vivian Yang is the key partner in Hong Kong.

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Regulatory
Regulatory - ranked: tier 2

Simmons & Simmons LLP

Simmons & Simmons LLP’s ‘very good’ team handles regulatory work including matters concerning fintech (in particular stored value facilities), derivatives and capital markets, some of which with links to mainland China. Jay Lee advised the Credit Guarantee and Investment Facility on the regulatory aspects of a cross-border bond issuance designed to be issued in Singapore and traded in Thailand. Ian Wood handles fintech matters, including advising Neat on providing a stored value facility that can be used like a bank account, while Rolfe Hayden has private equity regulation expertise. Contentious work saw Paul Li representing the former CFO of CITIC Pacific, who was cleared, in the long-running Market Misconduct Tribunal case.

Leading individuals

Paul Li - Simmons & Simmons LLP

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TMT
TMT - ranked: tier 4

Simmons & Simmons LLP

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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Hong Kong: Capital markets

Debt
Capital markets (debt) - ranked: tier 3

Simmons & Simmons LLP

Simmons & Simmons LLP is a first port of call for clients in many of their most high-profile and complex debt capital markets mandates, which includes offerings of convertible/exchangeable (and other equity-linked) bonds and high-yield bonds, and MTN programmes. Jay Lee has been at the forefront of the development of RMB Bonds in Hong Kong since their inception. US-qualified lawyer David Neuville, who has been a fixture of the Hong Kong market for more than 20 years, has vast experience of acting for issuers and underwriters in cross-border transactions across Asia. The firm’s broad base of clients includes names such as Bank of China, Citi, ICBC and Standard Chartered Bank. In addition, it also acts for large companies, asset management firms and funds. Christine Zhao departed for an in-house role at Bank of China.

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Equity
Capital markets (equity) - ranked: tier 5

Simmons & Simmons LLP

Thanks to the presence of US-qualified partner David Neuville and Joseph Lee, Simmons & Simmons LLP handles a blend of Hong Kong and cross-border (including India-related) equity securities offerings for issuers and underwriters. Clients include Standard Chartered, Bank of China and Haitong Securities.

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Hong Kong: Dispute resolution

Litigation
Dispute resolution: litigation - ranked: tier 3

Simmons & Simmons LLP

Simmons & Simmons LLP’s six-partner team is led by Tom Fyfe, who specialises in disputes relating to financial products and services, fraud and breach of trust claims, accountants’ liability, and disputes arising out of mergers, acquisitions and joint ventures. Paul Li and Marc Thorley are other names to note and they specialise in regulatory investigations and commercial litigation respectively. Consultant Melissa Chim focuses on shareholder and joint venture disputes, professional negligence and fraud claims. The team is defending The Bank of East Asia in an unfair prejudice petition brought by Elliott International against the bank and 18 of its current and former directors.

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Further information on Simmons & Simmons

Please choose from this list to view details of what we say about Simmons & Simmons in other jurisdictions.

United Arab Emirates

Offices in Dubai and Abu Dhabi

Belgium

Offices in Brussels

China

Offices in Shanghai and Beijing

Germany

Offices in Dusseldorf, Frankfurt, and Munich

Spain

Offices in Madrid

France

Offices in Paris

Hong Kong

Offices in Hong Kong

Italy

Offices in Milan and Rome

Japan

Offices in Tokyo

London

Offices in London

Morocco

Netherlands

Offices in Amsterdam

Qatar

Offices in Doha

Singapore

Offices in Singapore

Saudi Arabia

Offices in Jeddah

Legal Developments by:
Simmons & Simmons

  • Failure to counter financial crime: Norwich Union Life

    In December 2007, the Financial Services Authority (FSA) imposed a fine of £1.26m on Norwich Union Life (part of the Aviva Group), one of the largest life insurance businesses in the UK with around seven million customers. The fine related to failures to take reasonable care to establish and maintain effective systems and controls for countering the risks of financial crime. The fine is the latest confirmation of the emphasis being placed on protecting clients and customers from the threat of financial crime.
    - Simmons & Simmons

Legal Developments in Hong Kong

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