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Stephenson Harwood

18/F, UNITED CENTRE, 95 QUEENSWAY, HONG KONG
Tel:
Work +852 2868 0789
Fax:
Fax +852 2868 1504
Email:
Web:
www.shlegal.com
Beijing, Dubai, Hong Kong, London, Paris, Piraeus and 4 more

Hong Kong

Asset finance (including aviation and shipping finance)
Aviation finance - ranked: tier 1

Stephenson Harwood

Shipping finance - ranked: tier 1

Stephenson Harwood

Benefiting from 'strong knowledge of the shipping industry', Stephenson Harwood provides 'practical and effective advice' to banks and lessors including Credit Suisse and China Development Bank Financial Leasing. Benefiting from a strong presence on the ground in mainland China, and also with offices in other key maritime jurisdictions including London, Singapore and Dubai, the team is well-equipped to handle complex cross-border mandates including bilateral and syndicated facilities. Hongkai Zhou is well-versed in handling shipping finance work involving PRC lessors, and benefits from significant expertise in advising on transactions involving Export Credit Agencies (ECAs) in China. On the shipping front, other recommended practitioners include Elton Chan and Roy Chan; the latter has a niche in advising high-net-worth individuals on financings in the superyacht sector, as well as advising on conventional commercial shipping transactions. The 'absolutely superb' Simon Wong spearheads the office's work on the aviation finance front and generates a significant amount of work as a result of his strong relationships with traditional banks, lessors and airlines across the Asia-Pacific region. Associate Elian Wong continues to develop a strong reputation in the market across cross-border aircraft transactions and domestic PRC aircraft transactions involving both commercial aircraft and corporate jets. Other clients include Spring Airlines, JIC Leasing and ICBC.

Leading individuals

Hongkai Zhou - Stephenson Harwood

Simon Wong - Stephenson Harwood

Next Generation Partners

Elian Wong - Stephenson Harwood

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Banking and finance
Banking and finance - ranked: tier 4

Stephenson Harwood

Stephenson Harwood's practice and market profile have grown since it hired King Tak Fung and a trade finance team from Eversheds Sutherland in 2016, and also promoted Elton Chan to partner in 2017. The firm is highly regarded by PRC and international banks (and other financial institutions), as well as borrowers. Mark Reed leads the team, which acts for a sizeable number of the largest and most active market participants, such as Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation, Bank of China and Bank of East Asia. In addition to handling trade finance matters, Reed's group also advises borrowers and lenders on many other types of finance transactions, including syndicated lending (secured and unsecured), pre-IPO finance and real estate finance. Stephanie Wong's wide-ranging expertise includes ship finance transactions. In addition to handling financing deals, Reed also assists financial institutions with various specialist issues, such as bank mergers, employment and financial services regulatory matters. Reed and senior associate Katherine Liu advise Hong Kong-based e-wallet and remittance service provider TNG (Asia) on a wide variety of ongoing regulatory issues associated with its operations, such as data privacy, securities and anti-money laundering.

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Corporate (including M&A)
Corporate (including M&A) - ranked: tier 5

Stephenson Harwood

Stephenson Harwood ramped up its Greater China corporate offering in April 2018 by hiring 11 fee-earners from Troutman Sanders LLP, which has closed its operations in the region. Although most of the practitioners increased Stephenson Harwood's headcount in Beijing, one of the individuals to move across was Allen Shyu, whose practice is split between Beijing and Hong Kong. In addition to advising clients on Hong Kong and US capital markets transactions, Shyu also provides assistance with M&A, as well as venture capital and private equity transactions. Paul Westover, who heads the Hong Kong corporate group, has a wealth of experience in handling deals across Asia in sectors such as technology, manufacturing, sports and entertainment. In a notable matter in the insurance industry, Westover and senior associate Andrew Carpenter were among the advisers to US-headquartered healthcare benefits provider Aetna International on its acquisition of the Hong Kong-based Canadian Insurance Company; this deal means the client is now licensed to provide health insurance in Hong Kong. Also notable is that Jane Ng and associate Sherman Wong acted for TNG (Global) on an investment in the company by PRC private equity fund New Margin Capital as part of a $115m Series A financing round. Ivy Wong recently made partner.

Stephenson Harwood ramped up its Greater China corporate offering in April 2018 by hiring 11 fee-earners from Troutman Sanders LLP, which has closed its operations in the region. Although most of the practitioners increased Stephenson Harwood's headcount in Beijing, one of the individuals to move across was Allen Shyu, whose practice is split between Beijing and Hong Kong. In addition to advising clients on Hong Kong and US capital markets transactions, Shyu also provides assistance with M&A, as well as venture capital and private equity transactions. Paul Westover, who heads the Hong Kong corporate group, has a wealth of experience in handling deals across Asia in sectors such as technology, manufacturing, sports and entertainment. In a notable matter in the insurance industry, Westover and senior associate Andrew Carpenter were among the advisers to US-headquartered healthcare benefits provider Aetna International on its acquisition of the Hong Kong-based Canadian Insurance Company; this deal means the client is now licensed to provide health insurance in Hong Kong. Also notable is that Jane Ng and associate Sherman Wong acted for TNG (Global) on an investment in the company by PRC private equity fund New Margin Capital as part of a $115m Series A financing round. Ivy Wong recently made partner.

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Insurance
Insurance - ranked: tier 4

Stephenson Harwood

Stephenson Harwood is primarily known for its contentious insurance practice, with a particular focus on the maritime and international trade, energy, commodity and financial sectors. Marine insurance specialists Andrew Ridgen Green and legal director Guijun Wang lead the team, which recently advised Aetna on its $10m acquisition of Hong Kong-based Canadian Insurance Company.

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Intellectual property
Intellectual property - ranked: tier 4

Stephenson Harwood

Leveraging a strong presence on the ground in mainland China, Stephenson Harwood's two-partner Hong Kong team is well-equipped to represent local and international corporates on the prosecution and enforcement of IPR, in addition to handling commercial and corporate IP matters. Jonathan Chu is well-versed in handling work across the spectrum of contentious and non-contentious IP, often from a multi-jurisdictional perspective. Chu recently acted for US-based life sciences company Grail on the Hong Kong IP aspects of its acquisition of key IP owned by a Hong Kong team of leading researchers. Although she also handles a considerable amount of employment law work, Jezamine Fewins is also a formidable IP litigator; among her recent highlights has been defending Henriette Joop's revocation application in respect of its JJ trademark for perfumes. Leveraging her employment law expertise, Fewins also has a particular specialty in representing clients in matters that involve the theft of trade secrets and confidential information by employees.

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Labour and employment
Labour and employment - ranked: tier 3

Stephenson Harwood

In addition to handling a considerable amount of day-to-day employment advisory work for small and medium-sized enterprises, Stephenson Harwood has a strong reputation for handling contentious matters for international corporates, particularly relating to theft of confidential information and trade secrets. Jezamine Fewins is the principal partner for handling employment litigation and is representing Thomson Reuters Hong Kong in the defence of an unlawful dismissal claim, alleging disability discrimination, brought by a former employee. Although he is principally involved in corporate matters, Paul Westover regularly handles employment-related work, including advising on share options and other employee incentive schemes. Consultant Yeeling Wan also regularly handles employment litigation. Other clients include Duff & Phelps, Formia Airline Supplies, Generali Assicurazioni and Generali Worldwide.

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Real estate
Next Generation Partners

Jovanne Zee - Stephenson Harwood

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Regulatory
Regulatory - ranked: tier 3

Stephenson Harwood

At Stephenson Harwood, Mark Reed¬†leads on the non-contentious side with ‚Äėexcellent knowledge of the banking and financial sectors‚Äô;¬†Ian Childs¬†heads up the contentious practice. The team advised China Hanya Securities on successfully obtaining a type 1 securities licence and assisted the client with various licensing and compliance issues with the SFC. Aetna International and PrimeCredit also instruct the team. Senior associate Katherine Liu¬†is ‚Äėdiligent and responsive‚Äô.

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Restructuring and insolvency
Restructuring and insolvency - ranked: tier 3

Stephenson Harwood

Headed by the 'very sensible and commercial' Jamie Stranger, Stephenson Harwood provides 'excellent service' to an impressive roster of insolvency practitioners including Deloitte, Baker Tilly and Borelli Walsh. Noted for his 'extensive insolvency and litigation experience', Stranger has a particular focus on contentious insolvency matters and is acting for the joint provisional liquidators (JPLs) on the Hong Kong aspects of the provisional liquidation and potential restructuring of CECEP COSTIN New Materials, work that has included advice on disputes with the landlord in Hong Kong and obtaining a foreign recognition order from the Hong Kong Court setting out the JPLs' powers in Hong Kong. Ivan Ng is also noted for his contentious insolvency work, while 'very proactive' senior associate Eloise Fardon has successfully built up the office's increased flow of non-contentious restructuring work, including her advice to Winsway Enterprises Holding on the restructuring of $310m-worth of New York law-governed notes.

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Shipping
Shipping - ranked: tier 3

Stephenson Harwood

Benefiting from 'strong knowledge of the shipping industry and the legal issues that arise within it', Stephenson Harwood provides 'practical and effective advice' to owners, P&I clubs and banks across the spectrum of litigation and commercial work. Also able to rely on the expertise of practitioners in China and Singapore, the team excels at handling multi-jurisdictional pan-Asian work and is praised for its 'good understanding of regional differences'. The 'intelligent and intuitive' Andrew Rigden Green has the 'ability to succinctly communicate complex issues' and has expertise across the spectrum of litigation including in bills of lading and charterparty disputes, as well as regularly acting for banks on the enforcement of shipping loans. Senior associate Elizabeth Sloane is 'a knowledgeable and effective litigator', and has particular expertise in handling high-profile casualties, collisions and groundings across the Asia-Pacific region.

Leading individuals

Andrew Rigden Green - Stephenson Harwood

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Tax and trusts
Tax and trusts - ranked: tier 1

Stephenson Harwood

Recently strengthened by a number of high-profile additions, including the arrival in November 2017 of Laurence Ho from Withers, and in May 2018 of Kevin Lee from Zhong Lun Law Firm, Stephenson Harwood is widely regarded as having the 'strongest private wealth-focused team in Asia'. With experts providing tax and trusts advice across different topics and jurisdictions, clients appreciate the firm's ability to provide 'a one-stop-shop service to wealthy individuals in the region'. The 'resourceful and practical' Lee is 'commercially aware'; his 'natural sense of curiosity' ensures he provides 'very strong service' to clients on Hong Kong and Canadian tax and private wealth issues. Able to 'explain very complex matters in an understandable way', Ho excels at advising high-net-wealth clients and families with connections to the US and bolsters an already strong team in that regard, given the credentials of the 'very approachable' Erik Wallace, who has 'a comprehensive grasp of US tax law and is always on top of the constant changes'. 'Experienced across all areas of Hong Kong and international trusts, estate planning, and charities', Silvia On provides 'intelligent and highly professional' guidance to high-net-wealth clients on their succession and estate planning needs. Consultant Peter Hodson excels at trusts matters and is 'able to compare the legal considerations for trust issues in cross-border situations, concerning many Asian jurisdictions and the main trust centres'. Team head Ian Devereux has 'vast experience' and impresses clients with his 'in-depth knowledge' and ability to 'identify and mitigate the risks and issues'.

Leading individuals

Ian Devereux - Stephenson Harwood

Kevin Lee - Stephenson Harwood

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Hong Kong: Capital markets

Capital markets (equity)
Capital markets (equity) - ranked: tier 5

Stephenson Harwood

Stephenson Harwood has been an active player in the Greater China capital markets arena since the 1970s, and it significantly strengthened its offering recently by hiring a team of 11 fee-earners from Troutman Sanders LLP to its Beijing office. Allen Shyu, who led the group in the move across, divides time between his new firm's Beijing and Hong Kong offices, and handles Hong Kong and US capital markets transactions and regulatory issues. Paul Westover heads the practice, which covers a full spectrum of matters, including IPOs, secondary listings, dual listings and spin-off transactions. In a recent highlight, Anthony Chan and others acted as Hong Kong legal advisers to Zioncom Holdings on its GEM Board listing. In addition, Voon Keat Lai and Ivan Tan were part of a cross-office team that advised AIQ on its listing and admission on the Standard segment of the Main Market of the London Stock Exchange. Recently promoted partner Ivy Wong is also recommended.

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Hong Kong: Dispute resolution

Dispute resolution: litigation
Dispute resolution: litigation - ranked: tier 3

Stephenson Harwood

Malcolm Kemp¬†leads the team at Stephenson Harwood, which is ‚Äėimpressively knowledgeable in product liability and competition law, not just in Hong Kong but generally in common law jurisdictions‚Äô. The team represented Raiffeisen Bank International as the account holder in relation to $22m in damages sought by¬†Ye Weiping, arising from the alleged unauthorised sale of 500 million shares in Hong Kong-listed Neo Telemedia. Clients also include Bank of China and Michharry & Company Nigeria; the latter instructed the team to trace and recover funds lost after falling victim to cyber fraud.¬†Ian Childs¬†has been promoted to partner, and Phillip Rompotis¬†departed to set up his own practice.

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Further information on Stephenson Harwood

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Legal Developments by:
Stephenson Harwood

  • Companies should plan now to minimise their pension protection levy

    The amount that pension schemes have to pay to the Pension Protection Fund (PPF) for the year 2006/07 may have increased by as much as five times the previous year's levy. Employers who ultimately bear the cost of many pension schemes will need to make plans now to ensure the levy payable for the year 2008/09 is kept to a minimum.
    - Stephenson Harwood

Legal Developments in Hong Kong

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