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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 5 more

Hong Kong

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

Stephenson Harwood

Shipping finance - ranked: tier 1

Stephenson Harwood

Stephenson Harwood provides ‘responsive and commercial advice’ to banks, lessors, export credit agencies and operators in the aviation and maritime sectors. Aided by the firm’s enhanced presence on the ground in China, the practice continues to pick up market share on behalf of PRC leasing companies, both in terms of their role as lenders and also when they need to borrow money. The ‘very likeableHongkai Zhou has been ‘extremely effective at picking up work out of China’, and alongside recently promoted partner Elton Chan, advised China Development Bank Financial Leasing on a sale and lease back project of eight large ore carriers, which will be chartered by an affiliate of Australian mining conglomerate Fortescue Metals Group. In addition to his work for lessors and banks on conventional ship finance work, Roy Chan is also regularly instructed by high-net-worth individuals on the financing of superyachts. On the aviation front, the firm handles work for lessors including ICBC Financial Leasing and JIC Leasing. As well as handling financing work for leasing companies, where the ‘excellentSimon Wong is recommended, the team has also been active establishing platforms for PRC lessors in Hong Kong in recognition of the tax advantages of doing so. ‘Hardworking and knowledgeable’ associate Elian Wong is also recommended for aircraft financing and leasing transactions.

Leading individuals

Hongkai Zhou - Stephenson Harwood

Simon Wong - Stephenson Harwood

Next generation lawyers

Elian Wong - Stephenson Harwood

Janice Lee - Stephenson Harwood

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Banking and finance
Banking and finance - ranked: tier 4

Stephenson Harwood

Stephenson Harwood’s practice has gone from strength to strength following King Tak Fung’s arrival from Eversheds Sutherland in 2016, with Elton Chan making partner in 2017. In addition, the practice has had an overall uptick in mandates from PRC and international clients, including The Export-Import Bank of China, China Construction Bank and Bank of China. Led by Mark Reed, the team handles a wide ambit of transactions, such as those involving asset finance, trade finance and project finance. It is also active in the advice to clients on banking regulatory and compliance issues; in 2016, Reed and others advised TNG (Asia) on its application for a licence to provide stored value facilities, in accordance with the regulatory regime established by the Payment Systems and Stored Value Facilities Ordinance. Stephanie Wong is also recommended.

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

Stephenson Harwood

Stephenson Harwood has been present in Hong Kong for more than 38 years, which has enabled the firm to develop longstanding relationships with a significant number of Hong Kong-listed companies. The firm also acts for international companies, Chinese privately owned enterprises (particularly SMEs) and SOEs. In 2016, Voon Keat Lai, Karen Chan and Yolanda Chung acted for the controlling shareholder of Dan Form Holdings Company in the HK$1.2bn sale of its equity interests in Dan Form to a wholly owned subsidiary of Tian An. Lai also advised Animoca Brands Corporation (listed on the Australian Stock Exchange) on its €5.4m acquisition of Finland-based mobile games developer and publisher TicBits OY. Eugene Lai advises on foreign direct investments into China, and also assists clients with setting up operations there, as well as handling China outbound acquisitions/investments. Paul Westover leads the team, which includes senior associate Andrew Carpenter. Jane Ng joined from Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft LLP in January 2017.

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Insurance
Insurance - ranked: tier 4

Stephenson Harwood

Stephenson Harwood has a sizeable bench of senior practitioners who are strongly associated with the insurance sector. Contentious insurance work is its mainstay, particularly in relation to maritime and international trade, energy, commodities and financial institutions. The firm also has genuine strength in non-contentious and regulatory issues. Guijun Wang, Giovanna Kwong and Andrew Ridgen Green are three key partners within a large department.

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Intellectual property
Intellectual property - ranked: tier 5

Stephenson Harwood

Led by Jezamine Fewins and Jonathan Chu, Stephenson Harwood’s ‘responsive and cost-effective’ team is particularly accomplished at handling IP litigation. Having successfully secured a judgment in Hong Kong for a Singapore-listed company against a Hong Kong company for trade mark infringement and passing off, Fewins also ensured that connected counterfeiting operations were successfully closed down in China. The arrival in August 2016 of IP litigator Chu from a local Hong Kong firm strengthens the firm’s IP capability for clients across a range of sectors including entertainment, manufacturing, energy, media, retail and life sciences.

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Labour and employment
Labour and employment - ranked: tier 3

Stephenson Harwood

Stephenson Harwoodcombines reliable legal advice with a client-friendly approach’ and provides a ‘cost-effective service’ to international companies, SMEs and executives across a broad range of employment issues including day-to-day human resources advice, obtaining and defending injunctions to enforce restrictive covenants, trade secrets, and employment law issues associated with team moves between competing financial institutions. ‘Responsive and friendly’ team head Jessamine Fewins has a ‘solid understanding of the law and can provide appropriate advice without having to resort to literature’. Fewins is particularly noted for contentious matters and has recently secured favourable settlements on behalf of numerous domestic helpers whose employment has been terminated after their employers discovered they were pregnant. Consultant Yeeling Wan also regularly handles employment litigation.

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Real estate
Real estate - ranked: tier 3

Stephenson Harwood

Stephenson Harwood’s practice provides ‘good, sensible, practical advice and value for money’. Department head Ian Devereux has expertise in real estate transactions for private clients, as well acting for developers, investors, landlords and tenants in commercial, industrial and residential development matters. The team assisted Henry Brothers Enterprises with the HK$1bn sale of four properties in Hong Kong (including residential and commercial buildings) by way of both private treaty and public tender. It also assisted a company belonging to a Chinese medicine group with the disposal of the entire issued share capital of two commercial properties in Hong Kong. Associate Jovanne Zee is another name to note.

Next generation lawyers

Jovanne Zee - Stephenson Harwood

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Regulatory
Regulatory - ranked: tier 3

Stephenson Harwood

Stephenson Harwood handles a range of financial services licensing matters. Mark Reed, Greater China managing partner Voon Keat Lai and senior associate Katherine Liu advised TNG Asia on its successful application for a stored value facility license from the Hong Kong Monetary Authority; Reed and Liu also assisted AC Asset Management with applications for various securities licenses. Contentious matters saw the pair representing a Hong Kong-listed business developing real estate in mainland China after an SFC investigation into an alleged unauthorised collective investment scheme; no enforcement action was recommended. Ivan Ng and senior associate Ian Childs are also recommended.

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Restructuring and insolvency
Restructuring and insolvency - ranked: tier 4

Stephenson Harwood

Stephenson Harwood is ‘performing well in the market’ and is particularly well placed to handle work emanating from the shipping and commodities markets in light of the firm’s overall sector strength in those areas. Team head Jamie Stranger is well regarded in the market and had a key role alongside lawyers from the firm’s London office during the representation of Chinese coking coal group E-Commodities Holdings regarding the successful cross-jurisdictional restructuring of its listed bonds. In a matter which involved numerous complex aspects, it required parallel schemes of arrangement in the BVI and Hong Kong, as well as Chapter 15 recognition; notably, this was the first Hong Kong scheme of arrangement to be recognised under Chapter 15. Ivan Ng is recommended for insolvency litigation. Clients also include FTI Consulting, Zolfo Cooper, Raiffeisen Bank International and Grant Thornton.

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Shipping
Shipping - ranked: tier 3

Stephenson Harwood

The ‘responsive and knowledgeable’ team at Stephenson Harwood handles litigation and transactional work for an eclectic mix of clients including shipowners, P&I clubs and lessors. ‘Very knowledgeable and accessible’ team head Andrew Rigden Green is well versed at handling multi-jurisdictional disputes across the spectrum of issues including charterparty and bills of lading disputes. Rigden Green is regularly involved in difficult claims in North and West Africa and recently represented Michharry and Company Nigeria (a Nigerian provider of onshore and offshore marine vessels to the oil and gas industry) on the successful tracing and recovery of in excess of $300,000 it lost as a result of a sophisticated cyber fraud. Recently promoted partner Roy Chan handles a mix of litigation and transactional/commercial work including assisting on a wide range of joint venture shipping projects. The arrival of ‘very hardworking and capable’ senior associate Elizabeth Sloane in August 2016 from HFW bolsters the team’s offering, particularly on the wet side, as a result of her experience in numerous high-profile casualties, collisions and groundings in the Asia Pacific region.

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Tax and trusts
Tax and trusts - ranked: tier 2

Stephenson Harwood

The ‘responsive, practical and cost-effective’ two-partner team at Stephenson Harwood has ‘in-depth technical knowledge’ across the gamut of private wealth matters including estate planning, probate and trusts work. Team head Ian Devereux provides ‘sensible and practical advice’ to high-net-worth individuals and families across a range of estate planning matters and also has a niche expertise in property-related transactions. Erik Wallace has ‘in-depth technical knowledge of US tax and trusts advice’ and excels at handling complex estate planning matters with a US nexus. ‘Very client-friendly’ associate Silvia On is ‘technically strong on wills and trusts work’. High-net-worth clients also benefit from the firm’s ‘excellent asset finance practice’, which includes niche expertise in corporate jet and superyacht financing.

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Hong Kong: Capital markets

Equity
Capital markets (equity) - ranked: tier 5

Stephenson Harwood

Stephenson Harwood’s longstanding presence in Greater China and international reach have made it a point of contact for Chinese corporates in domestic and cross-border ECM transactions; Ivan Tan was the firm’s lead adviser to CMON on the Hong Kong law aspects of its GEM listing by way of a circa HK$70m placing. In addition, the practice is increasingly winning work from sponsors; Eugene Lai, senior associate Ivy Wong and Clement Lai were part of a team that advised China Industrial Securities International Capital as the sole sponsor in Da Sen Holdings’ Hong Kong Main Board listing application. Paul Westover leads the team, which also includes Voon Keat Lai. -

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Hong Kong: Dispute resolution

Litigation
Dispute resolution: litigation - ranked: tier 3

Stephenson Harwood

Malcolm Kemp leads Stephenson Harwood’s group, which includes Jamie Stranger, Richard Wilmot, Ivan Ng and Andrew Rigden Green. Senior associate Ian Childs is also noted and focuses on civil litigation, regulatory matters and criminal matters. The team recently achieved a win for KBC Bank (formerly Antwerp Diamond Bank) against Brink’s Hong Kong regarding a mis-delivery of certain valuable diamonds. Stranger represented Tai Ping Carpets in a breach of trust claim against a former director of one the group’s subsidiaries. Raiffeisen Bank, Comapnia Sud Americana de Vapores and Michharry and Company Nigeria are also clients.

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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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