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Baker McKenzie


Asia Pacific: Regional international arbitration

Regional international arbitration
Regional international arbitration - ranked: tier 3

Baker McKenzie

Baker McKenzie’s arbitration group in Greater China is now led by Hong Kong-based Paul Teo, who joined from Hogan Lovells. Teo represents clients in disputes related to corporate and commercial transactions across a range of sectors including energy, mining and resources, infrastructure and construction, offshore and marine, and telecoms. Also in Hong Kong are Bryan Ng and Gary Seib, who are both active on cross-border arbitrations for the firm’s broad international client base. Global head of arbitration Leng Sun Chan, who is based in Singapore, has particular expertise in maritime disputes, but also handles a varied commercial caseload that encompasses disputes arising from breaches of share purchase agreements and construction contracts. Also in Singapore, Nandakumar Ponniya acts as global head of energy, mining and infrastructure disputes. In addition to fielding expertise in Hong Kong and Singapore, the firm is able to draw on specialists in Bangkok, Tokyo, Taipei, Ho Chi Minh City, Melbourne and Sydney, as well as mainland China, where Shanghai-based Simon Hui is a key figure.

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Hong Kong

Antitrust and competition
Antitrust and competition - ranked: tier 1

Baker McKenzie

Baker McKenzie’s three-partner Hong Kong team is well equipped to handle merger control filings involving a Chinese nexus; it is able to deal directly with the Ministry of Commerce of the People’s Republic of China (MOFCOM) by dint of the firm’s joint operation in China with FenXun Partners. ‘Very experienced and accomplished’ team head Stephen Crosswell has advised on the China merger clearance control aspects of several acquisitions by Platinum Equity including on its $4bn acquisition of Emerson’s Network Power business, and its $111m purchase of the Foam Plastics Solutions and the Flow Control Devices business from Broadway Industrial Group. Crosswell has also been at the vanguard of the development of competition law in Hong Kong and has been involved in many of the most significant competition cases in the telecoms and broadcasting sectors. His ability to effectively handle contentious work was recently enhanced as a result of his attaining of higher rights of audience in October 2016. Thomas Jenkins was recently promoted to special counsel, a reflection of his expertise in the region on M&A-related work and cartels, in particular. Senior associate Donald Pan continues to handle numerous large-scale competition audits for Hong Kong and multinational corporates, while at a partner level David Fleming also provides antitrust expertise as a function of his M&A transactional practice. Clients also include FedEx, Allnex, Aston Martin and British American Tobacco.

Leading individuals

Stephen Crosswell - Baker McKenzie

Next generation lawyers

Thomas Jenkins - Baker McKenzie

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Asset finance (including aviation and shipping finance)
Aviation finance - ranked: tier 2

Baker McKenzie

Leveraging its huge international network, Baker McKenzie’s Hong Kong office is regularly involved in multi-jurisdictional aviation financing transactions for a diverse array of market participants including airlines, lessees, lessors and lenders. The ‘very smart’ Andrew Lockhart has excellent connections with numerous PRC and Hong Kong-based banks, which he frequently advises on the facilities to secure the financing of aircraft and for general borrowing purposes for airlines. Allen Ng is also recommended for leasing and financing matters across a range of Asian jurisdictions, including Taiwan, Japan, Vietnam, Indonesia and Malaysia.

Leading individuals

Allen Ng - Baker McKenzie

Andrew Lockhart - Baker McKenzie

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Banking and finance
Banking and finance - ranked: tier 3

Baker McKenzie

Baker McKenzie’s diverse practice covers matters involving syndicated loans, structured finance, project finance, real estate finance, and acquisition and trade finance, among other areas. It undertakes a significant amount of work for Chinese and international lenders, and also acts for other clients, including export credit agencies and corporate borrowers. Sally Hung was recently the lead adviser to Hang Seng Bank on a circa HK$1.3bn club deal secured term loan facility to Fosun Property Holdings (as guaranteed by Hong Kong-listed Fosun International) to finance the acquisition of shares in a Bahamas-based company. In a separate highlight, in 2016, Hung was the lead adviser to Bank of China (Hong Kong) in the provision of a dual-tranche $160m and HK$1.092bn syndicated term loan facility to Sino-Ocean Land (Hong Kong). Hank Chong and Simon Leung are other key contacts in the team, which is jointly led by Andrew Lockhart and Barry Cheng.

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Construction
Construction - ranked: tier 4

Baker McKenzie

The team at Baker McKenzie is led by Paul Teo, who joined from Hogan Lovells’ Singapore office, following the retirement of former practice head David Smith. Teo has vast experience of handling major infrastructure and construction projects across Asia, with a particular focus on energy (oil and gas, power and renewables), transport and infrastructure (onshore and offshore) projects. The team is advising Ocean Park on the construction of its new HK$2.3bn water park, and acting for a joint venture between SAIC and General Motors, on the construction of an industrial development zone and the establishment of a new automotive manufacturing plant in Indonesia. As well has handling non-contentious matters, the firm has a ‘first-class construction disputes practice’. Other clients include Marubeni, Atal Engineering, Alstom, Paul Y Engineering and Samsung C&T.

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Corporate (including M&A)
Corporate (including M&A) - ranked: tier 3

Baker McKenzie

Baker McKenzie’s track record in corporate transactions in China dates back more than 40 years, making it well placed to advise overseas-based investors on inbound investments into the country. It also handles strategic outbound deals for Chinese SOEs and private companies, and also assists with wider Asian/international transactions, as well as purely domestic matters. Recent work highlights saw Karen Man, Michael Horman and special counsel Frank Meier are part of a cross-border team that is acting for LGT Group Foundation in its acquisition of ABN AMRO’s private banking business in Asia and the Middle East. Horman is advising construction materials manufacturer LafargeHolcim on the circa $889m divestment of its 65% interest in LafargeHolcim Vietnam to Siam City Cement. David Fleming leads the department, which includes Tracy Wut, Dorothea Koo, Edmund Chan and Jeanie Kim. Rose Zhu joined from Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft LLP and Elsa Chan retired from private practice.

Next generation lawyers

Jeanie Kim - Baker McKenzie

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Insurance
Insurance - ranked: tier 3

Baker McKenzie

Baker McKenzie is noted for its expertise in M&A and regulatory issues, and has a solid showing in contentious matters also. The firm advised Allianz on its successful bid for a 15-year bancassurance agreement with Standard Chartered to distribute general insurance products to the bank’s retail banking clients in five key Asian jurisdictions. Martin Tam leads the team and is noted for his experience in advisory matters and transactions.

Leading individuals

Martin Tam - Baker McKenzie

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Intellectual property
Intellectual property - ranked: tier 1

Baker McKenzie

The ‘very strong and experienced’ six-partner team at Baker McKenzie is active across the spectrum of non-contentious and contentious IP work including on the commercialisation of IPR, trade mark portfolio management and copyright-related issues. As well as involvement in purely local matters, the Hong Kong office acts as a hub for the coordination of Asia Pacific matters and regularly works closely with practitioners from Beijing and Shanghai. Shih Yann Loo frequently assists clients in IP litigation both in Hong Kong and China; he is currently defending an international cosmetics company in a trade mark infringement and passing-off claim brought by a joint venture partner. Team head Loke-Khoon Tan handles work for many global brands in the luxury goods and fashion industry and is particularly noted for his PRC-related work; he successfully represented Pernod Ricard in a major criminal counterfeiting case relating to the manufacturing and selling of fake spirits including well-known brand Cognac Martell. China IP expert Clifford Borg-Marks recently re-joined the firm as a consultant and strengthens the team, which includes ‘excellent’ trade mark lawyerMaria Smith and brand protection expert Ruby Chan.

Leading individuals

Loke-Khoon Tan - Baker McKenzie

Ruby Chan - Baker McKenzie

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Investment funds
Investment funds - ranked: tier 2

Baker McKenzie

At Baker McKenzie, a core area of strength is in private equity real estate, where the firm features prominently in a significant number of high-value and landmark fund launches; in 2016, Jason Ng (a co-chair of the global funds group), special counsel Edwin Wong and associate Peter Kim acted for Gaw Capital Partners in the launch of its fifth flagship pan-Asian private equity real estate fund, Gateway Real Estate Fund V, which raised $1.3bn plus another $500m in sidecar commitments. The team also assisted the same client with forming Gaw Hospitality Fund I, representing Gaw Capital’s first private equity real estate fund solely focused on investments in the hotels sector in the Asia Pacific region. On the limited partner side, recent highlights included advising Canada Pension Plan Investment Board on its investments in Logos Singapore Logistics Venture and Logos Indonesia Logistics Partners, funds established by LOGOS Property Group to invest in logistics facilities in Singapore and Indonesia respectively. Martin Tam specialises in structuring and forming ETFs, as well as obtaining associated SFC authorisations. Sophia Man is particularly knowledgeable about setting up mandatory provident funds (MPFs) and occupational retirement schemes ordinance (ORSO) products, as well as their restructuring, management and related regulatory issues. Elsewhere, the team is a dominant player in the Hong Kong REITS market; Milton Cheng has been involved in nearly all the capital raising and acquisition transactions in Hong Kong to date and special counsel Jeremy Ong is also recommended in this area.

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Labour and employment
Labour and employment - ranked: tier 1

Baker McKenzie

Praised for its ‘very strong industry knowledge’ and ‘ability to coordinate on matters across multiple jurisdictions’, Baker McKenzie’s 13-strong team provides ‘very practical and commercial advice’ to corporates from a wide range of industry sectors including banking, insurance and technology, across the gamut of advisory, contentious and corporate support-related matters. Rowan McKenzie has ‘strong Asia Pacific knowledge’ and is noted for his ‘calm and collaborative approach’ across a wide array of matters including policy reviews, human resources strategy and employment risk management. McKenzie recently provided the coordinated Asia Pacific employment advice to a US-based telecoms company regarding its discretionary compensation plan and on the feasibility of adding supplemental factors to the plan. Susan Kendall is best known for her contentious employment expertise; she recently represented an asset manager in the defence of a wrongful dismissal claim brought by a former employee following the termination of his employment contract after alleged dishonest expenses claims and for his absence from work shortly after he returned following an extensive sick leave due to depression. Kendall is also noted for her expertise on privacy-related matters. Jonathan Isaacs has a focus on PRC-related employment law matters including collective bargaining, data privacy and termination issues. Sonia Wong and Catherine Leung are key members of a ‘very strong offering at an associate level’. Clients include Abercrombie & Fitch, BT and Lenovo.

Leading individuals

Susan Kendall - Baker McKenzie

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Projects and energy
Projects and energy - ranked: tier 3

Baker McKenzie

Baker McKenzie is best known for project financings and Chinese-lender driven outbound financings of energy sector investments, thanks in part to the presence of key banking and finance partner Barry Cheng. Before recently retiring, key projects partner David Smith continued to advise Ocean Park Corporation on its HK$5.5bn master redevelopment project and the development of its new Water Park.

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Real estate
Real estate - ranked: tier 1

Baker McKenzie

Baker McKenzie’s ‘wonderful’ team is led by Edmond Chan, and includes ‘very professional, prompt and commercially minded lawyers’, who are ‘outstanding for complex Chinese deals’. Shiu-man Wan, May Lau and Rico Chan are the names to note and have collective strengths in real estate M&A transactions, hotel investments and PRC-based property developments. The firm recently advised ARA Asset Management on the acquisition of a retail and office complex in Shanghai, and assisted Yuexiu Property, an investment and property holding company, with the public issuance of corporate bonds by a subsidiary of Yuexiu Property to PRC-based investors. Other clients include Link REIT, Prosperity Real Estate Investment Trust, New Century Real Estate Investment Trust and Jones Lang LaSalle.

Leading individuals

Edmond Chan - Baker McKenzie

Rico Chan - Baker McKenzie

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Regulatory
Regulatory - ranked: tier 2

Baker McKenzie

Baker McKenzie is praised for its ‘good response times’. Karen Man, who heads the non-contentious side of the practice, is ‘very commercial, has deep market knowledge and is flexible in her approach’; she advised LGT Group (the investment arm of the Liechtenstein royal family) on the Hong Kong aspects of its multi-jurisdictional purchase of ABN AMRO’s private banking business in the Middle East and Asia. Cynthia Tang, who has expertise in a range of Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) and Market Misconduct Tribunal regulatory matters, is a name to note for contentious work. Other clients include EFG Bank and Maybank, a new client win. Grace Fung is a key name at associate level.

Leading individuals

Cynthia Tang - Baker McKenzie

Next generation lawyers

Grace Fung - Baker McKenzie

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Restructuring and insolvency
Restructuring and insolvency - ranked: tier 3

Baker McKenzie

Comprised of a multi-disciplinary group of practitioners from across the firm’s banking and finance, and dispute resolution groups, Baker McKenzie has significant Greater China resources spanning Hong Kong, Shanghai and Beijing, and is consequently regularly involved in corporate restructuring and formal insolvency matters in the region on behalf of a varied mix of stakeholders including IPs, banks, corporates and funds. Kwun-Yee Cheung is regularly involved in the most significant mandates handled by the team, and as well as acting for a global footwear and apparel company on cross-border insolvency issues, also continues to represent the official receiver and special managers of the Bank of Credit and Commerce Hong Kong on all aspects of its complex liquidation.

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TMT
TMT - ranked: tier 2

Baker McKenzie

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.

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Tax and trusts
Tax and trusts - ranked: tier 1

Baker McKenzie

Baker McKenzie’s four-partner tax team is active across the spectrum of advisory, transactional and litigation work relating to indirect taxes, transfer pricing matters and wealth management-related tax matters. Aside from the large size of the Hong Kong team, a differentiating factor from many of its competitors is the ability to work alongside practitioners throughout its vast international network, enabling it to effectively handle global tax structuring matters. Team head Steven Sieker has a focus on tax controversy work and recently represented a US conglomerate in a $20m dispute with the Hong Kong Inland Revenue department regarding the source of trading profits. Richard Weisman advised Hong Kong-based global supply chain manager Li & Fung on the tax planning issues associated with its restructuring. Other recommended partners include Amy Ling, who specialises in PRC tax matters, and Pierre Chan, who handles a broad spectrum of contentious and non-contentious issues including those relating to Stamp Duty.

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Hong Kong: Capital markets

Debt
Capital markets (debt) - ranked: tier 4

Baker McKenzie

Baker McKenzie handles both issuer and underwriter-side mandates, giving its team a broad perspective in bonds/notes/commercial paper issuances, Regulation 144A offerings and MTN programmes. Dorothea Koo acted for Yuexiu Property Company in the RMB8bn corporate bond issuance by a subsidiary of the client to qualified investors in the PRC. Edmund Chan and Christine Lee are other names to note in Hong Kong. Beijing-based Jackie Lo succeeded Elsa Chan as practice head of the Greater China team, following Chan’s retirement from private practice. Edwin Li has also left the firm.

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Equity
Capital markets (equity) - ranked: tier 5

Baker McKenzie

In addition to acting for underwriters, Baker McKenzie assists issuer clients with IPOs and various other secondary offerings in the Hong Kong and US markets, including secondary share offerings, warrants and options. It also handles spinoff listings, and provides compliance advice to companies listed on the Hong Kong and New York Stock Exchanges, among other matters. Christina Lee, who is an English, Cantonese and Mandarin-speaking partner, is a name to note in Hong Kong. In 2016, Lee advised BOE Technology on its subscription of a controlling interest in Varitronix International. Elsa Chan retired from private practice.

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Hong Kong: Dispute resolution

International arbitration
Dispute resolution: international arbitration - ranked: tier 3

Baker McKenzie

Baker McKenzie’s Greater China international arbitration practice, now headed by Paul Teo, who joined in January 2017 from Hogan Lovells Lee & Lee in Singapore. It handles a range of Hong Kong arbitrations covering all manners of commercial disputes such as joint venture disputes and banking matters, some of which are against a backdrop of insolvencies, covered by a range of different governing laws. Gary Seib, Mini vandePol and Kwun Yee Cheung are also partners of note in the practice. Soo Khim Keoy was promoted to the partnership in July 2017.

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Litigation
Dispute resolution: litigation - ranked: tier 2

Baker McKenzie

Cynthia Tang leads Baker McKenzie’s practice and is supported by Bryan Ng, Gary Seib, Soo Khim Keoy, who ‘quickly identifies crucial points of disputes and associated risks’, and Anthony Poon. The team handles commercial litigation, and contentious restructuring and insolvency matters, among other work, and the broader disputes practice has expertise in compliance and regulatory investigations, and commercial and international arbitration. Kwun-Yee Cheung recently advised a private equity firm on the restructuring of its portfolio company, as part of an agreement arising from its US-based debt dispute. She is also representing a manufacturing company in a shareholder dispute

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Hong Kong: Regulatory

Anti-corruption and compliance
Regulatory: anti-corruption and compliance - ranked: tier 3

Baker McKenzie

Hong Kong-based Mini vandePol is chair of Baker McKenzie’s global compliance and investigations group. Her Hong Kong team is very much at the forefront of the global practice and features a number of senior disputes specialists that have built up significant experience in this segment. The firm has an excellent record in China-based investigations and in jurisdictions throughout Asia Pacific. Cynthia Tang and Anthony Poon are also recommended.

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Asia Pacific: Regional international arbitration

Regional international arbitration
Regional international arbitration - ranked: tier 3

Baker McKenzie

Baker McKenzie’s arbitration group in Greater China is now led by Hong Kong-based Paul Teo, who joined from Hogan Lovells. Teo represents clients in disputes related to corporate and commercial transactions across a range of sectors including energy, mining and resources, infrastructure and construction, offshore and marine, and telecoms. Also in Hong Kong are Bryan Ng and Gary Seib, who are both active on cross-border arbitrations for the firm’s broad international client base. Global head of arbitration Leng Sun Chan, who is based in Singapore, has particular expertise in maritime disputes, but also handles a varied commercial caseload that encompasses disputes arising from breaches of share purchase agreements and construction contracts. Also in Singapore, Nandakumar Ponniya acts as global head of energy, mining and infrastructure disputes. In addition to fielding expertise in Hong Kong and Singapore, the firm is able to draw on specialists in Bangkok, Tokyo, Taipei, Ho Chi Minh City, Melbourne and Sydney, as well as mainland China, where Shanghai-based Simon Hui is a key figure.

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Hong Kong

Antitrust and competition
Antitrust and competition - ranked: tier 1

Baker McKenzie

Baker McKenzie’s three-partner Hong Kong team is well equipped to handle merger control filings involving a Chinese nexus; it is able to deal directly with the Ministry of Commerce of the People’s Republic of China (MOFCOM) by dint of the firm’s joint operation in China with FenXun Partners. ‘Very experienced and accomplished’ team head Stephen Crosswell has advised on the China merger clearance control aspects of several acquisitions by Platinum Equity including on its $4bn acquisition of Emerson’s Network Power business, and its $111m purchase of the Foam Plastics Solutions and the Flow Control Devices business from Broadway Industrial Group. Crosswell has also been at the vanguard of the development of competition law in Hong Kong and has been involved in many of the most significant competition cases in the telecoms and broadcasting sectors. His ability to effectively handle contentious work was recently enhanced as a result of his attaining of higher rights of audience in October 2016. Thomas Jenkins was recently promoted to special counsel, a reflection of his expertise in the region on M&A-related work and cartels, in particular. Senior associate Donald Pan continues to handle numerous large-scale competition audits for Hong Kong and multinational corporates, while at a partner level David Fleming also provides antitrust expertise as a function of his M&A transactional practice. Clients also include FedEx, Allnex, Aston Martin and British American Tobacco.

Leading individuals

Stephen Crosswell - Baker McKenzie

Next generation lawyers

Thomas Jenkins - Baker McKenzie

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Asset finance (including aviation and shipping finance)
Aviation finance - ranked: tier 2

Baker McKenzie

Leveraging its huge international network, Baker McKenzie’s Hong Kong office is regularly involved in multi-jurisdictional aviation financing transactions for a diverse array of market participants including airlines, lessees, lessors and lenders. The ‘very smart’ Andrew Lockhart has excellent connections with numerous PRC and Hong Kong-based banks, which he frequently advises on the facilities to secure the financing of aircraft and for general borrowing purposes for airlines. Allen Ng is also recommended for leasing and financing matters across a range of Asian jurisdictions, including Taiwan, Japan, Vietnam, Indonesia and Malaysia.

Leading individuals

Allen Ng - Baker McKenzie

Andrew Lockhart - Baker McKenzie

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Banking and finance
Banking and finance - ranked: tier 3

Baker McKenzie

Baker McKenzie’s diverse practice covers matters involving syndicated loans, structured finance, project finance, real estate finance, and acquisition and trade finance, among other areas. It undertakes a significant amount of work for Chinese and international lenders, and also acts for other clients, including export credit agencies and corporate borrowers. Sally Hung was recently the lead adviser to Hang Seng Bank on a circa HK$1.3bn club deal secured term loan facility to Fosun Property Holdings (as guaranteed by Hong Kong-listed Fosun International) to finance the acquisition of shares in a Bahamas-based company. In a separate highlight, in 2016, Hung was the lead adviser to Bank of China (Hong Kong) in the provision of a dual-tranche $160m and HK$1.092bn syndicated term loan facility to Sino-Ocean Land (Hong Kong). Hank Chong and Simon Leung are other key contacts in the team, which is jointly led by Andrew Lockhart and Barry Cheng.

[back to top]

Construction
Construction - ranked: tier 4

Baker McKenzie

The team at Baker McKenzie is led by Paul Teo, who joined from Hogan Lovells’ Singapore office, following the retirement of former practice head David Smith. Teo has vast experience of handling major infrastructure and construction projects across Asia, with a particular focus on energy (oil and gas, power and renewables), transport and infrastructure (onshore and offshore) projects. The team is advising Ocean Park on the construction of its new HK$2.3bn water park, and acting for a joint venture between SAIC and General Motors, on the construction of an industrial development zone and the establishment of a new automotive manufacturing plant in Indonesia. As well has handling non-contentious matters, the firm has a ‘first-class construction disputes practice’. Other clients include Marubeni, Atal Engineering, Alstom, Paul Y Engineering and Samsung C&T.

[back to top]

Corporate (including M&A)
Corporate (including M&A) - ranked: tier 3

Baker McKenzie

Baker McKenzie’s track record in corporate transactions in China dates back more than 40 years, making it well placed to advise overseas-based investors on inbound investments into the country. It also handles strategic outbound deals for Chinese SOEs and private companies, and also assists with wider Asian/international transactions, as well as purely domestic matters. Recent work highlights saw Karen Man, Michael Horman and special counsel Frank Meier are part of a cross-border team that is acting for LGT Group Foundation in its acquisition of ABN AMRO’s private banking business in Asia and the Middle East. Horman is advising construction materials manufacturer LafargeHolcim on the circa $889m divestment of its 65% interest in LafargeHolcim Vietnam to Siam City Cement. David Fleming leads the department, which includes Tracy Wut, Dorothea Koo, Edmund Chan and Jeanie Kim. Rose Zhu joined from Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft LLP and Elsa Chan retired from private practice.

Next generation lawyers

Jeanie Kim - Baker McKenzie

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Insurance
Insurance - ranked: tier 3

Baker McKenzie

Baker McKenzie is noted for its expertise in M&A and regulatory issues, and has a solid showing in contentious matters also. The firm advised Allianz on its successful bid for a 15-year bancassurance agreement with Standard Chartered to distribute general insurance products to the bank’s retail banking clients in five key Asian jurisdictions. Martin Tam leads the team and is noted for his experience in advisory matters and transactions.

Leading individuals

Martin Tam - Baker McKenzie

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Intellectual property
Intellectual property - ranked: tier 1

Baker McKenzie

The ‘very strong and experienced’ six-partner team at Baker McKenzie is active across the spectrum of non-contentious and contentious IP work including on the commercialisation of IPR, trade mark portfolio management and copyright-related issues. As well as involvement in purely local matters, the Hong Kong office acts as a hub for the coordination of Asia Pacific matters and regularly works closely with practitioners from Beijing and Shanghai. Shih Yann Loo frequently assists clients in IP litigation both in Hong Kong and China; he is currently defending an international cosmetics company in a trade mark infringement and passing-off claim brought by a joint venture partner. Team head Loke-Khoon Tan handles work for many global brands in the luxury goods and fashion industry and is particularly noted for his PRC-related work; he successfully represented Pernod Ricard in a major criminal counterfeiting case relating to the manufacturing and selling of fake spirits including well-known brand Cognac Martell. China IP expert Clifford Borg-Marks recently re-joined the firm as a consultant and strengthens the team, which includes ‘excellent’ trade mark lawyerMaria Smith and brand protection expert Ruby Chan.

Leading individuals

Loke-Khoon Tan - Baker McKenzie

Ruby Chan - Baker McKenzie

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Investment funds
Investment funds - ranked: tier 2

Baker McKenzie

At Baker McKenzie, a core area of strength is in private equity real estate, where the firm features prominently in a significant number of high-value and landmark fund launches; in 2016, Jason Ng (a co-chair of the global funds group), special counsel Edwin Wong and associate Peter Kim acted for Gaw Capital Partners in the launch of its fifth flagship pan-Asian private equity real estate fund, Gateway Real Estate Fund V, which raised $1.3bn plus another $500m in sidecar commitments. The team also assisted the same client with forming Gaw Hospitality Fund I, representing Gaw Capital’s first private equity real estate fund solely focused on investments in the hotels sector in the Asia Pacific region. On the limited partner side, recent highlights included advising Canada Pension Plan Investment Board on its investments in Logos Singapore Logistics Venture and Logos Indonesia Logistics Partners, funds established by LOGOS Property Group to invest in logistics facilities in Singapore and Indonesia respectively. Martin Tam specialises in structuring and forming ETFs, as well as obtaining associated SFC authorisations. Sophia Man is particularly knowledgeable about setting up mandatory provident funds (MPFs) and occupational retirement schemes ordinance (ORSO) products, as well as their restructuring, management and related regulatory issues. Elsewhere, the team is a dominant player in the Hong Kong REITS market; Milton Cheng has been involved in nearly all the capital raising and acquisition transactions in Hong Kong to date and special counsel Jeremy Ong is also recommended in this area.

[back to top]

Labour and employment
Labour and employment - ranked: tier 1

Baker McKenzie

Praised for its ‘very strong industry knowledge’ and ‘ability to coordinate on matters across multiple jurisdictions’, Baker McKenzie’s 13-strong team provides ‘very practical and commercial advice’ to corporates from a wide range of industry sectors including banking, insurance and technology, across the gamut of advisory, contentious and corporate support-related matters. Rowan McKenzie has ‘strong Asia Pacific knowledge’ and is noted for his ‘calm and collaborative approach’ across a wide array of matters including policy reviews, human resources strategy and employment risk management. McKenzie recently provided the coordinated Asia Pacific employment advice to a US-based telecoms company regarding its discretionary compensation plan and on the feasibility of adding supplemental factors to the plan. Susan Kendall is best known for her contentious employment expertise; she recently represented an asset manager in the defence of a wrongful dismissal claim brought by a former employee following the termination of his employment contract after alleged dishonest expenses claims and for his absence from work shortly after he returned following an extensive sick leave due to depression. Kendall is also noted for her expertise on privacy-related matters. Jonathan Isaacs has a focus on PRC-related employment law matters including collective bargaining, data privacy and termination issues. Sonia Wong and Catherine Leung are key members of a ‘very strong offering at an associate level’. Clients include Abercrombie & Fitch, BT and Lenovo.

Leading individuals

Susan Kendall - Baker McKenzie

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Projects and energy
Projects and energy - ranked: tier 3

Baker McKenzie

Baker McKenzie is best known for project financings and Chinese-lender driven outbound financings of energy sector investments, thanks in part to the presence of key banking and finance partner Barry Cheng. Before recently retiring, key projects partner David Smith continued to advise Ocean Park Corporation on its HK$5.5bn master redevelopment project and the development of its new Water Park.

[back to top]

Real estate
Real estate - ranked: tier 1

Baker McKenzie

Baker McKenzie’s ‘wonderful’ team is led by Edmond Chan, and includes ‘very professional, prompt and commercially minded lawyers’, who are ‘outstanding for complex Chinese deals’. Shiu-man Wan, May Lau and Rico Chan are the names to note and have collective strengths in real estate M&A transactions, hotel investments and PRC-based property developments. The firm recently advised ARA Asset Management on the acquisition of a retail and office complex in Shanghai, and assisted Yuexiu Property, an investment and property holding company, with the public issuance of corporate bonds by a subsidiary of Yuexiu Property to PRC-based investors. Other clients include Link REIT, Prosperity Real Estate Investment Trust, New Century Real Estate Investment Trust and Jones Lang LaSalle.

Leading individuals

Edmond Chan - Baker McKenzie

Rico Chan - Baker McKenzie

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Regulatory
Regulatory - ranked: tier 2

Baker McKenzie

Baker McKenzie is praised for its ‘good response times’. Karen Man, who heads the non-contentious side of the practice, is ‘very commercial, has deep market knowledge and is flexible in her approach’; she advised LGT Group (the investment arm of the Liechtenstein royal family) on the Hong Kong aspects of its multi-jurisdictional purchase of ABN AMRO’s private banking business in the Middle East and Asia. Cynthia Tang, who has expertise in a range of Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) and Market Misconduct Tribunal regulatory matters, is a name to note for contentious work. Other clients include EFG Bank and Maybank, a new client win. Grace Fung is a key name at associate level.

Leading individuals

Cynthia Tang - Baker McKenzie

Next generation lawyers

Grace Fung - Baker McKenzie

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Restructuring and insolvency
Restructuring and insolvency - ranked: tier 3

Baker McKenzie

Comprised of a multi-disciplinary group of practitioners from across the firm’s banking and finance, and dispute resolution groups, Baker McKenzie has significant Greater China resources spanning Hong Kong, Shanghai and Beijing, and is consequently regularly involved in corporate restructuring and formal insolvency matters in the region on behalf of a varied mix of stakeholders including IPs, banks, corporates and funds. Kwun-Yee Cheung is regularly involved in the most significant mandates handled by the team, and as well as acting for a global footwear and apparel company on cross-border insolvency issues, also continues to represent the official receiver and special managers of the Bank of Credit and Commerce Hong Kong on all aspects of its complex liquidation.

[back to top]

TMT
TMT - ranked: tier 2

Baker McKenzie

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.

[back to top]

Tax and trusts
Tax and trusts - ranked: tier 1

Baker McKenzie

Baker McKenzie’s four-partner tax team is active across the spectrum of advisory, transactional and litigation work relating to indirect taxes, transfer pricing matters and wealth management-related tax matters. Aside from the large size of the Hong Kong team, a differentiating factor from many of its competitors is the ability to work alongside practitioners throughout its vast international network, enabling it to effectively handle global tax structuring matters. Team head Steven Sieker has a focus on tax controversy work and recently represented a US conglomerate in a $20m dispute with the Hong Kong Inland Revenue department regarding the source of trading profits. Richard Weisman advised Hong Kong-based global supply chain manager Li & Fung on the tax planning issues associated with its restructuring. Other recommended partners include Amy Ling, who specialises in PRC tax matters, and Pierre Chan, who handles a broad spectrum of contentious and non-contentious issues including those relating to Stamp Duty.

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Hong Kong: Capital markets

Debt
Capital markets (debt) - ranked: tier 4

Baker McKenzie

Baker McKenzie handles both issuer and underwriter-side mandates, giving its team a broad perspective in bonds/notes/commercial paper issuances, Regulation 144A offerings and MTN programmes. Dorothea Koo acted for Yuexiu Property Company in the RMB8bn corporate bond issuance by a subsidiary of the client to qualified investors in the PRC. Edmund Chan and Christine Lee are other names to note in Hong Kong. Beijing-based Jackie Lo succeeded Elsa Chan as practice head of the Greater China team, following Chan’s retirement from private practice. Edwin Li has also left the firm.

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Equity
Capital markets (equity) - ranked: tier 5

Baker McKenzie

In addition to acting for underwriters, Baker McKenzie assists issuer clients with IPOs and various other secondary offerings in the Hong Kong and US markets, including secondary share offerings, warrants and options. It also handles spinoff listings, and provides compliance advice to companies listed on the Hong Kong and New York Stock Exchanges, among other matters. Christina Lee, who is an English, Cantonese and Mandarin-speaking partner, is a name to note in Hong Kong. In 2016, Lee advised BOE Technology on its subscription of a controlling interest in Varitronix International. Elsa Chan retired from private practice.

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Hong Kong: Dispute resolution

International arbitration
Dispute resolution: international arbitration - ranked: tier 3

Baker McKenzie

Baker McKenzie’s Greater China international arbitration practice, now headed by Paul Teo, who joined in January 2017 from Hogan Lovells Lee & Lee in Singapore. It handles a range of Hong Kong arbitrations covering all manners of commercial disputes such as joint venture disputes and banking matters, some of which are against a backdrop of insolvencies, covered by a range of different governing laws. Gary Seib, Mini vandePol and Kwun Yee Cheung are also partners of note in the practice. Soo Khim Keoy was promoted to the partnership in July 2017.

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Litigation
Dispute resolution: litigation - ranked: tier 2

Baker McKenzie

Cynthia Tang leads Baker McKenzie’s practice and is supported by Bryan Ng, Gary Seib, Soo Khim Keoy, who ‘quickly identifies crucial points of disputes and associated risks’, and Anthony Poon. The team handles commercial litigation, and contentious restructuring and insolvency matters, among other work, and the broader disputes practice has expertise in compliance and regulatory investigations, and commercial and international arbitration. Kwun-Yee Cheung recently advised a private equity firm on the restructuring of its portfolio company, as part of an agreement arising from its US-based debt dispute. She is also representing a manufacturing company in a shareholder dispute

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Hong Kong: Regulatory

Anti-corruption and compliance
Regulatory: anti-corruption and compliance - ranked: tier 3

Baker McKenzie

Hong Kong-based Mini vandePol is chair of Baker McKenzie’s global compliance and investigations group. Her Hong Kong team is very much at the forefront of the global practice and features a number of senior disputes specialists that have built up significant experience in this segment. The firm has an excellent record in China-based investigations and in jurisdictions throughout Asia Pacific. Cynthia Tang and Anthony Poon are also recommended.

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Legal Developments by:
Baker McKenzie LLP

  • The New Turkish Code of Obligations: Important Changes for Leases of Residential & Business Premises

    For decades, the primary Turkish laws governing leases of residential and business premises have been the Law on Leasing Real Property dated May 27, 1955 (the “Lease Law”) and the Turkish Code of Obligations No. 818 dated April 22, 1926 (the “Obligations Code”). Both of these laws, however, will be repealed and replaced with the new Turkish Code of Obligations No. 6098 dated January 11, 2011 (the “New Obligations Code”), which will enter into force on July 7, 2012.
    - Esin Attorney Partnership

Legal Developments in Hong Kong

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