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Mayer Brown JSM

16-19F, PRINCE'S BUILDING, 10 CHATER ROAD, CENTRAL, HONG KONG
Tel:
Work +85 2 2843 2211
Fax:
Fax +85 2 2845 9121
DX:
DX-9001-IC
Email:
Web:
www.mayerbrownjsm.com

Hong Kong

Antitrust and competition
Antitrust and competition - ranked: tier 2

Mayer Brown JSM

Mayer Brown JSM’s competition law practice provides pan-Asian expertise to international and local clients across the gamut of advisory, litigation and M&A clearance matters. Benefiting from close relationships with the relevant regulatory authorities in Hong Kong and China, clients appreciate the firm’s ‘commercial and pragmatic’ approach. Hannah Ha is able to provide advice in English, Cantonese and Mandarin and is therefore seen as an ‘invaluable resource’ to clients in the region, both in relation to Competition Ordinance issues as well as on PRC-related merger clearances. John Hickin advises on compliance issues and regulatory disputes relating to competition, while at an associate level Joe Lee and Nicolas Cassauba-Tircazot are also recommended.

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

Mayer Brown JSM

Shipping finance - ranked: tier 1

Mayer Brown JSM

Equally strong at handling aviation and shipping finance matters, Mayer Brown JSM’s ‘exceptional’ asset finance team benefits from ‘unrivalled industry and subject-matter knowledge’, and provides ‘highly commercial’ advice to banks, owners and leasing companies. Maggie Cheung has strong ties with lenders in the region (particularly PRC banks including Industrial and Commercial Bank of China) and regularly handles bilateral and syndicated financings in the shipping sector. Senior consultant Dean Young has vast experience in the market acting for banks and leasing companies, while Bill Amos has a focus on ship finance workouts; he is advising Chiyu Bank (a subsidiary of BOCHK) on the enforcement of its mortgage over “YONG FU”. The team was also recently bolstered, particularly on the PRC leasing side, by the arrival of the ‘excellent’ Conor Warde from Clyde & Co LLP in August 2017. On the aviation front, the ‘exceptionally detail-orientedRichard Stock is noted for his ‘excellent negotiation skills’ and has expertise across a range of cross-border commercial and financing activity for banks, lessors and airlines. Ashley Wong has strong connections with PRC lessors and airlines, including ICBC Financial Leasing and Cathay Pacific, and is regularly engaged in aircraft portfolio acquisitions and disposals. Stuart Miller handles cross-border commercial aircraft finance, leasing and corporate jet transactions, and is also increasingly active advising PRC aircraft lessors on their financing requirements for aircraft portfolios. Recent highlights include acting for China COSCO Shipping Corporation in a 53 ship financing transaction with The Export-Import Bank of China.

Leading individuals

Richard Stock - Mayer Brown JSM

Next generation lawyers

Dora Ying - Mayer Brown JSM

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Banking and finance
Banking and finance - ranked: tier 3

Mayer Brown JSM

Mayer Brown JSM’s team covers every type of major financing transaction, benefiting from the firm’s excellent relationships with all of the ‘big four’ PRC banks and other Chinese/Hong Kong-licensed banks, as well as Asia Pacific and international banks, and multilateral financial institutions. Francis Chen and counsel Nishrin Hussain acted for Hang Seng Bank in the provision of HK$555m and $120m syndicated dual currency term loan facilities to Hong Kong-listed property developer China Aoyuan Property Group. Chen also assisted Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation with its HK$800m REIT financing to Vital Vision Enterprises, a subsidiary of Prosperity Real Estate Investment Trust. On the borrower side, Doo-Soon Choi, who joined from Ashurst in 2016, and senior associate Cherie Leung advised private equity real estate fund SilkRoad Property Partners on the RMB302m financing associated with its acquisition and development of Lujiazui Century Palace, Shanghai. Richard Stock leads the team, which also includes the vastly experienced Fanny Wang. Irene Lau left the firm.

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Construction
Construction - ranked: tier 1

Mayer Brown JSM

Mayer Brown JSM’s construction practice is led by Geoffrey Chan, who is supported by Menachem Hasofer, newly promoted partner Venna Cheng, Mei Ling Lew and senior associate Felicia Lee. The team has strengths in town planning and environmental issues, and handles major construction arbitrations for the government. Recent work highlights include assisting the Hong Kong Jockey Club with appointing an independent panel of inquiry to investigate the potential causes of the collapse of a heritage building in Central, Hong Kong, and advising on related potential proceedings against relevant parties. The team also acted for a resort chain in a dispute with a contractor regarding its new casino in Macau. Other clients include Swire Properties, Sun Hung Kai Properties, MTR, China State and Hong Kong Housing Society.

Leading individuals

Geoffrey Chan - Mayer Brown JSM

Next generation lawyers

Felicia Lee - Mayer Brown JSM

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

Mayer Brown JSM

Clients turn to Mayer Brown JSM for advice on their most complex, high-stakes transactions. Jeckle Chiu – a key point of contact for red-chip clients, SOEs and Chinese investment banks – is acting for state-owned conglomerate Guangdong Holdings in a reorganisation of its business. In other work, Chiu advised Dah Chong Hong Holdings on its $350m acquisition of Li & Fung’s consumer and healthcare distribution business in mainland China and multiple markets across Asia. Chiu leads the team with Mark Uhrynuk, who has experience of practising in Hong Kong, New York and England. Elaine Lo is an expert on foreign direct investment into China and also handles cross-border transactions. Recent personnel developments saw Robert Woll join from Deacons, while Jeremy Cunningham move to RPC.

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Insurance
Insurance - ranked: tier 1

Mayer Brown JSM

Hong Kong titan Mayer Brown JSM has had strong ties to the industry for many years and continues to provide a range of services to clients, which include the likes of Medix, AXA, AIG, QBE Insurance Group, and Zurich. The firm advised Medix on its exclusive partnership with AIA Hong Kong to provide a personal medical case management service to eligible policyholders in Hong Kong. Angela Yim heads the department, which also includes medical malpractice leader Jacob Tse and leading corporate and regulatory insurance specialist Sara Or. The highly respected Tow Lu Lim heads the D&O liability and professional indemnity side of the practice.

Leading individuals

Tow Lu Lim - Mayer Brown JSM

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Intellectual property
Intellectual property - ranked: tier 2

Mayer Brown JSM

A longstanding presence in the local market, Mayer Brown JSM’s ‘knowledgeable and responsive’ team handles a wide range of contentious and non-contentious IP work for a loyal cadre of local blue-chip corporates, as well as international clients. It is praised for ‘providing insightful advice in many jurisdictions’ by virtue of its vast network of offices. Team head Gabriela Kennedy is regularly at the forefront of the most significant matters handled by the team and is representing Alibaba in numerous trade mark and domain name disputes. Kennedy is also working alongside colleagues in Germany to devise a global anti-counterfeiting strategy for international fitness equipment manufacturer Nautilus, designed to curb at source the exporting of counterfeit fitness equipment from China to foreign countries. As part of her broad IP practice, which includes contentious and non-contentious work, Rosita Li advises on the commercialisation of IPR including a significant volume of IP licensing matters for clients. The team is rounded out at a partner level by Benjamin Choi, who is ‘very strong on trade mark prosecution matters’ for local and international clients. The arrival in March 2017 of senior associate Vivian Or from Wilkinson & Grist further enhances the team’s capability on the trade mark prosecution and enforcement front. Other clients include Swire Group, Cummins and Adidas.

Leading individuals

Gabriela Kennedy - Mayer Brown JSM

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Labour and employment
Labour and employment - ranked: tier 1

Mayer Brown JSM

The ‘very strong’ two-partner team at Mayer Brown JSM is ‘responsive and knowledgeable’, and handles contentious and non-contentious matters for many of the largest employers in Hong Kong, including Cathay Pacific Airways, HSBC and Hospital Authority. Hong Tran has an excellent reputation and regularly handles significant employment disputes for employers, such as his work alongside senior associate Jennifer Tam for Cathay Pacific Airways in the defence of a claim made by a number of pilots for bypass pay in the High Court. The ‘very knowledgeableDuncan Abate handles a range of employment issues including discrimination, labour relations and data privacy. As part of her wide-ranging employment knowledge, senior associate Elaine Yeung has developed niche expertise advising on retirement benefits matters.

Leading individuals

Duncan Abate - Mayer Brown JSM

Hong Tran - Mayer Brown JSM

Next generation lawyers

Jennifer Tam - Mayer Brown JSM

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Private equity
Private equity - ranked: tier 5

Mayer Brown JSM

Although it lacks the heritage in the private equity space (and thereby the ability to leverage work from institutional sponsor clients) that some of the higher ranked international firms have, Mayer Brown JSM has deep roots in the Hong Kong market and has successfully leveraged this to gain substantial traction, particularly among mid-market Asia-based funds. The team guides clients through the lifecycle of a deal from fund formation and subsequent investments through to exits, as well as its ability to add value by virtue of its full-service offering including expertise in tax and employment. David Ellis regularly handles real estate-related private equity transactions and recently advised US-based private equity firm AEW on its $145.2m acquisition of Continental Place, an office building in Hong Kong. With experience in the Hong Kong, UK and US markets, Mark Uhrynuk is able to provide significant flexibility on deals and is handling an increased amount of work for TPG Capital.

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Real estate
Real estate - ranked: tier 1

Mayer Brown JSM

Providing ‘sound advice and value for money’, Mayer Brown JSM’s team is praised for its ‘good business acumen and industry knowledge’. Keith Cheung leads the practice, and is supported by Eugene Wong, who was promoted to the partnership in January 2017, Peter Ho, Robert Lynn, Fun Kuen Au, Alan Yip and Ricky Yiu. In addition, senior associate Allan Ma recently joined from Ropes & Gray LLP. Cheung led the advice to Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation (SMBC) and a group of banks including Bank of China, BNP Paribas, DBS Bank, Oversea-Chinese Banking Corporation and Standard Chartered regarding HK$6bn loan facilities to Ventures Smart to finance the joint development of LOHAS Park Package Seven, Hong Kong. Other clients include Swire Properties, SEA Holdings, New World Development, CSI Properties and Sun Hung Kai Properties.

Leading individuals

Fun Kuen Au - Mayer Brown JSM

Robert Lynn - Mayer Brown JSM

Next generation lawyers

Allan Ma - Mayer Brown JSM

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Regulatory
Leading individuals

Alan Linning - Mayer Brown JSM

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Restructuring and insolvency
Restructuring and insolvency - ranked: tier 1

Mayer Brown JSM

With a core restructuring and insolvency team of three partners in Hong Kong, which frequently works alongside practitioners in mainland China and Vietnam, as well as Europe and the US, Mayer Brown JSM excels at complex cross-border mandates for banks, bondholders, bond trustees and debtors. John Marsden’s ‘extensive experience’, is reflected in his position as Asia practice leader. In a deal that involved considerable input from the firm’s New York office, particularly in relation to Chapter 11 recovery options, Marsden advised Malayan Banking Berhad, one of the principal bank creditors of the Pacific Andes Group, regarding its $1.5bn debt restructuring. ‘Very smart operator’ Tom Pugh was also involved in the aforementioned matter and again worked alongside Marsden to act for the major offshore bilateral lenders as creditors of Kaisa Group Holdings on its $4bn restructuring. The ‘very brightRichard Tollan is recommended for insolvency litigation.

Leading individuals

John Marsden - Mayer Brown JSM

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Structured finance and securitisation
Structured finance and securitisation - ranked: tier 3

Mayer Brown JSM

Leveraging the firm’s market-leading US practice as well as the ability to call upon experts throughout Europe, Mayer Brown JSM Hong Kong team forms the Asian part of the firm’s global offering and is particularly well suited to handling complex cross-border matters across the spectrum of derivatives and structured finance. Active for a variety of stakeholders including sponsors, issuers, servicers, trustees and underwriters, the team has an excellent perspective on transactions from many different angles and is therefore able to provide a ‘very commercial offering’, which is cognisant of regulatory issues impacting the industry. Team head Vincent Sum is experienced in handling sophisticated capital markets mandates, including equity derivatives and commodity derivatives, as well as securitisations across a range of asset classes. Clients include Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, Sheng Yuan Securities Group, Credit Suisse and Japan Rail West.

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TMT
TMT - ranked: tier 3

Mayer Brown JSM

Benefiting from deeply embedded relationships with local clients, by virtue of the firm’s longstanding presence in the market, Mayer Brown JSM handles domestic and multi-jurisdictional mandates across the TMT spectrum ranging from complex M&A and outsourcing projects to IT agreements and licensing issues. Gabriela Kennedy is the lynchpin of the practice and provides ‘very insightful advice’ to clients across a range of TMT matters including data privacy, cloud computing and fintech. Kennedy is advising Airport Authority Hong Kong on data privacy matters and also continues to represent TVB in two judicial reviews stemming from decisions issued by the Communications Authority regarding advertising guidelines. Other clients include Entertainment One, Bloomberg and Mandarin Oriental.

Leading individuals

Gabriela Kennedy - Mayer Brown JSM

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Hong Kong: Capital markets

Debt
Capital markets (debt) - ranked: tier 3

Mayer Brown JSM

Mayer Brown JSM has an impressive record of success in all types of debt offerings, and is particularly well known in the high-yield sphere, where its team has a wealth of experience of complex Asian and global transactions. In 2016, a particularly high-profile matter involved Jason Elder, Thomas Kollar and others acting for The Ministry of Finance of the government of Mongolia in its $500m high-yield sovereign issuance. Kollar also worked with Jeckle Chiu and Billy Au to advise Jiayuan International Group as the issuer on its $100m high-yield bond offering. Beyond high-yield work, the team covers an extensive range of other matters, such as investment grade, hybrid securities and structured debt transactions. Another sweet spot of the practice is in the corporate trust and agency sphere, where the team assists trustees and agents with liability management exercises, bond issuances and restructurings, among other matters. Phill Smith retired from private practice.

Leading individuals

Jason Elder - Mayer Brown JSM

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Equity
Capital markets (equity) - ranked: tier 3

Mayer Brown JSM

Mayer Brown JSM maintains a balanced mix of issuer and underwriter-side representations, with work for PRC-based banks in particular being a growth area of its practice. One of the main contacts in the team is Billy Au, who has notable experience of acting for Chinese SOEs and privately owned enterprises, and was the lead adviser to Risecomm Group Holdings on its HK$210m global offering and listing on the HKEX Main Board. Au also assisted Jiayuan International Group with a placing of existing shares and subscription for new shares. Derek Tsang acted for Guotai Junan Capital and the underwriters in the global offering and Hong Kong Main Board listing of Star Properties Group (Cayman Islands). Other clients of the practice include BOCI Asia, CCB International Capital, Sky Light Holdings and Glorious Sun Enterprises.

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Hong Kong: Dispute resolution

International arbitration
Dispute resolution: international arbitration - ranked: tier 4

Mayer Brown JSM

Mayer Brown JSM is ‘highly experienced in international arbitration’, including construction, commercial, investment fund and joint venture disputes. Key partners include John Hickin, Bill Amos and practice head Menachem Hasofer.

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Litigation
Dispute resolution: litigation - ranked: tier 1

Mayer Brown JSM

Mayer Brown JSM recently welcomed Alan Linning from Sidley Austin, bolstering the team’s capability to handle financial services investigations and complex commercial litigation. Nicholas Hunsworth handles banking litigation for financial institutions and also advises on regulatory and compliance issues. His team also includes Vivien Yip, who was promoted to counsel in January 2017. Recent highlights for the firm include acting for HSH Nordbank in the arrest of five ships belonging to Korea-based Hanjin Shipping, which achieved an admiralty court sale of approximately $650m. The team is also representing a Taiwanese company in a dispute with a Hong Kong company involving alleged breach of contract, among other issues. Other clients include HSBC, Cathay Pacific, Sun Hung Kai Properties, Standard Bank, CITIC, SEA Holdings and DBS.

Leading individuals

Nicholas Hunsworth - Mayer Brown JSM

Next generation lawyers

Justine Lau - Mayer Brown JSM

Vivien Yip - Mayer Brown JSM

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Hong Kong: Regulatory

Anti-corruption and compliance
Regulatory: anti-corruption and compliance - ranked: tier 4

Mayer Brown JSM

Mayer Brown JSM has significant FCPA and anti-money laundering expertise, coupled with an extensive presence in Asia. Several partners in Hong Kong have turned their attentions to this area, advising a number of major multinationals and Asia-based businesses. Susanne Harris is recommended for cross-border financial services sector investigations.

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