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Morrison & Foerster LLP

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China: Corporate and M&A

Corporate and M&A: foreign firms
Corporate and M&A: foreign firms - ranked: tier 3

Morrison & Foerster LLP

Morrison & Foerster LLP's 'responsive and accessible team provides expert advice and high-quality legal assistance, and not only is it legally savvy but more importantly its lawyers understand clients' business deeply'. Its experience of deals in the technology and real estate sectors is particularly significant and the practice has also been increasingly busy in the FinTech space. Work highlights include advising SoftBank, as sole counsel, on its $5bn investment into Xiaoju Kuaizhi, China’s ride-hailing and mobile transportation platform. Beijing and Shanghai managing partner Paul McKenzie, along with Sherry Yin and Maria Wang are the principal mainland China names, while in late 2017, the Beijing office hired Yi Chen as of counsel from a global entertainment producer and provider. The 'highly trusted' Marcia Ellis, Thomas Chou, who 'strikes clients as particularly responsive and commercial in his advice', and Vivian Yiu are the key Hong Kong advisers.

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China: Dispute resolution

Dispute resolution: foreign firms
Dispute resolution: foreign firms - ranked: tier 5

Morrison & Foerster LLP

Morrison & Foerster LLP's 'team is responsive and sophisticated in terms of its knowledge of arbitration procedure'. Its recent experience includes acting in parallel Hong Kong and PRC court proceedings, which sought to set aside an unfavourable Hong Kong-seated ICC arbitration award. In Hong Kong, Craig Celniker is Asia disputes resolution head and Timothy Blakely heads up Hong Kong litigation. Adrian Yip is also a key contact.

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China: Fintech

Fintech: foreign firms
Fintech: foreign firms - ranked: tier 2

Morrison & Foerster LLP

Morrison & Foerster LLP exhibits a wide range of expertise, particularly in the transactional environment where the team regularly advises technology companies and financial institutions on financing, cross-border licensing and service arrangement matters. Among its recent mandates, Gordon Milner advised a multinational insurance company on the structuring and negotiation of the technology data sharing arrangement between the parties' platforms and associated services, and acted for a consumer lending technology provider on the technology transfer and intellectual property issues. Thomas Chou advised Contineo, a bank-led technology consortium for trading structured products, on its financing mandate. Most of its key lawyers in Greater China operate out of the Hong Kong office.

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China: Healthcare and life sciences

Healthcare and life sciences: foreign firms
Healthcare and life sciences: foreign firms - ranked: tier 2

Morrison & Foerster LLP

Morrison & Foerster LLP is singled out for its expertise in the IP space, spanning prosecution, litigation and licensing. The team assisted Henlius with its collaboration and licensing agreement with Galaxy Biotech, a clinical stage biotechnology company focused on discovering and developing novel humanised antibodies for the treatment of cancer and advised an emerging cancer treatment company on its patent portfolio management. The team is also particularly in the M&A and private equity investment sphere, and recently advised a sovereign wealth fund on its multimillion-dollar financing in an antibody and biotherapeutics developing company. Gordon Milner and Chuan Sun are the key names to note in its Hong Kong office. Palo Alto-based Janet Xiao co-chairs the global life sciences group and is regularly instructed on China-related IP matters for biotechnology and pharmaceutical sector clients.

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China: Intellectual property

Intellectual property: foreign firms
Intellectual property: foreign firms - ranked: tier 4

Morrison & Foerster LLP

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China: Investment funds

Investment funds: foreign firms
Investment funds: foreign firms - ranked: tier 3

Morrison & Foerster LLP

Morrison & Foerster LLP's team is 'very knowledgeable, friendly, and responsive'. The practice's core expertise lies in private equity funds and real estate funds. Hong Kong-based Jason Nelms, whose 'advice is very thorough yet distilled in a clear manner', focuses on fund formation work that is pan-Asian and international in scope; and Serena Tan assists with the formation, structuring and related activities of buyout, growth capital and venture capital funds as well as co-investment vehicles and other alternative investment funds. Tan 'has good technical and market knowledge'.

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China: Private equity/venture capital

Private equity/venture capital: foreign firms
Private equity/venture capital: foreign firms - ranked: tier 2

Morrison & Foerster LLP

'Excellent for document drafting and transaction logistics', Morrison & Foerster LLP is 'extremely responsive and has deep knowledge of the private equity industry and market practice'. The team handles headline transactions spanning multiple key jurisdictions in Asia particularly in the Fintech, technology and life sciences sectors. Among its recent highlights, it acted for the independent committee of Alibaba Group Holding in the proposed acquisition of a 33% equity interest in Ant Financial. Shanghai-based Maria Wang, and Hong Kong-based Marcia Ellis and Thomas Chou, who is 'responsive, very commercial and understands clients needs', are the key contacts. Ellis' strengths are her 'deep understanding of private equity business and the ability to provide practical advice and solution' – she 'takes clients' transactions' commercial aspects into perspective, offering a balanced approach to deal structuring and negotiations'. Yi Chen joined as of counsel in Beijing from a global entertainment producer and provider.

Next Generation Partners

Yi Chen - Morrison & Foerster LLP

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China: Projects and energy

Projects and energy: foreign firms
Projects and energy: foreign firms - ranked: tier 4

Morrison & Foerster LLP

The team at Morrison & Foerster LLP has long-standing experience in the Chinese market, where it advises domestic and international project companies and organisations on inbound and outbound work in the mining and clean energy sectors. Paul McKenzie and Sherry Yin are key figures in the Beijing team, which has been instructed by clients such as Eldorado Gold and China Energy Conservation and Environmental Protection Group. The practice group handles energy sector arbitration out of the Hong Kong office, and has also worked with major US-based clients seeking to enter the Chinese market.

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China: Real estate and construction

Real estate and construction: foreign firms
Real estate and construction: foreign firms - ranked: tier 2

Morrison & Foerster LLP

Morrison & Foerster LLP's Shanghai-based Maria Wang specialises in real estate transactions, including complex M&A deals, joint ventures, financing, disposals, and project development and management; she led advice to a real estate fund, managed by LaSalle Investment Management, on its acquisition of a 31-floor, grade A office building in Shanghai from Alpha Investment Partners. Wang also assisted BlackRock Asia Property Fund with its acquisition of two blocks of grade A office buildings in Shanghai from PGIM Real Estate, a property investment affiliate of Prudential Financial. Hong Kong's Marcia Ellis co-heads the firm’s Asia private equity practice and is noted for major real estate mandates. Together with the firm's Singapore office, she advised GLP Pte (formerly Global Logistic Properties), as international counsel, on its complex $11.64bn buyout and privatisation by a consortium of investors; the privatisation was reportedly the largest-ever private equity buyout of an Asian company by enterprise value.

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China: TMT

TMT: foreign firms
TMT: foreign firms - ranked: tier 1

Morrison & Foerster LLP

Morrison & Foerster LLP is highly regarded for cross-border transactions, particularly involving US clients looking to enter into the China market, as well as domestic clients on outbound mandates. Its dedication in the TMT space, coupled with its strong venture capital and private equity practice, makes it the 'go-to' firm for technology investors and start-up companies. Among its recent highlights, it advised SoftBank on its $9.6bn investment in Xiaoju Kuaizhi, and assisted Tencent with its patent cross-licence with Google covering a broad range of products and technologies. Data privacy matters also feature. The practice is led by Hong Kong-based Gordon Milner and Beijing-based Paul McKenzie which also includes the 'commercially minded and very experienced' Thomas Chou who focuses on private equity transactions.

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