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Morrison & Foerster

EDINBURGH TOWER 33/F, THE LANDMARK, 15 QUEEN'S ROAD CENTRAL, HONG KONG
Tel:
Work +852 2585 0888
Fax:
Fax +852 2585 0800
Email:
Web:
www.mofo.com

Hong Kong

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

Morrison & Foerster

In 2017, Morrison & Foerster continued to have a strong pipeline of corporate work from Chinese clients looking to invest overseas (particularly in the US and Europe). In addition, it handled a significant number of headline deals for blue-chip clients in sectors such as real estate and technology, among others. Marcia Ellis was part of a cross-office team, which acted as international counsel to SGX-listed GLP Pte. (formerly Global Logistic Properties) on its $11.64bn buyout and privatisation by way of scheme of arrangement; this deal represented the largest privatisation of a listed company in Asia in 2017. Ellis and recently promoted of counsel Ivy Tang also recently advised GLP on the formation of a $2bn joint venture with Brookfield Asset Management, which is intended to create a platform for installing 300MW-worth of rooftop solar projects on commercial and logistics rooftops in China. Elsewhere, Ellis and Tang were part of an international group, which acted for SoftBank on a $4.4bn investment (along with SoftBank Vision Fund) in WeWork Companies. In another matter, Thomas Chou was one of the advisers to the same client on its investments into Xiaoju Kuaizhi Inc (Didi), which totalled $9.6bn. Another major transaction for the team involved advising global payment services company Geoswift on its $125m acquisition of China payments provider PayEase out of receivership. Vivian Yiu, who has more than 17 years of experience of corporate transactions, acts for clients such as Sunshine 100, Anhui Conch and Harmony Auto.

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Intellectual property
Intellectual property - ranked: tier 5

Morrison & Foerster

Although it is less active on pure IP advisory and litigation work than some of the higher-ranked firms, Morrison & Foerster often handles the IP due diligence associated with transactions the firm undertakes in the TMT sector. The team is also accomplished at handling the commercialisation of IP and is regularly engaged by clients to represent them in licensing and other commercial arrangements. The 'very efficient, responsible and practical' Chuan Sun recently acted for Tencent on its patent cross-license arrangement with Google, marking the latter's first ever cross-license arrangement with a large Chinese technology company. Although he is better-known for his TMT expertise, Gordon Milner also has considerable IP knowledge, particularly as it relates to the fintech space.

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Investment funds
Investment funds - ranked: tier 2

Morrison & Foerster

Morrison & Foerster's funds practice in Asia has expanded significantly since co-head Jason Nelms joined in 2015 from Proskauer Rose LLP and co-head Serena Tan arrived from Debevoise & Plimpton LLP in February 2017. Both practitioners are based in Hong Kong, and have complementary skill-sets, with Tan having China-focused funds expertise, and Nelms being more active in international matters. Working under Nelms and Tan is a bench of associates that has recently increased in size. The firm's core areas of strength lie in headline deals connected with real estate funds and, more broadly, private equity funds (including buyout funds, growth capital funds and venture capital funds); corresponding with the growth of the team, the firm has been successful in winning work from a number of clients in these areas, such as Savills Investment Management and Intudo Capital, among others. In 2017, Nelms acted for another new client Ping An in the formation of its $1bn Global Voyager Fund, which focuses on investments in fintech and healthcare technology worldwide. In another high-profile highlight, Nelms and Singapore-based Shirin Tang were among the advisers to IndoSpace on the formation of $550m real estate fund IndoSpace Logistics Parks III, which will focus on industrial real estate across locations in India. Also notable is that Tan and others are acting for one of China's largest fund managers in the formation of $300m fund Belt and Road Glass Industry Integration Fund, which invests in the regions included in the Belt and Road Initiative. US and international tax expert Matthew Lau and Hong Kong regulatory specialist Stephen Birkett also support the funds practice.

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Private equity
Private equity - ranked: tier 3

Morrison & Foerster

'Very close to new developments in the market', Morrison & Foerster provides 'commercial, responsive and timely advice' to a wide range of entities, ranging from global and regional sponsors to Chinese insurance businesses and sovereign wealth funds. 'Extremely knowledgeable and resourceful' team head Marcia Ellis has 'extensive experience of the private equity industry' and has recently handled numerous mandates for GLP, including on its formation of a joint venture with Brookfield Asset Management to build a leading platform for distributed solar energy on logistics and commercial rooftops in China. Ellis has also recently handled numerous investments on behalf of SoftBank Vision Fund, including its investments in WeWork Companies. The 'very responsive and commercial' Thomas Chou has 'decades of venture capital experience in both the US and Asia', and combines his Silicon Valley experience and Asian expertise to very good effect on private equity-related investments in the technology sector. At an associate level, the 'very responsive' Catherine Liu regularly supports Ellis on private equity transactions and is a key member of the team, which also includes the 'responsive and knowledgeable' Gigi Yuen. Other clients include Ark Pacific, Tencent, BlackRock and Cathay Capital.

Leading individuals

Marcia Ellis  - Morrison & Foerster

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TMT
TMT - ranked: tier 2

Morrison & Foerster

Benefiting from 'very strong knowledge of technology law matters', Morrison & Foerster provides 'responsive, clear and concise advice' across the gamut of operational and transactional matters affecting clients in the sector. Team head Gordon Milner has 'deep knowledge' of a range of IT matters, with particular expertise in cross-border commercial technology transactions in Asia. Milner recently advised consumer lending technology provider Oriente on its partnership with an existing financial institution to facilitate the roll-out of consumer lending services in the Philippines. Chuan Sun is 'particularly strong on IT agreements', including matters relating to software licensing and IT procurement contracts. Sun also excels at handling cross-border TMT transactions, and recently represented Tencent on its patent cross-licence arrangement with Google. Able to effectively draw upon the resources both from the Hong Kong office and globally, particularly out of Silicon Valley, the team also excels in handling venture capital- and private equity-related transactions in the TMT sector. In this regard, the 'responsive and commercial' Thomas Chou has a particularly strong reputation, garnered through 'decades of experience in the US and Asia'. 'Very responsive and commercial' associate Gigi Yuen has a burgeoning reputation across both M&A work in the technology sector and advisory matters relating to data privacy and regulatory compliance. Other clients include SoftBank, Intel and Everest Medicines.

Leading individuals

Gordon Milner  - Morrison & Foerster

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Hong Kong: Capital markets

Capital markets (equity)
Capital markets (equity) - ranked: tier 3

Morrison & Foerster

Morrison & Foerster has benefited from the synergy between its excellent track record in Hong Kong listings (and the entire ambit of capital markets transactions more generally) and its particularly strong reputation in the life sciences sector. Practice head Venantius Tan has led the team on a number of biotech transactions for clients such as GenScript Biotech, Jacobson Pharma, Fosun Pharma and Sinopharm. In addition, adding to the firm's credibility in the area, the group includes of counsel Yu Wang and associate Alex Cao, who hold Ph.D.s in scientific subjects. The firm also generates work involving other industries; in the consumer goods sector, Vivian Yiu and of counsel Samuel Ng recently acted for BOCI and BOSCI as joint sponsors in the circa $67.5m Hong Kong IPO of Tsit Wing. Another highlight saw Yiu advise PRC-based real estate developer Sunshine 100 China Holdings on a circa $93m share issuance to Huarong International Financial Holdings.

Leading individuals

Venantius Tan - Morrison & Foerster

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