The Legal 500

Sidley Austin

Work +852 2509 7888
Fax +852 2509 3110

Hong Kong

Top-tier recommendations

Hong Kong

Within Banking and finance, tier 5

Sidley Austin’s focus is primarily with borrowers, often in relation to hybrid securities/loan products. Like the rest of the Hong Kong office, the team represents a large number of PRC real estate clients. In addition, the team represented Petron Oil & Gas International in connection with a RM720m term loan facility used to acquire Esso Malaysia, ExxonMobil Borneo and ExxonMobil Malaysia. ‘Very practical’ and ‘commercial’ counsel Robert Mason is recommended.

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Within Capital markets (debt), Sidley Austin is a second tier firm,

Sidley Austin has a flourishing high-yield debt practice targeted at PRC issuers. Much is within the real estate sector, demonstrated by its advice to Country Garden on its $750m high-yield issuance. Dim sum bonds are another area of activity. The ‘professional’ and ‘commercial’ Matthew Sheridan is ‘one of the most experienced practitioners in this field’ and is the ‘real estate king in China’.

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Within Capital markets (equity), Sidley Austin is a second tier firm,

Sidley Austin is ‘very active in the middle-market Hong Kong IPO space’ and is praised for its ‘quality of work’ and ‘value for money’. The combined Hong Kong and US team largely represents issuers though it maintains good underwriter relationships. It has successfully targeted PRC real estate clients, but covers a range of industries and geographies. The firm recently advised PRC aluminium products manufacturer PanAsialum Holdings on its Hong Kong IPO. Contance Choy ‘has a good stable of clients’, and Timothy Li and Gloria Lam also have fine reputations.

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Within Corporate (including M&A), tier 5

Simmons & Simmons LLP lost energy specialist Tom Deegan to Sidley Austin in 2013, but sustained an impressive record, most notably with its representation of ONGC Videsh and Oil India on their $2.47bn acquisition of Videocon Rovuma 1, the company holding a 10% interest in the Rovuma Offshore Block in Mozambique. Natural resources specialist Vivien Yang led the team alongside Ian Wood, who also has a fine record in the financial institutions sector.

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Within Dispute resolution, Sidley Austin is a third tier firm,

Sidley Austin has a well-established team with a strong record in regulatory matters, investigations and Hong Kong commercial litigation. Marquee name Alan Linning is ‘one of the most experienced lawyers in regulatory work’, including for Hong Kong-listed companies and investment funds. The team has also experienced a significant upswing in FCPA and cross-border investigations. Charles Allen and Yuet Ming Tham are the other senior names.

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Within International arbitration, Sidley Austin is a third tier firm,

Sidley Austin lost Yang Ing Loong to Latham & Watkins LLP in 2013, though in Korea expert Allen Kim and Hong Kong stalwart Charles Allen, it retains impressive senior talent. The team regularly appears in many of the key regional and international arbitral forums.

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Within Investment funds, Sidley Austin is a first tier firm,

Although Sidley Austin has an eminent reputation in the hedge funds space, it is strong across the board, reporting a significant increase in private equity and real estate funds. In a particular highlight, the team acted for CBRE Real Estate on the establishment of the CBRE Real Estate China Opportunity Fund II, valued at $500m. Effie Vasilopoulos is highly respected, as is Scott Peterman, who demonstrates ‘novel and forward thinking’.

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Within Private equity, Sidley Austin is a third tier firm,

Sidley Austin is praised for its ‘depth of team’ and ‘understanding of private equity’. Raymond Oh is applauded for his ‘legally and commercially viable solutions’ and Scott Peterman for his knowledge of the industry. The firm is most active in mid-cap deals for local and regional funds.

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Within Projects and energy, tier 4

In 2013, Sidley Austin established a Hong Kong energy and natural resources practice through the arrival of Tom Deegan from Simmons & Simmons LLP. Deegan is recommended for energy transactions, and he has 20 years’ experience advising clients on international deals throughout Asia, Africa, Europe, the Middle East, and Central and North America.

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Within Regulatory, Sidley Austin is a third tier firm,

The team at Sidley Austin is rated for its ‘very strong business acumen and good industry knowledge in the funds space’. Alan Linning has ‘bags of experience’, and senior associate Dominic James ‘clearly stands out as a rising star’. The pair acted for the former chairman of a Hong Kong listed company and the former CEO of a Canadian listed company in investigations conducted by the SFC, the Ontario Securities Commission and an independent committee. Yuet Ming Tham is also recommended.

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Within Restructuring and insolvency, tier 4

The key contacts at Sidley Austin include Asia Pacific managing partner Thomas Albrecht, Constance Choy, Gloria Lam and Matthew Sheridan. The firm handles a range of debt rescheduling and refinancing, distressed debt trading, workouts, restructuring, formal insolvency and pre-negotiated insolvency asset sales.

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Within Structured finance and securitisation, tier 4

The key contact at Sidley Austin is Asia Pacific regional managing partner Thomas Albrecht, who is also co-head of the global finance practice. Albrecht’s work highlights have included advising insurance companies on the first cross-border securitisation of Japan-originated consumer loan receivables; and acting for an investor group on one of the first successful workouts of a life contingent revenue stream securitisation. Counsel Robert Mason is also recommended.

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Further information on Sidley Austin LLP

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