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Sidley Austin

LEVEL 39, TWO INTERNATIONAL FINANCE CENTRE, 8 FINANCE STREET, CENTRAL, HONG KONG
Tel:
Work +852 2509 7888
Fax:
Fax +852 2509 3110
Web:
www.sidley.com

Hong Kong

Banking and finance
Banking and finance - ranked: tier 4

Sidley Austin

Sidley Austin’s global platform is complemented by the Hong Kong team’s transactional experience across multiple industries and knowledge of a range of financial products. Its extensive offering makes it a go-to firm for corporate borrowers, private equity sponsors, investment funds, and commercial and investment banks. In 2016, global finance head Thomas Albrecht, who has a background in leveraged finance and structured finance, worked with members of the Singapore office to advise the arranger and lenders on a S$590m limited recourse senior secured borrowing base facility for Lion City Rentals, secured against a fleet of motor vehicles in Singapore. Raymond Oh was recently part of a cross-office team that acted for China Merchants Bank as the mandated lead arranger of an acquisition finance facility in relation to Creat Group’s proposed €940m takeover of German pharmaceutical company Biotest. Christopher Cheng and Robert Mason are also recommended.

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Corporate (including M&A)
Corporate (including M&A) - ranked: tier 4

Sidley Austin

Sidley Austin handles a mix of Hong Kong and China inbound/outbound transactions, where it acts for PRC-based companies (including those listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange), private equity funds, SOEs, Fortune 500 and other multinational companies, among others. Christopher Cheng and counsel Mandy Wong acted for Wang Tai Holdings in its acquisition and reverse takeover of Iron Mining International (Mongolia) for an aggregate sum of HK$12bn. Cheng also advised Hong Kong-listed real estate company Sunac China Holdings on the RMB3.66bn acquisition by Sunac (Qingdao) Real Estate Company (an indirect wholly owned subsidiary) of Qingdao Calxon Real Estate Development Company. Constance Choy assisted R&F Properties (HK) with establishing a joint venture with Caesars Korea Holding Company to develop, own and operate a resort on Yeongjong Island in South Korea. Counsel Yan Zhang joined from O'Melveny in October 2016, and Mengyu Lu, Raymond Oh and Gloria Lam are other notable individuals in the team. Janney Chong left for RPC.

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Investment funds
Investment funds - ranked: tier 1

Sidley Austin

Sidley Austin’s team ‘responds promptly, has deep industry knowledge and constantly identifies solutions to meet legal needs’. Private funds are the mainstay of the practice, with the team advising on their fund structuring, formation and ongoing management. The firm is particularly well known as a market-leader in the hedge funds space; in 2016, a highlight saw Effie Vasilopoulos leading a team (including senior associate Michele Beck, and counsels Joy Lam and Felicity Wong) in the advice to Prime Capital Management on the formation of its $1bn Dragon Billion Select Fund. Vasilopoulos also led a cross-office team, which assisted MAPS Capital Management (a Hong Kong-based hedge fund arm of Mirae Asset Financial Group) with the establishment of the Mirae Asia Opportunity Long Short Equity Fund and the Mirae Asia Opportunity Arbitrage Fund. The team also performs well in relation to private equity buyout funds, venture capital funds, and real estate and infrastructure funds, among other strategies. Vasilopoulos assisted Morgan Stanley Real Estate with the launch of its $1bn Morgan Stanley Asia Core Real Estate Fund; this is one of few funds raising private capital for real estate investments adopting an open-ended vehicle structured as a Singapore-domiciled limited partnership. Macquarie Group, Neuberger Berman and China Everbright are other notable clients. Elsewhere, the firm attracts a number of retail funds mandates, which are focused on the Hong Kong and Singapore markets.

Leading individuals

Effie Vasilopoulos - Sidley Austin

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Regulatory
Regulatory - ranked: tier 4

Sidley Austin

Counsel Dominic James is now the key name at Sidley Austin, following the departure of Alan Linning to Mayer Brown JSM in 2017. James was part of the team that represented E*TRADE Securities in criminal proceedings regarding a violation of the Securities & Futures Ordinance’s prohibition of carrying out regulated activity without a license. The team also handles contentious SFC work, much of which concerns investment funds.

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Restructuring and insolvency
Restructuring and insolvency - ranked: tier 3

Sidley Austin

Aided by a robust complementary corporate finance practice in the region, Sidley Austin’s Hong Kong corporate restructuring team provides a ‘strong and nuanced service’ to a range of stakeholders including funds, lenders, investors and corporates. Recent highlights include advising China Evergrande Group on its capital restructuring. A complex matter, the restructuring included achieving consent solicitation on its existing high-yield bonds to amend covenants allowing a greater degree of flexibility, as well as initiating a new combined issuance of $2.5bn of high-yield notes, the proceeds of which were used to repay existing indebtedness. Other recent highlights included the team’s work (alongside lawyers in London and New York) for LDK Solar on its $700m restructuring; believed to be the first judicially approved, multi-jurisdictional debt restructuring of its kind for a Chinese enterprise. The team is also noted for its ‘excellent work advising Chinese corporates acquiring distressed assets’. Thomas Albrecht and Alex Rovira are recommended. Other clients include Goldman Sachs, Apollo Global Management and Bank of America Merrill Lynch.

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Hong Kong: Capital markets

Debt
Capital markets (debt) - ranked: tier 2

Sidley Austin

Sidley Austin is among the most active participants in the market for issuer-side China high-yield transactions, and has particularly strong client relationships with PRC real estate developers, with the firm recently undertaking mandates for clients such as Guangzhou R&F Properties and Fantasia Holdings, among others. In a groundbreaking highlight, Carrie Li led a team, which included Constance Choy and counsel Robert Mason, in the advice to Modern Land (China) on a $350m high-yield Regulation S green bonds offering, representing the first-ever green bonds offering by a PRC real estate developer. Outside of real estate, Renee Xiong was the lead adviser to China Oil and Gas Group in its $350m Regulation S high-yield bond issue. The team also has an excellent reputation in investment grade transactions, where it acts for clients such as The Export-Import Bank of China and China Orient Asset Management (International), and which was demonstrated when Li, senior associate Oliver Zhong and others acted for the joint lead managers in the debut $500m Regulation S bond offering by Caiyun International Investment. Choy heads up the practice with Timothy Li and Matthew Sheridan, who divides his time between Hong Kong and Singapore.

Leading individuals

Matthew Sheridan - Sidley Austin

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Equity
Capital markets (equity) - ranked: tier 2

Sidley Austin

Sidley Austin handled eight Main Board listings and four Growth Enterprise Market (GEM) listings in 2016, representing 10% of all new listings in Hong Kong that year. The firm is particularly active in underwriter-side representations, but also generates work from issuers, including Fortune 500 organisations and emerging companies. In what is expected to be one of the largest Hong Kong IPOs of 2017, Carrie Li was a lead adviser to the joint sponsors and underwriters on the circa $1bn offering and Main Board listing of Guangzhou Rural Commercial Bank. Another recent highlight for the firm involved Constance Choy and members of the Beijing office acting for CITIC CLSA Capital Markets (as the sole sponsor) and various underwriters in the circa $198m offering and Main Board IPO of China YuHua Education Corporation. Other clients of the practice include Credit Suisse, Deutsche Bank and Nameson Holdings. Gloria Lam has experience leading on more than 100 Main Board and GEM listings, and Raymond Oh, Renee Xiong and Sherlyn Lau are other names to note.

Leading individuals

Constance Choy - Sidley Austin

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Hong Kong: Dispute resolution

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

Sidley Austin

Sidley Austin has grown its practice through the recruitment of a number of lawyers from O'Melveny. Friven Yeoh, for example, handles a range of Hong Kong arbitrations, often concerning mainland China, allegations of civil fraud and real estate investments. Yeoh is a big name in the market, and key counsels in his team include Desmond Ang and Yan Zhang.

Leading individuals

Friven Yeoh - Sidley Austin

Next generation lawyers

Yan Zhang - Sidley Austin

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Litigation
Dispute resolution: litigation - ranked: tier 5

Sidley Austin

An impressive team with great capabilities to handle China-facing disputes’, the group at Sidley Austin is praised for its ‘ability to leverage the firm’s global network to deliver seamless results’. Friven Yeoh and Yuet Ming Tham are the key names, and counsel Dominic James ‘consistently demonstrates outstanding qualities and is a genuine talent for complex regulatory work’. The team is defending a subsidiary of E*TRADE against a criminal prosecution for alleged contravention of section 114/115 of the Securities and Futures Ordinance (SFO). Alan Linning departed for Mayer Brown JSM in August 2017.

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Hong Kong: Regulatory

Anti-corruption and compliance
Regulatory: anti-corruption and compliance - ranked: tier 2

Sidley Austin

Sidley Austin’s Hong Kong team has impressive regional coverage, frequently handling investigations in multiple jurisdictions, including in North, South and South-East Asia. The team is especially highly regarded for its FCPA expertise, with Asia Pacific head of compliance and investigations Yuet Ming Tham recognised for her white-collar, compliance and anti-corruption experience. The team also features a number of native speakers of Asian languages and has particular experience in healthcare, pharmaceuticals, medical devices, energy and financial services.

Leading individuals

Yuet Ming Tham - Sidley Austin

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Further information on Sidley Austin LLP

Please choose from this list to view details of what we say about Sidley Austin LLP in other jurisdictions.

Australia

Offices in Sydney

Belgium

Offices in Brussels

China

Offices in Shanghai and Beijing

Germany

Offices in Munich

Hong Kong

Offices in Hong Kong

Indonesia

Latin America: International firms

India

Japan

Offices in Tokyo

London

Offices in London

Mongolia

Philippines

Singapore

Offices in Singapore

Switzerland

Offices in Geneva

United States

Offices in Washington DC, San Francisco, New York, Dallas, Chicago, Los Angeles, Palo Alto, Houston, Boston, and Los Angeles

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