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White & Case

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Hong Kong

Banking and finance
Banking and finance - ranked: tier 1

White & Case

White & Case is highly sought-after by clients, owing to its prominence in the most significant and high-profile transactions in Greater China and the wider Asia-Pacific region. Its heavyweight multilingual Hong Kong team includes Asia-Pacific head Eric Berg, Baldwin Cheng, the 'impressive' Eugene Man and Andrew Bishop. The group has a wealth of experience across the full spectrum of transactions, attracting work from banks, non-bank credit providers, private equity houses and corporate borrowers. Cheng, Bishop and others recently acted for I Squared Capital in the provision of HK$7.1bn-worth of debt financing for its acquisition of Hutchison Global Communications; the deal represented the client's first-ever telecoms investment, and its first LBO in Asia. Cheng also advised a consortium led by Gaw Capital Partners on financing the HK$23bn acquisition of a portfolio of 17 retail shopping malls in Hong Kong from Link Real Investment Trust. Another name to note in the group is counsel Stephen Howard, who worked alongside Bishop to act for Deutsche Bank, HSBC, Nomura, Standard Chartered Bank and Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation (as mandated lead arrangers and lenders) in the acquisition of Trans Maldivian Airways by a consortium led by Bain Capital.

Leading individuals

Baldwin Cheng - White & Case

Next Generation Partners

Stephen Howard - White & Case

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

White & Case

White & Case has added to the depth of its high-quality team in order to enhance its offering to corporate and private equity clients based in Hong Kong and mainland China, as well as Europe and further afield internationally. Asia corporate head Christopher Kelly has overseen the growth of the practice in Hong Kong, which has led to the firm recently hiring associate Joy Chen and counsel Andrew Cohn from Proskauer Rose LLP and Linklaters respectively. In addition, Tess Fang made partner. The team is highly rated for particularly challenging transactions, including those connected with regulated industries. Kelly co-led a cross-office team that acted for Hong Kong-listed casino and hotel owner and operator Galaxy Entertainment Group on its $927.5m investment in Wynn Resorts, which is on the S&P 500 Index; the deal involved complex commercial, tax and regulatory considerations. In the technology sector, Anthony Vasey worked with other offices to advise SES-imagotag (a specialist in smart digital labels) on a $470m strategic partnership with Shenzhen-listed company BOE Technology Group. Elsewhere, despite the challenging Chinese regulatory environment, the firm has continued to see a strong flow of outbound work. Catherine Tsang, a fluent speaker of English, Cantonese and Mandarin, is another recommended individual. Peggy Wang relocated to the London office in 2017.

Leading individuals

Christopher Kelly - White & Case

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Investment funds
Investment funds - ranked: tier 2

White & Case

White & Case has an enviable private funds offering, which makes it a major force in Asia. Practice head Sharon Hartline, who is praised for her 'first-class funds knowledge', has spent the majority of her 20-plus years in private practice in the region. She has a strong track record advising Asia-based fund sponsors on forming and launching various structures, such as private equity buyout funds, hedge funds, hybrid funds, real estate funds, distressed debt and credit funds. Hartline also has experience of acting for a variety of investors, including sovereign wealth funds, high-net-worth individuals and family offices. Anthony Wong, who has been practising for more than a decade, is another name to note in the group. A core feature of the firm's funds offering is that it is able to  provide US law advice and understand the needs of US taxable, ERISA and US tax-exempt investors. In addition, it leverages its strengths in areas such as M&A and finance to assist fund managers with their business operational issues. The firm's first-rate reputation in the private funds sphere ensures that it continues to receive a strong flow of work from existing clients, and also win mandates from new clients; its roster includes such names as Arkkan Capital, eShang Redwood, Orion Partners and Qatar Investment Authority. Hartline recently acted for longstanding client PAG in the final closing of its Asia Loan Fund III.

Leading individuals

Sharon Hartline - White & Case

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Private equity
Private equity - ranked: tier 2

White & Case

Led by the 'excellent' Christopher Kelly, White & Case's five-partner private equity team combines M&A and financing strength with the ability to leverage the firm's huge global footprint, providing a compelling offering to local and international sponsors. Recently promoted partner Tess Fang was a key part of a multi-office team that advised Quad-C Management on its acquisition of AIT Worldwide Logistics. Anthony Vasey is also recommended, as is 'very thorough and committed' associate Joy Chen, who joined in February 2018 from Proskauer Rose LLP. Peggy Wang relocated to the firm's London office in November 2017. The 'technically very strong' Daniel Yeh joined from Ropes & Gray LLP in February 2019.

Leading individuals

Christopher Kelly - White & Case

Next Generation Partners

Joy Chen - White & Case

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Projects and energy
Projects and energy - ranked: tier 2

White & Case

David Li is the key name to note at White & Case, with John Tivey relocating to the Melbourne office in early 2018. The practice covers the full spectrum of projects and energy work, and includes a mix of domestic transactions in China and Chinese outbound investments. Notable highlights include advising CWA, one of the largest publicly-listed water supply companies in China, in its Regulation S offering of $300m 5.25% senior notes due 2022. Clients also include Kazakhstan Petrochemical Industries and Saudi Aramco.

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Restructuring and insolvency
Restructuring and insolvency - ranked: tier 3

White & Case

Led out of Hong Kong by banking and restructuring partner Baldwin Cheng, White & Case is particularly well-equipped to handle restructuring work for banks, either on matters where the firm handled the original loan documentation or in standalone restructuring matters. Often working closely with practitioners based across the firm's significant Asia Pacific network of offices, including Singapore, Seoul and Tokyo, and also benefiting from expertise in financing documentation and strategies governed by English and US law,  the team is well-placed to handle complex multi-jurisdictional matters. Aided by litigator Melody Chan, Chen is representing China Minsheng Banking Corporation on the restructuring of its $430m facility to Grande Cache Coal, a Canadian coal mining company owned by Marubeni Corp. and Winsway Enterprises Holdings.

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Hong Kong: Capital markets

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

White & Case

White & Case's Hong Kong team works alongside other offices in the Asia-Pacific region to handle high-stakes cross-border transactions for Hong Kong-, PRC- and Macau-based companies, or to act for financial institutions on the opposite side. Reflective of the firm's experience in the Macau gaming sector, Jessica Zhou and Eugene Man recently worked with the Singapore office to advise a group of banks, including Australia and New Zealand Banking Group (ANZ), Merrill Lynch International and BOC Asia (among others) as initial purchasers on the circa $650m Rule 144A/Regulation S notes offering by Melco Resorts Finance (a wholly-owned subsidiary of Melco Resorts & Entertainment). The same team also handled a related circa $350m follow-on offering for the bank syndicate. In a separate matter, Zhou and others acted for first-time issuer Gangtai Group on its debut $100m Regulation S bond offering. Elsewhere, Baldwin Cheng was part of a cross-office team that advised Chinese luxury real estate developer Greentown China Holdings on its circa $450m global Regulation S offering of senior perpetual capital securities. The Indonesian market is also a source of work for the team, particularly in the context of high-yield deals. It is also sought to advise foreign issuers looking to access the capital markets in Asia. Zhou co-heads the practice with Catherine Tsang.

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