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Clifford Chance LLP

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China: Antitrust and competition

Antitrust and competition: foreign firms
Antitrust and competition: foreign firms - ranked: tier 2

Clifford Chance LLP

Clifford Chance LLP advises a mix of multinational blue-chip and Chinese clients across a wide range of industries. The team is led by Hong Kong-based Richard Blewett and is supported by Beijing-based recently promoted partner Yong Bai, who is particularly valued for his knowledge of MOFCOM procedure. The team regularly handles China merger filings as part of multibillion-dollar global M&A transactions, and has expertise in antitrust investigations and compliance issues. Informa, General Electric Company, Fujitsu and State Grid International Development are among its client list.

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China: Banking and finance

Banking and finance: foreign firms
Banking and finance: foreign firms - ranked: tier 1

Clifford Chance LLP

Working across an established network of regional offices, Clifford Chance LLP's banking team is regularly involved in market-leading acquisition finance, privatisation, refinance and project finance transactions. Jointly led by Anthony Wang in the Hong Kong office and Nicholas Wong in Singapore, the regional finance department acts for major Chinese commercial banks, policy banks and investment corporations, international banks, private equity firms and global asset managers. Among the group's stand-out work, Edith Leung led a team that advised a consortium of 17 Chinese and international lenders as lead arrangers, bookrunners and underwriters of a $5.5bn secured senior facility for CNAC Century's partial refinancing of its existing $12.7bn facilities. Leung also assisted Bank of China (Hong Kong) and Industrial and Commercial Bank of China with the parallel financing to subsidiaries of one of China's largest state-owned electricity companies to finance the acquisition of a concession for the operation of a hydroelectric power plant in Brazil. Additionally, Maggie Lo acted for Ping An Bank Tianjin Pilot Free Trade Zone Branch and China CITIC Bank Shanghai Branch in relation to the provision of a $100m facility to finance the acquisition of Wall Street English by the private equity funds of CITIC Capital and Baring Private Equity Asia. The team, which includes Matthew Truman, has also handled the financing aspects of multiple privatisation transactions. Timothy Democratis and Jiahua Ni are key contacts in the Beijing office.

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China: Corporate and M&A

Corporate and M&A: foreign firms
Corporate and M&A: foreign firms - ranked: tier 1

Clifford Chance LLP

Clifford Chance LLP's team's 'world-class knowledge and experience' and 'on-the-ground presence in China, combined with its global reach, make it very well equipped to help foreign firms working in China'. The practice recently acted in several high-profile M&A transactions across sectors such as financial institutions, industrials, energy and infrastructure, technology, consumer goods and healthcare. Alongside the firm's New York and Sao Paulo office, the team advised CITIC Agri Fund Management on its approximately $1.1bn acquisition of a select portion of Dow AgroSciences’ (a subsidiary of The Dow Chemical Company) corn seed business in Brazil. Other highlights include acting for a Chinese consortium, comprising Zhengzhou Coal Mining Machinery (Group) and China Renaissance Capital Investment, in the €545m acquisition of Robert Bosch’s Starter Motors and Generators business. Andrew Whan heads the Asia-Pacific corporate and M&A practice; Kelly Gregory advises clients on investments into and outside of China, and has a wealth of experience in M&A and joint venture transactions in sectors such as consumer goods, technology, automotive, aviation, industrials and energy; and Glen Ma, together with China corporate partners Tim Wang and Terence Foo, played a significant role in growing the firm's China outbound M&A practice. The other names to note are Neeraj Budhwani, Emma Davies, Amy Ho, Virginia Lee and Frank Yuen. Hong Zhang  was made partner in 2018 and consultant Jean Yu and counsel Yan Yuan are also key team members.

Leading individuals

Glen Ma - Clifford Chance LLP

Kelly Gregory - Clifford Chance LLP

Terence Foo - Clifford Chance LLP

Next Generation Partners

Hong Zhang - Clifford Chance LLP

Yan Yuan - Clifford Chance LLP

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China: Dispute resolution

Dispute resolution: foreign firms
Dispute resolution: foreign firms - ranked: tier 4

Clifford Chance LLP

Clifford Chance LLP's key advisors include Hong Kong litigation and dispute resolution head Brian Gilchrist and Cameron Hassall, who heads international arbitration for Greater China. Gilchrist has particular expertise in disputes involving banking, directors’ duties, minority shareholders and insurance, along with tax, trusts and contentious probate, and employment; Hassall specialises in cross-border investment and shareholder disputes, primarily in the energy and infrastructure, private equity, banking and aviation sectors.

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China: Intellectual property

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

Clifford Chance LLP

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China: Investment funds

Investment funds: foreign firms
Investment funds: foreign firms - ranked: tier 1

Clifford Chance LLP

Clifford Chance LLP's practice covers hedge, private equity, real estate and registered funds; and it typically advises on the launch, registration and ongoing operation of investment funds, as well as assisting with regulatory and securities law. The team advised Allianz Real Estate (Asia Pacific branch) on its investment in Redwood Japan Logistics Fund II.  Ying White heads the funds and investment management group in China, focusing on onshore and offshore fund formation and offshore investments by Chinese institutions. Hong Kong's Mark Shipman is the global funds head and Matthias Feldmann leads the global hedge fund sub-sector.

Leading individuals

Ying White - Clifford Chance LLP

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China: Private equity/venture capital

Private equity/venture capital: foreign firms
Private equity/venture capital: foreign firms - ranked: tier 1

Clifford Chance LLP

Clifford Chance LLP's lawyers are 'excellent advocates and educators who help their clients solve problems and grow their businesses'. The practice covers the full range of private equity transactions, including LBOs, MBOs, PIPEs, and cornerstone investments, as well as venture capital investments and high-yield financings. The team is particularly well known for assisting clients with China-focused private equity investments intending to list in Hong Kong and investments into Hong Kong-listed companies. Terence Foo, who heads the private equity practice, and recently promoted partner Hong Zhang advised Standard Chartered Private Equity on its $73m strategic investment in Chinese data centre operator Chayora Holdings. They also acted for growth markets investor Actis on its buyout of a majority equity interest in Zhejiang RGB Textile Group. Hong Kong-based Andrew Whan, who heads the Asia Pacific corporate and M&A practice, is also a name to note.

Leading individuals

Terence Foo - Clifford Chance LLP

Next Generation Partners

Hong Zhang - Clifford Chance LLP

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China: Projects and energy

Projects and energy: foreign firms
Projects and energy: foreign firms - ranked: tier 1

Clifford Chance LLP

The team at Clifford Chance LLP is regularly instructed by China's most active commercial and policy banks in relation to high-value project finance mandates. Of late, outbound financing has primarily occurred in connection with One Belt One Road projects, which has brought the team instructions involving projects in Southeast and Central Asia, the Middle East, South America and Africa. Indeed, Jiahua Ni advises China Development Bank on a huge variety of project finance mandates, which has recently including the provision of a $1.5bn term loan for the construction of a power station in South Africa, and separately the provision of a $1.8bn loan to finance the acquisition of a stake in two onshore oil blocks in the UAE, which are the largest onshore oil blocks in the world. Ni also assisted the client with a $5bn loan to Petróleo Brasileiro for the purpose of financing long-term oil exports to China; this was the second $5bn loan agreement between the two parties in the past two years. Other names to note include Hong Kong-based Maggie Lo, counsel Vicky Ma, who splits time between Hong Kong and the mainland, and Timothy Democratis, who focuses more broadly on banking and finance mandates. Additional clients include The Export-Import Bank of China, Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, Bank of China and China CITIC Bank International.

Leading individuals

Jiahua Ni - Clifford Chance LLP

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China: Real estate and construction

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

Clifford Chance LLP

Clifford Chance LLP recently worked on a high level of China inbound and outbound real estate matters, particularly in relation to US, UK, Middle Eastern and Central Asian investors. The practice is experienced in high-end conveyancing, real estate-related M&A, finance, capital raising, joint ventures, dispute resolution, fund formation and IPOs; and its coverage extends from conventional office, residential and industrial real estate to networks, hub sites, data centres, hospitals, exhibition venues and logistic centres. The team advised Bank of China (Hong Kong), HSBC and ING Real Estate Finance on the financing of Hong Kong investor C C Land Holdings' £1.15bn purchase of London's The Leadenhall Building; the team also acted for Goldman Sachs in its joint venture with KaiLong REIT to acquire commercial buildings in Hong Kong. The key mainland advisors are China managing partners Terence Foo and Tim Wang and corporate partners Kelly Gregory and Ying White; White is 'an exceptional communicator who is one of the few lawyers in Asia who understands the challenges faced by global asset management companies, and she works tirelessly to bridge the gap that exists between their expectations and understanding and the realities of working in China'. Yi Yang is a notable Shanghai counsel. Matthias Feldmann, who focuses on real estate fund formation, Dauwood Malik, noted for both development and investment financing work, and Clara Tang, who has expertise in development, conveyancing, financing, property management and leasing are the main Hong Kong contacts.

Next Generation Partners

Yi Yang - Clifford Chance LLP

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Legal Developments in China

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