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DLA Piper

17TH FLOOR, EDINBURGH TOWER, 15 QUEEN'S ROAD, CENTRAL, HONG KONG
Tel:
Work +852 2103 0808
Fax:
Fax +852 2810 1345
Email:
Web:
www.dlapiper.com

Asia Pacific: Regional International Arbitration

Leading firms
Leading firms - ranked: tier 2

DLA Piper

In DLA Piper’s Hong Kong office, Kevin Chan and Ernest Yang (who represented GD Midea Air-Conditioning Equipment in a Singapore arbitration against its former Israeli distributor, with around 300GB of evidence involved) have been joined by Andrew Chin and Benjamin Ng, who joined from Baker McKenzie and Debevoise & Plimpton LLP respectively in Hong Kong. Other highlights concern the maritime sector and construction. Of counsel Xiaoshan Chen, who is based in Shanghai, is a notable contact in mainland China. Elsewhere in the region, Peter Shelford is a key contact in Bangkok, as is John Goulios in Singapore.

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Hong Kong

Banking and finance
Banking and finance - ranked: tier 3

DLA Piper

DLA Piper's banking practice has gained momentum, following a number of key hires in 2017. Matthias Schemuth, who joined from Ashurst in February 2017, heads up the team, which was strengthened by the more recent arrivals of Douglas Murning and of counsel Tom Van Hoof from Kirkland & Ellis and Watson Farley & Williams respectively. The group has served as a trusted adviser to clients in a number of highly complex domestic and cross-border transactions, as was evidenced when Schemuth and Van Hoof acted for ANZ (as arranger) and a syndicate of 20 banks on the $200m financing to China Water Affairs for the development, construction and purchase of water-integrated projects in the PRC. Schemuth has also acted for Rabobank in a series of domestic Hong Kong and cross-border commodities finance transactions. Paul Lee is advising Huatai Financial Holdings as financial adviser on its HK$3.5bn financing of the privatisation of Bloomage BioTechnology from the Hong Kong Stock Exchange. Head of energy Carolyn Dong is another key figure.

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Construction
Construction - ranked: tier 3

DLA Piper

May Ng, Harris Chan¬†and Kevin Chan¬†jointly¬†lead the team¬†at DLA Piper. Ng is singled out as being¬†‚Äėextremely hands-on, with excellent technical industry knowledge‚Äô.¬†The team acted for a New World Development subsidiary -¬†one of Hong Kong's largest property developers -¬†in resisting court enforcement of¬†an $18m¬†ICC arbitration award¬†in relation to the construction of Dubai's "Blue Tower" skyscraper. It also¬†represented Thiess Mongolia in court proceedings to recover¬†a¬†$13m¬†payment for its mining works in Mongolia from a Hong Kong-listed company and its subsidiary.

Leading individuals

May Ng - DLA Piper

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

DLA Piper

DLA Piper's Hong Kong-based Asia corporate head Luke Gannon has overseen a major build-out of the firm's corporate offering across its offices in Greater China in recent years. In Hong Kong, the team includes Gloria Liu, who has been a key adviser to clients on private equity transactions, corporate strategic alliances and joint ventures, among other matters. Liu recently acted for Chinese state-owned enterprise China Merchants Group on a $2.5bn round of investment in JD Logistics, a subsidiary of NASDAQ-listed company JD.com. Liu is also working with the Shanghai office to advise Ping An Insurance's overseas investment arm (China Ping An Insurance Overseas) on its joint venture with Japan-based Tsumura & Co. Also recommended is Heng Loong Cheong, who divides time between the firm's Hong Kong and Singapore offices, and has a wealth of experience in cross-border M&A. Cheong recently led a multidisciplinary, cross-office team that acted for NASDAQ-listed company Laureate Education on the $162m sale of INTI International University & Colleges to Affinity Equity Partners. The firm has also recently handled mandates for China Huarong Macau, UCF Capital and CK Hutchison.

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Insurance
Insurance - ranked: tier 3

DLA Piper

DLA Piper¬†provides an¬†‚Äėexcellent service‚Äô and¬†‚Äėresponses are speedy, appropriate and the quality of advice is good‚Äô.¬†Clients include Aviva, Ping¬†An¬†Insurance, and China Life Insurance. The practice has also been newly appointed to the panels of AIG, Chubb, Zurich and QBE. Recent transactional work includes¬†advising global healthcare provider¬†Aetna on the acquisition of Bupa Group‚Äôs Thai business, Bupa Thailand.

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Intellectual property
Intellectual property - ranked: tier 4

DLA Piper

Often working very closely with practitioners on the ground in mainland China, as well as forming part of the firm's wide-ranging capabilities across Europe, North America, Africa and the Asia-Pacific region, DLA Piper's one-partner Hong Kong team excels at maintaining, protecting and commercialising the IPR of major international brands from a range of sectors including sports, technology and telecoms. Team head Edward Chatterton continues to provide ongoing advice to McDonald's across a range of IP matters related to the exploitation of its brand in China, and is also representing the Football Association Premier League as it seeks to clamp down on illegal feeds of Premier League content. Of counsel Elizabeth Wong is noted for acting for multinational corporates on transactional and commercial IP work including advice relating to license and franchise agreements.

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Investment funds
Investment funds - ranked: tier 2

DLA Piper

DLA Piper's 'leading funds practice' in Asia is led by Luke Gannon, who has more than 25 years of experience in this practice area, and is 'one of the region's highest-profile partners'. Gannon acts for a broad base of clients in relation to various types of retail and private funds products, including investment banks, fund managers and investors. One of the firm's core areas of strength is real estate funds, where it acts for some of the most prominent sponsors in the market in many of their most notable fund launches, which target investments into real estate assets in greater China and elsewhere in Asia. In addition, the firm is highly active in the broader private equity funds realm, where highlights have included acting for ARM on its investment in a private equity fund which invests in the "Internet of Things" industry in Taiwan, and advising Sino-Ocean on its investment in a One Belt One Road private equity fund that invests in private equity investments in the technology and new media sector. Elsewhere, the firm captures a particularly significant share of the market from hedge fund managers; in 2017, Gannon assisted Auroville (HK) with the formation of a dual-legged master-feeder hedge fund, and also advised on associated US regulatory issues. On the investor side, Gannon acted for Huarong International Securities on its $133m investment in a hedge fund that invests in fixed-return private funds, unlisted debt investments and certain listed or over-the-counter quoted debt securities. LyGH Capital is another notable client.

Leading individuals

Luke Gannon - DLA Piper

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Labour and employment
Labour and employment - ranked: tier 3

DLA Piper

The 'customer-oriented' team at DLA Piper provides 'practical and insightful' advice across the gamut of contentious and non-contentious employment matters for China-based, Hong Kong-based and overseas corporate entities from a broad swathe of industry sectors, including financial services, retail and transport. Despite a number of departures over the past couple of years, the team has rebuilt with some significant strategic hires of which Helen Colquhoun, who now heads the team following her arrival from Withers in October 2017, is the most notable. Praised for her 'in-depth global knowledge across employment law matters' as well as for her 'ability to use laypeople's terms to make her clients understand the risks and benefits', Colquhoun has hit the ground running since her arrival and has been particularly effective in advising on multi-jurisdictional matters. Alongside practitioners in the firm's mainland China offices, she recently advised AllSaints on its redundancy procedure in China and Hong Kong due to the closure of its business in Asia. 'Extremely knowledgeable' associate Wundy Lee displays 'a personal touch; being a Hong Kong local she very much understands the employment ordinances and reality from both the employer and employee viewpoints'.

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Private equity
Private equity - ranked: tier 5

DLA Piper

Led out of Hong Kong by Gloria Liu, and aided by a significant and growing presence in mainland China, DLA Piper is continuing to pick up a significant volume of mandates for some major Chinese clients in the mid-market buyout space. Liu is particularly accomplished at handling outbound work for Asian entities, particularly on deals with a US nexus; she recently advised HOPU-ARM Innovation Fund on its investment in semiconductor company Innophase. Liu also handles a significant volume of work for China Huarong (Macau), including on its HK$390 million investment, in the form of convertible bonds, in the Hong Kong-listed Carnival Group. Other clients include China Merchants Group, Rajax and China Everbright.

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Projects and energy
Projects and energy - ranked: tier 3

DLA Piper

Carolyn Dong and Matthias Schemuth head up the team at DLA Piper. Clients include ENN Ecological Holdings, China Energy Investment Corp (formerly China Shenhua Energy Company) and Pierfront Capital Fund Management. The team acted as international and Australian counsel for Shanghai-listed ENN, the largest private natural gas company in China, in its $750m acquisition of Hony Capital's 11.72% stake in Australian energy company, Santos.

Leading individuals

Matthias Schemuth - DLA Piper

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Real estate
Real estate - ranked: tier 2

DLA Piper

Susheela Rivers¬†heads up the team at DLA Piper, possessing ‚Äėbrilliant subject matter expertise in structuring transactions and negotiations‚Äô. It advised a fund managed by TH Real Estate on its acquisition of a series of Florentia Village designer outlet malls. Cross-border work included advice to¬†a European real estate investment and asset manager on its co-investment into a fund (alongside Gaw Capital Partners, Goldman Sachs and Great Wall), which has acquired 16 properties in Hong Kong.¬†Senior associate Janice Yau Garton¬†is¬†‚Äėintelligent, diligent and responsive‚Äô, ‚Äėher advice is solid and she is very quick to grasp issues‚Äô. Clients also include Deutsche Bank and McDonald‚Äôs.

Leading individuals

Susheela Rivers - DLA Piper

Next Generation Partners

Janice Yau Garton - DLA Piper

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Regulatory
Regulatory - ranked: tier 4

DLA Piper

Kevin Chan¬†heads up¬†DLA Piper's practice jointly with Harris Chan, whose ‚Äėcommercial acumen and deep understanding of doing business in China is just exceptional‚Äô. The team has seen significant expansion: Andrew Chin¬†joined from Baker McKenzie, Benjamin Ng¬†from Debevoise & Plimpton LLP, and Michael Turnbull¬†from Tilleke & Gibbins‚Äô Bangkok office. The team acted for Haitong International Financial Company, recovering debt arising out of a HK$435m loan facility granted to a BVI investment holding company under SFC investigation. Clients also include Ping An.

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Regulatory: anti-corruption and compliance
Regulatory: anti-corruption and compliance - ranked: tier 3

DLA Piper

China head of investigation¬†Sammy Fang¬†and Asia head of litigation and regulatory Kevin Chan¬†jointly¬†head up the¬†team at DLA Piper.¬†The practice has seen a strong increase in cybercrime and data breach related reviews and investigations, where it acts closely with the firm's technology, data privacy and employment teams.¬†Senior associate Christine Liu¬†is singled out as¬†‚Äėa workhorse, who is dedicated and relentless in helping clients understand things‚Äô.

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Restructuring and insolvency
Restructuring and insolvency - ranked: tier 1

DLA Piper

Benefiting from 'deep technical knowledge and expertise in the restructuring and insolvency field', DLA Piper's three-partner team has 'deep expertise and creative ways of applying the law to come up with practical and innovative solutions for complex issues' on behalf of a broad roster of stakeholders including banks, funds, insolvency practitioners and corporates. 'Very experienced' team head Mark Fairbairn is praised for his 'deep technical knowledge, creativity and practical knowledge'; he continues to spearhead many of the most significant matters in the region including advising the ad hoc group of holders of $550m of New York law-governed bonds in connection with the enforcement of their rights against China Shanshui Cement. Praised for his 'very strong cross-border insolvency and restructuring background', Jonathan Leitch adds value to clients by virtue of his 'in-depth knowledge of not just Hong Kong and English law but also familiarity with PRC and US law'. Leitch continues to represent Rabobank, Standard Chartered Bank and DBS Bank as major creditors of the Pacific Andes Group of companies. Ashley Bell has extensive experience in disputes related to cross-border restructuring matters.

Leading individuals

Jonathan Leitch  - DLA Piper

Mark Fairbairn  - DLA Piper

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Shipping
Shipping - ranked: tier 3

DLA Piper

Often working in coordination with practitioners in mainland China, the 'experienced and knowledgeable' team at DLA Piper provides 'client-oriented and value-for-money service' across the panoply of matters impacting shipping clients, from dry shipping and marine casualty response to recoveries, shipbuilding and freight forwarding. 'Strong in shipping-related commercial court cases and arbitrations', the team takes 'a sensible and reasonable approach to handling cases'. The 'very diligent and hardworking' Ernest Yang has 'in-depth insights into and knowledge of the law and the shipping industry'; praised for his 'measured, tactical and client-centric approach', Yang's advice is 'always thoughtful, practical and commercially savvy'. The 'outstanding' Kevin Chan also regularly handles shipping-related disputes and is noted for his 'strategic and innovative recommendations'. Nicholas Mallard is also recommended, particularly for shipbuilding disputes.

Leading individuals

Nicholas Mallard  - DLA Piper

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TMT
TMT - ranked: tier 2

DLA Piper

The 'excellent' team at DLA Piper excels at handling high-profile, strategically important IT projects on behalf of an impressive range of clients, including Maxwell Technologies, HSBC, Barings and Intercontinental Hotels Group. Combining IP knowledge with computer science expertise, team head Scott Thiel has a unique insight into IT work; he is regularly at the forefront of the most significant mandates handled by the team, including its recent work for HSBC Hong Kong and HSBC Singapore on the establishment of a cloud services master framework agreement with Google. Thiel also has significant expertise in the fintech sector, and recently acted for Ping An Technology on successfully securing the contract to design, implement, deploy and provide support and maintenance services for a blockchain-based trade finance platform. Drawing on the expertise of practitioners spread throughout the firm's extensive network of offices, a significant amount of the team's work relates to handling multi-jurisdictional projects requiring a global coordinated approach; it is currently acting on several multi-jurisdictional data protection compliance projects. Of counsel Carolyn Bigg is recommended for her privacy and data protection expertise throughout the Asia-Pacific region.

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Tax and trusts
Tax and trusts - ranked: tier 1

DLA Piper

With four partners based in Hong Kong, and able to leverage the expertise of lawyers based in mainland China and across the firm's global offices, DLA Piper has the critical mass and breadth of expertise to handle the full spectrum of non-contentious and contentious tax matters affecting multinationals, including as it relates to M&A tax structuring and transfer pricing. It also provides private clients with estate planning and general tax and trust advice. The head of the Hong Kong tax team, Anderson Lam has extensive experience in advising local and international clients on structuring their business operations in a legally compliant and tax-efficient manner. Alongside Doris Ho, Lam recently provided regional tax structuring coordination across five Asia-Pacific jurisdictions, including Hong Kong and Japan, for a global financial services entity's global reorganisation. Daniel Chan is the overall head of the firm's Asia tax offering, and focuses on providing advice to multinationals on investment and taxation matters in Greater China. The team is rounded out by Patrice Marceau, who has a focus on private client and wealth management tax matters.

Leading individuals

Daniel Chan - DLA Piper

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Hong Kong: Capital markets

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

DLA Piper

DLA Piper's full-service offering is a major draw for clients, as is illustrated by the fact that more than 30 Hong Kong-listed companies turn to the firm for post-listings and compliance support in relation to the Hong Kong Listing Rules and Hong Kong Takeovers Code. Melody He-Chen, who heads the practice with Liu Wei, is US- and Hong Kong-qualified. Her experience includes acting for sponsors and companies on global offerings and Hong Kong Stock Exchange listings, rights issuances and share placings. Newly promoted partner Christina Loh co-led a cross-office team in advice to longstanding client Ping An Insurance (Group) as controlling shareholder on the $1.1bn listing of Ping An Healthcare and Technology (also known as Ping An Good Doctor) on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange; this was the largest Hong Kong IPO in the first quarter of 2018. Another high-profile mandate saw He-Chen, Loh, of counsel Janny Tai and Christine Chen act for China Merchants Securities as the sole sponsor, global coordinator and bookrunner on CSMall Group's circa HK$462m global offering and Hong Kong Main Board listing. In addition, Wei and Loh were the lead advisers to China Maple Leaf Educational Systems on its HK$1bn+ top-up placing of shares. The firm has also recently handled mandates for clients such as KGI Capital Asia, China Southern Airlines and Yestock. Henry Cheng joined from Kirkland & Ellis, while Mike Suen left to join Withers.

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Hong Kong: Dispute resolution

Dispute resolution: international arbitration
Dispute resolution: international arbitration - ranked: tier 4

DLA Piper

Kevin Chan¬†and Ernest Yang¬†lead the team at DLA Piper, which impresses with its ‚Äėinnovative recommendations for solving disputes and formulating strategies‚Äô. Recent work includes acting for a major construction company, a subsidiary of a Hong Kong-listed company, in resisting enforcement of an ICC arbitration award issued in Dubai, involving complex issues relating to enforcement and potential annulment of the arbitration award. Hip Hing Overseas is also a client.¬†The team expanded with Andrew Chin¬†joining from Baker McKenzie, and¬†Benjamin Ng¬†from Debevoise & Plimpton LLP.

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Dispute resolution: litigation
Dispute resolution: litigation - ranked: tier 3

DLA Piper

Kevin Chan¬†and Harris Chan, ‚Äėa very shrewd strategist in litigation and court practice‚Äô, head up the team at DLA Piper. Recent work includes acting for a client to recover onshore and offshore loan debts of over HK$2bn from China Huishan Dairy Holdings, one of China's largest dairy producers. Andrew Chin¬†joined the team as senior associate from Baker McKenzie, and associate Benjamin Ng¬†from Debevoise & Plimpton LLP. Ping An Bank, Thiess Mongolia and Zurich also count among the team's clients.

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Asia Pacific: Regional International Arbitration

Leading firms
Leading firms - ranked: tier 2

DLA Piper

In DLA Piper’s Hong Kong office, Kevin Chan and Ernest Yang (who represented GD Midea Air-Conditioning Equipment in a Singapore arbitration against its former Israeli distributor, with around 300GB of evidence involved) have been joined by Andrew Chin and Benjamin Ng, who joined from Baker McKenzie and Debevoise & Plimpton LLP respectively in Hong Kong. Other highlights concern the maritime sector and construction. Of counsel Xiaoshan Chen, who is based in Shanghai, is a notable contact in mainland China. Elsewhere in the region, Peter Shelford is a key contact in Bangkok, as is John Goulios in Singapore.

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Hong Kong

Banking and finance
Banking and finance - ranked: tier 3

DLA Piper

DLA Piper's banking practice has gained momentum, following a number of key hires in 2017. Matthias Schemuth, who joined from Ashurst in February 2017, heads up the team, which was strengthened by the more recent arrivals of Douglas Murning and of counsel Tom Van Hoof from Kirkland & Ellis and Watson Farley & Williams respectively. The group has served as a trusted adviser to clients in a number of highly complex domestic and cross-border transactions, as was evidenced when Schemuth and Van Hoof acted for ANZ (as arranger) and a syndicate of 20 banks on the $200m financing to China Water Affairs for the development, construction and purchase of water-integrated projects in the PRC. Schemuth has also acted for Rabobank in a series of domestic Hong Kong and cross-border commodities finance transactions. Paul Lee is advising Huatai Financial Holdings as financial adviser on its HK$3.5bn financing of the privatisation of Bloomage BioTechnology from the Hong Kong Stock Exchange. Head of energy Carolyn Dong is another key figure.

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Construction
Construction - ranked: tier 3

DLA Piper

May Ng, Harris Chan¬†and Kevin Chan¬†jointly¬†lead the team¬†at DLA Piper. Ng is singled out as being¬†‚Äėextremely hands-on, with excellent technical industry knowledge‚Äô.¬†The team acted for a New World Development subsidiary -¬†one of Hong Kong's largest property developers -¬†in resisting court enforcement of¬†an $18m¬†ICC arbitration award¬†in relation to the construction of Dubai's "Blue Tower" skyscraper. It also¬†represented Thiess Mongolia in court proceedings to recover¬†a¬†$13m¬†payment for its mining works in Mongolia from a Hong Kong-listed company and its subsidiary.

Leading individuals

May Ng - DLA Piper

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

DLA Piper

DLA Piper's Hong Kong-based Asia corporate head Luke Gannon has overseen a major build-out of the firm's corporate offering across its offices in Greater China in recent years. In Hong Kong, the team includes Gloria Liu, who has been a key adviser to clients on private equity transactions, corporate strategic alliances and joint ventures, among other matters. Liu recently acted for Chinese state-owned enterprise China Merchants Group on a $2.5bn round of investment in JD Logistics, a subsidiary of NASDAQ-listed company JD.com. Liu is also working with the Shanghai office to advise Ping An Insurance's overseas investment arm (China Ping An Insurance Overseas) on its joint venture with Japan-based Tsumura & Co. Also recommended is Heng Loong Cheong, who divides time between the firm's Hong Kong and Singapore offices, and has a wealth of experience in cross-border M&A. Cheong recently led a multidisciplinary, cross-office team that acted for NASDAQ-listed company Laureate Education on the $162m sale of INTI International University & Colleges to Affinity Equity Partners. The firm has also recently handled mandates for China Huarong Macau, UCF Capital and CK Hutchison.

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Insurance
Insurance - ranked: tier 3

DLA Piper

DLA Piper¬†provides an¬†‚Äėexcellent service‚Äô and¬†‚Äėresponses are speedy, appropriate and the quality of advice is good‚Äô.¬†Clients include Aviva, Ping¬†An¬†Insurance, and China Life Insurance. The practice has also been newly appointed to the panels of AIG, Chubb, Zurich and QBE. Recent transactional work includes¬†advising global healthcare provider¬†Aetna on the acquisition of Bupa Group‚Äôs Thai business, Bupa Thailand.

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Intellectual property
Intellectual property - ranked: tier 4

DLA Piper

Often working very closely with practitioners on the ground in mainland China, as well as forming part of the firm's wide-ranging capabilities across Europe, North America, Africa and the Asia-Pacific region, DLA Piper's one-partner Hong Kong team excels at maintaining, protecting and commercialising the IPR of major international brands from a range of sectors including sports, technology and telecoms. Team head Edward Chatterton continues to provide ongoing advice to McDonald's across a range of IP matters related to the exploitation of its brand in China, and is also representing the Football Association Premier League as it seeks to clamp down on illegal feeds of Premier League content. Of counsel Elizabeth Wong is noted for acting for multinational corporates on transactional and commercial IP work including advice relating to license and franchise agreements.

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Investment funds
Investment funds - ranked: tier 2

DLA Piper

DLA Piper's 'leading funds practice' in Asia is led by Luke Gannon, who has more than 25 years of experience in this practice area, and is 'one of the region's highest-profile partners'. Gannon acts for a broad base of clients in relation to various types of retail and private funds products, including investment banks, fund managers and investors. One of the firm's core areas of strength is real estate funds, where it acts for some of the most prominent sponsors in the market in many of their most notable fund launches, which target investments into real estate assets in greater China and elsewhere in Asia. In addition, the firm is highly active in the broader private equity funds realm, where highlights have included acting for ARM on its investment in a private equity fund which invests in the "Internet of Things" industry in Taiwan, and advising Sino-Ocean on its investment in a One Belt One Road private equity fund that invests in private equity investments in the technology and new media sector. Elsewhere, the firm captures a particularly significant share of the market from hedge fund managers; in 2017, Gannon assisted Auroville (HK) with the formation of a dual-legged master-feeder hedge fund, and also advised on associated US regulatory issues. On the investor side, Gannon acted for Huarong International Securities on its $133m investment in a hedge fund that invests in fixed-return private funds, unlisted debt investments and certain listed or over-the-counter quoted debt securities. LyGH Capital is another notable client.

Leading individuals

Luke Gannon - DLA Piper

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Labour and employment
Labour and employment - ranked: tier 3

DLA Piper

The 'customer-oriented' team at DLA Piper provides 'practical and insightful' advice across the gamut of contentious and non-contentious employment matters for China-based, Hong Kong-based and overseas corporate entities from a broad swathe of industry sectors, including financial services, retail and transport. Despite a number of departures over the past couple of years, the team has rebuilt with some significant strategic hires of which Helen Colquhoun, who now heads the team following her arrival from Withers in October 2017, is the most notable. Praised for her 'in-depth global knowledge across employment law matters' as well as for her 'ability to use laypeople's terms to make her clients understand the risks and benefits', Colquhoun has hit the ground running since her arrival and has been particularly effective in advising on multi-jurisdictional matters. Alongside practitioners in the firm's mainland China offices, she recently advised AllSaints on its redundancy procedure in China and Hong Kong due to the closure of its business in Asia. 'Extremely knowledgeable' associate Wundy Lee displays 'a personal touch; being a Hong Kong local she very much understands the employment ordinances and reality from both the employer and employee viewpoints'.

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Private equity
Private equity - ranked: tier 5

DLA Piper

Led out of Hong Kong by Gloria Liu, and aided by a significant and growing presence in mainland China, DLA Piper is continuing to pick up a significant volume of mandates for some major Chinese clients in the mid-market buyout space. Liu is particularly accomplished at handling outbound work for Asian entities, particularly on deals with a US nexus; she recently advised HOPU-ARM Innovation Fund on its investment in semiconductor company Innophase. Liu also handles a significant volume of work for China Huarong (Macau), including on its HK$390 million investment, in the form of convertible bonds, in the Hong Kong-listed Carnival Group. Other clients include China Merchants Group, Rajax and China Everbright.

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Projects and energy
Projects and energy - ranked: tier 3

DLA Piper

Carolyn Dong and Matthias Schemuth head up the team at DLA Piper. Clients include ENN Ecological Holdings, China Energy Investment Corp (formerly China Shenhua Energy Company) and Pierfront Capital Fund Management. The team acted as international and Australian counsel for Shanghai-listed ENN, the largest private natural gas company in China, in its $750m acquisition of Hony Capital's 11.72% stake in Australian energy company, Santos.

Leading individuals

Matthias Schemuth - DLA Piper

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Real estate
Real estate - ranked: tier 2

DLA Piper

Susheela Rivers¬†heads up the team at DLA Piper, possessing ‚Äėbrilliant subject matter expertise in structuring transactions and negotiations‚Äô. It advised a fund managed by TH Real Estate on its acquisition of a series of Florentia Village designer outlet malls. Cross-border work included advice to¬†a European real estate investment and asset manager on its co-investment into a fund (alongside Gaw Capital Partners, Goldman Sachs and Great Wall), which has acquired 16 properties in Hong Kong.¬†Senior associate Janice Yau Garton¬†is¬†‚Äėintelligent, diligent and responsive‚Äô, ‚Äėher advice is solid and she is very quick to grasp issues‚Äô. Clients also include Deutsche Bank and McDonald‚Äôs.

Leading individuals

Susheela Rivers - DLA Piper

Next Generation Partners

Janice Yau Garton - DLA Piper

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Regulatory
Regulatory - ranked: tier 4

DLA Piper

Kevin Chan¬†heads up¬†DLA Piper's practice jointly with Harris Chan, whose ‚Äėcommercial acumen and deep understanding of doing business in China is just exceptional‚Äô. The team has seen significant expansion: Andrew Chin¬†joined from Baker McKenzie, Benjamin Ng¬†from Debevoise & Plimpton LLP, and Michael Turnbull¬†from Tilleke & Gibbins‚Äô Bangkok office. The team acted for Haitong International Financial Company, recovering debt arising out of a HK$435m loan facility granted to a BVI investment holding company under SFC investigation. Clients also include Ping An.

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Regulatory: anti-corruption and compliance
Regulatory: anti-corruption and compliance - ranked: tier 3

DLA Piper

China head of investigation¬†Sammy Fang¬†and Asia head of litigation and regulatory Kevin Chan¬†jointly¬†head up the¬†team at DLA Piper.¬†The practice has seen a strong increase in cybercrime and data breach related reviews and investigations, where it acts closely with the firm's technology, data privacy and employment teams.¬†Senior associate Christine Liu¬†is singled out as¬†‚Äėa workhorse, who is dedicated and relentless in helping clients understand things‚Äô.

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Restructuring and insolvency
Restructuring and insolvency - ranked: tier 1

DLA Piper

Benefiting from 'deep technical knowledge and expertise in the restructuring and insolvency field', DLA Piper's three-partner team has 'deep expertise and creative ways of applying the law to come up with practical and innovative solutions for complex issues' on behalf of a broad roster of stakeholders including banks, funds, insolvency practitioners and corporates. 'Very experienced' team head Mark Fairbairn is praised for his 'deep technical knowledge, creativity and practical knowledge'; he continues to spearhead many of the most significant matters in the region including advising the ad hoc group of holders of $550m of New York law-governed bonds in connection with the enforcement of their rights against China Shanshui Cement. Praised for his 'very strong cross-border insolvency and restructuring background', Jonathan Leitch adds value to clients by virtue of his 'in-depth knowledge of not just Hong Kong and English law but also familiarity with PRC and US law'. Leitch continues to represent Rabobank, Standard Chartered Bank and DBS Bank as major creditors of the Pacific Andes Group of companies. Ashley Bell has extensive experience in disputes related to cross-border restructuring matters.

Leading individuals

Jonathan Leitch  - DLA Piper

Mark Fairbairn  - DLA Piper

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Shipping
Shipping - ranked: tier 3

DLA Piper

Often working in coordination with practitioners in mainland China, the 'experienced and knowledgeable' team at DLA Piper provides 'client-oriented and value-for-money service' across the panoply of matters impacting shipping clients, from dry shipping and marine casualty response to recoveries, shipbuilding and freight forwarding. 'Strong in shipping-related commercial court cases and arbitrations', the team takes 'a sensible and reasonable approach to handling cases'. The 'very diligent and hardworking' Ernest Yang has 'in-depth insights into and knowledge of the law and the shipping industry'; praised for his 'measured, tactical and client-centric approach', Yang's advice is 'always thoughtful, practical and commercially savvy'. The 'outstanding' Kevin Chan also regularly handles shipping-related disputes and is noted for his 'strategic and innovative recommendations'. Nicholas Mallard is also recommended, particularly for shipbuilding disputes.

Leading individuals

Nicholas Mallard  - DLA Piper

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TMT
TMT - ranked: tier 2

DLA Piper

The 'excellent' team at DLA Piper excels at handling high-profile, strategically important IT projects on behalf of an impressive range of clients, including Maxwell Technologies, HSBC, Barings and Intercontinental Hotels Group. Combining IP knowledge with computer science expertise, team head Scott Thiel has a unique insight into IT work; he is regularly at the forefront of the most significant mandates handled by the team, including its recent work for HSBC Hong Kong and HSBC Singapore on the establishment of a cloud services master framework agreement with Google. Thiel also has significant expertise in the fintech sector, and recently acted for Ping An Technology on successfully securing the contract to design, implement, deploy and provide support and maintenance services for a blockchain-based trade finance platform. Drawing on the expertise of practitioners spread throughout the firm's extensive network of offices, a significant amount of the team's work relates to handling multi-jurisdictional projects requiring a global coordinated approach; it is currently acting on several multi-jurisdictional data protection compliance projects. Of counsel Carolyn Bigg is recommended for her privacy and data protection expertise throughout the Asia-Pacific region.

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Tax and trusts
Tax and trusts - ranked: tier 1

DLA Piper

With four partners based in Hong Kong, and able to leverage the expertise of lawyers based in mainland China and across the firm's global offices, DLA Piper has the critical mass and breadth of expertise to handle the full spectrum of non-contentious and contentious tax matters affecting multinationals, including as it relates to M&A tax structuring and transfer pricing. It also provides private clients with estate planning and general tax and trust advice. The head of the Hong Kong tax team, Anderson Lam has extensive experience in advising local and international clients on structuring their business operations in a legally compliant and tax-efficient manner. Alongside Doris Ho, Lam recently provided regional tax structuring coordination across five Asia-Pacific jurisdictions, including Hong Kong and Japan, for a global financial services entity's global reorganisation. Daniel Chan is the overall head of the firm's Asia tax offering, and focuses on providing advice to multinationals on investment and taxation matters in Greater China. The team is rounded out by Patrice Marceau, who has a focus on private client and wealth management tax matters.

Leading individuals

Daniel Chan - DLA Piper

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Hong Kong: Capital markets

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

DLA Piper

DLA Piper's full-service offering is a major draw for clients, as is illustrated by the fact that more than 30 Hong Kong-listed companies turn to the firm for post-listings and compliance support in relation to the Hong Kong Listing Rules and Hong Kong Takeovers Code. Melody He-Chen, who heads the practice with Liu Wei, is US- and Hong Kong-qualified. Her experience includes acting for sponsors and companies on global offerings and Hong Kong Stock Exchange listings, rights issuances and share placings. Newly promoted partner Christina Loh co-led a cross-office team in advice to longstanding client Ping An Insurance (Group) as controlling shareholder on the $1.1bn listing of Ping An Healthcare and Technology (also known as Ping An Good Doctor) on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange; this was the largest Hong Kong IPO in the first quarter of 2018. Another high-profile mandate saw He-Chen, Loh, of counsel Janny Tai and Christine Chen act for China Merchants Securities as the sole sponsor, global coordinator and bookrunner on CSMall Group's circa HK$462m global offering and Hong Kong Main Board listing. In addition, Wei and Loh were the lead advisers to China Maple Leaf Educational Systems on its HK$1bn+ top-up placing of shares. The firm has also recently handled mandates for clients such as KGI Capital Asia, China Southern Airlines and Yestock. Henry Cheng joined from Kirkland & Ellis, while Mike Suen left to join Withers.

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Hong Kong: Dispute resolution

Dispute resolution: international arbitration
Dispute resolution: international arbitration - ranked: tier 4

DLA Piper

Kevin Chan¬†and Ernest Yang¬†lead the team at DLA Piper, which impresses with its ‚Äėinnovative recommendations for solving disputes and formulating strategies‚Äô. Recent work includes acting for a major construction company, a subsidiary of a Hong Kong-listed company, in resisting enforcement of an ICC arbitration award issued in Dubai, involving complex issues relating to enforcement and potential annulment of the arbitration award. Hip Hing Overseas is also a client.¬†The team expanded with Andrew Chin¬†joining from Baker McKenzie, and¬†Benjamin Ng¬†from Debevoise & Plimpton LLP.

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Dispute resolution: litigation
Dispute resolution: litigation - ranked: tier 3

DLA Piper

Kevin Chan¬†and Harris Chan, ‚Äėa very shrewd strategist in litigation and court practice‚Äô, head up the team at DLA Piper. Recent work includes acting for a client to recover onshore and offshore loan debts of over HK$2bn from China Huishan Dairy Holdings, one of China's largest dairy producers. Andrew Chin¬†joined the team as senior associate from Baker McKenzie, and associate Benjamin Ng¬†from Debevoise & Plimpton LLP. Ping An Bank, Thiess Mongolia and Zurich also count among the team's clients.

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Further information on DLA Piper LLP (US)

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Legal Developments by:
DLA Piper LLP (US)

  • Sentencing guidelines for corporate manslaughter

    In February 2010 the Sentencing Guidelines Council (the SGC) issued definitive guidelines to courts on imposing appropriate sentences for corporate manslaughter and health and safety offences causing death. The SGC states that fines imposed on companies found guilty of corporate manslaughter should not fall below £500,000, while fines in respect of health and safety offences that are a significant cause of death should be at least £100,000. Crucially, the SGC declined to provide for a fixed link between the imposed fine and the turnover or profitability of the offending company.‚Ä©
    - DLA Piper UK LLP

Legal Developments in Hong Kong

Legal Developments and updates from the leading lawyers in each jurisdiction. To contribute, send an email request to