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DLA Piper

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China: Banking and finance

Banking and finance: foreign firms
Banking and finance: foreign firms - ranked: tier 3

DLA Piper

Finance partners in DLA Piper's Hong Kong and Beijing offices are perhaps best known for advising international lenders on commodity and asset finance transactions involving Chinese borrowers, though the team has also acted for Chinese financial institutions. Recent highlights have included Paul Lee acting for Huatai Financial Holdings, as financial adviser, in relation to a HKD3.5bn loan to finance the privatisation of Bloomage BioTechnology Corp. Having grown considerably since 2016, the Hong Kong team has continued to make significant hires, having recently brought to the team Douglas Murning from Kirkland & Ellis and of counsel Tom Van Hoof from Watson Farley & Williams. Additional contacts include Hong Kong-based department head Matthias Schemuth and Carolyn Dong, who specialises in the energy sector and splits her time between Hong Kong and Beijing.

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China: Corporate and M&A

Corporate and M&A: foreign firms
Corporate and M&A: foreign firms - ranked: tier 2

DLA Piper

Sectors of particular strength for¬†DLA Piper¬†include insurance, financial services and technology, and the practice acts for¬†a large number of global clients investing in the region as well as a significant share of outbound M&A work for Chinese clients.¬†It also fields lawyers with regulatory and compliance strength. The team recently acted for¬†Wanfeng Auto Holding Group in its ‚ā¨320m acquisition of Diamond Aircraft Industries and assisted¬†Sanpower Group with its successful $820m acquisition of US-based Dendreon Pharmaceuticals from Canada's Valeant group.¬†The key names in mainland China are¬†Roy Chan, who is a¬†leading corporate and M&A adviser to the insurance and financial services sectors in China;¬†Qiang Li, who is a highly rated¬†corporate and M&A and private equity specialist. Also highly regarded are¬†Stewart Wang¬†and James Chang, while in¬†Hong Kong¬†Luke Gannon¬†and Sheng Wu¬†are widely respected.

Leading individuals

Qiang Li - DLA Piper

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China: Dispute resolution

Dispute resolution: foreign firms
Dispute resolution: foreign firms - ranked: tier 3

DLA Piper

DLA Piper's disputes practice covers shareholder and director issues, regulatory investigations, banking and financing matters, employment law, IP, construction, shipping and cyber fraud. It acted for Ping An Bank in the recovery of onshore and offshore loan debts of over HKD2bn from China Huishan Dairy Holdings Company and related companies. On the mainland, of counsel Xiaoshan Chen handles arbitration disputes covering sale of goods, trade and commodities, shipping and joint ventures. In Hong Kong, Asia litigation and and regulatory group head Kevin Chan is 'an outstanding professional', Ernest Yang is Hong Kong litigation and regulatory leader, and Harris Chan is also recommended.

Next Generation Partners

Xiaoshan Chen - DLA Piper

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China: Healthcare and life sciences

Healthcare and life sciences: foreign firms
Healthcare and life sciences: foreign firms - ranked: tier 3

DLA Piper

DLA Piper handles a mix of transactional and regulatory mandates for a number of global pharmaceutical, biotechnology and medical devices companies. Roy Chan and James Chang advised Ping An Healthcare and Technology Company on its pre-IPO restructuring; Chan was also part of a multi-jurisdictional team that advised China Ping An Insurance Overseas on its Chinese joint venture with Tsumura & Co. Shanghai-based Qiang Li assisted Sanpower Group with its $820m acquisition of Dendreon Pharmaceuticals. The team expanded with the arrival of William Fisher from Hogan Lovells International LLP who focuses on patents, trade secrets and IP-related transactions.

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China: Intellectual property

Intellectual property: foreign firms
Intellectual property: foreign firms - ranked: tier 1

DLA Piper

DLA Piper is particularly noted for its brand management and patent expertise, advising on a mix of transactional IP matters, anti-counterfeiting programmes, IP licensing transactions as well as contentious IP matters. The team assisted an investment management company with the IP aspects of its strategic investment and represented a manufacturing company in a series of patent infringement matters against a Chinese company. Trade secrets disputes also feature in its recent highlights. The four-partner team is jointly led by Horace Lam and William Fisher, who are based in Beijing and Shanghai respectively, and further expanded with the hire of Ting Xiao from Hogan Lovells International LLP, who is particularly experienced in the life sciences sector.

Leading individuals

Horace Lam - DLA Piper

William Fisher - DLA Piper

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China: Labour and employment

Labour and employment: foreign firms
Labour and employment: foreign firms - ranked: tier 2

DLA Piper

From employee data privacy issues to misconduct investigations, DLA Piper has been in the thick of many of the market's budding trends, which have also included restructuring projects in the manufacturing sector - another area in which the team has been heavily involved. In the Beijing office, Johnny Choi advised FMC Corporation on a major employee transfer arising from the client's acquisition of DuPont's crop protection business, and the client's parallel sale of its health and nutrition business to DuPont. Choi has also been instructed by international corporates to assist with numerous terminations of individuals in senior management, and helped devise litigation strategies for a US-based retailer. The Asia-wide employment group has undergone some leadership changes, with Helen Colquhoun joining the Hong Kong office from Withers to head the regional employment practice, following the departure of Julia Gorham, who left for Seyfarth Shaw LLP. Additionally, senior associate Ying Li joined the team from Simmons & Simmons.

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China: Private equity/venture capital

Private equity/venture capital: foreign firms
Private equity/venture capital: foreign firms - ranked: tier 3

DLA Piper

Sectors of strength for DLA Piper include technology, insurance and energy and natural resources. The team acted for Rajax, a Hong Kong-based investment company, in the $500m acquisition of Baidu Waimai, the food delivery unit of Chinese search engine company, Baidu. Qiang Li, Stewart Wang and James Chang are the key names, while Hong Kong-based practice head Gloria Liu and Paul Chen are also recommended.

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China: Projects and energy

Projects and energy: foreign firms
Projects and energy: foreign firms - ranked: tier 3

DLA Piper

Acting across the Beijing and Hong Kong offices, DLA Piper has been engaged in a considerable number of projects under the One Belt One Road initiative, where the team acts for Chinese sponsors and international banks and investors. In one example, Hong Kong-based Matthias Schemuth is advising an investment manager on an investment in a foreign energy company and the subsequent financing of upstream oil and gas projects in several African jurisdictions. The team is also particularly active in Indonesia-facing projects, where Carolyn Dong is acting for China Shenhua Energy Company in relation to the development, financing, construction and operation of a $1.8bn power plant in the Jawa 7 project; she is also assisting the client with a separate, similar tendering for the Sumsel-1 power project. Dong also handles asset and M&A transactions for clients in the energy sector, which has included advising ENN Ecological Holdings (China's largest private natural gas company) on its $750m acquisition of a stake in Australian energy company Santos. Simin Yu is an active senior associate in the Shanghai office.

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China: Real estate and construction

Real estate and construction: foreign firms
Real estate and construction: foreign firms - ranked: tier 1

DLA Piper

With extensive experience in both domestic and outbound investments,¬†DLA Piper's broad practice covers¬†due diligence, acquisitions and divestments, joint ventures, structuring, financing and taxation. Other areas of strength are leasing and facilities management, project and commercial developments, REITs, hotel management and agreements, fund formation, and restructuring. Highlights include acting for a consortium of five international banks, as mandated lead arrangers, in a secured term loan facility to three borrowers that indirectly own a grade-A office tower in Beijing. It also advised a newly-established fund, Enhanced Real Estate Series APAC II ‚Äď China Outlets (managed by TH Real Estate), on its acquisition of a pipeline of designer outlet malls;¬†a global manager of real estate equity,¬†debt, securities and specialised strategies on selling two Shanghai office buildings; and an¬†international financial institution on the acquisition of a 49% interest in each of Merry Wave and Bright Power Enterprises from a subsidiary of Hong Kong-listed real estate company, Shui On Land. Shanghai's¬†Lillian Duan¬†is highly rated for¬†real estate M&A and joint ventures as well as the sale and leasing of properties in China;¬†Wayne Ma, who divides his time between Shanghai and Hong Kong,¬†advises¬†multinational and Chinese investment banks, financial institutions and private equity funds on both inbound and outbound transactions across Asia, Europe and the US.¬†In¬†Hong Kong, the Asia Pacific real estate head is Susheela Rivers¬†and¬†Janice Yau Garton¬†is a key senior associate.

Leading individuals

Lillian Duan - DLA Piper

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China: Regulatory/compliance

Regulatory/compliance: foreign firms
Regulatory/compliance: foreign firms - ranked: tier 3

DLA Piper

DLA Piper's regional regulatory investigations group has considerable experience with multijurisdictional internal misconduct and corruption investigations. The China investigations practice is headed by Hong Kong-based Sammy Fang, who has been particularly active in cybercrime-related investigations. The department's on-the-ground presence in Beijing was strengthened by the arrival of Ning Qiao, who joined the firm from O'Melveny and has experience with competition, FCPA and anti-bribery investigations. Additional contacts include Nathan Bush, who leads the wider Asia investigations group from the Singapore office, and Hong Kong-based Kevin Chan, who heads the litigation and regulatory group. The department's clients span a range of industry sectors including pharmaceuticals and professional services.

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China: Shipping

Shipping: foreign firms
Shipping: foreign firms - ranked: tier 2

DLA Piper

DLA Piper¬†is praised for providing¬†‚Äėaccurate assessment on the degree of legal and commercial risks in a timely manner'¬†and¬†demonstrating¬†'sound judgement in planning and managing contentious matters‚Äô. The ‚Äėexperienced, efficient and very knowledgeable‚Äô team is also singled out for its¬†'client-oriented approach‚Äô. Key individuals include Hong Kong-based litigation and regulatory practice head¬†Ernest Yang,¬†who is ‚Äėvery proficient, diligent and practical‚Äô and displays ‚Äėin-depth knowledge of the law as well as the shipping industry‚Äô; Kevin Chan¬†focuses on cross-border litigation and international arbitration; Roy Chan¬†advises on high-value shipping cases; and¬†counsel¬†Xiaoshan Chen.

Leading individuals

Ernest Yang - DLA Piper

Roy Chan - DLA Piper

Next Generation Partners

Xiaoshan Chen - DLA Piper

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China: TMT

TMT: foreign firms
TMT: foreign firms - ranked: tier 3

DLA Piper

Highlights for DLA Piper saw a global team advising a large media company on a multi-jurisdictional data protection compliance mandate. It also advised a US software company on the establishment of a joint venture in China and assisted with its content purchase arrangement with third-party service and technology provider as well as content licensing and onwards distribution. Qiang Li and Horace Lam are names to note, based in Shanghai and Beijing respectively. Hong Kong-based Scott Thiel and of counsel Carolyn Bigg are also recommended.

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China: Tax

Tax: foreign firms
Tax: foreign firms - ranked: tier 2

DLA Piper

DLA Piper specialises in assisting domestic companies and listed international corporates with transfer pricing arrangements and tax structuring across the various arms of their businesses in China. The Beijing group is led by Windson Li, who has experience representing clients in Chinese tax audits and regularly acts alongside his colleagues in Hong Kong in relation to cross-border investment transactions and offshore tax claims. In one matter, Li acted for a NYSE-listed client in relation to a substantial tax VAT and corporate income tax audit involving the client's Chinese subsidiary. Li also worked with the Hong Kong team to advise a Chinese growth company on its transfer pricing arrangements and pre-sale supply chain tax structuring. Contacts in the Hong Kong office include Doris Ho, Peng Tao and Daniel Chan, who heads the Asia-wide tax practice.

Leading individuals

Windson Li - DLA Piper

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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 China

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