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Corporate and M&A: foreign firms

Index of tables

  1. Corporate and M&A: foreign firms
  2. Leading individuals
  3. Next Generation Partners

Leading individuals

  1. 1

Next Generation Partners

  1. 1

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‚Äô (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 ‚ā¨545m acquisition of Robert Bosch‚Äôs 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.

'With substantial resources to deploy on very complicated matters',¬†Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer¬†is¬†'very responsive and knowledgeable about M&A matters', and the team is¬†'particularly adept at navigating the issues that arise between western and eastern legal systems'. The practice is highly rated for its representaion of¬†major Chinese clients in high-profile, groundbreaking China outbound work; it is also a go-to advisor for strategic China inbound M&A, as well as Hong Kong public and private M&A. It recently advised Starbucks Corporation on the $1.3bn buy-out of its East China joint venture from its long-term partners Uni-President Enterprises Corporation and President Chain Store Corporation; the deal marked the¬†largest acquisition in Starbucks‚Äô history. The team also acted for Hutchison Telecom, the Hong Kong-headquartered global telecoms services company, in the $1.86bn sale of its global fixed-line telecoms business, Hutchison Global Communications, to a unit of global private equity fund I Squared Capital; and assisted Geely with its approximately ‚ā¨7.3bn acquisition of a 9.9% stake in Daimler ‚Äď the deal's structure was among the most complex acquisition structures ever executed by a Chinese bidder. In Hong Kong,¬†Simon Weller¬†is co-global transactions head; Robert Ashworth¬†is the 'very knowledegable' co-head of global M&A; and¬†Teresa Ko¬†is China chair. The key mainland China practitioners are Alan Wang,¬†Richard Wang¬†and¬†Jason Xu.¬†Jack Wang¬†left for¬†Allen & Overy LLP.

Linklaters stands out for its 'good industry knowledge and understanding of clients' businesses'. It has equally strong international and domestic capabilities, and is a go-to firm for complex and challenging M&A transactions; the practice also has particular sector expertise in finance, private equity, FIG, energy, mining and resources and TMT. High-profile deals include acting for China International Capital Corporation Hong Kong Securities on the $7.8bn merger of China National Building Material Company Limited and China National Materials Company, through a securities exchange offer effected through a PRC law-governed merger by absorption; and advising BP on the sale of its 50% equity interest in SECCO to Sinopec Shanghai Gaoqiao Petrochemical Company (Gaoqiao). It also handled a series of M&A deals for China Merchants Port Holdings Company, including the disposal of its interest in Shenzhen Chiwan Wharf Holdings. Hong Kong's Robert Cleaver is the firm's corporate Asia head and Simon Meng in Shanghai is an expert in the automotive, electric vehicle and education industries. Other recommended names are Gilbert Li, John Xu  and Kevin Cheung, while senior consultant Richard Gu and managing associate Colette Pan are also highly regarded. Former managing partner for China Jian Fang exited for Fangda Partners.

Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP's 'profoundly knowledegable team is very capable and dependable, and response times are within clients' expectations'. The firm is widely respected for big-ticket China M&A deals, particularly involving Chinese or multinational companies. The practice works across a range of sectors, including TMT, financial institutions, energy and aviation, as well as healthcare, infrastructure, insurance, pharmaceuticals and real estate. Representative expertise includes share acquisitions and dispositions, asset acquisitions and divestitures, reorganisations, and joint ventures. It recently acted for Internet Plus Holdings on its $3.7bn acquisition of Beijing Mobike Technology, a bike-sharing firm; it also advised MassMutual International (US) on its $1.7bn sale of MassMutual Asia (Hong Kong) to an investor group led by Yunfeng Financial Group. Peter Huang heads the firm's Beijing office and Haiping Li leads the Shanghai office. In Hong Kong, Julie Gao, who is 'very experienced and always on top of her game', is China practice head and office leader Jonathan Stone heads the firm’s corporate practice in Asia (excluding Japan).

Providing English, Hong Kong, US and Australian law advice, Allen & Overy LLP covers the full range of inbound and outbound M&A deals, and has an investment group tailored to Chinese companies investing overseas. Other key expertise includes China regulatory-driven structures; M&A-related antitrust and IP features; corporate real estate, particularly in the logistics sector; and technology and energy sector experience. The team advised FIS Global, a global leader in financial services technology, on the sale of its subsidiary Sungard Kingstar Data System to Zhongping Capital. Victor Ho is corporate practice head; outbound M&A specialist Ling Li is a China Belt and Road expert; and Ji Zou specialises in advising on M&A, including joint ventures, in the financial institutions and insurance sectors. Other recommended names are Wayne Lee and Hong Kong-based Will McAuliffe and Bernardine Lam. Benjamin Crawford is a key of counsel and Richard Qiang is a highly rated counsel, while at senior associate level Taoye Ye is well regarded. Jack Wang was hired from Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer in 2018 as a corporate partner.

Providing an integrated international and PRC law platform, Baker McKenzie FenXun's 'fantastic team always provides timely and valuable advice that helps clients drive the business goals during significant deals'. The practice fields lawyers with expertise in energy and natural resources, technology and media and communications, as well as the real estate, pharmaceuticals and healthcare, financial services, insurance, food and beverage, and automotive sectors. Zhenyu Ruan led advice on the establishment of a Hong Kong joint venture to provide logistics solutions for e-commerce in China and Hong Kong. The other names to note are chief representative of the Shanghai office, Danian Zhang, chief representative of the Beijing office, Stanley Jia, Howard Wu, who is 'very experienced, commercially minded and a solution finder', Boo Bee Chun, and Cherrie Shi. In Hong Kong, Tracy Wut, Nancy Leigh are highly rated practitioners.

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.

Hogan Lovells International LLP has a special focus on sectors such as energy and infrastructure, financial services, life sciences, consumer, real estate and TMT. The practice also assists with antitrust and national security reviews, foreign investment regulation, employee benefit considerations, IP safeguards, tax-efficient structuring, and acquisition finance issues. A multi-jurisdictional and cross-practice team advised publicly-listed Xinjiang Urban Construction (Group) Company on its $1.5bn reverse takeover by Jiangsu Jinsheng Industrial, a diversified Chinese industrial group; it also assisted Navis achieve a highly successful exit from its investment in MFSS, which designs, manufactures and distributes flexible printed circuits and rigid printed circuit boards. Andrew McGinty heads the corporate practice in China and Asia Pacific; and Jun Wei assists multinational life sciences companies and financial institutions with structuring their proposed investments and operations in China. The other principal contacts are Philip Cheng, Roberta Chang Liang Xu, Roy Zou and Larry Sussman. Lu Zhou recently made partner.

Norton Rose Fulbright has a significant track record advising on high-profile, big-ticket deals; and the corporate and M&A team is particularly noted for working in the banking, insurance, real estate, TMT, energy and natural resources, and life sciences and healthcare sectors. The recommended Beijing partners are office head Wang Yi, Barbara Li and Tom Luckock. In Shanghai, office head Sun Hong and Lynn Yang are also highly rated, and Tony Zhong is a key of counsel. Psyche Tai is Hong Kong office head.

Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP is 'a first choice for transactions'. The practice is widely respected in Asia for high-end, complex transactions across the full spectrum of M&A related activities, particularly involving geographies such as Hong Kong, China, Taiwan and Singapore and in relation to private equity investments. It advised Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan on its investment, alongside FountainVestPartners, in The Pure Group. It also acted for Dalian Wanda Group in the $81m sale of its interests in the high-profile London luxury development project, One Nine Elms. China practice managing partner Jeanette Chan is 'very responsive and detail oriented'; Greg Liu is particularly focused on the retail and apparel sector, as well as technology, media and telecoms' matters; Judie Ng Shortell is an M&A and private equity investment expert; Jack Sun is a notable associate. Betty Yap is a highly rated Hong Kong adviser.

Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP has significant expertise in cross-border public and private M&A deals, joint ventures and the representation of private equity clients, both in strategic investments and fund formation. The team advised state-owned China National Chemical Corporation on its $44bn acquisition of the Swiss agrochemical and seeds company Syngenta; the deal reportedly marked the largest foreign acquisition to date by a Chinese company. It also assisted China’s Ant Financial Services Group, known for businesses such as Alipay, Ant Fortune, ZhimaCredit and MYbank, with a series of regional expansion transactions. Beijing-based Yang Wang was elected to the partnership in 2018; he advises domestic and international private equity funds and corporate clients on M&A deals, private equity transactions, corporate finance transactions and other general corporate matters. In Hong Kong, M&A head Kathryn King Sudol, China practice head Celia Lam, Anthony King, Chris Lin and Ian Ho are all key advisers. Former Beijing partner Shaolin Luo joined private equity client YunFeng Capital as general counsel.

Providing on-the-ground resources in corporate and M&A across the US, EMEA, Latin America, Eurasia and Southeast Asia, White & Case LLP's recent cross-border work spanned the pharmaceuticals, telecoms, chemicals, industrial and consumer goods sectors; the team also experienced an increase in technology-related work. It acted for Chinese company, HNA Group, in its acquisition of a 16.2% stake in Swiss Stock Exchange-listed Dufry, the world's largest travel retailer. The key mainland contacts are executive partner of the Beijing Office, David Li, who is 'incredibly approachable and extremely hands-on', China practice head Alex Zhang, Vivian Tsoi, Andre Zhu and Lucy Xu. On the associate level, Nick Shu joined the Shanghai corporate team from Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP, while Benjamin Moh and Yan Yan joined the Beijing corporate team from Clifford Chance LLP and Herbert Smith Freehills LLP, respectively. In Hong Kong, Christopher Kelly is Asia corporate head.

Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton regularly acts for major multinational corporations, private equity investors and hedge funds in inbound Chinese investment, finance and joint venture transactions and pre-IPO investments; the team also advises Chinese companies on their worldwide outbound investments. Denise Shiu led advice to TPG on its acquisition of a majority stake in OPC Holding Company, a Taiwan and regional contract research organisation that offers clinical trial services to pharmaceutical and biotech companies; and Ling Huang acted for China International Capital Corporation, a China-based investment banking and financial services firm, in its acquisition of a majority stake in Krane Funds Advisors, a US asset management firm. Freeman Chan and Gabriele Antonazzo are the key Hong Kong partners.

Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP's 'service is excellent and its lawyers are very responsive and exhibit deep industry knowledge and legal skills'. The firm's clients span a variety of industry sectors, including TMT, biotechnology, education, energy, financial institutions, healthcare, real estate and retail. The team acted for Jeneration Holdings in its acquisition of AXA Wealth Management (HK) from AXA China Region and advised iKang Healthcare Group, a private healthcare services provider, on its $1.2bn sale to a consortium of Yunfeng Capital, Alibaba Group Holding and members of iKang’s senior management. Howard Zhang 'has deep legal knowledge and is very familiar with market trends; in addition, he has a very keen business sense about parties’ commercial goals and his advice is therefore always to the point'. Annie Yan was recently promoted to counsel and Paul Chow and Miranda So are the Hong Kong names to note.

Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP has expertise in domestic and cross-border deals, and the practice has a strong track record in transactions involving public companies; it also advises on strategic transactions in the private sector, including acting for family shareholders and private equity investors. Shanghai M&A leader Mitch Dudek and Todd Liao acted for Laureate Education in the sale of its majority interest in Hunan International Economics University to China YuHua Education Corporation. Other key advisers are Alex Wang, Ning Zhang and Hong Kong M&A leader Maurice Hoo. Eddie Hsu joined EF Education First as senior vice president and general counsel.

Morrison & Foerster LLP's 'responsive and accessible team provides expert advice and high-quality legal assistance, and not only is it legally savvy but more importantly its lawyers understand clients' business deeply'. Its experience of deals in the technology and real estate sectors is particularly significant and the practice has also been increasingly busy in the FinTech space. Work highlights include advising SoftBank, as sole counsel, on its $5bn investment into Xiaoju Kuaizhi, China’s ride-hailing and mobile transportation platform. Beijing and Shanghai managing partner Paul McKenzie, along with Sherry Yin and Maria Wang are the principal mainland China names, while in late 2017, the Beijing office hired Yi Chen as of counsel from a global entertainment producer and provider. The 'highly trusted' Marcia Ellis, Thomas Chou, who 'strikes clients as particularly responsive and commercial in his advice', and Vivian Yiu are the key Hong Kong advisers.

Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP advises on complex cross-border and outbound M&A and fields lawyers with technology and life science expertise. It acted for, one of China’s largest business-to-consumer online retailers, in its $397m investment in Farfetch, a London-based online fashion retail platform. Jeffrey Sun handles TMT-related M&A matters. Betty Louie divides time between the firm’s Italy offices and Beijing, and  Scott Peterman and Mark Lehmkuhler are notable Hong Kong contacts. In 2018, Sarah Zeng was hired from Dentons China, where she was Beijing managing partner, and Jeff Zhang, who splits his time between the Beijing and New York offices, joined from King & Wood Mallesons.

Paul Hastings LLP is best known for real estate and TMT deals, Following the team's advice to PingAnTrust (PAT) on its $1.6bn acquisition of a 47.4% interest in New York Stock Exchange-listed AutoHome (AH), an automobile trading and information website, from Telstra; it again acted for PAT on its $217m purchase of an additional 6% of AH from Telstra. David Wang is a a go-to partner for TMT clients; and Jia Yan handles high-value M&A transactions and is experienced in restructuring transactions, corporate financing, fund formation and private equity investments. Other notable names are Nan Li and recently promoted Meka Meng, while in Hong Kong Vivian Lam is highly rated and Raymond Li chairs the Greater China practice.

Shearman & Sterling LLP is highly rated for going-private transactions for US-listed Chinese companies. Examples include the team's advice to the board of directors of NYSE-listed Zhaopin on its sale to SEEK International Investments Pty, Zhaopin’s controlling shareholder, and Hillhouse Capital Group and Fountain Vest Partners. Lee Edwards is a senior M&A partner; Xiaogang (Sean) Wang regularly acts in high-profile M&A work in the energy sector; Li Chen divides her time between Hong Kong and Beijing. Hong Kong's Stephanie Tang and Paul Strecker are also highly regarded.

Sullivan & Cromwell¬†is particularly focused on cross-border matters, specifically China outbound investments involving Chinese state-owned enterprises. It advised a¬†consortium, led by China Three Gorges, on an agreement to purchase Empresa de Generaci√≥n Huallaga from Odebrecht Energia del Per√ļ and Odebrecht Energ√≠a for an enterprise value of $1.39bn. Beijing managing partner¬†Gwen Wong¬†is recommended, as are Hong Kong managing partner Chun Wei,¬†Garth Bray, Michael DeSombre,¬†Kay Ian Ng¬†and recently promoted Ching-Yang Lin.

Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP¬†advises multinationals, Chinese state-owned and private enterprises and other Asia corporations on outbound and inbound M&A and other investments. China practice head¬†Charles Ching¬†‚Äď who¬†divides his time between Shanghai, Beijing and Hong Kong ‚Ästled advice to¬†Shanghai Pharmaceuticals on its $1.2bn acquisition of the China distribution business of US-based Cardinal Health. In Hong Kong, managing partner Tim Gardner,¬†¬†Henry Ong¬†and Chris Welty¬†are also key practitioners.

Ashurst's 'responses are fast and simple, but accurate'. The Greater China M&A team is experienced in large and complex cross-border M&A and joint ventures throughout the Asian region, including China inbound and outbound and intra-Asia transactions. In 2018, the firm launched a formal tie-up with Chinese law firm Guantao Law Firm. In mainland China, Michael Sheng advised DSG Investment, Wonderful Sky and Ever Beauty on the sale of a 51% interest in DSG Finance Holdings (Hong Kong) and DSG Asset Management (Cayman) Company to Shangying Capital. Daniel Oehvall is a key counsel.

Bird & Bird fields lawyers with sector expertise in a wide range of sectors, including life sciences and healthcare, retail, aviation, technology, media, and private equity. Beijing-based corporate head John Shi specialises in foreign direct investment, cross-border M&A and corporate and regulatory matters. Shanghai-based Sven-Michael Werner focuses on advising European clients on their inbound investments into China.

CMS' provides 'swift responses in a manner that is easy to handle'. The practice is well known for its experience in acting for clients from the automotive, pharmaceutical and biotech, machinery, manufacturing, chemical and TMT sectors. It is also active in the insurance, technology, energy and logistics industries. In addition to 'impressive legal advice', Shanghai managing partner Ulrike Glueck 'precisely translates different cultural thinking'. Glueck advised Roto Frank, a German hardware technology provider for windows and doors, on the acquisition of Union, a hardware supplier.

Eversheds Sutherland focuses on high-profile M&A transactions, particularly significant, cross-border deals. China corporate head Jay Ze has energy and natural resources experience; he advised China National Nuclear Corporation on its £30bn-plus investment in the Hinkley Point C project, the first Generation III nuclear new build project in the UK. Shanghai office managing partner Jack Cai is also a key adviser.

Gide Loyrette Nouel A.A.R.P.I.'s 'overall service is good and the legal analysis is thorough and documented'. The practice is experienced in regulated industries such as aeronautics and defence, automotive, healthcare and pharmaceuticals, and steel. The team is also active in deals involving the banking and finance, retail, manufacturing, and tourism and leisure sectors. The practice in China has expanded beyond its traditional client base of French corporations; it now also increasingly acts for other European multinational groups and Chinese entities. David Boitout is the partner in charge of the firm's practice in Asia; Fan Jiannian, who 'provides rigorous legal thinking and has very good command of the French language', is Shanghai office head; while Guo Min heads the Beijing office.

Herbert Smith Freehills LLP handles complex and strategic M&A transactions, including major takeovers and listed company acquisitions and disposals; the corporate team has expertise in a variety of sectors, including TMT, energy and financial services. It recently advised Shenhua Group Corporation on its merger with China Guodian Corporation. Karen Ip 'has very good local knowledge'; and Tom Chau, Nanda Lau and Zhong Wang are also experienced practitioners.

Jones Day regularly advises Chinese companies that are expanding overseas and the practice stands out for its involvement in high-profile life sciences mandates in China. Recent highlights include advising Cardinal Health on the $1.2bn sale of its China business to Shanghai Pharmaceuticals Holding. Angel Huang and Jessie Tang  are the main contacts, based in the firm's Shanghai and Beijing offices, respectively. Ross Keene and Liming Yuan are also recommended.

Known for China-related inbound and outbound M&A deals, K&L Gates advises Chinese state-owned enterprises and private companies, multinational corporations, financial institutions and funds. It advised Invesco Real Estate on the approximately $300m acquisition of a portfolio of core logistic real estate assets in China from e-Shang Redwood. The recommended advisers are Simon Poh, Henry Wang, Max Gu and Grace Fan-Delatour. Frank Voon is a partner in the firm’s Beijing and Hong Kong offices.

Latham & Watkins LLP's 'responsive' team handles highly complex deals. It recently advised on a series of high-profile Greater China outbound acquisitions into the US, UK, Germany, France and Switzerland; it also handles private equity transactions in Greater China and across the Asia Pacific region. The team acted for Hytera Communications Corporation, a manufacturer of radio transceivers and radio systems, in the takeover of Sepura, a UK-listed communications technology company. Shanghai-based Rowland Cheng and Beijing-based Yilong Du are recommended, as is Hong Kong-based Simon Cooke who is the global co-chair of the firm’s private equity practice.

Mayer Brown is singled out for its 'excellent service and solid expertise'. The firm's association with PRC firm Jingtian & Gongcheng recently ended but they have entered into a global cooperation agreement. The M&A team is able to draw upon the firm's expertise in regulatory, tax, fund formation and investment management, private equity, technology and real estate; it recently acted for a property development company in its disposal of a majority stake in a commercial complex development. The recommended names are Beijing-based Ian Lewis and Hong Kong-based Jeckle Chiu. Xiangyang Ge and Betty Tam left the firm.

O'Melveny's China M&A team is jointly led by Shanghai managing partner Walker Wallace and Beijing managing partner Ke Geng, along with Hong Kong's Nima Amini and Edwin Kwok. It advises companies and financial investors on merging, acquiring, investing in and disposing of businesses and assets. Recent highlights include advising China International Marine Containers Group on its proposed spin-off and disposal of a majority stake of Pteris Group's issued share capital to Hong Kong-listed China Fire Safety for $450m.

Reed Smith Richards Butler acts for PRC businesses involved in outbound investments and offshore transactions, as well as foreign clients investing in mainland China. The names to note are Jie Zhang, who focuses on the energy and natural resources sector, and Jay Yan, who is regularly involved in PRC-related pharmaceutical and healthcare matters. Michael Fosh and Amy Yin are also highly rated.

Standing out for media and technology matters, Ropes & Gray LLP is widely respected for its advice to corporate entities in China on their outbound investment transactions. Shanghai-based Jieni Gu advised Shunhua Vacuum Coating on the sale of Axilone, a Europe-based cosmetics packaging manufacturer.

Simmons & Simmons focuses on asset management and investment funds, financial institutions, and TMT matters. The team advised PowerChina International Group, and its affiliate Northwest Engineering Corporation, on the acquisition of an 80% stake in Geodata, an Italian engineering company. Key names to note include Eric Lin who heads the Beijing office and Michael Chin, who joined from Hogan Lovells International LLP and divides his time between the Hong Kong and Shanghai offices.

Stephenson Harwood recently took over Troutman Sanders’ Beijing office, bringing in Allen Shyu who divides his time between Hong Kong and Beijing. The team acted for a UK private equity fund on the sale of its interest in a manufacturer of processed zircon products. ChunFai Lui is a key name to note in the Shanghai office.

Winston & Strawn LLP is noted for deals in the life sciences, pharmaceutical, technology, telecoms and energy sectors. Shanghai managing partner Brinton Scott leads the practice which focuses on M&A deals, including merger controls, joint ventures, foreign direct investment, reorganisations, and greenfield projects. Scott 'stands out for his expertise and knows all the ins-and-outs of the country and how to deal with negotiations'.

Corporate and M&A: PRC firms

Index of tables

  1. Corporate and M&A: PRC firms
  2. Leading individuals
  3. Next Generation Partners

Leading individuals

  1. 1

Next Generation Partners

  1. 1

Fangda Partners' client roster features Fortune 500 companies, SOEs and major domestic private companies as well as private equity firms; Alibaba, Hony Capital, Black Stone and China Life are among the list. The team continues to receive a steady stream of multibillion-dollar cross-border mandates. 2017 saw Yingying Wang and George Xu acting as PRC counsel for Starbucks in its $1.3bn acquisition of 50% share of East China joint venture from its partners President Chain Store and Uni-President Enterprises. Other highlights include assisting Goldman Sachs with its disposal of a stake in an educational services provider and its pre-IPO investment in an electric scooter manufacturer, and advising Nokia in its restructuring with Huaxin and establishment of Nokia Shanghai Bell. Michael Han, Jeffrey Ding, Jonathan Zhou, Chuanjie Zhou and Xie Zheng are highly regarded practitioners based in the Beijing and Shanghai offices, and work closely with the Hong Kong office.

Renowned for its multi-jurisdictional M&A capabilities, JunHe LLP combines transactional strength with a full-service offering, fielding impressive private equity, antitrust and compliance teams. 2017 saw the team advising Vanke on a number of transactions. Among them, Yongqiang Yu assisted Vanke Hong Kong with its investment in the privatisation of Global Logistic Properties with a consortium of investors. A Beijing-based team, led by Yu Zheng and Hongbin Zhang, acted for Xinhua Net, and its subsidiaries Xinhua New Media and China Economic Information Group, on their joint venture with Hangzhou Ali Venture Capital Investment and Hangzhou Shu Wen Yun Investment Partnership for the establishment of Xinhua Wise Cloud Technological. Shenzhen-based Jiayu Lin  assisted Cardinal Health with the $557m sale of its China drug distribution business to Shanghai Pharmaceuticals. Within its sizable team, Adam Li specialises in advising US companies in cross-border investments, M&A, private placements, public offerings and privatisations; Warren Hua is particularly experienced acting for SOEs in their outbound investment and handling foreign investment in Chinese A-share listed companies; Kirk Tong has particular experience in foreign direct investment, capital markets and antitrust matters; M&A expert Wei Xiao is recommended for share acquisitions and compliance matters, as is private equity specialist Binxue Sang, who advises multinational on cross-border transactions.

King & Wood Mallesons attracts praise for its 'very high level of service' as well as its ability to provide 'strong support across a broad spectrum of sectors' including TMT, automotive, energy an manufacturing. The 60-partner team handles domestic and cross-border M&A and joint venture mandates. Among the recent instructions, Mingyuan Zhang and Ruiqiu Song assisted a major Chinese company with the establishment of the onshore private equity funds in China and in a separate transaction, acquisition of an overseas infant product company. Kaiding Wang and Frankfurt-based Christian Cornett advised an operating automotive supplier in acquiring a German automotive company; Wang was part of a multi-jurisdictional team that handled a multimillion-dollar sale and purchase mandate in the technology space. The highly regarded Ping Xu heads the cross-border M&A practice which also includes FDI specialist Rongkang Wang and Harry Du; the latter has notable expertise in the real estate and infrastructure sectors.

Zhong Lun Law Firm's capability of handling large cross-border transaction was on display again when a team led by Shiwei Zhang assisted a consortium of investors as PRC counsel with their $2bn purchase of McDonald's business in China through an offshore SPV; when William Qiu advised a PRC state-controlled company Naura on its acquisition of Akrion Systems, a US-based supplier of wet-processing systems; and when outbound investment specialist Audry Li, capital markets specialist Kejun Guo and antitrust partner Scott Yu advised Barrick Gold on its cooperation with Shandong Gold Group relating to the Veladero mine in Argentina involving a mix of share purchase and joint venture. On the domestic transaction side, Anthony Zhao and William Jia acted for Ctrip's invested portfolio companies Tongcheng Network on its $1.8bn merger with E- Dragon, while Victor Yu advised Tencent on its investment in a unicorn company UBTECH, Chinese AI and humanoid robotic company. The team is also particularly active in the pharmaceutical sector, and recently advised Shanghai Pharmaceuticals on its acquisition of Cardinal Health's China drug distribution business. Scott Guan is recommended for advising foreign companies in inbound transactions. Senior associates Mei Han, Haoze Li, and Yang Zhong are also recommended.

Global Law Office regularly leads on high-profile cross-border transactions and has particular strength and expertise in cross-border M&As and transactions involving SOEs, PRC-listed companies and public companies in capital markets of other jurisdictions such as Canada, HK, US and UK. The team operates from its Beijing, Shanghai and Shenzhen offices, and continues to expand with the hire of over ten partners in 2017. A team, led by Jinrong Liu, Guangying Dai and Shifang Guo advised Ctrip in the restructuring and merger of E-dragon and Toncheng Network. Alan Zhou acted for BeiGene on it £1.4bn acquisition of Celgene obtaining global licensing rights of three oncology products. Other highlights include assisting Tianjing Port with a series of sale and purchase mandates, handing Minsheng Education Group Company's acquisition of Anhui Wenda University of Information Engineering, and advised an investment bank on its purchase of a shopping mall and the following issuance of securities by REITs. Alex Liu and Yu Zhang, based in Beijing and Shanghai respectively, are also highly recommended.

Leveraging its focus in the TMT sector, Han Kun Law Offices regularly advises several industry players on high-value M&A, restructuring and joint venture mandates. For example, Charles Li and Loretta Li acted for Baidu on the $800m sale of Baidu Waimai to Alibaba-backed Chinese food delivery firm, and in a separate matter, assisted Baidu with its acquisition of a US AI company; Huan Wang advised International in acquiring Ctrip and Qunar's homestay business and handled the formation of a partnership between Taikang Insurance Group and IHH Healthcare; David Tang acted for a US power company in its sale of 50% equity to a Chinese SOE. Tencent also features in its client list which Li and counsel Adrian Lv advised on its investment in the merger of Maoyan (a Tencent-backed mobile movie ticketing service) and Weiying. Other recommended practitioners includeDafei Chen and Aaron Zhou; the latter has notable experience in handling FCPA-related regulatory and compliance matters.

Jincheng Tongda & Neal handles a mix of cross-border and domestic asset and equity transactions, joint ventures and investments. The team is particularly experienced in energy, real estate and TMT sectors, and has a Japan desk which it advises well-known technology companies on M&A, compliance and international trade matters. Outbound investment specialist Annie Wu acted as the PRC counsel for Guoxin Guotong Fund in its acquisition of a one-third equity interest in Redexis Gas and assisted a UK company with an investment in its mining asset by a wholly-owned subsidiary of a Chinese public listed company. Xiaodong Zheng acted for Xuanhua Construction Machinery on the $811m acquisition of Smart Union Resources (Hong Kong), which owns a mining company in South Africa. Mingkai Wang assisted Poly Real Estate with the participation in the auction of Guangxin Real Estate and advised Sunac China on its $2.2bn investment in Leshi Internet Information & Technology.

Jingtian & Gongcheng advises a large number of listed companies and private equity firms on corporate and big-ticket M&A transactions. Among its recent highights, it assisted Chengtun Mining Group with acquiring Consolidated Nickel Mines through one of its subsidiaries, Hongsheng International Resources, and acted for Goodbaby International on its $360m acquisition of Oasis Dragon from Goodbaby China. Recommended practitioners include Wei Bai who has broad experience handling FDI and restructuring transactions, Guanchun Dai who is recommended for high-value outbound mandates, and Xiang Gao who specialises in security compliance and corporate restructuring matters.

Regularly instructed by Fortune 500 companies, SOEs and private companies, Llinks Law Offices handled a number of high-value M&A, joint venture, restructuring and investment transactions. Among them, Nicholas Lou advised SAIC Motor Corporation on establishing a joint venture with other investors and, in a separate transaction, acted for Contemporary Amperex Technology on the establishment of two joint ventures with SAIC Motor; David Yu advised an e-commerce company on its sale of share to a Chinese conglomerate and a large SOE;  capital markets specialist Wayne Chen assisting Joyvio Group with its investment in Nine Masters (Shanghai) Catering Service; and James Weng handled Everjoy health Group's share issuance for the purpose of purchasing three private hospitals and raising funds by private placement of RMB383m for the relevant construction of the target hospitals.

Tian Yuan Law Firm received a number of instructions from listed companies which it advises on domestic and cross-border M&A transactions. It has been particularly active in the education sector. For example, in 2017, the team advised Puxin Education Group on its acquisition of Global Education & Technology Group from Pearson, and in a separate transaction, advised CITIC Capital and other investors in their £300m acquisition of Wall Street English from Pearson; it also acted for a Chinese investment company Legend Holdings in acquiring Better Sun Educational Group, a Chinese operator of premium kindergartens. Other highlights saw Juanjuan Song assisting Shanghai Horizon Healthcare with its RMB1bn investment in ten hospitals and Aihua Xiao acting for China Cinda Asset Management in a series of acquisitions. Handling corporate system reform for SOEs also feature in its recent mandates which Yanling Ren has particular experience in. Managing partner Xiaohui Zhu is also a name to note and is recommended for restructuring and capital markets transactions.

AllBright Law Offices' client spans a broad range of sectors, such as healthcare, automobile, financial services, real estate and construction. Recent mandates feature a mix of domestic and cross-border M&A transactions, joint ventures and investments. It advised Qingdao Doublestar on acquiring a 42% share of Kumho Tire and assisted Agility (Abu Dhabi) PJSC with the sale of its assets in Shanghai to CITIC Capital. Ark Bao is a key name to note and recently advised a Chinese start-up Plex-VR Digital Technology (Shanghai) on the investment made by a consortium of investors including Alibaba and Shenzhen Saifu Dynamic Equity Investment Fund Management. Victor Wang focuses on M&A, private equity and venture capital transactions. Practice head Junnan Dong specialises in asset restructuring and counts CITIC Securities as a key client.

Commerce & Finance Law Office excelled when assisted COSCO Shipping with its $6.3bn acquisition of Orient Overseas Container Line. As part of the government's push for state-owned enterprises to be revitalised with private capital, recent highlights also saw a team, led by Gang Wu and Wei Sun acting for China Unicom raising $11.7bn from a consortium of investors including Alibaba and Tencent, and capital markets duo Wei Chen and Hui Li acting for China Eastern Airlines on its reform from state-owned enterprise to mixed public/private ownership model. Xiaoman Zhang has notable experience in the areas of IPO, FDI, outbound investment and corporate financing.

DaHui Lawyers handles an impressive mix of public and private M&A and regularly act as lead counsel on large cross-border M&A transactions. Among its recent mandates, it has been particularly active in TMT, energy, healthcare, manufacturing and education sectors. The team counts Comcast as a key client which it assisted with the acquisition of a Chinese multi-screen video entity. Other highlights include advising Genesis Capital, the shareholders of a Chinese mobile social networking platform Momo on its acquisition of a Chinese dating app company Tantan, and handling Newegg's £250m sale to Hangzhou Liaison Interactive Information Technology. Managing partner Richard Ma leads the 11-partner team, which also includes the highly recommended capital markets expert Zheng Zha, Brendon Wu who focuses on private equity and venture capital financing and outbound investment, and Shanghai-based Julia Dai who joined from Latham & Watkins LLP.

DeHeng Law Offices is particularly experienced in the mining sector which the team regularly acts for state-owned mining companies in large outbound transactions. It also has an impressive record acting for state-backed investment funds. Managing partner David Chen heads the cross-border transaction group from its Beijing office; Chen's recent highlights include assisting CITIC Guoan Group as one of the investors with the delisting and acquisition of Qihoo 360 and advising JAC Capital on the purchase of RF power business from NXP Semiconductors. The team also acted for Shenzhen Metro Group on its acquisition of China Vanke from China Resources and Evergrande Real Estate Group. Key clients also include Dalian Wanda Commercial Properties and China Gold International Resources.

Combining its strength in capital markets and M&A, Grandall Law Firm handles a steady flow of big-ticket mandates for clients in the TMT, financial services, logistics and energy sectors. Among recent headline deals, Charles Guan continues to advise Sinopec and its subsidiary on their $3bn purchase of Shanghai SECCO Petrochemical from BP Chemicals; Xiaoliang Wu assisted a venture capital company with a series of acquisition financing transactions; and Xiaoyi Feng handled an SOE mixed ownership reform transaction.

In an illustration of Guantao Law Firm's corporate track record, the team advised a Chinese company on its establishment of a Sino-foreign joint venture company and assisted a PRC company with a multimillion-dollar acquisition of a private airline from an asset management company. Dongying Sun, Bo Su, Henry Hong and Yaping Huang are names to note.

Haiwen & Partners handles domestic and cross-border M&A transactions including FDI, acquisition of material assets, restructurings and joint ventures. The team recently acted for Grand Metropolitan International, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Diageo on its RMB6bn acquisition of Sichuan Swellfun. The team operates from Beijing, Shanghai, Shenzhen and Hong Kong. Jiping Zhang is recommended for M&A and private equity investment.

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Dentons China has made its mark in China with a string of large transactions such as advising AUX Group on its acquisition of Healthscope, assisting Chindex Hong Kong with the purchase of Curasan and acting for a foreign investor in its investment in a Chinese domestic venture capital fund. Within its sizable team which includes over 200 partners across 45 offices in China, Nancy Sun and Jiamao Cheng, based in Beijing and Shanghai respectively are the key names to note.

AnJie Law Firm has made huge progress in recent years and established a Hong Kong office through an association Hauzen LLP in June 2018. The team regularly assists listed companies with domestic and cross-border M&A, restructuring and management buy-out transactions; its client roster also features SOEs and private companies spaning mining, transport and retail sectors. Recent highlights include advising Ping’anfang (Shanghai) E-Commerce on its investment in Fangqian (Beijing) Technology and acting for Beijing Technology on its acquisition of Beijing Chehang 168 Information Technology. Beijing-based Jeremy Dai and Michael Gu, Shanghai-based Hang Cai as well as Shenzhen-based Catherine Guo are names to note.

Broad & Bright has a significant client base of multinational and Chinese companies and is immensely experienced in handling China-aspects of global M&A transactions. In a recent highlight, Libin Zhang acted as PRC counsel for HP in its $1.05bn acquisition of global printer business from Samsung Electronics. The team, jointly led by Hongchuan Liu and Philips Ding, lost David Wang to Zhong Lun Law Firm in 2017.

Chen & Co Law Firm works with EY member firms, and regularly handles China-aspect of large public and private M&A transactions. In 2017, Zhong Lin assisted Yunnan Overseas Investment with its multimillion-dollar acquisition in Laos and acted for Chinese media company on its major asset restructuring. Dalian Container Terminal is also a main client which the team advised on its merger of three container terminal operators.

East & Concord Partners' recent instructions include restructuring and domestic mergers. The team, led by Cindy Hu, counts China Resources Power, Simcere Pharmaceutical Group, China Cinda Asset Management and China Mimetals as key clients.

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