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China > Corporate and M&A > Corporate and M&A: PRC firms > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings


Index of tables

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

Leading individuals

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Next Generation Partners

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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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