With an extensive offering in Greater China, which spans over 25 years and has established offices in Beijing, Shanghai, and Hong Kong, the investment fund practice at Clifford Chance LLP stands out for its advice on fund life cycles, including raising, structuring, and launch, with further expertise in governance and investment vehicles. Leading the team is Hong Kong-based Mark Shipman, having recently acted for HSBC in its establishment of the HSBC China Dragon Fund, a close-ended unit trust fund with the objective of long-term capital growth. Heading the firm’s funds and investment management group in China is Ying White, who divides her time between Beijing and Shanghai advising a range of asset managers and financial institutions with regard to the structuring, establishment and operation of offshore hedge funds and private equity.
Investment funds: foreign firms in China
‘Clifford Chance has been in China for a long time and maintains a strong team there. The biggest advantage they have is that their local team can leverage all the know-how from the global funds team.’
‘They are good communicators.’
GROW Investment Group
AnglePoint Asset Management
Springhill Fund Asset Management
Greater Bay Area Homeland
Phoenix Property Investors
Simmons & Simmons
With a notable focus on investment funds and financial regulation, Simmons & Simmons benefits from a global network featuring offices in London, Dublin, Luxembourg and Singapore. With a further four offices in China, the firm stands out for its advice on hedge fund launches, exchange-traded funds, and leveraged and inverse products. Working out of the Hong Kong office is Asia financial markets group leader Rolfe Hayden, regarded for his experience in collective investment schemes. In Beijing, Melody Yang has a highly-regarded practice in fund formation and fund regulatory issues, also acting for a range of clients in relation to market entry and the launch of USD funds at a global scale. Other recognizable areas of strength for the team include acting for global asset managers on a range of regulatory issues.
Other key lawyers:
CSOP Asset Management
China Asset Management (Hong Kong)
Samsung Asset Management (Hong Kong)
Hang Seng Investment Management
Bosera Asset Management (International)
Harvest Global Investments
Sun Hung Kai Capital Partners
Baker McKenzie FenXun
As a prominent figure in the China and Hong Kong private fund spaces, Baker McKenzie FenXun covers a wide range of asset classes and industry segments, regarded for its work in relation to the private equity real estate sector and the formation of joint venture fund platforms. Working out of the Hong Kong office, Jason Ng leads the practice with over 25 years of experience advising clients on the structuring and formation of investment products. Supporting the firm’s efforts in this regard are Edwin Wong, an expert in high-profile general partner-side fund formation and considered to provide ‘consistently professional and high quality advice to address commercial objectives‘, and Sophia Man, regarded for covering a range of transactional issues. Jeremy Ong is also considered a key contact, having recently acted for SF Holding on its establishment and IPO of a SF REIT, Hong Kong’s first logistics-focused REIT. Joy Lam, who specializes in the virtual assets ecosystem, joined the firm from Sidley Austin LLP in January 2022.
‘Commercially sensible, practical and professional.’
‘Edwin Wong provides consistently professional and high quality advice to address commercial objectives.’
APG Asset Management
Cambium Grove Capital
Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec
Canada Pension Plan Investment Board
Gaw Capital Partners
Alpha Investment Partners
M3 Capital Partners
Pleiad Investment Advisors
- Advised APG on the launch of an Asia Pacific healthcare platform — CBC Healthcare Infrastructure Platform (CBC HIP) — in partnership with CBC Group.
- Advised APG on the establishment of its latest joint venture logistics development platform in China with ESR.
- Acting as issuer’s counsel for the establishment and IPO of SF REIT, Hong Kong’s first logistics-focused REIT.
Spreading across Beijing, Shanghai and Hong Kong, the investment fund practice at Cooley LLP regularly acts for high-profile venture capital firms in US-Asia venture capital fund formation, with additional coverage of matters surrounding emerging funds and their efforts to attract foreign investment. Dividing her time between Beijing and Hong Kong, Xun Zeng often advises on the formation, operation and structuring of investment funds, with further expertise advising fund sponsors on upper-tier arrangements, carried interest plans, and joint venture arrangements. Leading the team alongside her are Jordan Silber in Shanghai, whose practice focuses in venture capital and growth equity funds in Asia and US, and Pang Lee in Hong Kong and Shanghai, noted for advising venture capital funds. Also noted is Jingyi Xu in Beijing, with a practice focused on advising investment funds both in the US and internationally.
Other key lawyers:
‘The team are all professional and have good business sense. They provide clear insight on how to manage risks and interests.’
‘The whole team keeps a high standard on deliverables.’
‘This is a great team to work with.’
Lightspeed China Partners
Source Code Capital
Qiming Venture Partners
- Advised Lightspeed China Partners on the closing of Lightspeed China Partners V with $460 million and Lightspeed China Partners Select II with $460 million.
- Advised Dragonfly Capital on the closing of its oversubscribed third venture fund, Dragonfly Ventures III, with $650 million in capital commitments.
- Advised NIO Capital on the approximately $400 million closing of its flagship fund, Eve ONE Fund II.
With experience dealing with SEC-registered advisers, the investment fund team at Kirkland & Ellis handles work in relation to the formation and operation of private funds and registered investment companies, with a further emphasis on buyout funds, credit and growth funds, funds of funds, and limited partner representations. Leadership of the Hong Kong-based team is divided between Justin Dolling, noted for his role acting for high-profile general partners, Carol Liu, active in both primary fundraisings and secondary transactions, and Damian Jacobs, widening the firm’s expertise with regard to the acquisition of portfolios and restructuring of funds.
Other key lawyers:
Lilly Asia Ventures
Ares SSG Capital Management
Eastern Bell Capital
NewQuest Capital Partners
- Represented Warburg Pincus on the formation of Warburg Pincus Real Estate, targeting $2.8bn in commitments.
- Advised BGH Capital on the successful closing of its second vintage flagship private equity fund, BGH Capital Fund II, at approximately AUS$3.6bn.
- Represented GLP on the formation of its GLP China Logistics Fund III, targeting $2.5bn in commitments.
Paul Hastings LLP
With an offering extending across the full gamut of investment fund work, Paul Hastings LLP features a number of specialists dedicated to advising high-profile foreign and PRC-based investors in the structuring and establishment of private equity, venture capital as well as offshore and onshore lending structures. Another key area of work for the firm is in relation to high value real estate finance, typically representing clients on the sponsor side. Based in Beijing, Meka Meng leads the team, with notable experience dealing with private equity fund formation and investment transactions.
Baring Private Equity Asia
The Carlyle Group
Mapletree Greater China Commercial Trust
ARA Asset Management
Proprium Capital Partners
China International Capital
ICBC Asset Management
Ascent Real Estate Investors
- Advised Montana Capital Partners on a transaction through its investment in the Ping An Global Equity Selection Fund II and Ping An GP Opportunities Fund.
Shearman & Sterling is distinguishable for its experience in fund formation with respect to private equity, venture capital and co-investments, assisting sponsors and investors in a global context. Other areas of strength for the firm include capital markets transactions, portfolio financings and recapitalisations. With experience working across jurisdictions on cross-border mandates, Hong Kong-based Lorna Chen is the founder and head of the Asia asset management and investment funds practice, acting for a variety of sponsors and investors on the formation of fund structures. Also in Hong Kong, associate Anil Motwani often represents Asia-based sponsors with regard to the formation and subsequent operation of private equity and venture capital funds.
Other key lawyers:
Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP
Acting for sponsors and investors in the formation, capitalisation and operation of investment funds, Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP showcases an established presence in Greater China. In Hong Kong, the team is also active on portfolio transactions and the restructuring of venture capital firms and funds. Hong Kong-based Geoffrey Chan heads the firm’s Asia investment management practice, with a focus on the formation and structuring of Asia-based USD private investment funds within the scope of Greater China; Chan recently acted for Virtue Advisors in connection with the formation of a third USD-denominated fund. Counsel Xuan Zhang is another key contact, with experience in regulatory and compliance matters alongside fund formation, internal carry and co-investment arrangements, and secondary transactions.
Ping An Overseas Holdings
Cowin Capital Asset Management
Unicorn Partners Advisors
CITIC PE Advisors
China Media Capital
With a range of specialists, DLA Piper‘s investment fund practice is distinguishable for its geographical spread, advising clients on Hong Kong, UK, US, Australia and PRC law, while covering China-based hedge, real estate, and private equity fund formation issues. Leading the Asia funds and investment management practice is Hong Kong-based Luke Gannon, noted for his vast experience handling high-profile fund deals.
UBS Asset Management Switzerland
CLSA Asset Management
Phoenix Property Investors
Sylebra HK Company Limited
- Advising on UBS Asset Management Switzerland’s investment in $2.5 billion PAG Real Estate Partners III.
- Advising on Tianyan Capital’s formation and launch of two hedge funds through single-legged master feeder fund structures.
- Advising on UBS Asset Management Switzerland’s investment in $4 billion Blackstone Real Estate Partners Asia III LP.
Led by Scott Peterman, focusing on the formation of alternative investment vehicles, K&L Gates Hong Kong-based investment fund practice is regarded for its role in private equity and venture capital fund formation, with a further emphasis on providing regulatory advice in relation to crowd funding, restructuring, and blockchain-enable platforms. Also featured in the team are Sook Young Yeu, with over 30 years of experience acting on private fund establishment and the representation of Asian institutional investors, and Chloe Duan, noted for investment management and private equity matters.
Morgan Stanley Private Wealth Group
Q Fund Management
- Assisted the principals of VS Partners to implement an endowment model of investing comprising a blend of typical investments and less traditional offerings.
- Organized one of the first limited partnership funds under Hong Kong’s new LPF Ordinance.
The Hong Kong-based investment fund practice at Mayer Brown covers a range of legal, regulatory, and commercial matters for fund sponsors, institutional investors and entities in the alternative investment sphere. Key figures include Paul Moloney and Mark Uhrynuk in Hong Kong, co-heading the practice with combined experience representing sponsors, asset managers and investors in private equity, infrastructure, real estate funds, venture capital investments, and secondary transactions.
Excelsior Capital Vietnam Partners
Morrison Foerster advises clients across the privacy equity, real estate, banking, insurance, and venture capital spaces, handling a plethora of fund formation transactions. Leadership of the Hong Kong-based team is divided between Serena Tan, who has 'deep technical knowledge' and is an expert with regard to the formation of private funds, including USD, RMB, and dual-currency, and Nicholas Sheets, regarded for his advice on co-investment activities, secondary transactions, and the structuring, formation and offering of private equity funds. Sylvia Cheng is another key contact for work related to fund formation.
‘The MoFo team is best at advising on complex fund formation matters. They are very professional, exceptionally knowledgeable, and constantly provide the perfect combination of sector expertise, technical knowledge, and commercial savviness to drive the best outcomes.’
‘Their bilingual capability and deep expertise in both the China and US markets make them stand out from other international firms in the field. The team is very responsive to requests and always willing to go the extra mile.’
‘Serena Tan is a top-notch, astute, and commercially minded funds lawyer. Her bilingual capability, deep technical knowledge in the market, and vast practical experience handling complex funds formation and investment matters differentiates her from her competitors. She has also demonstrated outstanding project and cost management skills by allocating the right level of associates to support us.’
Ally Bridge Group
Ascendent Capital Partners Asia
BHG Long Hills
China Ping An Insurance
China International Capital Corporation
Morgan Stanley Private Equity Asia
ORIX Asia Capital
SBVA Future Innovation Fund
Silicon Valley Bank
SoftBank Ventures Asia
- Represented Morgan Stanley Private Equity Asia in the formation and ongoing operations of a PRC-domiciled, RMB-denominated private investment fund focused on investments in China.
- Represented SoftBank Ventures Asia in the formation of China Ventures Fund II, and in the formation of China Ventures Hybrid Fund I as a stapled secondary transaction.
- Advised Sino-Ocean Capital on the formation of a $1.4bn core office fund that will invest in A-grade office projects in the core business districts of tier-one cities in China.
Characterized by its presence in both Hong Kong and Beijing, the global private investment funds group at Proskauer Rose LLP often handles a range of complex secondaries work for general partners and limited partners in a global context. The team is led by Yong Ren, focusing on the formation and management of private funds, with a further emphasis on co-investments and secondary transactions. Senior associate Lijuan Hou is another key contact, often acting in fund formation and fund sponsor representation. All named individuals are based in Beijing.
Other key lawyers:
‘Strong technical skills, substantive experience, commercial and practical.’
‘Yong Ren is extremely helpful and supportive. He provides an excellent service under a tight timeline.’
Adams Street Partners
Cindat Capital Management
Harvest Wealth Management
- Advised Schroders Capital on over 45 primary investments and co-investments alongside over 10 secondary transactions.
- Advised Adams Street Partners on at least two co-investments, two secondaries and five fund investments in Asia.
- Advising Cindat Capital Management on the restructuring of its existing investments into a new investment platform, in addition to investment activities of its credit fund.
Ropes & Gray LLP
The practice at Ropes & Gray LLP is noted for its ‘diverse international set up‘ and retention of large US-dollar fund clients and high-profile sovereign wealth funds, advising these on the formation of high value separate accounts, special focus vehicles, and direct and co-investments.Vincent Ip draws from his previous experience working in Boston to advise fund sponsors on multiple aspects of their business, including with respect to the formation and representation of a range of Asia-focused private investment funds. Chune Loong Lum is another key contact, regarded for his involvement in relation to funds with an Asia and China focus, delivering to a ‘top-level standard‘. All named lawyers are based in Hong Kong.
Other key lawyers:
‘Ropes & Gray is a diverse international set up, being able to tap into the expertise of many different partners in different geographies. The partners are all experts in their field, and consistently thoughtful and willing to assist their clients to achieve the end goal.’
‘The team is strong in their understanding of the private equity space, being able to help deliver the intended outcome while providing careful, bespoke and thoughtful service.’
‘Chune Loong is an excellent counsel. He is extremely attentive and hardworking, giving very personalised and thorough support and service. With a keen understanding of client’s needs, Chune Loong is able to deliver consistently and at a top-level standard.’
Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP
Regarded for its expertise in large pan-Asia funds as well as China- and Japan-focused funds, the practice atSimpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP regularly acts for high-profile sponsors in private equity fundraising. Heading the firm’s Asia investments funds practice, Adam Furber represents clients in relation to various asset classes, including buyout, growth, and venture capital. Leading the practice alongside him is former counsel Michael Ceulen, whose practice focuses on the organization, structuring and operation of global private equity funds. Tokyo-based Dave Azcue is another key contact at the firm, having been promoted to the partnership in 2021. All named lawyers are based in Hong Kong unless otherwise stated.
Other key lawyers:
Affinity Equity Partners
Ant Financial Service Group
Brummer & Partners
CapSquare Asia Partners
Diamond Realty Management
Excelsior Capital Asia
Japan Growth Investment Alliance
Japan Post Investment Corporation
Kyoto Pacific Capital
Nissay Asset Management
Polaris Capital Group
Seven Seas Advisors
T Capital Partners
Tor Investment Management
Welkin Capital Partners
Zebra Global Capital
- Advised Blackstone Group in connection with the formation and fundraising of Blackstone Capital Partners Asia II, which closed at $6.4bn.
- Advised Tor Investment Management in connection with the formation of Tor Asia Credit Opportunities Fund II, which closed at $335m.
- Advised KKR in connection with the formation of its first Asia real estate fund, KKR Asia Real Estate Partners SCSp, an approximately $1.7bn fund.