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Private equity/venture capital: foreign firms

Index of tables

  1. Private equity/venture capital: foreign firms
  2. Leading individuals
  3. Next Generation Partners

Leading individuals

  1. 1

Next Generation Partners

  1. 1

Clifford Chance LLP's lawyers are 'excellent advocates and educators who help their clients solve problems and grow their businesses'. The practice covers the full range of private equity transactions, including LBOs, MBOs, PIPEs, and cornerstone investments, as well as venture capital investments and high-yield financings. The team is particularly well known for assisting clients with China-focused private equity investments intending to list in Hong Kong and investments into Hong Kong-listed companies. Terence Foo, who heads the private equity practice, and recently promoted partner Hong Zhang advised Standard Chartered Private Equity on its $73m strategic investment in Chinese data centre operator Chayora Holdings. They also acted for growth markets investor Actis on its buyout of a majority equity interest in Zhejiang RGB Textile Group. Hong Kong-based Andrew Whan, who heads the Asia Pacific corporate and M&A practice, is also a name to note.

At Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP, Judie Ng Shortell and Betty Yap, based in Beijing and Hong Kong respectively, are highly rated for representing multinational corporations in China-related private equity transactions. Highlights for the team included advising KKR on the investment and launch of Cue & Co, a digital marketing company targeting the Chinese market; and advising a China-based private equity firm on its investment in a company that provides credit rating services. Other names to note are Greg Liu, whose wide-ranging sector expertise includes TMT, retail and apparel; Hong Kong-based China practice managing partner Jeanette Chan; and the highly experienced Jack Lange.

Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton's private equity practice acts for major international and domestic private equity firms in complex cross-border transactions and private equity fund formation in both China and Hong Kong. Ling Huang recently acted for China International Capital Corporation, an investment banking and financial services firm, in its acquisition of a majority stake in US asset manager Krane Funds Advisors. Other highlights included Denise Shiu advising TPG Capital on its acquisition of a majority stake in OPC Holding Company, a Taiwan and regional contract research organisation that offers clinical trial services.

Kirkland & Ellis International LLP regularly advises on multi-jurisdictional transactions involving private equity investors, with Beijing-based Chuan Li being highly rated for his expertise in major cross-border M&A and private equity investments across China and Asia. In partnership with its Hong Kong office, Li acted for the founders of GPA Global in the sale of a co-controlling stake.

Linklaters is singled out for its 'strong business acumen' and 'deep knowledge of the market'. The team is also praised for its 'sound advice and good value for money'. It advises on the establishment of funds, making and financing investments, as well as ongoing portfolio advice, including restructuring and exits. Recent highlights include advising Société Générale group on the sale of its 49% stake in Fortune SG, its PRC and Hong Kong investment management joint venture with Baosteel, to Warburg Pincus. The key names to note are John Xu, who heads the private equity practice, and recently promoted managing associate Qi Wang, who focuses on private equity and foreign direct investment transactions. Robert Cleaver now heads the Asian corporate practice from Hong Kong following the departure of Fang Jian, who joined Fangda Partners.

'Excellent for document drafting and transaction logistics',¬†Morrison & Foerster LLP¬†is 'extremely responsive and has deep knowledge of the private equity industry and market practice'. The team handles headline transactions spanning multiple key jurisdictions in Asia particularly in the¬†Fintech, technology and life sciences sectors. Among its recent highlights, it acted for the independent committee of Alibaba Group Holding in the proposed acquisition of a 33% equity interest in Ant Financial.¬†Shanghai-based¬†Maria Wang, and Hong Kong-based Marcia Ellis¬†and¬†Thomas Chou, who is 'responsive, very commercial and understands clients needs',¬†are the key contacts. Ellis' strengths are her 'deep understanding of private equity business and the ability to provide practical advice and solution' ‚Äď she 'takes clients' transactions' commercial aspects into perspective, offering a balanced approach to deal structuring and negotiations'. Yi Chen¬†joined as of counsel in Beijing from a global entertainment producer and provider.

Ropes & Gray LLP 'provides commercial, to-the-point advice with good technical and market knowledge'. It regularly acts in high-end private equity deals across the Asia Pacific region and its client base includes large-cap global and regional buyout private equity funds and growth capital private equity houses, as well as Chinese asset managers and large China-based technology companies. Shanghai-based managing partner of the Asia offices Arthur Mok advised Hao Capital, a China-focused private equity firm, on its investment in Daijia Medical. The practice is jointly led by Peng Yu, who is 'experienced in Asia M&A transactions and provides constructive advice on transactions', and Daniel Yeh who is based in Hong Kong.

Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP has advised on some of the largest and most complex China-related transactions in the region. Recent matters include acting for Alibaba Group Holding in its acquisition of all the outstanding shares in, an online delivery service in China. Beijing-based Yang Wang  was promoted to the partnership, while Ian Ho, Kathryn King Sudol and Celia Lam are key Hong Kong-based practitioners. Former Beijing partner Shaolin Luo joined YunFeng Capital as general counsel.

Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP stands out for its advice to Chinese companies investing in the US and going private, and also in acting for non-Chinese private equity houses worldwide that make investments in China.  Peter Huang and Haiping Li jointly head the practice from its Beijing and Shanghai respectively, while in Hong Kong, Julie Gao leads the China practice and Geoffrey Chan heads the Asia Pacific investment management practice. Huang advised a special committee of the board of directors of Chinese online games developer on the $2.2bn going-private acquisition of by Charles Zhang, the chairman of ChangYou. Li and Gao acted for Yixin Capital, a subsidiary of Bitauto Holdings (Bitauto), in a $587m strategic investment by Bitauto, Tencent Holdings, China Orient Asset Management and Wei Wang.

Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP advises on the full spectrum of transactions, from auctions, exits, take-privates and growth investments to distressed deals, secondaries, PIPEs and other public transactions. Recommended China practice head Charles Ching, who divides his time between Shanghai, Beijing and Hong Kong, advised Oaktree Capital Management and its portfolio company Ileos on the sale of Paris-headquartered Axilone to CITIC Capital China Partners III. Hong Kong managing partner Tim Gardner is also singled out by clients.

Allen & Overy LLP's private equity practice covers fund formation, fund raisings, growth capital investments, LBOs, portfolio company M&A deals, pre-IPO investments, and co-investments. It is particularly active in real estate private matters but has also acted on a large number of deals in the technology, FinTech, education, healthcare and life sciences sectors. In Shanghai, Wayne Lee is highly rated; Jack Wang was hired from Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer; Jean Ye was appointed counsel.

Baker McKenzie FenXun assists with the fund raising, investments and operations of its private equity clients and their investee companies. Bee Chun Boo's experience includes private equity and venture capital transactions, including fund of funds' investments, direct investments and fund establishment. Howard Wu, whose practice focuses on cross-border transactions involving the PRC, assisted Ningbo Joyson Electronic Corporation (Joyson) with raising $250m equity financing from Future Industry Investment Fund, a private fund managed by SDIC Fund Management. Also recommended are Hong Kong-based Dorothea Koo, who leads the Asia Pacific private equity group, and Jason Ng.

Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP's clients span a range of industry sectors, including TMT, biotechnology, education and energy, as well as finance, healthcare, real estate and retail. The team advised China Vanke on its participation in a consortium to acquire all of the equity interests of Global Logistic Properties. Howard Zhang and counsel Annie Yan are the recommended advisors.

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.

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer's recent experience includes advising The Blackstone Group on a range of high-end mandates, including the sale, for an enterprise value of $500m, of its majority stake in Trans Maldivian Airways to a consortium that included Bain Capital Asia Fund III. The recommended names are Shanghai and Beijing-based Alan Wang, and Hong Kong-based Robert Ashworth and Simon Weller. Jack Wang left for Allen & Overy LLP.

Hogan Lovells International LLP's private equity deal experience includes sectors such as life sciences and healthcare, education, insurance and energy, along with real estate, and TMT. The team regularly handles investments, exits and the ongoing operations of portfolio companies in China. It advised a company that provides healthcare services for seniors in China on a financing deal. Andrew McGinty, Steven Robinson, Larry Sussman and recently promoted Lu Zhou are the key advisers.

O'Melveny's recent work includes buyouts, venture investments, PIPE transactions, bridge loans and convertible bonds as well as joint ventures, restructurings and recapitalisations. The key names are office managing partners Walker Wallace and Ke Geng, based in Shanghai and Beijing respectively. Wallace recently acted for PAG Real Estate, as the lead participant in a consortium, on the purchase of three office towers and associated retail facilities. Nima Amini, who 'provides depth of experience and a commercial approach', and former Shanda Group general counsel Li Han are the recommended names from its Hong Kong office.

Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP advises private equity and venture capital sponsors, investment funds and portfolio companies on investment activity, and management and regulatory issues. Highlights included advising on its $397m investment in Farfetch, a London-based online fashion retail platform. TMT sector specialist Jeffrey Sun divides his time between Shanghai and Beijing; and Betty Louie, who divides her time between the firm’s Milan and Beijing offices, advises on significant China outbound M&A and private equity transactions in Europe and the US. Scott Peterman and Mark Lehmkuhler are also key names from its Hong Kong office. The team saw the arrival of Sarah Zeng who was hired from Dentons China, where she was Beijing managing partner, and Jeff Zhang, who joined from King & Wood Mallesons and splits his time between the Beijing and New York offices.

Paul Hastings LLP's 'outstanding team is very responsive and understands clients' culture and industries'. It is recommended for headline later-stage buyouts, particularly in relation to TMT and real estate private equity transactions. The team acted for PingAn Trust in its $1.6bn acquisition of a majority stake in New York Stock Exchange-listed AutoHome, an automobile trading and information website, from Telstra. David Wang, who is praised for his 'responsiveness and depth of knowlege', and Jia Yan are the names to note in mainland China, while Nan Li divides his time between the Beijing and Hong Kong offices. In Hong Kong, Vivian Lam is also recommended.

Shearman & Sterling LLP's recent highlights include advising Primavera Capital Group on its investment in Cainiao Smart Logistics Network, the logistics arm of Alibaba Group. Within the team, Lee Edwards is particularly experienced in advising Chinese and international corporations on going-private deals, tender offers, stock and asset purchase transactions, and venture capital and private equity transactions.

'Never failing to provide top-quality advice that is practical, commercial and technically sound', White & Case LLP's China private equity team covers fund formation, financing, M&A deals, portfolio company assistance, and exits. The practice acted for CDH Fund V, as a member of the buyer consortium, in the $605m acquisition of NASDAQ-listed SciClone Pharmaceuticals. China practice head Alex Zhang, Andre Zhu and Vivian Tsoi are all highly rated. Recent associate recruitment includes Nick Shu joining in Shanghai from Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP and Benjamin Moh being hired in Beijing from Clifford Chance LLP.

Latham & Watkins LLP's team is 'excellent in terms of quality advice and service levels'. The practice's recent experience includes advising The Carlyle Group on the disposal of its Korean portfolio company ADT Caps to a consortium led by SK Telecom of Korea and Macquarie’s Korean Opportunities Fund. Rowland Cheng is Shanghai managing partner and the key Hong Kong advisors are global co-chair of the private equity practice Simon Cooke, Frank Sun, who is praised for his 'level of local and professional legal knowledge and commercial sense', and Amy Beckingham.

Morgan Lewis & Bockius LLP advises on domestic and cross-border deals and handles transactions involving public companies; the practice also advises on strategic transactions in the private sector, including acting for private equity investors and family shareholders. It advised Warburg Pincus on the sale of Mobike, the smart bike-sharing platform, to Meituan-Dianping. The key contacts are Ning Zhang, who divides his time between Hong Kong and Beijing; and Hong Kong-based Maurice Hoo and Edwin Luk.

Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton LLP's key clients comprise active investment funds and prominent companies operating in China that focus on investments in TMT companies. Don Williams led advice to Grab on its series G financing; he also acted for FunPlus Global Holding in the non-PRC legal aspects of the sale of the DianDian mobile game business to Century Huatong Group, which included tax and structuring issues and regulatory compliance. Tony Mou is also a key contact and is recommended alongside Cheng Xu and Michael Zhang, who were recently promoted to the partnership.

Sullivan & Cromwell has a strong track record of working with leading private equity funds. It recently acted for Fiera Capital Corporation, a publicly-traded, independent investment management firm, in its definitive agreement to acquire Clearwater Capital Partners from affiliates of Clearwater’s founders. The principal advisors are Beijing managing partner Gwen Wong, along with Hong Kong managing partner Chun Wei, Garth Bray, Michael DeSombre and Kay Ian Ng.

Private equity/venture capital: PRC firms

Index of tables

  1. Private equity/venture capital: PRC firms
  2. Leading individuals
  3. Next Generation Partners

Leading individuals

  1. 1

Next Generation Partners

  1. 1

Fangda Partners' clients include private equity funds, venture capitalists and strategic corporate investors as well as unlisted private business entities and start-up teams. The practice's experience covers exiting investments together with financings at different stages, including seed, start-up and subsequent equity financing and bridge loan arrangements. Highlights included acting for a global healthcare-focused investment group committed to venture and growth capital, buyout and hedge fund investing, in its privatisation offer for a Hong Kong-listed pharmaceutical group. Peng Tan acts for several private equity and venture capital funds in their investments; Leo Lou's experience includes advising on an investment in a Chinese logistics company; and Jonathan Zhou's representative experience includes assisting an American private equity, alternative asset management and financial services firm with high-value investments.

Han Kun Law Offices is 'a great firm that is well balanced as a mainland China-based practice; it not only identifies issues, it also provides solutions to those issues'. The team is highly rated for its advice to venture capital and private equity firms on their investments and fundraising in China. Recent work includes advising China's Meituan-Dianping, an online platform for movie ticketing, food delivery, restaurant bookings, beauty services, travel and luxury goods, on its $4bn series C round of equity financing; the assistance included legal opinions, deal negotiations and various financing documents. The practice also acted for China Structural Reform Fund Corporation in its investment in JD Finance, which involved designing the structure of a fund and negotiating a limited partners agreement. The names to note are Yijun Chao, Dafei Chen, Chaoying Li, Ying Yang and Loretta Li, along with Yixin Lin and Min Duan. Counsels Sheng Li and Zaiguang Lu are also highly regarded.

Zhong Lun Law Firm's private equity and investment funds practice group covers fund formation, fundraising, investments, project management and fund exits; and its deal experience includes both the establishment of domestic RMB and offshore USD funds. It acted for GLP, a warehouse operator, in its fund investments; advised Tencent on its series B investment in YonghuiYunchuang, an incubator of new retail projects; and assisted Kingsoft Cloud, a cloud service provider and unicorn start-up in the PRC, with its series D financing. Anthony Zhao has particular expertise in advising on cross-border transactions that combine both offshore and onshore structures. Other recommended advisers are Victor Yu, Jason Liu, Lefan Gong, Kejun Guo, Bill Shang and Julia Zhu. Key non-equity partners are Bijun Huang  and Ted Hu.

Global Law Office 'offers quality work with a competitive budget and quick responses'. The firm acts for foreign and domestic venture capital and private equity funds in their portfolio investments in China; the practice also assists with the formation of venture capital and private equity funds, and assists onshore and offshore companies with their private equity financings. Typical work includes the design of investment structures; conducting legal due diligence; drafting, reviewing and negotiating transaction documents; and obtaining government approvals, permits and registrations. The team acted as PRC counsel for Kunlun Trust Company, CNPC Assets Management and Ningbo Rongyuan Guangrui Investment Management Partnership on their investment in Tianjin TEDA Science and Technology Corporation, a private equity and venture capital firm in China, which invests in education, TMT, healthcare and environmental protection. It also advised Shenzhen Hive Box Technology on its series A-plus financing round. Huawei Lin is particularly experienced in real estate-related deals. Other recommended individuals are Michael Yu and Jinrong Liu.

With ten partners dedicated to private equity and venture capital matters, JunHe LLP's clients include private equity and venture capital funds, general partnerships and limited partnerships of funds and fund management companies, as well as investment companies and banks. The practice includes fund establishment, fundraising, liquidation, dissolution and day-to-day management, and M&A and exit deals; it acts for established companies and start-up entities in all stages of financing in China. The team acted as PRC counsel to Goldman Sachs and Carlyle Group in their equity investments in OneSmart, which involved the establishment of a red-chip structure, the exiting of onshore RMB funds, and regulatory changes. It also advised Jiangsu Dewei New Materials on its proposed investment in US Hybrid Corporation and US Fuel Cell Corporation; and assisted an affiliate of China Aoyuan Property Group Company in its acquisition of shares in Shenzhen Qiuming Investment Development Company. Nelson Zhou is recommended for his advice to international and domestic financial institutions and private equity investors on going-private transactions of listed US companies, and acts for private equity houses on their investments in the TMT, real estate, education and healthcare sectors. Other key advisors are Xiyong Zhao and Man Wang.

Advising both global buyout funds and smaller new funds, King & Wood Mallesons is highly regarded for its experience in the establishment, investment and exit of domestic and overseas funds; its advice includes regulatory advice, drafting investment plans and designing investment structures. The firm also fields lawyers who assist with related tax, IP, labour, real estate and insurance matters. Mulong Gong is an expert in private equity fund formation, downstream investments, onshore and offshore IPOs, and M&A deals, and he has advised clients in sectors such as technology and internet, finance, retail, healthcare and manufacturing. Yi Zhang is an expert in private equity fund formation and investments, who also acts in M&A transactions, corporate restructuring and domestic and offshore IPOs. Other key advisors include Zhijun Lin, who represents TMT clients in private equity investments and financings for listings.

Dentons China's Bruce Li is a senior partner in Beijing and has advised on several private equity investment projects and worked with a variety of international funds; he also specialises in the establishment of private equity funds. The team's representative experience includes advising a US-based private equity, alternative asset management and financial services firm on high-value acquisitions.

Grandall Law Firm regularly advises on cross-border private equity investment deals, as well as on fund establishment and financing transactions. Xiaoliang Wu is a TMT and finance expert; Guan Jianjun is noted for private equity and venture capital matters in industries such as TMT, hotels, food, finance and logistics.

Jingtian & Gongcheng's practice advises international and domestic private equity and venture capital funds, strategic investors and domestic entrepreneurs; and it covers early stage and pre-IPO investments, both onshore and offshore as well as investments in variable interest entities' structures and IPOs. The team acted for Sequoia Capital and CMC in their investment in Super Monkey Fitness, a joint venture fitness centre company; it also assisted Tianjin ByteDance Equity Investment Management Company with its registration as fund manager and a high-level internet fund raising. Zhengzheng Hu is recommended for his assistance to foreign private equity funds and other investors in transactions involving domestic equities in the real estate, mining, renewable energy, telecoms and media sectors; and Jinjin Chen has represented RMB or USD-dominated funds such as Citic Capital, Sequoia Capital and Carlyle Group, and is particularly focused on transactions in the technology, media, and telecoms sectors. Other highly regarded advisers are Deng Haiping, Rongsheng Zhang and Xie Peng, together with Yongqing Huang and Jerry Ye.

Llinks Law Offices is widely respected for its advice on private equity and venture capital deals in China. The team's client base includes domestic and international angel investors, and venture capital, private equity and industry funds as well as strategic investors. It acted for Sense Time, a Chinese technology company specialising in artificial intelligence and facial recognition, in its high-value C round of financing; the team also advised Summitview Capital on its investment in Fuzhou Rockchip, a Chinese semiconductor company that provides end-to-end, system-on-chip solutions for tablets, PCs and streaming media television boxes. David Yu is the highly rated corporate department head; and Selena She advises a wide variety of private equity funds on their investments in China. Other key practitioners are Nicholas Lou, who acts for foreign and domestic private equity funds investing, acquiring and selling portfolio companies in China; and counsel Colin Shi, whose practice includes advising investment funds on private equity investment and fund formation and establishment.

Commerce & Finance Law Office acts for foreign private equity funds in their investment projects in China; the practice is also increasingly instructed by domestic RMB private equity funds. The practice's experience extends across the entire investment chain, from initial angel investment to strategic, venture capital and private equity investments as well as pre-IPO investments; Wang Wei is a key name.

DaHui Lawyers has an established practice that advises private equity, venture capital and hedge funds on domestic and cross-border investment transactions. The team acted for GSR Ventures, a venture capital fund that focuses on early-stage technology companies in China, in its series A equity investment in Moka, a domestic firm that helps companies optimise their recruiting services. Other highlights include advising a venture capital fund that invests in early and growth-stage technology companies with substantial operations in China on its equity investments. Brendon Wu's industry experience includes the media, technology, internet, entertainment, real estate, education, natural resources and manufacturing sectors. Other notable advisors include Chris Chen and Julia Dai, the latter joining from Latham & Watkins LLP.

Guantao Law Firm has extensive experience advising private equity, hedge, real estate and venture capital funds, as well as funds of funds, investment firms, sponsors, institutional investors and portfolio companies. Yang Wang is noted for the establishment, raisings and investments of domestic and foreign private equity funds and management companies.

Jincheng Tongda & Neal has extensive expertise in private equity and venture capital investment, and represents a broad spectrum of clients, including independent private equity firms, private equity firm sponsors and financing sources. The practice's scope of work covers fund structuring and raising, compliance, portfolio company investment, and exits through domestic and overseas IPOs and M&A deals. It advised Oriza Seed, an investment fund in China, on its participation in CStone Pharmaceuticals’ series B financing; the team also acted for CDH Investments in its participation in an investment by a group of investors in a Miss Fresh autonomous convenience store project. Senior partner Lingyan Peng is recommended for her advice on venture capital and private equity investment transactions.

Acting for significant venture capitals and start-ups, Merits & Tree Law Offices has extensive experience in fund formation, fund raising and fund compliance as well as private equity investment, financing and M&A deals. The firm's client list includes Sequoia Capital China, CEC Data Capital and Marathon Venture Partners; the team also acted for Harmony Tianming Investment Management (Beijing) Company, an affiliate of investment firm IDG Capital, in the series B financing round of E-pet Mall, an e-commerce platform that focuses on the pet industry. Youyuan Jin's sector specialisms include e-commerce, TMT, healthcare, new retail and technology.

Shihui Partners acts for numerous companies in venture capital and private equity financing, reorganisations, M&A deals and IPOs. The team assisted Lexin, as its PRC counsel, with its financing, restructuring and compliance issues; it also advised JD Logistics on its series A financing with investors that included Hillhouse Capital, Sequoia China, China Merchants Group and Tencent, among others. George Niu is a private equity and venture capital expert; and Miranda Jiang advises funds and companies in sectors such as e-commerce, education, healthcare and telecoms.

Tian Yuan Law Firm is experienced advising investment funds on fund formation, investment, capital markets' issues, restructuring and M&A deals. The team acted for MOCC-CN Investment in its investment in NetEase Youdao Strategy; other highlights include advising Easy Parking, an internet parking platform, on its series B-plus financing round. Yutian Chen, Zhihua Xia, Jiayun Xie and Qian Zhou are the key contacts.

Yingke Law Firm is experienced in private equity and venture capital transactions; the team also assists with fund formation and registration, day-to-day operations, exits, and private equity-related litigation. It acted for Yiyuan Investment Consulting (Shanghai) Company in its proposed acquisition of Shanghai Naxiaozhu Restaurant Management Company; the assistance included conducting due diligence and advising on potential litigation. The names to note are the 'very experienced' Bo Wu as well as Zhanyao Liu.

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