Hall Of Fame

Next Generation Partners

Real estate and construction: foreign firms in China

A&O Shearman

Based out of Shanghai, A&O Shearman excels in the transactional side of real estate, assisting clients on investments, acquisitions and disposals from a wide range of real estate sectors including offices, logistics, retail, residential, industrial, and life sciences. The team regularly advises clients on cross-border transactions, including M&A, private equity matters, and fund formation. The practice is divided into two sections, led by Matthew Bisley and Wayne Lee. Bisley specialises in financial real estate, working alongside Roger Lui and Patrick Wong, both of whom are based in Hong Kong, and are highly active in real estate transactions. Lee utilises his background in private equity to represent private equity real estate and investment funds in acquisitions, disposals, and joint ventures. Jean Ye works alongside Lee on real estate deals, utilising her dual Chinese and United States qualifications to assist international clients.

Practice head(s):

Matthew Bisley; Wayne Lee

Other key lawyers:

Jean Ye; Roger Li; Patrick Wong; David Ye; Richard Ou

Key clients


DNE Group

Black Kite

China Resources

Gaw Capital

China CITIC Bank

Work highlights

  • Advised DNE Group on the establishment of a strategic partnership with an Asian institutional investor to invest in healthcare industrial parks in China.
  • Assisted Black Kite with joint venture arrangements with a leading institutional investor to pursue a series of logistics warehouse projects in prime locations across the PRC.
  • Advised China Resources on a joint venture with China Resources Land (Overseas), a subsidiary of China Resources Land Limited, for the purposes of real estate investment.

Baker McKenzie

The real estate team at Baker McKenzie uses their expertise to advise Chinese real estate enterprises and MNCs on a slew of real estate matters. Pre-transaction corporate, legal and tax structuring, land acquisition, construction and development, and equity financing for project development all fall within the scope of the practice. The team has been increasingly involved in acquisition of properties for logistics, warehousing, and self-storage facilities. Co-leading the team are Rico Chan and Edmond Chan. The former specialises in cross-border China real estate transactions, while the latter has key strength in the Hong Kong market. Alexander Gong sits in joint venture firm FenXun Partners, and is the head of the real estate team in Shanghai.

Practice head(s):

Rico Chan; Edmond Chan

Other key lawyers:

Alexander Gong; Jeremy Ong; May Lau; Mandy Lan

Key clients

Angelo Gordon

Ares SSG



LaSalle Investment Management

Lineage Logistics


Spring REIT



Work highlights

  • Advising Spring REIT on the proposed acquisition of 68% interest in Huamao Place, a shopping mall in the central business district of Huizhou, for approximately RMB 1.637 million.

Herbert Smith Freehills LLP

Herbert Smith Freehills LLP is a leading name for contentious and non-contentious infrastructure and construction matters. The team is well-versed in multijurisdictional issues, advising clients on structuring projects, negotiating financing and supporting implementation, in addition to resolving complex construction disputes. Examples of contentious work handled by the practice include disputes under construction contracts, PFI/PPP agreements, offtake agreements, and joint venture agreements. Outbound construction work is a core focus of the practice, which assists clients in a wide range of sectors including infrastructure, manufacturing, energy, and mining. Hew Kian Heong heads up the construction and infrastructure disputes practice, advising both local and international clients on all areas of construction law, including arbitration and litigation. Co-head Michelle Li is an expert in outbound construction contracts, claims, and disputes, and is adept at advising on inbound landmark architectural projects. Both partners split their time between Beijing and Shanghai.

Practice head(s):

Hew Kian Heong; Michelle Li

Other key lawyers:

Murphy Mok


‘Michelle Li has professional experience as a lawyer and provides us with professional legal advice.’

‘Excellent service attitude, excellent work ability, and rich professional resources.’

‘The legal team members have strong professional ability, strong business negotiation ability, understand the psychological needs of customers, and can effectively facilitate transactions or resolve disputes.’

Key clients

China Machinery Engineering Corporation

China Petroleum Pipeline Engineering Co., Ltd.

China Huanqiu Contracting & Engineering Corporation

China Chengda Engineering Co. Ltd.

MCC5 Group Shanghai Corporation Limited

Shanghai Baoye Group Corp. Ltd.

Bjarke Ingels Group A/S

Risen Energy (Hong Kong) Co. Ltd.

Baosteel Engineering & Technology Group Co. Ltd.

Work highlights

Mayer Brown

The real estate and construction practice at Mayer Brown handles traditional real estate projects and investments, as well as contentious and non-contentious construction issues. The sizable team enables the firm to advise on a broad array of matters, including development, finance, M&A, disposals, and disputes related to real estate. The team is known for its expertise on real estate-related M&A, funds, and financing transactions. The firm’s clientele includes numerous major banks and financiers, where the firm advises on acquisition development and property-related financing. Outbound investments and cross-border transactions are also key areas. The team is co-led by Keith Cheung, Tom Fu, Andy Yeo, and Geoffrey Chan, who are based across Hong Kong and China. Fu splits his time between Hong Kong and Beijing, specialising in construction projects, while Hong Kong-based Chan handles complex arbitration matters. Also noted are counsel Rosalyn Han who works with international developers and contractors on high-value projects from Beijing, and Shanghai-based senior associate Ellen Zhang who focuses on direct property acquisition and joint ventures.

Practice head(s):

Keith Cheung; Tom Fu; Andy Yeo; Geoffrey Chan

Other key lawyers:

Rosalyn Han; Ellen Zhang

Key clients

Hong Kong Jockey Club

Swire Properties Limited

Work highlights

  • Advising The Hong Kong Jockey Club on their Conghua Training Centre in Conghua, Guangdong.
  • Advising Swire Properties Limited on the review of a series of standard forms of construction contracts, consultancy agreements and supply contracts being used for their projects in Mainland China.

DLA Piper

DLA Piper is a comprehensive real estate practice, which covers a full range of matters including acquisitions and divestments, joint ventures, leasing and facilities management, and commercial developments. Cross-border transactions for both inbound and outbound investments are a strength of the practice. Susheela Rivers leads the team from Hong Kong, and is supported by Ed Sheremeta, who advises on real estate investments, acquisitions, and joint ventures. Lillian Duan left the firm in August 2022 and joined Kaiman Legal, though continues to work closely with the department. Duan is an expert in advising major investment institutions and property funds on their operations in China.

Practice head(s):

Susheela Rivers

Other key lawyers:

Ed Sheremeta; Lillian Duan

Work highlights

Pinsent Masons

Pinsent Masons represents major construction players, including contractors, design consultants, and procurers, in the full range of construction matters. The team is spread across Hong Kong, Beijing, Shanghai, and Singapore, enabling them to assist international and local clients on both inbound and outbound mandates. The team is particularly adept in advising Chinese state-owned enterprises with contract review and arbitration work, such as preventing or delaying bonds through Emergency Arbitrator Proceedings. The practice is jointly led by Mark Hu, who works from Beijing and Hong Kong, and Hong Kong lawyers Dean Lewis and Alvin Ho. Hu closely works with state-owned enterprises on outbound projects, and excels at advising clients within the renewable energy industry. Lewis specialises in infrastructure matters, while Ho has key expertise in dispute resolution work. Sam Boyling divides his time between Singapore and Beijing, representing state-owned enterprises in arbitration. Shanghai-based international arbitration specialist Rachel Turner was promoted to partner in May 2023. Karah Howard is also noted.

Practice head(s):

Mark Hu; Dean Lewis; Alvin Ho

Other key lawyers:

Sam Boyling; Nicholas Turner; Karah Howard; Rachel Turner; Bernard Ang


‘They have been established in mainland China for many years, which shows commitment to that market. One of the stand-out firms for PRC clients on domestic and international construction disputes. Hugely experienced construction team.’

‘Sam Boyling has considerable experience in the construction arena. Clients appreciate his hands-on approach and case management skills.’

‘The Pinsent Masons team comprises outstandingly bright lawyers who are immensely hard-working, with great commercial acumen, superb strategists and fantastic with clients.’

Key clients

Maeda-China State JV

A Consortium led by China State Construction Group

The Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region

A Chinese SOE contractor

A Chinese SOE contractor

Work highlights

  • Advising a Chinese SOE contractor on the EPC contract for 2x500MW wind projects in Uzbekistan.
  • Advising a Chinese SOE contractor on reviewing and negotiating a design contract for the development of electric vehicle-manufacturing complex in Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, sponsored by Public Investment Fund.
  • Advising the PRC Government on developing the Qianhai Shenzhen-Hong Kong Cooperation Zone, an economic zone which will reduce the barriers and transaction costs for individuals and financial institutions in Hong Kong and the Chinese mainland.

Clifford Chance LLP

Clifford Chance LLP combines the regional real estate team with the gaming and lodging team, enabling it to advise on high-end real estate conveyancing, real estate-related M&A, finance, and joint ventures. The team also uses its varied expertise to assist with real estate funds formation work and IPOs. Clients include real estate investors, international banks, and private equity investors. Amy Ho heads up the practice and works across Hong Kong and China on corporate real estate transactions, while Sydney-based Mark Currell leads the real estate group and focuses on transformational real estate matters. Matthias Feldmann and Dauwood Malik are also noted.

Practice head(s):

Amy Ho; Mark Currell

Other key lawyers:

Matthias Feldmann; Dauwood Malik


‘The CC real estate team is known for having a wide range of experience in real estate work across asset classes, including industry, logistics, self-storage, commercial, retail, data centres, technology infrastructure and many others.

‘The team led by corporate partner Amy Ho, an expert in Hong Kong and Chinese corporate real estate transactions, she is supported by key figures in China – Matt Feldmann who focuses on real estate fund formation, and Dauwood Malik who handles financing.’

Key clients

Chelsfield Asia

Kai Tak Sports Park Limited

HOPU Investments

Work highlights

  • Advised Ares SSG Capital Management (Ares SSG) on the establishment of a joint venture with listed property developer New World Development Company for the construction, development, marketing and sale of a commercial complex.
  • Advising partners of a global consulting firm in their capacity as receivers on their appointment over China Evergrande Group’s Hong Kong headquarters building.
  • Advised Shanghai Legoland Co. as borrower on a loan granted by lenders for the purpose of construction and development of  a Legoland themed resort in Jinshan District, Shanghai.

Morrison Foerster

Morrison Foerster focuses on real estate investments, including fund formation, joint ventures and acquisitions, and development of real estate assets. The team is led by global co-chair of the private equity group and China’s real estate head, Marcia Ellis, who combines these two areas of expertise to advise on private equity investments within the real estate industry from Hong Kong. Maureen Ho, who is also based in Hong Kong, works with private equity, real estate funds, financial, and corporate investors on a range of matters, while Vivian Yiu handles real estate transactions. Chuan Sun splits his time between Shanghai and Hong Kong, advising on cross-border M&A transactions as well as TMT related matters.

Practice head(s):

Marcia Ellis

Other key lawyers:

Maureen Ho; Vivian Yiu; Chuan Sun

Key clients


Princeton Digital Group


Beijing Hualian Group (BHG)

Greenland Hong Kong Holdings

Poly Property Group

Sunshine 100 China Holdings


Morgan Stanley Real Estate Fund


Evergreen Real Estate


Asia Pacific Land

Hony Capital

Work highlights

Proskauer Rose LLP

The private equity real estate team at Proskauer Rose LLP is known for its skill in negotiating hotel deals, investments and transactions. The scope of the practice includes M&A, management agreements, mixed-used development, and distressed situations. Jeffrey Horwitz and Yuval Tal co-led the team. Tal divides his time between Hong Kong and Beijing, and advises on a range of corporate, M&A and securities matters, and handles work in newer areas such as museums, co-living and co-working properties. Associate Cynthia Cheng focuses on hotel project development from Hong Kong.

Practice head(s):

Yuval Tal; Jeffrey Horwitz

Other key lawyers:

Cynthia Cheng


‘The well-balanced execution capability is the most notable strength of this team.’

‘Yuval Tal is by far the most efficient attorney that I have worked during my 48 years of business carrier.’

Key clients

Accor (H World Group, Qatar First Bank, Ennismore, Faena)

Grand China Overseas Investment Management

Hoteles City Express

CDH Investments

Galaxy Entertainment Group

Mori Building Real Estate Advisory Co.

Cindat Capital Management

Work highlights

  • Represented Accor in the sale of its remaining interest in H World Group, formerly Huazhu Group, for $460 million.
  • Advised Grand China Overseas Investment Management on the liquidation of its US real estate investments and the formation of a joint venture to reinvest in two real estate projects in the US.
  • Advised Accor on entering exclusive negotiations to sell a 10.8% of its stake in Ennismore, to a consortium of Qatari investors led by Qatar First Bank for a total amount of $195 million.