Regulatory/compliance: foreign firms in China
Allen & Overy LLP
Allen & Overy LLP acts across the spectrum of contentious and non-contentious financial services regulatory work. The practice stands out for advisory work involving new industry and market developments such as virtual banking and increased regulator focus on governance, conduct and culture. In contentious regulatory work, the team is highly rated for its advice to banks on complex, multi-jurisdictional investigations. Shanghai-based Jane Jiang has extensive experience of advising on a wide range of China-related regulatory issues. Senior associate Tiantian Wang is another name to note.
Jane Jiang; Charlotte Robins
- Advised HSBC (globally) on a project involving the restructuring of its legal and business structure to meet UK and EU ring-fencing requirements and UK operational continuity requirements.
Baker McKenzie FenXun has over 40 full-time lawyers across offices in Beijing, Hong Kong and Shanghai, who are focused on disputes, compliance and investigations, and the practice has particular sector strengths in healthcare, IT, financial services and consumer goods. The firm was an early adopter of e-discovery tools, data analytics, and technology-assisted review during investigations, and has also adapted project management software for multi-jurisdictional investigations. It recently conducted compliance and anti-bribery training for Japan's Sumitomo Mitsui Trust Bank. Simon Hui leads the dispute resolution team in Shanghai, and senior counsel Vivian Wu leads the regulatory and compliance team in Beijing from the Chinese part of the joint operation, FenXun Partners; in Hong Kong, Mini vandePol heads the firm's Asia Pacific compliance and investigations group.
Other key lawyers:
Simon Hui; Vivian Wu
Sumitomo Mitsui Trust Bank
- Assisted an original equipment automotive manufacturer in China with an in-depth compliance due diligence on one of its joint venture partners.
- Conducted compliance and anti-bribery training for Sumitomo Mitsui Trust Bank.
- Assisted a British chemical conglomerate with an internal investigation into the operations of one of its key China divisions.
Kobre & Kim
Kobre & Kim's 'litigation experience inside and outside of China significantly adds to its capability in the regulatory and compliance space'. The practice is focused exclusively on disputes and investigations, which often involve fraud and misconduct; the team stands out for its fielding of former US government prosecutors and investigators, who are permanently based in China and Hong Kong, and have substantial experience in cross-border internal investigations. Clients also benefit from the firm's conflict-free, special counsel model. Wade Weems the main contacts within the firm which lost Shaun Wu to Paul Hastings LLP in January 2020.
‘Its aggressive approach to compliance investigations proves to be very effective, especially for foreign companies operating in sectors with higher compliance and regulatory risks in China’.
China Machinery Industry Construction Group
- Acted as special investigations counsel in China to a digital currency exchange, which was defrauded by payment providers and fraudsters.
- Acted as the Independent Integrity Compliance Consultant to a Chinese state-owned enterprise in connection with its debarment by the African Development Bank Group.
- Acted as investigations lawyers to a US-based corporate victim of cross-border cyber fraud in China and Hong Kong.
Clifford Chance's regulatory practice focuses on assisting clients (both locally and internationally) with the impact of international and domestic regulations. Mark Shipman co-heads the Asia Pacific regulatory practice from its Hong Kong office; and Terry Yang, who works across the firm's Hong Kong, Beijing and Shanghai offices, advises international and regional banks, fund managers and corporations on the impact of Dodd Frank Act, European market infrastructure regulation, and Asia Pacific over-the-counter derivatives reforms. Recently promoted counsel Kimi Liu in Beijing is the firm's PRC regulatory expert.
Mark Shipman; Donna Wacker
Bank of America Merrill Lynch
Bank of Montreal
Schroder Investment Management
HSBC Global Asset Management
- Advised a US financial institution on an investigation commenced by the Securities and Futures Commission into the operation of its alternative liquidity pool.
- Advised a Hong Kong-listed technology conglomerate (and its subsidiaries in Hong Kong and Singapore) on regulatory requests for information and documents, which related to users of instant messaging and mobile payment services apps.
- Acted for an online trading cryptocurrency derivatives platform in regulatory issues.
Herbert Smith Freehills LLP
Herbert Smith Freehills LLP's China regulatory and compliance practice spans a broad range of disciplines, including investigations, corporate crime, antitrust, trade regulation and anti-money laundering. Additional areas of strength are foreign investment regulation, data protection and privacy, marketing restrictions, sanctions, telecoms regulatory, food safety regulations and cybersecurity. Beijing-based Karen Ip has over 20 years' experience advising clients on the regulatory aspects of inbound and outbound transactions, as well as assisting multinational clients with their regulatory compliance requirements. Senior associate James Gong, and associates Mark Chu and Weili Zhong are also key mainland China contacts. Kyle Wombolt and William Hallatt are the Hong Kong names to note.
Karen Ip; Kyle Wombolt; William Hallatt
‘William Hallat and his team are outstanding and consistently deliver top-tier services. From the different matters that they have assisted on, they have a very good understanding of clients’ business and how clients work across different departments and offices. Their advice is always very well analysed, thorough, pragmatic and at the right technical level that clients can easily present to senior management. In particular, William is an excellent communicator who can easily connect with senior business leaders and win their trust. Clients can always rely on him to deliver high-quality service and help resolve issues in relation to any SFC-related regulatory advisory work‘.
Hogan Lovells International LLP's investigations, white-collar and fraud practice has particular in-depth experience in multinational bribery and corruption laws, such as the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPT) and the UK Bribery Act. Led by Shanghai's Eugene Chen, the firm's China team assists with the management of regulatory risks and cross-jurisdictional corporate investigations, which are initiated by regulators or involve either whistle-blower corruption complaints or shareholder allegations of fraudulent activities. Chen recently handled high-profile, anti-corruption matters arising out of China. Roy Zou is a key contact in Beijing and Phoebe Yan is a senior associate in the firm's Shanghai association, Hogan Lovells Fidelity.
Other key lawyers:
Roy Zou; Phoebe Yan
Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre (Management)
- Assisted ZTE, a Chinese multinational telecoms equipment and systems company, with the implementation (and compliance with) of settlement agreements entered into with the US government.
- Advised Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre (Management) on a government inquiry involving its China joint venture.
- Advised various Chinese companies, as international sanctions counsel on pursuing listings on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange.
Acting for private equity businesses, financial institutions and multinational corporations, Kirkland & Ellis International LLP’s global investigations and international risk practice was recently instructed in highly strategic regulatory and enforcement matters, and it particularly stands out for its FCPA practice. Shanghai-based Tiana Zhang regularly represents Chinese companies in complex and high-stakes US compliance, investigation and litigation matters; she also conducts audit and special committee investigations for US exchange-listed Chinese companies, and provides compliance advice for Chinese and multinational companies in relation to their China-based operations. Other experienced advisers are Shanghai-based Jodi Wu and Cori Lable in Hong Kong.
Cori Lable; Tiana Zhang
Other key lawyers:
‘Tiana Zhang is highly knowledgeable and responsive‘.
DLA Piper's compliance and investigations team advises both multinational corporations on their China-related compliance issues and investigations, and major Chinese corporations that face concerns over their global operations outside China. The practice focuses on compliance reviews, regulatory advice, and internal and regulatory investigations. Hong Kong's Sammy Fang heads the compliance and investigations practice across Greater China and Nathan Bush leads the Asia investigations group from Singapore.
Sammy Fang; Nathan Bush
‘The team can accurately grasp the core of the case and provides tailor-made solutions‘.
Morgan Lewis & Bockius LLP's China team handles a wide range of issues surrounding anti-corruption and regulatory compliance. Lesli Ligorner in Beijing advises on corporate investigations, FCPA and local anti-corruption compliance, and discrimination and harassment policies; and Shanghai's Todd Liao assists with a range of FCPA matters involving China and throughout the Asia Pacific region.
Lesli Ligorner; Todd Liao; Charles Mo
‘Pragmatic and responsive‘.
Norton Rose Fulbright's China regulatory and compliance team regularly conducts internal investigations, provides compliance advice, and carries out anti-corruption, due diligence and audits across the region; it also frequently works alongside colleagues from the firm's global offices. Sun Hong, Lynn Yang and senior associate Ai Tong in Shanghai are the key advisers.
Sun Hong; Lynn Yang; Barbara Li
Other key lawyers:
‘The Norton Rose team in China is exceptional. Its guidance is consistently tailored to clients’ business needs and concerns‘.
‘The lawyers have a comprehensive understanding of both PRC and Western legal systems that is critical‘.
‘Sun Hong is one of the best attorneys around – she stands out in terms of judgement, expertise, availability and quality of insight‘.
‘The team has excellent insurance industry regulatory knowledge and displays thorough understanding of client’s needs‘.
‘China’s regulatory environment is very complex, the team can give accurate advice to avoid compliance risks based on a comprehensive understanding of relevant laws and regulations‘.
China Southern Fund Management Company
National Council of Social Security Fund
- Advised China Southern Fund Management Company on the regulatory issues surrounding its outbound investments.
- Was reappointed on National Social Security Fund’s panel (as annual legal counsel), which included advising on potential overseas investments and reviewing investment management and custodian agreements.
Ropes & Gray LLP
Encompassing all areas of corporate investigations and anti-corruption, Ropes & Gray LLP's multi-industry focus includes life sciences, private equity, financial services, real estate, technology and retail, among others. Mimi Yang, Andrew Dale and David Zhang in Hong Kong are the names to note.
Andrew Dale; Mimi Yang
Other key lawyers:
‘The team has local experience, cultural background, native language skills, and top quality service, a rare combination of local expertise and top quality offered by international firms‘.
‘David Zhang is extremely professional and has very strong work ethics. He is completely native in English and Mandarin. He also has great interpersonal skills, which is essential for a good investigation attorney‘.
Working from both the firm's Shanghai and New York offices, Shearman & Sterling LLP's Asia litigation and investigations practice head Brian Burke is a specialist in China-related corporate investigations, anti-corruption and FCPA enforcement. Burke is advising GlaxoSmithKline on anti-corruption compliance and investigations in mainland China.
- Assisted Bulgari with designing and drafting an anti-corruption compliance programme for its business in China.
- Advised Louis Vuitton Moet Hennessy on anti-corruption compliance issues and investigations in China.
Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP
Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP's Hong Kong-based Steve Kwok is a former US federal prosecutor, whose practice focuses on internal investigations and US regulatory enforcement matters, as well as trial and appellate litigation in the US federal and state courts. Bradley Klein returned to the Washington DC office, but remains actively involved in the firm's China white-collar investigations and litigation practice.
Bradley Klein; Steve Kwok
White & Case LLP recently hired the 'experienced' Bingna Guo from O'Melveny for its white-collar practice in Beijing; Guo is experienced in internal investigations, and provides regulatory and compliance advice on domestic and cross-border matters. She also assists with FCPA and other anti-bribery and anti-corruption issues.
- Acted for Leoni, a Germany-based global supplier of wires, cables and wiring systems, in reviewing and revising its compliance policies.
CMS' Shanghai-based Philipp Senff has established a German-Chinese legal practice that focuses on compliance and risk management in China; it includes compliance audits, risk assessments, internal investigations, whistleblower management, corporate governance, and the implementation of compliance management systems.
Covington & Burling LLP
Covington & Burling LLP's Shanghai-based Eric Carlson leads a team that is experienced in anti-corruption compliance counselling involving China's business environment. In 2018, Carlson handled over 20 internal investigations in Asia.
Latham & Watkins LLP fields a team of lawyers in Hong Kong, Beijing and Shanghai who handle complex, global corporate investigations, compliance and risk assessment matters. Hui Xu is the key mainland China adviser; Hong Kong-based Catherine McBride is a former Deutsche Bank head of litigation and regulatory enforcement for North Asia Pacific; and Catherine Palmer works in both the Hong Kong and New York offices.
Nutanix Hong Kong
China Orient Asset Management (International) Holding
United Microelectronics Corporation
- Advised Sinovac Biotech on two parallel SEC and Department of Justice bribery investigations.
- Acted for United Microelectronics, a Taiwanese semiconductor foundry company, which was charged by the US Department of Justice with criminal violations.
- Advised Nutanix Hong Kong, a subsidiary of cloud computing software company Nutanix, on an enforcement action commenced by the Hong Kong Competition Commission for bid rigging.
Linklaters provides full-service advice on financial regulatory-related investigations and raids, enforcement actions by authorities, regulatory sanctions, and anti-money laundering legislation. Melvin Sng, who is based in the Hong Kong and Singapore offices, heads the firm’s dispute resolution practice in Asia, and Annabella Fu van Bijnen in Hong Kong is a financial regulations specialist.
Melvin Sng; Annabella Fu van Bijnen; Sumit Indwar
‘Excellent knowledge of market and regulatory practice – a trusted partner to clients‘.
‘Melvin Sng is exceptional‘.
Bank of America Merrill Lynch
Ernst & Young
Morrison & Foerster's China corporate investigations and anti-corruption practice, led by Hong Kong managing partner Timothy Blakely, handles government investigations, regulatory proceedings and internal investigations; the team also assists with pre-acquisition, anti-corruption due diligence and FCPA counselling.