Firms To Watch: Banking and finance

Charltons handles domestic and cross-border corporate finance and regulatory matters.
Philip Wong  heads the team at GallantComparative Guides promotional icon and is well known in the local market. The practice acts for financial institutions and corporations on cross-border transactions and bilateral and syndicated lending.
Howse Williams' practice is led by Antony Yung who counts a number of PRC financial institutions as his key clients and increasingly focusing on supply chain finance programmes.
Stevenson, Wong & Co's caseload features cross-border project finance, aircraft and trade financing, loan transactions, and regulatory matters.
The banking and finance team at Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP is led by counsel Kevin Yao and has notable experience in advising top-tier private equity sponsors on cross-border, leveraged acquisition finance deals.

Banking and finance in Hong Kong

Allen & Overy

The Hong Kong banking and finance team at Allen & Overy acts as part of a Greater China team, which is also based in Shanghai and Beijing. It acts for a number of Chinese and international investment and commercial banks, multinational corporates and an increasing number of funds. The practice is well versed in multijurisdictional transactions and leans on its international network for support for deals in Asia, Europe and the US. The team is headed by Beijing-based Yvonne Ho and Roger Lui, who is recommended for finance transactions, including corporate loans, pre-IPO financing, equity-backed financing, and structured and acquisition financing. Vicki Liu advises borrowers and Lenders throughout the Asia-pacific region and is recommended for specialised structured financings. Cindy Lo is fluent in English, Cantonese and Mandarin and is well versed in the PRC regulatory environment. James Ford joined as a partner from O’Melveny in February 2021.

Practice head(s):

Yvonne Ho (Beijing); Roger Lui

Testimonials

‘A&O’s banking and finance team has cornered the market in fund financing in Asia’.

‘They have access to all of the market intel on key terms on what might or might not work’.

‘Patrick Wong started developing the fund financing practice about 5 years ago and is now widely considered a market leader in this area in Asia’.

‘Patrick Wong experience as both GP counsel and lender’s counsel is useful in helping clients understand the mindset of key players’.

‘The team is highly professional, able to efficiently coordinate with the timeliness of financing projects, and cooperate with banks in a tacit understanding’.

‘Roger Lui has strong professionalism and leadership, rich experience in the industry, and can lead the team to complete tasks efficiently in case of project emergencies’.

‘The lawyers are very professional and the legal documents prepared are of high quality’.

‘They can quickly respond to the needs of the bank and are very professional and efficient in communicating with the borrower on behalf of the bank’.

Key clients

Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (Asia) Limited

Crédit Agricole Corporate and Investment Bank

Natixis

The Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation Limited

Yanlord Land (HK) Co., Limited

Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation

China CITIC Bank

Citibank

Asian Development Bank

DBS

Standard Chartered Bank

Credit Suisse

Bank of China

Work highlights

  • Advised CLSA Limited as coordinating agent and China CITIC Bank International Limited as agent on the acquisition financing provided to the Borrower to finance its voluntary general offer to acquire all the issued shares and outstanding share options of Clear Media Limited (白馬戶外媒體有限公司), a company listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange.
  • Advised Standard Chartered Bank in connection with the financing of a 7 logistics property portfolio for the logistics subsidiary of China’s largest retailer.
  • Advised HSBC on a club loan to a leading consumer household care company in China to be listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange, in which a global private equity firm holds a stake.

Clifford Chance

Clifford Chance’s integrated Greater China banking and finance team handles numerous high-value cross-border financing transactions for leading international and domestic investment banks, private equity sponsors, funds and corporates. With support from its international network, the practice is able to advise on Hong Kong, Singapore, English, Japanese, Korean, Australian and US law, which adds value to its global clients. Anthony Wang heads the team and has considerable experience in syndicated and acquisition financing, project financing and commercial projects work. Matthew Truman is recommended for acquisition finance, banking and restructuring and is dual-qualified in England and Wales, and Hong Kong. Dauwood Malik was promoted to managing partner of the Hong Kong office in November 2020 and is recommended for debt products. Vicky Ma is a name to note for international project finance and China outbound financings.

Practice head(s):

Anthony Wang

Testimonials

‘Lawyers in CC are generally of high quality and definitely value for money’.

‘Vicky Ma is my go-for partner, she is fluent in English and Chinese, wise and calm, and can always provide good analysis and suggestions to her clients’.

‘Anthony Wang is the giant in the industry, he has been practicing for two decades and his performance has remained outstanding throughout’.

Key clients

Bank of China

China Development Bank

Citi

Deutsche Bank

HSBC

IFC

JPMorgan

Standard Chartered Bank

UBS

Hillhouse Capital

Trustar Capital (formerly CITIC Capital Partners)

The Carlyle Group

TPG

MBK

PAG

Advantage Partners

Work highlights

  • Advised JPMorgan, UBS and Siam Commercial Bank on the financings of Charoen Pokphand Group (CP Group)’s $10.6bn acquisition of Tesco’s Thai and Malaysian businesses.
  • Advised MBK Partners on all financing aspects in connection with the take-private of China Auto Rental (Car Inc.), the number one player in China’s car rental market, including the obtaining of amendments/waivers required under the existing bank loans of Car Inc and consents required under the existing high-yield bonds (through a consent solicitation process), bridge facilities for the VGO and as well as a convertible bond instrument.
  • Advised Bank of China on financing for the acquisition of GNC Holding Inc. by Harbin Pharmaceutical Group Holding Co., Ltd. through a US bankruptcy court-approved “stalking horse” bid.

Linklaters

After the departure of Davide Mencacci and John Bona to Milbank in January 2021, The Linklaters‘ Hong Kong practice is now headed by Frank Cui and Nathalie Hobbs. Cui handles a broad range of cross-border transactions, with a focus on Asia-Pacific regions, whilst Hobbs acts for lenders and borrowers on acquisition financing, structured lending, leveraged finance and real estate finance. The firm’s strong Greater China presence offers expertise in leveraged and acquisition finance, in particular acting for arrangers on private equity-backed leveraged buy-outs.  Alessandro Nolet joined from White & Case in March 2021 and brings with him expertise in international financing and restructuring matters.

Practice head(s):

Frank Cui; Nathalie Hobbs

Other key lawyers:

Maggie NG;  Alessandro Nolet

Testimonials

‘Linklaters has a very strong and established banking and finance practice in Hong Kong and North Asia’.

‘They have been involved in many of the complex and high profile deals and are experienced in the broad spectrum of different financing structures’.

‘Nathalie Hobbs is a very experienced and calm presence who leads the finance practice with a steady hand’.

‘Nathalie Hobbs is ably supported by Maggie Ng who is very commercially minded and able to work through extreme time pressures and difficult counterparties’.

White & Case

White & Case has particular strength in debt finance and advises large international businesses and financial institutions on Hong Kong and cross-border finance transactions. The practice acts for high-profile bank lenders and has recently bolstered its borrower financing and credit lending capabilities with the hiring of Daniel Abercromby, who joined from Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP in November 2020. Practice head Eugene Man is recommended for leveraged financing and structured debt financing work, and private credit lender financings. Baldwin Cheng handles large pan-Asian financings for both sponsors and debt financiers. Stephen Howard is recommended for bank finance, direct lending and high yield transactions.

Practice head(s):

Eugene Man

Testimonials

‘Strength in depth – excellent partners, strong associates’.

‘They focus on getting the deal done, and not on irrelevant negotiations’.

‘Spent time to get to know our business’.

‘Very much a safe pair of hands – we’ve used them on finance deals for the last 6 years without exception’.

‘Eugene Man is very responsive, very commercial and builds strong client relationships’.

‘White and Case is one of the leading banking and finance practices in the North Asia region’.

‘They have deep connections with many of the sponsors and banks and therefore understand the market extremely well’.

‘Eugene Man and Baldwin Cheng are the key partners and are highly recognised for their expertise and commercial acumen’.

Key clients

China CITIC International Bank Limited

CITIC Capital (renamed as Trustar Capital)

China Minsheng Banking Corp., Ltd.

Deutsche Bank

Credit Suisse

Morgan Stanley

Gaw Capital Partners

Work highlights

  • Advised CITIC Capital (renamed as Trustar Capital), the private equity and alternative investment arm of Chinese conglomerate CITIC Group in the financing related to its $770m acquisition of substantially all of the assets of GNC Holdings Inc. (previously listed NYSE: GNC) through its portfolio company, Harbin Pharmaceutical Group.
  • Advised China CITIC International Bank Limited and the syndicate banks in the amendment and extension exercise in relation to the mezzanine facility of $1bn to an Australian subsidiary of Tianqi Lithium Corporation, a Shenzhen-listed giant lithium miner, permitting the implementation of certain restructuring proposals designed for the introduction of new investors in Tianqi’s subsidiaries.
  • Advised Gaw Capital Partners on over HK$16bn (approx. $2bn) loans for the acquisition financings of premium office buildings in Hong Kong from Swire Properties, a major property developer of world-class commercial assets in Asia, especially in China and Hong Kong.

DLA Piper

DLA Piper is well regarded in the market for the financing of energy-related transactions, both conventional and renewables. It has recently seen an uptick in ESG-linked financing and green lending, and is active in the telecoms, media and fintech sectors. Matthias Schemuth heads the practice and handles a range of innovative financings for international and regional commercial banks, multilateral lending agencies, export credit agencies (ECAs) and corporate borrowers. Matthew Worth was promoted to partner in July 2020 and Ed Sheremeta joined from Ropes & Gray LLP in November 2020. Since publication, Crystal Chen joined from Linklaters in May 2022.

Practice head(s):

Matthias Schemuth

Testimonials

‘The team is friendly and helpful’.

‘They are practical, creative and solutions-orientated’.

‘Overall, I find them very user-friendly from a client perspective’.

‘Matthias Schemuth has good knowledge on a full range of trade finance product and is always willing to share market intel on how other banks/clients have dealt with the issue’.

‘I highly enjoy working with Matthias.’

‘The team provides a rare combination of English and Hong Kong law expertise together with experience in the Asian market with Asian clients’.

‘DLA offers commercial and practical advice, their knowledge is good and their services are value for money’.

Key clients

BBVA

DBS Bank

DZ Bank

Rabobank

Deutsche Bank

Société Générale

ANZ

ICBC Asia

Hang Seng Bank

Standard Chartered Bank

Sumitomo Mitsui Trust Bank

HSBC

China Merchants Bank

Natixis

Asian Development Bank

Bank of Communications

Bank of China

Intesa Sanpaolo

Work highlights

  • Advising Bank of China (Macau), one of the four largest state-owned commercial banks in China, in connection with the amendment and restatement (including a one-of-a-kind $1bn incremental facility) in respect of a $2bn revolving unsecured credit facility (including a bespoke swingline feature) made available to Sands China, the leading developer, owner and operator of multi-use integrated resorts and casinos in Macau, by a large syndicate of regional, US and European banks.
  • Advising Japan Bank for International Cooperation on a $1bn untied loan facility made available to State Bank of India (SBI) for the purpose of financing the granting of sub-loans by SBI for the manufacturing and sales business of Japanese OEMs, the automotive dealers as well as for the provision of auto loans for the purchase of Japanese automobiles.
  • Advising DBS Bank in connection with the $630m financing to Hutchison 3 Indonesia and guaranteed by CK Hutchison Holdings in relation to financing of the Network Expansion Program in Indonesia being developed and completed by Huawei.

Kirkland & Ellis

With the departure of David Irvine to Linklaters LLP in London, Manas Chandrashekar and Jacqueline Zheng took over the reins at Kirkland & Ellis in October 2020. Chandrashekar acts for both sponsors and lenders on international financing transactions, with an emphasis on acquisition and leveraged financings; whilst Zheng has considerable experience in cross-border acquisition financing, structured financing and direct lending. The practice is well known in Asia for its private equity borrower and complex credit fund work, and delivers debt financing expertise to top global and regional private equity sponsors and credit funds active in the Asia-Pacific region. Gautam Agarwal was promoted to partner in late 2020.

Testimonials

‘The practice is unique in terms of the depth and quality of the bench that it can bring to any transaction, coupled with unparalleled and market defining experience born of the sheer number of highly complex and structured deals that they complete in any given period’.

‘Clients are given access to some of the finest and most seasoned legal minds in HK with current and voluminous precedent to draw upon’.

‘Without a doubt, Manas Chandrashekar is the pre-eminent market thought leader within the banking and finance sphere’.

‘Manas Chandrashekar is ably supported by his fellow partners across a number of different sectors’.

‘Strong team at all levels. Smart and commercial.’

‘Jacqueline Zhang is exceptional. Solutions-driven, bright and experienced.’

Key clients

An investor consortium comprising Warburg Pincus Asia LLC, General Atlantic Singapore Fund Pte. Ltd., Ocean Link Partners Limited, and Mr. Jinbo Yao, Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer of 58.com.

Baring Private Equity Asia

An investor consortium comprised of Centurium Capital, CITIC Capital, Mr. Marc Chan, Hillhouse Capital, Temasek Holdings, and Mr. Joseph Chow, CEO and chairman of the board of directors of CBPO and their respective affiliates.

Advent International

Affiliates of CarVal Investors, LP

GLP Pte. Ltd. and the consortium offeror comprising GLP and the Fung family

KKR

Bain Capital Credit

BroadPeak Global LP (“BPG”) and Asia Green Fund Management Limited (“AGF”)

Work highlights

  • Acted as international co-counsel for an investor consortium in the $8.7bn take-private of 58.comInc.
  • Advised Baring Private Equity Asia (BPEA) in a $600m facility in connection with the funding of the take-private of Hexaware Technologies.
  • Acted as the lead counsel to a consortium of investors in the proposed $4.76bn take-private of China Biologic Products Holdings, Inc.

Latham & Watkins LLP

Latham & Watkins LLP works closely with its international network in Europe and the US to provide holistic, cross-border advice in the Greater China and Asia-Pacific regions. It handles a broad range of banking and finance matters, including acquisition financing transactions, syndicated lending transactions, leveraged lending and mezzanine facilities. The team works closely with its colleagues in private equity, M&A, capital markets and financial regulatory practices across the globe and is headed from Singapore by Timothy Hia. Howard Lam acts for corporates, banks and financial sponsors on leveraged buy-outs and corporate acquisition financings. Andrew Bishop joined as partner from White & Case in September 2020 and brings considerable experience in acting for prestigious global and regional private equity clients. Gary Hamp left for Shearman & Sterling in London.

Practice head(s):

Timothy Hia (Singapore)

Key clients

Bank of America

The Carlyle Group

Morgan Stanley

Bain Capital

TPG

Baring Private Equity

Platinum Equity

Warburg Pincus

BNPP

JPMorgan Chase Bank

HSBC

Citibank

Partners Group

Bank of China

Hopu Capital

Tencent Holdings

I Squared

Mayer Brown

Mayer BrownComparative Guides promotional icon advises lenders and borrowers on leveraged and acquisition finance, bi-lateral and syndicated loans, real estate finance, fund finance, structured finance and asset finance matters. It acts for regional and global leading banks and has an extensive presence in the region. Fanny Wang, Francis Chen and Dion Yu have steadily built a strong client base over the years and they act on both domestic and international transactions. Doos Choi advises corporates and financial institutions on multijurisdictional, multi-tiered, full and limited recourse financings. Richard Stock heads the practice.

Practice head(s):

Richard Stock

Testimonials

‘Efficient, dedicated and capable of empathy’.

‘Francis Chen is impressive – strong technical skills and yet able to provide commercially viable solutions’.

Key clients

China Gas Capital Management Limited

Asian Development Bank

HSBS

China CITIC Bank International Limited

Bank of China (Hong Kong) Limited

CMB Wing Lung Bank Limited

Work highlights

  • Acted for The Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation Limited (the “Agent”) as agent to a 3-year syndicated $400m term loan facility to New Hope International (Hong Kong)Limited (the “Borrower”) as borrower.
  • Acted for China CITIC Bank International Limited as facility agent and security trustee as their lead counsel in respect of a term loan facility of up to a principal amount of $269m to Excel Winner UK Limited.
  • Acted for Bank of China (Hong Kong) Limited as facility agent as its lead counsel in respect of certain term and revolving loan facilities of up to the aggregate principal amounts of $232.5m and EUR396m respectively to Billion Sunny Development Limited.

Norton Rose Fulbright

The banking and finance team at Norton Rose Fulbright has continued to be busy in spite of the COVID-19 pandemic and, in-line with a changing market, has seen a notable uptick in environmental, social and governance (ESG) financing matters. The practice has notable strength in acquisition and leveraged finance, bilateral and syndicated finance, and debt capital markets, and acts for a range of bank and lender clients. The team is headed by Peter Haslam and David Milligan; with Haslam recommended for international banking mandates, such as project finance and restructurings, and Milligan handling the firm’s sustainability and LIBOR transition matters across Asia. Victor Sim joined from White & Case in June 2021 and Becky Tai joined from Clifford Chance in November 2020.

Other key lawyers:

Rex Chan; Victor Sim; Becky Tai 

Testimonials

‘The team is always ready to help, and consistently provides valuable legal advice’.

‘Norton Rose Fulbright faces issues head on and takes the extra step in investigating uncertain territories in order to provide the best legal advice possible’.

‘If Peter Haslam is engaged on your deal, you would know that you are in safe hands. Peter always thinks one step ahead and never fail to suggest options that are both legally and commercially sound’. 

Key clients

AMTD Global Markets

Bank of China (Hong Kong) and BOCI

Barclays

BNP Paribas

CCB (Asia) and CCB International Capital

CDB (Hong Kong)

China CITIC Bank International

China International Capital Corporation (CICC)

Citizens Bank

CMB International Capital

CMBC Securities

Credit Suisse

DBS

Golden Wheel Tiandi Holdings

Guotai Junan Securities

Haitong International

HSBC

HeungKong Securities

ICBC (Asia)

Mizuho

MUFG

Standard Chartered

UBS

Vision Capital International

Work highlights

  • Advised a syndicate of banks led by MUFG, Bank of China (Hong Kong) and HSBC on a HK$600m embedded transferable sustainability-linked loan facility made available to Handsome Chemical Services Limited, guaranteed by Yip’s Chemical Holdings Limited.
  • Advised the arranger on a $200m bond and loan deal for a BVI subsidiary of a PRC property developer.
  • Advising a European bank on all aspects of its global LIBOR transition project.

Baker McKenzie

Baker McKenzie has strong relationships with leading banks in the region and also acts for credit funds, asset management companies, private equity funds and corporate borrowers, on a range of financing matters. The practice has recently been working on a number of take-private financings, leveraged and acquisition financing matters, bespoke green financings and assisting clients with the LIBOR transition. Andrew Lockhart heads the team and is recommended for aircraft financing and general banking matters; Simon Leung advises lenders and borrowers, and has considerable experience in cross-border PRC-related financing transactions and Sally Hung advises corporate and investment banks in Greater China, including Macau. Kenneth Ching joined from Shearman & Sterling in May 2020.

Practice head(s):

Andrew Lockhart

Testimonials

‘Seamless and integrated across all practices and regions ensures us to receive diversified professional advice at one stop’. 

‘Strong ability to handle multijurisdictional mandates’. 

‘The lawyers have rich experience and are professional’.

‘Sally Hung and her juniors are an excellent team’.

‘In touch with latest market trends and work extra mile to get things done’.

‘In-depth knowledge in PRC cross-border transactions and Hong Kong local transactions’.

‘The deal team is highly knowledgeable, responsible and able to explain the legal concepts in an easy and commercial way’.

‘Responsive and professional’.

Key clients

Bank of China (Hong Kong) Limited

Bank of Communications

China CITIC Bank International Limited

Chong Hing Bank Limited

Credit Agricole Corporate and Investment Bank

DBS Bank Ltd.

The Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation Limited

Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (Asia) Limited

Standard Chartered Bank (Hong Kong) Limited

United Overseas Bank Limited

Work highlights

  • Acted for Bank of China (Hong Kong) Limited as lender in relation to a HK$3.5bn term loan facility to Intell insights Holdings Limited to support the privatisation of Polytec Asset Holdings Limited from the Hong Kong Stock Exchange.
  • Acted for Standard Chartered Bank as lender in respect of a $300m bridge to bond facility to ENN Clean Energy, one of the largest distributors of clean energy, and guaranteed by ENN Natural Gas Co., Limited.
  • Acted for Credit Agricole Corporate and Investment Bank (as facility agent and Mandated Lead Arranger and Bookrunner) in an $800m syndicated term loan facility to Gold Mountains (H.K.) International Mining Company Limited.

Gibson Dunn

Gibson Dunn has a strong focus on leveraged and acquisition finance, alongside more traditional banking and finance matters. Active across the Asia-Pacific region, the team has recently been handling number of mandates in Australia and acts for a range of high-profile clients, including Bain Capital and Goldman Sachs. Michael Nicklin heads the team and is the co-chair of the firm’s global finance group. Nicklin is recommended for cross-border leveraged finance, recapitalisations and workouts, and acts for some top-tier private equity sponsors.

Practice head(s):

Michael Nicklin

Testimonials

‘Extremely strong practice strength in core PE practices in Asia (PE, finance and restructuring and FCPA)’.

‘Firm has invested heavily into Asia and it’s showing in the quality of practitioners’.

‘Michael Nicklin – eminent practitioner and legal heavyweight in sponsor driven leverage finance’.

Key clients

Bain Capital

Goldman Sachs

First Pacific Company Limited

I-Squared Capital

NetEase Inc.

Trans Maldivian Airways Private Limited

Camp Australia

Icon Group

IPI Partners, LLC

Only About Children

BDO Capital & Investment Corporation

Hillhouse Capital Management, Ltd

PAG Asia Capital

The Longreach Group Limited

Anchor Equity Partners (Asia) Limited

Secured Lenders to AMC Entertainment Holdings, Inc.

Ad Hoc Group of First Lien Lenders in Garrett Motion Inc.

Ad Hoc DIP and First Lien Lender Group to Global Eagle Entertainment Inc.

Goldman Sachs PIA, QIC and Pagoda Investments

Duniatex Group

Work highlights

  • Advising Camp Australia in connection with its A$315m first lien and A$100m second lien US-style term loan B financing.
  • Advising a Bain Capital portfolio company, Only About Children, in connection with its A$260m senior financing arrangements.

Hogan Lovells

Hogan Lovells handles a range of Chinese and pan-Asian banking and finance matters. It has notable experience in advising PRC banks and borrowers on onshore and offshore financings. Other clients include international banks, and private equity sponsors and borrowers. Managing partner Owen Chan heads the practice and is recommended for cross-border acquisition finance, real estate finance, structured finance and restructuring.

Practice head(s):

Owen Chan 

Testimonials

‘A strong team in Hong Kong across all levels’.

‘They’re all technically strong but pragmatic and commercial’.

‘You can absolutely count on them to get the deal done, and do it well’.

‘They are probably the team I enjoy working with the most amongst the international firms’.

‘They have invested heavily in thought leadership/legal updates and commentary, and lead the market in that area’.

‘They have a diverse team across China, Singapore and Hong Kong, and my experience has been that they work together really closely as a unit, providing a seamless service across the region’.

‘Louise Leung has an incredible work ethic, and will walk over hot coals to get the deal done within whatever timeline she is set’.

‘Owen Chan is very experienced in China loans’.

Key clients

Oaktree Capital Management

HSBC Bank USA, National Association and a group of 15 lenders

Argentem Creek Partners

Work highlights

  • Advised Oaktree on its subscription for up to $1bn of private secured notes in a subsidiary of Vedanta Resources.
  • Advised a syndicate of 15 lenders on the amendment of the $2bn term and revolving loan facilities extended to the Samsonite group for the acquisition of Tumi by Samsonite.
  • Advising Argentem Creek Partners in relation to the ongoing restructuring of the $500m notes issued by GCL New Energy Holdings Limited, which matured in January 2021.

King & Wood Mallesons

King & Wood Mallesons acts for a number of high-profile Chinese banks and financial institutions and has a strong track record of cross-border finance deals in Mainland China. Its ability to advise on PRC legal and regulatory issues on-the-ground in China is valued by domestic and international clients alike. Structured finance, derivatives and market access regimes are key areas of focus for the practice, which has also recently been advising a number of clients on the LIBOR transition. Head of practice Richard Mazzochi has over 35 years’ experience in the sector and acts for high-profile lenders and borrowers. David Lam re-joined from Allen & Overy in April 2021 and will split his time between Sydney and Hong Kong.

Practice head(s):

Richard Mazzochi

Testimonials

‘This firm has a great partner (David Lam), and the close cooperation between HK and PRC offices make it exceptionally good for outbound transactions’.

‘David Lam practices HK/English law yet he also has the PRC law qualification – he is definitely the go-for guy for outbound transactions’.

‘The team provides a comprehensive cross-border offering and deep legal expertise for all aspects of banking and finance (including cross border financings, regulatory matters and new market developments)’.

‘The team is diversified, consisting of members from different backgrounds (including HK, UK, Korea, Australia and the PRC) and collaborates closely with both the regulatory authorities and other industry participants’.

‘Ashley Wong is a great lawyer not only because of her legal expertise but also her commercial mindset and client-oriented service’.

‘The team has deep experience on all manner of transactions and take a practical commercial approach to get the deal done’.

‘Richard Mazzochi provides a one-stop shop for all our financing transactions’.

Key clients

Castle Peak Power Company Limited

Bank of China (Hong Kong) Limited

Midea International Corporation Company Limited

Industrial Bank of China

China Minsheng Banking Corp., Ltd.

China Merchants Bank Co., Ltd.

BetaCafe Holdings Limited

Bank of Shanghai (Hong Kong) Limited

Work highlights

  • Acting for CAPCO as the controlling shareholder of a joint-venture borrower in relation to HK$5,246m syndicated energy transition loan facilities for the construction and procurement of a subsea pipeline and gas receiving station for a liquefied natural gas terminal at CAPCO’s Blackpoint power station in Hong Kong (the LNG Project).
  • Advised Bank of China as the lender’s counsel in relation to a facility provided to CPI Mexico Holdings Limited for the purpose of the acquisition of Hidalgo Intermediate Holding B.V.
  • Acting for Midea as borrower in respect of €150m bilateral bridging facilities provided by Crédit Agricole Corporate and Investment Bank, Hong Kong branch and $168m syndicated term loan facilities with Crédit Agricole Corporate and Investment Bank as mandated lead arranger and bookrunner.

Milbank

In a significant coup for the firm, Milbank recently hired Davide Mencacci and John Bona from Linklaters. Menacci now heads the team, which has significantly strengthened its leveraged and acquisition finance, and he brings over 20 years’ experience to the role. The equally experienced Bona counts banks, funds and private equity sponsors among his clientele and handles deals in Asia and in Europe.  Other areas of focus for the practice include take-private transactions, infrastructure-related financing, real estate financing and cross-border restructuring.

Practice head(s):

Davide Mencacci

Other key lawyers:

John Bona

Testimonials

‘They have a team of globally seasoned and professional legal veterans that offer a solid perspective on complex cross-border issues’.

‘Davide Mencacci is the well-deserving star of the practice in the banking and finance sphere’.

‘Milbank provided us a very strong and experienced team with very senior partners involved closely in the deal, which is not a very common approach’.

‘They are excellent at managing negotiations with the counterparty and very commercial in their approach’.

‘Davide Mencacci and John Bona were the partners on our deal and they had very hands-on involvement’.

‘I really appreciated their focus and close involvement in the transaction, and the client-friendly approach’.

‘They have a team of globally seasoned and professional legal veterans that offer a solid perspective on complex cross-border issues’.

Key clients

Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation

Bank of East Asia

MUFG Bank

ING Barclays

Crédit Agricole

CIB

HSBC

Canada Pension Plan Investment Board

Deutsche Bank

Hayfin Capital Management

JPMorgan Securities Inc

United Overseas Bank Limited

ANZ

Bank of America Merrill Lynch

Bank of China

BNP Paribas

Cathay United Bank

China Construction Bank

China Development Bank

Citi Credit Suisse

CTBC Bank

Huatong Huatai

Morgan Stanley

Natixis

Nomura

Oaktree

Standard Chartered

Taipei Fubon Commercial Bank

Taishin International Bank

UBS

Work highlights

  • Acting for HSBC and other lenders in relation to the refinance and recapitalisation of facilities for business services provider Tricor, which is owned by global private equity firm Permira Advisers.
  • Acting for the underwriters in relation to Hillhouse Capital Group’s successful bid for Royal Philips NV’s home appliance unit, in a deal worth approximately $4bn.

Slaughter and May

The financing team at Slaughter and May is active in domestic and international public takeovers, private acquisitions and asset purchases, project financings and real estate financings. It offers tailored advice around financing structures, documentation and security arrangements. Peter Lake co-heads the team alongside Lisa Chung, with Lake handling financing, regulatory and M&A matters, and Chung recommended for project finance, corporate finance and general commercial work.

Practice head(s):

Peter Lake; Lisa Chung

Key clients

S.F. Holding Co., Ltd.

Seadrill Ltd.

Vietcombank

Bank of China (Hong Kong) Limited

JCDecaux SA (HK)

INEOS

New Life Plastics

Work highlights

  • Advising S.F. Holding Co., Ltd on the certain funds HK$18bn syndicated guaranteed term loan facility agreement to finance the partial offer made by its wholly-owned subsidiary, Flourish Harmony Holdings Company Limited, for shares in Kerry Logistics Network Limited.
  • Advising New Life Plastics (a joint venture between Swire Beverages, ALBA and Baguio) on a secured green sustainability-linked loan from HSBC to finance the construction and operation of Hong Kong’s first food-grade ready PET and HDPE plastics recycling facility.
  • Advising INEOS on its financing arrangements in relation to INEOS’s acquisition of BP’s global petrochemicals business.

Ashurst

Ashurst has a large team spread across Greater China, with outposts in Beijing, Shanghai and Hong Kong. Key areas of focus include project financing, real estate financing, margin loans, structured lending, fund financing and acquisition financing. Patrick Phua heads the team, he is the managing partner of the Beijing office and splits his time between Beijing and Hong Kong. Eric Tan and Daniel Lau, who also splits his time between Beijing and Hong Kong are key practitioners, both have considerable experience in the local market.

Practice head(s):

Patrick Phua (Beijing/Hong Kong)

Other key lawyers:

Eric Tan; Daniel Lau (Beijing/Hong Kong)

Testimonials

‘The strengths of the Ashurst banking practice are that they are solutions-driven’.

‘Eric Tan is knowledgeable and willing to go the extra mile’.

‘We really appreciate how they are able to coordinate internally to deliver cross-practice products effectively’.

‘Eric Tan is our preferred choice for banking deals. He is thorough, gives good advice and communicates well’.

‘We find the team to be accessible, practical with their advice and efficient with deal management’.

‘The team members are all at least trilingual and this helps with communications with different stakeholders within our company’.

‘Eric Tan is our go-to partner for banking deals. He consistently delivers impeccable quality, gets the work done and is exceptional with client care. ’

Key clients

Bank of China (Hong Kong) Limited

Banco Santander SA

China Construction Bank (Asia) Corporation Limited

Deutsche Bank

Natixis

DBS

Pacific Aegis Capital Management Limited

Shagang South-Asia (Hong Kong) Trading Co., Limited

Société Générale

Australia and New Zealand Banking Group

Work highlights

  • Advised Bank of China (Hong Kong) Limited and China Everbright Bank Co. Ltd. as mandated lead arrangers and bookrunners and a syndicate of banks in an up to HKD$8.7bn syndicated term loan facility to Fans Group Limited.
  • Advised Banco Santander, China Construction Bank, Natixis and 10 other banks on the EUR860m syndicated facility to CNCE Group (Hong Kong) Co Limited. CNCE Group (Hong Kong) Co Limited is a subsidiary of China National Chemical Corporation Limited, a Chinese state-owned chemical company.
  • Advised China Construction Bank (Asia) Corporation Limited as mandated lead arranger and bookrunner, lender and agent in an up to $400m (with an option of additional commitment) syndicated term loan facility to An Ke Technology Company Limited, a company indirectly owned by Ping An Insurance (Group) Company of China Ltd.

Deacons

Independent Hong Kong Firm Deacons has a longstanding history in the city and acts for national and international banks, and as local counsel for international law firms. Philip Gilligan heads the finance and insolvency team, with notable experience in advising lenders and borrowers on syndicated and single bank facilities across Asia. Consultant Simon Deane has over 30 years’ experience in lending and security work, including debt financing,

Practice head(s):

Philip Gilligan

Other key lawyers:

Simon Deane; Farrah Lam; Teresa Lau

Testimonials

‘The team is extremely knowledgeable as to current market and commercial practice’.

‘Well-versed in both commercial and financing aspects of financing transactions, and in particular strong in real estate financing’.

Eversheds Sutherland

Eversheds Sutherland has notable experience in commercial banking, trade finance, real estate finance, acquisition finance, project finance and structured finance deals. The practice handles domestic and cross-border bilateral and syndicated lending transactions and is led by Michael Yau, who advises local and PRC banks on lending, general banking, regulation and compliance matters.

Practice head(s):

Michael Yau 

Testimonials

‘The team has a lot of experience on structured trade financings’.

‘Samuel Chau is excellent and very experienced in real estate financings’.

‘Michael Yau is our “go-to” for trade financings’.

‘The team is very attentive and have extensive knowledge’.

‘The team is tri-lingual and practical’.

‘They are flexible on fee arrangements and overall I find the firm good value for money’.

‘Eversheds is one of our bank’s go to firms who have consistently provided exceptional and reliable support to all of our needs’.

‘Quick turnaround time’.

Herbert Smith Freehills

Herbert Smith Freehills services clients in English, Cantonese and Mandarin, and has strong ties with Chinese banks. It also acts for global financial institutions, corporations, funds and government agencies on a range of cross-border deals, with considerable experience in Greater China. The practice is known in the market for its advice on lending transactions to non-bank lenders, who have become increasingly important players in the Asia credit markets in recent years. Alexander Aitken heads the practice and is experienced in in the Hong Kong, PRC and Indian finance and restructuring markets.

Practice head(s):

Alexander Aitken

Other key lawyers:

Ellen Mao

Key clients

Borneo Motors (Singapore) Pte. Ltd.

ICBC International Securities Limited

UltraTech Cement Limited

Work highlights

  • Advising a group of mezzanine lenders restructuring their debt for a corporate borrower (Saffron AssetHolding Limited).
  • Advised UltraTech Cement as the successful bidder that purchased the debt of the Binani Cement group companies under the Resolution Plan as a part of a loan-to-own restructuring.
  • Advised ICBCS in connection with a HK$350m term loan facility to EVOC Hi-Tech Holding Group Co., Ltd.

Paul Hastings LLP

Paul Hastings LLP handles commercial lending for lenders and borrowers, with a focus on acquisition finance, convertible debt facilities, senior mezzanine and subordinated debt credit facilities, and private equity. James Ma and Vivian Lam head the team. Ma is recommended for corporate finance, M&A and reorganisations, and is experienced in cross-border transactions across Asia, whilst Lam handles debt issues, financing and general corporate restructuring work for financial institutions and Chinese companies.

Practice head(s):

James Ma; Vivian Lam

Testimonials

‘Paul Hastings has a professional international team who are well versed in both local and international regulations.’

‘Vivian Tam, partner and associate Hulka Lo, always try to add value to their clients by giving balanced professional and practice advice. They are very strong and in corporate law, capital market rules and financing standard practices.’

Key clients

China Orient Summit Capital

Sino-Ocean Land Holdings Limited

Bank of Taiwan

Taipei Fubon Commercial Bank

CTBC Bank

ICBC International Capital Limited

Maybank Investment Bank

WH Group

Standard Chartered Bank

China Everbright Limited

The Carlyle Group

Warburg Pincus

JPMorgan Chase Bank NA

COSCO NoPing An

Shanghai Electric

China Development Bank

China Cinda

Redsun Properties Group Limited

Yuzhou Group Holdings Company Limited

Work highlights

  • Advised Yuzhou Group Holdings Company on the $368.5m dual currency club loan facilities to refinance its existing indebtedness, with China CITIC Bank International Limited as coordinator and agent.
  • Represented Apollo Global Management in its formation of a joint venture with Hong Kong Shanghai Alliance Holdings Limited, a Hong Kong-listed real estate investor, and in the joint venture’s RMB3.1bn acquisition (and financing relating thereto) of Great Wall Financial Building, a 52-storey high-rise landmark commercial building located in Huangpu District, Shanghai.
  • Assisted CDIB Capital International, a private equity arm of China Development Financial, and its affiliates KGI Bank and KGI Securities, with their $45m corporate mezzanine financing to one of the leading serviced apartment provider in Hong Kong.

Reed Smith Richards Butler

The banking and finance team at Reed Smith Richards Butler handles transactions in Asia, the US, Europe and the Middle East, and specialises in syndicated and corporate lending, acting for both lenders and borrowers. The firm has continued to act in numerous acquisition financings, following a busy year of M&A transactions. Chris Tang co-heads the team and is recommended for PRC cross-border secured and structured financings. Peter Lee, who jointly heads the team, counts banks and financial institutions, leasing companies, ship owners and project companies as his main clients. Michael Sinn is a key team member who assists on high-value financings and syndicated loans including for a number of PRC companies listed on the HK Stock Exchange.

Practice head(s):

Chris Tang; Peter Lee

Other key lawyers:

Michael Sinn; Tat Pan; Crystal Li

Testimonials

‘The team will point out issues not only related to legal but also commercial issues and help clients to consider the best option’. 

‘They will assist us to consider the terms of the transaction and point out what are the implication of those terms clearly’.

‘The team is not only professional and understands our needs, but also has an extremely short of response time. ’

‘Chris Tang always provides valuable ideas and opinions on issues, he is able to list out options and bottom-lines, so that decisions can be made accordingly.’

‘The banking and finance team are professional and active in providing the insightful legal advice’.

‘Their efficient working manner is impressive’.

‘The team is very professional’.

‘They provide with us timely and professional legal services’.

Ropes & Gray LLP

The finance team at Ropes & Gray LLP focuses on advising private equity clients across the Asia-pacific region, assisting mainly with leveraged and acquisition finance deals. It also acts for financial institutions and large corporates, and counts a number of Chinese clients on the ground in Hong Kong as clients. The team is led by Jackie Kahng and Daniel Anderson; with Kahng recommended for cross-border leveraged finance transactions, including acquisition finance and real estate finance; and Anderson handling refinancing and restructuring matters.

Practice head(s):

Jackie Kahng; Daniel Anderson

Other key lawyers:

Lucy Wu

Testimonials

‘Strong team at all levels’.

‘Smart and commercial.’

‘Jackie Kahng is exceptional. Solutions-driven, bright and experienced.’

Key clients

Bain Capital

Baring Private Equity Asia

Blackstone

Davidson Kempner Capital Management

IGIS Asset Management

KKR

MBK Partners

New Mountain Capital

Tor Investment Management Hong Kong Limited

TPG Capital

Work highlights

  • Advised KKR on the financing for its acquisition of a controlling stake in J.B. Chemicals & Pharmaceuticals.
  • Advised KKR on the financing for its acquisition of two South Korea-based medical waste management companies.

Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP

The banking and credit team at Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP is headed by Makiko Harunari and handles high-profile acquisition financings and real estate financings, acting for private equity and corporate borrowers. The Hong Kong team works closely with colleagues in Beijing and Tokyo to advise on deals across Asia.

Practice head(s):

Makiko Harunari

Key clients

Ant Financial

KKR & Co. Inc.

The Blackstone Group

Primavera

Work highlights

  • Advising Blackstone on financing related to its $1.1bn acquisition of a majority stake in the largest logistics park in China’s Greater Bay Area.
  • Advising Primavera Capital Group on financing related to its acquisition of the Greater China Business of Mead Johnson Nutrition Company.
  • Advised KKR in financing related to its acquisition of a controlling stake through an investment in Vini Cosmetics (“Vini” or the “Company”), a leading branded personal care and beauty products company in India.

Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP

Under the leadership of corporate partner Jonathan Stone and of counsel John Hartley, Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP continues to act closely with its corporate M&A group on acquisition deals and financing PRC going-private transactions. Hartley’s practice is focused on borrower-side work and assists clients with the structuring, negotiation and documentation of deals across Asia. Stone handles cross-border M&A deals.

Practice head(s):

John Hartley

Other key lawyers:

Jonathan Stone

Key clients

Lufax Holding Ltd.

Trip.com Group Limited

BeiGene, Ltd.

Baidu, Inc.

Sands China Ltd.

Work highlights

  • Avised BeiGene, Ltd. on a $120m acquisition facility and $80m working capital facility provided by China Minsheng Banking Corp., Ltd. Shanghai Pilot Free Trade Zone Branch as original lender and agent.
  • Advised Sands China Ltd., the subsidiary of Venetian Macau Limited, on certain amendments and waivers to its $2bn revolving credit facility with Bank of China Limited, Macau Branch as agent.
  • Advised Baidu, Inc. on its $3bn syndicated term loan and revolving credit facility.

Stephenson Harwood

Stephenson Harwood has notable experience in the trade finance arena and often advises clients on supply chain finance arrangements and the development of standard factoring and security documents. Practice head Mark Reed is recommended for secured and unsecured lending, general banking matters and regulatory work. King Tak Fung has a niche expertise in anti-money laundering. Roy Chan left for an in-house role at LegalMapp Limited.

Practice head(s):

Mark Reed 

Testimonials

‘The firm is reputable in the fields of asset finance and project finance, and in particular, various kinds of shipping finances’.

‘We normally make a first contact with Mark Reed who is excellent in terms of quality and speed in his legal services rendered to us’.

Key clients

Bank of China (Hong Kong) Limited

China Construction Bank Corporation

China Construction Bank (Asia) Corporation Limited

Fund Park Limited

Metro Holdings Limited

TNG (Asia) Limited

China Merchants Bank Co., Ltd.

Unitas Group Company Limited

PrimeCredit Limited

HKT Flexi Limited

Work highlights

  • Acting for China Merchants Bank Co., Ltd. on PRC on-shore guarantee and on-shore loans.
  • Advised Unitas (through its 50/50 joint venture with a KaiLong Group investment vehicle (representing two of the KaiLong funds) on the secured term loan facilities arranged by two major commercial banks for the purpose of financing the acquisition and redevelopment costs of an industrial building in Hong Kong.