Firms To Watch: Corporate (including M&A)

LC Lawyers LLP, an independent Hong Kong law firm, is a member of the EY global network and has handles a number of high-value M&A, takeover and privatisation matters of late. Rossana Chu, a lawyer who has garnered much acclaim for her capital markets expertise, serves as practice head.
Milbank was bolstered by the arrival of two partners from Clifford Chance in early 2021, Andrew Whan  and Neeraj Budhwani. James Grandolfo leads the department which handles cross-border transactions across the Southeast Asia region from both sell-side and buy-side perspectives.
Independent Hong Kong firm Tiang & Partners operates in collaboration with the PricewaterhouseCoopers Global Legal Network along with China-based Rui Bai Law Firm and Xin Bai Law Firm to serve as a one-stop for M&A transactions encompassing both local and international law. Rebecca Silli is the key contact.
Charltons' client roster features PRC and European companies as well as private equity firms and asset managers,  and the team handles a steady flow of transactions in the technology sector including FinTech.

Corporate (including M&A) in Hong Kong

Clifford Chance

Active in the region for over 40 years, Magic Circle firm Clifford Chance boasts over 70 corporate and M&A lawyers across its Hong Kong, Beijing and Shanghai offices. The team is a go-to for a number of deal types including outbound, inbound, private and public M&A. Among its sectors of specialisation are retail, consumer goods, technology, finance, energy and real estate and the practice is supplemented by the firm’s broader expertise in regulatory, antitrust, capital markets and funds. Andrew Crook, co-head of the firm’s Asia Pacific corporate group, recently re-located from Sydney to Hong Kong and arrives with extensive private equity expertise. Elsewhere, Bryan Koo is carving out a prominent reputation for cross-border public takeovers and corporate restructurings while Terence Foo is a go-to for strategic investments and joint ventures across the entirety of the region. Emma Davies leads the mainland China department from Hong Kong and also fronts the healthcare and life sciences practice.

Other key lawyers:

Emma Davies; Virginia Lee; Amy Lo; Amy Ho


‘Very clear and pragmatic approach and quick to understand the setting.’

‘Bryan Koo is always available and unusually concise and clear in his advice.’

Key clients


New World Development / NWS Holdings



Total Eren




State Grid


Work highlights

  • Advised Shanghai and Frankfurt listed Haier Smart Home Co., Ltd. on the proposed privatisation of its Hong Kong listed subsidiary Haier Electronics Group Co., Ltd..
  • Advised Kirkbi A/S (Kirk Kristiansen family’s private holding and investment company founded to build a sustainable future for the family ownership of the LEGO brand) on its partnership with Merlin Attractions Operations Limited, CMC Holdings HK Limited (an affiliate of China Media Capital) and Shanghai Guoyi Investment Management Co., Ltd. (a Chinese state-owned enterprise and affiliate of the Shanghai Jinshan district government) to establish one joint venture to develop, construct and own the Shanghai LEGOLAND Resort and a second joint venture to operate and manage the Shanghai LEGOLAND Resort.
  • Advised J.P. Morgan on its role as the exclusive financial advisor to S.F. Holding Co., Ltd. (the offeror in the transaction) on S.F. Holding’s HK$17.6bn (US$2.3bn) acquisition of 51.8% stake in Kerry Logistics Network Limited (stock code 636.HK).

Kirkland & Ellis

Founded in Chicago, Kirkland & Ellis fields one of the largest global corporate and M&A practices with over 900 practitioners worldwide and over 100 dedicated attorneys based at the firm’s Hong Kong, Shanghai and Beijing offices. The group thrives on the full array of transaction types, in both Hong Kong and the PRC, handling private equity, SPAC and cross-border deals on behalf of US, Asia and Hong Kong-listed companies. Daniel Dusek has handled numerous multibillion-dollar transactions over the past 18 months including M&A, disposals, auctions, leveraged buyouts, spin-offs and joint ventures; he is supported by Nicholas Norris whose formidable standing in the market is evident through his membership at the Hong Kong Takeovers and Mergers Panel, as well as the Listing Review Committee of The Stock Exchange of Hong Kong. Joey Chau specialises in corporate finance, joint venture and venture capital transactions while David Zhang‘s practice is geared towards supporting PRC companies. Other standout names include private equity specialist David Patrick Eich and Gary Li whose core strengths lie in taking-private transactions, growth equity investments and PIPEs.


‘High quality and committed teams (partners and associates), across various aspects of PE deals.’

Always impressive on large scale deals.’

‘Very innovative and responsive.’

Key clients

An investor consortium comprised of 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

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.

Morgan Stanley Asia Limited

Hammer Capital

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

An investor consortium comprised of Ocean Link Partners and Sequoia Capital China

The special committee of the board of directors of Yintech Investment Holdings Limited

Citigroup Global Markets (financial advisor) in proposed merger of Huya and Douyu

Clear Channel Outdoor Holdings, Inc.

Amer Sports and its investor consortium ANTA Sports (HKG: 2020.HK), FountainVest Partners, Anamered Investments Inc. and Tencent Holdings Limited

China International Capital Corporation Hong Kong Securities Limited (CICC)

China International Capital Corporation Hong Kong Securities Limited (CICC)

Loyal Valley Capital


Skyworth Group Limited

Lion Financial Group Limited

Li & Fung

Huatai Financial Holdings (Hong Kong) Limited

Two controlling shareholders of Sihuan Pharmaceutical Holdings Group

GLP and UBAN Capital

Clene Nanomedicine, Inc.

Silk EV

Work highlights

  • Acted as international co-counsel for an investor consortium in the take-private of Inc. (NYSE: WUBA), China’s largest online classifieds marketplace, at a valuation of approximately US$8.7bn.
  • Acted as the lead counsel to a consortium of investors in the proposed US$4.76bn take-private of China Biologic Products Holdings, Inc. (NASDAQ: CBPO), a plasma-based biopharmaceutical company.
  • Advising Morgan Stanley Asia Limited as financial advisor to the special committee of the board of directors of Sina Corporation (NASDAQ: SINA), a leading online media company in China, in the potential take-private of Sina.


Under the leadership of Matthew Middleditch, Magic Circle firm Linklaters serves a client roster of Chinese state-owned enterprises, investment banks, funds and leading conglomerates, from both Hong Kong and the wider Asia region. Middleditch is a leading name for public and private M&A, joint ventures, bancassurance arrangements and general corporate affairs with a distinguished level of knowledge in the financial institutions sector. Gilbert Li provides the group with biotech and energy knowhow while Christopher Yip is a go-to for matters in the insurance and FIG fields. The team also includes Betty Yap who rejoined the firm from Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP in January 2022, and Alex Bidlake who is a specialist in Hong Kong take-private transactions. A key differentiator for the firm is its integration with Zhao Sheng Law Firm, a relationship that permits a capacity for seamless advising on both Hong Kong and PRC law considerations.

Practice head(s):

Matthew Middleditch


Linklaters has the best M&A team. They are very professional, attentive and considerate. It is very reassuring to assign them the project.

Key clients

FWD Group Limited

CK Hutchison Holdings Limited

CK Infrastructure Holdings Limited

Charoen Pokphand Group

Kerry Group

Jardine Pacific Limited

The Dairy Farm Company

Russia-China Investment Fund (RCIF)

The Bank of East Asia Ltd.

Morgan Stanley

Asia Commercial Bank

PT Astra International Tbk

Fidelity Management & Research Company LLC

CLSA Capital Markets Limited

Greensill Capital (UK) Limited

Work highlights

  • Advised the Kerry Group on the approximately HK$17.6bn partial offer to be made by S.F. Holding for a 51.8% stake in Hong Kong SAR-listed Kerry Logistics.
  • Advised the Bank of East Asia Ltd on its sale of its life insurance unit, BEA Life Limited, to AIA and the formation of a 15-year exclusive bancassurance partnership with AIA for Hong Kong SAR and the PRC.
  • Advised Yue Xiu Enterprises on its HK$5.1bn privatisation of Chong Hing Bank.

Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP

A market leader for big-ticket M&A in Hong Kong and China, Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP represents local and multinational companies from a broad variety of industries such as consumer, education, TMT and financial institutions. A key distinguisher for the practice is the breadth of its workload which sees it engaged on pioneering SPAC, going private and marquee technology deals in addition to inbound, outbound, private equity, joint venture and company reorganisation transactions. Bolstered by its extensive international network, the group is well-equipped to advise on US, Hong Kong, English and Japanese law and runs a caseload which extends to every corner of the region from Australia, Indonesia and Mongolia through to Pakistan, the Philippines and Singapore. Jonathan Stone fronts the Asia practice from Hong Kong, acting for bidders, target companies and sellers in cross-border M&A while simultaneously supporting underwriters and financial advisers in capital markets and private equity transactions respectively; his team includes recently made-up partner Shu Du whose track record already includes several multibillion-dollar transactions. Since publication, Julia Gao departed to an in-house role at ByteDance.


‘Jonathan Stone is a first-class commercial lawyer with wide knowledge and is extremely clever.’

Key clients







Auchan Retail

Yixin Group

Work highlights

  • Advised Grab Holdings Inc. on its $40bn merger with Altimeter Growth Corp.
  • Acted for ByteDance Ltd. in its over $4bn acquisition of Moonton Holdings Limited, a China-based mobile games developer.
  • Advised the Special Committee of Independent and Disinterested Directors of its $6bn merger with DouYu International Holdings Limited.

Slaughter and May

Slaughter and May, one of the UK’s Magic Cirlce firms, has handled several multibillion-dollar transactions over the past 12 months and runs a workload spread across domestic, cross-border, private and public M&A. The group is also at the cutting-edge of the increasingly popular take-private trend and receives instructions from private and state-owned PRC companies, investment banks and private capital clients in addition to corporates from Hong Kong and the wider Asia region, both listed and unlisted. The group is active in a number of fields though directs a particularly high degree of emphasis towards biotech and healthcare, technology, real estate, aviation, IEN and FIG. Practice head Peter Brien notably serves as Chairman of the Listing Committee of the Main Board and Growth Enterprise Market of The Stock Exchange of Hong Kong. The practice also includes Benita Yu, who targets private PRC and SOE corporate clients, Jason Webber who is proficient in financial institution and fund management group representation, as well as Lisa Chung who is the go-to for Hong Kong listed companies. Associate Vincent Chan is also an active member of the team.

Practice head(s):

Peter Brien


‘Very competent, knowledgeable and sufficiently staffed team with abundant experience.’

‘Think from client’s perspective all the time, and foresee issues and propose solutions before they even come up.’

‘Thorough examination of clauses, clearly articulate of issues and ramifications. Also unreservedly acting on clients’ best interest.’

‘The attention to detail is spotless.’

Key clients



FWD Group



Standard Chartered

S.F. Holding / SF Express

Alibaba Group

CK Asset

China Huadian Corporation

Work highlights

  • Advising SF on its pre-conditional voluntary partial cash offer to acquire 931,209,117 shares (51.8% of the shares) in Kerry Logistics Network and a partial option offer.
  • Advised Alibaba, in relation to its acquisition of a controlling stake in Sun Art Retail Group (Sun Art), a company listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange for an aggregate consideration of approximately HK$28bn (US$3.6bn).
  • Advised FWD on its agreement with TMB Bank Public Company Limited to sell its bancassurance contract to Prudential for a consideration of US$630m.

Baker McKenzie

Baker McKenzie is home to a full-suite M&A service, complemented by the firm’s wider proficiency in tax, compliance, employment, disputes and antitrust matters. Department head Tracy Wut is extensively experienced in cross-border transactions, including foreign direct investments into China, an expertise enhanced by the firm’s relationship with Baker McKenzie FenXun, the first joint operation office to be approved by the Shanghai Bureau of Justice. Wut is especially knowledgeable of the healthcare and pharmaceuticals industries though the team has also directed a higher level of focus towards the TMT, consumer goods, financial services and real estate industries of late. The group is well-versed in PIPEs, take-private opportunities, divestments and restructurings and also includes Christina Lee and Dorothea Koo whose core strengths lie in public company M&A and takeover transactions.

Practice head(s):

Tracy Wut



‘They have a very strong partner (commercial, good commmunicator, good technically) in Robert Wright. One of our two go-to Partners in the whole of APAC.’

Key clients

AVIC International Holding Corporation

China Evergrande New Energy Vehicle Group Limited

China Merchants Port Holdings

Gaw Capital Partners

HengTen Networks Group Limited

Hengxing Gold Holding Company Limited

Hysan Development Company Limited


Nord Anglia Education

Tencent Holdings Limited


Unilever (China) Ltd.

Yuexiu Property Company Limited

Work highlights

  • Advised Gaw Capital Partners, along with a consortium of institutional investors including Schroder Pamfleet, on the acquisition of the CityPlaza One office building from Swire Pacific and Swire Properties.
  • Advised long-standing client Tencent Holdings Limited on multiple investments for a number of gaming, fintech and technology companies.
  • Advised China Evergrande New Energy Vehicle Group Limited (previously known as Evergrande Health Industry Group Limited), on its acquisition of the remaining 17.6% stake in National Electric Vehicle Sweden AB (NEVS).

Latham & Watkins LLP

Latham & Watkins LLP is regularly instructed on M&A transactions throughout the entirety of South East Asia including Hong Kong, China, India, Japan, South Korea and Singapore. The department is led by Simon Cooke who, in addition to his renowned private equity expertise, is also a specialist in a range of public and private M&A transactions, joint ventures, equity investments, disposals and privatisations. The wider team is also proficient in carve-outs, PIPEs, exclusive transaction, club deal and competitive auction deals and considers its understanding of the corporate governing components of transactions as a key pillar. The core M&A offering is complemented by close integration with the firm’s wider capital markets, bank finance, antitrust, competition, private equity, export controls and economic sanction expertise.

Practice head(s):

Simon Cooke

Key clients

Tencent Holdings Limited


Warburg Pincus Asia LLC

Bilibili Inc.


Sinotrans Limited

Haier Electronics Group Co., Ltd.

CITIC Capital

The Carlyle Group

Vingroup Joint Stock Company Limited

China Jinmao Holdings Group Limited

Work highlights

  • Advising Tencent Holdings Limited (Tencent) on its proposal for Huya, Tencent’s controlled subsidiary, to enter into a stock-for-stock merger with DouYu International, of which Tencent is the largest shareholder. Huya and DouYu are both US-listed and are the two largest game live streaming platforms in China. The deal is valued on a combined basis at more than US$10bn.
  • Advised buyer consortium led by Tencent and Hammer Capital on Bitauto’s US$1.1bn privatization and advising Tencent as a joint offeror on the consequential mandatory general offer for the shares of Bitauto’s Hong Kong-listed subsidiary, Yixin Group Limited, under the Hong Kong Takecovers Code.
  • Advised CITIC Capital, as a member of the buyer consortium, on the US$4.76bn privatization of US-listed China Biologic Products Holdings Inc., a developer of plasma-based therapies.

Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP

Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP is renowned for its capabilities in all-manner of transactions including public and private M&A, dispositions, joint ventures, PIPE deals and minority investments. The practice is supported by equally prominent private equity, capital markets and investment fund groups and is geared to represent major state-owned and private Chinese companies in their activities across the US, South America, Europe, the Middle East, Australia, Africa and the rest of Asia. Practice co-head Ian Ho is also engaged by private equity firms and multinational corporates and notably transacted over $50bn worth of deals throughout the course of 2020.

Key clients

Alibaba Group Holding Limited

Aluminum Corporation of China

Ant Group

Apax Partners

Athenex Inc.

Bank of America Merill Lynch

The Blackstone Group (and portfolio companies)

BEST Logistics

Bona Film Group

Cainiao Smart Logistics Network

China Life Insurance Company

China National Chemical Corporation

Citigroup Global Markets



GDS Holdings



J.P. Morgan

Kolhberg Kravis Roberts & Co. (and portfolio companies)

Koubei Holding Limited

Kyoto Pacific Capital

Lexington Partners

Marelli (f/k/a Calsonic Kansei)

Meili Inc.

Morgan Stanley Private Equity


Primavera Capital Group


Sequoia Capital China Fund

Silver Lake Partners

Warburg Pincus


Yunfeng fund

Work highlights

  • Advised JOYY Inc. on the proposed sale of its video-based entertainment live streaming business in China to Baidu, Inc. for an aggregate purchase price of approximately US$3.6bn in cash, subject to certain adjustments.
  • Advised Blackstone on its acquisition of a controlling stake in Mphasis Limited (NSE: MPHASIS) for up to $2.8bn.
  • Acted for XPeng Inc. in its US$1.3bn pre-IPO series C/C+ financing, with investors including private equity sponsors, investment management firms and sovereign wealth funds alike, such as Alibaba, Aspex, Coatue, Hillhouse, Sequoia China, Qatar Investment Authority, Mubadala and Xiaomi Corporation.

Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP

Headquartered in New York, Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP combines exhaustive public company expertise in both the US and Hong Kong with a tenacity for mega cross-border transactions. The team handles big-ticket M&A transactions for both corporate and financial sponsors within sectors such as consumer, education, energy, healthcare, food, logistics and TMT and is also frequently involved in the market’s most prominent privatisations. Tim Gardner, a former investment banker with Goldman Sachs in New York, heads the Hong Kong practice and is closely supported by Henry Ong who is notably dual-qualified to practice both locally and in the UK with a track record in public and private deals, joint ventures and strategic alliances. At the more junior end of the partnership spectrum, Chris Welty is the firm’s standout practitioner for taking-private transactions, as well as those involving US-listed companies. The workload frequently reached beyond Hong Kong and China to include Korea and the rest of Southeast Asia, the US, Canada, the UK and continental Europe.

Practice head(s):

Tim Gardner

Other key lawyers:

Henry Ong ; Chris Welty


‘Solid in M&A. They have demonstrated good problem-solving capabilities. Good teamwork and very responsive. ’

‘Tim Gardner, as the lead partner, is hands-on, smart, and commercial. He shows strong problem-solving capabilities. ’

Key clients

Mr. Jinbo Yao (Founder, Chairman and CEO of

Mr. Rick Yan (Co-founder and CEO of 51job, Inc.)

Montagu Private Equity

Morgan Stanley



Fyffes Plc

Hillhouse Capital

Alibaba Group

Huanxi Media Group

MBK Partners

NWS Holdings

Canadian Solar

Tianjin Zhonghuan Semiconductor Co. Ltd.

Work highlights

  • Advised Mr. Jinbo Yao and the investor consortium on the US$8.7bn take-private of US-listed, China’s largest online classifieds marketplace.
  • Advised MBK Partners on the US$2.2bn (including debt) voluntary general offer for all of Hong Kong-listed CAR Inc., the largest car rental company in China.
  • Advising Mr. Rick Yan on the proposed US$5.6bn take-private of 51job, Inc., a leading Nasdaq-listed human resources solutions provider in China.

Allen & Overy

Allen & Overy has recently supported a number of clients in the TMT sector on the impact of US-China trade tensions and has also noted an upturn in its privatisation and public M&A. The team operates across a notably varied workload which also includes joint ventures and restructurings in addition to outbound, inbound and private equity investments in sectors such as real estate, logistics, healthcare and data centres. Victor Ho is engaged by both PRC and multinational clients on a broad array of cross-border transactions, directing particular emphasis towards deals with regulatory and compliance elements; he jointly leads the offering alongside TMT industry veteran Will McAuliffe who is also qualified to practice England and Australia. At the more junior end, David Norman recently made partner and is forging a particularly strong reputation within the insurance sector.

Practice head(s):

Victor Ho; Will McAuliffe


Allen & Overy has a compact team structure, flexible communication mode and fast response speed, which enables us to efficiently complete the work related to M&A‘.

‘Excellent collaboration and client orientation. Jonathan Hsui delivers profound and solution-oriented legal advice, excellent collaboration and client orientation. Perfect interplay with Jack Wang from the Shanghai office.’

Key clients

Cargill Investments (China) Ltd.

Alimentation Couche-Tard

CCHL Fast Food Holdings Limited

Kingboard Holdings Limited

Zhuhai Holdings Investments Group Limited

CLSA Capital Markets Limited

Guotai Junan Fund Management Limited

International automotive OEM

HP Inc.

China Resources

Work highlights

  • Advised China Datang Corporation on its acquisition of the Indonesia-based power generation plants from PT Dian Swastatika Sentosa Tbk (DSSA) for consideration of US$394m.
  • Advised CITIC Capital Holdings on its US$522m acquisition of a 22% stake in McDonald’s business in mainland China and Hong Kong, the largest McDonald’s franchise outside the United States.
  • Advised Alimentation Couche-Tard on its acquisition from Hong Kong-listed Convenience Retail Asia Ltd. of its entire network of Hong Kong and Macau Circle K-licensed convenience stores for a cash consideration of HK$2.8bn.


At Silver Circle firm Ashurst, lawyers of the Hong Kong office frequently work alongside their colleagues, spread across its 29 global offices, on the full array of cross-border M&A deals, both inbound and outbound, in addition to joint ventures, governance and regulatory matters. Managing partner Joshua Cole oversees the practice and stands out due to his distinguished degree of focus in joint ventures within the TMT and new economy sectors; the wider team is also home to specialist knowledge in the insurance, energy and natural resources, pharmaceuticals, consumer products and retail industries, among others, and is engaged by a broad array of entities including Chinese and multinational corporations, financial institutions and private equity funds. An important point of the distinction for the firm is its close relationship with Shanghai-based Guantao Law Firm, an alliance which renders it well-placed to advise on both international and PRC law considerations.

Practice head(s):

Joshua Cole

Other key lawyers:

Frank Bi; Melody He; Chin Yeoh; Dan Yang


‘We have instructed Chin Yeoh on a number of highly structured and complex investments across Asia and North America. What stands Chin apart from his competitors is his ability to understand very complex structures and the key commercial drivers behind a deal, his strategic thinking and carefully considered advice, the quality of the documents he produces and his responsiveness and clarity of his communications. He also has deep expertise in technology and growth company investments. We are always able to agree fees with Chin which suit our budget and which provide excellent value for money considering he quality of his service. ’

‘The team is very knowledgeable with good commercial sense. They understand the business intricacies between the transacting parties and do a great job in advising risks and proposing mitigating actions.’

‘Melody He is very detailed-oriented and also thinks outside the box to help us advising deals. She is able to identify obscure risk points and deliver quality work in a timely manner.’

Key clients

Tyme Group

Mobvista Inc.

SYNthesis med chem Pty Limited

The founder and shareholder of Kokido Development Limited

Beijing Energy International Holding Company Limited


Mirae Asset Securities (HK) Limited

Star Combo Phara Limited

Lotus Investment Holdings Pty Ltd

Work highlights

  • Advised Tyme Group, a global digital banking group, on establishing a joint venture with JG Group, one of the largest conglomerates in the Philippines, to create one of the first digital banks and potentially the first foreign invested joint venture in the digital banking business in the country.
  • Advised SYNthesis med chem Pty Limited on the sale of 100% equity interest in its wholly-owned subsidiary, SYNthesis med chem (Hong Kong) Limited to Hong Kong-listed VIVA Biotech Holdings.
  • Mobvista Inc. as the purchaser in the acquisition of the entire equity interest in Beijing Reyun Technology Co., Ltd. for an aggregate consideration of RMB1,500,000,005.

Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP

Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP thrives in respect of both inbound and outbound transactions and is home to a full-service private equity practice, adept in everything from fund formation through to eventual dispositions; the team is relied upon by a varied list of industry players from emerging companies through to industry-leading multinationals and the roster reaches beyond China and Hong Kong to include Japan and India-based companies in addition to those based in other APAC jurisdictions. Miranda So enjoys a prominent reputation in overseeing strategic acquisitions, FDIs, joint ventures and going-private transactions; she co-heads the practice alongside Yang Chu, a figure of prominence due to his intimacy with the Hong Kong listing rules and takeover code. Beyond partner-level, counsel Sam Kelso has forged a strong reputation for cross-border M&A and is able to call upon his experience in working at the firm’s London, New York and California offices.

Practice head(s):

Miranda So; Yang Chu; Howard Zhang

Other key lawyers:

Sam Kelso

Key clients


EF Education First




Li & Fung

Tiger Brokers

InnoCare Pharma

ADC Therapeutics


Work highlights

  • Advising PT Aplikasi Karya Anak Bangsa (“Gojek”) on its business combination with PT Tokopedia to form GoTo Group, the largest technology group in Indonesia.
  • Advising the special committee of the board of directors of China Biologic on the company’s going-private acquisition by a consortium consisting of Centurium Capital, CITIC Capital, Hillhouse Capital, Temasek and certain senior management members of China Biologic.
  • Advising EF Education First on the investment by Permira Funds in EF Kids & Teens business headquartered in Switzerland with schools in China and Indonesia.


2021 marked the 170th anniversary since the founding of Deacons, a Hong Kong-headquartered firm that has since expanded to Shanghai, Guangzhou and Beijing; the team excels in all transaction types including M&A, private equity and venture capital investments and exits, public takeovers, privatisations and joint ventures, both local and cross-border. A defining trait of the practice is its proficiency in fund matters, from formation and investment through to exist strategies, as well as its track record in assisting Chinese state and privately-enterprises on their outbound investments to Hong Kong. The practice, which also notably acts for several Japanese clients, is jointly headed by Ronny Chow and Machiuanna Chu who directs a level of emphasis towards the new economies tech sector. Consultant Eugina Chan focuses on corporate finance mandates.

Practice head(s):

Ronny Chow; Machiuanna Chu


The teams are experienced, resourceful, and with the flexibility and creativity we need to solve our issues. They are always responsive, whatever the time and the requests.’

Extremely knowledgeable as to current market practice, specifically within the real estate industry. Creative and innovative in terms of coming up with solutions in extremely difficult situations.’

Deacons is able to advise on the various aspects of the M&A transactions in the various sectors, including structuring, potential risks on the execution front, dealing with the relevant regulatory authorities both locally and internationally, pre-completion restructuring, and post-transaction integration issues. Besides the execution process and agreement drafting/ negotiation, they are able to advise on other issues such as HR, taxation, antitrust, insurance etc. which are equally important in an M&A transaction; and the partners/ lawyers we have dealt with are very responsible and professional‘.

Deacons’ team is very professional with solid experience in different aspects of corporate finance practice. They are knowledgeable and helpful as well. They charge clients at reasonable fees.’

The whole team is very experienced and commercial, as well as very responsive and helpful in addressing our needs. Even though different people may handle different aspects of our needs, you feel that they have been fully briefed on our preference/style. The fees are very reasonable.’

Ronny Chow is trustworthy and the to-go person for legal advice.’

Rhoda Yung is a leading practitioner. She is both commercial and practical, financially and numbers orientated. And a pleasure to work with her.’

Ronny Chow is very knowledgeable, thoughtful and effective in addressing our needs. His response time is always very impressive and always there to go the extra mile to assist.’

Alexander Que has in-depth knowledge of the rules and regulations in relation to the M&A practices. Alex is very responsive and always enthusiastic to work with the client/ other advisors to explore alternatives/ solutions towards resolving the issues arise during a transaction. He is very patient and is able to explain a difficult legal concept in a simple way to the client. Moreover, it is very important to work with a lawyer like Alex who is able to understand/ assess the strategic fronts and provide advice taking into consideration the overall transaction dynamics as well as the negotiation strategies during the various transaction stages.’

Key clients

Chongbang Group

Chuang’s Consortium International Limited

Kerry Logistics Network Limited

Lai Sun group, including Lai Sun Garment (International) Limited, Lai Sun Development Company Limited, eSun Holdings Limited and Lai Fung Holdings Limited

Luen Thai Holdings Limited

Shimao Property Holdings Limited

The Wharf (Holdings) Limited

Viva China Holdings Limited

Wharf Real Estate Investment Company Limited

Wheelock and Company Limited

Work highlights

  • Advising Kerry Logistics Network Limited on its HK$13.5bn disposal.
  • Advised The Cross-Harbour (Holdings) Limited and Rose Dynamics Limited (as offeror) on the voluntary conditional general cash offer to acquire all the issued shares of The Cross-Harbour (Holdings) Limited at approximately HK$4.029bn.
  • Advised BOCI Asia Limited on the privatisation of Polytec Asset Holdings Limited by way of a scheme of arrangement at approximately HK$3.074bn.

Debevoise & Plimpton LLP

At New York-headquartered Debevoise & Plimpton LLP, the practice is geared to handle domestic and international M&A, dispositions, strategic investment and joint ventures, directing particular emphasis towards asset management deals, cross-border transactions and leveraged acquisitions. William Chua also possesses a wealth of knowledge in private equity, capital market and corporate governance affairs while fellow practice co-head Edwin Northover  provides the group with considerable insurance sector expertise.

Practice head(s):

William Chua; Edwin Northover

Other key lawyers:

Allison Lee


‘Debevoise has a very strong team in Hong Kong that we turn to for advice on important M&A matters and for their knowledge of the market. ’

Practical, pragmatic, timely and commercial advice. A real partner for us and a very reliable one.

Unsurpassed skills with the ability to provide timely and practical advice. True partners in every sense of the word.’

The team is highly professional, we always receive competent and timely advice in the manner which allows us to make business decisions.’

Edwin Northover is a standout. His experience in Asia is evident. He thinks out of the square, comes up with practical solutions. Technically excellent. Someone who I can trust.’

Will Chua is an excellent and experienced practitioner with a broad practice. He’s been a key advisor to us on a number of important matters, offering a key perspective and good insight across the board.’

Edwin is not simply a service provider, he makes every effort to not only understand our business but more importantly, our people. As a result, he is able to provide relevant, efficient and effective advice as a valued member of our team.’

Edwin Northover is the best leading lawyer. His advice is always clear, covers all aspects of the deal and is very helpful. He is able to navigate complex M&A deals with multiple parties.’

Key clients

AIA Group

Ant Group

Boyu Capital

Capital Group

Clayton, Dubilier & Rice

Credit Suisse Asset Management

FWD Group

Hony Capital

Prudential Financial, Inc.

Resolution Group

Work highlights

  • Advising Hony Capital on the $200 million acquisition of a controlling stake in WeWork Greater China Holding Company BV by China-based private equity firm Trustbridge Partners and related roll-up of WeWork’s China business.
  • Advised Ant Group in its binding agreements with Group, USM, Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) and MegaFon to create a payments joint venture (PJV) and a financial services joint venture (FSJV).
  • Advising Hony Capital on the buyout and restructuring of The WeWork Companies by SoftBank Corporation.

Gibson Dunn

Operating in close tangent with the firm’s international offices, Gibson Dunn runs a geographically broad caseload spread across the US, Europe, Hong Kong and China. The team demonstrates a capacity for a variety of deal types such as public company transactions, restructurings, FDIs, acquisitions and divestitures and was recently bolstered by the arrival of former Allen & Overy lawyer, Connell O’Neill, a specialist in IT, media and telecoms-related transactions. Graham Winter is a cross-border M&A and private equity expert with distinguished knowledge of the Hong Kong Takeovers Code and Stock Exchange Listing Rules; he jointly leads the operation together with Yi Zhang who focuses on corporate activities in China, acting for PRC and multinational companies, banks and international private equity funds in addition to major players in the energy, real estate and infrastructure fields.

Practice head(s):

Yi Zhang; Graham Winter

Other key lawyers:

Connell O’Neill


We rely on their team for a lot of our China-related transactional work. They have a strong team and strength in different areas, which is helpful as there are often issues outside of corporate that we’d like expertise on (i.e. arbitration, regulatory) and they are able to bring those strengths together for us in a seamless fashion, which makes it much more efficient from our perspective.’

‘Yi Zhang has been our go-to partner at Gibson. We’ve worked with him over the years and he has deep institutional knowledge and a thorough understanding of the issues that are important to us. He also has in-depth knowledge and experience built up over the years, and we trust his perspective and advice on key matters in our transactions. He also tireless advocates on his client’s behalf in negotiations.’

Key clients

NetEase, Inc

General Electric

Kimberly-Clark Corporation




Melco International Development

Melco Resorts & Entertainment

First Pacific Company

D. E. Shaw


Work highlights

  • Advised Kimberly-Clark on its acquisition of Softex Indonesia, a leader in the fast-growing Indonesian personal care market, in an all-cash transaction for approximately $1.2bn from a group of shareholders including CVC Capital Partners Asia Pacific IV.
  • Advised First Pacific on the acquisition of instant noodle manufacturer, Pinehill Company Limited, by First Pacific’s subsidiary, PT Indofood CBP Sukses Makmur Tbk, the major Indonesian food company listed on the Indonesia Stock Exchange.
  • Advised PCCW Limited, a leading Hong Kong-based information communications technology company, on the voluntary cash partial offer under the Hong Kong Takeovers Code by Trade Champion Limited, a company associated with Mr. Richard Li Tzar Kai.

Herbert Smith Freehills

Acting for state-owned and private enterprises alike, Herbert Smith Freehills supports Chinese clients on a broad variety of M&A transactions. The team counts on its joint legal operation with Shanghai-based Kewei Law Firm to simultaneously deliver international and PRC law expertise and is likewise extremely adept within Hong Kong’s regulatory landscape. Matt Emsley is a corporate finance lawyer who focuses on M&A, IPOs and secondary offerings whereas Jason Sung boasts a track record in Hong Kong-based public takeovers, mergers and acquisitions; the pair jointly head the department which also includes Tommy Tong, a lawyer with 28 years’ worth of experience in supporting investment banks and financial advisers in addition to buyers, sellers and target entities. Industry expertise is wide-ranging though the practice is particularly active within the energy, TMT, consumer, healthcare and pharmaceutical sectors.

Practice head(s):

Matt Emsley; Jason Sung

Other key lawyers:

Tommy Tong; Jeremy Shen


The HSF team’s overall quality is premium, all lawyers involved in the project have extensive relevant experiences. It is also relatively more flexible in terms of cost. They provide services and quotations in a more customized way according to the needs and conditions of enterprises. In terms of communication, the team is able to keep timely and effective communication and cooperation on projects, listen to clients’ needs and ideas, timely adjust and respond quickly, and complete the work beyond expectations.

Jeremy Shen has extensive experience in the field of expertise and is able to provide high-quality services. He will also provide effective suggestions from the client’s point of view based on client needs. He is able to keep close and sufficient communication with clients to ensure the delivery of the most efficient service.’

Pragmatic, Sensible, Commercial advice with a small but well-rounded team of individuals that delivered a quality result at a reasonable price.’

Tommy Tong is always available, looking to find the right solution without clocking up more time than needed to do so.’

Key clients

Sun Art Retail Group

Yanzhou Coal Mining Company Limited


China Resources


Newborn Town

Technology Crossover Fund


Fosun Pharma

Shunfeng International Clean Energy

British American Tobacco

Associated British Food

Weir Group

Work highlights

  • Advised Sinopec on the disposal of its pipeline assets to China’s new oil and gas pipeline company, PipeChina.
  • Advised Sun Art Retail Group Limited on Taobao China Holding Limited’s US$3.6bn acquisition of 70.94% of the entire issued share capital of the controlling shareholder of Sun Art, A-RT Retail Holdings Limited.
  • Advised China’s Yanzhou Coal Mining Company Limited on a series of asset acquisitions from its parent company, Yankuang Group.

King & Wood Mallesons

Headquartered in Hong Kong, King & Wood Mallesons leverages a presence in Australia, the US, Europe, the Middle East and elsewhere in Asia in addition to its formidable network across China. Other points of differentiation include its track record in supporting state-owned enterprises on mixed-ownership reforms, capability in H-share privatisations, as well as its focus on the financial services and new energy and resources sectors. Sheldon Tse runs a workload spread across M&A, FDI, corporate finance and private equity transactions set apart by his in-depth knowledge of the PRC’s regulations, business landscape and legal framework. Hayden Flinn, who jointly leads the practice alongside Tse, is often engaged in matters which either involve the Hong Kong Stock Exchange or the Securities and Futures Commission.

Practice head(s):

Sheldon Tse; Hayden Flinn

Other key lawyers:

Helena Huang; Gary Lock; Wen Huang

Key clients

Qingdao Holdings International Limited

Dadi International Group Limited

Yankuang Group Co., Ltd.; and Shandong Guoxin Yiyang Health Industry Development Group Co., Ltd.

Shenzhen Capital Operation Group Co., Ltd.

SAIC Motor HK Investment Limited

Hengtong Optic-Electric Co Ltd.

Pamfleet (now Schroder Pamfleet)

Expedition Holding Corporation Limited

Huachen Automotive Group Holdings Company Limited

Work highlights

  • Advised Qingdao Holdings International Limited, a listed company in the Hong Kong Stock Exchange, on its proposed acquisition of approximately 81.91% of the equity interest in a financial leasing company, with the consideration of approximately HK$2.38bn.
  • Advising Yankuang Group Co., Ltd., a state-owned enterprise engaged in coal mining; and Shandong Guoxin Yiyang Health Industry Development Group Co., Ltd., a state-owned enterprise, on their group restructuring and waiver applications to the Securities and Futures Commission relating to the Takeovers Code.
  • Advised Shenzhen Capital Operation Group Co., Ltd. on the acquisition of the single largest shareholder of dual-listed China International Marine Containers (Group) Ltd. from several shareholders.

Mayer Brown

Mayer Brown is well-equipped to support on cross-border transactions; the local practice is led by Hannah Ha, a lawyer who not only enjoys an edge in merger control issues, owing to her status of co-head of the Asian antitrust and competition team but who also thrives in respect of direct investment into China, private equity transactions and general commercial matters. Mark Uhrynuk is the other senior partner on-site, and also co-leads the firm’s private equity practice; he is acclaimed for his guidance on divestiture, joint venture and strategic alliance transactions in addition to international equity and debt capital market deals. The department aims to deliver a full lifecycle offering on transactions from strategy and planning through to exit and directs its focus to a number of heavily regulated sectors which include real estate, transportation, banking, culture, media, pharmaceuticals and insurance.

Practice head(s):

Hannah Ha 

Other key lawyers:

Mark Uhrynuk; Xin Fang

Key clients

Cathay Pacific

Kerry Properties

China Overseas Land & Investment Ltd.

China Merchants Group

Dah Chong Hang


Sun Hung Kai

Merlin Entertainments Group

CapitaLand / Ascott

Shui On Land Limited

Tsingtao Brewery Company Limited

Principal International (Asia) Limited

Lai Sun Group


Work highlights

  • Advised a client on its acquisition of a Hong Kong holding company of prominent office towers located in the central business district of a major Asian city from an Asian multinational conglomerate.
  • Advised Link REIT on its acquisition of the office building at 25 Cabot Square in Canary Wharf, London from HGR Liquidating Trust (formerly Hines Global REIT) for £380m.

Morrison Foerster

At Morrison Foerster, key distinguishers of the practice include its proficiency in SPAC transactions as well as its first-rate expertise in the TMT sector. Thomas Chou, who has worked in both the US and APAC region, is among the standout names locally with solid experience in cross border M&A, joint ventures, venture capital financings and private equity transactions. Further names to note include Marcia Ellis, global chair of the firm’s private equity group, and Vivian Yiu who supports state-owned and private Chinese enterprises, as well as multinational corporates, on a broad variety of cross-border deals. Other key sectors of focus include E-commerce, life sciences, healthcare, education and data centres.


‘Partner are very hands-on and responsive, with great technical skills. Flexible in billing and full service in multi-jurisdictions.’

‘A great service is provided by Ruomu Li.’

‘The inter-connectivity between the firm’s global teams is seamless, resulting in smooth, real-time client service across locations and timezones. For example, my team members are based in USA, Germany and Hong Kong and MF was able to have senior-level touchpoints at all times to ensure our speed to IPO filing was fast. this was crucial as we are listing a SPAC where speed to filing counts.’

Key clients

Ark Pacific Capital

Ally Bridge Group

Alibaba Group

Ascendent Capital Partners

Bain Capital Credit


Celadon Partners

Farallon Capital Asia


Intudo Ventures

NewQuest Capital Partners


Softbank Vision Fund

Silver Crest

SIMIC Holdings

Princeton Digital Group

Vectr Ventures

Work highlights

  • Advising SoftBank Group Corp. and SoftBank Vision Fund on the $40bn sale of UK-headquartered multinational semiconductor and software design company Arm Limited to U.S. chip company NVIDIA.
  • Advising a leading institutional investor in connection with Grab’s proposed merger with a special purpose acquisition company.
  • Advised Alibaba Group Holding Limited on Ant Group’s proposed initial public offering.

Norton Rose Fulbright

Norton Rose Fulbright is especially active in the banking, insurance and financial institution, TMT and real estate sectors. The team, which is also experienced in energy, transport, education and agriculture, is steered by Psyche Tai whose expertise encompasses public M&A, Hong Kong-related equity capital markets listings, takeovers, joint ventures and corporate restructurings. James Parker compliments Tai’s practice through his know-how in corporate and securities, private equity and restructuring transactions. Clients include Hong Kong and China-based entities, international corporations and financial institutions.

Practice head(s):

Psyche Tai


Psyche Tai o is very experienced and commercial, as well as very responsive and helpful.’

Key clients

China Dili Group

China Taiping / Taiping Reinsurance

Dorel Industrial


Management team of Education First, China

Estate Spring International Holding

Shun Tak Holdings Limited

Sinopec Kantons Holdings

Management team of The Executive Centre

Work highlights

  • Advised China Taiping and Taiping Reinsurance on their partnership with Ageas, an international insurance provider.
  • Advised Sinopec Kantons Holdings Limited on the disposal of its wholly-owned subsidiary, Sinopec Yu Ji Pipeline Company Limited to China Oil & Gas Pipeline Network Corporation.
  • Advised HSBC as joint financial adviser to the Kerry Logistics Network Limited on Flourish Harmony Holdings Company Limited (an indirectly wholly-owned subsidiary of S.F. Holding Co Ltd)’s partial offer for Kerry Logistics Network.

Reed Smith Richards Butler

Reed Smith Richards Butler routinely supports private and state-owned PRC entities on their offshore transactions and outbound transactions, working in close tangent with the firm’s Beijing and Shanghai offices. The team is also geared to handle inbound investment into China and is also extremely knowledgeable of local Hong Kong laws and regulations, namely the takeovers code, stock exchange listing rules and securities law. Practice co-head Denise Jong provides specialist expertise in private equity investments, public company takeovers, private M&As and the restructuring and privatisation of Hong Kong-listed companies; her team is especially knowledgeable of the financial services and transport sectors and has recently run a caseload that reaches beyond the wider Asia Pacific region to include jurisdictions such as the US, Italy, France and Turkey.

Practice head(s):

Denise Jong; Jay Yan; Michael Fosh

Other key lawyers:

Delpha Ho; KC Mok; Ivy Lai; Patrick Wong

Shearman & Sterling

Leveraging a presence in Hong Kong, Shanghai and Beijing, in addition to a far-reaching global network, Shearman & Sterling caters a roster of PRC state-owned enterprises, financial institutions and prominent corporates; it is most often engaged by entities from the energy, TMT, infrastructure, asset management and financial services sectors and is headed by Li Chen who is principally focused on M&A, corporate affairs, private equity matters and Chinese investments globally; she is supported by Lorna Chen who founded and continues to lead the firm’s Asian asset management and investment fund practice, regularly supporting on regulatory and compliance, fund formation and global co-investment mandates.

Practice head(s):

Li Chen

Other key lawyers:

Lorna Chen; Sean Wang

Key clients

China National Petroleum Company International/PetroChina

China Telecom


Leyou Technologies Holdings Limited

Russia-China Investment Fund


Work highlights

  • Advised Leyou Technologies Holdings on its take-private by Image Frame Investment (HK) by way of a scheme of arrangement under Section 86 of the Companies Law of the Cayman Islands.
  • Acted for CNODC on its acquisition from ExxonMobil of a participating interest in the West Qurna (Phase 1) Oil Field in Iraq.
  • Advised Investcorp on its acquisition of a minority stake in WeDoctor from Goldman Sachs.

Sullivan & Cromwell

Sullivan & Cromwell LLP’s corporate and M&A team includes Hong Kong office managing partner Kay Ian Ng, a practitioner thoroughly experienced in cross-border public takeovers and private dispositions and acquisitions in addition to Hong Kong IPOs and securities offerings.

Practice head(s):

Kay Ian Ng

Fangda Partners

In addition to its local office, Chinese firm Fangda Partners leverages a presence in Beijing, Shenzhen, Shanghai and Guangzhou, counting its combined knowledge of both PRC and Hong Kong law as one of its key points of differentiation. A further distinguisher is the group’s in-depth sector knowledge which encompasses TMT, logistics, life sciences, healthcare and education. The team is praised for its ‘ability to mobilise resources and the delivery of fast and thoughtful service‘. Practice head Colin Law focuses on international public offerings, public company takeovers, privatisation and regulatory matters; he is supported at partner-level by Norman Zhong, a lawyer with significant M&A, private equity and outbound investment capabilities.

Practice head(s):

Colin Law

Other key lawyers:

Norman Zhong; Wei Chen


‘The team provides a great example of smart collective and coordinated work, the client feels understood and proactively supported, things are fluid and simple. Impressive reactivity. Individuals are all available and pleasant to work with.’

‘Colin Law has extensive knowledge of the regional markets and practice, provides most adequate advice on deals structuring and negotiations, comes across superbly with the M&A and finance teams, is accessible, fully available and very pleasant to work with.’

Team members, especially the leading lawyers, have rich M&A experience.

Colin Law has extensive experience in M&A, which is not only reflected in his knowledge on relevant legal provisions, but also in his judgement and control of project situations. He has excellent communication and coordination skills, understands the demands of all parties, and properly balance the interests of all parties in the given solution, thus effectively promoting the progress of the project.

Colin Law has extensive experience in M&A especially transactions under the takeovers code. He is one of the preferred lawyers.

The team is able to operate well both in Mainland China and Hong Kong capital markets, especially in the service of M&A transactions of Chinese listed companies in Hong Kong, and understands Mainland capital market, regulatory requirements as well as Hong Kong capital market requirements, so as to provide excellent “one-stop” solutions for clients. They also offer a package of competitive fees of Mainland + Hong Kong.

Fangda Law Firm has excellent strength in Mainland China. In recent years, it has also increased personnel investment in Hong Kong capital market, further enhancing the comprehensive strength of Fangda Mainland and Hong Kong‘.

Key clients

Moonton Technology

Haier Electronics Group Co., Ltd.

TCL Technology Group Co., Ltd.

EF Education First

ASM Pacific Technology Limited

Sunny Sea Global Limited

Shanghai Wanye Enterprises

Ever Harmonic Global Limited

Brilliance International Holding Limited, Golden Fair (Holding) Limited

Jinxin Fertility Group Limited

Huadian Fuxin Energy Corporation Limited

Suez (Asia) Limited

Work highlights

  • Advised Moonton Technology on its acquisition by ByteDance, one of the largest and most influential deals in the video games industry history.
  • Advised Haier Electronics Group Co., Ltd. (1169.HK) on its privatisation by way of a scheme of arrangement, which is the largest privatisation transaction of a Hong Kong-listed company in 2020.
  • Advised TCL Technology Group Co., Ltd. and its subsidiary in its strategic acquisition of Samsung’s 8.5th generation LCD production line in Suzhou.


Goodwin’s M&A practice in Asia is acclaimed for a broad array of transactions; examples include early-stage investments, going-private and growth equity transactions, dispositions and exists. The team is supported by a private investment fund and debt finance groups, adept in everything from fund formation and fundraising through to general financing advice. In terms of industries strengths, the firm counts private equity, life sciences and technology as its key pillars. Yash Rana acts for private equity sponsors and corporate clients on their business operations and transactions across China, India and the rest of Asia; he jointly steers the department alongside Douglas Freeman who is frequently engaged by local private equity clients in relation to their outbound investments to Europe and the US.

Practice head(s):

Yash Rana;Douglas Freeman

Other key lawyers:

Victor Chen

Key clients

Hillhouse Capital

FountainVest Partners

TA Associates

DST Global

LionRock Capital

Vy Capital

Horizon Ventures

ZQ Capital

Falcon Edge Capital

TR Advisors

Work highlights

  • Acting for FountainVest Partners on its acquisition of China-based logistics enterprise CJ Rokin Logistics and Supply Chain, including advising on the financing aspects of the acquisition.
  • Advised Hillhouse Capital in leading a consortium of institutional investors that entered into definitive subscription agreements with I-Mab to raise $418m through a private placement.
  • Advised LionRock Capital on its acquisition of a majority stake in UK shoe manufacturer and retailer C&J Clark Limited.

Morgan, Lewis & Bockius

Morgan, Lewis & Bockius has significantly expanded its presence in the Far East over recent years and now boasts a presence across Hong Kong, Beijing, Shanghai, Tokyo and Singapore. Its corporate and M&A practice is split into four key offerings, namely international M&A, handled alongside the firms European and US offices, private equity transactions, supporting overseas clients on their inbound investments and guiding clients through their Hong Kong IPOs. Maurice Hoo handles a mix of mergers, investments, restructurings and divestments, boasting a distinguished level of expertise in the technology field, meanwhile Edwin Luk’s core strengths include securities regulation, private financing and capital markets transactions. Its client roster features Chinese and global corporations, emerging companies, private equity and hedge funds, sovereign wealth funds and individual investors.

Practice head(s):

Maurice HooEdwin Luk

Other key lawyers:

Connie Cheung; Ning Zhang


‘Our team has worked with the team at Morgan Lewis for more than 20 years, and they are our go-to lawyers for our M&A activities. The team combines the best of being very commercial but very meticulous on legal grounds. They are more than responsive – they anticipate and are a few steps ahead of the game all the time. They frequently will prep us for what the other parties might ask for and how we might analyse these asks and formulate our responses – even before the other parties actually ask. They know the market very well and repeatedly advise us how to come to views and positions that are market and reasonable. They are a truly exceptional team.’

‘Maurice Hoo has been advising M&A market in Hong Kong and PRC for over 30 years. With his profound experience in this area, we believe he is definitely the best M&A legal expert in Hong Kong. Besides his responsiveness, he also has a strong ability to work through complex issues and provide business-oriented legal advice. We are inspired by his wisdom of how he looks at the business picture, not to mention he could always anticipate a few steps forward, guide our team on how to better proceed to the next step in each transaction.

Connie Cheung has the ability to work superbly with other advisers and deliver concise, and easily digestible legal advice. She eases our team with a good grasp of every detail in all types of M&A transactions, and always keep us fully prepared for various situations and issues that we may encounter during transactions. We enjoy working with Connie and our team sees her as a trusted business partner. Connie is with no doubt a strong and smart leader in her team, and of course the M&A market.’

‘Incredible team. Maurice Hoo is brilliant and he and his colleagues make sure we are always 100% prepared for any opportunity and situation. Their attention to detail, short term and long term perspectives and guidance. After working with numerous firms, Morgan Lewis stands at the top. ’

‘They are always there for you and put you first and foremost. They care.’

Key clients

Chengdu Ruizhuo Real Estate Co. Ltd.

Sequoia Capital

Warburg Pincus


China Distance Education

Boehringer Ingelheim

Meten International Education Group

Kofu Hong Kong Holdings Ltd.

Work highlights

  • Advised Chengdu Ruizhuo Real Estate Co. Ltd. on the acquisition by its joint venture with Yuzhou Group Holdings Co. Ltd., RZ3262019 Ltd., of a property development project in Chengdu, China, from CK Asset Holdings Ltd. at a consideration of approximately HK$7.85bn.
  • Advised Warburg Pincus on Yuanfudao’s US$2.2bn Series G1 and G2 round investment.
  • Acted for Sequoia Capital on its investment of US$450m (HK$3.45bn) in China Evergrande’s spin-off of its property management services arm, Evergrande Property Services Group Ltd.

Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison

Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison is home to a highly-specialised practice consisting of lawyers dedicated to M&A and private equity mandates.  Clients include private equity firms and financial institutions in addition to Chinese and international companies from industries as varied as real estate, TMT, energy, food and beverage, retail and automotive. Judie Ng Shortell  and Greg Liu are the main contacts following the departure of Betty Yap.

Other key lawyers:

Greg Liu; Judie Ng Shortell 

Key clients


State Grid Corporation


Didi Chuxing

MagnaChip Semiconductor

Dalian Wanda Group

Hillhouse Capital


DCP Fund

General Atlantic

Work highlights

  • Advised Ageas Insurance International NV, one of the largest international insurance company, in its HK$3,100m (approximately €340m) investment in Taiping Reinsurance Co. Ltd., a subsidiary of China Taiping Insurance Holdings.
  • Advising Wanda Sports & Media (Hong Kong) Holding Co. Limited in its tender offer, announced on December 23, 2020, to acquire all of the Class A Ordinary Shares of Nasdaq-listed Wanda Sports Group Company Limited, including shares represented by American Depositary Shares.
  • Acted for Didi Chuxing Technology Co., a leading app-based mobile transportation platform, in the carve-out and subsequent fundraising of its freight business Didi Freight, an on-demand freight logistics and delivery services provider.

White & Case

White & Case has forged a strong reputation for local, inbound and outbound transactions and has seen a notable uptick in its activity in the pharmaceutical and healthcare sectors of late, specifically in respect of biotechnology and digital health. Christopher Kelly fronts the firm’s Asia Pacific practice and is extensively experienced in both public and private M&A transactions, also counting private equity, technology and financial services among his core fields of focus. Other key names include Daniel Yeh who serves as global co-head of private equity, frequently supporting sponsors and other financial investors on their transactions across the globe.

Practice head(s):

Christopher Kelly

Other key lawyers:

Daniel Yeh

Key clients

The Carlyle Group

Special Committee of Cellular Biomedicine Group, Inc.

CITIC Capital

CMC Capital

China Molybdenum Co., Ltd. (“CMOC”)

EOG Resources

Goldman Sachs

Hillhouse Capital

Nestlé S.A.

Nestlé Waters

NetEase, Inc.


Schneider Electric

Schneider Electric Foundries

Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Limited

Work highlights

  • Advised Nestlé Waters on the sale of its water business in the mainland China to Tsingtao Brewery Group.
  • Advised CITIC Capital on its US$770m acquisition of substantially all of the assets of GNC Holdings Inc. through its portfolio, Harbin Pharmaceutical Group.
  • Advised The Carlyle Group on its US$490m acquisition of a 20% stake in Piramal Pharma.


Dechert runs a caseload with a strong multi-jurisdictional element, often acting on M&A and corporate transactions which involve assets in Europe, Africa, North America, South America and the wider Asia Pacific region. The team is also equally active in the local market with the department regularly supporting Hong Kong-listed companies on mandates such as public takeovers, mergers, acquisitions, bond subscriptions and the full array of commercial affairs. Stephen Chan is vastly experienced in Hong Kong-based global offering and public takeovers while Yang Wang, recently appointed as managing partner of the Beijing office, provides distinguished know-how in the IPO of Chinese companies on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange. David Cho departed in January 2022.

Practice head(s):

Stephen Chan; Yang Wang


Key clients

China Financial Services Holdings Limited

Chiho Environmental Group Limited

JT China Wealth Management Limited

New Century Asset Management Limited


Talent Property Group Limited

Yuexiu Property Company Limited

Zhejiang New Century Hotel Management Co., Ltd.

Work highlights

  • Advised New Century Asset Management Limited on the privatisation of the first China-based hotel REIT in the world.
  • Advised Hong Kong-listed New Century hotel on its privatisation by way of a voluntary general offer.
  • Advised SK holdings Co., Ltd. On its US$300m investment in Chindata Group Holdings Limited, a data centre operator in China.

Eversheds Sutherland

Eversheds Sutherland handles inbound Asian transactions for global clients as well as outbound transactions on behalf of China and Hong Kong-based entities. Charles Butcher heads the Asian international M&A and private equity practices; he is thoroughly experienced in multi-jurisdictional transactions, investments and projects with a track record in a diverse array of industries including TMT, life sciences, energy and financial services. Senior partner Stephen Mok spearheads the corporate offering and leverages notable knowledge in assisting Chinese enterprises on their Hong Kong Stock Exchange listings, as well as guiding Hong Kong-listed companies on main securities transactions and compliance.

Other key lawyers:

Roderick Lai


Their standout feature is thoughtful and meticulous service.

The professionalism and cooperative spirit of lawyers are the basis for our ongoing cooperation.

‘The team is very experienced and professional, knowledgeable. They are able to give professional and feasible advice when we come across problems within reasonable cost control. Also, the ability to explain and deliver their advice to lay-client. ’

‘The individuals are responsive, detailed-minded and patient, also quick response.’

‘The team is strong – all thoughtful and committed lawyers and technically adept. Their drafting and document presentation is of a very high standard. ’

‘Charles Butcher is an excellent partner – technically very knowledgeable and client-focused. Charles takes the time to consider the options and chooses the one best suited to his client. Charles’ knowledge of the Asian M&A market is extremely impressive. ’

‘The team are commercially focused and in tune with our needs. The seamless transition between Hong Kong and Shanghai teams gets results faster and with less fuss. Good use of technology sharing through the Collaborate Platform. Always willing to go the extra mile.’

‘Charles Butcher is a class act. As well as just getting the job done, provides very useful market/territory insight which is very valuable.’

‘An absolutely wonderful team with the ability to manage the global transactions with great capability.’

Roderick Lai is an up and coming partner in the team. Roderick is energetic and also an excellent lawyer.’

Key clients

Baird Capital

Belt Road Investment Group

Cassia Investments

CGN Energy International Holdings Co., Limited

China-LAC Cooperation Fund

Cielo Talent

CITIC Limited


FTI Consulting

G4S plc

Hanwha Asset Management

HNA Group

Iron Mountain

JAS Worldwide

Nissin Foods Company Limited

Owens & Minor



Tricor Group

Vecor Technologies Pty Ltd

Work highlights

  • Advised CGNEI on its acquisition of the 100% equity interest in the Brazilian wind power company Atlantic Energias Renováveis S.A. (Atlantic) from Actis Capital and the post-completion purchase price adjustment.
  • Advised CLAC Fund on its acquisition of a minority equity interest in the container terminal at Terminal De Containeres de Paranaguá, the second largest port in Brazil.
  • Advised CITIC Limited on its US$ 533 million sale of a 22% stake in McDonald’s mainland China and Hong Kong business to CITIC Capital.

K&L Gates

K&L Gates enjoys a strong regional presence, benefitting from offices not only in Hong Kong, Shanghai and Beijing but also in Sydney, Seoul and Tokyo, among other locations. The group has expertise in the automotive, financial services, healthcare, pharmaceuticals and TMT sectors, and represents wide-ranging clients including start-ups, mid-market players, state-owned enterprises and large cap public and private companies. David Tang serves as managing partner and his team is equipped for M&A work from both and inbound and outbound perspective. The group was recently bolstered by the hire of William Ho from Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP who arrives with a track record in supporting private equity funds on their Asia-based investments.

Practice head(s):

David Tang


Very thorough support. Frank Voon and Amigo Xie are recommended.’

Frank Voon and his team are knowledgeable, personable, and responsive.’

I recommend the firm for its understanding of regulatory landscape, relationships in China and excellent understanding of the market.’

Key clients


Chalco Trading Hong Kong Co., Limited

DiDi Chuxing



Lingfeng Capital

Luye Pharma Group

KaiOS Technology

Koppers Inc.

Ortho Clinical Diagnostics

Prenetics Limited

TCL Holdings

Vela Diagnostics

Work highlights

  • Advised leading global genetics and diagnostic health testing company Prenetics and its wholly-owned U.K. subsidiary DNAFit on its acquisition of Oxsed (an Oxford University spin-off which developed the Oxsed RaViD test technology that provides COVID-19 test results within 15–30 minutes).
  • Assisted TCL Holdings with its privatisation of Tonly Electronics (HKSE:1249) through a scheme of arrangement.
  • Assisted Hines, a global real estate firm, with its acquisition of a Hong Kong joint venture company formed by Chinese and U.S. fund managers to develop, through a Chinese subsidiary, Walmart’s South China Fresh and Cold Food Supply Chain and Distribution Centre in the Guangdong Province of China.


An international firm founded in California, members of O’Melveny’s Hong Kong office work in close tangent with the Shanghai and Beijing offices and are particularly well-regarded for public and private M&A, joint ventures, leveraged acquisitions and private equity buyouts. The team handles transactions from all perspectives, acting for buyers, sellers, investors, shareholders and financial advisors, and counts its track record in supporting Chinese companies on their global expansion as a defining trait. The key names to note are Nima Amini who focuses on significant M&A deals, and privatisation and spin-off transaction specialist Edwin Kwok.

Practice head(s):

Nima Amini; Walker Wallace (Shanghai)

Other key lawyers:

Edwin Kwok


‘The team in Hong Kong lead by Nima Amini is the best corporate M&A team I have worked with in over 15 years of M&A work. The quality of the work of the team is exemplary and all associates seem able to step up to the plate when required.’

‘Nima Amini is a superb practitioner. He has outstanding knowledge of the Corporate and M&A Landscape and think nothing of going the extra mile for clients. He has assembled a team of very capable associates that work with him.’

Key clients

SEEK Limited

Pharmaron Beijing Co., Limited

Viva Biotech

Yunfeng Capital


Faraday Future

SMART Global Holdings

SORL Auto Parts

Buyer Group in Going Private of China XD Plastics

TTM Technologies

Work highlights

  • Advising SEEK Limited on its strategic investment from Primavera in Zhaopin and the Sale of Zhaopin to Primavera-led Consortium.
  • Acted for Pharmaron in acquiring Absorption Systems for up to US$137.5m in cash.
  • Advising Viva Biotech in its US$387.3m acquisition of Langhua Pharmaceutical and US$135.4m Share Placement.

Paul Hastings LLP

Paul Hastings LLP has a presence at 22 locations across the globe; its Hong Kong practice is particularly well-regarded within the TMT, FinTech, life sciences, media and entertainment sectors. Within the team, Raymond Li is a veteran of many M&A transactions involving Chinese outbound investments into Hong Kong-listed companies, and Vivian Lam focuses on cross-border acquisitions, investments and general corporate restructuring. In addition to China and Hong Kong-based clients, the group also acts for several names located in the US, Japan and South Korea including multinational technology companies, investment funds, state-owned companies and conglomerates.

Other key lawyers:

Fang Pei


‘The team is knowledgeable and very experienced. Offers creative & practical solutions.’

‘They do not just quote the regulations but provide case precedence and latest market practices.’

‘Vivian Lam is our go to partner.’

‘Well versed in HK & China practices, and able to communicate clearly in English, Mandarin & Cantonese.’

‘Experienced in various aspects of transactions including M&A, listing etc. ’

Key clients


CDH Investments

Fosun International

Ping An


China Life


ICBC International

City Football Group Limited

Work highlights

  • Advised COSCO SHIPPING Development Co., Ltd on its leasing service agreement with COSCO SHIPPING Lines Co., Ltd. in connection with the lease of 74 vessels to COSCO SHIPPING Lines under the bareboat charter; the aggregate lease payments payable shall amount to approximately US$4.62bn.
  • Acted for Dalian Port (PDA) Company Limited in its merger by absorption with Yingkou Port Liability Co., Ltd., the second-largest port in Northeastern China and listed on the Shanghai Stock Exchange, through issuing A shares with a consideration at RMB16.7bn.
  • Advised WH Group Limited on its approximately US$1.92bn conditional voluntary cash offer to buy-back for cancellation for up to 1,916,937,202 shares, representing approximately 13% of its total issued share capital.

Ropes & Gray LLP

Ropes & Gray LLP's Hong Kong team includes Peng Yu who advises multinational corporates and private equity firms on regional transactions, and Oliver Nip whose broad caseload encompasses cross-border buyouts, pre-IPO investments and M&A pertaining to Hong Kong-listed companies. The recent workload reaches beyond Hong Kong, China and the wider Asia Pacific region, extending to transactions involving Europe and the US. James Lidbury retired.

Other key lawyers:

Peng Yu; Oliver Nip

Key clients


Cainiao Smart Logistics Network

Didi Chuxing Technology

National Modern Energy Holdings



Hogan Lovells

Under the leadership of Beijing-based Liang Xu, Hogan Lovells has notable expertise in the highly regulated sectors such as TMT, financial institutions, life sciences, healthcare and automotive. Within the team, Laurence Davidson is recommended for cross-border M&A and has transacted in Japan, Australia, India and Mongolia, among other locations; Stephanie Tang heads the private equity practice; and Andrew McGinty provides FDI, strategic partnership and joint venture expertise. The team is also adept in commercial contracts, corporate restructurings and take-private projects.

Practice head(s):

Liang Xu

Key clients

Fineland Real Estate Services Group Limited

China Customer Relations Centers, Inc.

China XD Plastics Company Limited

Jumei International Holding Limited

Work highlights

  • Advised Fineland Real Estate Services Group Limited on the major and connected acquisition of 66.31% of the equity interests in Guangzhou Fineland E-Life Service Co., Ltd.
  • Advised the special committee of the board of directors of China Customer Relations Centers, Inc., a leading e-commerce and financial services business process outsourcing service provider in China on the acquisition and take-private of the listco by its chief executive officer, chief financial officer, and other senior management members.
  • Acted for the special committee of the board of directors of China XD Plastics Company Limited on the acquisition and take-private of the listco by its chief executive officer.

Howse Williams

An independent, single office firm in Hong Kong, Howse Williams caters to a client roster consisting of high-net-worth individuals, small to medium-sized enterprises and large multinational conglomerates. Founding partner Chris Williams fronts the offering and has been active in the local market since 1991; he is proficient in M&A, corporate finance, restructuring, governance and reorganisation matters and the wider team is also renowned for its capacity for private equity, joint venture and fund matters in addition to takeovers and public offerings.

Practice head(s):

Chris Williams

Other key lawyers:

Brian Ho ;   Chris Yu; Chia Ching Tan 


‘Chia Ching Tan drafted commercial legal documents thoughtfully and has been readily approachable, reliable, flexible, problem solving with a great and professional attitude; she is knowledgeable, explained to client with patience and communicated with and addressed client concerns adequately and straight to the point.’

Key clients

Vantage International (Holdings) Limited

Dafeng Port Heshun Technology Company Limited

Medicskin Holdings Limited

Hongkong Chinese Limited and Lippo Limited

IAG Holdings Limited

Two manufacturers of ophthalmic frames, lenses and sunglass lenses.

A prominent Italian footwear brand

BelRed Technology Company Limited

Starlite Holdings Limited

Zensun Enterprises Limited

DL Holdings Group Limited

Work highlights

  • Acted for Vantage International (Holdings) Limited as its Hong Kong legal advisers in relation to its privatisation by its controlling shareholder by way of a scheme of arrangement and its subsequent delisting from the Hong Kong Stock Exchange.
  • Acted for Dafeng Port Heshun Technology Limited, the seller, as its Hong Kong legal advisers in relation to the disposal of 60% equity interests in Jiangsu Hairong Dafeng Port Petrochemical Product Terminal Company Limited to Jiangsu Dafeng Harbour Holdings Limited.
  • Acted for Medicskin Holdings Limited, the purchaser, as its Hong Kong legal advisers in relation to its off-market repurchase of its own shares from Fullshare Holdings Limited which involved the obtaining of approval from the Securities and Futures Commission of Hong Kong.

Minter Ellison

Supported by a team of over 200 lawyers in Australia, Mongolia, London, Beijing and Shanghai, Minter Ellison’s Hong Kong team is engaged on a plethora of corporate and M&A transaction types; examples include hostile and recommended takeover bids, trade sales and acquisitions, privatisations and private equity deals. Beyond its proficiency in both inbound and outbound investments, a key pillar of the practice is its work for Chinese businesses and entrepreneurs in respect of Hong Kong listings and consequential transactions. Barbara Mok’s caseload also encompasses business reorganisations, regulatory compliance and corporate governance mandates while fellow department co-head Fred Kinmonth is an equity fundraising and refinancing expert.

Practice head(s):

Barbara Mok; Fred Kinmonth

Other key lawyers:

Anne Ko; Katherine U


‘An all-rounded firm covering a wide range of legal aspects.’

Katherine U is very professional and experienced; she always think for her clients and does her great to fight for the clients interest in a practical and realistic way.’

Key clients

Golden Meditech Holdings Limited

Capxon International Electronic Company Limited

Volkswagens Hong Kong Limited

Hopson Development Holdings Limited

Guangzhou Baiyunshan Pharmaceutical Holdings Co. Ltd

Yuexiu Transport Infrastructure Limited

Zhuzhou CRRC Times Electric Co. Ltd

Tianneng Power International Ltd

EVA Precision Industrial Holdings Ltd

Work highlights

  • Advised Golden Meditech Holdings Limited and Meditech Global Group Limited  on the Hong Kong law aspects (including Takeover Code implications) of the privatisation of the Company by the Offeror by way of a scheme of arrangement under section 86 of the Companies Law (2020 Revision) of the Cayman Islands.
  • Advised Volkswagen Hong Kong Limited (VW) on the disposal of its entire passenger car business in Hong Kong and Macau to Kam Lung Motor Group Limited (KLM).
  • Acted for Hopson Development Holdings Limited on its June 2020 and July 2020 subscriptions by its wholly-owned subsidiary for new shares in Scientia Technologies Limited.

Proskauer Rose LLP

Proskauer Rose LLP is co-led by Yuval Tal who splits his time between Hong Kong and Beijing and notably serves as global co-chair of the firm’s hospitality, gaming and leisure group; the aforementioned sectors are core pillars of the M&A offering and so too are private equity transactions, a front on which Jeremy Leifer and Jay Tai thrive.

Practice head(s):

Yuval Tal; Jeremy Leifer; Jay Tai


Timeliness, genuine care and building trust; they care enough to really build a long lasting relationship which can lead to more opportunities of working together.’

‘One of the top – not only is the team professional and knowledgeable, they are very considerate and kind. They genuinely care for the well-being of the client side on professionally and personally.’

Key clients

Grifols S.A.

Accor – sbe Hotel

Accor – Faena Group

Accor – Ennismore

Accor – Huazhu

Galaxy Entertainment Group

Bow Wave Capital Management

Mount Sinai International

Work highlights

  • Advising Grifols S.A. in its entry into a strategic alliance with China’s leading blood plasma company, Shanghai RAAS Blood Products Co Ltd.
  • Advised Accor in numerous high-profile hospitality deals around the world over the last year. Most recently, the team advised Accor on the launch of a global strategic partnership with Faena Group.
  • Acted for Galaxy Entertainment in its agreements with Hyatt in connection with the new Andaz Macau, one of the most anticipated hotel projects, scheduled to open in 2021 as part of Galaxy Macau’s new Galaxy International Convention Center (GICC).

Stephenson Harwood

A long-standing player in the market, Stephenson Harwood has been advising Hong Kong Stock Exchange-listed companies for over 30 years and covers the full array of corporate and M&A deals including public, private, cross-border and joint venture transactions in addition to IPOs and general commercial work. The firm is well-positioned to serve as a one-stop-destination for English, Hong Kong and PRC law, owing to its association with China-based Wei Tu Law Firm. M&A and corporate finance specialist Jane Ng oversees the practice.

Practice head(s):

Jane Ng

Key clients

China Development Bank Financial Leasing Co., Ltd.

SOCAM Development Limited

The joint provisional liquidators of CECEP COSTIN New Materials Group Limited


Prosperity International Holdings (H.K.) Limited

Work highlights

  • Serving as Hong Kong legal adviser to the joint provisional liquidators of CECEP COSTIN New Materials Group Limited on a proposed acquisition of a real estate portfolio from sellers connected with Mr. Anson Chan and his family.
  • acted for Prosperity International Holdings (H.K.) Limited on the disposal of the entire issued share capital of Greater Sino Investments Limited by Prosperity Real Estate Holdings Limited, an indirect wholly-owned subsidiary of PIHL.
  • Advised UK shipbroker Affinity (Shipping) LLP on its acquisition of Grieg Shipbrokers Asia.