Firms To Watch: Investment funds

A fairly unique proposition in the market, heavyweight European funds firm Elvinger Hoss Prussen continues to be a popular choice by dint of its ability to provide real time advice to Asian sponsors seeking to run onshore Luxembourg structures and to leverage the benefits of complying with the EU AIFMD regulations (and to thereby market private equity and hedge funds to investors based across the EU).
Since the 'knowledgeable and well-informed' Penelope Shen 's arrival in June 2020 from Kwok Yih & Chan, Stephenson Harwood is increasingly well-placed to advise asset managers in Greater China and Singapore across the spectrum of private funds, including private equity and hedge funds.

Investment funds in Hong Kong

Clifford Chance

With strong local knowledge and also able to integrate cutting-edge techniques and know-how gleaned from the firm’s experience across other jurisdictions, Clifford Chance‘s Hong Kong office is a popular choice among fund sponsors seeking guidance across the range of open and closed-ended funds. Clients also gain comfort in the knowledge that the team has ‘very strong regulatory capabilities’ and benefits from a good working relationship with the relevant supervisory bodies. Team head Mark Shipman is a ‘market leader in the space; as well as his role as a trusted advisor to financial services entities on standalone fund formation mandates, he is also regularly engaged by numerous trade bodies/committees to provide high-level insight into regulatory matters. Matthias Feldmann excels in open-ended funds and has been at the forefront of the establishment of many of the largest hedge fund launches in the region. Splitting his time between the firm’s Beijing and Shanghai offices, Ying White rounds out the firm’s Greater China offering at a senior level and has a particularly strong reputation among PRC financial institutions in relation to the structuring, establishment and operations of offshore private equity and hedge funds.

Practice head(s):

Mark Shipman

Testimonials

The team is commercially astute, a market leader in terms of product knowledge and has the ability to field a bilingual offering. It is also effortlessly able to integrate with other practice areas such as regulatory and disputes.’

Mark Shipman is a market leader in this space.’

The technically sound and always responsive Teresa Leung is excellent.’

Key clients

Greater Bay Area Homeland Development Fund

TR Capital

Chelsfield Asia

Phoenix Property Investors Limited

GE Capital

CPPIB

HOPU Investments

ICBC International

CBRE Global Investors

Neuberger Berman

Brilliance Capital (second largest Chinese hedge fund)

Work highlights

  • Advised CITIC Capital on the set up of logistics fund with SF which focuses on logistics property investment opportunities.
  • Advised Sequoia China Equity Partners on the establishment of SECP Fund, an equity long-short hedge fund established in the Cayman Islands adopting a master-feeder structure.
  • Advised CSOP Asset Management Limited (CSOP), a leading ETF manager in Hong Kong, on the launch of CSOP Hang Seng TECH Index Daily (2x) Leveraged Product and CSOP Hang Seng TECH Index Daily (-2x) Inverse Product on The Stock Exchange of Hong Kong.

Deacons

A mainstay of the local market, independent heavyweight firm Deacons is a popular choice among regional and international asset managers across a range of structuring, regulatory and ongoing operational work. Although it does handle some alternative funds matters, the team’s undoubted sweet-spot lies in the retail space and in this context it is ‘unmatched in its ability‘ to achieve the necessary regulatory authorisation, including in relation to Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) authorised Environmental, Social and Corporate Governance (ESG) funds. ‘Helpful and client-friendly’ team head Jeremy Lam oversees a vast array of retail funds offered in the Hong Kong market and is also appreciated for his ability to coalesce his legal and regulatory knowledge to good effect. Taylor Hui leads the China team and benefits from many years’ experience advising PRC fund managers on fund establishment in Hong Kong and on bringing RMB investment products into the Hong Kong market. ‘Familiar with all the latest trends’, Ming Chiu Li is also focused on China-related mandates particularly on bringing innovative fund products to the market.

Practice head(s):

Jeremy Lam

Testimonials

Not only do they know the funds area well, they are on top of the latest regulatory requirements and issues. They are also very familiar with the regulators, their requirements, expectations and how they work, likewise Deacons is well regarded by the regulators.’

They are responsive, practical, commercial and the quality of their work, from the juniors to the partners, is almost faultless. I would rely on their advice which is typically balanced and thoughtful.’

Deacons has a very experienced investment funds team and they have a wealth of history and knowledge in the area.’

Alwyn Li is very familiar with the regulatory environment and understands risks involved.’

Ming Chiu Li is accessible, commercial, familiar with all latest trends and very down-to-earth.’

Jeremy Lam and Joyce Li give very practical legal advice and are always extremely helpful and client friendly.’

Key clients

Aberdeen Standard

Alliance Bernstein

Amundi

First Sentier Investors

Invesco Hong Kong Limited

Janus Henderson Management S.A.

Manulife Investment Management

Principal Global Investors

Schroder Investment Management

St. James’s Place

Value Partners

Work highlights

  • Assisted the Hong Kong arm of a global investment bank to establish, register and launchthe first private umbrella OFC in Hong Kong.
  • Advised CSOP on the debut of the first ETFs established under the Hong Kong-Mainland cross-listing scheme.
  • Advised BEA Union Investment Management on setting up the first unlisted public SFC-authorised OFC in HongKong.

Debevoise & Plimpton LLP

While it is more one dimensional in scope than some of its peers, few in the market come close to matching Debevoise & Plimpton LLP for the quality of work it provides in the private equity fund formation sphere. The firm’s position at the pinnacle of the market is reflected in the calibre and range of clients it acts for, including many of the region’s largest and most sophisticated pan-Asian sponsor clients, as well as smaller sector or country-specific funds. In addition to fundraising, the team, which is led by the ‘technically brilliant’ Gavin Anderson , also advises on managed accounts, joint ventures, co-investments, carried interest planning and complex secondary transactions and investor-side negotiations. ‘Reliable, hardworking and creative’ international counsel Mai Shapiro is a pivotal member of the team, in light of her tax structuring aptitude, both on the intitial fund structuring front, as well as in the context of subsequent downstream investment work. Of counsel Andrew Ostrognai  is also recommended.

Practice head(s):

Gavin Anderson

Testimonials

Definitely one of the heavyweights in the Asian investment funds formation space. No compromise on quality.’

They have deep knowledge of the markets and the needs of all constituencies in connection with a fund raise.’

The team continues to impress with its unparalleled knowledge of the industry, solutions-focused advice and impeccable service.’

It displays huge amounts of industry knowledge and its ability to access the Debevoise network in Europe and the USA is of course a real asset.’

‘They all work together as a team, are well organised and co-ordinated, and handle small and large transactions equally well. They have an excellent understanding of our business and their advice is always sound, pragmatic and commercial.’

Gavin Anderson is calm, reassuring, intelligent, creative and commercial.’

‘The outstanding Gavin Anderson is able to distill the essence of complex issues quickly, articulate solutions clearly and negotiate in a friendly way to swiftly achieve resolutions.’

Gavin Anderson is a technically brilliant lawyer, who delivers spot-on and insightful advice on the most complex subjects.’

Mai Shapiro is reliable, hardworking and creative.’

Shawn Yang is very calm, commercial, able to think outside-the-box and to provide solutions.’

Gibson Dunn

Co-headed by John Fadely, who ‘always shows great command of complex issues’, and the ‘extremely dedicated’ Albert Cho, Gibson Dunn‘s ‘hardworking and knowledgeable‘ seven-strong team has a strong reputation in the private funds space, including on structuring and ongoing operational matters. Both Fadely and Cho are Hong Kong and US-qualified and embody the team’s ability to provide an effective combination of local, regional and international expertise to many leading China and pan-Asian sponsor clients, including Legend Capital and PAG. The team’s ability to leverage resources in other key international financial centres across the US, UK and Dubai, is also a strong selling point, both in the context of knowledge sharing and on cross-border mandates. ‘Highly intelligent and hardworking’ of counsel Youjung Byon provides fund formation, co-investment and governance advice in relation to a range of private funds, including buyout, debt and real estate funds.

Practice head(s):

John Fadely; Albert Cho

Other key lawyers:

Youjung Byon

Testimonials

‘The team is well staffed and strong on all levels. The partners are very involved and hands on with respect to client service. Senior associates, junior associates and paralegals are competent to take on their respective level of work, such that total bill for a transaction is reasonable for the high-quality service provided.’

Very hardworking, knowledgeable, experienced and commercial team. It is trusted and respected advisor to many of Asia’s top-tier private equity fund managers.’

John Fadely always shows great command of complex issues and an ability to think-outside-the-box.’

Albert Cho is extremely dedicated to his clients and I believe continues to dominate in the Korean Funds market.’

Youjung Byon is highly intelligent and hardworking and operates to the same level as a partner.’

‘John Fadely and Youjung Byon are exceptionally knowledgeable about the private equity fund formation market, and respond promptly to our questions any time of the day. When one is on vacation, the other one takes up the work seamlessly. ’

Key clients

ADV Partners

Anchor Equity Partners

ARA Asset Management

Asia Partners

BAI Capital

Boyu Capital

Capital Today Group

CLSA Capital Partners

DCL Investments

DCP Capital

Global Infrastructure Partners

Hahn & Company

Hereditas Capital

JP Morgan Asset Management

Legend Capital

Lupin Capital

Maison Capital

PAG

Starcrest Capital Partners

The Longreach Group

Trustar Capital Partners (formerly CITIC Capital)

Trustbridge Partners

Kirkland & Ellis

Acting on its own, as well as able to deploy additional resources from across its global network, including London and the US, the ‘experienced and knowledgeable‘ team at Kirkland & Ellis has a market-leading reputation across the spectrum of private equity work, including on fund structuring, co-investments, recapitalisations and secondaries. The firm receives a tremendous flow of mandates from both local sponsor clients, including Legend Capital, Long Hill Capital Partners and Tencent, and from core institutional international sponsors raising funds in the region. Justin Dolling has a primary focus on fund structuring for GP clients, however, his broader knowledge of the private equity ecosystem ensures that he also picks up work on the restructuring of funds, and buy-outs and spin-offs relating to the management houses. Mandarin-speaking China, Hong Kong and US-qualified “triple threatCarol Liu leads the China private funds sub-group and has substantial expertise advising on the formation of an array of private funds across asset classes and strategies, including venture, growth, buy-out, real estate, infrastructure, secondary and private credit funds. Damian Jacobs is the other principal contact within the team, whose broad-ranging practice also includes a considerable amount of secondaries work.

Other key lawyers:

Jennifer Feng; Liyong Xing

Testimonials

Experienced, knowledgeable, and dedicated to getting things completed on time.’

They use their rich experience and market knowledge to provide us with guidance throughout the fund raising process. They pay great attention to the situation of customers and fund raising, and actively seek solutions to practical business problems in complex situations.’

Carol Liu has a keen market insight into the trend and strategy of US dollar fund raising. Carol serves as the lead lawyer for many funds, but we can always contact her whenever we need help. She is very professional, calm and confident. She can give us a lot of confidence and certainty when we need her to deal with difficult negotiations with the counterparty. Her keen market insight, judgment, pragmatism and solution-oriented work style make her stand out‘.

Key clients

Tencent

Lilly Asia Ventures

Integral Group

Hosen Capital

Jeneration Capital

Ocean Link

A consortium including HarbourVest Partners, LGT and GIC

GL Capital

Long Hill Capital Partners

Legend Capital

Work highlights

  • Advised Tencent on the fundraising for its TPP Fund II.
  • Advised Lilly Asia Ventures on the successful closing of its sixth US dollar life sciences fund.
  • Advised Tokyo-based private equity group, Integral Group, in the structuring and fundraising of Integral Fund IV.

Simmons & Simmons

Although it handles some private equity mandates, Simmons & Simmons is best-known for its open-ended funds work, both at a retail level, as well as in the context of vehicles established for sophisticated investors, including hedge funds. With a sizeable Hong Kong-based offering, which is led by Rolfe Hayden, and supported by a significant presence in mainland China, as well as in major international fund jurisdictions (including London, Luxembourg and Dublin), the team benefits from ‘superb market knowledge‘, and is experienced representing international asset management firms setting up in Asia, and representing regional entities marketing funds to an international investor base. Eva Chan is best known in the retail space and has established a particularly strong reputation in relation to Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs), including on the establishment of a number of innovative structures such as the first synthetic exchange-traded fund (ETF) and first ESG ETF. Ivy Yam was promoted to partner in August 2020, and regularly handles fund establishment, authorisation, listing and ongoing regulatory compliance for a diverse range of collective investment schemes.

Practice head(s):

Rolfe Hayden

Other key lawyers:

Eva ChanIvy Yam

Testimonials

The team has superb market knowledge.’

Key clients

Hang Seng Investment Management Limited

Mirae Asset Global Investments (Hong Kong) Ltd

Samsung Asset Management (Hong Kong) Limited

BlackRock Asset Management North Asia Limited

China Asset Management (Hong Kong) Limited

CSOP Asset Management Limited

Value Partners

Harvest Global Investment Limited

Haitong International Asset Management Limited

UBS AG, Asset Management

Work highlights

  • Advised Hang Seng Investment Management Limited (HSVM) on the launch of the Hang Seng Harvest CSI 300 Index ETF.
  • Advised on the establishment and authorisation of Harvest Funds Series (Hong Kong) ETF, a new Hong Kong umbrella unit trust, and the establishment, authorisation and listing of its first sub-fund, Harvest CSI 300 ESG Leader ETF.
  • Advised Samsung on the launch of the Samsung S&P High Dividend Asia Pacific-Ex New Zealand REITs ETF.

Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP

Spearheaded out of Hong Kong and Tokyo by Adam Furber and David Azcue, respectively, Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP‘s 14-strong Asia funds team has successfully forged strong and deep relationships with an array of regional heavyweights on their pan-Asian, China-focused and Japan-focused strategies. In addition, the team is able to leverage the firm’s deep-rooted institutional ties with global sponsor heavyweights, including KKR and Blackstone, assisting them with their Asian investment strategies. Expertise covers regulatory, structuring and operational work and runs the gamut across asset classes and investment strategies. As well as regular buy-out fund structuring, the practice has also developed a strong reputation advising on the establishment of real estate funds. In this regard, notably Furber, working alongside practitioners based out of Hong Kong (including recently promoted counsel Michael Ceulen) and New York, recently advised KKR on its $1.7bn debut Asia real estate fund.

Practice head(s):

Adam Furber

Testimonials

The team is well balanced between being technical and commercial.’

Simpson Thacher has the best knowledge of private equity in Japan specifically and pn top of that, is able to leverage best practices globally at a local level. They have a wealth of experience in Japan by being in the industry the longest, having an on the ground presence – which is quite rare among foreign law firms – and has deep knowledge of the market, as they also represent many of our competitors.’

Adam Furber, who leads the fund formation practice in Asia has been heavily involved in the Japanese market since the early days of private equity in the country.’

Key clients

Advantage Partners

Affinity Equity Partners

Apax

Ant Group

Aspirant Group

Blackstone

Brummer & Partners

CapSquare Asia Partners

Carlyle

China Logistics Properties

CLSA Capital

CVC

Delos Capital

Diamond Realty Management

EmergeVest

EQT

Excelsior Capital Asia

Hillhouse

Integral Corporation

Japan Growth Investment Alliance (J-GIA)

Japan Post Investments

J-Star

KKR

Kyoto Pacific Capital

Lexington Partners

Morgan Stanley

New Frontier China

Nippon Investment Company

Nippon Sangyo Suishin Kiko Ltd.

Nissay Asset Management

NSSK

PAG

Polaris Capital Group

Seven Seas Advisors

Shunwei Capital

SK Group

Silver Lake

SL Capital

T Capital Partners

Tor Investment Management

Unison Capital

Vivo Capital

Welkin Capital Partners

Yunfeng Capital

Zebra Global Capital

Work highlights

  • Advised KKR in the formation of its first Asia real estate fund, KKR Asia Real Estate Partners SCSp.
  • Advised PAG Real Estate in the formation and fundraising of SCREP VII, its flagship opportunistic real estate fund, with $2.75bn capital commitments.
  • Advised Polaris CG Singapore Pte. Ltd. in the formation of the Polaris Fund V Series Funds, with total commitments of RMB150bn.

Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP

Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP's one-partner team, led by Anne-Marie Godfrey, punches above-its-weight, due, in part, by its ability to work in an integrated fashion with practitioners based in situ in several key fund jurisdictions, including Singapore, New York and London. It is regularly instructed by a broad coverage of stakeholders in the funds space, including asset managers, trustees, custodians and institutional investors. The team is best-known for its hedge fund expertise, and is also active in the closed-end space, including in relation to offshore China and China-oriented US dollar private equity funds, as well as Hong Kong-based credit funds.

Practice head(s):

Anne-Marie Godfrey

Other key lawyers:

Dan Morrissey

Testimonials

‘Akin Gump has represented our company on several of our investments into hedge funds. The firm is widely known for its investment management expertise and has developed a niche in LP representation.’

‘At a time when keeping abreast of developments has become critical when faced with zero face-to-face contact, Akin have led the way in assisting their clients to maintain relevance and understanding of the changing terms of reference.’

‘Anne-Marie Godfrey is an aggressive negotiator with good commercial sense.’

‘Anne-Marie Godfrey remains the standout service provider in the funds industry in Hong Kong/Asia. Accessibility, energy and up-to-date understanding of the legal developments are the primary reasons for this.’

‘The very detailed and responsive Dan Morrissey is a stand-out lawyer with a strong understanding of hedge funds.’

Baker McKenzie

Led by Jason Ng and regularly working with other offices in the region, including Singapore, Baker McKenzie advises GPs and LP investors across their fund structuring, regulatory and tax requirements. The team excels in the private funds space and is well-versed across the full spectrum of structures, whether it be through a sidecar, co-investment or separate account. Real estate funds remain a core strength of the team and it continues to monopolise the Hong Kong real estate investment trust (REIT) sector, advising ten out of the eleven REITs in Hong Kong, as manager or trustee counsel. Ng continues to advise marquee client GAW Capital on its fund structuring work, including on the establishment of fund platforms to invest in data centres and logistics. Edwin Wong also plays a key role in the work for GAW Capital and other GP clients, while on the investor side he continues to pick up a considerable amount of sovereign wealth mandates. Sophia Man has niche pension funds expertise, including many of the largest MPF and ORSO service providers in Hong Kong.

Practice head(s):

Jason Ng

Other key lawyers:

Sophia Man; Edwin Wong; Jeremy Ong

Testimonials

Throughout the years, they have kept on advancing and outpacing their peers in REIT industry knowledge.’

They have built strong relationship with the SFC and contributed to voicing out to authorities on behalf of industry operators.’

They understand client’s needs and are able to provide legal advice, not only from a legal standpoint, but also from a commercial perspective.’

Key clients

APG Asset Management (the Dutch pension fund) (APG)

Ardian (formerly AXA Private Equity)

B.Grimm Capital Partners

Cambium Grove Capital (CGC)

Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB)

Gaw Capital Partners (GCP)

Gemini Investments

Keppel Capital / Alpha Investment Partners

Link REIT

M3 Capital Partners

Pleiad Investment Advisors (PIA)

SF REIT

Spring REIT

Taubman Centres Inc.

Yuexiu REIT

Work highlights

  • Acted as fund counsel for longstanding client, GCP, on the formation of thematic fund platforms in high-growth sectors.
  • Acted as lead counsel for GCP, and a consortium of institutional investors, on the structuring, formation and successful closing of the HKD9.8bn acquisition of the Cityplaza One, a 21-story office tower in Hong Kong’s Taikoo Shing area, from Swire Pacific and Swire Properties.
  • Acted as fund counsel for GCP on the formation of Gaw Growth Equity Fund I (GEF I), GCP’s inaugural Asia-Pacific focused growth equity fund.

Dechert

Led by Michael Wong, DechertComparative Guides promotional icon provides ‘professional and pragmatic advice’ to hedge, private equity and registered funds.  The team has been particularly successful in gaining significant market share for China-based hedge fund managers, which are appreciative of its ability to provide Hong Kong, US and European regulatory advice – of particular importance for managers offering their funds in Europe and the US. Clients also benefit from the office’s ability to leverage the expertise of practitioners spread across the firm’s international network on cross-border mandates.

Practice head(s):

Michael Wong

Other key lawyers:

Stanley Tiu ; Mack Wan

Testimonials

The team provides professional and pragmatic advice.’

Key clients

Greenwoods Asset Management

China Everbright Asset Management

UG Investment Advisors

Brilliance Capital Management

Triada

Apeiron Capital Limited

Infini Capital Management Limited

Ping An Asset Management Co., Ltd.

PV Capital (HK) Limited

TradeMaster Securities (Hong Kong) Limited

Ping An Insurance

China Everbright Limited

China Resources Capital Management

SK Inc.

Mirae Asset Securities (HK) Limited

Empyrean Management/JIC Capital Management

ABC International (Agricultural Bank of China)

China Taiping Life Insurance

APlus Partners Group

Synergy Investment Management

Lu International (Singapore)

Hauck & Aufhäuser Fund Services S.A

Ping An of China Asset Management (Hong Kong) Co., Ltd

Wells Fargo Asset Management

Manulife Investment Management

UBS Asset Management

Charles Schwab investment Management

Alquity

Oppenheimer

Van Eck

Work highlights

  • Formation and structuring of Greenwoods Focused Opportunities Fund and Greenwoods Focused Opportunities Master Fund.
  • Structuring and formation of Aviation Silk Road USD Fund L.P.
  • Formation of Ping An Global Mezzanine Fund, a private equity fund targeting investments in other credit funds and co-investment opportunities.

DLA Piper

DLA Piper has a strong reputation advising a sponsor/fund manager-focused client base on the establishment of some very sizeable alternative investment funds. Although it is well-versed across the panoply of alternative asset/investment classes, including private equity, venture capital and hedge funds, the team has recently been particularly active in advising regional fund managers on the establishment of real estate credit funds, an area of notable growth in the market as banks have decreased their lending activity in the sector. The firm has also begun to grow its investor profile and has recently advised UBS Asset Management Switzerland on its investment in GLP Japan Income Fund, one of the largest private open-ended logistics real estate income funds. Vastly experienced team head Luke Gannon is particularly experienced in advising GPs and LP investors across a range of mandates, including real estate, digital technologies and securities.

Practice head(s):

Luke Gannon

Testimonials

Clients enjoy getting succinct and practical advice that helps them to easily achieve their commercial imperatives.’

‘Luke Gannon brings a wealth of experience and knowledge which may not be found in some of the other funds teams in Asia.’

Key clients

UBS Asset Management Switzerland

Avataar Venture Partners I

First Beijing Investment Limited

Sylebra Capital

Nine Masts Capital Limited

Sun Hung Kai & Co. Limited

COFCO Capital Group

China Ping An Insurance Overseas (Holdings) Limited

Goodwin

With a sizeable team in Hong Kong and able to tap into the expertise of lawyers based in key international fund centres, including London, Luxembourg and New York, Goodwin is regularly instructed on fund structuring mandates with a cross-border complexion. The alternative fund sector is the firm’s sweet spot, including private equity and credit funds, while the firm’s overarching tech and life sciences proficiency ensure that it picks up a considerable amount of venture capital and growth capital mandates in the space. ‘Calm, practical and approachable’ team head Gregory Barclay is recommended for advising on the establishment of closed-end fund structures and strategies, and advising fund managers in the region drawing in capital from a global investor client base. Phil Culhane and native Mandarin speaker Elyn Xing joined the team in October 2021 from boutique firm Culhane & Associates LLP and Debevoise & Plimpton LLP respectively; both with a wealth of experience in advising private funds operating in Asia and beyond.

Practice head(s):

Gregory Barclay

Testimonials

You get “big firm” expertise and experience, with “small firm” service, i.e. the best of both worlds.’

Gregory Barclay is calm, practical, approachable and helpful. No question is too much or too little, and he is only ever a phone call away. His experience in the market is apparent in his advice, which is always bespoke and appropriate.’

Dominic Wong manages our work seamlessly. All our requests are acknowledged within 24 hours, and he works tirelessly to meet deadlines, no matter how demanding.’

‘Gregory Barclay and Manish Ranjan are highly responsive, very commercial and willing to develop creative solutions while identifying material legal risks. Working with them is always a straight forward and efficient experience.’

Key clients

AEW

Convergent Finance

Equis

FountainVest Partners

Hillhouse Capital

LGT Capital Partners

LionRock Capital

Lunar Capital Management

Partners Group

Tybourne Capital

Work highlights

  • Advising Equis Development in its agreement with a wholly owned subsidiary of the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority, Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan Board and the Equis management team to invest $1.25bn in EDL.
  • Advised GHIG on a programmatic joint venture into hospitality assets in the US with a large US hedge fund.
  • Advised Goat Capital on the formation of early stage US and China-focused venture capital fund plus various growth-focused investment SPVs.

King & Wood Mallesons

With five partners based out of Hong Kong and able to draw upon significant resources in mainland China (including the ability to advise on local law), the ‘solutions-driven‘ team at King & Wood Mallesons advises PRC clients on domestic and international transactions, and international entities on PRC-related fund matters. As well as fund structuring, the team is also able to advise on ongoing compliance regulatory work, co-investments, and secondaries, and is conversant with the needs of sponsors and investors across a range of asset classes, including real estate and infrastructure. Team head Jingjing Jiang has an excellent track record advising Chinese fund managers involving multiple jurisdictions. Jiang also advises on regulatory matters and has been at the forefront of the development of the Hong Kong Limited Partnership Fund (LPF) regime. Guo Sun Lee excels in the formation of mid-to-large sized private equity, emerging markets and real estate funds.

Practice head(s):

Jingjing Jiang

Testimonials

‘It is one of the most approachable and practical teams in the market. They have a deep and broad knowledge across various different fund lines.’

The team is extremely knowledgeable and always available when needed. They are very solutions-driven when delivering advice and this makes this team a stand-out as they have at countless times recommended practical and sensible solutions to our firm.’

‘Their lawyers come from a range of backgrounds and are very knowledgeable when it comes to fund formation matters. They are always willing to provide in-house training to us when a new area of law has been introduced. They will also send us articles in regards to updates in laws and regulations. Their willingness to also think about reducing their fees and making their fee proposals competitive are also what draws us to them.’

‘Cindy Shek makes herself available for us no matter what. Her dedication and responsiveness are what distinguishes her from her peers. She’s always willing to accommodate our tight deadlines and her willingness to always deal with our evolving structures are also key to what makes us engage them for various fund formation/underlying M&A matters.’

Key clients

BOCHK Asset Management Limited

Investec Property Limited

GLY Capital Management Limited, an affiliate of Zhejiang Geely Holding Group

Logos Property Group

Eminence Ventures

Archipelago Capital Partners

Summer Capital

SUSI Partners

Avenue Investment Management Limited

Mirae Asset Global Investments (HK) Limited

CMS Capital (HK) Co., Limited

Harvest Global Capital Investments Limited

Morrison Foerster

Led by the ‘solutions-oriented’ Serena Tan and Nicholas Sheets, Morrison Foerster‘s 13-strong team has the depth of knowledge to handle a significant range and volume of work for a GP-focused client base within the closed-end alternative fund space. It acts for some large global funds on their Asia-focused work, and is particularly prolific in advising regional private equity and venture capital funds, including Hony Capital and Soft Bank Ventures Asia. It also handles investor work and has strong relationships with numerous leading regional insurance companies, acting in their capacity as LPs. Tan ‘is a leading Chinese speaking fund formation lawyer’ and is highly recommended for advising in the formation of, and investment in, private funds (including USD funds, RMB funds, and dual-currency funds).

Practice head(s):

Serena Tan; Nicholas Sheets

Testimonials

‘The team has a strong flow of formation work for investment funds. This allows them to know what market terms are for various kinds of funds. This is particularly helpful when negotiating with strong LPs.’

Their bilingual offering is a significant value-add as Hong Kong companies like us are expanding at unprecedented speed across the globe. In addition, they are extremely knowledgeable in various key jurisdictions (we’ve engaged them on US/EU/mainland China/HK matters) to actionable business plans that lines up to our business goals and expansion.’

Serena Tan provides highly practical legal advice and useful market practice insights.’

‘Serena Tan is a leading Chinese speaking fund formation lawyer. Her practice covers most of the key players in the PRC fund industry so she has good insight into how LPs and GPs think in this area. ’

Serena Tan is solutions-oriented and fully understands her clients’ needs.’

Key clients

Ally Bridge Group

Ascendent Capital Partners Asia

BHG Long Hills

C-Bridge Capital

Fosun International Group

FWD Group

GLP PTE, Ltd. (GLP)

Hony Capital

KHL

Makers Fund

Morgan Stanley Private Equity Asia

SBVA Future Innovation Fund

Silicon Valley Bank

SoftBank Ventures Asia

Sympath Capital

The Wharf (Holdings) Limited

Work highlights

  • Acting for Softbank Ventures Asia in the operation of China Ventures Fund I, L.P., a fund making venture capital investments in the consumer internet, media and AI sectors in mainland China.
  • Advising the sponsor’s private equity investment arm in its formation of a PRC-domiciled, RMB-denominated private investment fund focusing on investments in China.
  • Assisting the sponsor with the formation of a real estate fund. The fund aims to attract reputable institutional investors and plans to invest in prime retail projects located in national central cities across mainland China.

Ropes & Gray LLP

Benefiting from strong connections with many regional fund managers and also able to leverage the firm’s institutional ties with some leading global sponsors, Ropes & Gray LLP‘s Hong Kong office is adept at advising across the spectrum of closed-end funds, including private equity, venture capital, credit and infrastructure. The team is at the vanguard of the secondaries market and continues to handle a raft of GP-led secondary transactions and is also experienced in advising on co-investment transactions. It also handles a considerable amount of work for institutional investors, both in their role as LPs, and acting as GPs on the establishment of their own funds.  Drawing upon considerable experience developed not just in Hong Kong but also formerly at the firm’s Boston headquarters, team head Vincent Ip is recommended for advising Asia-focused private investment funds and institutional investors.

Practice head(s):

Vincent Ip

Other key lawyers:

Chune Loong Lum

Testimonials

They are able to provide very insightful advice and unique perspectives to GPs as they also represent a lot of LPs on private equity fund investments.’

Chune Loong Lum advises international and Asian funds on the formation of private funds, including buyout, growth capital, venture capital, real estate, private credit, co-investment, fund of funds and separate accounts. In addition, he advises LPs on regulatory matters, carried interest plans, and operational matters.’

Shearman & Sterling

Led by the ‘hardworking, tenacious and knowledgeable’ Lorna Xin Chen, Shearman & Sterling has developed a particularly impressive reputation advising institutional investors, including regional sovereign wealth funds investing into a myriad private funds, as well as in cross-border co-investment projects. It is also very adept at handling fund structuring work for GP clients, as well as on the attendant operational work. Chen is involved with numerous major industry associations and is consequently well attuned to market trends and regulatory changes, including on regulatory reform issues relating to the private equity industry. Sean Murphy joined Cooley LLP‘s Singapore office in January 2021.

Practice head(s):

Lorna Xin Chen

Other key lawyers:

Iris Priddy; Anil Motwani

Testimonials

The firm has a strong focus on Chinese private equity managers as well as LP representation.’

They operate to very high standards with great visibility in the market.’

Lorna Chen is very dedicated to her clients, hardworking, tenacious and knowledgeable. She is very enthusiastic and energetic and always willing to assist. Always a real pleasure to work with.’

Iris Priddy is an exceptionally capable Counsel.’

Key clients

Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank

China Creation Ventures

China Huarong International Holdings Limited

China Investment Corporation

China Merchants

China Renaissance

CITIC Capital Holdings Limited

ICBC International

International Finance Corporation

Investcorp

Korea Investment Corporation

Noah Holdings

Qatar Investment Authority

SAFE Investment Company Limited

Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP

Led by Geoffrey Chan and also supported by practitioners in mainland China and in other key financial centres across the firm’s extensive international network, Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP provides ‘commercial and tailored‘ advice to investors and sponsors in both a regional and cross-border context. The team is particularly active within the alternative funds space and is experienced in advising on the structuring, operational and regulatory issues with the establishment of private equity, venture capital, real estate, infrastructure and credit funds. Fluent in Mandarin and Cantonese, Chan has excellent credentials in the Greater China market, including on the establishment of Asia-based US dollar-denominated private investment funds.

Practice head(s):

Geoffrey Chan

Other key lawyers:

Xuan Zhang; Sophie Xue

Testimonials

The firm provides commercial and tailored advice‘.

Key clients

CITICPE Advisors

HOPU Capital

FountainVest Partners

RRJ Capital

Tencent Capital

Huatai Principal Investment Group Limited

Unicorn Partners

Citi Private Bank

China Media Capital

INCE Capital

Sky9 Capital

Cowin Capital

Vision Plus Capital

Cenova Capital

Turmeric Capital

Atma Capital

Ping An Overseas Holdings

JD.com

Work highlights

  • Advised Cenova Capital in the formation of its fifth healthcare fund, Cenova China Healthcare Fund V, L.P., with targeted commitments of $500m.
  • Advised FountainVest Partners on the formation of its fourth flagship fund.
  • Advised RRJ Management Ltd. on the formation of its fourth US dollar-denominated buyout fund.

White & Case

Leveraging its strong ties with many regional asset managers and institutional investors, White & Case is adept at handling open and closed- ended funds structuring work for a balanced mix of GP and LP client base. The ‘business and legally savvy’ Anthony Wong heads the team and his prior M&A/private equity background enables the practice to effectively service both GP and LP clients in downstream co-investment, project fund and secondaries work. Counsel Ilan Wong‘s arrival in March 2021 from Ropes & Gray LLP bolsters the team on the investor side, in light of her strong ties with institutional investors throughout Asia, Europe and North America.

Practice head(s):

Anthony Wong

Other key lawyers:

Ilan Wong

Testimonials

Anthony Wong is extremely professional and extremely fluent in all things legal. When he approaches a problem, he can connect all the dots and find us the best possible solution, and then offer the full package, including how to problem solve. He is also very good at negotiation, he is business and legally savvy.’

‘Anthony Wong is very responsive, good at elaborating issues and providing solutions.’

Key clients

ADM Capital

AM Squared

Arkkan Capital

CITIC Capital

CMC Capital

ESR

PAG

QIA

Source Code Capital

Work highlights

  • Assisted PAG with the structuring and establishment of PAG Asia Special Situations Fund 3.2 L.P., a closed-end fund focused on special situations investments across the Asia-Pacific region.
  • Assisted PAG with the structuring and establishment of PAG Loan Fund IV L.P., a $1.5bn credit fund focused on debt and loan opportunities related to the Asia-Pacific region.

Allen & Overy

Able to draw upon the expertise of lawyers from complementary practice areas, including fund finance, corporate, regulatory and litigation, Allen & Overy provides a full-service offering to fund managers throughout the entire fund life cycle. The team is headed by James Ford, whose arrival from O’Melveny in February 2021 substantially enhanced its capabilities, in light of his structuring expertise within the alternative asset management space.

Practice head(s):

James Ford

Other key lawyers:

Charlotte Robins

Key clients

Coller Capital

Axiom Asia Private Capital

Ashurst

Acting on a standalone basis and also forming an integral part of the firm’s broader global investment funds offering – which includes key offices in Singapore and London, Ashurst’s Hong Kong team advises sponsors and investors across the gamut of transactional and regulatory issues associated with private closed-end funds. The team is particularly accomplished at structuring funds in heavily regulated sectors, including infrastructure and healthcare. ‘Responsive’ team head Dean Moroz focuses on advising GP clients on fund structuring, co-investment platforms and JVs, as well as acting for institutional clients, including sovereign wealth funds and pension funds on their pan-Asian investments.

Practice head(s):

Dean Moroz

Other key lawyers:

Roger Dong

Testimonials

The very knowledgeable team is very pleasant to work with.’

Great team, very knowledgeable. Very pleasant to work with – from associates to Partner level‘.

Dean Moroz provides timely and commercial advice to clients. He is responsive and very pleasant to work with.’

Key clients

Lake Bleu Capital

Alberta Investment Management Company

APG Strategic Real Estate Pool N.V.

Asia Summit Capital

Delta Capital Myanmar

Heitman Asia-Pacific Property Investors AIV, L.P.

Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC)

Mitsui Alternative Investments

PGGM Vermogensbeheer B.V.

PT Sarana Multi Infrastruktur (Persero)

Weave Co-Living

Work highlights

  • Advised Lake Bleu Capital (Hong Kong) Limited on the establishment of LBC Sunshine Healthcare Fund II L.P., a Cayman Islands exempted limited partnership investing in Asia/Greater China healthcare’s growth and late-stage, pre-initial public offering healthcare companies.
  • Advised PGGM in relation its new S$360m separate account mandate with Alpha Investment Partners Limited, a private fund management arm of Keppel Capital Holdings Pte. Ltd..
  • Advised APG as a cornerstone investor in relation to its $200m initial commitment to GBTC II LP, an offshore pooling vehicle established as a Singapore limited partnership fund to co-invest alongside Godrej Properties Limited in office and commercial/IT development projects and buildings across India.

Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton

Led by ‘strong practitioner’ Chris Lee  and also able to draw from the expertise of lawyers from the firm’s international network, including New York, Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton‘s Hong Kong team is particularly effective at advising fund managers raising capital from global investors. As well as work for GPs, the team’s expertise also includes advice to institutional investors in connection with their investments into private funds.

Practice head(s):

Chris Lee

Testimonials

The funds team in Hong Kong is a well staffed team that also works seamlessly with other teams in New York and other offices. This is valuable when dealing with multiple lawyers in different jurisdictions in different time zones.’

They draw on experts from all of their offices to provide seamless services, in particular for fund managers who are raising capital from a global pool of investors and thus confront a myriad of legal/regulatory issues.’

Chris Lee is a strong practitioner with extensive experience in investment funds. He delivers on-time and is always available to consult.’

Key clients

Hillhouse Capital

MBK Partners

TPG

KKR

BRV Lotus

Coller Capital

Northstar

China Investment Corporation

Gaocheng Capital

ORI Capital

Work highlights

  • Advising BRV Lotus in connection with the formation of its third flagship fund.
  • Advising Northstar in connection with the formation of Northstar Fund V, its fifth flagship fund focused on investments in Southeast Asia.
  • Advised KKR in the formation of KKR Asian Fund IV (Asia IV), KKR’s fourth Asian buyout fund.

K&L Gates

Strengthened by the arrival of ‘innovative thinker’ Scott Peterman and the ‘commercial’ Sook Young Yeu, from Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP in August 2020, K&L Gates is increasingly well-positioned to provide ‘expert advice with up-to-date understanding of market trends at a cost-effective rate’. The team handles both LP and manager mandates and is ‘particularly strong in the private equity space’. Asia managing partner David Tang heads the team.

Practice head(s):

David Tang

Testimonials

The team is very responsive and professional.’

The firm is very strong in the investment fund space and the Hong Kong team is particularly strong in private equity.’

The team provides expert advice with up-to-date understanding of market trends at a cost-effective rate.’

The team does both manager and LP representation for sophisticated, high-profile clients so collectively they remain very current on market trends.’

Scott Peterman is an innovative thinker, studies global best practices , and then seeks to apply best-in-class drafting, structures and terms to the funds he advises. His is not a cookie-cutter practice and it embraces a level of technical sophistication many firms cannot.’

Sook Young Yeu provides sophisticated advice and analysis and has excellent project management skills.’

Key clients

Access Ventures

Avenue Asset Management Limited

Cedareach – Brocade River Merchants Asset  Management Limited

Federated Hermes, Inc.

Logos Technologies (Hong Kong) Limited

Morgan Stanley Private Wealth Group

The Hong Kong Jockey Club

VS Partners

Work highlights

  • Advised investor client, the Hong Kong Jockey Club and Its Charities Trust, on its investments into various private funds.
  • Assisted the principals of VS Partners with implementing an endowment model of investing comprising a blend of typical investments including stocks and bonds in addition to less traditional offerings such as hedge funds and private equity.
  • Assisting Avenue Asset Management Limited on the migration of a Cayman Islands SPC with five sub-funds to a jurisdiction that did not require annual audits.

Paul Hastings LLP

Paul Hastings LLP draws on expertise from its corporate and real estate departments to handle a mix of fund structuring and the associated downstream investment work. The team is active across a range of asset classes, although it remains best-known for its structure of real estate funds expertise. Transactional partners Neil TorpeyVivian Lam Paul Guan and Beijing-based Meka Meng are heads of the team.

Practice head(s):

Neil Torpey; Vivian Lam ; Paul Guan; Meka Meng  (Beijing)

Testimonials

Paul Hastings has extensive experience in offshore fund formation, LP investment and related co-investment transactions.’

Key clients

Arch Capital

Baring Private Equity Asia

The Carlyle Group

JP Morgan

SDP Investment

ICBC International

Mapletree Greater China Commercial Trust

Ping An

China Life

Vanke

UBS

Warburg Pincus

ARA Asset Management

China Cinda

Proprium Capital Partners

China International Capital Corporation Ltd.

ICBC Asset Management

Sino-Ocean Capital

Ascent Real Estate Investors

NRL Capital

Work highlights

  • Acted for AEW Capital Management on the formation of AEW Value Investors IV, L.P., a $1.2bn  Luxembourg-based fund targeting value-add real estate in Asia.
  • Assisted SDP Investment with the formation of a joint venture with an international institutional investor in connection with the acquisition of U-Show Plaza in Beijing for an investment amount of approximately RMB4bn.
  • Advised ARA Asset Management on its formation of a partnership with Straits Real Estate and ICBC International for the RMB2.42bn acquisition of Sanlin InCity via one of its private real estate funds.