‘Leading Cayman law firm’ Maples Group provides ‘access to the latest information and deep knowledge in the challenging regulatory environment’. The practice has a solid track record assisting international clients with inbound investment into Asia and outbound investment from Asian clients internationally. Ann Ng heads the funds and investment management practice and focus on the international investment fund market. Matt Roberts, who is based in Singapore and Hong Kong, heads the corporate team and focuses on M&A, private equity, joint ventures, reorganisations, corporate governance and capital markets. Terence Ho is recommended for private equity, venture capital and hedge funds work and has acted for sponsors across Asia. John Trehey heads the dispute resolution and insolvency practice, handling both contentious and non-contentious cross-border matters. Aisling Dwyer is another name to note for disputes and has considerable experience in high value, international litigation. Singapore-based Michael Gagie was recently appointed as regional managing partner for Asia. Juno Huang and Karen Zhang Pallaras were promoted to partner in February 2021 and Nick Stern joined the dispute resolution and insolvency team from Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer in November 2020. Jonathan Silver departed in November 2021, and Anthony Webster has also left the firm now. Greg Knowles, Mark Western and Stacey Overholt retired.
Offshore law firms in Hong Kong
Michael Gagie – Regional Managing Partner, Asia; Head of Finance, Asia; and Global Head of BVI legal practice (Singapore); Ann Ng – Co-Head of Funds and Investment Management, Asia; Matt Roberts – Head of Corporate, Asia; John Trehey – Head of Dispute Resolution & Insolvency, Asia
Other key lawyers:
‘Maples covers many types of legal services and the coordination between the different teams/offices is very good’.
‘Their client login portal is very useful’.
‘Good for Cayman funds work, particularly where sold into the Japan market’.
‘The team is the most preferred offshore legal counsel since our first engagement’.
‘The firm often advises the regulatory body so that they provide the practical solution to us based on what regulator is really looking for’.
‘They are responsive and easy to approach and this is consistent since our first engagement’.
‘Understanding of our business background is excellent and this is extremely important as we run a very complex Cayman investment fund platform’.
‘Strong asset finance and general finance knowledge linked with extensive knowledge of English and HK finance law means this team is able to understand all concerns easily and offer practical solutions’.
China Resources Mixc Lifestyle Services Limited
JD Health International Inc.
MINISO Group Holding Limited
KE Holdings Inc.
Buyer Consortium, comprising Tencent Holdings Limited and Hammer Capital
Buyer consortium comprising Mr. Jinbo Yao (founder of 58.com Inc.), General Atlantic Service Company, L.P., Warburg Pincus Asia LLC and Ocean Link Asia Limited
Macquarie Infrastructure and Real Asset and AirTrunk
Pleiad Investment Advisors
CCRE China Logistics Limited
Citigroup First Investment Management Limited
eHi Car Services Limited
China Biologic Products Holdings Inc
Bitauto Holdings Limited
Xiaodu Life Technology Limited
- Acted as Cayman Islands counsel to a buyer consortium, comprising Mr. Jinbo Yao (founder of 58.com Inc.), General Atlantic Service Company, L.P., Warburg Pincus Asia LLC and Ocean Link Asia Limited, on the take-private of 58.com Inc., a Cayman Islands company previously listed on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE).
- Acted as Cayman Islands counsel to Kuaishou Technology in relation to its initial public offering of weighted voting Class B shares and listing on the Main Board of the Hong Kong Stock Exchange.
- Acted as Cayman Islands to China Biologic Products Holdings, Inc. (“CBPO”), and the special committee of its board of directors, on CBPO’s $4.76bn take-private.
Walkers is praised for its ‘very client-oriented service, excellent business and industry knowledge, and concise and to-the-point advice’. Managing partner Andy Randall’s broad practice includes capital markets transactions and asset finance work, and he acts for international banks, financial institutions, and major public and private companies. Paul Aherne is a key name for finance work and has a strong track record for complex financings involving detailed offshore structuring. James Gaden and Denise Wong are recommended for corporate and investment work; they advise private equity and hedge fund managers on fund formation, structuring, acquisitions and disposals. Kristen Kwok heads the structured finance, debt capital markets and asset finance practice in Asia. Alice Molan handles regulatory and risk advisory matters. Thomas Granger relocated from the Singapore office in April 2021; Tom Pugh joined from Mayer Brown in September 2021, and Timothy Haynes left for Kobre & Kim in September 2020.
Other key lawyers:
‘Very knowledgeable team on cross border insolvency and restructuring matters’.
‘Joanne Collett, who leads the offshore Asian financial restructuring practice from Hong Kong, is a savvy cross-border restructuring lawyer who gives practical and commercial advice’.
‘Walkers is always one of the top choices offshore law firm that I would use’.
‘They offer high quality advice and you can feel that you are in safe hands with them onboard’.
‘The team is very collaborative and commercially minded, diverse in make up and available at all times to deal with client queries’.
‘Joanne Collett is extremely knowledgeable across all areas of off-shore disputes, guiding clients through technical procedural rules on a jurisdiction specific basis’.
‘The team that I work with on structured finance transactions is very solid and reliable’.
‘The Walkers’ team is my go-to team for various types of privately placed financing transactions, ranging from corporate bonds to structured/ repack notes involving different asset classes (either issued on a stand-alone basis or pursuant to a programme)’.
China Minsheng Banking Corp., Ltd.
CITIC Capital Holdings Limited
CVC Capital Partners
Goldman Sachs (Asia) LLC
Standard Chartered Bank
- Advised video-streaming platform Bilibili Inc. in connection with its $2.6bn global offering of 25 million shares on the Main Board of Hong Kong Stock Exchange.
- Advised MPower Partners on the launch of MPower Partners Fund L.P., Japan’s first environment, social and governance focused global venture capital fund.
- Acted as Bermuda and Cayman Islands counsel to Star Energy Geothermal Group, on its dual-tranche Rule 144A / Reg. S offering of an aggregate $1.1bn senior secured green bonds listed on the Singapore Stock Exchange.
Conyers is ‘familiar with the culture of the clients from different countries’. Christopher Bickley heads the Hong Kong office and is recommended for corporate and corporate finance matters; he is particularly experienced in IPOs and listings of shares of companies on the Main Board and the Growth Enterprise Market of The Stock Exchange of Hong Kong. Richard Hall is another name to note for corporate work and he focuses on private equity investments and pre-IPO financings, and listings of shares of BVI, Cayman and Bermuda companies on stock exchanges internationally. Piers Alexander is recommended for investment funds and acts for international and Asia-based fund managers on the establishment of investment fund structures. The firm also handles litigation and restructuring work, and its offering in this area was bolstered in March 2021 by the arrival of Michael Makridakis, who joined from an in-house role at Delta Capital Partners Management. In April 2021, Angie Chu was promoted to partner. David Lamb has moved into a consultancy role.
Other key lawyers:
‘Their practice covers different areas and various jurisdictions that a Hong Kong client usually needs’.
‘Their staff can speak/communicate in various languages and are familiar with the culture of clients from different countries’.
‘Vivien Fung always provides quality work, accurate advice and a timely response’.
‘The litigation team is very user-friendly and cost effective’.
‘Norman Hau is a very knowledgeable and efficient operator. Clearly a standout among his peers’.
‘The lawyer responsible for our case is very hard-working and available to discuss in detail whenever the client needs’.
‘The team is very good at explaining to the client the legal options available at every turn of the legal process’.
‘They provide a brief summary of the pros and cons for each option, and allow the client to choose which course to take’.
Agile Group Holdings Limited
China Aoyuan Group Limited
Jiayuan International Group Limited
Lufax Holding Ltd
Modern Land (China) Co., Limited
Nan Fung Treasury Limited
New Oriental Education & Technology Group Inc.
Road King Infrastructure Limited
Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corporation
Sunac China Holdings Limited
- Advised Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corporation on its RMB46.2bn ($6.6bn) initial public offering of RMB shares to investors in China and listing of the A Shares on the Sci-Tech Innovation Board of the Shanghai Stock Exchange, or SSE STAR Market.
- Advised 58.com Inc. on its $8.7bn going-private transaction involving a merger of the Company with Quantum Bloom Company Ltd, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Quantum Bloom Group Ltd.
- Advised Lufax Holding Ltd on its $2.36bn initial public offering in the United States of ordinary shares of par value $0.00001 per share of the company in the form of American Depositary Shares on the New York Stock Exchange.
‘An established and trusted law firm to consult on matters concerning the laws of the British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands and Bermuda’, Harneys offers ‘a good bench strength of practitioners across various levels of seniority’. The practice is well known for its strength in litigation, insolvency and restructuring work and works closely with teams in Shanghai and Singapore. Managing partner Ian Mann is a veteran offshore litigator who regularly handles complex high-profile cases. Paul Sephton and Raymond Ng are key names for banking and finance, and corporate work; Sephton has notable expertise in debt finance matters and Ng is well versed in cross-border M&A, private equity transactions and IPOs. Chai Ridgers is recommended for multijurisdictional restructuring and insolvency work and acts for top financial institutions. The trilingual Maggie Kwok is a name to note for funds and regulatory work and Paula Kay, who was promoted to Asia head of litigation in 2020, is recommended for multijurisdictional shareholder disputes. Marc Parrott left for Appleby in March 2021 and in April, Bronwyn King also left the firm.
Ian Mann, Asia Managing Partner; Paul Sephton, Co-Global Head of Banking & Finance and Corporate, Asia Head of Transactional; Raymond Ng, Co-Global Head of Banking & Finance and Corporate; Paula Kay, Asia Head of Litigation; Maggie Kwok, Asia Head of Funds and Regulatory; Chai Ridgers, Asia Head of Restructuring; Vicky Lord, Managing Partner, Shanghai
‘Good bench strength of practitioners across various levels of seniority’.
‘Chai Ridgers is tireless in researching opportunities and invests a large amount of personal time into understanding clients’ needs and delivering on them’.
‘Ian Mann provides excellent tactical oversight and effectively navigates complex matters with strong thought leadership’.
‘Harneys has been a trusted advisor to us on some of our most significant transactions’.
‘They are knowledgeable, reliable and responsive’.
‘Paul Sephton and his team are always available for us and we know we can count on his team for delivering exceptional legal advice on our matters, including our most important and time-sensitive projects’.
‘Flexible and responsive team with strong leadership at the top’.
‘Ian Mann combines thorough legal knowledge with a very sophisticated commercial understanding of the wider issues at hand, which enables him to provide advice that is not just legally sound but also invaluable in the context of assessment of the commercial merits of case decisions’.
58.com Inc. (58.com)
Qihoo 360 Technology Co. Ltd
Convoy Global Holdings Limited / Convoy Collateral Limited
iKang Healthcare Group, Inc.
Century Sunshine Group Holdings Ltd.
China Merchants Securities Co., Ltd.
Shimao Services Holdings Limited
Melco Resorts Finance Limited
Yuzhou Group Holdings Company Limited and its subsidiaries
Shanghai Pudong Development Bank, Shanghai Branch
SF REIT Asset Management Limited
- Representing 58.com, China’s largest online market place for classifieds, in litigation before the Grand Court of the Cayman Islands against former shareholders who dissented from 58.com’s highly publicised $8.7bn take-private from the New York Stock Exchange in 2020.
- Acting for Convoy, HKSE-listed financial advisory firm and one of the city’s largest advisers of Hong Kong’s Mandatory Pension Fund, in its highly publicised and ongoing efforts to recover losses suffered as a result of one of Hong Kong’s biggest financial scandals, centred around the “Engima Network”, a cluster of interrelated listed firms suspected of fraud, market manipulation and corporate misconduct, according to shareholder activist David Webb.
- Acted as BVI and Cayman Islands counsel to China Merchants Securities Co., Ltd. on its A+H shares rights issue, which raised HK$16.35bn ($2.1bn) for the company which is dual-listed on the Shanghai Stock Exchange and the Hong Kong Stock Exchange.
‘Long-established and well-regarded offshore firm’ Appleby stands out for its presence in Mauritius and in Seychelles, as well as Cayman, Bermuda and BVI. Managing partner Cameron Adderley is recommended for corporate and commercial work, financing and capital markets transactions. Judy Lee has considerable experience in listings on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange and the Singapore Stock Exchange and heads the capital markets team alongside Chris Cheng and Paul Cheuk. Dispute resolution head Eliot Simpson handles commercial litigation, including corporate disputes, fund disputes, and restructuring and insolvency. Fiona Chan is a name to note for banking and finance, non-contentious insurance, private client and trust matters. Marc Parrott joined from Harneys in May 2021 and brings a wealth of offshore and onshore experience to the firm’s investment funds practice. Charlotte Yeung was promoted to counsel in April 2020 and is experienced in the formation, structuring and maintenance of investment funds.
Cameron Adderley – Managing Partner, Hong Kong and Global Corporate Practice Group Head; Judy Lee – Asia Group Head and Local Corporate Practice Group Head; Eliot Simpson – Local Dispute Resolution Practice Group Head
Other key lawyers:
‘They are very professional and pro-active’.
‘Judy Lee stood out – because she has very good technical skills, is very friendly and always attends to matters with high professionalism.’
‘Very competent team’.
‘I highly recommend Fiona Chan; a top notch banking and finance lawyer’.
‘They have quick responses and are able to meet deadlines’.
‘I have worked with Judy Lee and Paul Cheuk on a number of occasions, and I have always been very pleased with their responsiveness, helpfulness and clear advice’.
‘Appleby is a long-established, well-regarded offshore firm. I am particularly impressed by their skills in investment funds work’.
‘Fiona Chan responds quickly and is always able to meet deadlines’.
Ascendent Capital Partners
China Baofeng (International) Limited
LVGEM (China) Real Estate Investment Company Limited
Pacific Aegis Capital Management
Xiamen Dynasty Real Estate Group Co., Ltd
E-STAR COMMERCIAL MANAGEMENT COMPANY LIMITED
Silver Crest Acquisition Corporation
Allied Gold Corp
Shenzhen YHLO Biotech Co., Ltd.
- Acted as Cayman counsel for Datang Group Holdings Limited in relation to its listing on the Main Board of the Hong Kong Stock Exchange, with gross proceeds of approximately HKD1.53bn.
- Acted as BVI counsel to Pacific Aegis Capital Management as arranger in a HKD330m structured loan financing to a wholly owned subsidiary of HNA Group (International) Company Limited.
- Acted as Cayman Islands counsel to China Baofeng (International) Limited, a Cayman Islands company with shares listed on the Main Board of the Hong Kong Stock Exchange, in relation to its privatisation by way of a scheme of arrangement pursuant to section 86 of the Companies Law (as revised) of the Cayman Islands.
In August 2020, Shaun Folpp joined Campbells as managing partner from Mourant Ozannes, bolstering the firm’s litigation, insolvency and restructuring offering. Folpp brings experience in acting both for and against insolvency practitioners in all forms of external administrations and disputes, and in representing clients before the courts in the BVI and Cayman Islands. Jenny Nip is a key name for corporate and finance work, including M&A, capital markets transactions, take-private deals and downstream private equity financing and investment deals, with a focus on the PRC market. Robert Searle is recommended for the establishment and restructuring of investment funds.
Other key lawyers:
‘The team led by Jenny Nip is one of the few overseas lawyers in the market that can communicate in Mandarin and is flexible’.
‘The Campbells’ investment funds team is very responsive and commercially-minded, as well as being very competitive on fees’.
‘The team is able to support both the commercial and contentious aspects of investment funds activities’.
‘Our key contact is Robert Searle. He is very responsive and commercially-minded and is proactive in ensuring new developments are brought to our attention’.
‘Shaun Folpp is excellent’.
‘Shaun Folpp is very commercial, has impressive judgment, is a great team player and a pleasure to work with’.
‘They are able to address complex scenarios and think through them clearly and thereby are able to determine the best outcome’.
‘The litigation team is especially strong and their advice and judgement has been excellent’.
Alvarez and Marsal
Pacific Andes / China Fishery Group
TransAsia Private Capital
New World Development Group
Jiangxiaobai Holdings Limited
- Advising Maso Capital as dissenting shareholder on various take private and valuation disputes, including the $1.5bn valuation dispute concerning 58.com.
- Advising the joint provisional liquidators of Freeman FinTech Corporation in relation to the HK$3bn restructure of the company’s business, including seeking and obtaining recognition of the JPLs’ foreign appointment by the Hong Kong Court in the Cayman Islands and promoting parallel schemes of arrangement (with the High Court of Hong Kong) to the company’s creditors based in Hong Kong and the PRC.
- Acted as Cayman Islands and British Virgin Islands legal counsel to Akeso, Inc. in connection with its approximately HK$2.58bn ($333m) (and up to HK$2.97bn ($383m) upon exercise of the over-allotment option) initial public offering and listing of its 763,133,176 shares (and up to 787,057,176 shares upon exercise of the over-allotment option) on the Main Board of the Hong Kong Stock Exchange.
Carey Olsen Hong Kong LLP is ‘fantastic to work with’, with ‘very approachable partners and associates’. The firm is active in the banking and finance, corporate, funds, dispute resolution, insolvency and private wealth practice areas. Managing partner Michael Padarin focuses on the formation, operation and restructuring of private investment funds; he specialises in Cayman Islands, BVI and Bermuda law. Jeremy Lightfoot heads the dispute resolution and litigation practice and focuses on high value commercial and corporate litigation, and insolvency and restructuring matters. James Webb heads the banking and finance team and has noted experience in debt transactions and corporate transactions. The team recently strengthened its dispute resolution and litigation offering with the hire of senior associate Kimberley Leng who joined from Mourant Ozannes in November 2021.
Other key lawyers:
‘In Hong Kong, whilst they have a young team, they are talented and experienced lawyers who strive to look after their clients’ interests’.
‘They are very flexible on fees which always helps with clients’.
‘James Webb and Michael Padarin are recommended’.
‘They have a great deal of knowledge and experience in the corporate space and will ensure their clients’ interests are looked after’.
‘They work quickly and efficiently whilst maintaining the very high standards they have always had’.
‘The Carey Olsen team are dedicated and highly professional’.
‘Michael Padarin is an extremely strong and reliable funds lawyer’.
‘The team I worked with has extensive experience in handling BVI litigation proceedings’.
Mourant Ozannes’ ‘highly efficient and highly professional’ team is valued by clients for having significant Chinese language capabilities across all practice areas. Managing partner Paul Christopher heads the corporate and investment funds groups; whilst Simon Lawrenson heads banking and finance team, covering the full spectrum of debt products with a focus on acquisition and leveraged finance, fund finance, real estate finance, asset finance and structured finance. Claire Fulton handles transactional work and non-contentious restructuring matters for a range of financial institutions, creditors, corporations, private equity and hedge funds, and insolvency practitioners. Justine Lau is recommended for contentious cross-border restructuring and insolvency matters and has considerable commercial litigation experience. Danielle Roman is a name to note for fund finance work and has strong ties with industry bodies.
Other key lawyers:
‘People who care about each matter and make themselves available’.
‘James Broad is an exceptionally helpful and thoughtful individual’.
‘Claire Fulton is excellent; really hard working, totally reliable, and extremely good to deal with’.
‘They have a highly efficient team and are able to produce very high quality of work’.
‘They are highly professional and are always doing their best for clients’.
‘They are always diligent, professional and extremely pleasant to work together with’.
‘The fund finance team of Mourant Ozannes in Hong Kong is the team of reference in Asia & Pacific. They have a sound knowledge of the market and a unique expertise’.
‘They are really reactive and have a great commercial approach’.
The Blackstone Group
Huobi Asset Management
China CITIC Bank
- Advised Huobi Asset Management (Hong Kong) Limited to launch three cryptocurrency funds, including two passive tracker funds and one active multi-strategy virtual asset fund.
- Advised Gaw Capital on its co-investment with Manulife Group into a BVI entity.
- Advised MaiCapital on the launch of a tokenized investment fund, and formation of a related SPV.
Ogier has ‘grown rapidly while still maintaining its excellent client service and communication standards’ and offers ‘a robust presence, and highly experienced team, in Hong Kong as well as the major offshore jurisdictions’. It has recently been instructing clients on structuring, operating and investing in environmental, social and governance (ESG) funds under the leadership of Kate Hodson. Nicholas Plowman is the head of investment funds in Asia and is experienced in hedge, private equity, venture capital, real estate and debt funds. Nathan Powell is the global head of corporate and specialises in BVI, Cayman and Jersey law. Anthony Oakes heads the banking and finance practice and is recommended for debt capital markets, financing and corporate work. Oliver Payne leads the dispute resolution team and is well versed in cross-border insolvency and restructuring matters. David Nelson is another name to note for banking and debt financing transactions.
Anthony Oakes – Head of Banking & Finance; Kate Hodson Kate Hodson – Head of ESG (Legal); Nathan Powell – Global Head of Corporate; Nicholas Plowman – Head of Investment Funds; Oliver Payne – Head of Dispute Resolution
Other key lawyers:
‘We are highly impressed by the responsiveness and professionalism of Ogier, especial the team led by Anthony Oakes’.
‘No matter whether it is email, WhatsApp, Line, WeChat, they are always ready to answer questions’.
‘Ogier is always accessible and able to provide high quality works’.
‘Anthony Oakes is the partner we have been working with for many years. He is always reachable, very patient, and quick to respond’.
‘The Ogier finance team is able to deliver their service in an efficient manner for the traditional plain vanilla deals, the team is also able to provide accurate and comprehensive advice for sophisticated clients with highly structured deals’.
‘David Nelson is very a hands on and diligent partner’.
‘Global reach but with a personal touch’.
‘They have a proper team and are always responsive, providing very solid legal advice’.
8F Asset Management
BitMain Technologies Holding Company
China New Energy Limited
DouYu International Holdings Limited
FamilyMart China Holding Co., Ltd
Geely Automobile Holdings Limited
Modern Chinese Medicine Group Co. Ltd
Tianrui (International) Holding Company Ltd
- Acting as Cayman Counsel for NASDAQ-listed DouYu International Holdings Limited in connection with its stock-for-stock merger with HUYA Inc, which is listed on NYSE.
- Acted as Cayman Islands counsel to Ping An Bank Co Ltd, Shanghai Branch and Shanghai Pudong Development Bank Co Ltd as joint lead arrangers on a $1.1bn loan for the take-private of leading plasma-based biopharmaceutical company China Biologic Products Holdings Inc (CBPO).
- Acting as Cayman counsel for longstanding client, Tianrui (International) Holding Company Limited, in just and equitable winding-up proceedings brought in respect of China Shanshui Cement Group Limited; proceedings have involved interlocutory matters been before the Grand Court of the Cayman Islands, Cayman Islands Court of Appeal and the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council.