Offshore law firms in Hong Kong

Maples Group

With a strong presence from Hong Kong, and also benefiting from offices in Shanghai and Singapore, Maples Group has excellent credentials across Southeast Asia, and is able to provide a coordinated offering to clients on the BVI, Cayman Islands and Ireland law aspects of their work. Led by the 'excellent' Anthony Webster the firm has 'one of the market leading offshore funds practices in Hong Kong', which in addition to pure legal advice is also able to  provide clients with fiduciary and fund administration services by virtue of its affiliate Maples FS. Despite the recent departure of the highly regarded James Gaden to Walkers, the team has tremendous strength-in-depth and continues to be at the vanguard of work in the market, both on the fund formation front (in the private equity and hedge fund spaces) and in their pursuant downstream investment activity. Terence Ho  is also a key practitioner on the fund formation front and is particularly active advising Chinese fund sponsors on both China inbound and outbound funds, in light of his linguistic fluency in Chinese. The 'superb' Greg Knowles leads on the corporate front and has tremendous experience in the region advising on the offshore aspects of private equity-based M&A, corporate-led transactions and capital markets activity. On the finance front, the team led by the 'very experienced and commercialMark Western is well-known in the market in relation to asset finance mandates and is uniquely able to provide Irish legal advice, of particular use for clients given the growing importance of utilising Irish vehicles in aircraft finance transactions.

Practice head(s):

Mark Western-Hong Kong Managing Partner, Asia Head of Finance and Global Head of Asset Finance Hong Kong; Greg Knowles, Asia Head of Corporate Hong Kong; Anthony Webster, Asia Head of Investment Funds Hong Kong; John Trehey, Asia Head of Dispute Resolution and Insolvency

Other key lawyers:

Ann Ng; Terence Ho; Derrick Kan; Lorraine Pao;Tom Katsaros; Karen Zhang Pallaras; Andrew Wood; Craig Lutton

Testimonials

‘The firm provides in-depth knowledge and professional services.’

‘It is one of the strongest offshore funds practices in Hong Kong.’

‘Terence Ho is always able to provide timely and practical advice to clients from an offshore perspective.’

Key clients

Aurora Mobile

CK Asset Holdings

Innovent Biologics

Meituan Dianping

NIO Inc.

Ping An Healthcare and Technology Company Limited

Xiaomi Corporation

Alibaba Group Holdings

Baidu Inc.

Tencent Holdings Limited

Bytedance

Work highlights

  • Acted as Cayman Islands legal counsel to Xiaomi Corporation on its IPO on the Main Board of The Stock Exchange of Hong Kong.
  • Acted as Cayman Islands legal counsel to Aurora Mobile Limited in relation to its proposed offering and listing of 9,060,000 ADSs on NASDAQ.
  • Acted as Cayman Islands legal counsel to Pinduoduo, Inc in relation to its proposed offering and listing of 85,600,000 ADSs on NASDAQ.
  • Acted as Cayman Islands legal counsel to Meituan Dianping on its global offering and listing of shares on the Main Board of the Hong Kong Stock Exchange.
  • Acted as Cayman Islands legal counsel to Innovent Biologics, Inc. on its global offering and listing of shares on the Main Board of the Hong Kong Stock Exchange.

Walkers

'One of the strongest offshore teams in Hong Kong', Walkers' 11-partner team 'is very experienced across Cayman and BVI laws', and spearheaded by 'exceptional' managing partner Andy Randall, provides 'well-coordinated and highly professional advice' to clients across a broad range of funds, corporate, litigation and finance-related matters. Paul Aherne  has a 'broad perspective of the market' and is regularly at the forefront of the highest-profile mandates handled by the office, including his work for Deutsche Bank on the restructured financing to Noble Group and for Morgan Stanley on the financing of The Center, one of Hong Kong's most prestigious commercial buildings. Herself a fluent Mandarin speaker, the 'thorough and commercialDenise Wong heads up the China practice and excels in handling private funds work, both on the fund formation side and M&A front. This side of the practice was also recently strengthened by the arrival in August 2018 of the 'excellentJames Gaden from Maples Group. On the contentious front, the 'knowledgeable and practicalTimothy Haynes is, according to one client, 'undoubtedly the best offshore dispute resolution partner in Hong Kong' and provides 'very measured and strategic advice' on contentious insolvency matters, as well as broader commercial disputes. Notably, the firm also recently hired Alice Molan from King & Wood Mallesons and she heads up the firm's nascent regulatory practice, an acknowledgement of the need among clients for guidance in the area, particularly in light of the Economic Substance Act which has potentially very strong ramifications on Hong Kong hedge funds utilising Cayman investment managers. James Webb has joined Carey Olsen (Hong Kong) LLP.

Practice head(s):

Andy Randall

Other key lawyers:

Denise Wong; Timothy Haynes; James Gaden; Kristen Kwok; Paul Aherne; Joanne Collett; Mark Cummings; Amelia Hall; Callum McNeil; Nicholas Davies

Testimonials

‘Walkers seem hungrier than most of the offshore firms. Also, they tend to be quite proactive on deals rather than just waiting for the transaction counsel to ask them to do their offshore bits and pieces.’

‘Timothy Haynes is calm in a storm, a straight shooter and someone who avoids engaging in unnecessary tactics.’

‘Paul Aherne is good to bounce complex ideas off.’

‘The client-friendly Joanne Collett provides clear, concise and practical advice.’

‘Amelia Hall is responsive, pleasant to deal with and knowledgeable.’

‘Mark Cummings and Martina Colombo are both extremely helpful and consistently provide a great work product.’

‘Rupen Shah is a great addition to the partnership; he is super-responsive and great to deal with.’

‘Stuart D’Addona is hardworking and thorough.’

Key clients

Citi

CITIC

Credit Suisse

Deutsche Bank

Goldman Sachs

HSBC

Standard Chartered

UBS

Warburg Pincus

Work highlights

  • Acted as BVI and Bermuda counsel to certain secured creditors on the restructuring of Noble Group.
  • Acted as Cayman Islands counsel to the joint book-running managers in connection with a Rule 144A/Regulation S notes offering by Sands China Ltd. of a combined $5.5bn high-yield bond offering.
  • Acted as Cayman Islands counsel to the mandated lead arrangers on the $5.3bn senior facilities supporting Bain Capital’s acquisition of Toshiba Memory.
  • Acted as BVI counsel to COSCO SHIPPING Holdings in a voluntary general cash offer for all of the issued shares of Orient Overseas made by the wholly-owned subsidiaries of COSCO SHIPPING Holdings and Shanghai International Port (Group) Co., Ltd. for a total value of up to $6.3bn pursuant to the Hong Kong Takeovers Code.
  • Advised Morgan Stanley as the mandated lead arranger of $4.1bn asset-backed senior bonds on a financing to a consortium of buyers in relation to the highly publicised acquisition of The Center, one of Hong Kong’s most prestigious commercial buildings.

Conyers

The oldest offshore firm in Hong Kong, Conyers has an 'excellent reputation in the market' for clients seeking Bermudan, BVI and Cayman Islands advice across corporate, finance, litigation and private client/trusts matters. Overseen by 'superb' managing partner Christopher Bickley, the office is perhaps best-known for its issuer side capital markets work, both in terms of assisting Chinese and international companies list on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange, as well as aiding clients on their US listings (including its recent high-profile work for Chinese company Luckin Coffee on its $561m IPO). As well as his BVI and Cayman Islands advice to companies listing on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange, the 'very experiencedRichard Hall also regularly handles debt capital markets work, including his recent work for Chinese property developer, New World Development, on its various medium term note issuances. Corporate partner David Lamb  is 'very well-respected' in the market across general M&A, IPOs and privatisations; he recently led a cross-border team providing Bermudan law advice to Noble Group on its high-profile restructuring.

Practice head(s):

Christopher Bickley

Other key lawyers:

Richard Hall; David Lamb; Nigel Meeson QC; Piers Alexander; Vivien Fung; Norman Hau; Wynne Lau; Winnie Wong

Testimonials

‘The efficient team provides useful and constructive advice.’

Key clients

Agile Group Holdings

Bloomage BioTechnology Corporation

Bright Scholar Education Holdings

China Aoyuan Property Group

Country Garden Holdings Company

eBroker G

Kingboard Laminates Holdings

KWG Property Holding

Noble Group

Wharf Real Estate Investment Company

 

Work highlights

  • Provided BVI and Cayman Islands advice to Luckin Coffee in connection with its $570m million offering and listing of 33,000,000 American Depositary Shares (ADS) on the NASDAQ Global Select Market.
  • Acted as Bermuda counsel to Noble Group on its high-profile global restructuring.
  • Provided Cayman and BVI legal advice to Sunac China Holdings on senior notes issuances.
  • Acted as special legal counsel to Fantasia Holdings Group in connection with various senior notes issuances.
  • Provided Cayman Islands legal advice to Hanwha Q Cells Co., Ltd.’s Special Committee in connection with its $825m merger.

Harneys

With 13 partners based in Hong Kong and also benefiting from a sizeable presence in Shanghai and Singapore, Harneys has the strength-in-depth to handle a significant volume of transactional and disputes work for standalone clients, as well as in connection with law firm referrals. The 'technically strong and responsivePaul Sephton  heads up the firm's transactional group and is noted, in particular, for his 'ability to handle complicated matters' in the finance space, including as it relates to leveraged finance, margin lending, take-private transactions, bond issuances, derivative transactions, and syndicated lending. On the corporate front, the 'commercial, practical and efficientRaymond Ng handles a range of sponsor-driven and public M&A mandates, in addition to joint venture structuring and an increasing volume of Hong Kong IPO work. In addition to his 'assured corporate legal skills', Ng's strong Cantonese and Mandarin language abilities ensures that a good deal of his work comes from Chinese-speaking clients. Headed by 'standout lawyerIan Mann, the firm's litigation team continues its upward trajectory, and bolstered by the arrival of numerous partner-level lateral hires at the beginning of 2019, has the strength-in-depth to resource a significant volume and range of commercial litigation. The firm's core capabilities are rounded out by Chai Ridgers, who heads up the Asia restructuring practice.

Practice head(s):

Ian Mann, Asia Managing Partner and Head of Litigation and Restructuring; Paul Sephton, Asia Head of Transactional and Joint Global Head of Banking & Finance and Corporate; Chai Ridgers, Asia Head of Restructuring; Raymond Ng

Other key lawyers:

Maggie Kwok; Paula Kay; Ian Clark; Aleisha Brown; Danni Liu; Monica Chu

Testimonials

‘The firm provides efficient, competent and knowledgeable advice.’

‘The user-friendly team at Harneys has a good name in the market and is on all of the major banks panels.’

‘The firm has significant bandwidth on the banking and finance front.’

‘Paul Sephton is very knowledgeable for banking finance work and leads a great team; he is able to deal with complicated matters and provides high-quality, responsive and commercially sensible advice.’

‘Ian Mann is very quick on his feet, enabling him to understand things quickly.’

‘The very hands on Raymond Ng is an excellent corporate partner who is always available and very responsive.’

‘Raymond Ng is constantly ahead in market development and provides valuable training to onshore law firms on the latest legal developments in the Cayman Islands and BVI.’

‘Raymond Ng is very familiar with the requirements of Chinese alternative credit providers.’

‘Monica Chu is very responsive and knowledgeable about her practice areas in banking and finance.’

Key clients

Deloitte

Baidu

Qunar

HSBC

Mayer Brown

Linklaters

Qihoo 360

White & Case

Clifford Chance

Kirkland & Ellis

Work highlights

  • Advised the coordinating committee of lenders and Deutsche Bank in relation to Noble Group’s $3.5bn debt restructuring.
  • Acted as BVI counsel to Studio City Finance in relation to an international offering of an aggregate of $600m senior notes guaranteed by each of its subsidiaries.
  • Acted as Cayman Islands counsel for VCredit Holdings in relation to the global offering its shares on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange.
  • Acted as BVI legal counsel for AsiaInfo Technologies in relation to the global offering of its shares on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange.
  • Acted as Cayman Islands counsel to CMBC Asset Management in relation to the launch of its CMBCC Co-High Medical Investment Fund SP, a segregated portfolio of CMBCC Investment Fund SPC, an open ended Cayman Islands fund structured as a segregated portfolio company.

Appleby

'Able to operate well in both English and Chinese', Appleby's seven-partner team is well regarded in the local market for the 'high-quality and cost-effective' advice it is able to provide on corporate/commercial and finance matters requiring Bermudan, BVI and Cayman Islands law advice. Under the guidance of the 'very commercial and efficientJudy Lee, the office remains a market leader in relation to offshore listings on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange. The recent launch of the firm's corporate administration business, Appleby Global Services, enables the Hong Kong office to incorporate companies and to provide a seamless service in support of the capital markets practice. In addition to her broad-ranging financing practice (which includes work for lenders and borrowers across acquisition, asset and project financings), Fiona Chan  also provides 'excellent quality advice' across a range of private client matters.

Practice head(s):

Cameron Adderley – Co-Managing Partner, Hong Kong and Global Corporate Practice Group Head Hong Kong; Judy Lee – Co-Managing Partner, Hong Kong and Local Corporate Practice Group Head Hong Kong; Eliot Simpson – Local Dispute Resolution Practice Group Head

Other key lawyers:

Chris Cheng; Fiona Chan; Paul Cheuk; Vincent Chan; Charlotte Yeung; Prabha Sasidharan; Stuart Jessup

Testimonials

‘The high-quality team is familiar with what is required on transactions, and able to operate well in both English and Chinese.’

‘The team has strong industry knowledge and is well attuned to market trends.’

‘Fiona Chan always makes herself available to resolve any problems or queries.’

‘Judy Lee is a very safe pair of hands and provides a high standard of work.’

Key clients

Tsit Wing

Yincheng International Holding Co.

Shandong Gold

Portico

Work highlights

  • Acted as Cayman Islands counsel to Shandong Gold Mining in relation to its global offering and listing on the Main Board of the Hong Kong Stock Exchange, with net proceeds of approximately HK$5.2bn.
  • Acted as Cayman counsel for Yincheng International Holding Co in relation to its listing on the Main Board of the Hong Kong Stock Exchange with gross proceeds of approximately HK$843m.
  • Acted as BVI counsel to Shenwan Hongyuan Group in relation to its global offering and listing on the Main Board of the Hong Kong Stock Exchange, with net proceeds of approximately HK$9.24bn, the largest Hong Kong IPO so far as of the time of listing.
  • Acted as Bermuda and BVI counsel to Minmetals Land for the issuance of $300m 6.4% guaranteed bonds due 2021 by Expand Lead Limited (a BVI company) which are unconditionally and irrevocably guaranteed by Minmetals Land Limited (a Bermuda company listed on the main board of the Hong Kong Stock Exchange).
  • Acted for II‐VI Incorporated, a global leader in engineered materials and optical solutions for networks and listed on Nasdaq, in its proposed acquisition (by way of a merger) of CoAdna, Holdings, Inc., a TWSE-listed company in a cash transaction valued at approximately $85m at closing.

Mourant Ozannes

Although lacking the strength-in-depth of some of the higher ranked firms and also less capable in terms of Cantonese and Mandarin language skills, the six-partner team at Mourant is, nevertheless, noted for its 'very strong banking and finance offering'. Headed by 'very safe pair of handsSimon Lawrenson, the team provides a 'commercial and responsive' service across a broad spectrum of matters (including in relation to leveraged and structured finance transactions) and also continues to advise many of the leading international and Chinese private equity sponsors and other alternative financial institutions on their debt and credit investments across the Asia Pacific region. As well as her strong reputation within the aviation sector (she recently provided the offshore law input for ORIX Aviation on its $2.2bn acquisition of a minority stake in Avolon Holdings), Danielle Roman  is recognised as 'one of the go-to-lawyers in the market for fund financing work'. 'Class actClaire Fulton  also continues to impress clients on new money deals, as well as in relation to restructurings, where she is particularly effective on realising value for clients in distressed situations. In addition to his role as managing partner of the office, the 'professional and responsivePaul Christopher also maintains a healthy corporate and funds practice, particularly within the private equity space. Litigation head Shaun Folpp handles a range of commercial disputes in addition to contentious insolvency mandates.

Practice head(s):

Paul Christopher – Managing Partner, Corporate and Investment Funds; Simon Lawrenson – Partner, Banking and Finance; Shaun Folpp – Partner, Litigation and Insolvency

Other key lawyers:

Danielle Roman; Claire Fulton; Justine Lau

Key clients

Bank of China

CVC Capital Partners

Gaw Capital Advisors

Haitong International

China CITIC Bank International

Silicon Valley Bank

Goldman Sachs

Maso Capital Investments

China Minsheng Banking Corporation

UBS

Dorsey Ventures Limited

Noah Holdings (Hong Kong) Limited

Work highlights

  • Acted for the Bank of China Limited Macau Branch on its bridge loan of $80.66m to CDH Genetech Limited, to fund CDH and Grand Pharma’s successful bid for the acquisition of Sirtex Medical Limited, an Australian company that is listed on the Australian Securities Exchange.
  • Acted for Citigroup, and the lender group, in the acquisition financing of the take private of the Hopewell Group – a takeover that is now public.
  • Advised ORIX in connection with its acquisition of a minority stake in aircraft lessor Avolon Holdings from HNA Groups Bohai Capital Holding Co.
  • Advised in relation to the establishment of Hong Kong-based realty private equity investor, Gaw Capital Partners’ sixth opportunity fund, Gateway Real Estate Fund VI.
  • Advised HKBN Ltd on its $1.34bn proposed acquisition of Hong Kong telecommunications operator, WTT Holding Corp, from TPG and MBK Partners (through its SPV, Twin Holding Ltd).

Ogier

The 'extremely knowledgeable and helpful' seven-partner team at Ogier has significant resources to deploy for clients requiring BVI, Cayman Islands, Channel Islands and Luxembourg advice across international finance and corporate matters (including funds work). Led by Nicholas Plowman , the investment funds team has excellent traction in the region on behalf of hedge and private equity funds, in particular. Active in relation to fund structuring as well as on the pursuant investments, Plowman recently provided Cayman Islands law input to high-profile private equity sponsor, LionRock Capital, on its investment into Inter Milan Football Club. The 'very experiencedAnthony Oakes provided the financing input to the aforementioned deal and heads up the banking and finance subgroup, which is picking up some high-quality work on both the sponsor and bank side. The arrival in July 2018 of the 'very personableDavid Nelson from Walkers further raises the firm's banking and finance profile in the region, given his reputation as 'one of the standout financing lawyers in the offshore world'. The 'adaptable and solutions-orientedNathan Powell leads an 'excellent' corporate team that handles a broad array of corporate structuring and M&A, in addition to a growing volume of IPO work. As the only offshore firm to have an office in Tokyo, the firm is also well-placed to provide Japanese and English language support to Japan-based clients. Raymond NG and Oliver Payne have been pivotal to the firm's growth in relation to dispute resolution and restructuring work out of Hong Kong. With a team of eight lawyers focusing on such work, the team now has the critical mass to handle a significant volume and range of contentious work, including in relation to shareholder and banking disputes and breaches in directors and trustees' duties.

Practice head(s):

Nicholas Plowman (head of investment funds); Nathan Powell (head of corporate); Raymond Ng (Head of Dispute Resolution; Contentious Restructuring & Insolvency); Anthony Oakes (Head of Banking & Finance; Non-Contentious Restructuring & Insolvency

Other key lawyers:

Kate Hodson; Oliver Payne; David Nelson; Wisdom Hon

Testimonials

‘The corporate and debt teams are led by some very solid lawyers who provide sound technical advice but understand the commercial needs of the private equity clients.’

‘Nathan Powell has a great aptitude for coming up with practical solutions and understanding the client’s perspective.’

‘David Nelson is very personable and is one of the stand-out financing lawyers in the offshore world given his private practice and previous offshore experience.’

Key clients

Tokio Marine Asset Management

Itochu Corporation

Foxconn / Hon Hai Group

LionRock Capital

HNA Group

RRJ Capital

Asset Management One Co.

Sompo Japan Nipponkoa Asset Management Co.

Complus Asset Management

Nomura Bank (Luxembourg)

Work highlights

  • Advised longstanding client LionRock Capital on its acquisition of a minority share in Italian football club Inter Milan.
  • Acted as Cayman Islands and BVI counsel in connection with Foxconn Industrial Internet’s RMB 27bn ($4.3bn) IPO on the Shanghai Stock Exchange.
  • Acted as Cayman Islands and BVI counsel in connection with Ruhnn Holding Limited’s $125m IPO of its American depositary shares on NASDAQ.
  • Acted as BVI and Cayman Islands counsel to HNA Infrastructure Investment Group Co a company listed on the Shanghai Stock Exchange, in respect of a complex cross-border reorganisation.
  • Advised New Frontier Capital Management (Hong Kong) Co., Limited on the launch of the $300m Cybernaut New Frontier Venture Fund focusing on Chinese start-up companies in AI and fintech.