Ashurst > Hong Kong, Hong Kong > Firm Profile

Ashurst
11/F JARDINE HOUSE
1 CONNAUGHT PLACE
CENTRAL HONG KONG
Hong Kong

Hong Kong > Structured finance and securitisation Tier 2

The ‘responsive and highly technical‘ team at Ashurst provides ‘innovative financing solutions‘ to Chinese and international buy and sell-side stakeholders across a range of derivatives and structured finance products. Team head Patrick Phua has an excellent perspective of regulatory and transactional matters relating to the onshore and offshore derivatives market, and is one of many in the team that has strong relationships with Chinese financial institutions. The arrival in November 2020 of Jonathan Chapman from King & Wood Mallesons has enhanced the firm’s ability to service international financial institutions, particularly on fixed income derivatives work. In addition to being adept at advising on sell-side matters, ‘very engaging and responsive‘ partner Priscilla Chen is well-known for her work on behalf of Chinese institutions as buyers of risk.

Practice head(s):

Testimonials

‘Responsive, very good technically and easy to work with.’

‘Their presence in Hong Kong and mainland China avails Chinese clients of innovative financing solutions and related legal advice.’

Work highlights

  • Advised a group of leading PRC banks for bespoke loan hedging for a power plant project finance in Bangladesh.
  • Advised a number of leading global investment banks entering into hedging arrangements in respect of the issuance of a high yield “green” bond by a Singapore private company.
  • Advised a leading Hong Kong securities company in amending the settlement mechanism of loan-linked structured notes issued under a repack note programme and early redemption of the notes and transfer of the underlying loan commitment.

Hong Kong > Capital markets (debt) Tier 3

Ashurst is able ‘to combine technical knowledge with business nous’, for both issuers and underwriters. The team, which can dispense New York, UK and Hong Kong law advice, is ‘good at thinking creatively and communicating effectively’, ensuring that it is well-positioned to advise on complex structures, from across the panoply of debt and equity-linked products. Jini Lee now co-heads the global finance, funds and restructuring group following Nigel Pridmore’s recent retirement, and is recognised as ‘one of the few top lawyers who is truly active in the region for investment grade issuances’. Anna-Marie Slot splits her time between Hong Kong and London and heads up the high yield offering. The team also hired Jessica Li who joined from Allen & Overy LLP in November 2021. Li is a native Mandarin speaker and as well as her extremely in-depth legal knowledge, also benefits from a deep understanding of Chinese culture, ensuring that she is a popular choice among highly rated corporate and financial institutions who are frequent participants in the debt capital markets of Greater China.

Practice head(s):

Jini Lee (Co-head, Global Finance Funds and Restructuring); Anna-Marie Slot (Head of High Yield)

Other key lawyers:

Testimonials

‘Ashurst has solid understanding of the Chinese market, as well as international market practices, which enables them to marry technical knowledge with business nous.’

‘Their advice is based not only on their strong understanding of Hong Kong law, but also on their deep understanding of underwriters’ business needs and compliance requirements, the position of Chinese issuers and the general business climate in the real world.’

‘Apart from being knowledgeable, they are also good at thinking creatively and communicating effectively (everyone in the team we have interacted with is multilingual), so we can trust them to handle complex structures and liaise with different counterparties effortlessly.’

‘Jini Lee is one of the few top lawyers who is truly active in the region for investment-grade issuances. She is very down-to-earth and energetic, is always able to see the big picture and guide us through the transaction with practical advice. She is very good at anticipating our needs and handling issues before they even arise.’

Jini Lee has a deep understanding of the business culture and language of various places. Therefore, she can communicate and explain related legal issues very well to customers in different places.’

Lynn Liu is very familiar with Chinese issuers. She is commercially aware and good at guiding different parties towards an agreed position on documents.’

Key clients

Bank of China

The Macau Chinese Bank Limited

Luso International Banking Limited

Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (Macau) Limited

China Construction Bank Corporation

CEB International Capital Corporation Limited

CNCB (Hong Kong) Capital Limited

Huajin Securities (International) Limited

ICBC International Securities Limited

Ping An of China Securities (Hong Kong) Company Limited

Shanghai Pudong Development Bank Co

CCB International Capital Limited

China Industrial Securities International Brokerage Limited

Barclays Bank

Citigroup Global Markets Inc.

Deutsche Bank AG

Emirates NBD Bank PJSC

Investec Bank

J.P. Morgan Securities

Morgan Stanley & Co. International

Standard Chartered Bank

MIE Holdings Corporation

NagaCorp Ltd.

The Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation Limited, Singapore Branch

DBS Bank Ltd.

Work highlights

  • Advised the Joint Lead Managers on the issuance of $270m notes by Ji’an Chengtou Holding Group Co, listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange.
  • Advised HBIS Group Co and its subsidiary HBIS Group Hong Kong Co., Limited (the “Issuer”) in respect of the issuance of notes to be used for refinancing of existing indebtedness of the Issuer.
  • Acting for China Energy and Reserve Chemicals Group on the restructuring of its $2bn offshore bonds.

Hong Kong > Capital markets (equity) Tier 3

Ashurst’s ‘hardworking’ practice is ‘experienced in handling a range of capital markets work‘, both domestically as well as on multijurisdictional and cross-border matters, where it can effectively leverage resources across its international network. Several high-profile regional corporate clients also continue to generate work in the space, including Mobvista, which the firm has advised on compliance issues and various equity capital transactions since it went public in Hong Kong in 2018. Team head Frank Bi has excellent credentials among Chinese corporate issuers (including Mobvista) and SOEs, and is a key member of the team that also includes the ‘extremely hardworking‘ recently promoted New York and Hong Kong-qualified partner Li Jiang.

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Testimonials

The Ashurst team is experienced in handling a range of capital markets transactions such as IPOs, pre-IPO investments, major transactions for listed companies, and other listing-related compliance work. With its international network, it is well positioned in advising multi-jurisdictional and cross-border transactions.’

‘The execution team is hardworking and has seamless communication with the core management to deliver great work on drafting, as well as dealing with comments from the Exchange

‘It’s a small team but is very dedicated to its clients.’

Frank Bi is very patient in dealing with difficult issues.’

Melody He is a very experienced and knowledgeable partner with excellent commercial sense. She knows what is at stake for the client. What sets her apart is her dual qualifications and extensive experiences in both Hong Kong and US capital markets matters. Her multi-jurisdictional expertise has allowed her to always provide practical advice to us.’

Li Jiang is extremely hardworking and provides high-quality advice.’

Key clients

Mobvista Inc.

Kintor Pharmaceutical Limited

Loco Hong Kong Holdings Limited

CEB International

Credit Suisse (Hong Kong) Limited

Bank of America

J.P. Morgan

Merrill Lynch

Morgan Stanley

UBS

Onion Global Limited

Work highlights

  • Advised CEB International as the sole sponsor and a joint global coordinator on the global offering of 150 million shares by AdTiger Corporations Limited and its listing at The Stock Exchange of Hong Kong.
  • Advised Mobvista Inc. on a number of corporate and capital market transactions since its IPO in 2018.
  • Advised Merrill Lynch (Asia Pacific) Limited, J.P. Morgan Securities (Asia Pacific) Limited and Morgan Stanley & Co. International plc as the joint placing agents in relation to the HK$11.57bn secondary block trade sale of 88 million shares of ANTA Sports Products Limited.

Hong Kong > Corporate (including M&A) Tier 3

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

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Testimonials

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

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

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

Key clients

Tyme Group

Mobvista Inc.

SYNthesis med chem Pty Limited

The founder and shareholder of Kokido Development Limited

Beijing Energy International Holding Company Limited

Facebook

Mirae Asset Securities (HK) Limited

Star Combo Phara Limited

Lotus Investment Holdings Pty Ltd

Work highlights

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

Hong Kong > Investment funds Tier 3

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.

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Other key lawyers:

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.

Hong Kong > Regulatory Tier 3

A go-to destination for clients in the banking and financial services sectors, Ashurst is noted for its advice on regulatory issues involving the Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) and the Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing (HKEX). UK-qualified managing partner Ben Hammond leads the non-contentious regulatory team, while James Comber sits at the helm of the contentious group. In July 2020, the practice expanded its contentious corruption-related offering with the arrival of Cliff Chow from Allen & Overy.

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Other key lawyers:

Testimonials

‘The team is very proactive in training. They deliver the monthly regulatory breakfast which is very successful.’

‘Ashurst provides the best coverage across APAC for regulatory law advice and Hong Kong is a big part of that.’

‘Ben Hammond and his associate Colin are always providing a thorough analysis in a timely manner.’

‘Cliff Chow is very knowledgeable in regulatory matters. He has a good sense of the clients’ needs and is quick to address clients’ concerns accurately. A very reliable legal expert on the regulatory front.’

‘Ben Hammond is always available, always commercial, always personable and helps move our business forward.’

Key clients

HSBC

BNP Paribas

Royal Bank of Canada

Barclays

Credit Suisse

ABN AMRO Clearing

Citadel Securities

CLSA / CITC Securites

Interactive Brokers

Optiver

Hong Kong > TMT Tier 3

Ashurst‘s digital economy practice excels in large-scale multijurisdictional projects, where it is able to leverage its global network. The firm has strong relationships with numerous large global technology platforms, including Facebook and Tencent, and it also generates mandates from financial service entities and service providers. The practice is led by Joshua Cole, who is leading the advice to Tyme Group on its joint venture with JG Group to create one of the first digital banks in the Philippines. Cole is also noted for his telecoms-related work, particularly as it relates to major infrastructure projects. Counsel Hoi Tak Leung handles TMT-related commercial contracts and strategic corporate transactions, and he is also noted for his ‘knowledge and understanding of the AI and data privacy issues on hand in the banking industry’.

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Testimonials

It is a strong team with good industry knowledge.’

Hoi Tak Leung is knowledgeable and understanding of the AI and data privacy issues on hand in the banking industry.’

Key clients

Facebook

Tencent Group

Tyme Group

WeChat Pay

DBS Bank Ltd.

BNP Paribas

Fusion Bank

Airstar

OKEx

Work highlights

  • Advised Tyme Group, a global digital banking group, on establishing a joint venture with JG Group, one of the largest conglomerates in the Philippines, to create one of the first digital banks and potentially the first foreign invested joint venture in the digital banking business in the country.
  • Continuing to assist Facebook with its digital infrastructure and sub-sea telecom projects across Asia and internationally, including the Bay to Bay Express Cable System and Bifrost Cable System.
  • Continuing to assist Tencent with the international expansion of WeChat and WeChat Pay across Asia and internationally.

Hong Kong > Banking and finance Tier 4

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

Practice head(s):

Patrick Phua (Beijing/Hong Kong)

Other key lawyers:

Eric Tan; Daniel Lau (Beijing/Hong Kong)

Testimonials

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Key clients

Bank of China (Hong Kong) Limited

Banco Santander SA

China Construction Bank (Asia) Corporation Limited

Deutsche Bank

Natixis

DBS

Pacific Aegis Capital Management Limited

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

Société Générale

Australia and New Zealand Banking Group

Work highlights

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

Hong Kong > Restructuring and insolvency Tier 4

After her promotion to the partnership in May 2021, Sophie Lyall now heads Ashurst’s Hong Kong restructuring and special situations team. The team advises insolvency practitioners, agents, trustees, and issuers and borrowers on distressed situations, both non-contentious and contentious. On the secondary debt and special situations lending side, the practice acts for financial institutions, distressed credit funds and other alternative capital providers.

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Testimonials

‘Sophie Lyall was always on top of things, clear and practical in her approach and proactive in getting the task across the line’.

‘The HK team is extremely driven, they take the initiative to asses the needs of the client’.

‘Whilst not the biggest team in the market, they are very capable and exceptionally responsive’.

‘Very clear legal advice and turnaround time is excellent’.

‘Competitive fee levels among the international firms and whilst some competitors have lower rates, Ashurst deliver one of the best value for money services’.

‘Sophie Lyall is a relatively new partner leading the team. She delivers very good advice and is widely liked for her collaborative style.

Sophie Lyall is a standout – technically very good, commercially minded, responsive and clever, she is a pleasure to work with.

‘James Leung has excellent attention to detail’.

Key clients

Vedanta Resources Limited

China Energy Reserve and Chemicals Group Co., Ltd

MIE Holdings Corporation

Madison Pacific Trust Limited

HNA Group

Grant Thornton

Asia Debt Management Hong Kong Limited

Work highlights

  • Advised MIEH in relation to its complex and multi-jurisdictional debt restructuring involving multiple creditors who hold both private loan debt and publicly listed bonds.
  • Advised Vedanta Resources Limited and certain other of its group companies in relation to a $1bn subscription agreement between, among others, Oaktree Opportunities(Singapore) Holdings Pte. Ltd and/or its affiliates as Agent.
  • Advised China Energy Reserve and Chemicals Group Co., Ltd. in the restructuring of its $2bn offshore bonds.

Hong Kong > Dispute resolution: litigation Tier 5

Ashurst‘s ‘dedicated and committed‘ dispute resolution practice handles regulatory investigations for a client list of Chinese state-owned enterprises and Asian conglomerates. Department head James Comber is acting for HNA Group in defence of winding up proceedings presented against it by a Panamanian shipping company, with company assets of over $150bn at stake. The team has seen recent expansion following the arrival of senior associate Benjamin Ng from DLA Piper, and ‘sophisticated lawyerCliff Chow – known for his ‘outstanding attention-to-detail‘ – from Allen & Overy, throughout 2020.

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Other key lawyers:

Testimonials

‘Cliff Chow has excellent bilingual communication skills and a wealth of experience in regulatory investigations and contentious and non-contentious regulatory matters.’

‘Cliff Chow is ever-approachable and willing to go the extra mile for clients in order to deliver top-notch legal services best addressing clients’ needs.’

‘Ashurst is always a go-to law firm and is renowned for delivering good work for its relatively moderate prices.’

‘Cliff Chow is knowledgeable in the dispute resolution and regulatory space, and has always been capable of delivering quality, practical and timely legal advice. Cliff is one of few lawyers who can stand in the shoes of the client, sharply zoom into issues and weigh up pros and cons, while giving professional advice in a practical way. I would highly recommend Cliff to anyone with potential issues in litigation, arbitration and regulatory investigations.’

‘The team is dedicated and committed.’

‘Cliff Chow is a sophisticated lawyer with deep knowledge, outstanding attention-to-detail and a gracious disposition. Cliff brings valuable perspectives to the table, which makes for a very satisfying collaboration. It was a great experience working with him in translating our legal insights into commercially sound and practical advice to the client.’

Key clients

HNA Group Co Limited

Royal Bank of Canada

Asia Debt Management

China Merchant’s Bank (Hong Kong Branch)

Bank of America, National Association

Credit Suisse

Duff & Phelps (Bruno Arboit and Galaxy Chan)

HNA Group Company (International) Limited

Swiss Re

Samsung Securities

CNCB (Hong Kong) Investment Limited

Beijing Energy International Holdings Limited

Work highlights

  • Advising HNA Group in its defence of winding up proceedings presented against it in the High Court of Hong Kong by a Panamanian shipping company.
  • Advising China Merchants Bank in relation to two sets of Norwich Pharmacal proceedings in the High Court of Hong Kong.
  • Advising China Merchants Bank in relation to a Norwich Pharmacal application commenced against the Bank as a third party arising out of an alleged fraud.

South Korea > Corporate and M&A: foreign firms Tier 2

The team at Ashurst handles a diverse range of M&A transactions, with particular strengths in out-bound acquisitions and investments for large Korean conglomerates. John Kim leads the group, and his expertise is reflected in the firm’s work on multibillion-dollar mandates that involve issues across multiple industries, including automobile, real estate, infrastructure and private equity, with recent growth in high-tech industries such as solar energy and carbon black. Huiyeon Kim and senior associate Woo Kim are also recommended, working closely on the firm’s major transactions.

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Testimonials

‘Ashurst are clearly the most knowledgeable in their field and especially in the mobility industry.’

‘Another one of Ashurst’s strengths is that they provide top quality service and a very quick turnaround.’

‘John Kim: John is one of the most highly regarded advisors in the Korean legal realm. If any company has been involved in a significant or complex cross border, M&A/investment transaction, John’s name would have come up for recommendation. He is known to provide creative and effective solutions for his clients as well as provide exceptional client care.’

‘Huiyeon Kim: Huiyeon is another partner that I worked with closely during the project. She is a rock star. Huiyeon is amazing at explaining complex issues and handled all the execution of this project alongside her associates.’

‘Woo Kim was the main point of contact during the whole deal. Woo Kim is a senior associate with the team and is a great, energetic person who understands how to handle complex matters. He has excellent drafting skills and has also made great consulting firm/PE firm grade presentations to keep us updated of the project in both English and in Korean.’

‘This is the first year that I have worked with John Kim and his team. Our company chose to work with Ashurst due to their sheer amount of experience in international transactions and their longstanding reputation in the international legal market in Korea.’

 ‘Ashurst really understood our commercial needs and the time crunch we were in and made it work in a very efficient way. We were overall very happy with the execution of the deal that Ashurst provided and the feedback from our team was also very positive.’

‘Ashurst has a very successful record when it comes to cross border M&A/investment advisory deals. The Automotive industry is one of many that Ashurst has expertise in but they are excellent in general M&A advisory with multi-jurisdictional aspects.’

Key clients

Hyundai Motor Group

Hyundai Motor Company

Hanwha Solutions

Hanwha Q Cells

Hyundai Glovis

KTB Asset Management

Samsung Bioepis

Work highlights

  • Advised Hyundai Motor Group on the establishment of a $4bn joint venture with Aptiv PLC for the design, development and commercialisation of software technologies, services, systems, vehicle architecture and other related enabling offerings with respect to Level 4 and 5 autonomous driving.
  • Advised Hyundai Motor Company on its investment in a vehicle manufacturing plant in Indonesia with a potential annual capacity of 250,000.
  • Advised Hanwha Solutions in their acquisition of a U.S.-based hydrogen tank maker Cimarron, armed with patented technology to store hydrogen fuel for spaceship.

South Korea > Capital markets: foreign firms Tier 4

The team at Ashurst has close relationships with issuers and provides advice on the full range of capital markets products and transactions, including securitisation and derivatives. Former practice head Peter Kwon departed in January 2022.

Testimonials

‘Always alert to client’s needs and willing to be flexible. Proactive with work and advice.’

‘All lawyers are attentive and keen to understand client’s business and concerns. ’

‘Heavy involvement of partners, strong technical and regulatory knowledge & experience, close relationship with issuers’

‘Ashurst has a very strong structured finance practice, which is very well recognised by Korean banks and financial institutions. They are very strong in the securitisation and covered bonds space in Korea.’

Key clients

Hana Alternative Asset Management Co., Ltd.

Export Import Bank of Korea

KEB Hana Bank

KTB Investment & Securities

HSBC Hong Kong

LBBW Singapore

Work highlights

    China > Banking and finance: foreign firms

    Ashurst‘s ‘solutions-driven‘ finance team advises on the full spectrum of banking and financing work, and clients additionally benefit from the firm’s provision of PRC law advice through its joint operation office with PRC law firm, Guantao Law Firm. Working across the firm’s Beijing and Hong Kong offices are Patrick Phua, who has extensive expertise in China’s derivatives and structured products market; and Daniel Lau, a cross-border debt-related transactions specialist. Providing further support are Singapore and mainland China-based Chin Chuan Chen, who is experienced in energy and financing transactions throughout Asia, Latin America, Africa and Eastern Europe; Hong Kong-based Eric Tan, who advises on both sides of the lending relationship; and Beijing counsel Emma Zhang, an expert in banking and project finance work in the power, resources and infrastructure sectors.

    Practice head(s):

    Testimonials

    The strength of the Ashurst banking practice is that it is solutions driven.

    The Greater China team is effectively bilingual which is important to us. All their partners, associates and trainees are proficient/native in English and Mandarin. Also, the partners have spent time working in mainland China (or with mainland Chinese firms) and this is extremely important to us.

    Ashurst provides very relevant and helpful services based on its well-balanced view and approach to global standards and China specificities.

    They have extensive cross-border experience in the Greater China space and are great at client care.

    The Ashurst banking team is great value for money, and the partners are accessible and hands on.

    The team is excellent and knows its subject matter.

    Eric Tan is knowledgeable and willing to go the extra mile. We like him because he has both offshore and onshore knowledge, which is important for the cross-border nature of our deals.

    Eric Tan is a standout for us. He is able to marry experience gained from offshore practice with his expertise to deliver what we want.

    Key clients

    Bank of China (Hong Kong)

    Banco Santander

    China Construction Bank (Asia) Corporation

    Deutsche Bank

    Natixis

    DBS

    Pacific Aegis Capital Management

    Shagang South-Asia (Hong Kong) Trading Co

    Société Générale

    Australia and New Zealand Banking Group

    Work highlights

    • Advised Bank of China (Hong Kong) and China Everbright Bank Co (as mandated lead arrangers and bookrunners) and a syndicate of banks on an up-to HKD8.7bn syndicated term loan facility for Fans Group.
    • Advised Banco Santander, China Construction Bank, Natixis and 10 other banks on a €860m syndicated facility for CNCE Group (Hong Kong) Co.
    • Advised China Construction Bank (Asia) Corporation (as mandated lead arranger and bookrunner, lender and agent) on an up-to $400m syndicated term loan facility for An Ke Technology Company.

    China > Fintech: foreign firms

    Consistently advising significant technology platforms, Ashurst‘s multi-disciplinary Asia-Pacific practice advises across a wide spectrum of work in the fintech sector, across multiple jurisdictions, providing banking, technology, corporate, financial regulatory and competition law expertise. The Hong Kong-based practice is led by Joshua Cole, who has a long track record in advising on large and significant fintech and TMT matters in Asia, including cross-border M&A and joint ventures. Cole is additionally experienced in advising on outsourcings and regulatory compliance across the Asia-Pacific. Further support is provided by Ben Hammond, who leads the non-contentious financial services regulatory practice in Hong Kong; and Beijing-based China finance practice head Patrick Phua.

    Practice head(s):

    Testimonials

    ‘Very familiar with regulatory framework in Hong Kong, deep knowledge of payments and remittance regulatory environment. Customer oriented, very responsive and excellent at meeting budgets and timelines.’

    ‘Ben Hammond – expert in Fintech and solid partner to our business. Excellent prioritisation and overall excellent understanding of our needs as a customer.’

     

    Key clients

    Tyme Group

    Tencent

    WeChat Pay

    Divit

    DBS

    BNP Paribas

    OKEx

    Finnovasia

    Airstar Bank

    Work highlights

    • Advised Tyme Group, a global digital banking group, on establishing a joint venture with JG Group (one of the largest conglomerates in the Philippines) to create a digital bank.
    • Assisting Tencent with the international expansion of WeChat and WeChat Pay across Asia and internationally.
    • Assisted Divit, a start-up buy-now-pay-later provider, with its entry on the Hong Kong market.

    Philippines > Foreign firms

    Ashurst is noted for its experience in advising international corporate companies and financial institutions on outbound transactions and projects in the Philippines. Heads of team Dan Brown and Alex Guy are renowned for their expertise in energy, infrastructure, and projects. Joshua Cole is highly recommended for his work advising Tyme Group on establishing a joint venture with members of the JG group to apply for a local digital banking license in the Philippines.

    Practice head(s):

    Other key lawyers:

    Testimonials

    The team was highly professional, highly pragmatic, listened well, and read the situation well.

    Joshua Cole stands out.

    Key clients

    First Gen Corporation

    The PPP Centre of the Philippines

    The Department of Transportation of the Philippines

    ANZ

    Covanta Energy

    Macquarie Capital

    Work highlights

    • Advised the Tyme Group on establishing a joint venture with members of the JG Group to apply for a local digital bank license in the Philippines.
    • Advised edotco on its indirect acquisition of a majority equity interest in a Philippine joint venture company.

    India > Foreign firms

    Led by Stuart Rubin, Ashurst's India-related work is known for its focus on capital markets, especially equity work. Some of the noted lawyers in the practice include Anna-Marie Slot, John Kim, and Ethan Perry.

    Work highlights

      China > Regulatory/compliance: foreign firms

      Ashurst’s financial regulatory team is highly focused on handling regional and international regulatory issues, investigations and disputes. Its client roster features banking, asset management, securities brokerages and insurance companies, and its joint operation with Guantao Law Firm expands its expertise and geographic reach, particularly in financial services disputes. Practice head Patrick Phua splits his time between Hong Kong and Beijing and is supported by Priscilla Chen, senior associate Tracy Wang and counsel Yolanda Liu. Wang and Liu are based in its Beijing and Shanghai offices, respectively.

      Practice head(s):

      Other key lawyers:

      Priscilla Chen; Tracy Wang; Yolanda Liu; Yi Man; Yichen Cui

      Testimonials

      ‘The team comprises a mix of strong local PRC talents and foreign practitioners who have vast experience with China’s legal and regulatory landscape. Ashurst’s team provides very sound advice, with a strong practical element. The practical solutions given by Ashurst are especially vital in helping MNCs negotiate the complex environment in China and manage the legal / regulatory risks.’

      ‘Patrick Phua, and his team are always very responsive to our needs in China, especially given the very dynamic environment there. The quality of advice is consistently sound, with a very practical edge to the advice, i.e. not textbook advice. It facilitates our assessment of the risks involved, and the implementation of solutions to manage the issues on hand.’

      Key clients

      China Development Bank

      Bank of China

      Industrial and Commercial Bank of China

      China Construction Bank

      Export-Import Bank of China

      Deutsche Bank

      China Export & Credit Insurance Corporation

      Agricultural Bank of China

      China Minsheng Bank

      Australia and New Zealand Banking Group

      CMB International Finance

      BOCOM International Asset Management

      China Everbright Finance

      CMBC Capital Finance Limited

      Tai Fung Bank Limited

      S&P Ratings (China) Co., Ltd

      Work highlights

      • Advised S&P Global in establishing its China subsidiary.

      The firm: Ashurst is a leading global law firm advising local and global corporates, financial institutions and governments on their most complex transactions, disputes and projects. Founded in 1822, the firm today has more than 3,600 people, including over 450 partners, working across 29 offices in 17 countries, offering the reach and insight of a global network, combined with the knowledge and understanding of local markets. The firm brings together lawyers of the highest calibre with the technical knowledge, industry experience and regional know-how to provide the incisive advice clients need.

      Ashurst Greater China: Ashurst’s Greater China practice consists of offices in Shanghai, Hong Kong and Beijing which were respectively established in 1998, 2008 and 2013. The firm provides premium support in all practice areas to clients in Greater China and the wider Asia Pacific. The Greater China team advises leading financial institutions, sovereign and investment funds, and corporates on the full array of high profile M&A, complex banking and finance, derivatives and structured products, debt and equity capital markets, projects, private equity, dispute resolution, regulatory and restructuring matters. In early 2018, Ashurst and Guantao Law Firm, a leading firm in China, launched a joint operation office (JOO) in China, allowing us to offer a truly one-stop service to clients that combines international expertise with full PRC law capability.

      DepartmentNameEmailTelephone
      Office Managing Partner, Beijing and Head of Global Loans and Global Markets, Asia Patrick PhuaPatrick.Phua@ashurst.com+86 10 5936 2888
      Office Managing Partner, Hong Kon Ben HammondBen.Hammond@ashurst.com+852 2846 8914
      Office Managing Partner, Shanghai Michael ShengMichael.Sheng@ashurst.com+86 21 6263 1818
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