Firm Profile > Simmons & Simmons > Shanghai, China

Simmons & Simmons

Investment funds: foreign firms Tier 1

Simmons & Simmons is singled out for its 'efficient, high-quality and pragmatic advice'. Its funds practice focuses on investment funds and financial regulation advice in Asia under the leadership of Asia financial markets head Rolfe Hayden who primarily sits in Hong Kong. While the team handles the full spectrum of hedge, private equity and retail funds, it also has a strong track record in exchange-traded funds and leveraged and inverse products. Also notable is the firm's work in the fintech space, where it advises clients on cryptocurrency funds, and in the licensing and regulatory area. Beijing-based Melody Yang gives 'constructive solutions which is tailor made for the actual situation of the client'.


‘The funds experts at Simmons & Simmons are very responsive and always make themselves available to their clients. They are also very quick in turning around documents.’

Their key strength is their ability to advise and understand issues that are important to foreign firms entering China. They are well versed in global best practices, and at the same time, understand local market practices‘.

The team has a deep understanding of the problems faced by Chinese clients and the industry, and the legal advice given is very pragmatic‘.

‘Melody Yang is an outstanding lawyer. She is knowledgeable and professional’.

Melody Yang is thoughtful and comprehensive in her responses, hardworking and responsive. She seeks to help clients understand the local practices while advocating for their requirements. She leads her team to deliver top-notch services‘.

Key clients

Man Investment Management(Shanghai) Co, Ltd.

Labour and employment: foreign firms Tier 1

Simmons & Simmons 's labour and employment team is headquartered in Hong Kong and spearheaded by Fiona Loughrey . In China, Matthew Durham and May Lu sit in the Shanghai office and provide board-level advice on sensitive strategic issues, including employee misconduct, corporate restructures and senior appointments and exits. The group also handles contentious matters such as labour disputes, investigations, director and executive liability and sexual harassment policies. Also notable is Hong-Kong based Sarah Berkeley who has substantial experience advising financial institutions and major corporates.

Fintech: foreign firms Tier 2

At Simmons & Simmons, the fintech team is instructed on a wide range of matters including blockchain issues, and regulatory advice for both the financial and technological aspects of clients' businesses, as well as handling corporate and commercial work. Hong Kong-based Jingyuan Shi is a key contact for fintech clients, alongside Jolyon Ellwood-Russell. Recent clients have included leading fintech companies, both domestic and international.

Intellectual property: foreign firms Tier 2

Simmons & Simmons manages the global or regional trade mark portfolios for several household name brands. In recent years, the team has maintained its longstanding clients in addition to working with a number of new clients. It has a particularly strong practice in invalidation actions against the registration of disputed trade marks. In one highlight, George Chan and key associate Sophie Zhao successfully assisted Johnson & Johnson with an invalidation action against a mark; the Trademark Review and Adjudication Board (TRAB) considered that the co-existence of the disputed mark and Johnson & Johnson’s prior marks on similar goods would cause confusion among relevant consumers.

Key clients

Cathay Pacific Airways and Hong Kong Dragon Airlines


Maus Frères International Services (LACOSTE, AIGLE International S.A., GANT AB)



Johnson & Johnson

Warner Bros

New Zealand Trade and Enterprise

Herschel Supply Company Ltd.

Afton Chemical Corporation

TMT: foreign firms Tier 3

Simmons & Simmons' greater China team handles matters including a full range of transactional, corporate and commercial concerns; fintech and e-payment systems;  and data protection, particularly for Shenzhen-based technology companies.  In addition to technology, media and telecoms companies, the practice acts for banks, venture and private equity capitalists, industry bodies, regulators and governments in TMT-related matters. Practice head Jingyuan Shi advises on corporate transactions and general regulatory matters. Beijing-based IP specialist George Chan is also recommended. Shanghai-based May Lu advises on TMT-related employment cases.

Key clients

Neat Limited

KYC Chain Limited

HNA Technology Investments Holdings Limited

i-Cable Communications Limited


Melco Crown Entertainment Limited

Ant Financial

Banking and finance: foreign firms Tier 5

Simmons & Simmons' Beijing-based Yongmei Cai specialises in banking, cross-border finance, derivatives, debt capital markets and financial regulatory work. In recent years, she has focused on cross-border structured trade and commodities finance transactions for international finance institutions.

Corporate and M&A: foreign firms Tier 5

Simmons & Simmons fields lawyers who are experienced in transactions that involve sectors such as asset management and investment funds, financial institutions and TMT. Michael Chin divides his time between the Hong Kong and Shanghai offices; former Beijing office head Eric Lin exited for Reed Smith Richards Butler.

Dispute resolution: foreign firms Tier 5

Simmons & Simmons' sector focus, namely asset management and investment funds, financial institutions, TMT and life sciences, also applies to the firm's China dispute resolution practice. Joseph Chu, who divides his time between the Beijing and Hong Kong offices, and supervising associate Vera Zuo are the principal contacts.

The firm: Simmons & Simmons is a leading international law firm with fully integrated teams working through offices in Asia, Europe and the Middle East, bringing experienced professionals to some of the most active growth markets today.

Simmons & Simmons has been active in Asia for 35 years, where the firm is recognised as one of the leading international full-service law firms. Simmons & Simmons has offices in Beijing, Hong Kong, Shanghai, Singapore and Tokyo, and its lawyers practise Chinese, Hong Kong, English and US law. Since 2001, the firm has had a qualified joint venture with TMI Associates in Tokyo, the first such alliance between a major established Japanese law firm and a major international law firm.

Established in London in 1896, Simmons & Simmons opened its first international office in 1962, when it became the first City law firm to open an office in Brussels. Today, the firm has offices in key financial centres across Asia, Europe and the Middle East, and a strong track record of delivering high-quality legal services to clients in some of the fastest growing markets in the world.

Areas of practice: Simmons & Simmons applies its considerable expertise to all business sectors, but focuses on: asset management and investment funds, energy and infrastructure, financial institutions, life sciences, and technology, media and telecommunications. Simmons & Simmons acts regularly on the most innovative cases, deals and transactions in its chosen areas of specialism and receives recognition for the quality of its work from clients and others within those industry sectors. Most recently, the firm was named ‘Best Trade Finance Firm’ in Asia Pacific in the GTR Asia Leaders in Trade 2016 Awards; awarded Asian-Mena Counsel’s ‘Firm of the Year 2017’ for employment and IP in Hong Kong; named AsianInvestor Law Firm of the Year 2017 and Best Onshore Firm at the HFM Asia Services Awards.

Department Name Email Telephone
Banking and finance Yongmei Cai
Banking and finance Richard McKeown
Capital markets (debt and equity) Jay Lee
Capital markets (debt and equity) Joseph Lee
Construction Richard Kramer
Corporate and M&A Eric Lin
Corporate and M&A Ian Wood
Dispute resolution Joseph Chu
Employment Matthew Durham
Employment May Lu
Intellectual property John Slater
Intellectual property George Chan
Investment funds Melody Yang
Private equity and venture capital Eric Lin
Projects and energy Eric Lin
Projects and energy Vivien Yang
Regulatory Melody Yang
Structured finance and securitisation Yongmei Cai
TMT Jingyan Shi
Photo Name Position Profile
 Matthew Durham photo Matthew Durham
Number of lawyers : 858
at this office : 11
American Chamber of Commerce
Asian Transformation and Turnaround Association (ATTA)
British Chamber of Commerce
European Chamber of Commerce
Economist Intelligence Unit
French Chamber of Commerce
Hong Kong General Chamber of Commerce
Other offices : Beijing
Other offices : Hong Kong
Other offices : Singapore
Other offices : Tokyo