Kirkland & Ellis International LLP > Shanghai, China > Firm Profile

Kirkland & Ellis International LLP

China > Private equity: foreign firms Tier 1

Kirkland & Ellis International LLP‘s China offices are highly focused on complex private equity transactions, including LBOs and other M&A deals, PIPEs and joint ventures; and clients further benefit from the firm’s leveraging of its sponsor-focused debt finance, high-yield, restructuring and investment funds practices. A senior corporate partner splitting his time between Beijing and Shanghai, Chuan Li acts for strategic and private equity clients on an impressive range of transactions. The Hong Kong office showcases a number of highly regarded partners, namely Gary Li, whose recent track record includes deals for several leading global private clients; David Patrick Eich, who originally established the firm’s Europe and Asia offices; cross-border deal expert Daniel DusekNicholas Norris, who has over 25 years’ experience in advising private equity firms; Joey Chau, a specialist in assisting private equity firms with acquisitions, disposals and corporate transactions; and David Zhang, whose deals frequently involve private equity investors.

Key clients

An investor consortium comprising Warburg Pincus Asia, General Atlantic Singapore Fund Pte, Ocean Link Partners and Jinbo Yao

An investor consortium comprising Centurium Capital, CITIC Capital, Marc Chan, Hillhouse Capital, Temasek Holdings and Joseph Chow

Hammer Capital


Consortium offeror comprising GLP and the Fung family


Affiliates of CarVal Investors, LP

An investor consortium comprising Ocean Link Partners and Sequoia Capital China

Amer Sports and its investor consortium ANTA Sports, FountainVest Partners, Anamered Investments and Tencent Holdings

Loyal Valley Capital

DCP Capital

L Catterton

Advantage Partners

Car Inc

Bain Capital


The Carlyle Group

Funds advised by Apax Partner

Coatue Management

Lilly Asia Ventures

Matrix Partners China Fund IV

Grand Flight Investment Management

Cartesian Capital Group

China > Restructuring and insolvency: foreign firms Tier 1

Leveraging one of the largest, stand-alone restructuring groups worldwide, Kirkland & Ellis‘ Hong Kong-based Asia restructuring and insolvency practice assists companies, bondholders and banks with the full range of contentious and non-contentious restructuring work. The five-partner team has enviable experience in both North and Southeast Asia deals, including debt rescheduling and refinancings, workouts and restructurings, debt trading, and distressed acquisitions and financings. Other areas of strength include receiverships and liquidations, shareholder disputes, directors’ duties and schemes of arrangement. Widely respected for his assistance to large global companies in financial distress, Neil McDonald advises on an expansive range of issues that arise in the restructuring and insolvency of troubled companies; Kelly Naphtali‘s practice includes insolvency-related disputes; and Daniel Margulies specialises in restructuring and insolvency matters, as well as cross-border and special situation financings. Wei-Yang Lim, who is particularly focused on advising institutions that invest in distressed, stressed or special situation credits, was promoted to partner in 2020.

Practice head(s):

Key clients

An ad hoc committee of holders of $300m senior notes issued by Rock International Investment


Toys “R” Us

Committee of creditors of China Fishery Group

IL&FS Transportation Networks

Ad hoc committee of holders of notes (issued by subsidiaries of China Energy Reserve and Chemicals Group Company)

Ad hoc committee of holders of senior notes (issued by Huachen Energy Co)

CWT International HNA Group (International) Company

Ad Hoc Committee of certain holders of guaranteed senior notes issued by Reward International Investment

Ad hoc committee of holders of step up convertible bonds (issued by Suzlon Energy)

Affiliates of CarVal Investors

Dewan Housing Finance Corporation

Ad hoc committee of lenders of Jindal Steel & Power (Australia)

Ad hoc committee of holders of guaranteed notes (issued by Wise Source International)

China Minsheng Investment Group Corp

China > Dispute resolution: Litigation: foreign firms Tier 2

Kirkland & Ellis International LLP’s team, co-led by Kelly Naphtali, Tiana Zhang and Cori Lable, is primarily split between Hong Kong and Shanghai, although some members are based in the US, enabling multi-jurisdictional expertise at all stages of the litigation process. Zhang along with Yue Qiu and Jodi Wu are highly knowledgeable of multi-jurisdictional patent litigation. Zhang, as well as Los Angeles-based Yi-Chin Ho, is also well-versed in cases pertaining to corruption. Naphtali, Paul Quinn, Amy Ngan, Fergus Saurin and Richard Sharpe all have extensive experience concerning disputes regarding accusations of negligence in liquidations across multiple jurisdictions. In 2020, David Harrington, previously of MinterEllisonRuddWatts, joined as a partner whilst Saurin and Qiu were both promoted to the partnership. Tarun Warriar departed to Varde Partners.

Key clients

Xiaomi Inc.

TCL Corp.

China > Regulatory/compliance: foreign firms Tier 2

Kirkland & Ellis International LLP’s Shanghai-based regulatory team handles complex multi-jurisdictional cases across Asia and other parts of the wider world. The team, co-led by Hong Kong-based Cori Lable and Shanghai-based Tiana Zhang, has extensive experience in handling numerous highly sensitive, complicated and cross-border government investigations, enforcement actions, civil litigation, and related compliance advice. Zhang is a go-to for US-China cross-border crisis management, including complex financial fraud investigations by audit committees and special committees of China-based companies listed overseas, and China-related high-stakes compliance and trade secret theft investigations by multinational companies. Richard Sharpe is a further name to note who is supported by China investigation specialists Jodi Wu and the recently promoted partner Yue Qiu in Shanghai.

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Other key lawyers:


‘Brilliant, responsive, and creative. Always know how to handle anything that comes their way. Learns the business inside out.’

‘Tiana Zhang is a strong leader who takes charge and makes sure the matter is handled from start to finish.’

Yue Qiu  is a masterful writer and interviewer who delivers excellent work product.’

‘Jodi Wu is a critical team player who serves as the glue and ensures that nothing is left behind.’

China > Corporate and M&A: foreign firms Tier 3

Founded in Chicago, Kirkland & Ellis International LLP fields one of the largest global corporate and M&A practices with over 900 practitioners worldwide and c.100 dedicated attorneys based at the firm’s Hong Kong, Shanghai and Beijing offices. The group thrives on the full array of transaction types, in both Hong Kong and the PRC, handling private equity, SPAC and cross-border deals on behalf of US, Asia and Hong Kong-listed companies. Chuan Li who splits his time between the two China offices, is adept in the full array of corporate transactions from acquisitions, divestitures and joint ventures through to PIPEs, going private deals and growth equity investments.

Key clients

An investor consortium comprised of Warburg Pincus Asia LLC, General Atlantic Singapore Fund Pte. Ltd., Ocean Link Partners Limited, and Mr. Jinbo Yao, Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer of

An investor consortium comprised of Centurium Capital, CITIC Capital, Mr. Marc Chan, Hillhouse Capital, Temasek Holdings, and Mr. Joseph Chow, CEO and chairman of the board of directors of CBPO and their respective affiliates.

Morgan Stanley Asia Limited

Hammer Capital

GLP Pte. Ltd. and the consortium offeror comprising GLP and the Fung family

An investor consortium comprised of Ocean Link Partners and Sequoia Capital China

The special committee of the board of directors of Yintech Investment Holdings Limited

Citigroup Global Markets (financial advisor) in proposed merger of Huya and Douyu

Clear Channel Outdoor Holdings, Inc.

Amer Sports and its investor consortium ANTA Sports (HKG: 2020.HK), FountainVest Partners, Anamered Investments Inc. and Tencent Holdings Limited

China International Capital Corporation Hong Kong Securities Limited (CICC)

China International Capital Corporation Hong Kong Securities Limited (CICC)

Loyal Valley Capital


Skyworth Group Limited

Lion Financial Group Limited

Li & Fung

Huatai Financial Holdings (Hong Kong) Limited

Two controlling shareholders of Sihuan Pharmaceutical Holdings Group

GLP and UBAN Capital

Clene Nanomedicine, Inc.

Silk EV

Work highlights

  • Acted as international co-counsel for an investor consortium in the take-private of Inc. (NYSE: WUBA), China’s largest online classifieds marketplace, at a valuation of approximately US$8.7bn.
  • Acted as the lead counsel to a consortium of investors in the proposed US$4.76bn take-private of China Biologic Products Holdings, Inc. (NASDAQ: CBPO), a plasma-based biopharmaceutical company.
  • Advising Morgan Stanley Asia Limited as financial advisor to the special committee of the board of directors of Sina Corporation (NASDAQ: SINA), a leading online media company in China, in the potential take-private of Sina.

China > Investment funds: foreign firms Tier 3

With a core focus on private equity matters, the areas of expertise for Kirkland & Ellis International LLP‘s investment funds group cover buyout funds, funds of funds, credit and growth funds, limited partner representations, placement agent representations, restructuring, and carry and co-investment structuring. The Hong Kong-based team also includes experts in relation to Security and Exchange Commission-registered advisers, and assists with the regulatory issues surrounding private investment funds and their management companies. The principal figures are Justin Dolling, who regularly acts for high-profile general partners, China private funds practice head Carol Liu, and fundraising and secondary specialist Damian Jacobs.

Other key lawyers:

Key clients


Lilly Asia Ventures

Integral Group

Hosen Capital

Jeneration Capital

Ocean Link

A consortium including HarbourVest Partners, LGT and GIC

GL Capital

Long Hill Capital Partners

Legend Capital

China > Banking and finance: foreign firms Tier 4

Kirkland & Ellis International LLP‘s Hong-Kong-based banking and finance team is widely respected for private equity borrower and complex credit fund work. Jacqueline Zheng advises on cross-border acquisition financing, structured finance, direct lending and special situations transactions. Recent growth includes the recruitment of debt finance partner Manas Chandrashekar from Latham & Watkins LLP and the promotion of leveraged and acquisition finance expert Gautam Agarwal to partner. Former Asia debt finance head David Irvine joined Goodwin‘s London office in May 2021.

Other key lawyers:


The KE practice is unique in terms of the depth and quality of the bench that it can bring to any transaction, coupled with unparalleled and market-defining experience, born of the sheer number of highly complex and structured deals that they complete in any given period.

Clients are given access to some of the finest and most seasoned legal minds in HK, with current and voluminous precedent to draw upon.

Without a doubt, Manas Chandrashekar is the pre-eminent thought leader within the banking and finance sphere, and he is ably supported by his fellow partners across a number of different sectors.

Strong team at all levels – smart and commercial.

Jacqueline Zheng is exceptional – solutions-driven, bright and experienced.

Key clients

Warburg Pincus Asia

General Atlantic Singapore Fund Pte

Ocean Link Partners

Jinbo Yao

Baring Private Equity Asia

Centurium Capital

CITIC Capital

Marc Chan

Hillhouse Capital

Temasek Holdings

Joseph Chow

Advent International

Affiliates of CarVal Investors



Bain Capital Credit

BroadPeak Global

Asia Green Fund Management

Hong Kong > Regulatory: anti-corruption and compliance

At Kirkland & Ellis, ‘turnaround time is quick and availability is impressive’. The team focuses on assisting large corporates with sensitive issues involving internal and agency investigations into potential and alleged fraud, bribery and corruption, improper payments and other misconduct. The practice is spearheaded by Cori Lable in Hong Kong and Tiana Zhang in Shanghai.

Practice head(s):

Other key lawyers:


‘The team has deep sector expertise and experience. Turnaround time is quick and availability is impressive.’

‘Cori Lable and Richard Sharpe are extremely knowledgeable with respect to regulatory risks and issues in the APAC region having deep experience. They offer pragmatic advice which differentiates them from some of their competitors in this regard.’

The team has an excellent understanding of what businesses really need. The lawyers have a wealth of experience on the compliance side, as well as being able to bring in advanced international perspectives.’

Tiana Zhang is very responsible and efficient.’

Kirkland & Ellis is global law firm with 3,000 attorneys representing clients in private equity, M&A and other complex corporate transactions, litigation and dispute resolution/arbitration, restructuring, and intellectual property matters. The firm has 18 offices around the world: Austin, Beijing, Boston, Brussels, Chicago, Dallas, Hong Kong, Houston, London, Los Angeles, Munich, New York, Palo Alto, Paris, Salt Lake City, San Francisco, Shanghai and Washington, D.C.

Mergers and acquisitions Chuan Li
Mergers and acquisitions David Zhang
Private equity Chuan Li
Private equity David Zhang
Capital markets David Zhang
Government, regulatory and internal investigations Tiana Zhang
Tiana Zhang photoMs Tiana ZhangPartner
Number of lawyers : 3,000
Other offices : Austin
Other offices : Beijing
Other offices : Boston
Other offices : Brussels
Other offices : Chicago
Other offices : Dallas
Other offices : Hong Kong
Other offices : Houston
Other offices : London
Other offices : Los Angeles
Other offices : Munich
Other offices : New York
Other offices : Paris
Other offices : Palo Alto
Other offices : Salt Lake City
Other offices : San Francisco
Other offices : Washington DC

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Kirkland is committed to providing legal services without charge to those who cannot afford counsel, with the goals of improving lives, bettering communities and deepening our attorneys’ professional experience. Kirkland attorneys at all levels pursue pro bono matters dealing with a variety of issues such as immigration, disability rights, civil rights, prisoner rights, death penalty cases and criminal appeals, guardianship, veterans’ benefits, and the representation of nonprofit organizations, among other areas.


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