Firm Profile > Latham & Watkins LLP > Hong Kong , Hong Kong

Latham & Watkins LLP
Hong Kong

Capital markets (equity) Tier 1

Latham & Watkins LLP advises issuers and managers on the Hong Kong, US and English law issues associated with a full range of equity products and debt and equity-linked products. The team works closely with the banking practice to provide a full service to clients. It generates work from issuers in sectors such as financial institutions, education, technology, healthcare, retail, manufacturing and public utilities. It is also a top choice among many underwriters. Group head Cathy Yeung has over 20 years of capital markets experience. Other recommended individuals include Dominik Sklenar and Daying Zhang - who were both recently promoted to partner - and Allen Wang and Terris Tang.

Banking and finance Tier 2

Latham & Watkins LLP advises lenders and borrowers on leveraged and acquisition finance transactions across Asia. The expertise of its team includes syndicated lending transactions, leveraged finance and leveraged recapitalisation transactions, and structured note and private placement transactions. Clients include banks, financial advisers, private equity firms, hedge funds, borrowers, sponsors, syndicates and government institutions. Gary Hamp is adept at handling inbound and outbound cross-border transactions. Hong Kong practice head Howard Lam is recommended for his expertise in China-related finance transactions. Manas Chandrashekar made partner.

Capital markets (debt) Tier 2

Clients turn to Latham & Watkins LLP in particularly complex debt capital markets transactions, with it being able to offer Hong Kong, US and English law expertise. The group covers investment grade debt offerings, high-yield debt offerings and equity-linked offerings (including convertible and exchangeable bonds). It also advises on private placements, medium-term note programmes, SEC-registered deals, exchange offers and regulatory issues. The practice takes a multidisciplinary approach, with capital markets experts working closely with the banking and finance and M&A teams. Clients include underwriters, placement agents and issuers. Tracy Edmonson, who relocated to Hong Kong from the London office, co-heads the group with Ji Liu.

Corporate (including M&A) Tier 2

Latham & Watkins LLP’s Hong Kong team is a core part of a wider Greater China group, which assists clients with both high-profile China-related transactions and cross-border matters elsewhere in the Asia-Pacific region. The firm offers extensive support on matters critical to large deals, such as antitrust, CFIUS, corporate risk and data privacy. Recent work has included assisting China-based clients with making a number of outbound acquisitions in the US, France and Switzerland. Complementing its strengths in the M&A sphere, the firm also attracts a notable portfolio of high-end private equity work. Simon Cooke's deal experience includes matters connected with the technology, food and beverage, telecommunications and healthcare sectors. Cathy YeungFrank Sun and David Blumental are among other names to note. Counsel Richard Watkins joined from Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton.

Dispute resolution: international arbitration Tier 2

Ing Loong Yang leads the team at Latham & Watkins LLP, which has been kept busy handling cross-border shareholder and investment disputes. In January 2019 Simon Powell left the firm to become an independent practitioner.

Private equity Tier 2

Although it is newer to the Hong Kong market than many other firms in the latest ranking, Latham & Watkins LLP has rapidly been able to replicate the firm's US and Europe-based private equity credentials by virtue of some astute strategic hires and the ability to leverage strong relationships with core existing firmwide clients. With expertise on the corporate, finance and regulatory fronts, and benefiting from lawyers with Hong Kong, UK and US qualifications, the team is able to provide a one-stop-shop service to sponsors throughout their lifecycle and is praised for its ability 'to combine local knowledge and an appreciation of cultural sensitivities with a true understanding of cross-border issues'. Team head Simon Cooke has a strong reputation among Asian and international sponsors on their investments and exits in the region; he recently advised Carlyle Group on the disposal of its Korean portfolio company ADT Caps to a consortium led by SK Telecom and Macquarie’s Korean Opportunities Fund, in what was one of Korea’s largest private equity exits to date. Native Mandarin speaker Frank Sun excels in advising private equity clients on complex in-bound and out-bound China deals.

Projects and energy Tier 2

The team at Latham & Watkins LLP has been advising on high-value natural resources and energy acquisitions, investments and joint ventures within the LNG, oil and gas, and wind power sectors, among others. Practice head David Blumental is the name to note.

Restructuring and insolvency Tier 2

With lawyers based in Hong Kong who are able to provide domestic, UK and US law advice and also able to leverage the firm's impressive international footprint, Latham & Watkins LLP provides a 'very strong service' to a balanced mix of debtor and creditor stakeholders on many of the region's highest-profile matters. Generating 'excellent traction on the bondholder front', as well as the firm's recent work for perpetual bondholders in the Noble Group restructuring, the team is also advising the ad-hoc committee of noteholders in connection with the default of senior notes issued by China-based coal mining company, Hidili Industry International Development. US-qualified restructuring partner Josef Athanas excels at guiding Greater China stakeholders through their most complex cross-border mandates, including as it relates to Chapter 11 and Chapter 15 proceedings. Howard Lam is also recommended and provides a compelling offering to clients as a result if his fluid finance practice which includes expertise on the front end of deals, as well as in distressed scenarios.

Structured finance and securitisation Tier 2

Led by Posit LaohaphanLatham & Watkins LLP is 'very well regarded' by financial institutions in their role as underwriters on complex capital markets and derivatives transactions. Laohaphan is particularly noted for his ability to structure innovative and highly bespoke mandates, including his recent work for the underwriters in relation to China Shipbuilding Industry Corporation’s issuance of $1bn zero-coupon exchangeable bonds linked to Postal Bank of China's stock. This mandate was particularly noteworthy by dint of its unique structuring, which relied on an orphan special purpose vehicle issuer to achieve off-balance-sheet treatment for the bonds while ensuring that bondholders are protected from the credit risks of the SPV issue. In addition to the firm's equity-linked derivatives expertise, the team also has has a  particular niche in relation to margin lending.

Dispute resolution: litigation Tier 4

Catherine Palmer heads up the team at Latham & Watkins LLP. Recent instructions for the group include shareholders and directors' disputes, fraud, contentious insolvency matters, and commercial litigation. Catherine McBride is noted for her expertise in regulatory disputes. In 2019 Simon Powell left to set up an independent practice.

Regulatory Tier 4

Catherine McBride and counsel Simon Hawkins head up the practice at Latham & Watkins LLP. The team counts fintech as a core strength, and has been advising clients from the financial services sector on regulatory issues concerning developments in the field of blockchain and cryptocurrencies.

The firm: Latham & Watkins is a leading international law firm serving multinational companies, start-ups, investment banks, private equity funds, venture capital firms, sovereign wealth funds, governments and other organisations. The firm’s globally integrated platform spans Asia, Europe, the Middle East and the US, and consists of internationally recognised practices across a wide spectrum of transactional, litigation, corporate and regulatory areas. Latham attorneys offer unrivalled legal resources and strategic commercial thinking to provide clients with innovative solutions to complex commercial matters.

Asia practice: Businesses and investors seeking innovative solutions to their most complex corporate, financial, regulatory and litigation challenges turn to Latham in Asia for strategic thinking and experienced counsel. Latham has extensive experience advising on the international aspects of a broad range of corporate and finance transactions for clients across the region, notably Australia, China, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Japan, Laos, Malaysia, Pakistan, the Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam. With more than 150 lawyers operating from six offices in Asia, Latham provides clients in the region and clients looking to do business in Asia with expert advice under US, English, Hong Kong, Japanese and Singapore law. Latham’s deep roots in the financial and economic markets in the region are further strengthened by the firm’s local language capabilities.

Latham continues to receive awards and acclaim from a number of leading financial and legal publications for landmark and precedent-setting deals.

Areas of practice: The Hong Kong office of Latham & Watkins is one of only a few top-ranked firms able to provide substantive US, Hong Kong and English law advice. The firm’s clients benefit from this combined platform of high-level legal expertise as they develop their business through both inbound and outbound investment activities.

The Hong Kong office offers advice in a broad range of practice areas, including antitrust and competition; banking, leveraged and structured finance; capital markets; data privacy and cyber security; derivatives; energy; entertainment, sports and media; financial regulatory; fintech, foreign direct investment; high-yield; international arbitration; litigation/dispute resolution; mergers and acquisitions; outsourcing; private equity; project development and finance; public company representation; real estate; restructuring, insolvency and workouts; technology transactions and white-collar defence and investigations. Latham’s leading practices have provided the foundation from which the firm has continued to increase its market share in complex, cross-border and precedent-setting deals.

Latham’s Hong Kong team is led by some of Asia’s most experienced transactional and litigation partners. Members of the team draw on more than 25 years of individual experience advising clients doing business in Hong Kong and Mainland China. The team advises US, European, Middle Eastern and Asian financial institutions, companies and investors conducting business throughout Greater China and the rest of Asia, as well as representing Chinese and other Asian companies with their direct investment activities and capital markets transactions overseas, and are fluent in Chinese languages and dialects including Mandarin, Cantonese, Shanghainese, Hakka and Taiwanese.

Department Name Email Telephone
Antitrust and competition
Banking, leveraged finance and structured finance and securitisation
Capital markets
Corporate governance
Data privacy and cyber security
Entertainment, sports and media
Financial regulatory
Foreign direct investment
High yield
International arbitration
Litigation/dispute resolution
Mergers and acquisitions
Private equity
Project development and finance
Public company representation
Real estate
Restructuring, insolvency and workouts
Securities litigation and professional liability
Technology transactions
White-collar defence and investigations
Number of lawyers : more than 2,400
in Asia : 120+