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

Latham & Watkins LLP
18TH FLOOR, ONE EXCHANGE SQUARE
8 CONNAUGHT PLACE
CENTRAL HONG KONG
Hong Kong

Hong Kong > Capital markets (equity) Tier 1

Effectively able to dispense Hong Kong, US and English law advice to a balanced mix of underwriters and issuers, Latham & Watkins LLP is a common dominator on either side of the table on many Hong Kong and US equity listings for Chinese companies. Vastly experienced team head Cathy Yeung is one of many within the team that has particular expertise advising on life sciences and TMT-related issuances. The firm’s life sciences-related capital markets expertise is also underscored in the context of regulatory work, and the team continues to pick up work on behalf of the regulators in relation to the listing rules that it helped to create, relating to pre-revenue biotech companies listing in Hong Kong. Benjamin Su is noted for his TMT-related capital markets work (for both issuers and underwriters) and has been a key member of the team that has advised the increased flow of Chinese companies in the sector going public in the US and Hong Kong.

Practice head(s):

Other key lawyers:

Key clients

Kuaishou Technology

Connect Biopharma Holdings Limited

Fulu Holdings

ESR Cayman

China Jinmao Holdings Group Limited

China International Capital Corporation Hong Kong Securities Limited

The Goldman Sachs Group, Inc.

JPMorgan Chase & Co.

CLSA Capital Markets Limited

Morgan Stanley

Work highlights

  • Advised Kuaishou Technology on its $6.2bn IPO and 144A/Regulation S offering on the Main Board of The Stock Exchange of Hong Kong (HKEX).
  • Advised the underwriters in the secondary listing and US$1.07bn IPO of Trip.com, a leading one-stop travel platform globally, on the Main Board of The Stock Exchange of Hong Kong Limited (HKEX).
  • Advised the underwriters on XPeng Inc.’s US IPO of 114,693,333 American Depositary Shares and listing on the New York Stock Exchange for total proceeds of $1.7bn.

Hong Kong > Banking and finance Tier 2

Latham & Watkins LLP works closely with its international network in Europe and the US to provide holistic, cross-border advice in the Greater China and Asia-Pacific regions. It handles a broad range of banking and finance matters, including acquisition financing transactions, syndicated lending transactions, leveraged lending and mezzanine facilities. The team works closely with its colleagues in private equity, M&A, capital markets and financial regulatory practices across the globe and is headed from Singapore by Timothy Hia. Howard Lam acts for corporates, banks and financial sponsors on leveraged buy-outs and corporate acquisition financings. Andrew Bishop joined as partner from White & Case in September 2020 and brings considerable experience in acting for prestigious global and regional private equity clients. Gary Hamp left for Shearman & Sterling in London.

Practice head(s):

Timothy Hia (Singapore)

Key clients

Bank of America

The Carlyle Group

Morgan Stanley

Bain Capital

TPG

Baring Private Equity

Platinum Equity

Warburg Pincus

BNPP

JPMorgan Chase Bank

HSBC

Citibank

Partners Group

Bank of China

Hopu Capital

Tencent Holdings

I Squared

Hong Kong > Capital markets (debt) Tier 2

Drawing upon strong institutional firmwide banking relationships and also deeply entrenched in the Greater China market for a plethora of major companies and financial institutions, Latham & Watkins LLP‘s four-partner team receives a steady pipeline of mandates across the gamut of debt products. Able to dispense Hong Kong, US and English law advice, strengths include advice on investment grade debt issuances, as well as equity-linked offerings, including convertible and exchangeable bonds. Although the team is industry agnostic, it has been particularly prolific of late in relation to capital raisings in the TMT sector, an area that Benjamin Su has been extremely active since his return to the firm in 2018. Native Chinese speaker Ji Liu combines local knowledge with an international perspective, enhanced by his US qualifications, and is frequently at the heart of the most significant investment grade and high yield mandates handled by the team. Tracy Edmonson co-heads the team alongside Liu.

Practice head(s):

Key clients

China National Chemical Corporation Limited

Metallurgical Corporation of China Ltd.

TencentHoldings Limited

Tencent Music Entertainment Group

Deutsche Bank AG, Singapore Branch,

eHi Car Services Limited

Goldman Sachs (Asia) L.L.C.

Morgan Stanley & Co. International plc.

Bank of China (Hong Kong) Limited

Merrill Lynch (Asia Pacific) Limited

SJM Holdings Limited

Credit Suisse (Hong Kong) Limited

Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (Asia) Limited

Guangzhou Development District Finance Holdings Group Co., Ltd.

Huatai Financial Holdings (Hong Kong) Limited

Changde Urban Construction Investment Group Co. Ltd.

Yiwu State-Owned Capital Operation Co., Ltd

Huzhou City Investment Development Group Co., Ltd.

Xuzhou Economic and Technology Development Zone State-owned Assets Management Co., Ltd.

Work highlights

  • Advised the joint global co-ordinators and joint bookrunners on the $6bn and $4.15bn drawdown under the $20bn Global Medium Term Note Programme by Tencent Holdings.
  • Advised China National Chemical Corporate, as issuer, in relation to  its USD/EUR multiple-tranche bond.
  • Advised eHi Car Services on its $300m high yield bond offering.

Hong Kong > Corporate (including M&A) Tier 2

Latham & Watkins LLP is regularly instructed on M&A transactions throughout the entirety of South East Asia including Hong Kong, China, India, Japan, South Korea and Singapore. The department is led by Simon Cooke who, in addition to his renowned private equity expertise, is also a specialist in a range of public and private M&A transactions, joint ventures, equity investments, disposals and privatisations. The wider team is also proficient in carve-outs, PIPEs, exclusive transaction, club deal and competitive auction deals and considers its understanding of the corporate governing components of transactions as a key pillar. The core M&A offering is complemented by close integration with the firm’s wider capital markets, bank finance, antitrust, competition, private equity, export controls and economic sanction expertise.

Practice head(s):

Key clients

Tencent Holdings Limited

Kuaishou

Warburg Pincus Asia LLC

Bilibili Inc.

HKBN Ltd.

Sinotrans Limited

Haier Electronics Group Co., Ltd.

CITIC Capital

The Carlyle Group

Vingroup Joint Stock Company Limited

China Jinmao Holdings Group Limited

Work highlights

  • Advising Tencent Holdings Limited (Tencent) on its proposal for Huya, Tencent’s controlled subsidiary, to enter into a stock-for-stock merger with DouYu International, of which Tencent is the largest shareholder. Huya and DouYu are both US-listed and are the two largest game live streaming platforms in China. The deal is valued on a combined basis at more than US$10bn.
  • Advised buyer consortium led by Tencent and Hammer Capital on Bitauto’s US$1.1bn privatization and advising Tencent as a joint offeror on the consequential mandatory general offer for the shares of Bitauto’s Hong Kong-listed subsidiary, Yixin Group Limited, under the Hong Kong Takecovers Code.
  • Advised CITIC Capital, as a member of the buyer consortium, on the US$4.76bn privatization of US-listed China Biologic Products Holdings Inc., a developer of plasma-based therapies.

Hong Kong > Dispute resolution: international arbitration Tier 2

Latham & Watkins LLP‘s international arbitration team excels in cross-border arbitrations involving Greater China and is particularly active in private equity, shareholder and licensing disputes. Since publication, former practice head Ing Loong Yang departed to Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP in April 2022.

Key clients

Perusahaan Otomobil Nasional Sdn Bhd / DRB-HICOM

Lansha Information Technology (Shanghai) Co., Ltd. / Shengqu Games Limited (formerly known as Shanda Games Limited)

Work highlights

  • Successfully represented Perusahaan Otomobil Nasional Sdn Bhd (PONSB), a subsidiary of the listed Malaysian conglomerate DRB-HICOM, in $130m joint venture dispute.
  • Advised Lansha Information Technology in an ICC and a SIAC arbitration in relations to an online gaming IP licensing dispute.

Hong Kong > Private equity Tier 2

Latham & Watkins LLP acts for high-profile regional and global private equity players on large transactions regionally and globally, with support from its international network. The Hong Kong team works closely with its counterparts in Singapore and has strong support from its capital markets, restructuring and regulatory practices. Simon Cooke leads the team and is recommended for M&A, domestic and cross-border buyouts, PIPE, privatisations and other private equity transactions. Amy Beckingham handles public and private M&A, and securities transactions. Frank Sun is a name to note for China-related private equity work, handling both in-bound and out-bound deals.

Practice head(s):

Key clients

Warburg Pincus

TPG

Platinum Equity

The Carlyle Group

Trustar Capital (Formerly CITIC Capital)

Baring Private Equity Asia

Partners Group

CVC

KKR

Boyu Capital

MBK Partners

CDH Investments

Primavera

Work highlights

  • Advised a consortium comprising TPG, Singapore Life (SingLife), Sumitomo Life Insurance Company, and others on a transaction to combine SingLife with global insurance company Aviva plc’s Singapore life insurance business, Aviva Singapore.
  • Acted for the buyer consortium led by Tencent Holdings Limited and Hammer Capital Opportunities Fund L.P. in the $1.1bn going private transaction of Bitauto Holdings Limited.
  • Advised Warburg Pincus and another investor as co-lead investor group on its definitive agreement for the non-redeemable series A preferred share financing for JD Property, the infrastructure asset management and integrated service platform within, and a subsidiary of, JD.com.

Hong Kong > Restructuring and insolvency Tier 2

The restructuring and insolvency practice at Latham & Watkins LLP is led by Howard Lam, who acts for insolvency practitioners, bondholders, distressed funds, corporate issuers and bank lenders on mandates across China and Asia. Josef Athanas, who is based in Chicago and Hong Kong, has considerable experience in distressed situations, such as cross-border restructurings, and multinational insolvencies and workouts; his experience with US bankruptcies and insolvencies is valued by clients. The practice continues to advise both creditor and debtor clients on offshore debts borrowed or issued by Chinese corporates across a wide range of industries.

Practice head(s):

Other key lawyers:

Key clients

Huachen Energy

DongYing Fangyuan Nonferrous Metals Co,. Ltd. DongYing Lufang Metals Material Co., Ltd.

Offshore Partners Pte. Ltd.

PWC

BFAM Partners

The Ad Hoc Committee of Noteholders of USD Notes issued by Top Wise Excellence Enterprise Co. Ltd

Ad Hoc Committee of Noteholders of Hidili Industry International Development Limited

Bank of China

EY

Hang Seng Bank

China Orient Asset Management

FTI Consulting

Hong Kong Bank

Work highlights

  • Continuing to advise Huachen Energy regarding its offshore $500m bond restructuring and ongoing negotiations with its creditors in connection with the restructuring of its parent company Wintime Group.
  • Advising the Hong Kong Issuer Dr.Peng Holding Hongkong Limited and the PRC Guarantor Dr. Peng Telecom & Media Group on a proposed restructuring of the $422m 5.05% bonds due 1 June 2020, by way of a consent solicitation process.
  • Advising Dongying Fangyuan Group in relation to the restructuring of its onshore and offshore bank debts (totalling approximately $4bn).

Hong Kong > Structured finance and securitisation Tier 2

Posit Laohaphan leads Latham & Watkins LLP's team in Hong Kong, which has a strong track record advising top-tier investment banks on cross-border equity derivatives and equity-linked transactions. Clients such as UBS, Bank of America and Credit Suisse turn to the firm for advice. The team regularly handles margin loan facilities for arranger banks secured against Hong Kong listed companies. The firm also acts for PRC companies listed in the US. In addition to being noted for his derivatives prowess, Laohaphan's expertise also extends to handling structured finance and securitisation matters across Asia, including matters with a nexus to Thailand.

Practice head(s):

Testimonials

Posit Laohaphan is extremely well-regarded.’

Key clients

Bank of America

Credit Suisse

Citibank

Deutsche Bank

Morgan Stanley

JPMorgan

Goldman Sachs

UBS

HSBC

Macquarie

Hong Kong > Projects and energy Tier 3

Led by US-qualified partner David Blumental, who is a fluent Mandarin speaker, Latham & Watkins LLP combines leading-edge international experience with local expertise, enabling it to provide a compelling offering to Asia-based and international clients across a range of energy and natural resources transactions, including conventional power and renewables projects. The scope of the work handled by Blumenthal runs the gamut from M&A, JVs, project development and private equity, particularly within the upstream oil and gas sector, much of which involves a collaborative approach with practitioners based across the firm’s wide international network.

Practice head(s):

Key clients

CNOOC Limited (and its subsidiaries and affiliates)

ENN Energy Holdings Limited (and its subsidiaries and affiliates)

Gazprom Neft

Guohua Energy Investment Co., Ltd. (a member of China Energy Investment Group)

Harbin Electric International Co., Ltd.

Ocean Minerals LLC

Pertamina

PTT Public Company Limited (and its affiliates, PTT Global LNG Company Limited, PTT Exploration and Production, and PTT Global Chemical)

Repsol S.A.

San Miguel Energy

TOTAL SE

X-Elio Energy, S.L.

Hong Kong > Regulatory Tier 4

Latham & Watkins LLP handles regulatory, general compliance and risk management matters for a number of financial institutions and fintech sector clients. The practice benefits significantly from its full integration into the firm’s global regulatory, litigation and transactional offering; litigator Catherine McBride specialises in contentious work both domestically and at cross-border level. Recently promoted partner Simon Hawkins heads up the practice and is a key contact for non-contentious advice in the financial sector.

Practice head(s):

Key clients

Bank of America

Credit Suisse

HSBC

CLSA

China Life Insurance (Overseas) Company Limited

Hong Kong Exchange and Clearing Limited

Bank of Singapore

Goldman Sachs

Raine Group

Warburg Pincus

BTIG LLC

OSL Digital Securities Limited and BC Group

SFM HK Management Limited

Kroll Bond Rating Agency Ltd

Toscafund Asset Management LLP

Itau Unibanco

Futu Holdings Ltd

Work highlights

  • Advised Grosvenor Capital Management on obtaining Hong Kong regulatory approval on the business combination between, and CF Finance Acquisition Corp., a special purpose acquisition company sponsored by Cantor Fitzgerald.
  • Advised the underwriters in the secondary listing and $1.07bn initial public offering of Trip.com, a leading one-stop travel platform globally, on the Main Board of The Stock Exchange of Hong Kong Limited on Hong Kong regulatory aspects.
  • Advised Warburg Pincus to obtain Hong Kong regulatory approval on its acquisition of 20.48% stake in ARA Asset Management Holdings Pte. Limited.

Hong Kong > Dispute resolution: litigation Tier 5

Latham & Watkins LLP‘s litigation and trial department case load ranges from trade sanctions to trade secrets violations, shareholder and commercial investment-related issues, as well as complex bankruptcy and insolvency proceedings. Beijing-based Hui Xu specialises in multi-jurisdictional white collar investigations and leads a team featuring regulatory expert Catherine McBride alongside one of the firm’s specialist arbitrators Ing Loong Yang.

Practice head(s):

Key clients

China Life Insurance (Overseas) Company Limited

China COSCO Shipping Corporation Limited

Sinovac Biotech Ltd.

China Orient Asset Management (International) Holding Limited

United Microelectronics Corporation

Shenzhen Senior Technology Material Co., Ltd.

Work highlights

  • Assisting China COSCO Shipping Corporation to lift the US sanctions under an Executive Order, which was the first of its kind under the Trump administration.
  • Protected Sinovac Biotech’s Board of Directors from the actions of dissident shareholders and secured the SEC’s penalties on dissident shareholders for their violations of US securities laws.
  • Acting for United Microelectronics Corp in resolving a high-profile “China Initiative” trade secrets case brought by the US Department of Justice.

Philippines > Foreign firms Tier 1

Latham & Watkins LLP is one of the go-to firms in the Philippines for transactional work. In addition to advising AREIT, Inc. on its landmark initial public offering, the firm was engaged as counsel for Converge Information and Communications Technology Solutions on its IPO, the second-largest listing in Phillippine history. Dual qualified in New York and the Philippines, Benjamin Carale has extensive experience in international capital markets work, leading on many of the firm’s major transactions in the Philippines from the Hong Kong office. The firm also has a strong M&A practice, notably advising GIC Private Limited’s investment into AC Energy in a cross-border transaction. Mark Cooper left the firm in April 2021.

Practice head(s):

Other key lawyers:

Testimonials

Blank

Key clients

BPI Capital Corporation

Cebu Air, Inc.

Citigroup

Converge Information and Communications Technology Solutions, Inc.

GIC Private Limited

HSBC

Megaworld Corporation

PLDT, Inc.

San Miguel Corporation

SMC Global Power Holdings, Co.

VLL International, Inc.

Work highlights

  • Advised BPI Capital Corporation as lead underwriter on the Reg S approximately $252m initial public offering by AREIT, Inc. of 47,864,000 primary shares and secondary offer by Ayala Land, Inc. of 409,019,000 common shares on the Philippine Stock Exchange.
  • Represented Cebu Air, Inc. in the $250m investment in the form of Convertible Bonds from the International Finance Corporation, the IFC Emerging Asia Fund, LP and Indigo Philippines LLC.
  • Advised GIC Private Limited on its proposed acquisition, through its affiliate Arran Investment Pte Ltd, of a 17.5% ownership stake in AC Energy Philippines for an aggregate consideration of approximately $420m.

China > Restructuring and insolvency: foreign firms Tier 2

Latham & Watkins LLP’s Greater China restructuring and insolvency practice is frequently instructed on an impressive array of both debtor-side and creditor-side mandates, including workouts, restructurings and bankruptcy cases. The team recently advised on offshore debts borrowed or issued by Chinese corporations, and was involved in matters across the capital structure on behalf of borrowers, sponsors, institutional and distressed investors (individually and as ad hoc committees). Clients additionally benefit from the team's local expertise in public high-yield bonds and private bank debts, as well as its consistent collaboration with the firm’s pan-European and US restructuring and special situations teams. In Hong Kong, Howard Lam is a trusted adviser on China-related and Asia-based restructuring and insolvency matters; and Josef Athanas has over 30 years’ experience in representing debtors, secured creditors and other parties of interest in US bankruptcy and reorganisation cases.

Practice head(s):

Other key lawyers:

Key clients

Huachen Energy

DongYing Fangyuan Nonferrous Metals Co

DongYing Lufang Metals Material Co

Offshore Partners Pte

PWC

BFAM Partners

The Ad Hoc Committee of Noteholders of USD Notes

issued by Top Wise Excellence Enterprise Co

Ad Hoc Committee of Noteholders of Hidili Industry

International Development

Bank of China

EY

Hang Seng Bank

China Orient Asset Management

FTI Consulting

Hong Kong Bank

China > Projects and energy: foreign firms Tier 3

Regularly partnering up with practitioners throughout the firm’s global network, Latham & Watkins LLP’s Hong Kong-based China-facing practice is well-positioned to advise on large-scale multijurisdictional energy projects. Clients include a varied mix of state-owned and global energy companies, funds, and early-stage entities, and includes transactional work throughout the value chain, cutting across both conventional and renewables energy projects. Although his roots are in the oil and gas sector, team head David Blumental ’s practice has effectively moved in line with the market and now embraces corporate, finance and M&A work in the renewables space, as well as mandates involving emerging energy technologies, including waste-to-energy and hydrogen fuel cells.

Practice head(s):

Key clients

CNOOC Limited (and its subsidiaries and affiliates)

ENN Energy Holdings Limited (and its subsidiaries and affiliates)

Gazprom Neft

Guohua Energy Investment Co., Ltd. (a member of China Energy Investment Group)

Harbin Electric International Co., Ltd.

Ocean Minerals LLC

Pertamina

PTT Public Company Limited (and its affiliates, PTT Global LNG Company Limited, PTT Exploration and Production, and PTT Global Chemical)

Repsol S.A.

San Miguel Energy

TOTAL SE

X-Elio Energy, S.L.

China > Private equity: foreign firms Tier 4

Latham & Watkins LLP‘s Greater China private equity practice has strong relationships with some of the most active regional and global private equity sector participants, including The Carlyle Group, Warburg Pincus, TPG, Platinum Equity, CVC and KKR. Heading the Asia private equity practice, Simon Cooke advises on domestic and cross-border buyouts, pre-IPO deals, PIPEs and privatisations; Amy Beckingham is key to the private equity practice’s regional growth; and Frank Sun is a widely recognised China-facing private equity specialist. All of the above individuals are based in Hong Kong.

Practice head(s):

Other key lawyers:

Key clients

Warburg Pincus

TPG

Platinum Equity

The Carlyle Group

Trustar Capital

Baring Private Equity Asia

Partners Group

CVC

KKR

Boyu Capital

MBK Partners

CDH Investments

Primavera

South Korea > Corporate and M&A: foreign firms Tier 4

Latham & Watkins LLP’s global corporate and M&A practice in Korea is part of a network of lawyers spread across Asia, United States, Europe and the Middle East. The Seoul-based team handles both outbound and inbound M&A transactions and acts for leading companies across a range of industries, including banking, life sciences, semiconductor and IT. Based in both Hong Kong and Seoul, Wonsuk Kang has worked on multibillion-dollar acquisitions and joint ventures in the technology and financial services sector.

Practice head(s):

Key clients

Hyundai Motor Company

Kia Motors Corporation

CJ CheilJedang

LG Display

Samsung Engineering Co., Ltd.

Work highlights

  • Representing Hyundai Motor Group in its $1.1bn acquisition of Boston Dynamics, an engineering company that specializes in building dynamic robots and software for human simulation, from SoftBank Group Corp.
  • Represented Hyundai Motor Company in the establishment of its $4bn joint venture with Aptiv, an Ireland-based manufacturer and distributor of vehicle components, to form an autonomous driving platform.
  • Represented Hyundai on the acquisition of Sixt SE’s entire shareholding in Sixt Leasing SE as well as on a voluntary public takeover bid for all remaining shares in Sixt Leasing SE through Hyundai Capital Bank Europe (HCBE), a joint venture between Santander Consumer Bank AG and Hyundai Capital Services Inc.

China > Banking and finance: foreign firms Tier 5

Latham & Watkins LLP‘s Hong Kong-based practice covers acquisition financing, syndicated lending, mezzanine facilities, structured note and private placement transactions, and leveraged lending and recapitalisation transactions. Howard Lam acts on China-related financings, and Singapore-based Timothy Hia is the local chair of the finance department in Asia. The team welcomed finance expert Andrew Bishop who recently joining from White & Case, but lost Manas Chandrashekar and Gary Hamp.

Practice head(s):

Key clients

Bank of America

The Carlyle Group

Morgan Stanley

Bain Capital

TPG

Baring Private Equity

Platinum Equity

Warburg Pincus

BNPP

JPMorgan Chase Bank

HSBC

Citibank

Partners Group

Bank of China

Hopu Capital

Tencent Holdings

I Squared

India > Foreign firms

Latham & Watkins LLP has a long established track record acting for Indian corporates, domestic and international banks, private equity houses and other investors doing business in India. Its capital markets skills are highly rated and in demand, ranging from IPOs/equity raisings to a range of debt transactions, SEC-registered, unregistered, 144AI and Reg S work, bond issuances and American Depositary Receipts. It is also increasingly advising on project financings, acting for a range of conventional and green energy companies on acquisitions, investments and the raising of capital. The accomplished Rajiv Gupta in Singapore leads the India facing work, and Sharon Lau, vice chair of the firm’s global corporate practice, is experienced also in the areas of capital markets and private equity. Hong Kong-based counsel Louis Rabinowitz is a seasoned capital markets practitioner, he acts for a range of clients such as investment banks and Indian energy companies. Huge resources are available to clients across the USA and in Europe.

Practice head(s):

Other key lawyers:

Key clients

Carlyle Group

Renew Power Private Limited

Saudi Arabia Public Investment Fund (PIF)

Silver Lake Partners

Total S.A.

Adani Ports and Special Economic Zone Limited

Axis Capital Limited

Barclays

BofA Securities

DSP Merrill Lynch Limited

Helios Towers plc

ICICI Securities Limited

India Green Power Holdings

J.P. Morgan

JM Financial

MakeMyTripLimited

Kotak Mahindra Capital Company Limited

Morgan Stanley

ReNew Power Private Limited

Vedanta Resources

Work highlights

  • Represented Silver Lake Partners in the acquisition of a minority stake for $1.38 billion in Jio Platforms, an India-based mobile network operator.
  • Represented the underwriters, a group of 15 banks, in Reliance Industries Limited’s Rights Offering of 422,626,894 Equity Shares listed on National Stock Exchange of India Limited (NSE) and the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE). This is the largest non-financial services rights issuance undertaken globally in over a decade and the largest Indian capital markets transaction in terms of deal size.
  • Represented ReNew Power, India’s leading renewable energy company, on its definitive business combination agreement with RMG Acquisition Corporation II.

China > Dispute resolution: Litigation: foreign firms

With a central Greater China team led by Hui Xu and supported by Asia-wide litigators as part of the firm’s OneAsia strategy, Latham & Watkins LLP hosts extensive professional expertise in resolving multi-jurisdictional disputes within the region. Xu is experienced in a wide variety of geopolitically sensitive trade disputes and has worked both with Catherine McBride and with Ing Loong Yang when advising on fraud investigations. Both Xu and McBride have conducted a number of internal investigations for clients; McBride and Yang are highly experienced in handling contract violations disputes. Catherine Palmer retired.

Practice head(s):

Key clients

China Life Insurance (Overseas) Company Limited

China COSCO Shipping Corporation Limited

Sinovac Biotech Ltd.

China Orient Asset Management (International) Holding Limited

United Microelectronics Corporation

Shenzhen Senior Technology Material Co., Ltd.

Work highlights

  • Assisted China COSCO Shipping Corporation with the lifting of US sanctions.
  • Assisted Sinovac Biotech’s Board of Directors with its actions of dissident shareholders.
  • Represented United Microelectronics Corp in a “China Initiative” trade secret case brought by the US Department of Justice.

China > Regulatory/compliance: foreign firms

As part of its OneAsia strategy, Latham & Watkins LLP’s Greater China practice hosts extensive regional expertise across multiple jurisdictions supporting its delivery of high-stakes and complex casework for multinational companies and financial institutions. Hui Xu leads the team from Beijing and focuses on advising clients in multijurisdictional white-collar investigations and litigation. Xu recently assisted China Cisco Shipping Corporation with the delisting from the US sanction list. Hong Kong-based litigator Catherine McBride has a wealth of knowledge and expertise in enforcement proceedings, regulatory and criminal investigations in Hong Kong and cross-border.

Practice head(s):

Other key lawyers:

Key clients

China Life Insurance (Overseas) Company Limited

China COSCO Shipping Corporation Limited

Sinovac Biotech Ltd.

Warburg Pincus Asia LLC

Work highlights

  • Advised Warburg Pincus Asia on the compliance-related due diligence on JD Property, in relations to a series A preferred share financing, with a specific focus on the FCPA and sanctions.
  • Assisted China COSCO Shipping Corporation in lifting US sanctions under the Trump administration.
  • Successfully represented the Board of Directors of Sinovac Biotech in its defense against dissident shareholders.

China > TMT: foreign firms

Latham & Watkins LLP‘s Hong Kong-based TMT group regularly advises on technology transactions, including cloud computing, commercial contracts, security, data privacy, and IP and software licensing; and it is additionally sought out for its notable experience in digital and disruptive technology, e-commerce, fintech, outsourcing, payments and telecoms technology. The practice’s recent highlights include advising the buyer consortium (led by Tencent Holdings and Hammer Capital Opportunities Fund) on the $1.1bn going-private transaction of Bitauto Holdings. Frank Sun frequently acts on prominent buyouts and transactions involving Chinese technology clients; and associate Kieran Donovan leads the Hong Kong data and technology transactions practice.

Practice head(s):

Other key lawyers:

Key clients

Tencent Holdings

Tencent Music Entertainment Group

Tencent Mobility

Kuaishou Technology

HSBC

Bilibili

Xiaomi Corporation

Airwallex

Qihoo360

Prudential

Vipshop Holdings

Work highlights

  • Advised Tencent Holdings (Tencent) on its proposal for Huya (Tencent’s controlled subsidiary) to enter into a stock-for-stock merger with DouYu International, in which Tencent is the largest shareholder.
  • Advised a buyer consortium (led by Tencent and Hammer Capital) on Bitauto’s $1.1bn privatisation.
  • Advised Tencent Holdings on privacy issues, commercial transactions and telecoms matters.

China > Corporate and M&A: foreign firms

LA-founded firm Latham & Watkins LLP is instructed on M&A transactions throughout the entirety of South East Asia. The department is led by Hong Kong-based Simon Cooke and is proficient in public and private M&A, joint ventures, equity investments, disposals and privatisations. The group counts its understanding of the corporate governing components of transactions as a keystone and is complemented by close integration with the firm’s wider capital markets, bank finance, antitrust, competition, private equity, export controls and economic sanction departments.

Practice head(s):

Key clients

Tencent Holdings Limited

Kuaishou

Warburg Pincus Asia LLC

Bilibili Inc.

HKBN Ltd.

Sinotrans Limited

Haier Electronics Group Co., Ltd.

CITIC Capital

The Carlyle Group

Vingroup Joint Stock Company Limited

China Jinmao Holdings Group Limited

Work highlights

  • Advising Tencent Holdings Limited (Tencent) on its proposal for Huya, Tencent’s controlled subsidiary, to enter into a stock-for-stock merger with DouYu International, of which Tencent is the largest shareholder.
  • Advised buyer consortium led by Tencent and Hammer Capital on Bitauto’s US$1.1bn privatisation and advising Tencent as a joint offeror on the consequential mandatory general offer for the shares of Bitauto’s Hong Kong-listed subsidiary, Yixin Group Limited, under the Hong Kong Takecovers Code.
  • Advised CITIC Capital, as a member of the buyer consortium, on the US$4.76bn privatization of US-listed China Biologic Products Holdings Inc., a developer of plasma-based therapies.

China > Data protection: foreign firms

Latham & Watkins LLP's data and technology transactions practice is headed by Hong Kong-based associate Kieran Donovan, who has a substantial track record in handling high-profile complex, cross-border data privacy and cybersecurity matters.

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.

DepartmentNameEmailTelephone
Antitrust and competition
Banking, leveraged finance and structured finance and securitisation
Capital markets
Corporate governance
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
Securities litigation and professional liability
Technology transactions
White-collar defence and investigations
PhotoNamePositionProfile
Andrew Bishop  photo Andrew Bishop Partner
Number of lawyers : more than 2,400
in Asia : 120+
Bahasa
Cantonese
English
Korean
Mandarin
Shanghainese
Tagalog
Taiwanese
Thai
Vietnamese