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Mayer Brown

16-19F, PRINCE'S BUILDING, 10 CHATER ROAD, CENTRAL, HONG KONG
Tel:
Work +85 2 2843 2211
Fax:
Fax +85 2 2845 9121
DX:
DX-9001-IC
Email:
Web:
www.mayerbrown.com

Hong Kong

Antitrust and competition
Antitrust and competition - ranked: tier 2

Mayer Brown

Co-headed by Hannah Ha and John Hickin, Mayer Brown's two-partner Hong Kong team is a pivotal practice that provides a coordinated service, alongside other Asian offices, to clients from a range of industry sectors including real estate, telecoms and manufacturing on their pan-Asian competition law concerns. Leveraging the firm’s strong global corporate M&A practice, the team is a vital resource for clients on accompanying merger control clearance work. Particularly accomplished on the advisory front, Ha is well-versed in the changing complexion of antitrust law in Hong Kong and other Asian jurisdictions, and is well-regarded by clients for successfully handling a range of M&A merger clearance matters, general compliance work and advisory assistance. Leveraging his broad-ranging litigation skills, Hickin is more focused on contentious antitrust matters and has represented numerous clients in investigations initiated by the Hong Kong Competition Commission.

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Asset finance (including aviation and shipping finance)
Aviation finance - ranked: tier 1

Mayer Brown

Shipping finance - ranked: tier 1

Mayer Brown

With an excellent track record for handling financings in both the aviation and shipping sectors, Mayer Brown handles a tremendous volume and variety of transactions on behalf of a varied roster of clients including banks, operators and lessors. Effectively able, should the need arise, to marshal the resources of practitioners in other Asia-Pacific jurisdictions (including mainland China, Singapore and the Philippines), the firm excels at handling complex cross-border transactions. The arrival in August 2017 of Conor Warde from Clyde & Co LLP affords the firm an even greater capacity for shipping finance work, particularly in light of Warde's excellent reputation among PRC leasing companies. The increase in lessor-related work brought about by Warde's arrival complements a varied client base that includes shipowners (Mitsui O.S.K Lines and Nippon Yusen Kabushiki Kaisha) and banks (China Development Bank and Bank of China). Maggie Cheung is particularly accomplished at acting for lenders on bilateral and syndicated finance transactions; she recently advised an international bank as lender on a secured syndicated loan to finance the acquisition of eight tankers. Richard Stock has excellent credibility among local lessors and airlines, and regularly handles work for marquee names including Cathay Pacific, ICBC Financial Leasing and Air Hong Kong. Consultants Stuart Miller and Dean Young are also recommended, as is senior associate Dora Ying. Ashley Wong has left the firm.

Leading individuals

Conor Warde - Mayer Brown

Richard Stock - Mayer Brown

Next generation lawyers

Dora Ying - Mayer Brown

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Banking and finance
Banking and finance - ranked: tier 3

Mayer Brown

Mayer Brown's position in the banking sphere is reflected by the fact that it acts for many of the world's largest banks; it also has an outstanding reputation among borrower clients. The arrival of Doo-Soon Choi from Ashurst in 2016 has strengthened the firm's offering in relation to complex, cross-border multi-tiered financing transactions. Choi's experience spans multiple sectors, including real estate, healthcare, mining, and oil and gas. In addition, the firm further bolstered its practice recently, by hiring Hallam Chow from White & Case. Chow has particular experience in acting for Chinese banks and state-owned enterprises (SOEs) on innovative, landmark inbound and outbound transactions. Richard Stock heads the team, which also includes Fanny Wang and Francis Chen. Reflective of the firm's ability to draw upon expertise across practices in particularly complex matters, in 2017 Choi and capital markets specialists Jason Elder and Thomas Kollar assisted Indika Energy with a $575m senior notes issuance as part of a larger 'bridge-to-bond' acquisition financing. Wang was also the lead adviser to Bank of China (Hong Kong) on a $688m syndicated loan facility to Pace Ascend to part-finance the acquisition of New Grade Investments from Greater Honour, a wholly-owned subsidiary of The Wharf (Holdings). Another highlight involved acting for United Overseas Bank on the provision of two bilateral loan facilities (total value $206m) to a subsidiary of a real estate investment fund for the purpose of acquiring properties in Hong Kong for redevelopment into commercial premises. Associate Dion Yu is recommended.

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Construction
Construction - ranked: tier 2

Mayer Brown

Mayer Brown's team led by¬†Geoffrey Chan¬†possesses ‚Äėdeep knowledge and experience‚Äô. Recent work includes advising the Hong Kong Jockey Club on the appointment of an independent panel of enquiry into the potential causes of a heritage building collapse in central Hong Kong, with claims amounting to HK100m. Other highlights included representing Wynn Resorts Macau on the Cotai resort development project; and acting for the Concrete Producers Association of Hong Kong and Hong Kong Concrete Material Association on Hong Kong's first defamation case in the construction industry to date. Menachem Hasofer¬†is another key contact.

Leading individuals

Geoffrey Chan - Mayer Brown

Menachem Hasofer - Mayer Brown

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Corporate (including M&A)
Corporate (including M&A) - ranked: tier 3

Mayer Brown

Mayer Brown has a long-established presence in Greater China and, backed by the resources of its wider global network, is well-placed to advise PRC-based companies and multinationals on domestic and cross-border transactions. Its team is led by Jeckle Chiu, who worked alongside senior associate Mindy Ho to advise Tsingtao Brewery on the sale of a 19.99% stake in the company by Japanese brewer Asahi for $941m. Another key figure is Mark Uhrynuk, who worked with senior associate Stanley Tan to advise Principal Financial Group on its proposed acquisition of CIMB-Principal Asset Management Group and CIMB-Principal Islamic Asset Management from joint venture partner CIMB Group. Also recommended is Chester Wong, who has expertise in public takeovers governed by the Hong Kong's listing rules and takeovers code, and various corporate governance and compliance issues concerning Hong Kong-listed companies. Elsewhere, the firm is looking to capture more China outbound work, and has identified deals connected with the Belt and Road Initiative as one of the areas of opportunity for the M&A practice.

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Insurance
Insurance - ranked: tier 1

Mayer Brown

Angela Yim, Sara Or¬†and Jacob Tse¬†lead the ‚Äėprompt, pro-active and commercial‚Äô team at Mayer Brown.¬†Clients include Wesurance, AXA and QBE Insurance Group's Hong Kong and European operations. The team represented the motor vehicle insurers of KMB in respect of HK$100m worth of claims arising from the second deadliest accident in Hong Kong to date, and successfully defended the employer on instructions from Zurich Insurance in a Court of Appeal case which involved a suspicious work injury claim. Tow Lu Lim¬†is 'a subject-matter expert in insurance‚Äô with ‚Äėthe ability to cultivate common ground with the claimant, diffuse a contentious atmosphere, and skilfully¬†negotiate a settlement‚Äô.

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Intellectual property
Intellectual property - ranked: tier 2

Mayer Brown

The 'very knowledgeable' three-partner team at Mayer Brown provides 'practical advice' to an impressive roster of international clients including Alibaba, Adobe, AIG and Jack Daniel's across the gamut of contentious and non-contentious matters. 'Very experienced' team head Gabriela Kennedy has 'excellent all-round knowledge' and has been particularly busy of late representing numerous luxury brands, including LVMH Fashion Group and Alexandre de Paris, on their heightened efforts to tackle trade mark infringers and counterfeit goods. Kennedy is also a crucial part of the firm's 'very impressive trade mark prosecution and brand management practice', and is advising Hong Kong's largest telecoms operator, PCCW, on all aspects relating to its global branding strategies, portfolio management and IP enforcement actions. As part of her wide-ranging IP practice, which includes contentious and non-contentious work, Rosita Li advises on the commercialisation of IP, including a significant volume of IP licensing matters. Benjamin Choi has a strong reputation for handling local and foreign trade mark prosecution matters; counsel Amita Haylock, who is well-known in the market for handling IP and TMT-related disputes, is 'excellent'.

Leading individuals

Gabriela Kennedy - Mayer Brown

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Labour and employment
Labour and employment - ranked: tier 1

Mayer Brown

Headed by 'market leader' Duncan Abate, Mayer Brown's two-partner team has longstanding expertise across the gamut of contentious and non-contentious matters, including advice relating to hot-button topics such as data privacy and the growing impact of social media on human resources (HR) issues. The 'excellent' Hong Tran provides 'very commercial advice' to major clients from a broad range of industry sectors, including acting for an international food delivery start-up on a plethora of Hong Kong employment issues, such as structuring the arrangement with riders, managing strikes, and data privacy issues. Senior associate Jennifer Tam is also recommended. Clients include Cathay Pacific Airways, Cathay Dragon and Barclays Capital Asia.

Leading individuals

Duncan Abate - Mayer Brown

Hong Tran - Mayer Brown

Next generation lawyers

Jennifer Tam - Mayer Brown

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Private equity
Private equity - ranked: tier 5

Mayer Brown

Mayer Brown's Hong Kong office is well-versed in private equity deals in the real estate sector, where the 'commercial, professional and friendly' David Ellis is particularly well regarded. Recent highlights include advising a consortium of investors led by Gaw Capital Partners on the $2.95bn acquisition of 17 commercial properties in Hong Kong from Link Real Estate Investment Trust. Mark Uhrynuk is also recommended, while the recruitment in January 2018 of Brian McKenna from Debevoise & Plimpton LLP affords it greater industry sector coverage, including of financial services and TMT.

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Real estate
Real estate - ranked: tier 1

Mayer Brown

Keith Cheung heads up the team at Mayer Brown , which recently advised a consortium led by Gaw Capital Partners in the HK$23bn acquisition of 17 commercial properties in Hong Kong from Link REIT, including shopping malls located in Kowloon and the New Territories. Alan Yip is recommended as 'dynamic, knowledgeable, with strong business acumen’. Fun Kuen Au and Robert Lynn are both singled out. Andrew MacGeoch departed for Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner LLP. Clients include Swire Properties, Sun Hung Kai Properties and SEA Holdings.

Leading individuals

Fun Kuen Au - Mayer Brown

Robert Lynn - Mayer Brown

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Regulatory
Leading individuals

Alan Linning - Mayer Brown

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Restructuring and insolvency
Restructuring and insolvency - ranked: tier 1

Mayer Brown

Operating in the region for a number of years, Mayer Brown's three-partner team is 'able to provide insightful advice across a range of sectors and geographies'; it 'draws on significant expertise from its global network as necessary', and 'continues to demonstrate considerable breadth and depth of practice and a commitment to innovation in handling a wide range of high-value corporate debt restructurings'. With experience acting for creditors, insolvency practitioners and corporate trustees, the team has 'a particular strength in the bank workout field', and is aided in this sphere by its ability to utilise Chapter 11 procedures by dint of its US heritage. 'Highly experienced and well-respected' group head John Marsden is representing Maybank on the $1.5bn restructuring of Pacific Andes, and advising the petitioning bank creditor and the provisional liquidators appointed in Hong Kong and Bermuda on the restructuring of Z-Obee. 'Combining innovative solutions with a pragmatic approach', Tom Pugh demonstrates 'significant technical expertise on a variety of complex cross-border issues', and as well as his involvement alongside Marsden in the Pacific Andes matter also continues to act for the Hong Kong liquidators of Lehman Brothers. Solicitor-advocate Richard Tollan is noted for his contentious insolvency expertise and has 'a proven track record in assisting insolvency practitioners with managing insolvent estates as part of multibillion-dollar cross-border insolvencies, with a particularly strong appreciation of cross-court dynamics'. At associate level, Dirk Behnsen 'offers practical problem-solving combined with a great work ethic'.

Leading individuals

John Marsden - Mayer Brown

Tom Pugh - Mayer Brown

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Structured finance and securitisation
Structured finance and securitisation - ranked: tier 3

Mayer Brown

'A long-established presence in Hong Kong', Mayer Brown's two-partner team handles a range of derivatives and structured finance work for an array of clients including sponsors, trustees, issuers and arrangers. 'Experienced, resourceful and practical' team head Vincent Sum is particularly appreciated by clients for his expertise in cross-border mandates by dint of his legal qualifications in Hong Kong, UK and the US. Clients include Bank of China Group, Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, Credit Suisse and DZ Bank.

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TMT
TMT - ranked: tier 3

Mayer Brown

Benefiting from deeply embedded ties with local entities cultivated throughout the firm's longstanding presence in the market, and drawing on the firm's international network, Mayer Brown advises local and international entities across the TMT spectrum on work ranging from complex M&A and outsourcing projects to IT agreements and licensing issues. Gabriela Kennedy has 'excellent knowledge of the TMT sector' and is able to leverage her 'considerable' IP expertise, as well as her commercial and regulatory prowess, to provide very effective service to a range of high-profile clients including Alibaba, Airport Authority Hong Kong and Television Broadcasts. Kennedy has been very active of late in relation to fintech matters, and recently acted for a global bank on the launch of a mobile e-wallet payment platform. A counsel in the IP and TMT group, Amita Haylock's wide-ranging contentious and non-contentious expertise includes the representation of applicants and respondents in a number of high-profile judicial reviews concerning telecoms and broadcasting issues in Hong Kong. Senior associate Karen Lee has extensive experience advising on data privacy issues as part of her TMT practice.

Leading individuals

Gabriela Kennedy  - Mayer Brown

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Hong Kong: Capital markets

Capital markets (debt)
Capital markets (debt) - ranked: tier 3

Mayer Brown

Mayer Brown's clients turn to the firm for their most structurally complex transactions, and matters involving intricate subordination and intercreditor issues. Jason Elder heads the team, which has strong New York, English and Hong Kong law capabilities. It serves clients from throughout Hong Kong and the PRC, as well as those in emerging markets across the Asia-Pacific region. The firm has a particularly outstanding reputation for high-yield debt transactions; Thomas Kollar has been a major figure in the Asian market for more than 15 years, and also has a wealth of experience executing a sizeable number of high-yield transactions globally. Beyond high-yield transactions, the group covers other types of matters, including investment grade and hybrid securities offerings, as well as structured debt transactions. It also has stellar credentials in the corporate trust and agency arena, which involves acting for trustees and agents on bond issuances, liability management exercises and restructurings. Illustrative of the firm's high-quality work, in 2017 Elder and Kollar were among the advisers to PT Indika Energy as issuer on a $575m bond offering, which was part of a larger bridge-to-bond acquisition financing transaction for the client to increase its stake in Indonesia's third-largest coal mine. Kollar and Elder were also part of a cross-office team, which acted for the joint lead managers and bookrunners in a £2.5bn dual-tranche offering by the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka. Other clients include The Bank of New York Mellon, China State Construction International Holdings and Sinochem Offshore Capital. Derek Tsang left the firm to set up his own private practice in April 2018.

Leading individuals

Jason Elder - Mayer Brown

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Capital markets (equity)
Capital markets (equity) - ranked: tier 3

Mayer Brown

Mayer Brown's group is led by Jason Elder, and includes highly respected partners Billy Au and Jeckle Chiu. Equally strong in issuer- and underwriter-side work, the group excels in global offerings and Hong Kong listings, spin-offs, right issuances and various other equity capital markets transactions. In 2017, Au and senior associate Jeremy Hsu advised Risecomm Group Holdings on its $27m listing and global offering on the Main Board of the Hong Kong Stock Exchange. In addition, Au and Carmen Yuen assisted Jiayuan International Group with a placing of existing shares and subscription for new shares, which raised circa HK$1.18bn in gross proceeds. The team also advised the same client on a subsequent HK$1.4bn placing and top-up. Another highlight involved acting for China Overseas Land & Investment and China Overseas Property Holdings Limited (COPL) on COPL's spin-off and separate Hong Kong listing. The team also acts for issuers and underwriters on transactions further afield across Asia.

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Hong Kong: Dispute resolution

Dispute resolution: international arbitration
Dispute resolution: international arbitration - ranked: tier 3

Mayer Brown

At Mayer Brown, co-head of the global arbitration practice, Menachem Hasofer, and John Hickin jointly lead the team.  Primarily known for its construction expertise, it also has extensive experience representing clients in Western-Asian disputes, particularly Chinese joint venture disputes, as well as representing Chinese state-owned enterprises in international disputes. Mark McMahon has been seconded from the London office, and Wilson Fung was promoted to counsel in January 2018. Thomas So is particularly singled out.

Leading individuals

Thomas So - Mayer Brown

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Dispute resolution: litigation
Dispute resolution: litigation - ranked: tier 2

Mayer Brown

John Hickin heads up the practice at Mayer Brown. Recent work includes advising HSH Nordbank on a breach of charterparty, loan agreements and unpaid supplies issues, amounting to hundreds of millions of dollars, following the winding down of a South Korean shipping container company; as well as acting for DBS Bank on a $50m mis-selling claim brought by the bank’s customers against the bank, in the only reported mis-selling claim in Hong Kong arising from the collapse of Lehman Brothers involving a trust structure. Alan Linning joined from Sidley Austin. Jonathan Mok departed for Charles Russell Speechlys LLP. Clients also include HSBC, Cathay Pacific Airways, and SEA Holdings. Nicholas Hunsworth and counsel Vivien Yip are singled out.

Leading individuals

Nicholas Hunsworth - Mayer Brown

Next generation lawyers

Vivien Yip - Mayer Brown

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Further information on Mayer Brown

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