Firm Profile > Morrison & Foerster LLP > Shanghai, China

Morrison & Foerster LLP
SUITE 3501-3502, BUND CENTRE
NO 222 YAN AN ROAD EAST
SHANGHAI 200002
China

Private equity: foreign firms Tier 1

Morrison & Foerster LLP’s PE practice consistently assists clients with a variety of high-value deals. It fields industry experts in technology, data centres, life sciences and healthcare, and education (particularly online education), who work alongside the firm's robust finance and restructuring practices. Of recent, the group experienced particular growth in relation to fintech-related transactions. The practice of Shanghai-based Ruomu Li, who joined from Fenwick & West LLP in 2019, includes complex PE transactions and venture capital investments, while Lucy (Qiong) Lu in Beijing, a recent hire from Dechert LLP, is also active in PE matters. Notable associate-level support on the mainland is provided by Tian Zhou, and Alice Li, whose practices include PE investments, along with Richard Ji, who focuses on PE transactions and VC investments. Two of the most experienced private equity lawyers in the Asian market, Thomas Chou and Marcia Ellis jointly lead the Asia PE practice from the firm's Hong Kong office.

Practice head(s):

Key clients

Softbank

Softbank Vision Fund

Alibaba Group

GLP

Ascendent

Ally Bridge

BlackRock

NewQuest Capital Partners

Vectr Ventures

Intudo Ventures

Farallon Capital Asia

Bain Capital Credit

Ark Pacific Capital

Celadon Partners

TMT: foreign firms Tier 1

Morrison & Foerster has a strong affiliation with TMT businesses and this continues to be true in Greater China, spread across its Hong Kong, Beijing and Shanghai offices. The China team has attracted engagements from a range of big-name Chinese and international TMT businesses, along with a large number of technology investors and start-ups. The firm works extensively in the fields of digital transformation and the development of proprietary technology. It frequently advises strategic investors on their investments in emerging technology businesses. It also has extensive experience in cybersecurity and data privacy. Gordon Milner leads the Asia TMT practice from Hong Kong. Shanghai partner Chuan Sun is regarded as a pure TMT lawyer and is highly rated for M&A and commercial matters. Hong Kong's Thomas Chou and Marcia Ellis are noted for private equity and venture capital investments in the technology sector. Beijing and Shanghai managing partner Paul McKenzie is another key figure.

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Testimonials

‘I have used MoFo’s services in relation to technology agreements in China, and they are truly specialised in this field.’

‘Chuan Sun has very solid expertise in the commercial technology agreements field and not only does he provide commercial practical advice, he is also able to manage his team to learn our business and turn around contracts with speed and efficiency. His scope of expertise is impressive, ranging from hardware agreements, open source software, to on-premises and cloud services to privacy law related issues.’

 

Key clients

Roblox

Alibaba Group

Princeton Digital

Softbank Vision Fund

Corporate and M&A: foreign firms Tier 2

Morrison & Foerster LLP distinguishes itself through headline technology sector deals, including e-commerce and data centre-related transactions. The practice also fields experts in life sciences, healthcare, real estate and education (particularly online education), who are able to leverage the firm's robust finance and restructuring practices. Also of note is its fast-growing fintech practice. In Beijing, Lucy Lu focuses on a broad range of PRC-related corporate matters; and Shanghai-based Ruomu Li has extensive experience in advising strategic and financial investors on transactions in the technology and life sciences industries. Other key mainland China advisers are Beijing and Shanghai managing partner, Paul McKenzie, and Chuan Sun, who works across the Shanghai and Hong Kong offices, along with associates Tian Zhou, Alice Li, Richard Ji and Sarah Wang. Marcia Ellis and Thomas Chou co-head the Asia private equity practice from Hong Kong, where Vivian Yiu is a cross-border transactions specialist.

Testimonials

A professional team that is prompt to respond, considerate and flexible.

This very capable, intelligent team has deep experience. Client service is its biggest strength – it is our go-to adviser for complicated and time sensitive transactions.

Marcia Ellis is experienced, extremely capable, very hardworking, and understands our business.

Key clients

Softbank

Softbank Vision Fund

Alibaba Group

GLP

Ascendent

Ally Bridge

BlackRock

NewQuest Capital Partners

Vectr Ventures

Intudo Ventures

Farallon Capital Asia

Bain Capital Credit

Ark Pacific Capital

Celadon Partners

Fintech: foreign firms Tier 2

A go-to firm for technology investors and start-ups, Morrison & Foerster LLP's dedicated fintech team in Greater China regularly works alongside the firm's robust venture capital and private equity fund practices. It is particularly experienced in cybersecurity and data privacy matters, while its regulatory expertise covers the requirements under the payments, internet, and telecoms and cloud regulatory regimes. Managing partner of the Beijing and Shanghai offices, Paul McKenzie, consistently advises IT and other tech sector clients; and working across the Shanghai and Hong Kong offices, Chuan Sun focuses on fintech, cross-border M&A transactions and complex TMT transactions. Gordon Milner heads the China fintech practice from the Hong Kong office, where Thomas Chou, who co-heads the firm's Asia private equity and venture capital group, is also a key partner.

Other key lawyers:

Testimonials

A high degree of co-ordination among its various practitioners.

High levels of availability and responsiveness.

Key clients

Alibaba Group

Softbank Vision Fund

Roblox

Healthcare and life sciences: foreign firms Tier 2

As one of Morrison & Foerster LLP's core areas of sector strength, it is perhaps unsurprising that life sciences-related work informs a significant volume of transactions handled out of its Greater China offices. The firm's Hong Kong office has excellent credentials for private equity and venture capital-related investor-side work within the sector and benefits from the ability to provide a holistic service which is conversant with the underlying science and IP considerations, as well as the corporate aspects of the transactions. The team is also able to leverage strong Silicon Valley credentials, of particular benefit for Chinese clients on outbound mandates and on potential US capital market exit strategies for funds which invested in the sector. Shanghai-based partner Chuan Sun has a focus on advising venture capital and private funds on their investments in the life sciences sector, and is also regularly engaged by international life sciences clients to advise on the regulatory issues associated with setting up in China.

Other key lawyers:

Key clients

Ally Bridge Group

Jiangsu Hengrui Medicine Co., Ltd.

Xingren (Trusted Doctors)

CBC Group (formerly C-Bridge Capital)

Everest Medicines Limited/Everest Medicines II Limited

Henlius

Triastek

Investment funds: foreign firms Tier 3

Morrison & Foerster LLP's core expertise lies in private equity funds and real estate funds. The practice recently picked up new clients from the venture capital funds space, as well as several large bank and insurance company clients on the LP side. Hong Kong-based Serena Tan has extensive experience in the formation of, and investment in, private funds; and funds partner Nicholas Sheets joined as partner from Kirkland & Ellis in 2019.

Practice head(s):

Key clients

Ally Bridge Group

China Great Wall Asset Management Co., Ltd.

Fosun International Group

FWD Group Management Holdings Ltd

GLP PTE, Ltd.

Hony Capital

C-Bridge Capital

Makers Fund

Sino-Ocean Capital

BHG Long Hills

SoftBank Ventures Asia

Junson Capital

Silicon Valley Bank

CICC Capital

Sympath Capital

Hopu Capital

Wheelock

Real estate and construction: foreign firms Tier 3

Morrison & Foerster LLP's resident real estate team in Greater China stands out for its technology sector expertise; in relation to data centres throughout Asia, it consistently acts for a range of clients on all stages of the real estate investment cycle. Hong Kong's Marcia Ellis co-heads the firm's Asia private equity practice, and regularly works with leading real estate companies in the region; and Chuan Sun, who works across the Shanghai and Hong Kong offices, assists real estate companies with cross-border M&A transactions.

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Other key lawyers:

Key clients

GLP

SoftBank

SoftBank Vision Fund

Dispute resolution: Litigation: foreign firms Tier 4

Morrison & Foerster is known for high-stakes, multi-jurisdictional disputes in sectors such as technology, energy, chemicals, construction, manufacturing, telecommunications, private equity and real estate. The litigation practice is led from Hong Kong by Timothy Blakely who focuses on government and internal investigations and complex commercial litigation, as does key partner Sarah Thomas. Its scope spans the entire Asia region, with the Beijing and Shanghai offices playing a key role in cases involving Chinese companies and multi-national entities with local interests. The firm's work spans commercial and IP disputes, investigations and compliance and privacy crisis response.

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Intellectual property: foreign firms Tier 4

Morrison & Foerster LLP's IP practice spans prosecution, litigation, and licensing matters; and it fields sector specialists in pharmaceuticals, biologics, diagnostics, personalised medicine, medical devices, medicinal chemicals and vaccines. Chuan Sun, who divides his time between Shanghai and Hong Kong, advises on complex IP transactions. Gordon Milner heads the firm's Asia technology practice from Hong Kong.

Practice head(s):

Key clients

Jiangsu Hengrui Medicine Co., Ltd.

Roblox

Alibaba

Everest Medicines Limited

Everest Medicines II

Triastek, Inc.

Henlius

The Dairy Farm Group

Regulatory/compliance: foreign firms Tier 4

Headed by Hong Kong managing partner Timothy BlakelyMorrison & Foerster LLP's full-service China corporate investigations and anti-corruption practice is particularly focused on government investigations and prosecutions, internal investigations, and FCPA due diligence and advisory work. Blakely has represented multinational and Chinese clients in various industries, including telecoms, biotechnology, publishing, pharmaceuticals, and financial services.

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Other key lawyers:

The firm: With approximately 1,000 lawyers in 17 offices, Morrison & Foerster is a preeminent global law firm dedicated to delivering business-oriented results to clients across the United States, Asia and Europe. Dynamic technology and life science companies, large financial institutions, leading consumer product companies and other market leaders come to Morrison & Foerster for knowledge, innovation and business aptitude. Morrison & Foerster handles some of the world’s largest cross-border transactions and resolves major disputes across multiple jurisdictions. The firm has a long-standing commitment to pro bono work and social justice.

For more than 36 years Morrison & Foerster has been on the ground advising clients about their most important China-related matters. The China offices have more than 50 multilingual U.S.-, PRC-, and Hong Kong-qualified professionals, who work closely with attorneys throughout the firm to deliver calibrated and sound advice to clients.

The firm counsels a wide variety of clients in China on their high-profile investment, finance, and regulatory matters, including many of the world’s largest multinationals and the most substantial and active institutional PRC companies, as well as promising startups in the Internet, technology, entertainment, telecommunications, life sciences, energy, clean technology, and renewable energy industries.

Areas of practice: MoFo’s Shanghai office has served Chinese and international clients, including financial investors and institutions, the Fortune 500, institutional and state-owned PRC companies, entrepreneurs, and technology companies of all types. The Beijing and Shanghai offices include more than 10 U.S., PRC, Australian and Canadian-qualified attorneys, the majority of whom are fully bilingual.

Capital markets: MoFo’s leading capital markets practice in China regularly represents issuers and underwriters in debt and equity financings, as well as in domestic venture capital and private equity investments. It is one of the most active capital markets practices of any international law firm in the region, advising clients on a broad range of corporate financing matters involving Hong Kong, U.S. and English law. The firm’s multi-jurisdictional law capabilities and bilingual teams enhance its competitive position, representing clients on both international offerings and cross-border corporate finance matters.

Dispute resolution: MoFo is one of the world’s premier litigation firms. Its full-service Asia dispute resolution practice is a fully integrated regional practice, working seamlessly across its five offices in Asia, to handle all aspects of complex commercial litigation, international arbitration and predispute counselling matters.

Intellectual property and litigation: MoFo has extensive experience in representing Chinese companies in their IP disputes in the US and in the development of their global IP portfolios. MoFo has also been advising its global clients who seek to proactively protect their IP from infringement and misappropriation in China.

Mergers and acquisitions: MoFo’s China M&A practice combines senior PRC regulatory expertise with international deal execution capability. The firm’s lawyers in Beijing, Shanghai, and Hong Kong have significant PRC-related, as well as Asia-wide and global cross-border M&A experience.

Private equity and venture capital: combining corporate finance expertise with diverse technology, healthcare, life sciences and real estate practices, lawyers in MoFo’s Shanghai office are active in all aspects of the evolving private equity and venture capital market in China. The practice regularly represents private equity investors, venture capitalists, private equity fund sponsors and issuers in a wide variety of private equity transactions, including buyouts (leveraged and non-leveraged), early and late-stage venture investments and restructurings and recapitalisations.

Real estate: The China real estate practice team represents investors in the financing, acquisition, joint venture and development of real estate investments across China and internationally. The group has a robust practice representing real estate private equity firms, investment managers, sovereign wealth funds, development companies and REITs that invest in real estate assets and companies in this sector.

Technology transactions: MoFo has assisted leading media and IT companies, global banks and financial institutions, biotech companies and private equity funds in navigating legal, structuring and commercial challenges arising from handling technology projects in China’s rapidly evolving business and regulatory environment.

Investment Funds: MoFo’s Private Funds practice is widely recognized by fund sponsors and institutional investors as a leading group in Asia and globally. As one of the largest private funds practices in Asia, we represent fund sponsors and investors in the formation and operation of investment funds in a number of strategies. We are one of only a handful of law firms in Asia with the experience to effectively guide both GPs and LPs through the entire fund formation process.

FinTech: MoFo has long been recognized as a leading financial services and technology firm. Our Fintech practice is not just a corporate practice that happens to handle M&A deals in the very sector. We have one of the few dedicated operational Fintech teams in China, and our partners have nearly two decades of on-the-ground experience at the heart of one of the world’s fastest growing technology markets, catering to a stellar list of industry-leading companies who rely on us to help ensure the success of their most critical deals in mainland China and Hong Kong in a challenging political climate

Healthcare and Life Sciences: Leading life sciences investors and companies throughout the U.S., Europe, Japan, and China choose MoFo to help them enter, expand within, or grow outside of the Chinese life sciences market because of our experience in complex, cutting-edge cross-border commercial transactions and financings, our legendary scientific expertise in matters from IP strategic counseling to IP due diligence, and our long and storied track record working within the Chinese life science market.

Department Name Email Telephone
Anti-bribery/anti-corruption/FCPA Timothy Blakely tblakely@mofo.com +852 25850870
Capital markets Venantius (Ven) Tan vtan@mofo.com +852 25850836
Corporate governance and internal investigations Timothy Blakely tblakely@mofo.com +852 25850870
Dispute resolution Timothy Blakely tblakely@mofo.com +852 25850870
Foreign direct investment Paul McKenzie pmckenzie@mofo.com +86 10 5909 3366
Intellectual property and litigation Sarah Thomas SarahThomas@mofo.com +852 25850771
International arbitration Timothy Blakely tblakely@mofo.com +852 25850870
Life sciences Janet Xiao jxiao@mofo.com +1 (650) 813-5736
Life sciences Thomas Chou tchou@mofo.com +852 2585 0848
Life sciences Chuan Sun csun@mofo.com +86 21 2322 5243
Life sciences Gordon Milner gmilner@mofo.com +852 2585 0808
Mergers and acquisitions Thomas Chou tchou@mofo.com +852 2585 0848
Mergers and acquisitions Marcia Ellis mellis@mofo.com +852 2585 0784
Mergers and acquisitions Paul McKenzie pmckenzie@mofo.com +86 10 5909 3366
Mergers and acquisitions Vivian Yiu vyiu@mofo.com +852 2585 0761
Mergers and acquisitions Ruomu Li rli@mofo.com +86 21 2322 5218
Mergers and acquisitions Lucy Lu llu@mofo.com +86 10 5909 3311
Private equity and venture capital Thomas Chou tchou@mofo.com +852 2585 0848
Private equity and venture capital Marcia Ellis mellis@mofo.com +852 2585 0784
Real estate Marcia Ellis mellis@mofo.com +852 2585 0784
Technology transactions Gordon Milner gmilner@mofo.com +852 2585 0808
Investment Funds Serena Tan STan@mofo.com +852 2585 0861
Investment Funds Nicholas Sheets nsheets@mofo.com +852 2585 0814
Fintech Thomas Chou tchou@mofo.com +852 2585 0848
Fintech Paul McKenzie pmckenzie@mofo.com +86 10 5909 3366
Fintech Gordon Milner gmilner@mofo.com +852 2585 0808
Fintech Chuan Sun csun@mofo.com +86 21 2322 5243
Number of lawyers : approximately 1,000
at this office : 8+
English
Mandarin
Shanghainese
Contacts : Paul D McKenzie (Shanghai office managing partner)