Clifford Chance > Hong Kong, Hong Kong > Firm Profile

Clifford Chance
27TH FLOOR JARDINE HOUSE
ONE CONNAUGHT PLACE
HONG KONG
Hong Kong

Hong Kong > Asset finance (including aviation and shipping finance) Tier 1

Clifford Chance has been embedded in the aviation industry for over 30 years, and its asset finance group is well-versed in high-profile and complex cross-border transactions. Paul Greenwell leads the teams in Beijing, Shanghai and Tokyo from his base in Hong Kong, providing advice to PRC and international lessors operating both in Greater China and internationally. The team also acts for financial institutions, new leasing companies, capital providers and other investors. Greenwell focuses on asset and structured finance in the aviation industry, and has considerable experience of the Chinese and Japanese markets. Consultant Hetty Lam handles general financing and asset financing, with a focus on aviation.

Practice head(s):

Testimonials

‘In the field of aviation leasing businesses, they have a very strong team in terms of number and ability, and they have offices in major jurisdictions around the world.’

‘Paul Greenwell has extensive experience in aircraft leasing transactions, and he is familiar with the impact of the latest legislation in various jurisdictions on the aircraft leasing business.’

Their HK, Singapore and London offices work seamlessly together to provide solutions to their clients.’

Partner: Paul Greenwell. Paul is reliable and detail-oriented. Associate: Jeffrey Ip. Jeffrey is very responsive and his work quality is consistently high.’

Key clients

Aergo Capital Limited

Air Lease Corporation

Aircastle Limited

AMCK Aviation

Avolon Aerospace Leasing Limited

Bank of Communications Financial Leasing Co., Ltd.

BOC Aviation

Castlelake L.P.

CCB Financial Leasing Corporation

CDB Aviation Lease Finance DAC / China Development Bank Financial Leasing Co., Ltd.

Clover Aviation Capital Company Limited

CMB Financial Leasing Co., Ltd.

Dubai Aerospace Enterprise

GE Capital Aviation Services Limited

Goshawk Aviation Limited

Jackson Square Aviation

Merx Aviation Finance

Nordic Aviation Capital

SMBC Aviation Capital Limited

Work highlights

  • Advised various major international operating lessors, creditors and financial institutions on contingency planning and strategic advice in relation to their exposure to a number of HNA group airlines (including their rights and remedies under the PRC bankruptcy reorganisation process) as well as advising them on the complex lease amendments that follow after the HNA group emerges from the bankruptcy reorganisation process.
  • Acted as English law counsel and local counsel in Japan to a large group of lessors based in various jurisdictions around the world (including AMCK, Aircastle, Avolon, DAE, GECAS, Goshawk and Macquarie) in connection with the restructuring of the leasing arrangements for various aircraft on lease to Japanese airlines (including Skymark Airlines, Solaseed, Peach Aviation, ANA, Star Flyer and Japan Airlines) as a result of Norway ratifying the “Multilateral Convention to Implement Tax Treaty Related Measures to Prevent Base Erosion and Profit Shifting” (Convention to Implement Measures to Prevent BEPS).
  • Advised various major international operating lessors, creditors and financial institutions on contingency planning and strategic advice in relation to their exposure as a result of the cessation of business of Cathay Dragon, a subsidiary of Cathay Pacific.

Hong Kong > Banking and finance Tier 1

Clifford Chance’s integrated Greater China banking and finance team handles numerous high-value cross-border financing transactions for leading international and domestic investment banks, private equity sponsors, funds and corporates. With support from its international network, the practice is able to advise on Hong Kong, Singapore, English, Japanese, Korean, Australian and US law, which adds value to its global clients. Anthony Wang heads the team and has considerable experience in syndicated and acquisition financing, project financing and commercial projects work. Matthew Truman is recommended for acquisition finance, banking and restructuring and is dual-qualified in England and Wales, and Hong Kong. Dauwood Malik was promoted to managing partner of the Hong Kong office in November 2020 and is recommended for debt products. Vicky Ma is a name to note for international project finance and China outbound financings.

Practice head(s):

Testimonials

‘Lawyers in CC are generally of high quality and definitely value for money’.

‘Vicky Ma is my go-for partner, she is fluent in English and Chinese, wise and calm, and can always provide good analysis and suggestions to her clients’.

‘Anthony Wang is the giant in the industry, he has been practicing for two decades and his performance has remained outstanding throughout’.

Key clients

Bank of China

China Development Bank

Citi

Deutsche Bank

HSBC

IFC

JPMorgan

Standard Chartered Bank

UBS

Hillhouse Capital

Trustar Capital (formerly CITIC Capital Partners)

The Carlyle Group

TPG

MBK

PAG

Advantage Partners

Work highlights

  • Advised JPMorgan, UBS and Siam Commercial Bank on the financings of Charoen Pokphand Group (CP Group)’s $10.6bn acquisition of Tesco’s Thai and Malaysian businesses.
  • Advised MBK Partners on all financing aspects in connection with the take-private of China Auto Rental (Car Inc.), the number one player in China’s car rental market, including the obtaining of amendments/waivers required under the existing bank loans of Car Inc and consents required under the existing high-yield bonds (through a consent solicitation process), bridge facilities for the VGO and as well as a convertible bond instrument.
  • Advised Bank of China on financing for the acquisition of GNC Holding Inc. by Harbin Pharmaceutical Group Holding Co., Ltd. through a US bankruptcy court-approved “stalking horse” bid.

Hong Kong > Capital markets (debt) Tier 1

Although its headcount at a senior level was slightly reduced following the recent relocations of Matthew Fairclough  to London and high yield specialist Alexander Lloyd  to Kirkland & Ellis LLP‘s Boston office, Clifford Chance still has the critical mass and depth of knowledge to be a very popular choice among issuers and underwriters across the gamut of debt capital market products. Led by Connie Heng, the team ‘possess the unique blend of experience, commercial savvy and high conviction‘, enabling it to gain a seat at the table on many off the market’s most significant and cutting-edge mandates. The team has particularly strong relationships with many Chinese SOEs and recently advised the underwriters to one of these – Agriculture Development Bank of China – on China’s first dim sum bond issuance to combat the coronavirus. David Tsai led on this deal and is recognised as ‘one of the most impressive capital markets practitioners‘ in the region. Mark Chan was also involved in the aforementioned mandate, and is recommended for his expertise across a wide range of debt and equity-linked capital markets products. Senior associate Nathan Wong is gaining increased market recognition as a result of his ‘well-grounded technical skills and problem-solving abilities’. 

Practice head(s):

Testimonials

‘Lawyers in the team have solid technical and execution skills. In addition, they are always reachable which is really important from the clients’ perspective.’

The team possess the unique blend of experience, commercial savvy and high conviction.’

David Tsai remains one of the most impressive capital markets practitioners among the China/Hong Kong names and remains a go-to call for us on all relevant queries.’

 ‘I am extremely impressed by Nathan Wong’s coherent and logical organization, well-grounded technical skills, on-point and on-time execution and problem-solving ability. I am looking forward to seeing Nathan as a rising and shining star in the future.’  

 

Key clients

Bank of China

China International Capital Corporation (CICC)

HSBC

Guotai Junan Securities

Standard Chartered

J.P. Morgan

Citi

Beijing Capital Group Co., Ltd

AIA Group Limited

Haier Smart Home

China Ping An Insurance (Group) Company of China, Ltd

Work highlights

  • Advised on the restructuring of certain listed exchangeable bonds issued by a member of Haier Smart Home.
  • Advised J.P. Morgan Securities and UBS on New World Development (NWD) Company Limited’s issuance of $200m 3.75% Guaranteed Sustainability-Linked Notes due 2031.
  • Advised the underwriters in relation to Agriculture Development Bank of China’s dim sum bond offering, issued to combat the coronavirus outbreak.

Hong Kong > Capital markets (equity) Tier 1

Particularly strong on the underwriter side, as a result of entrenched firmwide institutional ties with many leading global and regional banks, and also picking up a considerable amount of issuer mandates, Clifford Chance receives a ‘tremendous flow of work‘ and is consequently fully abreast of current market trends from both perspectives. Led out of Hong Kong by Amy Lo and aided by a significant presence in Shanghai and Beijing, the team, which ‘understands the cultural and commercial background of mainland China’, is appreciated for the integrated nature of its advice which frequently leads to big-ticket IPO work (on both bank and issuer side) for Chinese corporates seeking to list on the Main Board of the Hong Kong Stock Exchange. Although the firm is sector agnostic, it has recently been particularly active advising on transactions within the TMT, financial services, healthcare and real estate sectors. Virginia Lee continues to develop a flourishing reputation on both transactional matters, including IPOs and pre-IPO investments, as well as on regulatory issues relating to listing rules. Tim Wang is the main contact in Beijing.

Practice head(s):

Amy Lo; Tim Wang  (Beijing)

Testimonials

Clifford Chance has teams in Hong Kong and Mainland China that can handle Hong Kong’s equity capital market business, and the scale is among the top in the industry. From the perspective of resource allocation, the firm has outstanding advantages for assisting Chinese customers in handling large-scale projects with tight schedules and heavy tasks.

The team understands the cultural and commercial background of mainland China, and are also familiar with the actual situation of the Hong Kong capital markets.’

Clifford Chance’s Hong Kong Equity Capital Market team includes lawyers from both mainland China and Hong Kong. They understand the cultural and business background of mainland China and the actual situation of Hong Kong’s capital market, which has obvious advantages in daily communication with companies and Hong Kong regulators.

‘Tim Wang demonstrated superb professional and technical ability.’

Tianning Xiang has shown strong professionalism in both project implementation and the communication with relevant regulatory agencies.’

Key clients

Kuaishou Technology

JD.com

Haier Smart Home

Nongfu Spring

China Bohai Bank

CR Mixc Lifestyle (under China Resources Group)

China International Capital Corporation

Postal Savings Bank of China

China Pacific Insurance

SDIC Power

Work highlights

  • Advised the joint sponsors and underwriters, including Morgan Stanley, Bank of America and China Renaissance Securities, on Kuaishou Technology’s $5.4bn IPO and listing on the main board of the Hong Kong Stock Exchange.
  • Advised the joint sponsors, Bank of America, UBS and CLSA, and the underwriters on JD.com’s $3.87bn IPO and secondary listing on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange.
  • Advised Haier Smart Home Co., Ltd (Shanghai and Frankfurt listed) on the merger with its Hong Kong-listed subsidiary, Haier Electronics Group Co., Ltd. The merger was effected by a privatisation of 1169 by scheme of arrangement. This was then followed by a listing of the H shares of Haier Smart Home which were offered in exchange for the shares held by the shareholders of 1169.

Hong Kong > Corporate (including M&A) Tier 1

Active in the region for over 40 years, Magic Circle firm Clifford Chance boasts over 70 corporate and M&A lawyers across its Hong Kong, Beijing and Shanghai offices. The team is a go-to for a number of deal types including outbound, inbound, private and public M&A. Among its sectors of specialisation are retail, consumer goods, technology, finance, energy and real estate and the practice is supplemented by the firm’s broader expertise in regulatory, antitrust, capital markets and funds. Andrew Crook, co-head of the firm’s Asia Pacific corporate group, recently re-located from Sydney to Hong Kong and arrives with extensive private equity expertise. Elsewhere, Bryan Koo is carving out a prominent reputation for cross-border public takeovers and corporate restructurings while Terence Foo is a go-to for strategic investments and joint ventures across the entirety of the region. Emma Davies leads the mainland China department from Hong Kong and also fronts the healthcare and life sciences practice.

Other key lawyers:

Testimonials

‘Very clear and pragmatic approach and quick to understand the setting.’

‘Bryan Koo is always available and unusually concise and clear in his advice.’

Key clients

Carrefour

New World Development / NWS Holdings

Pfizer

EDF

Total Eren

Arla

Haier

COFCO

State Grid

CITIC

Work highlights

  • Advised Shanghai and Frankfurt listed Haier Smart Home Co., Ltd. on the proposed privatisation of its Hong Kong listed subsidiary Haier Electronics Group Co., Ltd..
  • Advised Kirkbi A/S (Kirk Kristiansen family’s private holding and investment company founded to build a sustainable future for the family ownership of the LEGO brand) on its partnership with Merlin Attractions Operations Limited, CMC Holdings HK Limited (an affiliate of China Media Capital) and Shanghai Guoyi Investment Management Co., Ltd. (a Chinese state-owned enterprise and affiliate of the Shanghai Jinshan district government) to establish one joint venture to develop, construct and own the Shanghai LEGOLAND Resort and a second joint venture to operate and manage the Shanghai LEGOLAND Resort.
  • Advised J.P. Morgan on its role as the exclusive financial advisor to S.F. Holding Co., Ltd. (the offeror in the transaction) on S.F. Holding’s HK$17.6bn (US$2.3bn) acquisition of 51.8% stake in Kerry Logistics Network Limited (stock code 636.HK).

Hong Kong > Dispute resolution: international arbitration Tier 1

Clifford Chance‘s ‘creative, assertive, and absolutely dedicated‘ dispute resolution team is well-known for its expertise in private equity and corporate disputes and counts aviation, technology and IP arbitrations among its other specialisms. Thomas Walsh is popular among Korean clients and leads the firm’s Greater China international practice alongside Shanghai-based Lei Shi. With a ‘global reputation‘ for handling complex disputes, Cameron Hassall, who splits his time between Hong Kong and Sydney, is another key contact. The arrival of Jonathan Wong from Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer  (who speaks English, Mandarin and Cantonese) bolsters the team’s experience acting for financial institutions, large corporations and private equity firms in commercial and investor-state arbitration. Other changes include Yvonne Shek‘s promotion to consultant. It’s also praised for its ‘deep pool of associates‘; senior associate Tania Tse, who speaks English, Mandarin, French and Cantonese, has particular experience handling disputes between European and Asian parties.

Practice head(s):

Thomas Walsh; Lei Shi

Other key lawyers:

Cameron Hassall; Jonathan Wong; Yvonne Shek; Tania Tse; Haoyang Zhang; Feifei Yu

Testimonials

‘They are creative, assertive, and absolutely dedicated to finding the most efficient way to reach client goals.’

‘Tom Walsh exemplifies the practice ethic. His hard-working, endlessly creative approach and encyclopedic knowledge of the rules and practices of arbitration never lets a client down. Cam Hassall thoroughly deserves the global reputation he has for excellence in all things. Tania Tse is a rising star, whose reputation will only grow as more clients come to know her brilliance and thoroughness.’

‘Clifford Chance’s Shanghai office is excellent for investigations and their HK office has a deep pool of associates’.

Professional, meticulous and efficient.

Understand customer needs and can propose effective solutions for customers.

Professional business, customer-centric, able to provide efficient, high-quality services, and reasonable fees.

Thomas Walsh has led an excellent team that can effectively provide high-quality services to Chinese customers. Zhang Haoyang has outstanding personal ability and can effectively understand customer concerns and provide customers with valuable services.

Lei Shi and Feifei Yu are very experienced and knowledgeable. Their advice to clients is always meticulous and accurate and they are also able to come up with practical suggestions and solutions even for a difficult case. They also work with counsel closely and provide all necessary support that counsel needs from time to time.’

Work highlights

  • Represented a PRC sovereign wealth fund in a $60m Hong Kong seated HKIAC arbitration relating to put option and accounting disputes arising out of its joint venture business in the African digital television sector.
  • Acted for a PE firm in two CIETAC arbitration proceedings to recover $286m paid to a fraudulent seller of a restaurant business.
  • Representing one of the world’s leading aeronautical companies in disputes with four of its joint venture partners with the intention being to obtain books and records and then ultimately dissolve the joint ventures.

Hong Kong > Investment funds Tier 1

With strong local knowledge and also able to integrate cutting-edge techniques and know-how gleaned from the firm’s experience across other jurisdictions, Clifford Chance‘s Hong Kong office is a popular choice among fund sponsors seeking guidance across the range of open and closed-ended funds. Clients also gain comfort in the knowledge that the team has ‘very strong regulatory capabilities’ and benefits from a good working relationship with the relevant supervisory bodies. Team head Mark Shipman is a ‘market leader in the space; as well as his role as a trusted advisor to financial services entities on standalone fund formation mandates, he is also regularly engaged by numerous trade bodies/committees to provide high-level insight into regulatory matters. Matthias Feldmann excels in open-ended funds and has been at the forefront of the establishment of many of the largest hedge fund launches in the region. Splitting his time between the firm’s Beijing and Shanghai offices, Ying White rounds out the firm’s Greater China offering at a senior level and has a particularly strong reputation among PRC financial institutions in relation to the structuring, establishment and operations of offshore private equity and hedge funds.

Practice head(s):

Testimonials

The team is commercially astute, a market leader in terms of product knowledge and has the ability to field a bilingual offering. It is also effortlessly able to integrate with other practice areas such as regulatory and disputes.’

Mark Shipman is a market leader in this space.’

The technically sound and always responsive Teresa Leung is excellent.’

Key clients

Greater Bay Area Homeland Development Fund

TR Capital

Chelsfield Asia

Phoenix Property Investors Limited

GE Capital

CPPIB

HOPU Investments

ICBC International

CBRE Global Investors

Neuberger Berman

Brilliance Capital (second largest Chinese hedge fund)

Work highlights

  • Advised CITIC Capital on the set up of logistics fund with SF which focuses on logistics property investment opportunities.
  • Advised Sequoia China Equity Partners on the establishment of SECP Fund, an equity long-short hedge fund established in the Cayman Islands adopting a master-feeder structure.
  • Advised CSOP Asset Management Limited (CSOP), a leading ETF manager in Hong Kong, on the launch of CSOP Hang Seng TECH Index Daily (2x) Leveraged Product and CSOP Hang Seng TECH Index Daily (-2x) Inverse Product on The Stock Exchange of Hong Kong.

Hong Kong > Regulatory Tier 1

Clifford Chance combines contentious and transactional expertise to provide comprehensive regulatory risk management advice to a wide variety of clients in the financial services sector, including multiple regulatory agencies, banks and financial institutions. For cross-border transactional mandates, the practice also often relies on the firm’s capabilities worldwide. The team has a strong track record across a full range of issues, such as licensing, anti-money laundering, and market misconduct. Global funds and investment management group leader Mark Shipman and contentious regulatory group head Donna Wacker jointly sit at the helm of the department.

Practice head(s):

Testimonials

In-depth understanding of the local regulators combined with very good knowledge of the financial sector and its various products’.

‘Ability to field a bilingual team‘.

Mark Shipman’s guidance and thoughts are particularly valued given his standing in the industry and a good understanding of the regulatory thinking in the market‘.

Key clients

Credit Suisse

Brilliance Capital

Citadel

Invesco

Schroder Investment Management

HSBC Global Asset Management/ Hang Seng Investment Management

UBS

JP Morgan

CPPIB

Standard Chartered Bank

Hong Kong > Restructuring and insolvency Tier 1

Clifford Chance combines transactional and contentious expertise to advise creditors, lenders, coordinating committees, private equity sponsors, insolvency practitioners and debtors on restructuring and insolvency matters. The team has significant experience in cross-border matters and often works closely with colleagues in other jurisdictions to handle cases across Asia-Pacific and beyond. Scott Bache and Donna Wacker co-head the team, with Bache focusing on corporate restructuring, distressed mergers and acquisitions and special situations investing; and Wacker handling contentious regulatory and contentious insolvency matters. Consultant Phoebe Lo is recommended for non-contentious work. Joanna Charter retired at the end of 2020.

Practice head(s):

Other key lawyers:

Testimonials

‘The Clifford Chance insolvency and restructuring team overall is excellent, providing timely and correct advice considering both the technical and commercial issues, while being very easy to deal with. ’

‘Scott Bache is both highly commercial and technically minded, and someone who you want on your team on a deal’.

‘Scott Bache is approachable and works very well under pressure, appreciates what the client needs and cuts through the issues to find a solution’.

‘Phoebe Lo is hard working and clever, and consistently provides high quality advice’.

‘Phoebe Lo is extremely responsive’.

Key clients

FTI Consulting

HSBC

Coutts

Davidson Kempner

Deutsche Bank

King Street

Carlyle Credit

Asia Broadcast Satellite

China Development Bank

Work highlights

  • Advising the senior lenders to Trans Maldivian Airways Private Limited in connection with their exposures under an $305m senior facilities agreement.
  • Advising ABS Group, a global satellite operator, on its restructuring proposal.
  • Advised gategroup Holding AG and gategroup Guarantee Limited as restructuring counsel in connection with the restructuring of its financial indebtedness by way of a restructuring plan under Part 26A of the UK Companies Act 2006.

Hong Kong > Structured finance and securitisation Tier 1

Clifford Chance's team in Hong Kong has 'in-depth knowledge of local regulation, as well as the ability to tap into its global network'. It is a popular choice among a plethora of global and regional banking institutions, with it being able to advise on the structuring of the gamut of derivatives, securitisation and structured finance products. Under the leadership of the 'technically strong' Francis Edwards, the group has been particularly active recently advising banks on repackaging transactions, including note issuances linked to partnership interests or shares in hedge funds. In addition to handling mandates related to structured credit and structured corporate equity, the team has also recently handled an increased volume of work for US banks in relation to over-the-counter (OTC) derivatives. Dividing his time between the firm's Hong Kong and Shanghai offices, the 'extremely thorough and very responsive' Terry Yang has deep knowledge of the transactional and regulatory complexities associated with the mainland China market and is consequently a popular choice for buy and sell-side clients across range of derivatives and structured products from an inbound and outbound perspective.

Practice head(s):

Other key lawyers:

Testimonials

The team has an in-depth knowledge of local regulation, as well as the ability to tap into its global network.’

The team has strong technical capabilities and can also leverage their strong securitisation practice in London.’

Depth and breadth. All team members from senior to junior are available, reliable and highly competent.’

Francis Edwards is technically strong, knows the market and has outstanding client skills.’

Francis Edwards is responsive and very detailed oriented.’

Francis Edwards has particularly strong client skills, and also has a good overview of the market.’

Terry Yang – extremely thorough in his explanations and very responsive.’

Key clients

Credit Suisse

Mizuho

Work highlights

  • Advising Credit Suisse on the establishment of a new collateralised repackaging programme.
  • Advising Mizuho Securities on the establishment of a new collateralised repackaging programme.
  • Advised Credit Suisse on more than $500m multi-tranche loan repackaging transaction and total return swap.

Hong Kong > Dispute resolution: litigation Tier 3

The ‘commercially sound’ litigation team at Clifford Chance is most active in the financial sector, with a range of domestic and international clients. Recent work has involved joint venture exits, breaches of fiduciary duties and insurance fraud, with Edward Johnson also defending a major oil company in a precedent-setting matter before the Competition Tribunal over alleged price-fixing agreements. Practice head Ling Ho has an IP and tech-related focus, while also acting for high-net-worth individuals managing assets including global real estate.

Practice head(s):

Other key lawyers:

Testimonials

‘Good knowledge of underlying products, commercially sound, technically strong, ability to field a bilingual team and also exhibit flexibility on pricing.’

‘William Wong has been a standout: he is commercially astute, technically sound and extremely responsive.’

The firm has good teamwork, their internal promotion and cooperation are impressive. Partners are professional and dedicated. They are willing to consider client demands in billing‘.

William Wong is meticulous, professional, thoughtful and willing to listen and consider client needs.’

Hong Kong > Labour and employment Tier 3

Led by senior consultant Anita Lam, Clifford Chance's team continues to advise large multinational corporates and financial institutions on cross-border employment litigation, M&A-related employment issues and investigations. It also handles day-to-day employment matters, pensions and data privacy work, and has recently seen a number of instructions relating to the COVID-19 pandemic. Lam is a solicitor advocate, fraud examiner and accredited mediator. She has more than two decades of experience in Asian employment law.

Practice head(s):

Other key lawyers:

Testimonials

We picked CC for their expertise across both employment and contentious regulatory matters, as our survey of the HK market found that not many top tier firms had senior level expertise in both areas.

‘Anita Lam has a good knowledge of a wide range of topics/areas in the employment/labour field. Good response times and easy to read advice.’

Work highlights

  • Representing a financial services multinational in fending off a high-profile high court case brought by its former senior executive for incentives and recently securing a landslide victory in fending off long running and extensive discovery application.
  • Assisting a global bank with implementing its global disciplinary policy in 16 APAC jurisdictions in line with the US regulator’s expectations, and overcoming the potential obstacles posed by local labour law restrictions.
  • Assisted a global financial multinational with various employment issues throughout the year, including various #metoo investigations, complaints to the Privacy Commissioner, complaint to the regulator, and labour tribunal cases.

Hong Kong > Private equity Tier 3

Following the departure of Andrew Whan and Neeraj Budhwani to Milbank in early 2021, Clifford Chance’s private equity offering is headed by Andrew Crook, who recently relocated from Sydney to Hong Kong, Terence Foo, who is based in Beijing and Shanghai, and Bryan Koo in Hong Kong. Crook is experienced in cross-border transactions acting for private equity firms and multinational businesses, and Koo advises international and Chinese private equity funds, financial institutions and corporate clients. The team is active in both upstream fund formation and downstream transactional work, and its broad expertise includes LBOs, MBOs, take-privates, PIPEs, pre-IPO investments, growth investments, and senior, mezzanine and high yield financings.

Practice head(s):

Andrew Crook; Terence Foo (Beijing/Shanghai); Bryan Koo

Key clients

CVC Capital Partners

Tencent

Advantage Partners

Carlyle

Permira

Affirma Capital

Gaw Capital

MBK

EQT

ADV Partners

Work highlights

  • Advised Permira Funds as international counsel on its acquisition of a majority stake in the EF Kids & Teens business.
  • Advised Tencent as the co-lead investor, lead investor and the existing shareholder of Yuanfudao in the Series G, G-1 and G-2 financings of Yuanfudao respectively, a Chinese online education platform which offers online courses and homework plans to students and ranks first in China for in-app purchases in the education category.
  • Advised CVC and Brooklyn Investment Limited (the “Offeror”) on the privatisation of I.T. Limited (the “Listco”), particularly on the corporate restructuring of Listco and advised CVC and the Offeror on debt financing aspects in relation to the privatisation.

Hong Kong > Real estate Tier 3

Clifford Chance fields a multidisciplinary team to handle a wide range of real estate-related work, including conveyancing, M&A, IPOs, joint ventures and finance transactions. Funds partner Matthias Feldmann and banking and finance partner Dauwood Malik co-head the practice, which includes Amy Ho, who is particularly adept at advising funds/investors and developers on China-related real estate investments and divestments.

Other key lawyers:

Key clients

Cainiao Network

Partners Group

Chelsfield Asia

Phoenix Property Investors Limited

Kai Tak Sports Park Limited

Carrefour Nederland B.V.

Actis

HOPU Investments

HSBC

CK Asset Holdings Limited

Work highlights

  • Advised Kirkbi Invest on its partnership with Merlin Attractions Operations Limited, CMC Holdings HK Limited and Shanghai Guoyi Investment Management Co. to establish one joint venture to develop, construct and own the Shanghai LEGOLAND Resort and a second joint venture to operate and manage the Shanghai LEGOLAND Resort.
  • Advised Kai Tak Sports Park Limited, a consortium consisting of New World Development and its subsidiary NWS Holdings, on the successful award of a 25-year contract to design, build and operate the Kai Tak Sports Park.
  • Advised the underwriters on New World Development Company Limited’s sustainability-linked bond issuance.

Hong Kong > Intellectual property Tier 4

The Hong Kong IP team at Clifford Chance, which is integrated into the firm's Greater China practice, comprises of IP specialists and commercial lawyers from the corporate and litigation and dispute resolution departments. It demonstrates strong capabilities across a full spectrum of contentious and non-contentious matters. The workload includes advice on the IP aspects of transformative projects, dispute resolution and transactions, as well as employment-related matters. Ling Ho leads the IP group in Asia and also heads up the litigation and dispute resolution practice in Hong Kong.

Practice head(s):

Testimonials

‘Strength in depth, very responsive, good communicators, clear strategic recommendations.’

‘The IP team led by Ms Ling Ho has always been a professional team. They anticipate issues that clients may run into, and at the same time, have clients’ interests in mind, including cost. They try to work out a cost-efficient solution.’

‘Ling Ho and her team actually care about their clients and they are genuinely interested in building a long term relationship. Their advice is clear and practical and risk based, thus providing useful assistance in helping clients in making their decisions.’

Clifford Chance’s Hong Kong IP team distinguishes itself from peers with its high-profile magic circle expertise, which combines with a street-smart working approach.’

Over the years, Ling Ho has always impressed me deeply with her sharp insights into the IP issues in question, and ability to deliver sound judgements and advice accordingly.’

Ling Ho is responsive, pragmatic, business minded, easy to work with.

Asia Pacific: Regional International Arbitration > Leading firms Tier 1

Clifford Chance‘s international arbitration team is well-rated across the region for both commercial and investment treaty disputes. Regional practice group head Cameron Hassall splits his time between Sydney and Hong Kong while Shanghai-based Lei Shi and Thomas Walsh in Hong Kong jointly lead the Greater China practice which excels in private equity and corporate disputes. Also in Hong Kong, the group benefits from the addition of Jonathan Wong from Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, who handles arbitration cases with a focus on cross-border and Greater China matters. In Singapore – where the firm has a local law alliance with Cavenagh Law LLP -, its strong team is led by Nish Shetty and includes energy and infrastructure disputes expert Paul Sandosham, investment arbitration expert Paul Tan and Kabir Singh, who is known for handling disputes relating to India and Indonesia. In Perth practice head Sam Luttrell and Amanda Murphy excel in natural resources, energy and mining sector and investment treaty disputes.

Practice head(s):

Cameron Hassall;

China > Restructuring and insolvency: foreign firms Tier 2

Sought out for high-value, complex cross-border matters in the region, Clifford Chance‘s Hong Kong-based team acts for creditors, lenders, co-ordinating committees, private equity sponsors, insolvency practitioners and debtors; and it is able to combine robust transactional experience with contentious expertise while supported by industry specialists in oil and gas, telecoms, construction and transport, maritime and shipping sectors. Finance partner Scott Bache leads the firm’s Asia-Pacific restructuring and insolvency group. Bache specialises in advising financial institutions, hedge funds, private equity funds, financial advisers and turnaround professionals on the full spectrum of restructuring matters, including corporate restructuring, distressed M&A and special situations investment. Also integral to the practice are experienced partner Donna Wacker, who heads the contentious regulatory and contentious insolvency practice in Hong Kong; and consultant Phoebe Lo, who acts for creditors, debtors and insolvency office holders, and specialises in non-contentious work.

Practice head(s):

Other key lawyers:

Key clients

FTI Consulting

HSBC

Coutts

Davidson Kempner

Deutsche Bank

King Street

Carlyle Credit

Asia Broadcast Satellite

China Development Bank

Work highlights

  • Advised the senior lenders to Trans Maldivian Airways Private on its exposure under a $305m senior facilities agreement.
  • Advised ABS Group, a global satellite operator, on its restructuring proposal.
  • Advised gategroup Holding and gategroup Guarantee (as restructuring counsel) on the restructuring of its financial indebtedness.

Belgium > Competition: EU and global

China > Banking and finance: foreign firms

Acting for leading international and domestic investment banks, private equity sponsors, funds and corporations, Clifford Chance LLP‘s banking and finance team works across Hong Kong and China on both borrower and lender matters, and the practice has paved the way in sustainability-linked financing. With extensive experience in advising arrangers and lenders on acquisition financing and syndicated loans in Asia, Hong Kong-based Anthony Wang leads the department, which includes Maggie Lo, who divides her time between Beijing and Hong Kong and has broad experience in cross-border financing; and Jiahua Ni, who works across the Beijing and Shanghai offices and advises on financings in Asia, Middle East, South America and Africa. Other key figures in Hong Kong are experienced partners Matthew TrumanDauwood MalikEdith Leung and Vicky Ma. Former mainland China partner Timothy Democratis (now a consultant) relocated to the firm’s London office in August 2020.

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Testimonials

The lawyers at CC are of high quality and definitely value for money!

Vicky Ma is my go-for partner – she is fluent in English and Chinese, wise and calm, and can always provide good analysis and suggestions for her clients.

Anthony Wang is the giant in the industry – he has been practicing for two decades and his performance has remained outstanding during these two decades!

Key clients

Bank of China

China Development Bank

Citi

Deutsche Bank

HSBC

IFC

JPMorgan

Standard Chartered Bank

UBS

Hillhouse Capital

Trustar Capital (formerly CITIC Capital Partners)

The Carlyle Group

TPG

MBK

PAG

Advantage Partners

Work highlights

  • Advised JPMorgan, UBS and Siam Commercial Bank on the financing of Charoen Pokphand Group (CP Group)’s US$10.6bn acquisition of Tesco’s Thai and Malaysian businesses.
  • Advised MBK Partners on all financing aspects concerning the take-private of China Auto Rental (Car Inc), including the obtaining of amendments/waivers required under the existing bank loans of Car Inc (among others).
  • Advised Bank of China on the financing for the acquisition of GNC Holdings by Harbin Pharmaceutical Group Holding Co, through a US bankruptcy court-approved stalking horse bid.

Philippines > Foreign firms

Clifford Chance is known for ‘top notch‘ work in M&A and projects and energy in the Philippines. The firm advises clients on numerous high-profile transactions, notably Coca-Cola Beverages Philippines’ joint venture with Indorama Ventures in order to establish PETValue, which will be the largest, state-of-the-art, bottle-to-bottle recycling facility in the Philippines. Led by Cameron Hassall, the firm also has a strong international arbitration practice,  evidenced through the team’s involvement in representing two instrumentalities of the Government of the Republic of the Philippines in a $1bn dispute concerning the award of a national energy concession. Tom Lin and Johannes Juette are recommended for their in-depth knowledge in M&A and corporate finance, and their keen insights into market practice.

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Testimonials

‘Clifford Chance is a highly reliable law firm. Their lawyers consistently deliver excellent results. The counsels have very good commercial sense and have a deep understanding of transactions. They can anticipate client’s needs and respond accordingly.’

‘The team was able to address the issues of the transaction, and raise only the relevant points for our consideration. This is important for purposes of trusting that the legal counsel can well represent and advocate for us in negotiations.’

‘They were very attentive, professional, and responsive to our requests and clarifications.’

‘I have been working with CC for over 20 years now and the quality of their service is always top notch. They know how to work with local counsel and their expectations from local counsel are clearly communicated from the start.’

‘Tom Lin and Johannes Juette are very knowledgeable in their practice areas and provide very keen insights on market practice which makes it easier for the clients to make decisions based on the advice provided.’

‘Cameron Hassall is an experienced advocate and knows how to zoom in on the important issues from the lens of the arbitrators. Very easy to work with and makes himself personally available.’

‘Tom Lin and Johannes Juette are very knowledgeable in their practice areas and provide very keen insights on market practice which makes it easier for the clients to make decisions based on the advice provided.’

Key clients

The Coca-Cola Beverages Philippines

Advantage Partners

Keppel Infrastructure Trust and Metro Pacific Investments Corporation

Partners Group

International Finance Corporation

Public Investment Fund

Work highlights

  • Advised International Finance Corporation, IFC Emerging Asia Fund, LP and Indigo Philippines LLC, an affiliate of private equity firm Indigo Partners LLC, on the private placement of $250m convertible bonds due 2027 by low-cost carrier Cebu Air, Inc. listed on the Philippines Stock Exchange.
  • Advised Partners Group, on behalf of its clients, on the joint establishment of a telecommunications infrastructure platform, Unity Digital Infrastructure, in partnership with Aboitiz InfraCapital of the Aboitiz Group.
  • Advised Keppel Infrastructure Trust and Metro Pacific Investments Corporation on the acquisition of Philippine Tank Storage International Holdings, which owns the largest petroleum products import storage facility in the Philippines, the Philippine Coastal Storage & Pipeline Corp.

China > Dispute resolution: Arbitration: foreign firms

Clifford Chance LLP is noted for its astute handling of complex commercial disputes for a varied mix of domestic and international companies, financial institutions, investment funds and private equity firms. The department’s recent workload demonstrates a particular strength in arbitration administered by the Hong Kong International Arbitration Centre (HKIAC), though it is also experienced in matters relating to other sets of arbitration rules. It specialises in China-related disputes and is able to conduct arbitral proceedings in Chinese, with Lei Shi being a key contact for both PRC and multi-jurisdictional work; Shi splits time between Shanghai and Beijing. The teams in mainland China and Hong Kong operate seamlessly as one; Cameron Hassall leads the greater China group and is based in Hong Kong and Sydney.

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Other key lawyers:

Lei Shi; Nathan Zhou; Thomas Walsh (Hong Kong); Haoyang Zhang (Hong Kong); Feifei Yu (Hong Kong)

Testimonials

‘The team is professional in business, efficient in service, reasonable in billing, and provides high-quality service with a five-star recommendation.’

‘Thomas Walsh leads an excellent team and provides excellent service for Chinese clients. Zhang Haoyang is an excellent lawyer who provides the best feedback in the shortest time, and the feedback quality is extremely high.’

‘This team is always on top of everything, knows the case inside out and provides advice which is comprehensive and spot-on.’

Lei Shi and Feifei Yu are very experienced and knowledgeable. Their advice to clients is always meticulous and accurate and they are also able to come up with practical suggestions and solutions even for a difficult case. They also work with counsel closely and provide all necessary support that counsel needs from time to time.’

China > Dispute resolution: Litigation: foreign firms

An international full-service law firm, Clifford Chance LLP’s onshore practice is the culmination of decades of experience in the region. The team is led by mainland-based Lei Shi and Hong Kong-based Ling Ho and handles a broad range of commercial disputes. Shi has legal qualifications in Hong Kong, New York and on the mainland; associate Nathan Zhou is likewise qualified both in New York and on the mainland, supporting the global nature of the firm’s business. Shi, Ho, and Zhao handle a wide variety of international financial, fraud, trademark and competition disputes; consultant William Wong is highly regarded in the field of financial disputes.

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Testimonials

‘Commercially savvy, technically sound and bilingual.’

‘William Wong is extremely helpful and responsive. He also has a good grasp and understanding of clients’ needs.’

Lei Shi can grasp the key points and client needs in a short time and leads the team to complete the work on time.’

China > Fintech: foreign firms

With enviable global reach, Clifford Chance LLP‘s multi-disciplinary fintech practice includes Chinese-speaking lawyers, who advise Chinese and international clients on all aspects of innovative and complex transactions in the fintech sector. The team is able to leverage expertise in M&A, financial regulatory, antitrust, capital markets and dispute resolution. On the mainland, co-managing partner Terence Foo is a transactions expert; Tim Wang is a cross-border M&A and capital markets specialist; Kelly Gregory‘s recent experience includes advising Tencent on a number of PE and VC investment transactions in the technology and fintech space in Europe and North America. Counsel Kimi Liu is highly experienced in data and technology regulation and financial regulatory matters. Former M&A partner Hong Zhang left the firm for JunHe LLP in January 2021.

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Testimonials

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Key clients

Tencent

Xiaomi Corporation

Work highlights

  • Advised Tencent on European online-trading group BUX’s €67m funding round (led by Prosus Ventures and Tencent).
  • Advised Tencent on its financing (together with other investors) of Viva Wallet, a pan-European neobank providing localised payment and credit services to businesses across 23 European countries.
  • Advising a large US bank on the implementation of a cybersecurity grading system and identification rules for critical information infrastructure operators in the PRC.

China > Regulatory/compliance: foreign firms

Clifford Chance LLP’s Beijing-based regulatory team, co-led by Terry Yang and Lei Shi handles both non-contentious and contentious matters in a broad range of regulatory areas; its client roster features Chinese and global financial institutions, funds and multinational conglomerates which it advises on regulatory compliance matters in China. Shi regularly works alongside his colleagues in the US offices, and has notable experience in both advising Chinese companies in overseas criminal and regulatory compliance and investigations 9n Hong Kong, US and Europe, as well as advising multinational companies in China-related internal and external investigations and compliance matters. Counsel Kimi Liu is highly experienced in financial regulatory and derivatives, financial market infrastructure arrangements for accessing the China market and regulatory investigations.

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Testimonials

The team works seamlessly with other lawyers around the world to provide more specialised and localised compliance services.’

Lei Shi is able to understand client needs and provide clients with the solutions they need.’

China > TMT: foreign firms

Advising on many of the country’s most significant deals, Clifford Chance LLP‘s TMT specialists provide integrated advice across M&A, capital markets, data privacy, cybersecurity, regulatory, tax, antitrust, IP and dispute resolution; and the China team consistently works with the firm’s wider APAC and global teams on complex, cross-border TMT matters. The broad sector expertise of China's co-managing partner Terence Foo includes TMT; Tim Wang, who works across Beijing and Shanghai, acts on TMT-related cross-border M&A and capital markets deals; and Shanghai-based partner Kelly Gregory‘s recent experience includes advising Tencent on private equity and venture capital investments in the technology and fintech space. In Hong Kong, the recent highlights of Liu Fang include advising Bilibili and JD.com on their secondary listings, and further partner-level support is provided by Asia IP head Ling Ho. Notable growth includes the May 2021 elevation of Beijing’s Yufei Liao, a technology-focused transactions lawyer, to partner.

Testimonials

Clifford Chance’s separate regulatory and IP teams in Hong Kong enable them to provide professional and comprehensive legal support for any type of work that a project may involve.

Key clients

Tencent

Xiaomi Group

Ping An Good Doctor

JD.com

Haier Smart Home

Genetron

Harbour BioMed

Archosaur Games

Hang Seng Investment Management

CSOP Asset Management

Work highlights

  • Advised Tencent, as the co-lead investor, lead investor and existing shareholder of Yuanfudao, on the Series G, G-1 and G-2 financings of Yuanfudao, a Chinese online education platform.
  • Advised the joint sponsors and underwriters, including Morgan Stanley, Bank of America and China Renaissance Securities, on short video social platform Kuaishou Technology’s $5.4bn IPO and listing on the main board of the Hong Kong Stock Exchange.
  • Advised Hang Seng Investment Management on the launch of the Hang Seng TECH Index ETF.

China > Intellectual property: foreign firms

With over 40 years’ on-the-ground experience in Greater China, Clifford Chance LLP‘s broad IP practice is an integral part of its offering. Led by Hong Kong-based IP specialist, Ling Ho, the Greater China and Asia-Pacific IP group assists with the full suite of contentious and non-contentious IP matters, from the complex IP aspects of business-critical projects, transactions and disputes. In Shanghai, Lei Shi has impressive credentials in IP litigation in both the Hong Kong and China courts. Corporate counsel Yi Yang is experienced in advising multinational clients from the pharmaceutical/healthcare, consumer goods and manufacturing industries on IP aspects of transactions.

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Testimonials

Over the years, Clifford Chance’s China IP team has demonstrated its professional prowess, based on accumulated experience in China alongside its rich international experience.

Counsel Yi Yang has convincingly proved to be a diligent and professional transactions lawyer, who has deep insights and experience in deal-related IP issues.

Work highlights

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China > Real estate and construction: foreign firms

Leveraging its finance, M&A and funds expertise, in particular, Clifford Chance‘s multi-disciplinary Hong Kong-based team is well-equipped to handle transactional China-based work throughout the investment life cycle. As well as advice on conventional office, residential and industrial buildings, the practice is also well-versed on matters involving more specialised real estate assets, including data centres, hospitals, exhibition venues and logistics centres. In addition to handling a significant amount of inbound work for international investors, the team also regularly forms an integral part of cross-office deployments for local clients on outbound matters. The team is co-headed by fund formation expert Matthias Feldmann and finance partner Dauwood Malik.

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Key clients

Cainiao Network

Partners Group

Chelsfield Asia

Phoenix Property Investors Limited

Kai Tak Sports Park Limited

Carrefour Nederland B.V.

Actis

HOPU Investments

HSBC

CK Asset Holdings Limited

Work highlights

  • Advised Kirkbi A/S (Kirk Kristiansen family’s private holding and investment company founded to build a sustainable future for the family ownership of the LEGO brand) on its partnership with Merlin Attractions Operations Limited, CMC Holdings HK Limited (an affiliate of China Media Capital) and Shanghai Guoyi Investment Management Co., Ltd. (a Chinese state-owned enterprise and affiliate of the Shanghai Jinshan district government) to establish one joint venture to develop, construct and own the Shanghai LEGOLAND Resort and a second joint venture to operate and manage the Shanghai LEGOLAND Resort.
  • Advised Kai Tak Sports Park Limited, a consortium consisting of New World Development and its subsidiary NWS Holdings, on the successful award of a 25-year contract to design, build and operate the Kai Tak Sports Park.
  • Advised the underwriters on New World Development Company Limited’s sustainability-linked bond issuance.

The firm: Clifford Chance is one of the world’s pre-eminent law firms, with significant depth and range of resources across five continents. As a single, fully integrated, global partnership, it prides itself on its approachable, collegial and team-based way of working. The firm always strives to exceed the expectations of its clients, which include corporates from all the commercial and industrial sectors, governments, regulators, trade bodies and not-for-profit organisations. It provides them with the highest quality advice and legal insight, which combines the firm’s global standards with in-depth local expertise.

Types of work undertaken
Capital markets: the capital markets practice concentrates on securities transactions and other products sold into the capital markets. The practice is founded on a full-service US and UK securities law capability, complemented by local securities law expertise in each of the key financial centres. It provides practical, integrated legal advice covering the full spectrum of global capital raising activities including public and private domestic and international offerings of traditional debt and equity securities as well as convertible and other derivative and structured securities.

Corporate: the corporate practice handles some of the world’s largest and most complex M&A transactions. It combines global transaction capability with a full service of English, US and civil law expertise in the key financial centres across Europe, the Americas and Asia Pacific. In addition to mainstream M&A, the firm also encompasses leading specialist practices in: commercial contracts, competition and antitrust, communications, energy, healthcare, financial institutions, funds, investment banking, insurance, media and technology, and private equity.

Finance: Clifford Chance’s finance practice is the leading international finance practice of any law firm. The practice provides highly commercial and practical advice across the full spectrum of financial products including syndicated lending and leveraged and acquisition finance, asset finance, derivative products, project finance, financial regulatory, insolvency, restructuring and structured finance.

Litigation, dispute resolution and risk management: the firm has experience in virtually all segments of the business and financial markets across multiple jurisdictions. The lawyers work with clients to resolve disputes efficiently and effectively – whether through arbitration, litigation or other techniques.

Real estate: Clifford Chance’s leading real estate practice offers UK, European, Asian and US real estate capability. The practice advises the real estate industry’s leading players on the entire property ‘life-cycle’ from the initial acquisition, development, leasing, joint venturing and financing through to the final exit, as well as tax structuring, PFI/PPP, corporate outsourcing, planning, environment and litigation.

Tax, pensions, employment and incentives: Clifford Chance has one of the world’s largest international tax groups within a single law firm. The firm is uniquely placed to provide leading edge advice to clients, and the practice is structured on an integrated global basis. Local tax groups within the practice work closely with areas such as securitisation, securities, M&A, corporate restructuring, private equity, real estate and funds.

The pan-European VAT group advises on all areas of VAT and has particular strength advising on novel and complex issues in the structured finance, financial services, corporate finance and real estate sectors.

The team of experienced employment, employee benefits, ERISA, immigration and pensions specialists work with clients from a wide range of sectors to address local and cross-border issues.

International offices: Abu Dhabi, Amsterdam, Bangkok, Barcelona, Beijing, Brussels, Bucharest, Casablanca, Dubai, Düsseldorf, Frankfurt, Hong Kong, Istanbul, Jakarta*, London, Luxembourg, Madrid, Milan, Moscow, Munich, New York, Paris, Perth, Prague, Rome, São Paulo, Seoul, Shanghai, Singapore, Sydney, Tokyo, Warsaw, Washington, D.C., Riyadh**

*Linda Widyati & Partners in association with Clifford Chance

**Clifford Chance has a co-operation agreement with Abuhimed Alsheikh Alhagbani Law Firm in Riyadh

Number of partners : 550
Number of other fee-earners : 3,300

Advice To My Younger Self: Reflections of Successful Women Lawyers

Women lawyers open up about their careers and defining choices

Advice To My Younger Self: Reflections of Successful Women Lawyers is published by The Legal 500‘s GC Magazine in collaboration with Clifford Chance. Now in its second release, the book is a practical resource for anyone interested in charting a successful career path at a law firm or by moving in-house. It features interviews with 20 women partners, alumnae and in-house counsel, with additional contributions from members of Clifford Chance’s senior management and US-based recruiting team. Visit our website to learn more about practical tips for building your career.

http://www.legal500.com/clifford-chance/advice-to-my-younger-self


RISING LAWYERS open up about their priorities and strategies for success

Their Voices: Insights from Today’s Rising Lawyers by The Legal 500‘s GC Magazine in collaboration with Clifford Chance. Geared primarily for students and junior lawyers, the book is a practical resource for those considering law school or just beginning a legal career. Twenty junior lawyers offer diverse perspectives on what inspires them about the law, and the strategies that are helping them stay in touch with their priorities and define the future of their careers. Their Voices also provides insights for senior lawyers as they mentor the next generation of leaders.

http://www.legal500.com/clifford-chance/their-voices