The Legal 500

Twitter Logo Youtube Circle Icon LinkedIn Icon

Clifford Chance

27TH FLOOR JARDINE HOUSE, ONE CONNAUGHT PLACE, HONG KONG
Tel:
Work +852 2825 8888
Fax:
Fax +852 2825 8800
DX:
DX-9005-IC
Email:
Web:
https://www.cliffordchance.com

Hong Kong

Asset finance (including aviation and shipping finance)
Aviation finance - ranked: tier 2

Clifford Chance

While it lacks the partner depth in Hong Kong of some of its competitors, Clifford Chance's one-partner team is an integral part of the firm's overarching Asia-Pacific aviation finance offering, which draws on specialist practitioners based in mainland China, Japan, Singapore and Australia. The team is particularly attuned to the demands of banking and lessor clients and remains the firm of choice for many of the most significant players in the market, including CMB Financial Leasing, GE Capital Aviation Services and Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA). 'Excellent' team head Paul Greenwell has been very active on behalf of SMBC Aviation Capital, and recently acted for it on the sale of one aircraft to Tibet Financial Leasing and the related lease novation with Beijing Capital Airlines. The team is also noted for its ability to handle big-ticket structured finance transactions, including its recent representation of Avolon on a $768m asset-backed securitisation backed by a portfolio of 41 mid-life aircraft.

Leading individuals

Paul Greenwell - Clifford Chance

[back to top]

Banking and finance
Banking and finance - ranked: tier 1

Clifford Chance

Clifford Chance has an outstanding reputation undertaking landmark and highly complex financing transactions in Greater China, and further afield across the Asia-Pacific region, for financial institutions and borrowers. Its wide-ranging expertise spans areas such as project finance, export credit finance, real estate finance and structured finance, among many others. Dauwood Malik, who has a focus on syndicated finance, assists the Asia Pacific Loan Market Association with drafting their template English and Hong Kong law primary documents for syndicated loans. Other key figures in the group include Matthew Truman, Anthony Wang, consultant Clara Shirota and senior associate Charlotte Leung, who were part of a cross-border group that recently advised the arrangers on the acquisition finance arrangements associated with the acquisition and privatisation of Global Logistic Properties by a consortium of investors. Another notable individual is Maggie Lo, who acted for Ping An Bank and China CITIC Bank as the arrangers on the financing of the acquisition of Wall Street English by CITIC Capital and Baring Private Equity Asia from Pearson. The firm also acts for clients such as Export-Import Bank of China, China Development Bank and CVC Asia Pacific. Consultant Vicky Ma is also highly recommended.

Leading individuals

Anthony Wang - Clifford Chance

Matthew Truman - Clifford Chance

Next generation lawyers

Clara Shirota - Clifford Chance

Vicky Ma - Clifford Chance

[back to top]

Corporate (including M&A)
Corporate (including M&A) - ranked: tier 1

Clifford Chance

'Go-to law firm'¬†Clifford Chance¬†has been among the market-leaders in Greater China since it first established an on-the-ground presence more than 35 years ago. Its team is 'highly dependable' in headline transactions, which span private and public M&A, domestic matters, China inbound and outbound deals, and other multi-jurisdictional transactions. The firm's Asia-Pacific corporate practice is led by¬†Andrew Whan, who has been based in the region for more than 15 years. In 2017, Whan led a team that included senior associates Brian Harley¬†and¬†Benedict Taylor¬†in acting for for Hong Kong-based O Luxe Holdings on a Series B $60m investor round in the Los Angeles-based Divergent 3D. In addition, Whan also co-led a group that included senior associates¬†Maureen Ho¬†and¬†Alice Tang¬†in advising Goodbaby China Holdings on the disposal of baby-care products retailer Oasis Dragon to Goodbaby International for $360m. Other names to note include¬†Virginia Lee¬†and¬†Frank Yuen, who were among the advisers to a joint venture, consisting of CK infrastructure Holdings and CK Asset Holdings, on its ‚ā¨6.2bn acquisition of ista International from CVC Capital Partners Fund V.¬†Neeraj Budhwani¬†and others recently acted for China Everbright on its acquisition of Norwegian public transport operator Boreal Holdings AS from Cube Infrastructure Managers.¬†Emma Davies,¬†Amy Ho¬†and recently promoted partner¬†Bryan Koo¬†are also recommended.

Leading individuals

Amy Ho - Clifford Chance

Emma Davies - Clifford Chance

[back to top]

Insurance
Insurance - ranked: tier 3

Clifford Chance

Amy Ho heads up the team at Clifford Chance, which acts for clients including BNP Paribas and AXA. In recent work, the team advised China Life Insurance on its $250m issuance of dated subordinated capital notes, the first deal following the switch of the regulatory oversight to the newly set up Insurance Authority. It also advised the underwriters, including HSBC, Morgan Stanley and Deutsche Bank, on the $500m issuance of  securities by CCB Life Insurance.

[back to top]

Intellectual property
Intellectual property - ranked: tier 4

Clifford Chance

Drawing on the firm's vast roster of major international corporate clients, as well as generating its own work, Clifford Chance regularly handles strategic brand portfolio management for clients relating to their business activities throughout Greater China, as well as advising on IP transactional work, whether it be in relation to IP due diligence concomitant with M&A handled by the firm, or in terms of the commercialisation of IP, including advice on technology transfer and licensing agreements. Team head Ling Ho leverages her general litigation expertise to provide a strong service to clients on enforcement matters and is regularly involved in non-contentious matters, including her representation of New World on the management of its trade mark portfolio in Hong Kong and China. Consultant Lei Shi is recommended for her PRC-related IP work and regularly defends and enforces clients' IP before the Chinese and Hong Kong courts. Clients include Aston Martin, Henkel and Richemont.

Leading individuals

Ling Ho - Clifford Chance

[back to top]

Investment funds
Investment funds - ranked: tier 1

Clifford Chance

Clifford Chance has a market-leading practice that is synonymous with many of the most notable first-to-the-market and big-ticket fund launches in Greater China and across the Asia-Pacific region. It has a dominant reputation in various fund types, namely hedge funds, private equity funds, real estate funds and registered funds. Global practice head Mark Shipman is a member of the Executive Committee of AIMA, the Technical Sub-Committee of the HKVCA, the Regulatory Sub-Committee of HKIFA, and the EMPEA Asia Council. He is also a member of Hong Kong’s Financial Services Development Council and a member of the Advisory Committee and Products Advisory Committee to the Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission (SFC). In 2017, Matthias Feldmann and senior associate Benjamin Lohr were among the advisers to Allianz Real Estate on its investment in Redwood Japan Logistics Fund II LP, a Japan-specific fund managed by pan-Asian warehouse builder e-Shang Redwood. In another highlight, Feldmann and Lohr are currently assisting Chelsfield ASIA's management team with fundraising for Chelsfield Asia Fund I, which has raised capital commitments of $228m at the time of writing. Other clients of the practice include PIMCO, Vanguard, Neuberger Berman Asia and Deutsche Asset Management. Rocky Mui and Viola Lui were recently promoted to consultants. Senior associate Albert Fu (who is a member of the Beijing funds team but is currently on secondment in Hong Kong) has expertise in offshore PE funds, hedge funds and RMB funds. He is currently working with Shipman on fund mandates related to the Chinese Belt and Road Initiative. Senior consultant Teresa Leung is also recommended.

Leading individuals

Mark Shipman - Clifford Chance

Matthias Feldmann - Clifford Chance

[back to top]

Labour and employment
Labour and employment - ranked: tier 3

Clifford Chance

Leveraging the firm's corporate and litigation expertise in particular, in addition to being able to tap into resources spread throughout the firm's vast international network of offices, Clifford Chance provides 'very responsive and accessible service' across the gamut of employment issues to an impressive roster of clients including Shell, the University of Hong Kong and CVC Asia Pacific. 'Helpful and proactive' team head Anita Lam has expertise across a wide range of employment matters and has recently been advising a financial services client in handling several whistleblowing complaints, and, alongside 'very personable and professional' general litigator Brian Gilchrist, is representing Edmond de Rothschild in the defence of claims brought by a former senior executives for outstanding performance fees of over HK$40m. 'Very accessible' senior associate Rachel Cheng is also recommended.

[back to top]

Private equity
Private equity - ranked: tier 1

Clifford Chance

Praised for its 'nuanced and subtle approach' to managing transactions, Clifford Chance handles a significant volume of mandates for international private equity sponsors such as Carlyle and TPG, and regional funds including Actis and Affinity, on their Asia-based transactions. Working closely with the firm's pre-eminent finance team on leveraged deals, and able to tap into the firm's global network of offices, the team is a natural choice for clients on big-ticket cross-border mandates. As head of the firm's Asia-Pacific corporate and M&A practice, Andrew Whan regularly handles private equity transactions; he recently advised Unitas Capital on the $30m disposal of its restaurant chain business in China to Greentree Inns Hotel Management Group via auction sale. Neeraj Budhwani also has an excellent reputation in the region in relation to both investments and exits; he recently acted for CVC on its $330m disposal of SPi Global to Partners Group. Bryan Koo recently made partner.

Leading individuals

Andrew Whan  - Clifford Chance

Neeraj Budhwani - Clifford Chance

[back to top]

Real estate
Real estate - ranked: tier 1

Clifford Chance

Clifford Chance's team is part of a regional real estate, gaming and lodging practice. Recent work includes advising the arrangers, led by Citigroup and Goldman Sachs, on the acquisition financing arrangements of SGX-listed company Global Logistic Properties, Asia's largest warehouse operator and real estate funds manager. Clara Tang is singled out; Cherry Chan has retired. Chelsfield Group, Grosvenor and HSBC also instruct the team.

Leading individuals

Clara Tang - Clifford Chance

[back to top]

Regulatory
Regulatory - ranked: tier 1

Clifford Chance

Clifford Chance's growing team has seen the promotion to partner of¬†Terry Yang¬†and the promotion to consultant of¬†Viola Lui¬†and Rocky Mui. The practice is noted for its ability to ‚Äėcombine regulatory and technical derivatives knowledge‚Äô, have acted for Standard Chartered in a number of regulatory matters involving two fraud schemes perpetrated by various former employees and former customers, successfully obtaining a Mareva injunction in one case, freezing a total amount of more than $26m in the defendant's banks in Hong Kong. The team also advised the bank on the first Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) investigation of Financial Resources Rules (FRR) breaches that involves amounts receivable from a general clearing participant. Mark Shipman¬†is singled out, alongside¬†Matthias Feldmann, who¬†is both ‚Äėcommercial and practical‚Äô. Clients also include Goldman Sachs, UBS and RBS.

Leading individuals

Mark Shipman - Clifford Chance

[back to top]

Regulatory: anti-corruption and compliance
Regulatory: anti-corruption and compliance - ranked: tier 2

Clifford Chance

Head of the Asia Pacific anti-corruption practice Wendy Wysong leads the team at Clifford Chance. It counts multinationals such as Carlyle among its clients, which received advice on anti-bribery and corruption, anti-money laundering, and economic sanctions due diligence in the context of two investments in the Chinese internet technology sector. Other recent work includes compliance due diligence on potential joint venture partners in the iron ore and nickel production industry, where the team acts for a client in the metals and mining sector.

Leading individuals

Wendy Wysong - Clifford Chance

[back to top]

Restructuring and insolvency
Restructuring and insolvency - ranked: tier 2

Clifford Chance

Leveraging the firm's huge international network, in addition to being able to tap into the expertise of lawyers based out of Hong Kong with litigation, regulatory, finance and corporate expertise, Clifford Chance is well-placed to handle multi-jurisdictional insolvencies/restructurings with a pan-Asian nexus. 'Excellent team head Scott Bache has strong ties with numerous funds clients and banks, including Orchard Capital Partners which he is representing on a series of complex restructurings and recapitalisation plans for Terracom, a coal miner with projects in Mongolia and Australia. Bache also recently acted for a syndicate of banks, including BNP Paribas, in relation to their exposure to Mongolian Mining Corporation. Other highlights include representing the liquidators of certain entities in the Pacific Andes group, including with respect to ongoing US bankruptcy proceedings of other entities within the group. Consultant Joanna Charter is also recommended.

Leading individuals

Scott Bache - Clifford Chance

[back to top]

Structured finance and securitisation
Structured finance and securitisation - ranked: tier 2

Clifford Chance

With three partners based in Hong Kong, and able to leverage the expertise of lawyers in mainland China and across the firm's global network, Clifford Chance is well-placed to advise banks, securities houses, regulators, trade bodies, trustees and investors on the gamut of complex derivatives, structured products and securitisation transactions and regulatory matters. Team head Francis Edwards has vast and varied experience in structured finance transactions in the Greater China market, including repackagings and credit and equity derivative deals, as well as in the evolution of regulatory change, particularly as it relates to the OTC derivatives market. Edwards recently advised Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing on the launch for trading on the Hong Kong Futures Exchange of physically settled Gold Futures contracts denominated in offshore renminbi and US Dollars. On the transactional front, he also has expertise in advising private equity clients on the utilisation of derivatives products as a potential hedge in relation to corporate financing transactions. Connie Heng heads the firm’s Asia-Pacific capital markets practice, and has a strong reputation for handling structured finance matters. Terry Yang handles work for both buy- and sell-side clients on structured note investments, margin financing transactions and cross-border acquisitions involving OTC derivatives. Clients include Bank of China, Credit Suisse, CVC and Goldman Sachs.

Leading individuals

Francis Edwards - Clifford Chance

[back to top]

Tax and trusts
Tax and trusts - ranked: tier 2

Clifford Chance

'One the best firms in Hong Kong for dealing with all kinds of tax, trusts and probate work', Clifford Chance is best-known for its tax litigation offering, which provides 'a systematic analysis of the legal aspects of a case, as well as of its practical and commercial implications'. 'Very knowledgeable about Hong Kong tax law', Elaine Chen has 'a great deal of experience in dealing with officers of the Hong Kong Inland Revenue department and courts'. Brian Gilchrist heads the office's overall litigation department and has vast tax litigation expertise; he provides 'incredibly practical advice and knows how to handle difficult scenarios'. Consultant Alex Wong is 'a top-class lawyer' and 'excellent team player' who regularly advises taxpayers on their disputes with the Inland Revenue with an emphasis on profits tax-related issues.

Leading individuals

Brian Gilchrist - Clifford Chance

[back to top]

Hong Kong: Capital markets

Capital markets (debt)
Capital markets (debt) - ranked: tier 1

Clifford Chance

Clifford Chance consistently distinguishes itself in the market by excelling in the most groundbreaking and innovative bond issuances, and other complex offerings. The firm's top-tier status is also underscored by the breadth and depth of its coverage of a wide range of products across a multitude of industries. Connie Heng leads the team, which has a stellar record in issuances of Reg S/Rule 144A bonds, high-yield bonds, hybrid securities and the establishment of medium term note programmes, among other areas. It also assists clients with navigating complex credit enhancement structures, such as the keepwell deed and the standby letter of credit. Matthew Fairclough  is particularly knowledgeable about regulatory issues impacting banks in the Asia-Pacific region, including those centred on regulatory capital, and he is also a name to note for liability management transactions. Richard Lee and Alexander Lloyd are recommended for their strong capabilities in pan-Asian high-yield debt transactions. Other strong partners include Fang Liu, Angela Chan and David Tsai; consultants Corey Zhang, Mark Chan and James Booth are also highly rated. The firm acts for a wide variety of clients, such as Chinese state-owned enterprises, overseas-based corporates and local government financing vehicles.

Leading individuals

Connie Heng - Clifford Chance

Matthew Fairclough - Clifford Chance

Next generation lawyers

Mark Chan - Clifford Chance

[back to top]

Capital markets (equity)
Capital markets (equity) - ranked: tier 1

Clifford Chance

Between 2012 and 2017, Clifford Chance handled 19 out of 35 Hong Kong IPOs where the offering size was circa $1bn or above. Amy Lo and Beijing-based Tim Wang jointly led a team that included Liu Fang, consultant Christine Xu and Lawrence Zhang in advice to the joint sponsors and underwriters (including Morgan Stanley, Bank of America Merrill Lynch and Credit Suisse) on China Literature's $1.1bn spin-off listing on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange. The firm has handled other high-profile listings, as was evidenced when Virginia Lee and others acted for the joint global coordinators in BOCOM International's $230m IPO and listing on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange; this matter represented the first listing of a securities brokerage business on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange by a PRC bank. Another highlight involved acting for the joint sponsors on Shandong International Trust's $378m IPO, the first-ever Hong Kong IPO of a Chinese trust company. The firm also has strong US law capabilities, encompassing SEC-registered offerings as well as Regulation S and Rule 144A deals; Fang was one of the lead advisers to the underwriters (led by Jefferies) on Secoo's $110.5m IPO and listing of American depositary shares on the Nasdaq Global Market. Complementing the firm's strong underwriter-side capabilities is its excellent work for corporates. Frank Yuen is another key figure in the team, which also advises clients on public takeovers and pre- and post-IPO fundraisings.

Leading individuals

Amy Lo - Clifford Chance

[back to top]

Hong Kong: Dispute resolution

Dispute resolution: international arbitration
Dispute resolution: international arbitration - ranked: tier 1

Clifford Chance

Cameron Hassall heads the team at Clifford Chance. Jointly with consultant Thomas Walsh, he has been advising an Asian private equity fund in two ICC arbitration tribunals regarding the ownership of a fund with multibillion-dollars of committed capital, one of the most complex and high-value arbitrations in Hong Kong in 2018. Apart from a focus on private equity-related disputes, the team predominantly handles contentious work in the banking and finance, energy and infrastructure sectors.

Leading individuals

Cameron Hassall - Clifford Chance

Next generation lawyers

Thomas Walsh - Clifford Chance

[back to top]

Dispute resolution: litigation
Dispute resolution: litigation - ranked: tier 1

Clifford Chance

Brian Gilchrist heads the team at Clifford Chance, which acts for clients  such as Citibank, the Fok Family, BNP Paribas and Nezu Asia. Recent work includes advising a major UK financial institution, including providing crisis management advice, upon its discovery of an internal fraudulent scheme being perpetrated against the bank for more than 15 years resulting in the misappropriation of approximately $30m from the accounts of customers and the bank. The team is also representing a major US financial institution in defending a claim brought by a client for alleged mis-selling of $55-65m worth of equity accumulators in 2007. Consultant William Wong is also singled out.

Leading individuals

Brian Gilchrist - Clifford Chance

Next generation lawyers

William Wong - Clifford Chance

[back to top]


Further information on Clifford Chance

Please choose from this list to view details of what we say about Clifford Chance in other jurisdictions.

United Arab Emirates

Offices in Abu Dhabi and Dubai

Angola

Australia

Offices in Sydney and Perth

Belgium

Offices in Brussels

China

Offices in Shanghai and Beijing

Czech Republic

Offices in Prague

Germany

Offices in D√ľsseldorf, Frankfurt, and Munich

Algeria

Spain

Offices in Madrid and Barcelona

France

Offices in Paris

Ghana

Hong Kong

Offices in Hong Kong

Iran

Indonesia

Offices in Jakarta

Latin America: International firms

India

Italy

Offices in Rome and Milan

Japan

Offices in Tokyo

London

Offices in London E14 and London EC2R

Luxembourg

Offices in Luxembourg

Morocco

Offices in Casablanca

Malaysia

Mozambique

Netherlands

Offices in Amsterdam

Philippines

Poland

Offices in Warsaw

Qatar

Offices in Doha

Asia Pacific: Regional International Arbitration

Romania

Offices in Bucharest

Russia

Offices in Moscow

Singapore

Offices in Singapore

South Korea

Offices in Seoul

Saudi Arabia

Offices in Riyadh

Tunisia

Turkey

Offices in Istanbul

United States

Offices in Washington DC and New York

Vietnam

Legal Developments by:
Clifford Chance

Legal Developments in Hong Kong

Legal Developments and updates from the leading lawyers in each jurisdiction. To contribute, send an email request to