DLA Piper > Hong Kong, Hong Kong > Firm Profile

DLA Piper
25th Floor, Three Exchange Square
8 Connaught Place
Central, Hong Kong
Hong Kong

Hong Kong > Domestic and International Corporate Tax Tier 1

The tax group at DLA Piper in Hong Kong has a wealth of experience assisting global clients with devising and implementing tax-efficient strategies. It provides an excellent end-to-end user service, which makes it a strong choice for advice on M&A-related tax matters, and inbound and outbound investments, as well as transfer pricing. Beyond work for corporate clients, the firm also assists high-net-worth individuals with private wealth management and global estate planning. Anderson Lam is experienced in assisting businesses with structuring their operations in a tax-efficient manner, and is notably active in matters with a cross-border dimension. Daniel Chan advises domestic and international clients on PRC-related tax matters, with a focus on supply chain management, distribution and retail.

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Hong Kong > Banking and finance Tier 2

DLA Piper is well regarded in the market for the financing of energy-related transactions, both conventional and renewables. It has recently seen an uptick in ESG-linked financing and green lending, and is active in the telecoms, media and fintech sectors. Matthias Schemuth heads the practice and handles a range of innovative financings for international and regional commercial banks, multilateral lending agencies, export credit agencies (ECAs) and corporate borrowers. Matthew Worth was promoted to partner in July 2020 and Ed Sheremeta joined from Ropes & Gray LLP in November 2020. Since publication, Crystal Chen joined from Linklaters in May 2022.

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Testimonials

‘The team is friendly and helpful’.

‘They are practical, creative and solutions-orientated’.

‘Overall, I find them very user-friendly from a client perspective’.

‘Matthias Schemuth has good knowledge on a full range of trade finance product and is always willing to share market intel on how other banks/clients have dealt with the issue’.

‘I highly enjoy working with Matthias.’

‘The team provides a rare combination of English and Hong Kong law expertise together with experience in the Asian market with Asian clients’.

‘DLA offers commercial and practical advice, their knowledge is good and their services are value for money’.

Key clients

BBVA

DBS Bank

DZ Bank

Rabobank

Deutsche Bank

Société Générale

ANZ

ICBC Asia

Hang Seng Bank

Standard Chartered Bank

Sumitomo Mitsui Trust Bank

HSBC

China Merchants Bank

Natixis

Asian Development Bank

Bank of Communications

Bank of China

Intesa Sanpaolo

Work highlights

  • Advising Bank of China (Macau), one of the four largest state-owned commercial banks in China, in connection with the amendment and restatement (including a one-of-a-kind $1bn incremental facility) in respect of a $2bn revolving unsecured credit facility (including a bespoke swingline feature) made available to Sands China, the leading developer, owner and operator of multi-use integrated resorts and casinos in Macau, by a large syndicate of regional, US and European banks.
  • Advising Japan Bank for International Cooperation on a $1bn untied loan facility made available to State Bank of India (SBI) for the purpose of financing the granting of sub-loans by SBI for the manufacturing and sales business of Japanese OEMs, the automotive dealers as well as for the provision of auto loans for the purchase of Japanese automobiles.
  • Advising DBS Bank in connection with the $630m financing to Hutchison 3 Indonesia and guaranteed by CK Hutchison Holdings in relation to financing of the Network Expansion Program in Indonesia being developed and completed by Huawei.

Hong Kong > Investment funds Tier 2

DLA Piper has a strong reputation advising a sponsor/fund manager-focused client base on the establishment of some very sizeable alternative investment funds. Although it is well-versed across the panoply of alternative asset/investment classes, including private equity, venture capital and hedge funds, the team has recently been particularly active in advising regional fund managers on the establishment of real estate credit funds, an area of notable growth in the market as banks have decreased their lending activity in the sector. The firm has also begun to grow its investor profile and has recently advised UBS Asset Management Switzerland on its investment in GLP Japan Income Fund, one of the largest private open-ended logistics real estate income funds. Vastly experienced team head Luke Gannon is particularly experienced in advising GPs and LP investors across a range of mandates, including real estate, digital technologies and securities.

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Testimonials

Clients enjoy getting succinct and practical advice that helps them to easily achieve their commercial imperatives.’

‘Luke Gannon brings a wealth of experience and knowledge which may not be found in some of the other funds teams in Asia.’

Key clients

UBS Asset Management Switzerland

Avataar Venture Partners I

First Beijing Investment Limited

Sylebra Capital

Nine Masts Capital Limited

Sun Hung Kai & Co. Limited

COFCO Capital Group

China Ping An Insurance Overseas (Holdings) Limited

Hong Kong > Labour and employment Tier 2

DLA Piper acts for a range of employers in the banking, financial services, insurance, retail, life sciences, technology and hospitality sectors. It has recently been handling a number of COVID-19-related workplace issues, layoffs and redundancies, mental health in the workplace, harassment, bullying and discrimination matters. Leaning on its global network for strength, the practice handles mandates in Greater China and across the Asia-pacific region. Practice head Helen Colquhoun is qualified in Hong Kong, England & Wales and New York, which supports her credentials in multijurisdictional employment projects. Colquhoun has particular experience of director-level and sensitive terminations and investigations. Of counsel Wendy Wong joined from Simmons & Simmons in November 2021.

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Testimonials

Nothing phases the DLA Piper team – they approach every engagement with an open mind, whether it be a run-of-the-mill query or an unusual situation. DLA Piper are very solution-oriented – very pragmatic and commercial. For us, teaming both HK and PRC guidance was very valuable and allowed a full view of the project without having to engage multiple firms.’

Helen can always be relied on to deliver swift, reliable and tailored guidance. She has a strong appreciation of the human side of employment advice coupled with a keen appreciation of potential impacts upon the business.’

Helen Colquhoun is very professional, helpful and responsive. She always provide immediate response with professional advice and highlight any concern to our attention. She’s reliable and we are happy to get her consultation without doubt.’

Hong Kong > Projects and energy Tier 2

Spearheaded out of Hong Kong by Matthias Schemuth and also able to effectively mobilise resources throughout the region, DLA Piper is well-positioned to advise a varied array of sponsor, developer and lender clients on regional projects and infrastructure work. The team is particularly adept at assisting Chinese clients on their outbound investments into Southeast Asia, including on conventional and renewable energy projects, often involving multi-sourced financing arrangements. Carolyn Dong is able to provide a compelling mix of skills garnered through her years in-house at both Sinopec and BP, as well as in private practice, for Chinese entities in energy-related outbound investments and Sino-foreign joint ventures. Russell Wilkinson is a new addition to the team who joined from Baker Botts L.L.P. in December 2021; Wilkinson has notable experience of upstream and midstream petroleum projects, power generation and transmission projects.

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Testimonials

‘Innovative yet thorough. Use of technology is also quite useful. ’

‘The team is very knowledgeable on trade finance matters. They are also very value for money and is a good sounding board on new structures.’

‘The team is able to draw on a diverse experience pool and help formulate solutions that are win-win.’

‘Accessible, flexible and able to offer balanced advice.’

The team is very responsive and understanding the market of power business very well. The team is equipped with international and local knowledge of project financed-power precedents‘.

‘Matthias Schemuth is very knowledgable but yet always available to discuss issues and willing to think out of the box to come up with suitable compromises. ’

‘Matthias Schemuth is very knowledgeable on trade finance structures, including cross-border regulatory issues.’

Hong Kong > Real estate Tier 2

DLA Piper has an excellent record in real estate transactions in Greater China, with its offering in this space being complemented by its strong funds, finance and tax capabilities. Elsewhere, the firm is also prominent in major development projects across the Asia Pacific region, as well as lease-related matters. Reflective of its excellent reputation, the group acts for clients such as developers, funds and end-users. Its recent work included advising numerous international clients on investments into logistics and internet data centres, which are both booming areas of the market. In November 2020, the 'exceptional' Ed Sheremeta returned to the firm from Ropes & Gray LLP; he leads the 'smart and commercial' team. Another key individual is Susheela Rivers, whose diverse practice includes real estate investments and developments in the hotel, retail and mixed-use sectors. Janice Yau Garton joined Stephenson Harwood.

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Testimonials

A strong team at all levels. Smart and commercial.’

Ed Sheremeta is exceptional. Solutions-driven, bright and experienced.’

Hong Kong > Restructuring and insolvency Tier 2

DLA Piper acts for global financial institutions and corporates on major cross-border restructuring mandates in Greater China and across Asia-Pacific. It has recently seen an uptick in instructions from funds in addition to its insolvency and bank-led restructuring assignments. The practice is well known in the market for distressed work, including formal insolvency, bank workouts, and bond/note restructurings. Head of practice Mark Fairbairn is well regarded for his expertise in restructuring and special situations. Carolyn Dong counts China-based financial institutions, state-owned enterprises and major corporates among her clientele.

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Testimonials

DLA is a large organization with many partners across different specialisations. Being an international firm, DLA has been able to serve me and my clients well particularly for insolvency matters involving corporate issues and relating to the US capital market.’

‘Mark Fairbairn is definitely the lawyer to go to for difficult matters. His experience in the law and practice of insolvency and restructuring sets him far apart from his peers. He is also exceptionally proactive in thinking through challenges which we may come across in the next steps so that we are able to respond timely and appropriately.’

The team has the most depth of experience and expertise in matters of insolvency and can be depended upon to come up with creative solutions.’

‘The team is highly proficient technically and always able to come up with novel legal solutions. Moreover, this team has very strong connections especially in China that facilitates seeking out parties for talks.’

Key clients

Alvarez & Marsal

Luckin Coffee

Yihua Group

Clearwater Capital Partners

CQS

BFAM

Deutsche Bank

Jindal Steel

SSG

BlackRock Funds

Monarch Alternative Capital

China Development Bank

Work highlights

  • Acted for Jindal Steel and Power, an Australian mining group with ultimate ownership by the Jindal family of India, on its c. $800m term loan refinancing to be implemented via an Australian scheme of arrangement, acting as English counsel on the financing documents and as Australian counsel on the scheme process.
  • Acting for the ad-hoc group of holders of 1.5% convertible senior notes due 2020 issued by GNC Holdings Inc in the Chapter 11 of GNC Holdings Inc and its sale to Harbin Pharmaceutical Holding Co., Ltd.
  • Representing certain investment or funds clients who acquired bank indebtedness in the secondary market in respect of the China Fishery Group, and Monarch Alternative Capital (the leading US-based private equity firm) in respect of their exposures involving borrowings in excess of $1.6bn.

Hong Kong > TMT Tier 2

Scott Thiel leads DLA Piper's team, which advises regional and international clients on a full spectrum of strategically significant and complex projects. Thiel's private practice experience is complemented by his computer science background, making him a popular choice for advice on a wide range of IT and outsourcing projects. His recent work included advising gaming app developers on the launch, publishing and distribution of their games throughout Asia Pacific. Thiel is also at the leading edge of fintech-related work and was one of the key partners behind the development of the firm's own foray into the blockchain market with the launch of its TOKO product - a unique tokenisation engine which facilitates the buying and selling of high value assets using blockchain technology. Carolyn Bigg is a name to note for advice on data protection matters, particularly multijurisdictional compliance projects across the Asia Pacific region.

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Key clients

Olympus

Moonactive

Incyte

The Walt Disney Company

Zen Payroll

Lightricks

Barings

Marsh & McLennan Companies, Inc.

Lego Hong Kong Limited

Hong Kong > Construction Tier 3

DLA Piper is able to leverage its broad commercial litigation and corporate prowess, as well as its large international footprint, to advise a wide range of stakeholders on a variety of domestic and cross-border mandates. Drawing upon his strength in resolving commercial disputes, Harris Chan is able to handle complex construction claims (via litigation and ADR) for contractors, consultants and developers. May Ng, who is ‘capable and responsive’, co-heads the practice with Chan.

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Testimonials

‘DLA has a very strong construction practice and an unrivalled breadth of support from its global offices. The team always performed at a very high standard and is our go-to firm for high-value and complex disputes.’

‘A strong all-round practice in the construction disputes space.’

‘May Ng is very bright and very hands-on. She has excellent judgement and her advice is always very clear and commercial.’

‘May Ng  is capable, responsive and has a keen mind toward strategies for mutual settlement rather than drawing out disputes longer than they should be.’

Sandy Au is a brilliant lawyer and a very experienced construction lawyer. She is very thorough and a pleasure to work with.’

May is my main contact at DLA Piper. May is a very experienced construction and arbitration lawyer and she has always been instrumental in helping us to decide the best strategy to conduct our cases. She is extremely sharp and very approachable and her advice is concise and practical.’

Key clients

Thiess Mongolia LLC

Work highlights

  • Represented Thiess Mongolia in Hong Kong High Court proceedings for a multimillion- dollar dispute to recover payment for its mining works in Mongolia from a Hong Kong listed company and its subsidiary.

Hong Kong > Dispute resolution: litigation Tier 3

The DLA Piper litigation and regulatory team is ‘able to deploy sufficient resources round the clock’ when advising on shareholder disputes and during regulatory investigations. Department head Kevin Chan and ‘pragmatic and seasoned litigator‘ Harris Chan count large Asian banks and international names from the financial services, energy, retail and construction sectors on their client roster. Support comes from Satpal Gobindpuri, particularly on corporate matters stretching overseas, with insurance coverage and product liability other firm-wide areas of focus in this domain.

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Testimonials

‘The team is dedicated and provides adequately professional legal advice to enable the client to make timely decisions, so as to create value.’

‘Harris Chan (partner) and Sandy Au (of counsel) have extensive experience in HK litigation/disputes and understand the client’s needs very well. They provide valuable advices and solutions to the client. In addition, their services are value for money with a great flexibility in payment terms.’

‘The DLA Piper team is extremely responsive and able to deploy sufficient resources round the clock at a moment’s notice. The team is extremely clinical in what they do and they are not afraid to go the extra mile should it be required. Not only is the team able to deliver proficient advice and work, but they are also able to assess the bigger picture for us clients commercially. All in all, they are flexible, approachable and efficient.’

‘Harris Chan, KC Tai and Desmond Cheung are all extremely capable and eloquent lawyers who are at the top of their game.’

‘In particular, Harris Chan is a pragmatic and seasoned litigator who has vast experience in all kinds of civil litigation. On top of that, he understands the capital market well and is familiar with the industry practice. He is able to grasp the key of the matter quickly and is able to turn around as quickly with a solution.’

‘KC Tai is another key to the team. Business acumen comes naturally to him and he is supremely well versed in court proceedings and various applications. KC is extremely easy to work with and his communication and problem-solving skills come second to his technical knowledge with the law.’

‘Desmond Cheung is diligent and hard-working. He is able to turn around work efficiently and effectively and comprehend complex legal problems quickly.’

Satpal Gobindpuri leads a very experienced and knowledgeable team in Hong Kong who has provided us with not only advice from a legal perspective, but also counsel from a practical and commercial perspective. This has been critical for us when it came to making decisions as to how to resolve a dispute with a former client.’

Hong Kong > Regulatory: anti-corruption and compliance Tier 3

DLA Piper’s regulatory and investigations group is split between Hong Kong, Shanghai and Beijing; it focuses on representing large companies based in China and Hong Kong in internal investigations into allegations of fraud, bribery and corruption. Of recent note, the team is increasingly being retained for data-related breaches. The department is led by Sammy Fang (Hong Kong) and Nathan Bush (Singapore).

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Testimonials

‘A truly global team pulling expertise from China, Hong Kong and the US. Perfect in dealing with cross-jurisdictional regulatory matters.’       

‘Sammy Fang is a very client-friendly partner, technically strong, with excellent insights and strategic mind.’

Hong Kong > Shipping Tier 3

DLA Piper attracts a strong flow of work from Chinese and international clients, including large shipping and logistics companies. The team is praised for its ability to provide 'client-centric legal solutions in a clear and friendly manner’. Ernest Yang and Kevin Chan co-head the group in Hong Kong, which operates on an integrated basis with the Beijing and Shanghai offices. On the contentious side, the firm is prominent in shipping litigation and arbitration in Greater China and elsewhere internationally. The team's expertise includes casualty and salvage cases, as well as commodity disputes and cargo claims. Elsewhere, the firm is also sought after for advice on non-contentious matters, such as the sale and purchase of ships, shipping finance and shipbuilding.

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Testimonials

DLA Piper has a very strong and capable team of lawyers, who consistently provide exceptional, in-depth, client-centric legal solutions in a clear and friendly manner.’

The team has very rich practical experience in the field of maritime arbitration and can proficiently use relevant professional theoretical knowledge and provide customers with targeted dispute response plans based on the business demands of customers in specific cases.’

‘Ernest Yang is an exceptionally bright lawyer with a wealth of experience in shipping law matters. He is responsive and a pleasure to work with.’

A very sensible, commercial team led by Kevin Chan. Good lawyers with good judgment and client management skills.

Key clients

Bank of Communications Co.

Samsung Heavy Industries Co.

Hong Kong > Capital markets (equity) Tier 4

Led by Luke Gannon, DLA Piper‘s capital markets team is particularly adept at advising issuers, including international companies, on their Hong Kong listings. While the core ECM offering may be smaller than some of its peers, it is able to punch above its weight by virtue, not only of its ability to leverage vast international resources for cross-border deals, but also to draw upon the office’s full-service capabilities. Life sciences, consumer goods and technology are particular sector strengths. The team was bolstered by the arrival in March 2021 of Arthur Tso from Kirkland & Ellis, particularly in light of his credentials advising Chinese companies on Hong Kong listings, and in November 2021 of George Wu from Herbert Smith Freehills who has particular experience advising on IPOs, and follow-on offerings in Hong Kong and US capital markets.

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Key clients

Mont Avenir Capital Limited

China Ping An Group

Benchmark

Valuable Capital

Maxim Group

China Merchants Securities (HK)

AMTD No8 BOC International

Hangzhou Qiantang New Area Construction and Investment Group

WiMi Hologram Cloud Inc.

Guangdong-Hong Kong Greater Bay Area Holdings Limited

Kunlun Energy Company Ltd

BAIOO Family Interactive Limited

Besunyen Holdings Company Limited

Chengdu Expressway Co., Ltd.

Tian Ge Interactive Holdings Limited

SouthGobi Resources Ltd

Luye Group

Dadi International Group Ltd

Work highlights

  • Advised Mont Avenir Capital, as the sole sponsor and sole global co-ordinator, on the HK$872m global offering and listing of Newlink Technology Inc. on the Main Board of the Hong Kong Stock Exchange.
  • Advised China Ping An Group on the $2.36bn initial US public offering and listing on the New York Stock Exchange.
  • Advised Air China on the HK$39bn recapitalization plan for Cathay Pacific.

Hong Kong > Intellectual property Tier 4

With a presence in the PRC, DLA Piper’s Hong Kong IP team is well placed to handle cross-border mandates for large international brands entering the Chinese and wider Asian markets. The practice has a strong focus on trademark work and is well equipped to handle strategy, trademark prosecution, and trademark litigation and enforcement work. Edward Chatterton heads the team and is recommended for brand protection matters.

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Key clients

McDonald’s Corporation

Five Guys Enterprises

Moet Hennessy

Manolo Blahnik International

Avon Products Inc.

Orkla

Pokerstars

Papa John’s

Gweilo

HSBC

G&W Distilling

Gemological Institute of America (“GIA”)

Efes

Work highlights

  • Providing HSBC with ongoing advice in relation to the full range of trademark and brand protection matters across Asia.
  • Advising on Avon’s trademark portfolio in China and Hong Kong, including providing filing strategy for house mark and core brands, regular monitoring of third party hijacks, enforcement action plan against hijackers/infringers, and handling all proceedings before the China Trademark Office, Trademark Review and Adjudication Board, and Chinese courts.
  • Advising Manolo Blahnik on all of its trademark matters globally.

Hong Kong > Private equity Tier 5

DLA Piper is well known in the marketplace for buyouts, exits and other private equity transactions, servicing clients internationally. As part of an integrated international team with offices in Beijing and Shanghai, the team is well placed to handle a mix of China and international deals. Luke Gannon and Gloria Liu who is recommended for cross-border private equity-led M&A, jopintly head the team.

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Key clients

China Merchants Capital

EQT

Gaocheng Capital

Macquarie Asia Infrastructure Fund

Goldman Sachs

Lilly Asia Ventures

New Enterprise Associates

Qiming Venture Capital

SAIF Partners

Scientia Technologies Limited

Sylebra Capital

Wise Road Capital

China Ping An Insurance Overseas (Holdings) Limited

Work highlights

  • Advised Gaocheng Fund I, L.P. on its pre-IPO acquisition of shares of Tuya Inc., a leading global IoT cloud platform which recently closed highly successful IPO on the New York Stock Exchange with market capitalization over $10 billion.
  • Assisted Sylebra Capital with its PIPE investment in Roth CH Acquisition I Co, in the aggregate amount of US$250 million in connection with the SPAC acquisition of PureCycle Technologies.
  • Advised SINO-BLR Industrial Investment Fund, L.P. as a preferred shareholder of Innoviz Technologies, in the investment portfolio company’s de-SPAC merger transaction with a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) Collective Growth Corporation

China > Dispute resolution: Litigation: foreign firms Tier 2

DLA Piper fields a team of dedicated practitioners with deep knowledge in a range of proceedings. Apart from shareholder and director disputes, the practice also handles private client litigation at a domestic and international level. Led by Kevin Chan in Hong Kong, who has more than 20 years of experience representing international companies in complex commercial disputes, the team has considerable expertise in multi-jurisdictional work, benefitting from the support of members based in Shanghai and Beijing in addition to the firm’s offshore presence. Also noted at the partner level are Harris Chan, who has a broad disputes practice covering issues between shareholders and directors, construction disputes and internet fraud, and Satpal Gobindpuri, well regarded for his extensive knowledge of commercial disputes involving product liability, trade mark, fraud and trade.

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Key clients

Dymocks Franchise Systems (China) Limited

Everwill Industrial

Haitong

Huarong

Huatai Financial Holdings (Hong Kong) Limited

Industrial and Commercial Bank of China

Industrial Bank

MHK Restaurants Limited

Sand Aire Limited

China > Fintech: foreign firms Tier 2

DLA Piper‘s Hong Kong-based fintech practice is ‘very familiar with blockchain technology, decentralised finance and cryptocurrency‘. The group acts across a range of matters, including payments, robo advisory, alternative payments, security and digital assets, and the operation of crypto-currency exchanges and other online platforms. In late 2021, Kristi Swartz, instrumental in developing Hong Kong’s fintech ecosystem, joined from now-closed Swartz, Binnersley & Associates, to head the fintech practice; and within the associate pool, Winson Lau is a fintech and digital assets practitioner, whose workload frequently involves analysing regulatory licensing and compliance requirements and Angele Lok‘s experience includes advising on tokenisation and related blockchain matters. During 2022, of counsel Alice Li, an emerging and disruptive technologies expert, was recruited from Deacons, while former Asia head of the firm’s global technology and fintech sector initiative, Scott Thiel , moved to lead TOKO, the firm’s digital asset creation engine.

Practice head(s):

Kristi Swartz

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Testimonials

‘The team is very familiar with blockchain technology, decentralised finance and cryptocurrency, as well as their application to current securities law in different countries.’

‘Relevant knowledge in this area, saving clients a lot of time and effort.’

‘Kristi Swartz is very responsive and able to guide us properly, while connecting with the right people to get the legal work done within the time frame.’

Key clients

Calcite

Zheng He Capital Management

Shyft Network

LORA Technologies

Firework Games Entertainment

MV Art

Dentsu UK

MOBOX Digital Co

Work highlights

  • Advised Calcite on one of Asia’s first tokenisations of private debt.
  • Acted for Zheng He Capital Management on the creation and structuring of a new fund to facilitate the tokenisation of real-world assets, namely an art collection.
  • Assisting Shyft Network, in collaboration with TOKO, with on-chain due diligence verification for virtual asset service providers.

China > Investment funds: foreign firms Tier 3

With a range of specialists, DLA Piper‘s investment fund practice is distinguishable for its geographical spread, advising clients on Hong Kong, UK, US, Australia and PRC law, while covering China-based hedge, real estate, and private equity fund formation issues. Leading the Asia funds and investment management practice is Hong Kong-based Luke Gannon, noted for his vast experience handling high-profile fund deals.

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Key clients

UBS Asset Management Switzerland

Tianyan Capital

CLSA Asset Management

Phoenix Property Investors

Avataar

Sylebra HK Company Limited

Work highlights

  • Advising on UBS Asset Management Switzerland’s investment in $2.5 billion PAG Real Estate Partners III.
  • Advising on Tianyan Capital’s formation and launch of two hedge funds through single-legged master feeder fund structures.
  • Advising on UBS Asset Management Switzerland’s investment in $4 billion Blackstone Real Estate Partners Asia III LP.

China > Projects and energy: foreign firms Tier 3

Benefiting from a ‘highly knowledgeable‘ team, DLA Piper draws from its combined international and Greater China presence, handling outbound investments for major Chinese clients with respect to South East Asia. Matthias Schemuth heads the team with over 16 years of experience handling infrastructure financing matters in relation to the energy, mining, and metal sectors, regularly acting for sponsors, developers and multilateral lending agencies. Also a key contact, Carolyn Dong acts as the firm’s China energy head, specializing in major project mandates as well as acquisition financing and Sino-foreign joint ventures. Acting out of the Shanghai office, senior associate Simin Yu is noted for his greenfield project development, construction, financing and M&A experience. Key changes to the team include the arrival of Crystal Chen from Linklaters in May 2022. All named lawyers are based in Hong Kong unless otherwise stated.

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Testimonials

‘Very knowledgeable team covering our needs.’

‘Constant good performance and advice’

‘Highly knowledgeable and with diverse specialities.’

‘Simin Yu is excellent.’

Key clients

Asian Development Bank

ACO Investments

ANZ

Arctic Green Energy Corporation

Barito Pacific

BBVA

China Energy Investment

China Huadian

DBS Bank Ltd

Ditrolic Solar

DZ Bank

HSBC

Hutchison

ICBC Asia

Indonesia Power

KEPCO

Natixis

PAG Assets (Real Estate) Ltd.

Rabobank

Shenhua Guohua Lion Power Indonesia

Societe Generale

Sojitz Corporation

Medco

Supreme Trading

TTCL Public Company

UniCredit

Veolia

Zhefu Holdings

Work highlights

  • Advised BBVA on a $150 million CLP synthetic and $150 million USD term loan facility to the Chilean subsidiary of State Grid Corporation of China in respect of its acquisition of a large power distribution network in Chile.
  • Advised Natixis regarding a payable finance facility to Yanggu Xiangguang Copper as borrower, in respect of a copper production with Minera Escondida Limitada (BHP’s Chilean subsidiary).
  • Advised ICBC Asia with respect to the financing of a 2 x 350 MW coal fired power plant project in Cambodia’s Preah Sihanouk (Sihanoukville) Province.

China > Regulatory/compliance: foreign firms Tier 3

DLA Piper has a dedicated regulatory and investigations team, focusing primarily on compliance reviews, regulatory advice, and internal and regulatory investigations for both international and China-based MNCs. Due to the firm’s wide global network, it also has a strong focus on cross-border mandates. Whilst it has a busy practice handling traditional white-collar crime, internal fraud, anti-bribery, and anti-corruption investigations, it also has a growing practice in relation to cybercrime-related reviews and investigations in recent years. The team is co-led by Sammy Fang and Nathan Bush from Hong Kong and Singapore, respectively. Also notable is Christine Liu whose practice focuses on corporate investigations and compliance.

Practice head(s):

Sammy Fang; Nathan Bush

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Testimonials

‘The litigation and regulatory team of DLA Piper is a fully-integrated team that can tap on Global network as well as local solutions.’

‘DLA Piper provide solutions considering both China tax and other law regulations and practice. This is the vital difference compared to other law firms, who are usually not as familiar with China tax regulation. DLA is both an expert on China tax and law, so their service is quite efficient and solid.’

‘Sammy Fang’s team helped us handle our company’s internal investigation cases. The team is quite professional and experienced in handling compliance cases.’

‘Sammy Fang has tremendous experience navigating complex regulatory and compliance environment between China and the US.’

China > TMT: foreign firms Tier 3

DLA Piper‘s Hong Kong-based APAC privacy and cyber practices are led by Carolyn Bigg, who assists with implementing and managing data privacy compliance programmes, as well as managing cyber incidents across Asia. In May 2022, Lauren Hurcombe, who advises e-commerce and technology sector clients on market entry strategies and expansion projects, was made partner, while fintech lawyer Alice Li joined as of counsel from Deacons. Other recent developments included the late 2021 recruitment of fintech head Kristi Swartz from now-closed Swartz, Binnersley & Associates, while former practice head Scott Thiel moved to lead TOKO, the firm’s digital asset creation engine.

Practice head(s):

Carolyn Bigg

Other key lawyers:

Lauren Hurcombe; Alice Li; Kristi Swartz; Yue Lin Lee; Amanda Ge

Key clients

Olympus Corporation

InterContinental Hotels Group

Levi Strauss & Co

The Hut Group

Lightricks

Science 37

Work highlights

  • Advised Olympus Corporation on the first-generation global business process outsourcing of its APAC, EU and Americas business to Genpact.
  • Acting as InterContinental Hotels Group’s legal counsel for privacy and cybersecurity-related work in Greater China.
  • Advising LS&Co on the full spectrum of privacy matters across the Asia Pacific region, including the implementation of new or revamped privacy compliance programmes in China.

China > Banking and finance: foreign firms Tier 4

DLA Piper's Hong Kong-based team is regularly instructed on a range of banking and finance matters, including margin lending, structured finance, multilateral lending agency financings and acquisition finance. Practice head Matthias Schemuth focuses on international banking, structured commodity and trade finance, asset finance and leasing finance across the Asia region. Adding to the firm’s transactional expertise is Paul Lee, handling cross-border financings, acquisition finance and share-backed financing matters, while Crystal Chen, who joined the firm from Linklaters in May 2022, strengthens the team’s inbound and outbound transaction capabilities. Of counsel Tom Van Hoof is recommended for acquisition and leveraged finance.

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Key clients

BBVA

DBS Bank

DZ Bank

Rabobank

Deutsche Bank

Société Générale

ANZ

ICBC Asia

Hang Seng Bank

Standard Chartered Bank

Sumitomo Mitsui Trust Bank

HSBC

China Merchants Bank

Natixis

Asian Development Bank

Bank of Communications

Bank of China

ICBC Standard Bank

Macquarie

ING

UOB

Hutchison/CKH Holdings

UniCredit

Tongcheng Travel Holdings Limited

Mashreq Bank

Work highlights

  • Acting for Mashreq Bank PSC on its revolving and letter of credit facilities of up to $100m to COFCO.|
  • Advising BBVA as mandated lead arranger and lender in connection with a Hong Kong law governed $150m synthetic Chilean Peso financing for a Chilean subsidiary of State Grid International Development and the current refinancing of this facility.
  • Advising Société Générale in relation to an ESG-linked, USD Sinosure-covered export financing to be made available to Jinko Solar.

China > Real estate and construction: foreign firms

DLA Piper‘s presence in the real estate sector extends across Greater China and Hong Kong, with an offering tailored towards end-users, developers and funds seeking advice on a variety of corporate real estate issues. Leading the practice from Hong Kong is ‘very experiencedSusheela Rivers, noted for her advice on real estate matters concerning the hospitality and leisure sectors, having recently acted for Crane Capital in a joint venture investment designed for the acquisition of a portfolio relating to industrial buildings in Shanghai. Acting alongside her in this matter was Ed Sheremeta, with notable expertise in transactional work, including with regard to private equity investments. Lillian Duan, who divides her time between Shanghai and Beijing is another key contact, bolstering the firm’s ability to handle a range of transactional work in relation to the real estate sector for major investment institutions and property funds.

Practice head(s):

Other key lawyers:

Key clients

PGIM Real Estate

Crane Capital

Work highlights

  • Advised PGIM Real Estate on a joint venture with New Ease.
  • Advised Crane Capital on its joint venture investment with regard to its acquisition of a portfolio of an industrial building in Shanghai, and the onshore/offshore financing thereof.

China > Intellectual property: foreign firms

DLA Piper‘s Greater China team has enviable sector expertise in media, sports, entertainment, consumer goods, food, retail, life sciences and technology. The group manages the IP portfolios of major global brands, while its IP advice covers cross-border anti-piracy operations, global trade mark clearances and disputes, acquisitions, and IP tax restructuring. The Asia IP practice is co-led by Beijing-based Horace Lam, whose practice covers pan-Asia brand protection strategies, cross-border IP litigation, infringement and enforcement work, technology and knowhow transfer and licensing, and IP structuring and transactions; and brand protection and enforcement specialist Edward Chatterton in Hong Kong. The mainland group also features recently promoted partner Ting Xiao, the leader of the firm’s patent practice in China; and senior IP team consultants Allen Xu and Asher Yan. In late 2021, William (Skip) Fisher relocated from Shanghai to the firm’s Seattle office, while Reking Chen left the firm in November 2022.

Practice head(s):

Horace Lam; Edward Chatterton

Other key lawyers:

Testimonials

‘DLA is highly appreciated for its approach to problem solving, which is based on clear, thorough reasoning and practicality.’

Great contacts all over the world, providing solid professional legal services in various places.

The team members are all highly educated and have rich IP experience, and strong professional and technical backgrounds. They can provide clients with cross-jurisdictional and barrier-free professional advice and support alongside high levels of business sense.

‘Horace Lam and senior consultant Allen Xu are greatly appreciated. Their legal opinions are grounded in clear and thorough reasoning, as well as a sophisticated understanding of local industry protocols and, most importantly, the value of clients’ brands.’

Ting Xiao efficiently coordinates different jurisdictions and different professional departments.

Key clients

Beijing E-Town Biomedical Sciences Park

Hyatt

Papa John’s

Work highlights

  • Acted for Beijing E-Town Biomedical Sciences Park on the conclusion of an exclusive strategic alliance, which included providing training on global patent protection, licensing, and trade mark protection to companies within the park.
  • Advising Hyatt on a wide range of branding matters, from prosecution and infringement to domain name and commercial IP issues.
  • Advising Papa John’s (fast food brand) on a wide range of IP matters in the PRC, Hong Kong and Macau.

China > Private equity: foreign firms

Delivering ‘great technical excellence and business acumen with real- world solutions‘, DLA Piper‘s Greater China private equity practice advises on the legal and commercial issues that arise at all stages of the private equity life cycle (both within and out of China). The group acts for high-profile private equity funds, established investment firms, and family offices and other equity financial investors, on buyouts, M&A, cross-border transactions, joint ventures, and control and minority investments. Other key areas range from venture and growth capital, to distressed investments, fund formation and limited partner investments. In Shanghai, the recent track record of ‘practicalStewart Wang and Qiang Li includes advising Wise Road Capital on its $1.46bn acquisition of Taiwanese semiconductor giant, ASE Technology Co. Over in Beijing, James Chang is a transactional and regulatory specialist, while Hong Kong-based Luke Gannon is the firm’s highly regarded Asia corporate head.

Practice head(s):

Luke Gannon

Other key lawyers:

Testimonials

‘Great technical excellence and business acumen with real-world solutions.’

‘Stewart Wang – solid for technical aspects and high-level skills. Mastery of market norms and trends, and communication and interpersonal skills -practical, balanced and problem-solving oriented.

Key clients

Wise Road Capital

Silk Road Fund Co

Arlington Capital Partners

New Enterprise Associates

Zhongze Therapeutics

Auster Capital

Macquarie Asia Pacific Infrastructure Fund 3

Work highlights

  • Advised Wise Road Capital on the $1.46bn acquisition of ASE Technology Co, the Taiwanese semiconductor giant.
  • Advised Silk Road Fund on the HK$919m investment in Kerry Logistics Network, a global provider of logistics services.
  • Advised Auster Capital on an investment in Rise Up Fashion (OceansApart).

China > Shipping: foreign firms

The ‘client-orientedDLA Piper provides a range of shipping law advice and related services to its global client base, which includes insurance companies, banks and maritime developers. Ernest Yang and Kevin Chan oversee the China practice from Hong Kong, while Xiaoshan Chen, with his extensive experience in international arbitration, represents the firm in Shanghai. Chen has considerable experience in handling international disputes covering areas such as charterparties, shipbuilding, sale of goods, trade, commodities, ship sale and purchase and marine insurance. Clients praise the practice for its commercial risk assessment work and for its ‘sound judgment in planning and managing dispute resolution matters’.

Practice head(s):

Ernest Yang; Kevin Chan

Other key lawyers:

Testimonials

‘We are satisfied with the overall services of DLA Piper.’

‘The legal services provided by the team are client-oriented and best suit our needs.’

‘The firm stands out in providing assessment on the degree of legal and commercial risks against certain circumstances in a timely manner and was able to demonstrate sound judgment in planning and managing the dispute resolution matters for our company.’

‘DLA Piper impressed us by giving practical recommendations in solving the dispute cases and in formulating strategies in arbitration cases in the shipping industry.’

‘The team as a whole demonstrated outstanding efforts of professionalism in analyzing the merits and demerits of the current arbitration case.’

Key clients

Third Eye Capital

China > Tax: foreign firms

DLA Piper‘s extensive tax practice advises clients on a wide range of international and domestic tax issues from corporate and individual tax planning to dispute resolution. Its lawyers have extensive experience in M&A tax matters, including post-acquisition integration and supply chain management. They also work on structuring inbound and outbound investment and contractual relationships. Windson Li has almost two decades of experience in Chinese and cross-border tax services. He specialises in combined tax and corporate planning services for foreign investment in China. Tina Xia leads China tax matters from Hong Kong and was appointed Head of China Tax in May 2022. Daniel Chan retired and Doris Ho left the firm.

Practice head(s):

Windson Li; Tina Xia; Anderson Lam (Hong Kong)

Testimonials

‘DLA Piper provide solutions considering both China tax and other law regulations and practice. This is the vital difference compared to other law firms, who are usually not as familiar with China tax regulation. DLA is both an expert on China tax and law, so their service is quite efficient and solid.’

Malaysia > Foreign firms

DLA Piper’s Malaysian team strengths include sector expertise in insurance, education, energy, financial services and technology. The practice is led by M&A expert Heng Loong Cheong  who also advises on complex corporate reorganisations and equity and debt capital markets transactions, with a focus on emerging markets. Vincent Seah is notable for his experience of pan-Asia mandates, acting for sponsors and developers on corporate and financing matters in the power industries.

Practice head(s):

Other key lawyers:

Key clients

Laureate Education, Inc.

Ditrolic Solar and China Huadian

Work highlights

  • Advised Laureate Education on USD140m sale of INTI to HOPE Education Group.
  • Represented Ditrolic Solar, a Malaysia-based solar clean energy company, and China Huadian on the acquisition, development and financing of a 70MWp solar power project in Bangladesh.
  • Advised a global insurance broker on the Asia Pacific employment aspects of its global integration.

Vietnam > Foreign desks

DLA Piper has a strong track record in mandates connected with the energy and infrastructure sectors in Vietnam, and it has also been active in Vietnam’s growing tech industry, particularly in sub-sectors such as medtech and proptech. Tokyo-based partner Lance Miller, who heads up the Vietnam practice, has a wealth of experience of finance, corporate and commercial matters. He advises foreign clients on business expansion and investment in Vietnam, as well as acting for Vietnamese clients on their outbound investments. Miller counts local conglomerate VinGroup as a longstanding client. In Singapore, Joe Bauerschmidt, who is noted for his M&A and capital markets experience, acts for clients from areas such as financial services, technology, energy and real estate. Also based in Singapore is David Kuo, who focuses on PE and VC financing. Bangkok-based partner Samata Masagee is also highly recommended.

Practice head(s):

Testimonials

The team always turns around quality work at speed, as well as giving us strategic advice.’

We have been working with DLA’s partner David Kuo for many years on our private equity investments. We truly appreciate David’s dedication to work, the speedy response and his strong commercial sense.’

Key clients

China Construction Bank (Asia) Corporation Limited

VMD Kórházi Technológiai Zrt.

RedDoorz

VinFast Trading & Production Limited

VinGroup Joint Stock Company

VinSmart HOYER

Work highlights

  • Advising China Construction Bank on the financing of a 650MW power project in An Kanh province, Vietnam.
  • Advising VMD Kórházi Technológiai Zrt. on the investment and construction of Can Tho City Oncology Hospital with 500-bed capacity in Vietnam.
  • Advising the HOYER Group on the acquisition of Kerry-ITS Holdings Pte. Ltd. and its subsidiaries in Singapore, China, Vietnam and Thailand.

China > Life sciences and healthcare: foreign firms

Acting for both foreign multinational corporations and China-based clients, DLA Piper‘s active and sizeable Greater China team fields specialists in corporate law, IP, regulatory and compliance, investigations, capital markets, employment and tax. The China life sciences practice is co-led by Hong Kong-based compliance and investigations specialist, Sammy Fang; and recently promoted partner Ting Xiao in Shanghai, who focuses on life sciences-related regulatory and IP work. Also on the mainland, Qiang Li‘s broad corporate practice includes advising Chinese life science companies, while Christine Liu in Hong Kong represents pharmaceutical and medical device companies in internal investigations.

Practice head(s):

Sammy Fang; Ting Xiao

Other key lawyers:

Qiang Li; Arthur Tso; Christine Liu

Key clients

Beijing E-Town Biomedical Park

Aesthetic Medical International Holding Group

Arlington Capital Partners

Charles River Laboratories

EDDA Healthcare and Technology Holding

Lilly Asia Ventures

Nanjing Yingpeng Huikang Medical Industry Investment Partnership

Zhongze Therapeutics

 

Work highlights

  • Acted for Beijing E-town Biomedical Park on the successful conclusion of an exclusive strategic alliance .
  • Advising Yingpeng Fund on its proxy contest regarding GCBC, a life sciences enterprise operating in the field of storage of umbilical cord blood stem cells.
  • Acting as US counsel to EDDA Healthcare and Technology Holding on its proposed IPO and listing on the main board of the Hong Kong Stock Exchange.

China > Restructuring and insolvency: foreign firms

DLA Piper‘s Hong Kong-based restructuring and insolvency practice covers formal insolvencies, bank workouts, bond/note restructurings, and other special situations. The experience of energy sector head for China, Carolyn Dong, includes representing insolvency practitioners and special situations investors, while former restructuring and insolvency head, Mark Fairbairn, recently left the firm.

Other key lawyers:

South Korea > Corporate and M&A: foreign firms

Acting for public and private companies that range from multinational enterprises to emerging companies, DLA Piper has a diverse client list which also includes banks, venture capital and private equity houses, pension funds and other financial institutions. It advises on the full range of corporate matters and has significant cross-border M&A experience, with the ‘superb’ Daniel Lee as the country managing partner in Korea. DK Donghyun Kim handles a wide range of cross-border projects involving corporate, technology, energy and construction sectors. Theresa Huh and Ted Yi are also recommended, with Huh taking on SEC filing compliance and other general corporate matters. Based in Hong Kong, Luke Gannon is the firm’s corporate head in Asia.

Practice head(s):

Other key lawyers:

Testimonials

‘DLA has put together a team composed of proper number of senior and junior attorneys. Their operation of the team was efficient and cost effective. ’

‘I was impressed by the commitment of managing partner (Daniel Lee) to get the project concluded properly and efficiently. He is always prompt in responding to client’s requests. He is also striving to make sure client’s needs are taken care of. I believe his in-house experience puts him in a unique position to understand the corporate clients’ needs better than anyone.’

‘DK Kim – he is the main contact point between DLA Korea and our firm. He pays keen attention to deals and provides timely advice. Specifically, he works very diligently, in that he works over all time zones required for the client. Our team never had problems with reaching out to him.’

‘Theresa Huh understands our project details and what we are in need of. She is also very easy to communicate as she, like Mr. Kim, is reachable anytime even in the weekends. With her attentiveness, she pays attention to every detail and prevents possible problems in advance.’

‘DLA Piper is one of the best firms I have ever worked with. The lawyers are highly knowledgeable and familiar with international litigation matters in Korea. They fully understand our needs and provide us with the best legal advice, that’s why we keep going back to them.’

‘Ted Yi did an excellent job managing his legal team and advised us on an effective legal strategy. He is a very capable and highly experienced lawyer in his fields of specialization.’

‘Daniel Lee is a superb lawyer with a great deal of experience in every aspect of business.’

‘Attorneys at DLA advised and contributed Private Equity Fund contracts closing. Especially regarding negotiation of LPA terms and conditions, Subscription doc and Side letters. We are able to get prompt answers from DLA. most of cases, We are satisfied with DLA’s legal service. ’

Key clients

Hyundai Engineering Co., Ltd.

Korean Overseas Infrastructure & Urban Development Corporation (KIND)

POSCO

Work highlights

  • Representing Hyundai Engineering Co., Ltd. and Korean Overseas Infrastructure & Urban Development Corporation in connecting with an equity financing of Grupa Azoty’s Polimery Police polypropylene project.
  • Advising POSCO, one of the largest steel maker and mining investor, with the potential acquisition of 30% of the Ravensthorpe Nickel Project (“Project”) in Western Australia for $240m.

Global co-chairs: Frank W. Ryan and Andrew Darwin
Co-chief executive officers: Simon Levine and Frank W. Ryan
Languages: The firm speaks over 60 languages
Offices: Lawyers located in more than 60 countries throughout the Americas, Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Asia Pacific.

Please see https://www.dlapiper.com for further information about the firm.


DLA Piper has a leading pro bono practice, providing over 200,000 hours’ worth of legal support annually to charities, NGOs, governments in least developed countries and vulnerable individuals around the world. We are one of the largest providers of pro bono legal services globally. Our thriving practice provides support for aforementioned organisations on a wide range of areas that are critical to their missions. This includes research, legal advice and strategic counsel. The global team works collaboratively to ensure a global impact on our key strategic focus areas including: forcible displacement, statelessness, gender-based violence, climate justice, and good governance.

In the Asia Pacific region, we deliver cutting edge pro bono programs. This includes our Know Your Rights Program, focused on fostering legal empowerment for migrants and refugees, and delivering practical legal skills programs to students in developing Pacific Island Nations. We also advise on gender based violence through our partnership with the RainLily Clinic (Hong Kong) and the Refugee Legal Family Violence Clinic (Australia).

Our Pro Bono program is led by a dedicated team of pro bono lawyers who sit within the international Responsible Business Team. As a team we are committed to looking for opportunities to use our strength as a leading global law firm to make a positive contribution to the world around us. We are focused on being a truly sustainable business, makes a positive social and environmental impact. This commitment exists at every level within the firm and is part of our culture.

Our Responsible Business team works internationally on a vast array of ESG topics, aligning to the firm’s ESG strategic priorities. This includes advising on key environmental and conservation matters, working on projects relating to illegal wildlife trafficking, climate and conservation. We also work to promote and invest in projects that advance sustainable development and the rule of law in developing nations.

DLA Piper’s pro bono work forms part of the firm’s wider Sustainability & ESG Strategy, focused on understanding, measuring and managing the firm’s impact in four key areas – our people, clients and suppliers, environment, and society. These focus areas are identified through a formal materiality assessment. We also report on our progress annually via our Sustainability Report. Our ambitions and actions align with globally accepted standards and frameworks (e.g. the UN Global Compact, Business Ambition for 1.5, Science Based Targets initiative, Mindful Business Charter, and others).

We are firmly committed to diversity and inclusion. For us, diversity isn’t just about visible differences, it’s the unique blend of talents, skills, experiences and perspectives that makes each of us an individual and we know it’s crucial to have a culture and environment where those differences are genuinely valued. In 2021, we launched our global diversity and inclusions goals, including ensuring that at least 30% of our partnership is made up of women by 2025 (and 40% by 2030). Our employee networks play a crucial part in helping us learn, reflect and share our experiences in diversity and inclusion.