DLA Piper > Beijing, China > Firm Profile

DLA Piper
20/F, SOUTH TOWER, BEIJING KERRY CENTER
NO 1 GUANGHUA ROAD, CHAOYANG DISTRICT
BEIJING 100020
China

China > Intellectual property: foreign firms Tier 1

DLA Piper‘s Greater China IP practice fields four partners, who are supported by a dedicated IP team of 15 fee-earners with Asia-specific expertise. The comprehensive practice covers trade marks, copyright, patents, trade secrets, and IP litigation and administrative actions. Other notable areas include the IP aspects of commercial contracts and technology transactions, cybersecurity, data protection, and licensing and franchising. The Asia IP practice co-heads are Beijing-based Horace Lam, who assists Fortune 500 companies with developing and executing IP strategies; and Hong Kong IP team head Edward Chatterton, who focuses on brand protection and enforcement advice. Shanghai-based William (Skip) Fisher is ‘very dedicated to his clients‘, and the IP practice of counsel Ting Xiao focuses on the life sciences industry. In Beijing, hospitality and leisure sector specialist Reking Chen was made partner in 2020, while Allen Xu and Asher Yan are experienced IP-focused senior consultants.

Testimonials

Excellent helicopter view of the Chinese IP landscape.

William (Skip) Fisher is very dedicated to his clients and goal oriented, but also a very nice person to interact with. He remembers both professional details and private matters, and is good at managing and assessing the performance of domestic litigation counsel.

Key clients

Blank

China > Labour and employment: foreign firms Tier 1

From Beijing, Shanghai and Hong Kong offices, DLA Piper‘s China team fields specialists in a range of sectors, including banking, financial services and insurance, retail, life sciences and medical devices, transport, technology, and hospitality; and the practice is well-known for its expertise in layoffs and redundancies, workplace-related mental health and stress, harassment, bullying and discrimination, as well as evolving scenarios such as the pandemic’s impact on employment issues. Clients additionally appreciate the firm’s international presence, which includes 90 offices across 40 countries. Overseeing the firm’s expansion of its mainland China employment law practice in recent years, Beijing-based China practice head Johnny Choi assists multinational clients at senior management and boardroom level with employment matters, including employee disputes. Senior consultant Ying Li and consultant Zhou Xu, both are based in Shanghai, are also names to note.

Practice head(s):

Other key lawyers:

Testimonials

DLA Piper is our trusted partner for providing employment legal advice in Beijing. We appreciate its commercial and client-centric approach that we have experienced.

The consultants from DLA are very professional and have a strong willingness to provide support on employment aspects.

Great for frequent communication and follow-up activities, which make the co-operation smoother and more fruitful.

DLA takes a big-picture outlook in relation to our business without compromising the local context expertise.

Able to present competitive fees based on the complexity of the project.

Johnny Choi is our partner – we always appreciate his ability to strike the right balance, providing clear and practical advice that is grounded in a deep understanding of us as a client and our culture. This is truly unique and much appreciated.

Johnny Choi and senior consultant Ying Li are flexible with their availability to jump onto a ZOOM call with our legal and business team at short notice, and talk through matters in both Mandarin and English; and they provide succinct advice and practical solutions for local contexts using their in-depth knowledge of subject matters.

Xu Zhou is very dedicated and supportive in relation to employment issues; she has plenty of experience in employment matters, and always has a way forward.

China > Real estate and construction: foreign firms Tier 1

Based out of Shanghai and Hong Kong, DLA Piper‘s cross-office team provides a ‘cost-effective and professional‘ service to developers, funds and end-users across a range of corporate real estate matters throughout the investment life cycle. The return of the ‘exceptionalEd Sheremeta from Ropes & Gray LLP in November 2020 further enhances the firm’s real estate transactional capabilities, particularly in the context of private equity-related investment work in the sector. In addition to Sheremeta, the team includes the vastly experienced Susheela Rivers, whose broad expertise includes hospitality and leisure-related matters, and Lillian Duan, who provides ‘a very rare blend of international standard/commercial clarity together with detailed-bottoms up local practice guidance and advice’ on transactional real estate work.

Testimonials

The meticulous team provides a cost-effective and professional service.’

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

Lillian Duan provides a very rare blend of international standard/commercial clarity together with detailed-bottoms up local practice guidance and advice. This blend allows her and her team to be a very integral and critical part of our acquisition process.’

Key clients

Ping An Insurance

Work highlights

  • Advised Ping An Insurance on the 30% share acquisition from, and joint venture with, Sun Hung Kai Properties in developing the commercial and retail complex at the West Kowloon Station in Hong Kong.

China > Restructuring and insolvency: foreign firms Tier 1

Combining China, regional and global-wide strength in restructuring and insolvency, DLA Piper is consistently instructed by leading global financial institutions (as lenders and bondholders) and troubled corporations on major restructuring and insolvency mandates in Greater China and Asia-Pacific region. The Hong-based practice advises across the whole spectrum of distressed work, from formal insolvency through to bank workouts, bond/note restructurings and other special situations; and the team has recently experienced an increase in instructions from funds. A driving force behind the firm’s prominence in this area, practice head Mark Fairbairn is a widely respected restructuring and special situations lawyer in Greater China; and Carolyn Dong has a wealth of experience in representing insolvency practitioners and special situation investors, particularly in relation to mainland China. Further key support is provided by associate Rosie Li, who represents high-profile, China-incorporated financial institutions in restructuring and special situation scenarios.

Practice head(s):

Other key lawyers:

Testimonials

The team has deep experience and expertise in matters of insolvency, and can offer creative solutions.

The team members are very proficient technically, and are approachable when we need to discuss legal solutions.

They are able to give creative advice, and are also able to access a wide network of people in China to facilitate talks when necessary.

Global reach and professionalism.

Technical capability and responsiveness.

China > Corporate and M&A: foreign firms Tier 2

DLA Piper’s team is China is closely integrated with the firm’s global corporate and M&A, made-up of over 1000 lawyers across 40 different nations. The local team is spread across Beijing and Shanghai, in addition to Hong Kong, and includes lawyers qualified to practice in England and Wales, Singapore, Australia, the PRC, Hong Kong and the US; its foremost industries of focus include aviation, education, life sciences, industrial and semiconductors and the workload covers cross-border, public takeover and corporate finance transactions, among others. Practice co-head Roy Chan also provides the group with intimate knowledge of the financial services and insurance sector while Qiang Li is acclaimed for both inbound and outbound investments pertaining to China. The pair operate from Shanghai alongside private equity, venture capital, debt financing and joint venture expert, Stewart Wang.

Practice head(s):

Key clients

Wise Road Capital

Air China Limited

General Electric Company

Scientia Technologies Limited

Work highlights

  • Advised Ping An Life Insurance on its participation in the RMB50.75bn consolidated restructuring of Peking University Founder Group Company Limited.    
  • Advised Wise Road Capital as international counsel on its acquisition of Huba Control AG from Siemens.
  • advised Air China Limited on its participation in the HK$39bn recapitalization plan for Hong Kong based airline Cathay Pacific Airways Limited.

China > Dispute resolution: Litigation: foreign firms Tier 2

DLA Piper’s position as a global full-service law firm enables its offshore office in Hong Kong, led by Kevin Chan and supplemented by on the ground experts in Shanghai and Beijing, to engage in highly complex, multijurisdictional litigation. Chan represented Industrial and Commercial Bank of China and Chow Sang Sang Securities in the recovery of defaulted loans valued at HK$1.5bn and HK$722m respectively. Satpal Gobindpuri is well versed in commercial litigation and disputes in the insurance sector. Harris Chan has experience dealing with cases ranging from corporate restructuring to disputes over high net-worth estates. Xiaoshan Chen is also highly regarded.

Practice head(s):

Testimonials

‘The firm stands out in providing assessment on the degree of legal and commercial risks against certain circumstances in a timely manner and demonstrating sound judgment in planning and managing the dispute resolution matters.’

‘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.’

Satpal Gobindpuri tries to do everything possible to settle and avoid going to court.’

Key clients

China Huarong International Holdings Limited

Combest Holdings Limited

DIO Corporation

Dymocks Franchise Systems (China) Limited

Everwill Industrial Limited

Haitong International Assets Management Limited

HK A-Sun Group Co., Ltd

Huatai Financial Holdings (Hong Kong) Limited

MHK Restaurants Limited

Power Securities Company

Sand Aire Limited

Sung Chung Kwun

China > Fintech: foreign firms Tier 2

DLA Piper acts for a broad range of clients, ranging from start-ups and small and medium-sized enterprises to traditional players in the technology and financial services sectors. The Hong Kong-based fintech team brings together expertise from its finance and IP and technology teams, in addition to members from corporate and real estate groups. It advises on electronic finance products and peer-to-peer platforms; assisting with the implementation of data centres and their potential financing in addition to asset tokenisation projects. Asia head of the firm’s global technology and fintech sector initiative, Scott Thiel, is experienced in the regulatory issues associated with payments clearing, e-commerce settlements and cross-border payment services; Matthias Schemuth provides further partner-level support; and senior associate Lauren Hurcombe focuses on complex technology and commercial arrangements.

China > Private equity: foreign firms Tier 2

DLA Piper‘s Greater China private equity practice is highly active in relation to buyouts, exits and other private equity transactions. Instructed by high-profile private equity funds, established investment firms, family offices and other equity financial investors, the group assists with the legal and commercial issues that arise at all stages of the private equity life cycle. Clients additionally benefit from the China team being part of an international practice that fields over 260 private equity lawyers in 40-plus countries. Shanghai-based Stewart Wang regularly leads work for China-based and overseas corporate entities and private equity sector players. James Chang in Beijing advises investors and companies on early-stage and growth capital investments. In Hong Kong, Gloria Liu has longstanding experience in advising on private equity-led M&A, add-on acquisitions, exit transactions, and private equity, venture capital and growth capital investments; and Luke Gannon is the experienced Asia corporate head.

Practice head(s):

Other key lawyers:

China > Shipping: foreign firms Tier 2

DLA Piper‘s integrated team of lawyers in Beijing, Shanghai and Hong Kong assists with the full range of shipping work. Its contentious work involves arbitration and court proceedings in mainland China, Hong Kong, the UK and internationally; and its non-contentious practice covers negotiating and drafting contracts, insurance policies, standard terms and conditions, and advice on risk management and contingency planning. The practice is co-led by Shanghai-based international disputes specialist Xiaoshan Chen, who was elevated to the partnership in May 2020; Ernest Yang and Kevin Chan, who handle complex shipping disputes.

Other key lawyers:

Testimonials

We are very satisfied with the overall services of DLA Piper.

The legal services provided by the team are client oriented and best suit the company’s needs.

The firm stands out for providing assessments on the degree of legal and commercial risks in a timely manner, and is able to demonstrate sound judgement in planning and managing the dispute resolution matters of the company.

DLA Piper impressed by giving practical recommendations to solving shipping disputes and formulating strategies during arbitration cases.

The team demonstrated outstanding professionalism when analysing the merits and demerits of a current arbitration case.

They realistically anticipated the possible issues and unexpected events- they also responded to our queries and requests in a timely fashion and made helpful recommendations for our consideration, hence expediting the strategy formulating and decision-making process.

‘The team has a lot of experience in providing legal services to shipping companies in China, especially in the field of maritime arbitration.’

With a huge amount of experience, Kevin Chan is a leading light in this area.

China > Tax: foreign firms Tier 2

Showcasing one of the largest tax teams in Greater China, DLA Piper‘s practice covers international and domestic tax issues, from corporate and individual tax planning to dispute resolution; and the China transfer pricing team is part of a global operation that (in addition to lawyers) fields economists, certified accountants and tax advisers, who regularly work alongside the firm’s US and European tax teams on domestic and cross-border transactions. Beijing-based China tax head Windson Li also co-heads the Asia tax group alongside Hong Kong tax leader Anderson Lam. Li is experienced in advising international group companies and HNW clients on cross-border tax matters; and he is particularly focused on M&A, company formation, joint ventures, tax structures, business model transitions and transfer pricing. Providing additional partner support from Hong Kong, Daniel Chan focuses on investment and taxation matters in China, and Doris Ho is an international tax and wealth planning expert.

Practice head(s):

Other key lawyers:

Testimonials

A very professional team of lawyers.’

‘Always tries to meet clients’ requirements.’

China > Banking and finance: foreign firms Tier 3

DLA Piper‘s Hong Kong-based banking and finance team has specific sector expertise in energy, telecoms and media, fintech and real estate; and the group is particularly experienced in export credit and multi-lateral lending agency financings; structured trade and commodity finance; margin lending and share-backed financing; and acquisition and leveraged finance. Matthias Schemuth heads the Asia finance, projects and restructuring practice, which includes experienced finance partner Paul Lee. Growth in 2020 included real estate expert Ed Sheremeta joining from Ropes & Gray LLP; and the promotion of private credit and complex financing transaction expert Matthew Worth to partner.

Practice head(s):

Testimonials

The team is always helpful, even for ad-hoc advice/potential transactions.

The team is well versed in trade financing transactions and have set up various trade programmes for a number of banks; as such, they would be one of my go-to firms at a structural stage to gauge whether what we are thinking of doing is doable and if there are any red-flags.

Great at working on cross-border transactions.

Very experienced and client oriented, and very easy to work with.

Strong performers and very knowledgeable – very reliable.

Very good connections with local PRC firms, allowing it to offer a seamless service on PRC law matters.

Matthias Schumeth is particularly knowledgeable and user friendly on cross-border trade finance matters, and he is able to advise quickly whether a structure has regulatory issues in certain jurisdictions.

China > Investment funds: foreign firms Tier 3

Fielding several investment funds specialists, DLA Piper‘s bilingual team offers on-the-ground capabilities in Hong Kong, US, UK, Australia and the PRC law. The practice is particularly active in relation to China-based hedge, real estate and private equity fund formation work, and the group has also recently expanded its market presence in the tokenised funds space. Leading the Asia funds and investment management practice, Luke Gannon has practiced in investment funds for over 25 years, and has been involved in various significant landmark fund deals in the region.

Practice head(s):

China > Life sciences and healthcare: foreign firms Tier 3

DLA Piper‘s multi-disciplinary team advises foreign multinational corporations and China-based clients on a broad range of M&A, regulatory, IP and employment matters. Hong Kong-based partner Sammy Fang leads the firm’s life sciences group and focuses on regulatory matters and investigations. In Shanghai, Qiang Li advises Chinese life science and pharmaceutical companies, and Ting Xiao (a former life sciences scientist)  who has notable IP expertise was promoted to of counsel in May 2021.

Practice head(s):

China > Projects and energy: foreign firms Tier 3

Able to draw from ‘a diverse and experienced pool of talent’, both out of Greater China and across its international network, DLA Piper provides a ‘great international vision’ for regional and foreign stakeholders on inbound and outbound mandates. Hong Kong-based China energy head Carolyn Dong is well-versed at advising SOEs on outbound transactions as well as on Sino-foreign JVs, while Matthias Schemuth regularly handles energy and infrastructure financing matters. Shanghai-based senior associate Simin Yu has notable expertise advising on greenfield project development, construction, financing and M&A matters.

Practice head(s):

Other key lawyers:

Testimonials

‘The team is able to draw from a diverse and experienced pool to offer a win-win solution.’

Offers industry expertise. Always ready and available. Great team to work with under pressure. Offer a great international vision.’

‘They are accessible, flexible and balanced in their provision of advice.’

Key clients

China Energy Investment

Barito Pacific

Indonesia Power

Arctic Green Energy Corporation

ANZ

ADB

BBVA

DBS Bank Ltd

Rabobank

Société Générale

Rabobank

ICBC Asia

DZ Bank

China Huadian

Zhefu Holdings

Supreme Trading

TTCL Public Company

Sojitz Corporation

ACO Investments

Ditrolic Solar

KEPCO

Veolia

Natixis

Shenhua Guohua Lion Power Indonesia

HSBC

Work highlights

  • Advising the Sponsors in relation to the development, construction and financing of the $3.5bn  2 x 1000MV Jawa 9 & ten ultra-super critical power plant in Banten Province, Indonesia.
  • Advising DBS as mandated lead arranger and the syndicate banks on an innovative project financing of a portfolio of up to 25MW rooftopsolar projects in Hong Kong undertaken by NEFIN Solar Asset Limited.
  • Advising ICBC Asia as mandated lead arranger and documentationbank and the syndicate banks with respect to the financing of a 2 x350 MW coal fired power plant project in Preah Sihanouk(Sihanoukville) Province, Cambodia.

China > Regulatory/compliance: foreign firms Tier 3

DLA Piper has a regulatory and investigations team with dedicated lawyers based in its Beijing, Shanghai and Hong Kong offices. Leveraging its impressive global footprint, it represents international and China based multinational corporations on compliance, internal and regulatory investigations with a strong focus on cross-border issues. It is increasingly handling cybercrime and data breach-related reviews and investigations, and its recent caseloads include representing household MNCs operating in Greater China and major Chinese companies. The team is jointly led by Hong Kong-based Sammy Fang and Singapore-based Nathan Bush, and also includes Christine Liu. The firm continues to develop its online tool Rapid Response App which is a crisis management global service assisting clients with responding to a dawn raid, cyber attack or other major incidents.

Practice head(s):

Other key lawyers:

Christine Liu; John Zhang

Testimonials

‘Their mainland China/Hong Kong team are real experts when it comes to regulatory matters.’

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

China > TMT: foreign firms Tier 3

The scope of DLA Piper‘s Hong Kong-based practice ranges from day-to-day matters to technology procurement, outsourcing, and data protection and cybersecurity, to the adoption of novel, disruptive technologies and digital transformation projects concerning blockchain and digital assets. The team is also sought out for groundbreaking fintech matters. With a notable computer science background, practice head Scott Thiel has over 20 years’ experience in cutting-edge IT and outsourcing projects; and Carolyn Bigg has longstanding experience in advising on data privacy and technology-related matters. Associate Yue Lin Lee acts as the Singapore and South East Asia lead for regional TMT projects.

Practice head(s):

Other key lawyers:

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.