Due to the number of tables in this section, the editorial is in alphabetical order
by firm name.
Capital Markets (International Firms) - China
Andrew Harrow is recognised by peers and clients as a veteran practitioner who “knows this area inside out.” His debt capital markets (DCM) practice covers the full gamut, including Rule 144A offerings, MTN programmes and renminbi bond matters. He also has a substantial roster of Indian clients.
Clients and peers hold Walter Son in high regard, describing him as “an experienced and personable lawyer who stays calm and composed.” One client remarked: “He is knowledgeable about current issues and shows a practicality and commercial sense that only comes with long experience.” He spearheads the team’s South Korea practice and specialises in Rule 144A/Regulation S transactions. He also has a particular expertise of the burgeoning Mongolian market.
Bernardine Lam won praise for her “meticulous and thorough” approach, and brings to the practice more than 20 years of experience in the Hong Kong market. Peers also recognise her impressive in-house experience at Hutchison Whampoa.
Sources say John Lee is “responsive, pragmatic and personable.” Clients and peers also note his experience in handling MTN programmes and South Korea-related matters. Corporate hybrid transactions are another specialism, and in the past year he acted as underwriters counsel to Goldman Sachs and JPMorgan on a USD300 million fixed-rate callable perpetual securities issuance by CKI.
Desiree Sumilang is described by commentators as "practical and easy to work with," and is a key member of the firm's Philippines practice.
Paul Pery is an associate in the international capital markets department of the firm's Hong Kong office, with an emerging profile in the field. He works regularly with the Philippine government as well as an extensive list of leading corporations.
Lina Lee is singled out by peers and clients as a “capable and impressive younger partner.” A key work highlight from the past year was advising Shanghai Industrial Urban Development Group on its HKD6.1 billion acquisition and reverse takeover of the property development business of Shanghai Industrial Holdings.
According to sources, Stuart Rubin"has an in-depth understanding of the regulatory framework, he is approachable at any time and has good drafting skills." He is especially noted for his representation of Indian clients in equity issuances.
Elsa Chan is a seasoned Hong Kong IPO expert, sources agree. Her broad-based corporate practice also covers M&A-related matters. A key work highlight from the past year was advising Shunfeng Photovoltaic International on its HKD433 million global offering.
Jackie Lo operates out of the firm’s Beijing office. He adds to the team’s equity capital markets (ECM) strength with his expertise in handling IPOs by state-owned enterprises.
Clayton Johnson lends the practice his formidable experience, and is regarded by peers as “a great guy and a class act.” One client enthused: “He does a great job of identifying risks which might have seemed esoteric, but it was good to analyse and mitigate them. When he gets involved his insights and advice are in a league of their own.” In addition to China, he is also active in the Philippines.
Freeman Chan brings to the team his veteran regulatory compliance experience. His practice also covers M&A-related matters as well as Hong Kong stock exchange (HKEx) listings by PRC entities.
Megan Tang wins plaudits for her efficient style and technical knowledge. One client remarked: “She helped us on one of our quickest ever executions, and she put very difficult concepts into layman’s terms very well.” Her US and Hong Kong expertise allows her to tackle both renminbi bond transactions and SEC-registered offerings.
Jinduk Han is a prominent member of the firm's Korea practice, counting Samsung Electronics, Korea National Oil and POSCO among his recent Korean clients.
Robert Williams recently advised GT Capital on the first IPO of 2012 that raised USD500 million, making it one of the largest in Philippines corporate history.
Sung Kwan Kang wins peer recognition for his experience in South Korean transactions.
Yong Lee recently relocated to the firm's Seoul office. He is a native Korean speaker with considerable experience in high-stakes, cross-border securities issues.
Connie Heng is a DCM specialist described by one commentator as “a fountain of legal knowledge for all capital markets enquiries.” Her practice covers equity linked transactions, renminbi bonds and high-yield matters. In the past year she led the team in advising a consortium of banks including HSBC and ICBC on a USD750 million guaranteed notes issuance by Skysea International Capital Management, guaranteed by ICBC Hong Kong.
Amy Lo is praised for her “committed, hard-working and hands-on” approach. One client remarked: “She has very solid technical skills and long-term market experience, so she knows the tricky deal structures and the unusual but still-feasible structures, which is important in these market conditions.” She fields a broad-based equity practice covering joint ventures, IPOs and securities.
Asia capital markets head Crawford Brickley specialises in high-yield offerings, though his formidable accumulated experience in capital markets allows him to take on a range of matters.
Sources say Tim Wang is “a solid lawyer who deserves his good reputation,” while also noting his impressive stable of Chinese state-owned enterprise clientele. One of his work highlights from the past year was advising Morgan Stanley and JPMorgan as sponsors on the USD410 million listing and global offering of Baoxin Auto group on the HKEx.
Matt Fairclough won plaudits for his robust technical knowledge and accessible, helpful approach to client service. His expertise covers a range of matters, while hybrid capital and regulatory capital products are a particular strongpoint. In the past year he advised DBS and HSBC as joint global co-ordinators on Genting Singapore’s SGD1.8 billion perpetual securities issuance.
Virginia Lee is a “smart and hard-working lawyer who handles clients well,” sources say. IPOs, pre-IPO matters and fund-raisings are her specialism. In the past year she advised Kunlun Energy on a USD1.35 billion top-up placement of shares.
Shanghai-based Jean Thio makes a first appearance on the tables this year. US securities are her forte, as well as US regulatory compliance for Hong Kong IPOs. Peers recognise her as a relatively new but impressive addition to the market. She played a key role in advising China Minsheng Bank on its USD1.44 billion Hong Kong share sale.
Hyun Suk Kim leads the firm's Korea practice from its new Seoul office, and co-ordinates Korean clients' interests across the globe. "We could build a pretty solid relationship between his firm and our company. We learned a lot from the team thanks to him," said one satisfied client. Another added: "He was able to leverage his extensive experience to address and mitigate legal issues effectively."
Richard Lee in Hong Kong is another key member of the Korea practice, with considerable experience on major equity and debt issuances. He was part of the team advising Citi, Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley as initial purchase in Korea South-East Power's issue of USD300 million notes.
Frankfurt-based Volker Potthoff has a wealth of experience working on Chinese IPOs on the Frankfurt stock exchange. Sources note his strong connections in the Chinese market.
Frankfurt managing partner Andreas Zanner is recommended by numerous sources for his experience in Chinese listings.
William Barron is a household name in both ECM and DCM spheres. One peer said: “I’ve known him for a long time and he’s always been a quality lawyer.” Clients enthused: “He absolutely lives up to his reputation, he has solid experience and he’s a tough opponent to be across from. He is still hands-on and committed, though he is a senior lawyer.” He has a regional practice, and has particular expertise of the fast emerging markets of South-East Asia, including Indonesia and the Philippines. As an example, he advised ING, Singapore Branch as the dealer manager in Lopez Holding's cash tender offer for all of its outstanding 7.875% notes.
Bonnie Chan is lauded for her in-house experience and solid grasp of IPO regulatory compliance. Clients are very impressed with her practice: “She is knowledgeable and understanding and helps us a lot in our regional pitching. She also has a positive aura about her, she makes us feel good about the firm.”
James Lin brings both DCM and ECM expertise to the team, and handles US and Hong Kong IPOs. Sources say he is a “responsive and highly experienced lawyer.” He advised Prada on its HKD16.7 billion IPO and offer of ordinary shares. Another key work highlight from the past year was advising Morgan Stanley, Essence International Securities and Kingstom Securities as placing agents on a USD216.4 million placement of new shares allotted and issued by G-Resources Group.
Eugene Gregorhas both DCM experience and Japan-related expertise, having recently relocated from Tokyo. In the past year he advised Citigroup Global Markets, HSBC and Merrill Lynch as joint lead managers on Bank of Ceylon’s USD500 million Rule 144A/Regulation S offering. He also advises on a substantial number of South Korean and Philippines deals.
Paul Chow is a Hong Kong IPO expert on the team, though he is also noted by peers for his private equity expertise. Sources agree he is a high-quality practitioner with “a high standing in the market.” In the past year he advised CITIC Securities as sole bookrunner on a USD473.2 million rights offering by China Communications Services.
Antony Dapiran is singled out by sources as a top partner on the team, “a fantastic lawyer and great to work with.” His forte is handling Hong Kong IPOs, though high-yield offerings also fall under his expertise.
Gerhard Radtke is recognised as another go-to expert for high-yield matters. His work highlights from the past year include advising Morgan Stanley, Deutsche Bank and OCBC as initial purchasers on a SGD175 million Regulation S-only offering by Central China Real Estate of senior notes.
Kirtee Kapoor is admired by sources as "a very sharp, practical lawyer," and has led on the majority of the firm's India-related transactions.
Ronny Chow won plaudits for his practice, with sources describing him as “proactive, articulate, knowledgeable and commercially savvy.” One client remarked: “He is very careful in terms of controlling his clients’ risk exposure, and his advice is specific and definite.” He was the key partner advising Epicurean & Company on its HKD32.9 million rights issue.
Sabrina Fung makes a first appearance in the tables this year. Her practice is built around her expertise in IPOs and secondary placements. A key work highlight of hers from the past year was advising CB International Capital on the placement of H-rights shares of China CITIC Bank held by China Construction Bank.
Kevin Tong recently joined Deacon's capital markets team. He has a particular specialism in RMB bond matters, and is further prized for his Mandarin skills.
Thomas Britt is recognised for his long-standing market experience, as well as his region-wide expertise. A key work highlight of his from the past year was advising Lafarge Shui On Cement on its CNY1.5 billion issue of dim sum bonds.
Drew Dutton brings to the team “level-headedness" and "excellent problem-solving skills,” sources say. Clients particularly praise his intelligence and commerciality. His corporate expertise includes IPOs and M&A-related transactions.
Stephen Peepelsgives the group an edge in the market thanks to experience honed in US capital markets and SEC-related matters, as well as his regional expertise, particularly in the Singapore market. He is also a key player on the India disinvestment scene. A highlight of his in the past year was advising Power Finance and the government of India, acting through the Department of Disinvestment, on a USD1 billion follow-up public offering by Power Finance.
Liu Wei is managing partner of the firm’s Beijing office. He has not only ECM expertise but also a formidable working knowledge of PRC regulatory matters.
Esther Leung brings to the team more than 20 years of experience in the market, giving the team an extra edge in its ECM offering. In the past year she led the team in advising Hann Star Board International Holdings on its privatisation by a controlling shareholder.
Clients note Jeffrey Mak's sensible and measured approach in handling his work. He led the team on the Milan Station Holdings IPO.
Koji Ishikawa is located in Tokyo and has significant experience in capital markets transactions in Greater China. His recent work involves the listing of Japanese companies on the Taiwanese and Hong Kong stock markets. He is qualified in the PRC and is fluent in Mandarin.
Based in Rome, Betty Louie has noteworthy experience working on deals involving Chinese companies. She was a lead partner when the firm represented ICBC in its financing of the restructuring of Italian company Ferretti.
ECM founding partner Teresa Ko is amongst the most experienced names in the market, particularly with respect to Hong Kong IPOs. Peers say: “It’s tough times now, but her clout with banks still stands, and her reputation alone can win them engagements.”
Sources agree Grace Huang is “technically sound and very personable. She is willing to go that extra step to analyse and prompt us to take other options if need be, and always gives practical advice rather than just telling us what the law says.” In the past year both she and Ko led the team in advising Chow Tai Fook Jewellery Group on its USD2 billion IPO and HKEx listing.
Andrew Heathcote is a DCM specialist who wins plaudits for his excellent client service, with commentators noting: “He was always there when we needed him, always gave input. With some firms the senior associates do the leg work while the partners are hands-off, but here he and associates worked well together on what turned out to be a tricky transaction.” A notable work highlight of his from the past year was advising Taiwan-based Chailease Financing on its CNY750 million issue of notes.
Calvin Lai impresses with his “thorough legal knowledge and experience in handling IPOs,” with one client particularly noting the high quality of his drafting. Key work highlights from the past year include advising Shui On Land on two senior notes issues valued at USD475 million.
Before going to press, it was announced that William Woo had been appointed as a partner to the practice. Woo handles a mix of ECM, private equity and M&A matters.
Joshua Wechsler is “one of the most experienced US partners out here,” commentators remark. One client noted: “He is diligent and pragmatic, and understands the different operating relationships in this region; he knows how to adapt local issues and apply them effectively through the region.” Another client pointed out his ability “to handle the regulatory nuances of both the SEC and the Hong Kong stock exchange.” In the past year he advised Merrill Lynch on the USD150 million convertible bonds offering of 361 Degrees International.
Matt Emsley is a dynamic and talented partner according to peers and clients, with one commentator remarking: “He’s hard-working and sharp, he’s not afraid to stand up and say, ‘You don’t want to do that.’” Sources are also impressed with his Mandarin capabilities.
Kevin Roy is a respected DCM specialist who heads the team’s US securities practice. “He’s a good operator for US-related transactions,” peers remark. His broad-based practice covers Rule 144A/Regulation S transactions and convertible bonds, among other areas.
Andrew Tortoishell brings long-standing experience to the team and a well-established ECM expertise.
Beijing-based Tom Chau is an ECM expert. One of his work highlights from the past year was advising the Export-Import Bank of China on two offers of two and three-year bonds valued in total at CNY4 billion.
Jason Sung is a “responsible, professional and very talented lawyer with a solid technical grasp of things,” sources say. He led the team with others in advising Credit Suisse, CICC and Polaris Securities on Tenfu’s HKD1.25 billion Rule 144A/Regulation S global offering and main board listing on the HKEx.
Terence Lau's broad-based corporate experience encompasses IPOs and regulatory matters.
Jamie Barr focuses on M&A and ECM matters. He has an impressive regional practice, with particular strength in Mongolia.
Lee Man Chiu is another equity expert and his forte is Hong Kong IPOs, though US IPOs and M&A-related matters also fall within his remit.
Since publication, Man Chiu Lee has joined Edwards Wildman Palmer
Sources say Richard Mazzochi is an “intelligent, capable and sensible" practitioner. His field of expertise lies in DCM, including MTN programmes and dim sum bonds. In the past year he acted as issuers counsel to HKMC on its AUD500 million floating-rate notes issuance listed on the HKEx, under a USD6 billion MTN programme.
Dominic Tsun wins plaudits for his practice, with sources lauding his technical prowess and excellent negotiation skills. Peers respect him as “no doubt one of the strongest people in the field.” His IPO expertise is particularly noted by commentators. Tsun took the lead on advising the joint bookrunners in Samsonite's USD1.25 billion IPO and listing on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange.
David Zhang is “a high-quality lawyer who’s been in the market a long time.” He provides ECM muscle, including NASDAQ and SEC expertise. In the past year he acted for Tudou Holdings on its USD143.5 million IPO and NASDAQ listing.
John Otoshi's practice centres on South-East Asia and energy-related matters. He was part of the team advising MIE Holdings on its USD400 million offering of senior notes. He is also widely praised for his high-yield expertise.
The “diligent, experienced and responsible” Wong Li-Chien has expertise in ECM. Her focus lies in Hong Kong IPOs, secondary listings and M&A-related matters. In the past year both she and Tsun acted for Huaneng Renewables on its USD850 million IPO and H-share listing on the HKEx.
Stanley Chow is “familiar with the market and its developments, and provides practical solutions from there,” sources say. He has a corporate finance skill set encompassing IPOs and pre-IPO transactions, as well as much experience with HKEx listing rules. In the past year he advised Merrill Lynch as sole financial adviser and underwriter on Sinpec Kantons Holdings’ HKD3.49 billion rights issue.
Hong Kong managing partner Michael Liu is recognised by peers as “a veteran of the market and a good rainmaker.” His ECM practice benefits from more than 25 years of experience in the Hong Kong market. He recently acted as US counsel to CITIC Securities on its Rule 144A/Regulation S offering and IPO on the HKEx.
Eugene Lee brings to bear a broad-based expertise covering both DCM and ECM. Rule 144A offerings and high-yield matters are his forte. In the past year he acted as lead managers' counsel to DBS Bank on China Resources Gas Group’s USD1.5 billion MTN programme.
Teresa Ma is known for her formidable Hong Kong IPO experience, and commentators say she is “a top-class lawyer.” Her practice bolsters the team’s ECM and regulatory related capabilities. She played a key role on the USD2 billion IPO and HKEx listing of Chow Tai Fook Jewellery Group.
Andrew Malcolm is a veteran practitioner with nearly 20 years of experience in the Hong Kong market. His broad-based expertise encompasses the full range of products, giving the team excellent reach across the board. Sources say: “He is sharp and commercially savvy but careful, and he’s someone you'd trust as an adviser to protect you while accomplishing your business goals.”
Jeremy Webb is an acknowledged leader in the DCM space. Peers note that “he’s an excellent practitioner for sure, and he’s calm and careful on transactions.” His specialisms include MTN programmes, convertible bonds and hybrid transactions; he also has a particular focus on the Philippine market.
Christopher Kelly wins plaudits for his commercially sound advice, one client calling him an "outstanding individual with great commercial and legal awareness." Sources also note his natural resources-related expertise.
William Liu is a DCM expert, lauded by peers and clients for his technical ability. His expertise encompasses a range of offerings including equity-linked transactions and renminbi bonds. A notable highlight from the past year was advising Barclays, BOCI and Citi on a USD1.5 billion notes issue by CNOOC Finance.
David Ludwick is making a name for himself in the market, and is best known for his DCM expertise. His US-related expertise covers SEC-registered offerings, Rule 144A/Regulation S matters and others. He recently advised Credit Suisse Securities and BDO Capital on Carmen Copper’s USD300 million notes offering.
Sources say Jon Gray is “an extremely user-friendly lawyer who fights hard for clients and manages difficult situations very well.” His SEC and Rule 144A-related experience gives the team an edge in the market. In the past year he acted as US counsel to Mizuho Securities, Merrill Lynch and others on Mizuho CB’s USD1.5 billion Rule 144A offering of senior notes.
Sim Hwang Hwa fields a broad-based practice though he is best known to peers for his DCM expertise. He also brings to the team his Mandarin and Bahasa Indonesia capabilities. Offshore renminbi bonds and convertible bonds are specialisms, and in the past year he advised the joint bookrunners and joint lead managers on a HKD2.2 billion guaranteed convertible bonds issue by China Overseas Grand Oceans.
Craig Dally earns praise for his diligence on transactions; “a real point man,” as one client noted. In the past year he advised Goldman Sachs, Deutsche Bank and others as joint global co-ordinators on the USD6 billion strategic sell-down by AIG of its shareholding in AIA.
Robert Cleaver has a corporate-based expertise, and tackles energy and natural resources-related IPOs. He played a key role on the aforementioned Glencore IPO.
Hyung Ahn leads the firm's Korea practice, and co-ordinates Korean clients' interests across the world. "We could build a pretty solid relationship between his firm and our company. We learned a lot from the team thanks to him," said one satisfied client. Another added: "He was able to leverage his extensive experience to address and mitigate legal issues effectively."
Chik Pui Hong's ECM practice is built on his expertise in IPOs and secondary offerings. In the past year he acted as Hong Kong counsel to CITIC Securities on its HKD13.2 billion global offering. He recently moved here from Baker & McKenzie.
James Fong is noted for his dedicated client service and issuers' side experience. Hong Kong IPOs are his forte.
Jason Elder has extensive experience of high-yield, hybrid and structured debt products, with a particularly strong track record in the Indonesian market.
Joshua Zimmerman is another high-yield specialist, though his practice also covers IPOs and sovereign bonds. In the past year he advised BW Group on its USD500 million bond restructuring.
Dieter Yih is lauded by peers for his technical skills and experience. He recently advised Nord Anglia on its USD325 million issue of senior secured notes. He is the former president of the Hong Kong Law Society.
James Grandolfo is thought of as "smart, practical and easy to deal with" by his peers. He is a noted adviser to several Indian clients, and his broad practice also encompasses issuances in the Philippines.
Paul Anthony C Pery
Venantius Tan is a market veteran whose long-standing working knowledge of IPOs and diligence issues make him a favourite for a number of PRC issuers. In the past year he advised Dalian Port on a CNY400 million renminbi bond offering.
Jonathan Perry enjoys a solid reputation in the market, and his corporate expertise allows him to tackle a range of capital markets work, with IPOs being a key area. In the past year he acted as underwriters' counsel to HSBC on a HKD531 million rights issue by Lai Sun Development.
David Stannard is a regional expert, with more than 20 years of experience in the Hong Kong market. Peers recognise his regulatory and insurance expertise.
Kurt Berney is an acknowledged US capital markets expert. He splits his time between the firm’s Shanghai and San Francisco offices. He recently acted for Citigroup Global Markets and Bank of China as underwriters on the HKD859 million IPO of China Lifestyle Food & Beverages Group.
David Roberts has a broad-based practice incorporating not only capital markets but also M&A, private equity and venture capital matters. In the past year he advised Zhongpin on its USD70.5 million follow-on public offering.
Sources say Edwin Luk is “commercially very strong and a solid rainmaker.” His practice is based on his broad-based corporate expertise and he heads the firm’s capital markets group. Highlights include advising China Hongqiao Group on a USD150 million Singapore-listed convertible bonds offering.
Billy Wong is noted for his “attentive and efficient” style. His ECM expertise lies on the issuers' side, and in addition to his venture capital investments expertise he brings to the team his accounting experience. In the past year he advised Huazhong Holdings on its HKD280 million IPO on the HKEx main board.
Steven Winegar brings a wide range of expertise and is best known for his ECM work. Clients and peers note his valuable in-house experience at Goldman Sachs and his solid underwriters' practice.
David Grimm gives the team its high-yield capability. He leads the group’s DCM practice.
Vivian Lam wins plaudits for her high-quality practice. Her broad-based DCM practice is founded on 20 years of experience in the finance area, including spells in the Singapore and London markets.
Raymond Li is praised by peers for his excellent rainmaking skills. He also brings to the team his PRC expertise, particularly in the restructuring and private equity areas.
Sources say Sammy Li specialises in IPOs and follow-on transactions. Besides his technical knowledge he also brings in-house experience. In the past year he advised CICC and GF Securities as joint bookrunners and joint lead managers on China Aluminum International Engineering’s USD172 million IPO and H-share listing on the HKEx.
Catherine Tsang's corporate and IPO skills boost the team's capabilities in the ECM space.
Daniel Kim handles a number of the firm's Korean matters. He recently relocated to the firm's new Seoul office from Hong Kong.
Joseph Tiano is also based in the USA and is a key part of the firm's China group. He has experience advising Chinese companies seeking access to the US market particularly, in respect of IPOs.
Michael Fosh is a seasoned ECM expert. His practice covers not only IPOs but also red-chip and A+H share matters.
Delpha Ho assists clients with a wide range of needs, including IPOs, secondary offerings and corporate restructuring.
Matthew Bersani is a veteran practitioner who “has been out here forever and has a good sense of judgement,” sources say. His broad-based practice allows him to handle both equity and debt, and in the latter his privatisation practice is especially noted by peers. His South-East Asia expertise is also an asset for the team, and in the past year he advised a consortium of banks including Nomura and RBS on the USD602 million IPO and Thailand listing of Tesco Lotus. His expertise also extends to India.
Kyungwon Lee won plaudits for his high-quality investment-grade and high-yield practice. Sources say he is “intelligent and committed to getting a deal done.” Peers note his prolific deal flow and expertise in Indonesia-related transactions. In the past year on the high-yield front he advised Credit Suisse, JPMorgan and UBS as joint bookrunners on a USD300 million senior secured notes offering by MMI International, as well as advising Listrindo Capital on its USD500 million Rule 144A/Regulation S senior notes offering. Lee has a regional practice and also handles securities transactions in relation to South Korea and Mongolia.
Alan Seem is lauded for his commercial sense, with one client noting: “He has always been very good at resolving issues in a sensible, commercially minded manner." His forte is Rule 144A/Regulation S securities transactions.
Colin Law is a Hong Kong capital markets specialist on the team, known best to peers for his hard-working approach. His ECM practice is built on solid securities and M&A expertise, and encompasses both IPOs and privatisations. In the past year he acted as underwriters' counsel to Morgan Stanley on the USD70 million IPO and HKEx listing of SPT Energy Group.
Matthew Sheridan is a marquee practitioner, described by one peer as “the Michael Jordan of capital markets.” One client also noted: “He’s very knowledgeable but is also capable of passing that knowledge to the clients and to the banks; he’s good at making you understand why certain high-yield covenants are structured this or that way. Some lawyers tell you it’s this way but don’t tell you why, but he tells you the full story and helps it make sense.” He splits his time between the firm’s Hong Kong and Singapore offices; he is also active in relation to offerings in the vibrant Indonesian debt market.
Constance Choy is a veteran lawyer whose experience in handling Hong Kong IPOs is a major asset to the team. She specialises in issuers' side work.
Alexander Lloyd is known to peers for his excellent high-yield and Philippines expertise. He is described by sources as “approachable and professional.”
Sources say Timothy Li is “a steady pair of hands with a loyal client following.” He brings both PRC and US expertise to the team, in addition to his ECM experience.
The key contact for this practice is Joel Bentsur. It specialises in privately placed debt work. Renminbi-denominated bonds are a particular area of expertise, while the team also provides solid regulatory compliance services.
Celia Lam is acknowledged by peers as one of the top lawyers in the market. Her ECM practice is built on a solid M&A foundation, and she handles the full range of matters including securities and listings. One of her key work highlights from the past year was representing Bank of Communications on a CNY56.6 billion private share placement.
Chen Leiming provides balanced DCM and ECM capability. His well-established expertise lies in handling US and Hong Kong IPOs, as well as debt offerings by PRC entities.
Christopher Wong is recognised as an ECM expert par excellence. His breadth of experience allows him to take on a range of matters, and in the past year he played a key role in advising UBS as sole global co-ordinator and joint bookrunner on the IPO and HKEx listing of Sky Financial Group.
Chris Lin wins praise for his diligent and responsive approach to client service. One commentator remarked: “He sets the professional standard, and is the first port of call for listing in the USA.” In the past year he led the team in advising Xiwang Special Steel on its USD171 million IPO and listing on the HKEx main board.
Jin-Hyuk Parkco-heads the Korea practice and is recognised as "a good, leading practitioner in capital markets" by peers. Park led the team advising a consortium of banks as purchasers on Hyundai's USD500 million notes listing on the Korea and London stock exchanges.
Kristina Kang specialises in debt listing for a variety of Korean companies.
Julie Gao's specialism lies in representing outbound PRC issuers in the TMT industry. A key highlight of hers from the past year was advising Vipshop Holdings, an online discount retailer, on its USD125 million IPO on the NYSE.
Jonathan Stone is a marquee practitioner who advises on both equity and debt deals across the entire Asia-Pacific region. Over the past year, he has been particularly active in the India, Indonesia and Philippines market, in addition to China. One source states that he is “a very technically proficient lawyer who’s been on the scene a long time.” A work highlight of his from the past year was representing Deutsche Bank as deal manager on a USD125 million exchange offer of 3i Infotech’s existing US dollar and euro zero coupon foreign currency convertible bonds.
Alec Tracy brings to the team “an exceptional understanding of the Hong Kong listing rules and a clear love for the technical aspects of the deal.” One client remarked: “He’s a strong advocate and a tough negotiator, someone you’d want to have in your corner as underwriters' counsel.” Beside his first-class ECM and high-yield expertise he brings to the team a solid Indonesia expertise.
Sources say Edward Lam is “a responsive and commercial problem solver, and one of the very few high-yield practitioners that is fluent in Mandarin, Cantonese and English.” His broad experience gives him reach across a range of transaction types, though he is best known for his high-yield expertise. In the past year he led the team in advising HSBC as placement agent and security agent on Powerlong Real Estate Holdings’ HKD1 billion Regulation S high-yield private placement of notes.
Christopher Betts joined the team in the past year, and brings keen PRC expertise, having advised a number of major PRC entities on their IPOs. Peers respect him as an impressive younger lawyer.
Sources say Benita Yu is “diligent, experienced and well versed in the Hong Kong listing rules.” One commentator remarked: “She’s a very helpful counsel, often going out of her way to help us, plus she’s close to the market and has the latest understanding of the regulators.” She is able to provide high-quality advice to clients on debt and equity work.
John Moore joined the firm in early 2014. He is a respected name in the market especially when it comes to private equity-related transactions.
Laurence Rudge’s experience gives the team an edge in the DCM area, and peers know him best for his MTN programme expertise. He recently advised MTR Corporation on a novel USD1 billion dim sum bond offering.
Jason Webber is another of the firm's equity experts. One impressed client states: "He's extremely commercial, a '24 hours a day you can call me' man and an unbelievably nice person to deal with, as well."
Lai Voon Keat impressed clients with his professionalism and technical knowledge.
Ivan Tan operates out of the firm’s Shanghai office, and wins plaudits for his diligent and committed work ethic. His corporate expertise is a boon to the firm��s IPO and fund-raising practice.
Ng Kay Ian is "my first port of call," one client enthused; "he knows the market and knows how to apply problem-solving skills." Peers also acknowledge his ECM practice, particularly his IPO expertise, as outstanding in the market. He speaks Mandarin and Malay.
Clients praise equity expert Wei Chun's "excellent deal management skills,” with one of them remarking: “She is one of the most experienced international lawyers for China-related issues. She is technically strong, and excellent at finding solutions to difficult issues. She puts clients first, and she’s diligent and responsible.” She led the team acting as underwriters' counsel on the USD1.9 billion IPO of New China Life Insurance.
William Chua is a “solid practitioner on the US side,” sources say. He is dual US and Hong Kong-qualified, and has experience with US securities and South-East Asia-related matters.
Gwen Wong wins plaudits for her “solution-focused, pragmatic and commercially sensitive” approach, while clients remark that “she consistently delivers very high-quality legal advice.” PRC entity-related matters are her specialism.
Robert Chu is based in Melbourne and has broad expertise in corporate matters and capital markets transactions. His capital markets experience includes working on IPOs for major Chinese companies around the world.
Now based in the USA, Robert DeLaMater has accrued significant expertise in Chinese capital markets transactions and has acted for a number of Chinese issuers. Sources have underscored his commercial awareness, as well as his innovative and thoughtful approach.
Sources recognise Anna-Marie Slot as an outstanding high-yield practitioner. One client noted that “she really adds value in that she gets involved personally, which is good in a tight situation.” Another remarked that “her out-of-the-box thinking is great, and she is good at coming up with unique solutions.”
Carmelo Lee is well known for his knowledge of HKEx listing rules. His recent successes include acting for New World Development on an HKD11.2 billion rights issue, as well as advising the same client as underwriter on New World China Land’s HKD4.26 billion rights issue.
Julianne Doe of Brandt Chan & Partners in association with Dentons has a “pragmatic, thorough and client-friendly” approach. In the past year she advised One Horizon Group on its pre-IPO and planned Hong Kong IPO procedures.
Stephen Mok of Eversheds is noted for his solid practice and enviable stable of PRC clientele. One client noted: “He’s a very personable guy, and he knows how Hong Kong IPOs work.”
Since publication, Gene Buttrill has joined Jones Day. He offers robust DCM and ECM capability and is known best for his US securities expertise. At his prior firm, Proskauer Rose, he advised the selling shareholders on Acquity Group’s USD33.3 million NYSE IPO.
David Johnson recently joined the Hong Kong office of K&L Gates. He is a DCM expert, but also covers equity linked products and often advises on Philippines-related matters, having previously co-headed the Philippines practice at that firm. His work highlights from the past year include advising on USD500 million Rule 144A/Regulation S bond offerings for both VietinBank and Bank of Ceylon.
Barbara Mok of Minter Ellison has a solid corporate-based practice. Peers recognise her long-standing experience in the market and IPO expertise.
Paul Boltz of Ropes & Gray LLP is a “safe pair of hands,” peers remark. One client also enthused: “His knowledge of the market is very clear, and though he does things by the book he always thinks of workable and flexible solutions.” He is also noted for his working knowledge of matters relating to the internet industry.
Victoria Lloyd recently joined Ropes & Gray LLP from Fried Frank, and is a known name in the market. Sources speak well of her dedication to clients, noting: “She is responsive and hard-working, and she doesn’t just show up at the last minute, she is hands-on throughout the process, looks at issues herself and tries to solve them.” A key highlight of hers from the past year was advising UBS and CCB International as joint lead managers, and CCB and Merrill Lynch as joint sponsors, on the USD383 million IPO and HKEx listing of Billion Industrial Holdings.
Shirley Lau of Troutman Sanders LLP is “hands-on and well experienced,” sources say. Clients point out her robust expertise with Hong Kong listing rules. She also brings to the team her Securities & Futures Commission regulatory expertise.
Olivia Lee of Troutman Sanders LLP boasts 20 years of experience in the Hong Kong market, while her wide-ranging corporate practice allows her to take on capital markets, private equity and M&A-related matters.
Joe Sevack is the high-yield expert on the Troutman Sanders LLP team. Sources say: “He adds value by looking out for potholes; he takes the adviser role to another level.”
Paul-Emmanuel Benachi of Lefèvre Pelletier & associés is based in the firm's China office and regularly advises French and international clients on capital markets and investment matters in the region.
Benjamin Kroymann of Squire Sanders advises clients on M&A transactions and equity capital markets. He has notable expertise in transactions between the German and Chinese business markets.
Foreign Experts (Based Abroad)
Based in London and China-qualified, Cao Chong of DWF LLP advises Chinese clients floating on the AIM and PLUS. He has particular expertise in AIM IPOs.
Gang Wong of Shook Lin & Bok LLP in Singapore continues to be an acknowledged player within this space. He was recently engaged by China XLX Fertiliser on a cross-border deal with Hong Kong to issue USD51 million in convertible bonds to Nitro Capital.