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Ropes & Gray LLP


Ropes & Gray LLP - Boston
  • Prudential Tower
  • 800 Boylston Street
  • Boston
  • Massachusetts
  • USA
  • MA 02199-3600
  • Chairman: R Bradford Malt
  • Managing Partner: David C Chapin
  • Number of partners: 286 
  • Number of lawyers: 972 (includes associates, partners, counsel, career associates, hourly associates)
  • Languages: Japanese, Korean, Mandarin, Cantonese, Shanghainese and others

Firm Overview:
Ropes & Gray is one of the world’s most highly respected law firms,with offices in key business and financial centres in Asia, the US and Europe. In Asia, the firm offers a unique combination of domestic, US and UK corporate and finance law advice. The firm’s ability to provide expertise in the key Asian jurisdictions with a US-style service model is a key differentiator. The firm has seen strong growth across Asia in recent years, opening in Seoul in summer 2012.

Main Areas of Practice:
Bank Finance:

This team has established itself as the most active sponsor-side leveraged finance practices in the Asia Pacific region. The team is able to advise on the full range of banking, acquisition finance and special situations mandates. The group has won a number of awards for the quality of its work across Asia in the past 12 months.
Contact: Michael Nicklin
Email: michael.nicklin@ropesgray.com

Capital Markets:
Offering a multi-lingual US- and HKqualified securities team, this group’s ability to bridge the differences in Asian and US capital markets requirements means it has been advising on a growing number of complex transactions involving Asian-based, US and HK-listed companies, particularly entities based in China, this year.
Contact: Paul Boltz
Email: paul.boltz@ropesgray.com

In line with increasing client demand, the firm set out to build a corporate/M&A capability around the needs of its historical US client base across Asia. The corporate/ M&A team provides a full service resource to domestic and overseas players across the region.
Contact: Brian A Schwarzwalder
Email: brian.schwarzwalder@ropesgray.com

Disputes & Anti-Corruption:
This experienced team has seen a substantially increased caseload over the past 12 months in the area of anti-corruption prevention and investigations, as well as regulatory and disputes matters. This is a traditional area of strength for the firm globally, particularly in relation to work with major US and global multinational companies in relation to the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.
Contact: Kim B Nemirow
Email: kim.nemirow@ropesgray.com

Fund Formation:
This investment funds team has earned a place as lead adviser on many of the largest fund mandates in the Asian markets in recent years and has demonstrated a position of trust from domestic venture capital funds. The team has become one of the largest and most experienced groups with a cross-US connection operating in Asia at the current time.
Contact: Geoffrey Chan
Email: geoffrey.chan@ropesgray.com

Intellectual Property Transactions & Litigation:
The firm has made a significant investment in the build out of its full-service IP capability which has particular strength in life sciences. A key factor in this group’s effective client representation is its cross-US connection. The firm as a whole has historically been seen as a go-to adviser in intellectual property in both litigation and transactional – the Asia practice is no exception.
Contact: Hiroyuki Hagiwara
Email: hiroyuki.hagiwara@ropesgray.com
Contact: Geoffrey Lin
Email: geoffrey.lin@ropesgray.com

Life Sciences:
With the life sciences sector across Asia undergoing a massive surge in investor interest, this team has based its services on the premise that the ability to access top tier M&A, private equity, regulatory and IP legal advice is critical to successful expansion for clients. The firm recognised this client need and has worked hard to create a bespoke resource to go above and beyond this need.
Contact: Arthur Mok
Email: arthur.mok@ropesgray.com

Private Equity:
As one of the leading advisers to the private equity industry in the US, and indeed, around the globe, the firm has hired leading private equity advisers in each of the key Asian jurisdictions. The firm offers experienced counsel in every area of private equity sector activity and, as a result, is active on market-leading deals, year-round, across the Asia Pacific region.
Contact: Scott A Jalowayski
Email: scott.jalowayski@ropesgray.com
Contact: Tsuyoshi Imai
Email: tsuyoshi.imai@ropesgray.com

Clients: The firm’s clients include a wide range of lenders, private equity sponsors and corporate entities.

Areas of Practice

  • Bank Finance
  • Capital Markets
  • Corporate & M&A
  • Disputes/Anti-Corruption
  • Fund Formation
  • Hedge Funds
  • Intellectual Property
  • Life Sciences
  • Private Equity


  • 41st Floor, One Exchange Square,
  • 8 Connaught Place,
  • Central,
  • Hong Kong,
  • China
  • Tel +11 852 3664 6488
  • Fax +11 852 3664 6588
  • Website : www.ropesgray.com
  • Suite 3207, Park Place,
  • 1601 Nanjing Road West,
  • Shanghai,
  • China
  • 200040
  • Tel +86 21 6157 5200
  • Fax +86 21 6157 5299
  • Yusen Building 2F ,
  • 3-2 Marunouchi 2-Chome,
  • Chiyoda-ku,
  • Tokyo,
  • Tokyo-to
  • Japan
  • 100-0005
  • Tel +81 3 6259 3500
  • Fax +81 3 6259 3501
  • POSCO P&S Tower, 21F ,
  • 134 Teheran-ro, Gangnam-gu ,
  • Seoul,
  • South Korea
  • 135-923
  • Tel T +82 2 2141 5900
  • Fax +82 2 2141 5950

Corporate/M&A & Private Equity - Asia-Pacific Region

What the team is known for Widely regarded for its private equity experience in the region, with highly experienced teams in Japan and China. Notably advised on major going-private transactions concerning US-listed Chinese companies over the past year. Has a solid client base that consists of major private equity funds and sovereign wealth funds.

Work highlights Represented Bain Capital in purchasing a controlling stake in Japan's largest direct retail marketing company, Jupiter Shop Channel, for USD1.3 billion.

Acted for China Everbright as a consortium buyer in Focus Media Holding's USD3.7 billion going-private transaction.

Notable practitioners  

Shanghai partner Arthur Mok is a key partner along with Scott Jalowayski, who divides his time between the Tokyo and Hong Kong offices.

Significant clients AlpInvest, D. E. Shaw, Bain Capital, Baring Private Equity, TPG Capital, Goldman Sachs.

Intellectual Property - Asia-Pacific Region

What the team is known for An expanding practice in the region, increasingly handling South Korean matters from its relatively new Seoul office and Taiwanese matters out of Japan. Also noted for its Hong Kong and PRC practices. Handles large IP-driven corporate and commercial transactions and cross-border disputes, often in US courts and before the ITC.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Responsiveness: "They are very accommodating of different time zones, and always very responsive. I would highly recommend them." 

Work highlights Represented Fujitsu in several cross-border patent litigation cases brought against the company by patent licensing group Acacia Research.

Notable practitioners  

Hiroyuki Hagiwara is a key partner in Japan, while Geoffrey Lin and David Chun are the main contacts in China and South Korea respectively.

Significant clients Fujitsu, MedImmune, Mitsubishi Tanabe Pharma, Nikon, Toyota.

Investment Funds - Asia-Pacific Region

What the team is known for This relatively new market entrant has quickly established an admirable reputation in Asia for private equity fund formation. It handles high-value fund-raisings for an increasing number of private investors as well as government-backed funds in the region.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Pragmatic advice: "Ropes & Gray has a very strong investment funds practice that offers comprehensive legal services and innovative solutions to clients." 

Work highlights Counsel to Temasek and its newly established subsidiary, Pavilion Capital, on the formation of multiple private equity funds.

Represented FountainVest partners in the launch of its second US dollar-denominated China-focused fund, raising USD1.4 billion.

Notable practitioners

Partner Geoffrey Chan is based in the Shanghai office and leads the Asian investment funds practice.

Significant clients Harvest Capital, Temasek Holdings, FountainVest Partners, CITIC Private Equity, Goldstone Capital.

Life Sciences - Asia-Pacific Region

What the team is known for A highly specialised team that is active in the main areas of life sciences: transactional, IP, regulatory and compliance. In addition to a strong team in China, it has IP specialists in Tokyo, who are also heavily involved in the life sciences sector.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients):
Market standing: "They have a good cross-regional presence."

Work highlights Represented Bain Capital in its life sciences investments in China.

Advised MedImmune on the establishment of a biologics joint venture with WuXi AppTec.

Notable practitioners

Arthur Mok in Shanghai is a key contact.

Significant clients Eisai, Ironwood Pharmaceuticals, Johnson & Johnson, Kleiner Perkins, Sequoia Capital.

Banking & Finance - China

Basic facts about the department
- 2 partners
- 5 associates

What the team is known for Has bucked the challenging economy and attracted substantial mandates from top-drawer sponsors and private equity clients. Special expertise in acquisition finance and large-scale LBOs in the region.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Expertise: "The firm is associated with private equity transactions."

Value for money: "Considering the good job done, the billing is not excessive."

What's new? Partner Daniel Anderson joined the firm from the special situations group at Citadel in Asia.

Work highlights Advised Bain Capital on the financing of its LBO of a 50% stake in ShopChannel. The value of the transaction amounted to approximately USD1.3 billion.

Notable practitioners  

Michael Nicklin, head of the Asia finance team, has notable expertise in leveraged and acquisition finance. He advised Bain Capital in relation to the financing of the LBO of a 50% stake in ShopChannel.

Significant clients TPG Capital, Bain Capital.

Corporate/M&A - China

Basic facts about the department
7 partners
- 10 associates

What the team is known for Quality practice that continues to build up traction in China. Frequent advisers to private equity houses and portfolio companies regarding their expansion in the market. Has built up a robust practice in the life sciences space in recent years. 

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients) 
Commercial awareness: "Ropes & Gray has good commercial awareness and recommends practical and workable solutions to clients. Their communication is timely and effective. Client service is good, timely and responsive, and can meet tight deadlines."

Work highlights Advised MedImmune on the joint venture establishment of the largest clinical research entity in China, WuXi AppTec, with an initial capital commitment of USD55 million.

Counsel to the buyer consortium of ShangPharma in its USD173 million privatisation transaction.

Notable practitioners  

Arthur Mok is a key partner of the M&A group and additionally advices on private equity matters.

Significant clients AstraZeneca, Bain Capital, China GrenTech, Johnson & Johnson, Pfizer. 

Intellectual Property - China

Basic facts about the department
- 1 partner
- 3 other fee earners

What the team is known for A broad client base ranging across the biotechnology, digital technology, consumer products and chemicals industry. Assists local clients as well as its traditional base of US corporates. As well as IP-based transactions, its expertise includes corporate structuring and litigation.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Bench strength: "The firm is well resourced and was able to bring in experts in other fields and regions."

Work highlights Advised MedImmune on the structuring of its joint venture and the out-licensing of a biologic candidate.

Notable practitioners  

Geoffrey Lin's practice centres on structuring technology transfers as well as enforcing clients’ IP rights. Clients note that he is "very good at counselling on negotiation strategies."

Investment Funds (International Firms) - China

Basic facts about the department
- 1 partner
- 4 associates

What the team is known for Increasingly visible heavyweight private equity team. Highly active assisting eminent Chinese fund clients in fund-raisings and outbound investments into other Asian countries.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Pragmatic advice: "Ropes & Gray has a very strong investment funds practice offering comprehensive legal services and innovative solutions to clients."

Work highlights Represented FountainVest Partners in the creation of its first US dollar China fund, which raised USD1.4 billion.

Primary external counsel to Tamasek Holdings' recently established private equity fund Pavilion Capital, which focuses on investments in North Asia.

Notable practitioners

Geoffrey Chan continues to impress market commentators with his extensive work with Chinese and regional fund clients. "We feel very comfortable consulting him and he helps us to make decisions, facilitating the process from different angles," explains one source.

Significant clients Bank of China Investments, CITIC Private Equity, Pavilion Capital, Ivy Capital, Goldstone Capital.

Life Sciences - China

Basic facts about the department
- 2 partners
- 1 counsel
- 10 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Has been growing its life sciences offering in recent times and continues to have a particular focus on transactional work and IP. Also known for its focus on the Hong Kong capital markets, where considerable funding for activities on the mainland is raised.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients):
Client service: "Services are rendered in a professional way with good commercial awareness, and good internal control."

Work highlights Advised MedImmune on the establishment of a joint venture with WuXi AppTec. This is a novel transaction between a multinational biologics company and a China-based pharmaceutical research services company.

Advised Bain Capital in relation to a new life sciences acquisition in China.

Notable practitioners  

Katherine Wang advises on commercial and regulatory matters such as product registration, pricing, clinical studies and product safety. She is acknowledged for having a "solution-oriented mind-set, and excellent analytic skills and business knowledge."

Geoffrey Lin focuses on technology transfers and on protection and use of IP assets for life sciences clients. He is praised for providing advice that is "clear, precise, timely and sound in quality."

Arthur Mok works with large pharmaceutical companies, medical device companies, private equity funds and institutional lenders on corporate and transactional work in the life sciences sector. He has worked with MedImmune in the past year.

Significant clients HAO Capital, Ironwood Pharmaceuticals, Johnson & Johnson, Kleiner Perkins, Pfizer. 

Private Equity - China

Basic facts about the department
- 5 partners
- 7 associates

What the team is known for Respected advisers to some of the most renowned names in private equity. Acted as counsel in all sponsor-backed privatisations of US-listed Chinese companies in the past year. Highly respected for its recent track record in the life sciences space and co-ordinates closely with its Japanese practice on pan-Asian deals.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Expertise: "The Ropes & Gray team has a good understanding of deals from a business perspective and a strong grasp of key legal matters from the investor's perspective. They are also able to integrate expertise from various offices efficiently."

Market standing: "They have entrenched relationships with some of the largest private equity firms in the world."

What's new? Daniel Anderson became a partner in 2013. He is a key member of the firm's special situations investors practice.

Work highlights Advised Bain Capital on the sale of two portfolio companies, Hipro Polymers and Casda Biomaterials, to French chemical company Arkema.

Counsel to buyer consortium member China Everbright in the proposed take-private transaction of Focus Media Holding, worth approximately USD3.7 billion.

Notable practitioners

Market commentators praise Arthur Mok as "a very fine lawyer" with deep private equity experience. He has developed significant expertise in the life sciences and pharmaceutical sector. Lately, he has represented a joint venture investment platform on an outbound acquisition of a medical company.

Fluent in Mandarin, Brian Schwarzwalder is a frequent adviser to many heavyweight private equity sponsors in China-focused investment transactions. One client enthuses: "He is always on the ball, understands risks and finds solutions to mitigate them."

Significant clients AlpInvest, Bain Capital, The Blackstone Group, Hao Capital, Goldman Sachs.

Corporate/M&A - Japan

Basic facts about the department
- 2 partners
- 1 counsel
- 5 associates

What the team is known for Noted for its involvement in sophisticated M&A transactions and private equity deals. It has particular expertise in representing funds investing in key industries such as telecommunications and pharmaceuticals.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Expertise: "The team has unique expertise in leveraged buyout transactions and private equity work. They are familiar with the Japanese market and their advice is very strategic."

Work highlights Advised Bain Capital on its USD1.3 billion acquisition of Jupiter Shop Channel, a Japanese leading television shopping channel and retail company.

Notable practitioners

Tsuyoshi Imai recently represented Bain Capital in its USD1.3 billion acquisition of Jupiter Shop Channel. Clients particularly appreciate his negotiation skills, with one saying: "I can rely on him to protect my interests when negotiating with other parties."

Scott Jalowayski divides his time between the Hong Kong and Tokyo offices. He has a solid track record acting in cross-border transactions throughout the Asia-Pacific region.

Significant clients Alpinvest, Bain Capital, Baring Private Equity, Baupost, TPG Capital.

Intellectual Property - Japan

Basic facts about the department
- 2 partners
- 1 counsel
- 5 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Recently-expanded IP team, both in terms of number of fee earners and the scope of the practice, with the Tokyo team handling IP matters across Asia, particularly in Taiwan. Highly experienced advising clients in the life sciences, pharmaceutical and automotive sectors.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Client service: "They're quick, considerate, and very client-oriented. They try to understand where we are and what our goals are, tailoring the advice to fit accordingly."

International capability: "The Tokyo office not only provides timely advice in Japanese, but at the same time we can get advice from lawyers in the States on international issues."

Work highlights Representing Nikon in multiple patent infringement cases brought by Intellectual Ventures relating to camera technology. The team won early motions to dismiss for Nikon.

Successfully defended NEC in a multi-patent infringement case concerning telecoms network security, securing a settlement before trial.

Notable practitioners  

Clients appreciate Hiroyuki Hagiwara noting that "he has a lot of experience in patent litigation in the US, and also knows the decision-making process of Japanese corporations, and how they handle IP matters." He recently defended Fujitsu and subsidiaries in a number of complex patent infringement cases.

Maxwell Fox is described by clients as "very responsive, flexible and understanding of our situation with regard to things like fee arrangements or paperwork deadlines." He recently successfully defended NEC in a telecoms network security patent infringement case.

Significant clients  DeNA, Fujifilm, Olympus, Quanta Computer.

Intellectual Property - South Korea

Basic facts about the department
- 2 partners
- 1 associate
- Seoul office established in July 2012

What the team is known for Has rapidly built on its presence in Seoul, offering an integrated service in IP-related transactions together with enforcement and litigation expertise. 

Work highlights Represented Hyundai Heavy Industries in an action against Swiss company ABB in a Florida court in connection with a patent infringement. 

Represented KC Tech against Hitachi Chemical in a patent infringement action pending in the Western District of Texas.

Represented LG Electronics in patent litigations involving a variety of technologies.

Notable practitioners  

David Chun is a key partner in the practice, leading on a diverse range of US-based litigations for Korean clients. He is enthusiastically recommended by one client for his "very thorough review on all documents; very strategic feedback on negotiation plans; very honest feedback on the cost perspective on their work."

William Kim is a partner in the firm's corporate department and is the chair of the Korea practice. He engages in a full range of IP matters for Korean clients, including litigation and technology licensing and transfer.

Significant clients Hyundai Heavy Industries, KC Tech, Kia Motors.