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White & Case LLP

Hong Kong

White & Case LLP - New York
  • 9th Floor, Central Tower
  • 28 Queen's Road Central
  • Hong Kong
  • Hong Kong
  • China
  • www. whitecase.com
  • Asia Section Head: Barrye Wall
  • Number of partners in Asia:  39
  • Number of fee-earners in Asia: 190
  • Number of staff in Asia: 357
  • Number of staff worldwide: 4,036

Firm Overview:
White & Case enjoys a reputation as one of the world’s leading law firms. With a longstanding presence in the markets that matter today, the global law firm uses its on-theground experience, cross-border integration and depth of local, US and English-qualified lawyers to help its clients work with confidence in any one market or across many. This global presence benefits clients seeking guidance on opportunities inbound to, outbound from, and within Asia. The firm’s Asia Pacific team serves clients from five regional offices with a focus on Australia, China, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan and Thailand. Bringing deals to completion in the region can be challenging – each market is dynamic as well as distinct in terms of culture, history and risk profile. The firm’s local insights, contacts and know-how, accumulated over more than 30 years in the region, help clients navigate complex market firsts and multijurisdictional matters.

Main Areas of Practice:
Asset Finance:
All areas of asset finance, with particular expertise in aviation, shipping and general equipment leasing.

Banking & Finance:
Leveraged and acquisition finance, bilateral and syndicated lending as well as all aspects of credit transactions, derivatives and structured finance. The firm is also strong in restructuring and insolvency.

Capital Markets:
Rule 144A/Regulation S offerings and private placements of high-yield, debt, convertible and exchangeable bonds; IPOs and other public offerings; MTNs/EMTNs, pre-IPO and PIPE transactions; equity and debt repurchases; and other capital restructurings.

Competition/Antitrust:
Merger reviews and filings, governmental investigations and investigations as well as antitrust counselling.

Corporate/M&A & Private Equity:
All areas of complex cross-border transactions including mergers, acquisitions, leveraged and management buy-outs, joint ventures, take privates, minority investments and corporate restructurings.

Dispute Resolution & Arbitration:
Cross-border disputes and arbitration experience with deep capabilities across the oil and gas, construction, petrochemical, telecommunications, infrastructure, steel, real estate, financial services and electronics sectors.

Energy, Infrastructure & Projects: 
Extensive experience in advising lenders, sponsors, offtakers and contractors on project documents and project financing for projects in the oil and gas (especially LNG), petrochemical, mining and metals, power, renewable and clean technology, and telecommunications sectors.

Intellectual Property:
Commercialisation of IP rights through joint ventures, assignments, licensing, strategic alliances and other structures as well as representing clients in all aspects of IP enforcement and infringement proceedings.

International Trade:
Trade disputes, antidumping, countervailing and other trade investigations, customs, export control, and regulatory and compliance matters, as well as strategic advice on the negotiation, implementation and practice of trade and investment agreements in ASEAN, India, East Asia, the Pacific, and WTO.

Investment Funds:
Buyout, traditional private equity, special situations, growth capital and hedge fund work acting for managers and sponsors on fund formation, regulatory, licensing and restructuring matters with particular expertise in the alternative assets sector, as well as acting for certain investors in the real estate and private equity fund sectors.

Real Estate:
Real estate finance, real estate investment funds and real estate joint ventures with extensive experience in Japan and China in hard asset and debt acquisitions and financings, debt buy-backs and workouts of distressed properties.

Tax:
International tax planning, transfer pricing and tax controversy expertise including defence and resolution of tax controversies in audits, domestic appeals, and government-to-government consultations.

Branches

  • 19th Floor, Tower 1,
  • China Central Place,
  • 81 Jianguo Lu,
  • Chaoyang District,
  • Beijing,
  • China
  • 100025
  • Tel + 86 10 5912 9600
  • Fax + 86 10 5969 5760
  • Website : www.whitecase.com
  • Citic Square, 39th Fl.,
  • 1168 Nanjing Road (West),
  • Shanghai,
  • China
  • 200041
  • Tel +86 21 6132 5900
  • Fax +86 21 6323 9252
  • 9th Floor, Central Tower,
  • 28 Queen's Road Central,
  • Hong Kong,
  • China
  • Tel +852 2822 8700
  • Fax +852 2845 9070
  • Marunouchi Trust Tower Main, 26th Floor,
  • 1-8-3 Marunouchi,
  • Chiyoda-ku,
  • Tokyo,
  • Tokyo-to
  • Japan
  • 100-0005
  • Tel +81 3 6384 3300
  • Fax +81 3 3211 5252
  • 8 Marina View #27-01,
  • Asia Square Tower 1,
  • Singapore,
  • Singapore Island
  • Singapore
  • 018960
  • Tel +65 6225 6000
  • Fax +65 6225 6009
  • 1155 Avenue of the Americas,
  • New York,
  • USA
  • NY 10036-2787
  • Tel +1 212 819 8200
  • Fax +1 212 354 8113

Capital Markets - Asia-Pacific Region

What the team is known for Highlighted for its work on equity transactions, especially in the emerging Asian markets. The firm is particularly active in Singapore and Japan and additionally has offices in Beijing, Hong Kong and Shanghai. Also active in the high-yield space.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Responsiveness: "They always respond promptly, update the clients regularly, and when we're asking for feedback they're very attentive."

Professionalism: "They have a very good attitude towards work; they want to deliver."

Work highlights Advised Qatar Petroleum on its USD1 billion samurai bond offering, guaranteed by JBIC, in the first samurai bond offering from Qatar.

Advised Bangkok Mass Transit System Public Company and BTS Group on the USD2.1 billion IPO of BTS Rail Mass Transit Growth Infrastructure Fund.

Notable practitioners

Hong Kong-based Anna-Marie Slot is a specialist in debt capital markets, particularly in the high-yield space. Kaya Proudian is based in Singapore and has 20 years of capital markets experience. 

Significant clients CIMB Bank, Morgan Stanley, Sumitomo Mitsui Banking, MIE Holdings, Mizuho Corporate Bank.

Corporate/M&A - Asia-Pacific Region

What the team is known for Deeply entrenched in the South-East Asian market with a substantial corporate law offering in energy sector transactions. Advises leading banks as financial sponsors to major deals in the region. Also active in Japan and China with respect to outbound acquisitions and joint venture formations. 

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Commercial awareness: "They really have a business mindset and strong capabilities to solve issues in a timely manner, including the proposal of alternative solutions."

What's new? The firm entered into an alliance with MD & Partners in Indonesia in January 2013.  

Work highlights Acted for the Indian infrastructure company GMR Infrastructure in selling a 70% stake of its Singaporean subsidiary to FPM Power Holdings, a joint venture between First Pacific and the Philippines-based Meralco PowerGen, for USD660 million.

Represented Deutsche Bank as financial adviser to Japanese food and beverage conglomerate Kirin Holdings to acquire all shares of the Singapore-listed Fraser & Neave.

Notable practitioners

The primary contact for Singapore is Jonathan Olier, besides Jun Usami and Brian Strawn in the Tokyo office. Alex Zhang is a key partner in Shanghai.

Significant clients CHAMP Private Equity, Haier Group, CLSA Capital Partners, Temasek Holdings, SoftBank, Toshiba.

Energy & Natural Resources - Asia-Pacific Region

What the team is known for A strong and varied energy practice involved in a range of transactions for major clients in the sector. A growing profile for mining industry transactions.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Bench strength: "They have a lot of lawyers who are very experienced at handling energy matters."

Breadth of services: "They have so many specialists providing a range of services."

What's new? Partner John Tivey joined the firm in mid 2013 to head the global mining and metals group, along with associate Matthew Love.

Work highlights Represented Rajawali Group in its USD50 million acquisition of an additional stake in Indo Mines, increasing its share in the organisation to 57.12%.

Continues to act for Indophil Resources on corporate and regulatory matters relating to the Tampakan copper-gold mining project in the Philippines.

Notable practitioners  

Hendrik Gordenker is considered by peers to be an "LNG sales expert" and who is further identified as having a "great reputation." He recently advised Tokyo Electric Power on its interest in the Wheatstone LNG project, acting on various corporate issues associated with the project.

Significant clients Saudi Aramco, Indophil Resources, Tokyo Electric Power.

Investment Funds - Asia-Pacific Region

What the team is known for Continues to advise on hedge and private equity fund formations, drawing support from the firm's wider international platform. Recent practice developments include a growing focus on the Korean market as well as enhanced regulatory expertise.

Work highlights Assisted PAG with the formation of its USD675 million PAG Asia Loan Fund, focusing on debt and loan investment opportunities in the region.

Notable practitioners

Sharon Hartline is based in Hong Kong and is a primary point of contact.

Significant clients ADM Capital, Qatar Investment Authority, Dymon Asia Capital, CLSA Capital Partners, RHB OSK International Asset Management.

Projects - Asia-Pacific Region

What the team is known for A solid team acting for both developers and lenders on major energy and infrastructure projects across the Asia-Pacific region from offices in Tokyo, Singapore, Hong Kong and Beijing.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Bench strength: "They have a lot of lawyers who are very experienced on energy projects."

International capabilities: "A real project finance powerhouse globally."

Work highlights Represented Asian Development Bank in the financing of key water infrastructure projects in China.  

Advised China Development Bank on its USD350 million limited recourse financing for a port development project in Sri Lanka.

Acted for TEPCO on the financing and development of the USD29 billion Wheatstone LNG project in Australia, in which the client had a significant stake.

Notable practitioners  

Li Xiaoming regularly acts on project finance for significant clients such as China Development Bank. Sources praise his experience, saying: "His guidance is broad and deep." He is also described as "a key figure in the firm."

Significant clients IFC, Asian Development Bank, China Development Bank.

Aviation - China

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

What the team is known for Advises on a wide range of complex aviation transactions hand in hand with other skilled practitioners in the Tokyo and Singapore offices. Maintains its presence in ECA-guaranteed asset finance.

Work highlights Represented CDB Leasing as lessee in a USD120 million transaction involving JOLCO financing for three Boeing 737-800.

Counselled Cathay United Bank on its financing of two Airbus A320-200 aircraft for Hong Kong Aviation Capital as lessor and Jetstar Japan as lessee.

Significant clients International Lease Finance Corporation.

Banking & Finance - China

Basic facts about the department
- 7 partners
- 1 counsel
- 23 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Remains at the forefront of banking and finance in China and is acclaimed for its representation of Chinese banks and corporations. Well regarded for its work on high-profile acquisition transactions.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Partner involvement: "The firm has solid associates and plenty of partner attention, which you don't often get."

Pragmatic advice: "They are able to give useful analysis and advice consistently throughout the transaction."

Work highlights Advised a large number of lenders on an USD8 billion loan to China's e-commerce giant Alibaba. 

Notable practitioners  

Practice regional head John Hartley stands out for his extensive expertise in handling complex cross-border transactions in the region. He is lauded for "being extremely helpful and proactive in driving the transaction forward." A key highlight saw him advise multiple creditors on a new USD8 billion loan facility to Alibaba.

Li Xiaoming is admired for his in-depth knowledge and experience in representing Chinese financial institutions on a variety of financing projects. Recent work includes advising China Development Bank on a USD1.2 billion financing for Shandong Steel Hong Kong Resources.

Baldwin Cheng is deemed "an outstanding practitioner" by peers and is building a reputation in leveraged finance and general banking, working on behalf of both Chinese and global lenders. He is advising CDB on its financing to Shandong Steel Hong Kong Resources.

Capital Markets - China

Basic facts about the department
Equity & debt
- 1 partner
- 3 associates

What the team is known for A compact team with a particular focus on high-yield debt. 

Work highlights Advising the joint lead managers, including Deutsche Bank and ANZ, on the USD1 billion high-yield offering of 5.0% senior notes due 2021 by MCE Finance, a subsidiary of Melco Crown Entertainment.

Notable practitioners  

Partner Anna-Marie Slot takes the lead on the team's high-yield work. Her recent highlights include advising ANZ, Deutsche Bank and Merrill Lynch, in addition to other joint bookrunners and lead managers, on Studio City Finance's USD825 million high-yield issuance of 8.5% senior notes due 2020.

Significant clients Crédit Agricole, Credit Suisse, Greentown China Holdings, HSBC, Morgan Stanley, UBS.

Since publication, Anna-Marie Slot has joined Ashurst

Intellectual Property - China

Basic facts about the department
- 3 partners
- 3 other fee earners

What the team is known for Advises clients on all aspects of the exploitation of IP assets as well as handling complex, and often cross-border, litigation. Its client list includes many well-known names in the region, including in China, Taiwan and Japan.

Notable practitioners  

Patrick Ma is active in contentious and non-contentious work, and has been successful in litigation on issues surrounding patent infringement, trade secret misappropriation and unfair competition.

Significant clients China UnionPay, Haier, Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing, Toshiba, J.M. Smucker.

Investment Funds (International Firms) - China

Basic facts about the department
- 3 partners
- 2 associates

What the team is known for A well-balanced practice assisting with the establishment of joint venture fund platforms targeted at regional opportunities, as well as representing investors. Regularly serves US fund clients, and has additional strength in advising on Hong Kong regulations.

Work highlights Acted for PAG on structuring and establishing its USD675 million PAG Asian Loan Fund LP, which is targeted at debt and loan opportunities in the Asia-Pacific region.

Notable practitioners

Sharon Hartline "communicates well" and has long-standing experience in the investment funds market. She offers a wealth of US and Hong Kong regulatory expertise to a wide range of international clients investing in the Asia-Pacific region.

Significant clients ADM Capital, PAG, Qatar Investment Authority.

Projects - China

What the team is known for Distinguished projects practice that is especially noted for its project finance expertise. Also significant experience with respect to project structuring and related government regulations

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Client service: "Outstanding availability and client-focused advice."

Market standing: "Very prominent in its work for Chinese banks." 

Work highlights Acted for Asia Development Bank in its USD200 million dual currency financing of a major PRC municipal water distribution infrastructure project.

Represented CDB in its limited-recourse financing of Colombo South Harbour Port in Sri Lanka, a USD350 million PPP project.

Notable practitioners  

Hallam Chow is noted for his solution-oriented approach, one source noting: "He's like an artist - he really knows how to create and structure things." Chow was lead partner on the PRC Municipal Water Distribution project. 

Li Xiaoming has a strong project finance practice and regularly acts for China Development Bank. He advised CDB on its financing of Weichai Power's EUR553 million acquisition of an interest in Kion Group. According to sources, "his guidance is broad and deep."

David Li "thinks very, very commercially" according to interviewees. One client said: "He provides valuable advice and creative financing solutions." He was recently involved in the financing of United Water's BOT water treatment project.

Significant clients CDB, International Finance Corporation, Saudi Aramco, Asian Development Bank.