Legal news in brief


Link assists fund raising

Link Legal advised regional language social media platform ShareChat in raising US$100 million in a Series D round of funding led by Twitter and joined by Trustbridge Partners and other investors.

This is Twitter’s first financial investment in India, and the second US$100 million fund raising by ShareChat in less than a year, from which it plans to strengthen the technology infrastructure for its platform. The Link Legal team comprised Manish Gupta (partner), Peter Vinu (principal associate), Rashi Singh (associate) and Vivek Tiwari (company secretary).

2 for shook Lin & Bok

Shook Lin & Bok announced the admission of two new partners – Jevon Louis who specializes in intellectual property, and Moses Lin who specializes in shipping.

Louis has dual qualifications as a lawyer and a registered Singapore patent attorney and will head the intellectual property practice. Lin rejoins the firm to head its maritime practice and will advise primarily on shipping disputes.

Baker sets record Revenue

Baker McKenzie announced record revenues for the fiscal year ended 30 June 2019 of US$2.92 billion. In terms of constant currency, Baker McKenzie’s revenues were up 4.4% compared to the previous year. In US dollar terms, the firm’s reporting currency, this translates into growth of 1.2%, after the effect of adverse currency exchange.

Baker McKenzie’s recorded growth for regions where it operates were: Asia-Pacific +2.1%; Europe, Middle East and Africa +5.2%; Latin America +9%; and North America +4%.

Firm hires specialist

Raymond Lou recently joined Baker McKenzie’s projects group as a partner in the firm’s Sydney office. Lou is a specialist in the corporate, infrastructure, energy and resources sectors with a China and cross-border focus. He joined Baker McKenzie from Norton Rose Fulbright’s Sydney office where he led the China M&A team.

Bank’s offer and listing

Paul Hastings advised Jinshang Bank on its US$422 million global offering and listing of its H shares on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange. Jinshang Bank is the only provincial city commercial bank in Shanxi province, China.

The Paul Hastings team was led by Raymond Li, global partner and chair of Greater China, Zhaoyu Ren, corporate partner and vice chair of the firm’s Hong Kong office, and corporate partner Vincent Wang, with support from associates Erika Zhao, Eric Wong and Joyce Fung.

BMR recruits GST lead

BMR Legal Advocates hired Tarun Jain as a partner to lead the firm’s GST, customs and trade practice in Delhi. Jain has more than a decade of experience in multi-faceted areas of indirect tax policy, advisory & disputes.

Hua joins Shearman

Shearman & Sterling has appointed Max Hua to the firm’s Hong Kong office as a partner.

Hua’s practice focuses on public takeovers, private equity, mergers and acquisitions, capital markets (including IPOs on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange) and general corporate regulatory and compliance matters.

His appointment is the third senior hire for Shearman & Sterling in Asia this year, following partner Karl Pires in Tokyo and counsel Terrence O’Donnell in Hong Kong.

Reed recruits M&A partner

Reed Smith announced that Eric Lin joined the firm as a partner in its energy and natural resources industry group in the firm’s Beijing office.

Lin was previously a partner and the Beijing office head of Simmons & Simmons. He has more than 19 years of experience in international M&A, projects and project finance, energy and natural resources projects.

Draft law published

The National People’s Congress has published a draft of a new Cryptography Law that is open for public comment until 2 September 2019. The draft law covers the mechanisms for the administration of cryptography related work and includes measures for promoting and safeguarding cryptography development.

Skadden in Nasdaq IPO

Skadden advised 9F, a leading digital financial accounting platform in China, on its US$85 million IPO of American depositary shares (ADS) on the Nasdaq. The underwriters have been granted an option to purchase an aggregate of up to 1,335,000 additional ADS. If this option is exercised, the offering is expected to raise US$97.23 million. Trading commenced on 15 August 2019.

The team was led by Hong Kong partner Julie Gao and Shanghai partner Li Haiping, with associates Zhong Wei and Jian Wang (both in Beijing).

SIAC hires China talent

The Singapore International Arbitration Centre (SIAC) announce that Sophia Liu Jianying was appointed co-deputy head (China). Liu will be based in the SIAC’s Shanghai office, and will promote the development of international arbitration through arbitration events and training programmes in China.

Notes issue draws firms

Maples Group’s legal services division in Hong Kong acted as Cayman Islands and British Virgin Islands legal counsel to Powerlong Real Estate Holdings Limited on its issuance of HK$1 billion in 6% senior notes due in 2022. The issuer is a property developer in China specializing in large-scale retail and residential complexes. The Maples Group team was led by partner Richard Spooner and associate Devika Parchment. The issuer was advised by Dorsey & Whitney as to US, English and Hong Kong laws, and by Commerce & Finance Law Offices as to China laws.

Pinsent takes two partners

Pinsent Masons has appointed partners Mark Waddell and James Morgan-Payler to enhance the firm’s infrastructure and energy practice in Australia and the Asia-Pacific. Both are advisers on major infrastructure projects, acting for developers, investors and major contractors.

They also bring experience working on energy projects and EPC contracts, most notably within the renewables market. Both join the firm from Norton Rose Fulbright, with Waddell based in Sydney and Morgan-Payler based in Melbourne.

Firm bolsters energy practice

Stephenson Harwood strengthened its global energy group with the addition of Marco Pocci, who joins the firm as a partner in Hong Kong. Pocci’s practice focuses on energy and infrastructure, advising clients on a wide range of matters including regulatory, contract negotiations, finance and construction.

Firms assist CIFI issuance

Maples Group’s legal services division in Hong Kong acted as Cayman Islands and British Virgin Islands legal counsel to CIFI Holdings (Group) on its issuance of RMB1.6 billion (US$236 million) 6.7% senior notes due in 2022. The notes are listed on the Stock Exchange of Hong Kong Limited. The Maples team was led by partner Lorraine Pao. Sidley Austin acted as US and Hong Kong counsel to the issuer and Davis Polk & Wardwell acted as US counsel to Standard Chartered Bank as the sole global co-ordinator and lead manager.

Cambodia signs DTA with HK

The Royal Government of Cambodia announced that a double taxation agreement (DTA) was signed with the government of Hong Kong, bringing the number of DTAs signed by Cambodia to seven.

The previous DTA with China does not apply to Hong Kong or Macau, as each of these territories have their own tax systems, and are not covered by the tax laws of the People’s Republic of China.

Cooley adds a corporate

Cooley added a corporate partner brought in from Gunderson Dettmer Stough Villeneuve Franklin & Hachigian to lead its Asian expansion with a planned fourth office in Singapore.

Cooley hired Ferish Patel, who will join in Hong Kong having served as head of the Gunderson Dettmer Singapore office. Cooley intends to continue its expansion into Southeast Asia and will pursue setting up a Singapore office to be led by Mr Patel, which would be subject to obtaining regulatory and other approvals.

HK IPO for Zhongliang

Simpson Thacher represented Zhongliang Holdings Group Company in connection with its initial public offering in Hong Kong and Regulation S offering of 530 million shares before exercise of the underwriters’ over-allotment option. The total offering size was HK$2.94 billion (US$377 million). The Simpson Thacher team included partner Christopher Wong and associate Marjory Ding (capital markets).

Firm supports Kokusai sale

Nishimura & Asahi advised Kohlberg Kravis Roberts (KKR), the global investment firm, on its sale of Kokusai Electric Corporation to Applied Materials, one of the world’s leading suppliers of machines used to make semiconductors, for US$2.2 billion. The Nishimura & Asahi team advising KKR was led by partners Asa Shinkawa, Hideo Horikoshi, Takahiko Date and Makoto Shimizu.

Baker takes Sydney partner

Baker McKenzie announced that Raymond Lou has joined the firm’s projects group as a partner, working from the Sydney Office. Lou is a specialist in the corporate, infrastructure, energy and resources sectors with a China and cross-border focus. He joins Baker McKenzie from Norton Rose Fulbright in Sydney where he led the China M&A team.