Recommended law firms for China practice 2023

China Business Law Journal reveals its top performing law firms of 2022

The trajectory of China’s economic growth followed a clear V-shaped path for the past year – a harsh descent followed by a rebound. On a bumpy road to recovery, the world endured so much in 2022. There were legal efforts behind every rise and fall of the curve that helped market players better prepare for what was coming their way.

As we selected the winners of this year’s China Business Law Awards, we were proud to witness law firms maximising their potential to expand business scope and depth, optimising management structure and enhancing service capabilities, all while operating in the fiercely competitive environment of China’s legal market.

Alongside the economic downturn, law firms faced elevated regulatory challenges. For instance, intermediaries are bearing heavier obligations as China implements a nationwide IPO registration system. Given mounting risks in capital market deals, some law firms have opted for business transformation and have made significant breakthroughs elsewhere, such as REITs, antitrust, corporate compliance and data protection.

Rising to the challenges, legal service providers keep increasing their clients’ reach, globally and in-country, by setting up new offices in key cities such as Tokyo, Madrid, Los Angeles, Sao Paulo and Singapore. They are also bringing in experienced talent to maintain or build their competitive edge.

As always, we conducted extensive research and evaluation to accurately identify the top-performing firms in each field for 2022. In months of collecting law firm submissions and soliciting industry feedback, we received hundreds of submissions and thousands of comments from corporate executives, in-house counsel and senior practitioners. The selection process was entirely fee-free.

To ensure fairness and accuracy, candidate firms were evaluated mainly through three sources of analysis: their own submissions; endorsements from client referees; and valid nominations from the industry. Internal nominations were invalid. In addition to peer nominations, we received selections from government institutions, the judiciary and academia.

This year, the China Business Law Awards continue to adopt the same categorisation as previous years’ awards. They are divided into three types: general awards; practice area awards; and industry sector awards. In principle, each category award is given to eight Chinese law firms and eight foreign law firms. However, to accurately reflect trends in market development, this year we expanded the number of winners to 10 law firms for certain categories.

The general awards include the Golden League, best international law firms, best offshore law firms, firms to watch, notable achievers and pro bono achievers.

The 22 practice areas are: anti-bribery & anti-corruption; asset management; banking and finance; capital markets (domestic); capital markets (overseas); competition and antitrust; corporate compliance; data protection and data privacy; dispute resolution (domestic); dispute resolution (international); employment and labour; government and public affairs; IP (copyright); IP (patent); IP (trademark); international trade; M&A (inbound and domestic); M&A (outbound); private equity and venture capital; restructuring and insolvency; structured finance and securitisation; and taxation.

The 15 industry sectors are: automotive/industrials and manufacturing; aviation; construction and infrastructure; consumer and retail; education; energy and natural resources; family wealth management; fintech and blockchain; healthcare/pharma and life sciences; insurance and reinsurance; internet and e-commerce; media/entertainment and sports; real estate and REITs; shipping; and technology and telecoms.

It is worth noting that these awards are presented to law firms with a broad range of services and national recognition. In response to the rapidly growing Chinese legal market, a separate “China Business Law Awards (Regional Awards)” will provide a more granular look at the achievements of regional branch offices and local firms. The results will be published in an upcoming issue.

This report only includes some of the winners’ achievements and market testimonials due to space limitations. We must emphasise that each of the winning law firms under each category is equally outstanding. And we applaud all our winners for their exceptional performance.

The winners of the Golden League, our most prestigious award for Chinese law firms, are (in alphabetical order): Commerce & Finance Law Offices; Haiwen & Partners; Han Kun Law Offices; Jingtian & Gongcheng; JunHe; King & Wood Mallesons; Tian Yuan Law Firm; and Zhong Lun Law Firm.

Haiwen & Partners, with more than 30 years of experience in a broad range of areas serving high-end clients, has handled major transactions despite a gloomy global capital markets environment. The firm was Chinese legal counsel for China Mobile’s return to the A-share market, helping the company raise RMB56 billion (USD7.8 billion) on the SSE, the highest for an IPO in nearly a decade.

Haiwen also acted as Chinese counsel for the issuer, China Duty Free Group, in its HKD16.2 billion (USD2.1 billion) IPO, the largest in the Stock Exchange of Hong Kong in 2022. The firm represented lithium battery maker Gotion High-tech as one of the first Chinese companies to issue global depository receipts and list on the SIX Swiss Exchange.

Haiwen has also fully demonstrated its expertise in the fiercely competitive field of M&A. The firm participated in influential transactions such as Danfoss China’s sale of its orbital motor business, Fibocom Wireless’ acquisition of 51% equity of Rolling Wireless, and Ping An Healthcare’s acquisition of 100% equity of Scientia Smart Health Technologies.

JunHe continued to participate in many significant projects in 2022, including: acting as the issuer’s counsel for Haichuang Pharmaceutical in its Star Market listing on the SSE, making it the first company in southwest China to apply for an IPO under the bourse’s fifth set of IPO standards; assisting chemical company INEOS in signing three major deals with Sinopec worth USD7 billion; and helping GAC Aion raise RMB18.3 billion in its series A financing.

Leveraging its robust legal service capabilities and integrated management structure, JunHe targeted organisations with emerging environmental, social and governance (ESG) business frameworks in 2022.

It established a specialised department comprised of 13 partners and several dozen lawyers and certified ESG consultants who focus on three core areas: ESG and EHS (environment, health and safety) compliance; green and low-carbon services; and green finance. They provide comprehensive legal services related to ESG to enterprises across various industries. Within less than 10 months, the firm was honoured with the “ESG Legal Service Firm of the Year” award by the British Chamber of Commerce in Shanghai.

Among the clients of King & Wood Mallesons (KWM) in the field of data protection are three companies leading in their respective industries: Agricultural Bank of China (ABC); China Everbright Bank; and TravelSky Technology.

While advising ABC, KWM worked with a consulting firm to interview stakeholders of more than a dozen business lines and more than 100 information systems. Based on the interview results, KWM helped ABC map out personal information processing activities and conducted a compliance gap analysis against relevant jurisdictions’ applicable laws and regulations.

After the due diligence process, the firm provided detailed and practical suggestions to assist ABC in its cybersecurity and data compliance obligations, including but not limited to reviewing and revising privacy documents, business agreements and informed consent forms, establishing and optimising internal compliance policies, and providing internal training on data protection.

Tian Yuan Law Firm reached the milestone of its 30th anniversary in 2022, and established new offices in Wuhan and Nanjing. The firm also handled several highly complex transactions and cases in a wide range of areas.

Tian Yuan has received extensive recommendations from peers and regulators in its antitrust practice. Lu Yan, development research centre director of the State Administration for Market Regulation (SAMR), China’s antitrust watchdog, says the firm is “professionally excellent and worthy of recommendation”. In addition to representing clients in merger control filing cases in the tech sector handled by the SAMR, Tian Yuan also participated in the watchdog’s discussions on relevant projects.

Last year, Zhong Lun Law Firm saw significant progress in its newly established business departments, and maintained its lead in the domestic capital market.

The firm’s compliance and government regulatory affairs department, which was set up just two years ago, grew rapidly in 2022, assisting many enterprises in establishing compliance systems, effectively responding to crises, and resisting potential regulatory and litigation risks.

The debt restructuring and non-performing asset disposal business that Zhong Lun has been focusing on very recently has also met market demand last year, completing several industry-influential projects and helping enterprises overcome difficulties.

The winners of the best international law firms stand out for their extensive scope of practice and outstanding legal services in China. They provide high-quality local legal services to businesses with Chinese elements through their global network of offices and qualified international lawyers.

Among the earliest foreign law firms to venture into China, DLA Piper offers a comprehensive range of legal services to clients operating in or connected to China. The firm refined its expertise in various areas in 2022 including asset management, IP, construction and infrastructure, real estate investment and REITs, fintech and blockchain.

Statistics by capital markets data company PitchBook have shown DLA Piper ranked second globally in 2022 for its number of private equity deals, advancing one position from the previous year. The firm has remained dedicated to innovative thinking and delivering efficient solutions amid evolving economic, political and technological settings, to help clients succeed in a highly competitive market.

DLA Piper completed some initial fintech projects including advising Hong Kong private company Calcite on Asia’s first tokenisation of private debt on the Hedera enterprise-grade public ledger. The firm also enhanced corporate compliance by utilising various technologies to identify potential risks and detect compliance breaches. In IP, the firm implemented technology to expedite the calculation of trademark application costs with rapid accuracy.

Freshfields’ outstanding performance in China last year reflects its commitment to global services. The firm’s expertise in anti-bribery and anti-corruption, corporate compliance, capital markets, antitrust, M&A, restructuring and insolvency has enabled Chinese companies to navigate the complexities of investing overseas and expanding their global footprint.

Furthermore, Freshfields’ in-depth knowledge of Chinese regulations and business practices has not only allowed the firm to effectively advise foreign companies on doing business in China, but also bridge the gap between Chinese and overseas businesses.

The firm was a leader in the capital markets last year. After the Stock Exchange of Hong Kong launched a special-purpose acquisition company (SPAC) listing regime, Freshfields acted on the first SPAC listing in the city, and advised on the listing of China Tourism Group Duty Free’s HKD16.2 billion (USD2.07 billion) Hong Kong IPO, the largest of its kind in 2022.

The firm was also involved in a cross-listing enabled by the China-Switzerland Stock Connect programme, through which Chinese lithium-ion battery maker Sunwoda Electronic listed its global depository receipts (GDR) on the SIX Swiss Exchange.

In the area of corporate compliance, Freshfields has been a reliable adviser on regulatory and litigation challenges, particularly US sanctions. The firm’s experience in handling complex compliance issues spans areas such as sanctions and export controls, anti-bribery, anti-money laundering, national security, criminal law, data protection and IP.

Kirkland & Ellis wins 12 awards across practice areas and industry categories. Despite the global economic downturn, the firm achieved global revenue growth of nearly 8%, to USD6.5 billion last year. With one of the largest PE teams in Asia, Kirkland focuses on complex leveraged buyouts and other M&A, private investment in public equity and JV.

Last year, the firm’s Hong Kong office hired PE and M&A partner Peng Yu, whose key clients include Alibaba, Bain Capital and BPEA EQT (formerly Baring Private Equity Asia). One of his major transactions last year was Nexus Point Capital’s leveraged acquisition of freight-forwarding company Honour Lane Shipping.

Brian Ho, a former corporate finance executive director at Hong Kong’s Securities and Futures Commission (SFC), also joined Kirkland’s transactional group as partner in its Hong Kong office last year. Ho was dedicated to regulatory duties for 27 years, and was chief co-ordinator of the SFC to launch the China-Hong Kong Stock Connect scheme. His addition significantly strengthened the firm’s connectivity to Hong Kong and the mainland in capital markets.

Latham & Watkins has built a strong presence and reputation in China. The firm has close local connections and relationships with Chinese regulators, government agencies and business leaders, which enables it to provide clients with valuable insights and guidance on navigating the Chinese legal and business landscape.

In the realm of securitisation, Latham focuses on complex and bespoke derivatives and structured products rather than low-margin, high-volume transactions. With a dedicated equity-linked and equity derivatives practice in Asia, Latham is uniquely positioned to provide insight into complex US legal issues that often arise in these types of transactions. The Greater China team is also well equipped to advise on the structuring of emerging products related to climate, longevity and property derivatives.

In 2022, Latham’s restructuring and insolvency team in Greater China had their busiest year as they advised creditors and troubled companies on some of the most high-profile transactions. These included the USD6.2 billion debt restructuring of Hong Kong Airlines and the restructuring of Huachen Energy’s USD500 million senior notes in the US, which was the first PRC reorganisation plan recognised under chapter 15 of the US Bankruptcy Code.

These winning law firms have impressed their clients – and the larger legal market – in facilitating complex listings and transactions in offshore markets, most prominently Bermuda, the British Virgin Islands (BVI) and the Cayman Islands.

Conyers participated in 28 Hong Kong IPOs in 2021 and 2022, accounting for about 25% of the market. As BVI and Cayman legal counsel, Conyers advised in the HKD143 million (USD18.3 million) listing of Vanov, the HKD364.6 million listing of Readboy Education, and the HKD125 million global offering of Buyang International on the Stock Exchange of Hong Kong (SEHK). It also acted as special legal counsel to InnoCare Pharma on its pioneering red-chip listing on the Star Market, raising more than RMB2.9 billion (USD407 million).

Furthermore, Conyers acted as Cayman counsel to Hop Hing Group on its HKD228 million privatisation and subsequent delisting from the SEHK, and advised Hong Fok Land International on Bermuda law in its HKD150 million privatisation by a scheme of arrangement. The firm also served as a special counsel in Bermuda to Shuifa Singyes Energy in its non-public offering of RMB1.5 billion in green bonds, due in not more than five years, on the Shanghai Stock Exchange.

Global offshore firm Harneys has a full-service team in mainland China, with its Shanghai office doubling in size in 2022. The firm acted as BVI counsel to Studio City in its issuance of USD350 million five-year senior secure fixed-rate 7% notes due in 2027, and to TSMC Global in the issuance of notes for an aggregate principal of USD1 billion, despite a series of US Federal Reserve interest rate hikes that significantly pushed up borrowing costs.

Harneys was engaged as Cayman Islands counsel to Luckin Coffee in its provisional liquidation proceedings and holistic restructuring of liabilities, including its USD460 million convertible senior notes and USD175 million settlement with its Nasdaq-listed ADR purchasers.

Loretta So, a Shanghai-based partner at KPMG, praises managing partner Vicky Lord and partner Calamus Huang, from Harneys’ Shanghai office, for their legal and fiduciary assistance to mutual clients. “[They] are very proactive in organising networking events for professionals and fund managers, and are very generous in sharing industry insights with clients who are new to the Shanghai asset management sector,” she says.

Maples Group acted as BVI and Cayman Islands counsel on a wide spectrum of capital market transactions in Asia, including pre-IPO financings, IPOs, dual listings and follow-on offerings. The firm provided legal services to Bain Capital in its acquisition of VXI Global Solutions from Carlyle Group and, in July 2022, advised on the dual primary listings of OneConnect Financial Technology, Tuya and MINISO Group on the SEHK.

Maples also advised on high-profile multi-jurisdictional insolvency cases such as the restructuring of Evergrande’s USD20 billion offshore debt; and the restructuring of Modern Land’s USD1.34 billion bondholder debt.

Guozun Law Firm
Huamao & Guigu Law Firm
Jade & Fountain PRC Lawyers
King & Win Law Firm
Lung Tin Law Firm
RongYing Law Firm
Yuanhe & Twelve Tables
Zhong Wen Law Firm

Founded in 2021, Guozun Law Firm already boasts a strong record in trademark rights protection and is known for advising reputable clients on IP matters in the entertainment sector. In a dispute over the trademark rights of the “alien dog” merchandise from the film CJ7, Guozun represented rights holder Keen Plan, claiming the payment of licence fees and damages from San Li Tang, the breaching party, as well as withdrawal of the licence.

Guozun also assisted Yiwei Culture in purchasing a Star Trek licence with the intention of adapting Star Trek: Discovery into Chinese sci-fi novels.

Video profile: Guozun Law Firm

Jade & Fountain advised Fette Compacting, a leading manufacturer of tablet presses for the pharmaceutical and nutrition industries, on a criminal anti-bribery and trade secret infringement case against a former manager, securing a first-instance judgment of RMB5 million in compensation for economic losses.

In sports, the firm represented FIFA, the world’s governing body of football, in its IP rights enforcement cases in China throughout the 2022 World Cup in Qatar. It also advised UEFA, the European governing body of football, in its IP enforcement in China; and leading European football club PSG FC on its sponsoring agreements.

Video profile: Huamao & Guigu Law Firm

Lung Tin Law Firm provided IP defence and brand protection services to companies in information technology, media and communication, retirement and healthcare, recreation, energy, logistics and many other industries. The firm represented Lian Hwa Foods Corporation in its lawsuit against Huafei Food for producing and selling products that infringe the “Cadina卡迪那” registered trademark, in which it provided valuable reference to subsequent penalties by supplying evidence of the detailed amount of illegal turnover. The Beijing Administration for Market Regulation selected the case as one of its 10 exemplars of IP enforcement for the year.

Lung Tin further participated in many significant copyright cases such as an infringement and unfair competition dispute between Tencent and a short video platform. This case tackled several highly contesting issues such as algorithm-based recommendations, a platform’s copyright liability and the boundary of the “safe haven” provision.

Video profile: Zhong Wen Law Firm

With offices in Beijing and New York, Yuanhe & Twelve Tables provides intellectual property, financing and dispute resolution services to clients such as Baidu, Tencent, Kuaishou, Perfect World and Mihoyo. The firm is the result of a merger between Yuanhe Partners and Twelve & Table Law Firm, both IP specialists, in May 2022. Continuing its trajectory of scaling up while doubling down on IP expertise, Yuanhe more recently signed an agreement to gradually merge with Vcan Intellectual Property Law Firm.

Hui Ye Law Firm operates 35 offices domestically and internationally. In 2022, it added a new office in Xiamen. Since 2021, the firm has expanded its teams with the recruitment of more than 300 lawyers, meaning that more than 30 offices across the country experienced increases in personnel. Particularly notable expansions have occurred in the Shanghai, Beijing, Chengdu, Xi’an, Lanzhou and Ningbo offices.

Reinforcing its talent pool has led to an overall improvement in the firm’s capabilities in multiple practice areas. For instance, its asset management team, which also focuses on dispute resolution, has achieved remarkable results in the past three years. The team consistently achieved an annual business and performance growth rate of more than 50%, and have represented on numerous influential matters including the case of Fuguiniao bonds’ misrepresentation of liability.

Last year, Jincheng Tongda & Neal welcomed the addition of more than 20 senior partners, strengthening the firm’s expertise in various areas including capital markets, real estate, construction engineering, dispute resolution and intellectual property. Alongside talent acquisition, the firm has actively focused on building its brand by engaging in public legal education activities, contributing to the preservation and dissemination of intangible cultural heritage, and selecting and publishing its “Top 100 Cases” since its establishment, which serves as a valuable resource for professional research.

In the past year, Jincheng Tongda & Neal has demonstrated exceptional performances in numerous significant transactions including the issuance of the first batch of RMB40 billion (USD5.58 billion) perpetual bonds by China Construction Bank in the domestic market. Others include ESR acquiring logistics and industrial assets from DLJ for RMB4.4 billion, and several Chinese solar companies quashing an Indian anti-dumping investigation.

Kangda Law Firm is among the earliest of the large comprehensive law firms approved by China’s Ministry of Justice, with offices in 21 cities nationwide. Last year, the firm expanded its presence by adding offices in Chongqing, Hefei and Ningbo, while also increasing its roster of practising lawyers by more than 10% to exceed 1,300 professionals.

During the same period, Kangda provided legal services for numerous domestic and international companies engaged in investment and financing transactions, with deal values reaching tens of billions of renminbi. Noteworthy deals included the pioneering issuance of Swiss GDRs by A-share listed companies, and the country’s first midwestern free trade zone (FTZ) offshore bonds for foreign investors.

Sundial Law Firm expanded in 2022, adding 24 lawyers and 10 partners. The firm also established a marital & family affairs and wealth succession professional committee. With a total of 12 professional committees, the firm covers areas including corporate securities, private equity funds and asset management, real estate and construction engineering, intellectual property, banking and finance, compliance and regulation, and bankruptcy liquidation and restructuring.

Sundial also opened an office in Hong Kong and formed a partnership with Howse Williams, the second-largest independent law firm in the region. This collaboration aims to provide comprehensive legal services for domestic and international capital market clients. Notably, the firm advised on IPO projects for companies like KTC, Vanchip, and Bluetrum in the past year.

D&S Law Firm demonstrated a strong commitment to social responsibility through public welfare activities in 2022. It offered D&S scholarships at Wuhan University, South China University of Technology and South China Normal University, and founded the D&S Hope Primary School in Guigang village, Guangxi. In addition, the firm financially supported underprivileged students in Da’er and Kemuwan, two rural villages in Guangdong, providing them with opportunities for development and a brighter future.

Jin Mao Law Firm actively provided legal aid for the protection of women’s and children’s rights, and participated in community governance. A notable initiative last year was the co-operation between the firm’s Asian women’s group, JM-Lady, and the Shanghai Women’s Federation, a local chapter of the All-China Women’s Federation. The group offered advice and lectures on general law, covering topics such as family disputes and the protection of minors and the elderly.

SGLA Law Firm, through its Western Legal Services Brand Innovation Centre, offers legal support to ethnic minorities and is committed to understanding ethnic affairs and related laws. In the past year, the firm extended its services to Baiyu county in Sichuan province’s Garze Tibetan autonomous prefecture, providing more than 1,000 students, teachers and monks with legal assistance. Additionally, the Chengdu Xiangrui Minority Legal Aid Service Centre – established by Juheng Law Firm, which has merged with SGLA – assisted in 113 legal aid cases and resolved 96 conflicts and disputes.

Last year, Davis Polk’s Hong Kong office undertook a range of projects such as providing legal representation for asylum seekers and refugees in relation to non-refoulement claims, work permit applications, and unlawful detention claims at both the initial and appellate levels. The firm also advised social enterprises and charities on matters of corporate governance, contractual and regulatory compliance, as well as due diligence.

Gide’s Shanghai-based partner, David Boitout, led a legal workshop in collaboration with Plan International China, an international humanitarian development agency. The workshop focused on the employment rights and interests of young women, covering topics such as types of employment contracts, social insurance policies, statutory rights and benefits for young women under labour laws, common labour disputes and their settlement mechanisms.

Ropes & Gray’s China team worked with the International Legal Foundation (ILF) to advise on the alignment of Myanmar’s proposed anti-trafficking law with international human rights laws. Given the intricate and sensitive nature of the topic, the firm’s China team also conducted training for ILF staff in Myanmar to facilitate the promotion of the anti-trafficking bill.

Ropes & Gray was also actively involved in LGBTQ-related activities with the aim of creating a diverse, equitable and inclusive community. As part of this effort, the firm provided pro bono legal counsel to Out Leadership, a pro-LGBTQ business networking organisation.

Haiwen & Partners boasts an exceptional anti-bribery and anti-corruption team, spearheaded by Beijing-based partner Yang Jianyuan. The team successfully handled numerous cases and established compliance systems for several Chinese companies listed in the US and Hong Kong, in relation to their investment ventures and high-profile bankruptcy proceedings.

In particular, the team conducted thorough anti-corruption due diligence for a multibillion-dollar investment across several industries. It meticulously analysed the impact on investors, taking into account China’s anti-corruption laws and the US Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. It identified several severe anti-corruption risks in the target companies, leading the clients to suspend some investments. Additionally, the team assisted the clients with post-investment compliance management and recommended corrective actions for several of the targets.

Global Law Offices represented several industry associations in 2022, preparing anti-corruption and anti-commercial bribery standards, and recording training courses for them. For example, multiple national industry associations, including the China Chemical and Pharmaceutical Industry Association, invited the firm’s compliance team to help prepare the anti-commercial bribery sub-clause of China’s first industry compliance standard, the Pharmaceutical Industry Compliance Management Code.

Eric Dai, chief compliance officer of Chery Jaguar Land Rover, lauds his company’s longstanding collaboration with Global. He commends Li Jiajie, the firm’s Shanghai-based partner, for his careful and meticulous approach, his ability to think from a different perspective, and his capacity to quickly identify the legal essence of various types of domestic and overseas compliance risks issues, and provide corresponding solutions.

“Li is particularly noteworthy for his ability to provide feasible and practical compliance advice based on a comprehensive understanding of our business needs, which effectively safeguards the legal rights of clients,” says Dai.

Jin Mao Law Firm investigated and prosecuted anti-corruption and white-collar crime cases for numerous multinational corporations, and provided legal services for establishing and optimising internal compliance frameworks.

In 2022, Jin Mao conducted an investigation for Panasonic to determine whether a senior executive had any conflicts of interest during employment with the company. Panasonic has a substantial number of suppliers but the Jin Mao team managed to narrow the investigation to a few key suppliers by leveraging publicly available databases, avoiding unnecessary work and saving costs. Ultimately, the team successfully cleared the executive of suspicion within a short period of time.

Pinsent Masons’ white-collar crime and corporate investigations practice has grown rapidly in recent years, advising Chinese companies including large state-owned enterprises (SOEs) and central enterprises on multilateral bank investigations, and providing them with tailored compliance plans and policies.

A client SOE in the nuclear power sector describes Pinsent Masons as “an outstanding practice in the area of internationalisation of operations and integrity and honesty compliance … able to provide a quality service”.

The SEO also recommends the firm’s Beijing-based partner, Zheng Feifei, and praises her team’s “ability to listen effectively to clients’ needs and provide a bespoke service”.

Shearman & Sterling’s entire anti-bribery and anti-corruption team is fluent in Chinese, enabling its members to review original evidence and speak to witnesses in their native language when conducting investigations, resulting in better quality information and savings for clients.

Alex Parker, global head of special investigations at GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), says he was very satisfied with Shearman & Sterling’s service. “They have been longstanding and supportive partners with a deep understanding of our business model and global values,” he says.

He also pays special tribute to Jieni Ji, a counsel in the firm’s Hong Kong office. “Jieni has provided myself and the team with outstanding support, going the extra mile to support the business,” he says.

H&T Law Firm was active in handling various non-litigation asset management projects involving a combined investment of more than RMB50 billion (USD7 billion) in 2022. The firm also played a significant role in various litigation and arbitration cases related to distressed asset management, with a total value exceeding RMB60 billion.

Several major asset management projects were also successfully tackled, including: a RMB2.6 billion relief project in collaboration with China Cinda Asset Management and a listed company; a RMB4.36 billion asset package project for CITIC Bank; and the acquisition of RMB4.1 billion worth of non-performing bonds from China Minsheng Bank.

JunZeJun Law Offices notably represented Aviva-Cofco Asset Management in a successful lawsuit renowned as the first domestic insurance fund debt scheme to be recovered by way of litigation. Aviva-Cofco had served as trustee of an insurance funds debt scheme providing RMB2.5 billion in financing to Wuhan CBD. Oceanwide Holdings acted as guarantor of the financier.

However, on the maturity of the financing, Wuhan CBD failed to pay RMB1.3 billion of the remaining principal and corresponding interest, and Oceanwide Holdings did not discharge its joint and several liabilities.

“JunZeJun Law Offices has extensively studied the field of asset management and accumulated significant experience, giving us professional services in both non-contentious and dispute resolution,” says Camille Guan, in-house counsel for risk compliance at Aviva-Cofco.

Merits & Tree Law Offices provided legal advisory services for Minmetals International Trust’s No.2 funding trust, part of its Hengxin Rixin investment offering of various debt products such as bonds, principal-protected notes and securitisation products with a total size exceeding RMB17 billion. Unlike drafting legal documents for individual projects, legal services for such compound portfolios require a careful balance between managing legal risks and commercial concerns. The success of this product made it one of the signatures offered by Minmetals International Trust.

DLA Piper focuses on assisting clients to establish hedge funds, private equity funds, tokenisation funds and hybrid funds. Among these in 2022, the firm provided legal guidance to Tianyan Capital – which manages RMB30 billion of Chinese assets – in launching two different hedge funds through single-legged master-feeder fund structures. DLA Piper also advised CITIC Capital on its fund restructuring and consolidating/merging of asset management business with CLSA Asset Management.

Ropes & Gray’s asset management team in Hong Kong, led by managing partner Vincent Ip, acted for the world’s largest institutional investors in relation to their private equity, hedge fund and separate account investments, as well as secondary market and co-investment transactions. The firm’s clients included Asia Alternatives, Bain Capital and Manulife. In the past 12 months, it advised clients on investments involving funds of nearly USD20 billion.

Global Law Office helped Haitong Unitrust successfully sign the first environment and social governance-linked (ESG) syndicated loan in Shanghai’s financial leasing industry, which structurally broke the usage restrictions and pricing mechanism of traditional green credit, allowing for the innovation of green finance. The firm’s clientele includes several domestic and foreign banks, international multilateral banks and various other financial institutions.

JunHe specialises in handling a wide range of complex structured transactions. Most notably, in 51job’s take-private offer from the Nasdaq, JunHe assisted the financing syndicate to design the privatisation financing structure.

This extended from negotiating, drafting and amending the loan agreement and other financing documents to assisting various banks in implementing specific agreements in the financing documents for credit approval, and issuing legal opinions, transaction memoranda and other legal documents.

The firm also provided legal support to different overseas branches of the Bank of China in connection with the granting of several financing facilities to DITO Telecommunity, the third-largest telecoms service provider in the Philippines.

King & Wood Mallesons (KWM) acted as PRC counsel for Xiamen Port Investment Operation, a wholly owned subsidiary of Xiamen Port Holdings Group, in the privatisation of Xiamen International Port by way of a merger by absorption.

A total of six partners provided solutions on corporate, securities, financing, tax and other related legal matters. The transaction was notable as the first privatisation of a Hong Kong-listed company in the port industry with a state-owned enterprise background.

KWM also advised BNP Paribas Asset Management on its joint venture with a wealth arm of the Agricultural Bank of China. On the completion of the transaction, the French company’s 51% stake in the new company made it the fifth international bank majority-owned Chinese wealth management joint venture.

Sidley Austin advised on many innovative financing transactions, including private equity R-Bridge Healthcare Fund striking a USD40 million royalty-backed financing for Yisheng Biopharma, the first deal of its type in China’s biopharmaceutical industry. According to Sidley Austin, lack of market precedence in the biopharmaceutical field added to the complexity in tailoring a royalty deed compatible with Yisheng’s tax requirements.

The firm also advised real estate developer Shimao Group on its offshore debt restructuring aimed at safeguarding the value of assets in Tai Wo Ping, Hong Kong. A critical aspect of the project was to differentiate the restructured loans from Shimao Group’s overall offshore debt and protect them from the impact of the whole debt restructuring, while at the same time navigating property mortgage requirements of the Hong Kong Monetary Authority and land grant restrictions.

Slaughter and May, with a focus on green finance, acted for several major banks in Hong Kong, mainland China and Asia on more than HKD30 billion (USD3.83 billion) of ESG/sustainability-related loans. One highlight was providing support to the Link Real Estate Investment Trust in obtaining HKD12 billion in sustainability performance-linked loans from 16 domestic and foreign banks. This transaction was the second-largest of its kind in 2022 in the Asian real estate industry as well as the REIT sector.

Slaughter and May was also involved in: China Power International Development’s RMB7.5 billion (USD1 billion) acquisition of clean-energy projects from its parent, state-owned State Power Investment, the most significant action in Hong Kong’s clean energy market in nearly a decade; and a string of deals valued at USD7 billion between Sinopec and INEOS, advising on majority equity and financing issues.

AllBright Law Offices sustained its leading position in the domestic capital market in 2022. Based on publicly available data from the China Securities Regulatory Commission (CSRC) and A-share stock exchanges, AllBright provided services to 50 out of 427 new A-share listings and 70 from 526 under the permitted process by the CSRC, ranking first among law firms in 2022 in terms of both the number of listed companies and number of passed-through companies.

Commerce & Finance Law Offices was involved in a number of major domestic IPOs last year, including the share swap and merger of Hong Kong-listed China Energy Engineering Corporation with A-share listed Gezhouba Group, which was the first H-share listed company to merge with an A-share listed company – and the largest in recent years – involving a combined market value of more than RMB120 billion (USD16.8 billion).

The firm also acted as legal adviser to Ningbo Zhoushan Port and sponsor CICC in the RMB24.8 billion private placement between China Merchants Port Holdings, Ningbo Zhoushan Port and the Zhejiang Provincial Seaport Investment & Operation Group.

DeHeng Law Offices conducted several types of transactions in capital markets in 2022, including IPOs, refinancings, bond projects, debt financing instrument projects and private fund manager registration projects. The firm notably advised oil giant China National Offshore Oil on PRC law in the RMB28.1 billion listing on the main board of the SSE, with fundraising increased by RMB4.2 billion after an over-allotment option was fully exercised. This deal was the second-biggest A-share offering in 2022, and also a large-scale listing project after China expanded a pilot scheme to allow red-chip companies to list their shares domestically.

Haiwen & Partners played a crucial role in one of the most important transactions on the A-share market last year by advising on PRC law for the listing of China Mobile Communications on the main board of the SSE.

Inclusive of the over-allotment option, the final transaction size reached RMB56 billion – the largest A-share listing project in the past decade – and the issuer became the first red-chip corporation on the main board of A-share exchanges.

King & Wood Mallesons was also included in the heavyweight transaction by acting as PRC counsel to the joint sponsors, CICC and CITIC Securities. Assistance on other major listing projects included Jinko Solar’s secondary listing on the Star Market. The IPO raised RMB10 billion, ranking it fifth in China’s capital markets in 2022.

Zhong Lun Law Firm marked a significant milestone in the domestic capital markets in 2022 as the first law firm to write an IPO prospectus for Fortune Precision Equipment on the Star Market. It has previously been customary for brokerage firms to pen prospectuses in the A-share market, unlike overseas markets, where lawyers usually write prospectuses.

However, the change in rules of the mainland capital markets to align with those overseas has spurred law firms to participate in the prospectus writing process, and this development is likely to mark the beginning of more such changes in the future.

The firm also advised on the first backdoor listing on the SSE’s Growth Enterprises Market since changes in the rules on reverse takeovers, with a transaction size of RMB19.6 billion.

Han Kun Law Offices has provided capital markets legal services to many Chinese companies amid increased scrutiny from US regulators on Chinese concept stocks, including advising Chinese EV maker NIO on its Hong Kong and Singapore listings by way of introduction, and its USD2 billion American depositary shares secondary issuance, as well as helping KE Holdings on its Hong Kong listing by way of introduction.

As China introduced several regulations related to data security in the past year, Han Kun also advised on PRC data security law in Leapmotor’s Hong Kong listing, the first law firm to act in such a role for a company successfully listed on the HKEX.

Wu You, senior legal manager of Hong Kong-listed Autohome, praised Han Kun for “always being the first to share the interpretation of new rules when they are released, so that we can understand the impact on the company and put forward the reaction plan from a practical point of view”.

JunHe’s capital markets team – the largest specialist team within the firm comprising more than 60 partners, along with consultants and hundreds of associates – was PRC counsel to Atour Lifestyle Holding’s Nasdaq IPO, a symbolic ice-breaking deal easing China and US capital market tension.

Although preparations for the transaction began in 2020, the external regulatory environment in the US had since changed significantly, as China announced six new rules regulating overseas public listings, requiring JunHe to continually adjust work plans and resource allocation.

Jia Yuan Law Offices advised on two of the top three IPO offerings in Hong Kong last year, including the largest, the HKD16.2 billion (USD2 billion) IPO of China Tourism Group Duty Free, and the third-largest, the HKD10.1 billion listing of China Aviation Lithium Battery.

Latham & Watkins helped one of the world’s top suppliers of rechargeable battery components for EVs, Tianqi Lithium, to debut on the HKEX as the second-largest share sale in 2022. In addition to capital markets transactions, the firm also worked with the HKEX on the new listing regime and provided legal suggestions, reflecting the regulator’s recognition of the firm.

Skadden specialises in advising Chinese companies on de-SPAC listings in the US capital markets. Highlights of last year’s transactions include: automotive technology company ECARX, valued at about USD3.82 billion, after its combination with a SPAC; and Hong Kong unicorn Prenetics, with an equity valuation of USD1.25 billion, when the de-SPAC was completed.

The firm also advised NaaS Technology, a Chinese EV charging service provider, on a reverse takeover merger with US-listed RISE Education Cayman. Unlike a typical SPAC merger, RISE was defined as a “public shell” by Nasdaq as it sold all its assets at the end of 2021.

Jingtian & Gongcheng advised Conch Cement on antitrust matters in relation to two major transactions last year. The first transaction involved its joint acquisition with Shangfeng Cement of a stake in the Uzbek-Chinese joint venture Shangfeng-Bridge of Friendship, in which Conch Cement ultimately held a 51% stake.

Another transaction involved Conch Cement’s acquisition of a controlling stake in Conch Environmental Protection. Both transactions met the filing requirements of the State Administration for Market Regulation (SAMR), and Jingtian & Gongcheng was instrumental in handling related matters securing approval for the transactions.

Tian Yuan Law Firm handled various types of antitrust matters in 2022, including antitrust litigation heard by the Supreme People’s Court, dozens of merger filings, antitrust investigations from different countries, as well as more than a dozen undeclared filing investigations for clients in the internet, private equity funds and other sectors.

Some of the firm’s notable cases included representing the Chinese academic database, CNKI, in response to an anti-monopoly investigation initiated by the SAMR, as well as its involvement in the first civil dispute relating to patent and anti-monopoly in the field of active pharmaceutical ingredients, which involved RMB100 million in dispute.

Zhong Lun Law was appointed to represent the Guangdong Administration for Market Regulation after 13 concrete enterprises were penalised for joint price increases in Maoming, Guangdong, and appealed and filed anti-monopoly administrative proceedings. Similar events were staged in the motor vehicle testing industry in Huizhou. Both cases responding to the lawsuit were eventually won and selected among 10 typical anti-monopoly cases issued by the Supreme People’s Court in 2022.

Eversheds Sutherland advises and defends the Hong Kong Communications Authority in antitrust-related judicial reviews on a year-round basis, with clients also including the Hong Kong Competition Commission, Cathay Pacific Airways, China National Petroleum Corporation, New World Development and Chow Tai Fook Jewellery Group.

The chief counsel of competition at a leading industrial technology company, is highly satisfied with Eversheds Sutherland’s competition and antitrust service, and particularly recommends the firm’s partner, Jocelyn Chow, as “a rising star in her field”.

Slaughter and May advised INEOS on a number of antitrust transactions in China over the past year, including a string of joint venture and equity acquisitions valued at USD7 billion with Sinopec, and the 50% stake acquisition in Sinopec’s Tianjin Nangang Ethylene Project. Given that both INEOS and Sinopec are global petrochemicals groups, these projects garnered significant attention from the SAMR.

The firm also played an important role in assisting a subsidiary of Swire Group with the acquisition of its remaining 50% interest in Sino-Ocean Taikoo Li Chengdu from the Sino-Ocean Group for RMB5.56 billion (USD779 million), and the acquisition of six subsidiaries of Coca-Cola Bottlers Manufacturing on the mainland.

Dentons China has extensive experience in building corporate compliance systems. In 2022, the firm helped Haier Smart Home and a Chinese state-owned tobacco company to construct systems that ultimately led to their ISO 37301 certification. This global standard, set by the International for Standardisation, allows certified companies to tap additional marketplace opportunities.

Dentons China also provided customised compliance solutions to rapidly evolving external influences. For instance, the firm analysed the sanctions and regulatory policies of major countries in response to the Russia-Ukraine conflict, and provided compliance risk management services to China National Petroleum Corporation and its foreign-based subsidiaries.

Last year, Global Law Office assisted official departments and industry associations with their compliance systems. The firm provided legal advice on compliance and risk control to the Assets Supervision and Administration Commission of the State Council, and advised the Guangming District People’s Procuratorate in Shenzhen on its corporate compliance rectification and supervision project. After being invited by multiple national industry associations, including the China Pharmaceutical Industry Association, Global Law Office participated in drafting the first industry compliance standard in China to promote pharmaceutical industry development.

Chery Jaguar Land Rover’s chief compliance officer, Eric Dai, commends the firm’s compliance counsel Jenny Chen for her ability to accurately grasp cutting-edge information and provide quality legal advice and support.

Amid the central government’s heightened focus on compliance, 2022 was designated as the “Year of Strengthening Compliance Management” for state-owned enterprises. Jincheng Tongda & Neal lent its expertise to the likes of the State Development & Investment Corporation, China SDIC Gaoxin Industrial Investment Corporation and China Poly Group Corporation, helping them construct effective compliance mechanisms.

This involved creating meticulous lists of compliance obligations, risks, job duties and process controls. The company also assisted with compliance process mechanisms for specialised areas like investment, capital and procurement.

The Asia corporate risk and government investigations team at Latham & Watkins worked with regional partners to enable companies to respond to the increasing rigours of global enforcement. The team, which includes Beijing partner Xu Hui, Tokyo partner Kaede Toh, Hong Kong partner Simon Hawkins and Singapore partner Farhana Sharmeen, has particular experience in financial compliance through regular interactions with the Hong Kong Monetary Authority, the Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission, Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing, the Monetary Authority of Singapore and the Singapore Stock Exchange.

In 2022, Steptoe & Johnson witnessed growing interest from Chinese companies seeking projects funded by multilateral development banks (MDBs), leading to a significant increase in related compliance advice. To meet this demand, the firm provided multi-jurisdictional legal counsel to Chinese clients on regulatory compliance and dispute resolution strategies, ensuring clients could demonstrate robust measures for preventing MDB compliance breaches.

Steptoe & Johnson also received increased enquiries around restrictive US sanctions lists, particularly about violations issued by the US Office of Foreign Assets Control and the US Department of Justice.

Security assessment of outbound data was one of the most important tasks in the construction of the domestic cybersecurity and data compliance regime in 2022.

DeHeng Law Offices was commissioned by the National Computer Network Emergency Response Technical Team, a subordinate unit of the Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC), to act on two new rules: the Measures for Data Export Security Assessment; and the Regulation on the Standard Contract for Export of Personal Information (draft for comment).

As a legal adviser to the Beijing Winter Olympic Organising Committee, East & Concord Partners offered comprehensive services on data compliance matters. With the Winter Olympics being among the most significant global sporting events, the firm delivered solutions to data-related issues in compliance with Chinese laws and regulations, as well as managing conflicting data protection laws from different jurisdictions while addressing concerns about cross-border data flows.

The firm was invited by the Cyber Security Association of China, the subordinate association of the CAC, to draft the first group standard in China for assessing the data compliance of investees in their investment and financing activities.

Watson & Band drafted a series of institutional design and regulatory documents for the Shanghai Data Exchange and provided advisory services to the China Advertising Association on implementing personal information protection. Given the many organisations involved in internet advertising, and the difficulty of obtaining consent from individuals for many data processing tasks, the firm contributed to a guideline for the advertising industry to remove potential compliance risks.

Bird & Bird has a team of specialised privacy and data protection experts who provide advisory services to high-profile companies that frequently gather and transfer vast amounts of sensitive data. This team is well-versed in Chinese data protection law, and some of its lawyers are qualified to practice under the EU, UK and Hong Kong laws.

The firm welcomed protection and privacy partner Wilfred Ng’s return last year. Previously, he worked as senior legal counsel at Tencent’s international privacy and data protection department.

Foreign law firms mainly advise international companies on navigating their China operations. DLA Piper advised InterContinental Hotels Group, Hilton and Shangri-La on privacy and cybersecurity in greater China. As new data protection regulations were being implemented in Asia, including China, Thailand and Singapore, global jeans brand Levi’s appointed the firm as privacy counsel to review the company’s internal data privacy programme.

Grandall Law Firm acted for the defendant, the lead underwriter, in the first domestic infringement dispute concerning short-term financing bonds issued by the National Association of Financial Market Institutional Investors, which is the self-regulatory body of China’s interbank market.

The case was complicated by the defendant’s multiple roles, as both the lead underwriter of the short-term financing bonds in question and the issuer’s financing bank, as well as purchasing and selling these products with investors. The effective judgment ultimately exonerated the defendant from all liability.

The dispute resolution practice committee of Hiways Law Firm consists of more than 40 partners and 300-plus lawyers and paralegals. The firm acted on behalf of Kehua Bio-Engineering, a listed company, in a series of cases amounting to RMB10.5 billion (USD1.5 billion) in 2022.

These cases involved contract disputes, shareholders’ right to know and property preservation compensation disputes, with Xi’an Tianlong Technology, Suzhou Tianlong Biotechnology and three shareholders as defendants. Hiways successfully facilitated a full mediation between the parties, removing the client’s risk of delisting and safeguarding the interests of nearly 80,000 investors.

China Enterprises’ in-house counsel, Zhang Liu, recommends Hiways’ senior partner He Qiang, saying the multiple perspectives offered by his diversified roles – a university master instructor, consultant to the Supreme People’s Procuratorate and an arbitrator – “can not only pinpoint the crux of a case but also accurately judge its direction and outcome, guiding clients to make the right choice and maximise their business interests”.

As one of the largest departments at Kangda Law Firm, the dispute resolution department represented more than 8,500 cases and generated more than RMB750 million in revenue last year, accounting for more than 55% of the firm’s total revenue.

Kangda achieved a victory for one of its high-profile clients last year after a challenging four-year legal battle. In the case, which involved the unauthorised use of professional Go player Nie Weiping’s portrait for commercial promotion, Kangda represented three parties: Nie Weiping, as the plaintiff for infringement of personality rights; Nieqi Shengyuan Culture Development, as the trademark owner for infringement of trademark rights; and Yiyou Go Culture, as the plaintiff for unfair competition, in suing Zhenpu Education Technology Development. The firm eventually successfully defended the plaintiffs’ rights.

In another notable case, the firm secured the support of an arbitration tribunal on jurisdiction, subject matter, contractual validity, and powerless agency in an equity acquisition dispute with LeEco, on behalf of a film and culture studio in Shanghai.

TianTong Law Firm focuses on providing high-end commercial dispute resolution services and offers clients legal advice throughout the entire process of litigation, arbitration, enforcement and bankruptcy. More than 40 cases represented by the firm have been published by the Supreme People’s Court, covering case filing, commercial and civil trials. Some have been established as guiding cases for civil and commercial trials.

Last year, Hui Zhong Law Firm’s three partners served as presiding arbitrator, sole arbitrator, and side judge in 12 international arbitration cases. Some of the firm’s lawyers acted as Chinese legal expert witnesses in nine international arbitration cases and one English court litigation.

In 2022, the firm represented a Singaporean company in an international arbitration case against an Asian country. The company claimed the Asian country breached its treaty obligations under the Agreement on the Promotion and Protection of Investments with the Singapore government by revoking seven of the company’s local land use rights certificates without compensation. The case is still in negotiation.

Jincheng Tongda & Neal (JT&N) has many partners and associates who served as arbitrators and board members of arbitration institutions such as the Hong Kong International Arbitration Centre and the Asian International Arbitration Centre in Malaysia. Its clients included the Ministry of Commerce, Country Garden, and Yancheng Shanda Yuanfeng Equity Investment Partner.

In January 2022, Shanda Yuanfeng sought recognition and enforcement of a Chinese court judgment in the US. JT&N, along with US counsel, successfully convinced the US District Court for the Central District of Illinois that Shanda Yuanfeng’s motion met the requirements of the Illinois Uniform Foreign Judgment Recognition Act. The court ultimately issued a summary judgment in their favour, making this one of the few cases where a valid Chinese judgment has been recognised and enforced by a US court.

Latham & Watkins was selected to serve for three years on the Ministry of Commerce’s law firm panel for international trade and investment disputes involving international investment law and foreign law firms.

Leveraging expertise in advising Chinese companies on cross-border litigation matters, Latham & Watkins was retained to represent Sinovac Biotech in a dispute involving dissenting shareholders who contested the company’s control. The legal proceedings spanned multiple jurisdictions, including the Antigua High Court and the Antigua Appellate Court, as well as venues in Massachusetts, Delaware, Hong Kong and Beijing. The firm finally secured a victory for its client at trial.

Skadden specialises in assistance to Chinese clients mired in complex securities litigation in the US. The firm provided counsel to a major classified advertising platform,, on a shareholder dissenting appraisal action under the Cayman Islands Companies Act that was slated for a hearing before the Grand Court of that jurisdiction. This is the highest-value section 238 case heard in the Cayman courts.

As one of the leading partners of the Asia dispute resolution team, Steve Kwok, prior to joining Skadden, was the resident legal adviser for the US Department of Justice at the US embassy in Beijing, where he represented the US government in working with Chinese law enforcement authorities to investigate criminal activities, particularly corruption, money laundering and fraud. He is experienced in advising Chinese issuers in the dismissal of securities class actions in US courts.

Jingtian & Gongcheng’s labour and employment team has more than 20 partners and lawyers in Beijing, Shanghai, Shenzhen and Chengdu. Some have also worked in relevant enterprises and institutions for many years and are familiar with the relevant practice areas.

Yoki Hui, the senior human resources manager of greater China at jewellery brand Chopard, says: “Apart from being familiar with domestic employment and labour laws, [the law firm] provides a lot of practical and professional legal advice in labour dispute cases and [is] meticulous in sorting out evidence to protect the best interests of clients.”

LongAn Law Firm recorded a 19% year-on-year increase in labour dispute cases in 2022. This achievement included 34 non-compete cases, 47 cases of trade secrets, and eight complex large-scale labour relations adjustment cases out of the covid pandemic.

LongAn boasts two members serving as advisory experts on labour law aspects of civil cases at the Supreme People’s Procuratorate, while four others are arbitrators on the labour personnel dispute arbitration commissions in various cities.

Noteworthy is the capability of the firm’s labour team to navigate through disputes arising from non-compete clauses. These disputes frequently pose challenges in obtaining adequate evidence of these crucial contractual provisions. LongAn collected convincing evidence by way of follow-up filming, notarisation and access to associated companies, leading to successful judgments and client satisfaction.

As consciousness regarding the defence of women’s rights increases, disputes over workplace sexual harassment have gradually come to the fore. In one dispute between Leo Pharma in Shanghai and an accused former employee, River Delta Law Firm helped the pharmaceutical company to diminish its financial losses by more than RMB600,000. The legal team also successfully averted the dismissed employee’s request for work reinstatement. The case lasted five years and was ultimately won during the second instance in court, after losing during the initial labour arbitration and the first court hearing.

Last year, many companies changed their growth strategies or adjusted their internal rules following Hong Kong’s regulatory overhaul. When a company relocated its Asia-Pacific headquarters from Hong Kong to Singapore, Deacons advised on some of the sensitive personnel changes required to facilitate the relocation.

Similarly, when another client mandated vaccinations for staff working in its hotel, laundry, catering and private club segments, the firm assessed the legal boundaries of the new law and assisted in communication with staff on the controversial subject.

As Chinese labour laws undergo changes, Morgan Lewis provided more legal advice on matters such as executive compensation, employee benefits, international secondments and expatriation.

The firm was appointed by a global life sciences group to handle a case arising by a former senior executive for unpaid equity grants. This employee then encouraged eight other recently dismissed colleagues to bring similar claims. Morgan Lewis successfully persuaded the arbitrators and judges in three Chinese cities that the cases were not employment contract disputes and obtained judgments in favour of the client.

The firm says the win was crucial to the client as hundreds of people may potentially have brought claims if the case had been lost.

Boss & Young Attorneys-at-Law has facilitated the strengthening of the foundational position of competition policies for a number of governmental and administrative authorities. Engaged by the Management Committee and the Market Supervision Bureau of the Lingang New Area in Shanghai, Boss & Young reviewed and advised on the fair competition perspective of 46 policies and proposals.

As a third-party agency, the firm provided post-assessment services of administrative documents for a number of district governments, including those of Huangpu and Jiading districts of Shanghai, as well as evaluations on the necessity to renew expiring normative documents.

As the perennial legal counsel of the National Railway Administration (NRA), DOCVIT Law Firm provided services in the areas of administrative legislation, review and litigation, and legal argumentation for major decisions.

Wang Shuo, of the technology and rule of law division of the NRA, reserves particular praise for Xue Zheng, senior partner at DOCVIT. Xue has represented the NRA in more than 20 lawsuits, so far without losing a case. “Xue is a veteran in governance and administrative law,” says Wang. “He is capable of capturing clients’ needs and providing multi-layered, multidimensional legal services.”

In January last year, DOCVIT saw further reinforcement to its governance strength by merging with Dare & Sure Law Firm. Administrative law and compliance happened to be one of the strongest suites of Dare & Sure.

In the past year, Hui Ye Law Firm held a strong presence in many administrative disputes concerning the energy, real estate and education sectors. One licensing dispute involved the 50-year exclusive franchise rights of Jingrong Pipeline Gas based in Ganyu, Lianyungang in developing local gas projects. The case was heard in four courts. In view of the granting of duplicate franchising rights by the local government, Hui Ye helped the company file a petition for invalidation of the administrative act, touching on both inconsistency between local laws and sector regulations, and the priority of the court.

Since its establishment in 2019, the government and administrative law department of Kangda Law Firm has demonstrated remarkable performance. According to the search results of Alpha, an online legal intelligent operating system, Kangda comes up on top after filtering cases of representing Beijing administrative authorities for “administrative” cases.

Dorsey represented a Taiwan-based conglomerate and its mainland China subsidiary in matters pertaining to the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) and expert control advisory, clearing the path for its major reorganisation and IPO on the SSE. It also represented many foreign-invested entities of multinational enterprises in dealing with a great variety of government investigations in mainland China, local government dawn raids, tax inspections, environmental inspections and other government driven inquiries. The firm achieved zero to low-penalty results for all these matters.

“Dorsey lawyers excel in their expertise of both Chinese and US laws, as well as their problem-solving skills,” says a legal director of a leading multinational pharmaceutical company. “Their attention to detail and strong commitment give clients confidence on their work quality.”

Hiways Law Firm lent its expertise to Kankanews Network, producer of East 110, a Shanghai-based legal TV programme. Realising that PPTV, a video platform operated by SynaCast Media Tech, was streaming East 110 without its authorisation, Kankanews launched a copyright infringement lawsuit. In addition to securing the infringement evidence, Hiways pinpointed the amount of illegal gains based on views on PPTV, its published advertising rates and CPM (cost per mille) calculation. The court supported in full Kankanews’ claims for compensation of more than RMB1 million.

For many years, Shanghai-based Mengquan Trading has been the exclusive retailer for Zuny, a Taiwan home decor brand, in mainland China. It discovered that a company named Weilegu Infotech, founded in Qingdao, was selling products on Taobao and other platforms subject to Zuny’s copyright. For this case, it sought the services of Landing Law Offices, which successfully helped prove the infringement of the respondent. When the judge found it difficult to determine an amount, Landing supplied the key supporting material in the form of a licensing agreement signed between Mengquan and an unrelated third party, which substantiated the contribution of copyright and trademark rights to profits from infringement.

Ren Chaohui, general manager at Mengquan Trading, is satisfied with the IP services and professionalism of Landing, reserving a special recommendation for Bill Gao, senior partner at the firm’s Shanghai office. “Our company has entrusted Gao’s team with many IP protection and counterfeiting cases, all of which ended in a favourable judgment,” he says.

In the first civil case before the Beijing Internet Court against an online English education organisation for the unauthorised online usage of textbooks, Lusheng Law Firm helped McGraw Hill, one of the world’s largest educational publishers, secure compensation of RMB3 million. Evidence collection was tricky as the case involved textbooks and content contributed by many authors and editors, which was further complicated by the defendant’s argument of fair use.

TransAsia Lawyers serves many reputable clients in the entertainment industry, such as Jackie Chan, film director Zhang Mo, and Legendary Entertainment. The firm advised Storycom, China’s leading sci-fi content creator, on its key transactions and licensing deals with a number of top Chinese sci-fi writers. It also advised China Film Group on numerous film projects such as Moon Man, Ordinary Hero and The Wandering Earth 2.

China’s patent market is brimming with a momentum of growth, benefiting from a nationwide drive in R&D and a collective increase of IP awareness. According to the China National Intellectual Property Administration, the total number of effective invention patents in China in 2022 reached 4.2 million, of which 3.3 million were held by inventors from mainland China, making it the first country to pass the three million threshold.

Saelink Law secured a victory for VMI, a Netherlands-based producer of tyre manufacturing machinery, in a series of patent ownership disputes with a Chinese company, turning the matter around from a loss at the first-instance hearing. In the series of patent infringement and invalidation disputes between a world-leading semiconductor and chip company and MediaTek, Saelink represented the former and successfully invalidated four patents on the competitor’s side, leading to a settlement.

“Saelink, especially Chen Wenxuan and his team, works extremely fast,” says Eddy-John Franziskus, general manager at WKV, a German engineering company engaged in flue gas cleaning technologies. “They have developed a deep understanding of our technology and business, even deeper than some licensees using the technology for many years.”

Wanhuida Intellectual Property is the first choice for IP protection in China of many pharmaceutical heavyweights. In two separate cases, it helped Sanhome Pharmaceutical in defending the validity of its patents of medical uses for a chiral drug in administrative litigation, and defeated two patent infringers in two instances of court proceedings. In the case of the latter, Wanhuida secured favourable court decisions, cessation and damages of RMB800,000.

In addition, the firm secured favourable administrative decisions from the Nanjing IP Office for Bayer in a patent administrative enforcement action against two Chinese infringers offering for sale the client’s patented drug, rivaroxaban, at exhibitions and websites. The Supreme People’s Court used this case to clarify several complex issues, such as whether offering for sale hinges on the availability of the product.

Video profile: Beshining Law Office

Zhong Lun Law Firm represented a number of tech companies in patent invalidation. When Global Innovation Aggregators, a subsidiary of iPEL that is a US non-practising entity, filed a series of patent lawsuits against Netgear’s Chinese subsidiary, Zhong Lun mounted a multi-pronged defence by questioning the plaintiff’s right of action and patent validity, as well as making infringement comparisons. Eventually, the cases ended with withdrawal by the plaintiff, ineligibility of the plaintiff and invalidation of the patent.

Zhong Lun further helped JCET, the third-largest semiconductor packaging and testing enterprise in the world, to launch a series of IP lawsuits against Forehope Electronic, a Ningbo-based fellow player in the semiconductor sector. The lawsuits, in response to Forehope’s alleged poaching of JCET employees, included trade secret infringements, patent ownership disputes and patent invalidations. After successfully invalidating two patents, the parties reached a settlement in September 2022.

According to Ropes & Gray, about 75% of the firm’s IP workflow is dedicated to the life sciences sector. Last year, the firm advised Everest Medicines in a commercial agreement with Accelerate Technologies for products related to covid-19, and with Gilead Sciences for the development of the cancer drug Trodelvy in Asia for up to USD455 million. It also represented LianBio in a commercialisation agreement with Pfizer for rights to develop and commercialise sisunatovir, an antiviral treatment for the respiratory syncytial virus, in mainland China, Hong Kong, Macau and Singapore.

Steptoe, meanwhile, has continued to represent high-profile clients in China such as Huawei, Autel Robotics and Anycubic Technology. In particular, it defended SF Diamond, the largest manufacturer of polycrystalline diamond (PCD) cutters and related products in China, from accusations of patent infringements lodged by US Synthetic. After a global search of PCD cutters not manufactured in the past decade, the Steptoe team, led by Timothy Bickham, a partner based in both Washington and Beijing, proved the asserted patents invalid.

Steptoe also represented Hisense in a multiple-patent lawsuit filed at the US International Trade Commission by Philips, focusing on Hisense’s smart TV products. The patents related to the digital rights management technology used in many lines of consumer products around the world. In the end, the administrative law judge determined that Hisense’s products did not infringe the asserted patents.

An Tian Zhang & Partners (ATZP) represented Syngenta, a leading agricultural company, in a successful civil lawsuit against a business that used the brands “Syngenta” and “先正达” on fertiliser packaging, as well as the shop that sold the products. The infringement was judged unfair by the court, which also supported the firm’s argument that fertiliser is a “similar good” to a pesticide, under which Syngenta’s prior trademark was registered.

Chen Yixian, a barrister and solicitor at Toronto-based law firm Jones & Co, is happy with ATZP’s services. “We have been working with the firm for more than 10 years and their services have always been great,” she says. “They listen to clients’ needs and provide tailored advice.”

Jincheng Tongda & Neal (JT&N) made a significant contribution in trademark protection last year. After finding out that the defendant Chongqing Shengbaili Waterproof Building Materials used “劳亚尔” as its product trademark, JT&N represented one of the plaintiffs Chongqing Jiushengcheng Waterproof Material, co-filed a lawsuit with another plaintiff in the Chongqing First Intermediate People’s Court, arguing that Shengbaili’s actions infringed their long-registered trademark “劳亚尔” and constituted unfair competition, which was supported by the court. The case was selected by the Supreme People’s Court (SPC) as one of the 50 exemplary intellectual property cases in 2021.

JT&N also assisted overseas companies in defending their rights in China. Another company in 2007 and 2010 had applied to register the Peruvian company Cantol’s primary trademark, “CANTOL”, in China. Even after trying to defend its rights for more than a decade, Cantol remained unsuccessful until the company enlisted JT&N’s help, which ultimately led to their victory in court.

Wanhuida Intellectual Property acted in three high-profile trademark disputes, including assisting Manolo Blahnik winning a long copycat trademark battle in China, representing Milan Wedding Photography in its trademark “Milan” acquiring secondary meaning through extensive use, and the Stahlwerk OEM (original equipment manufacturer) trademark infringement, all of which were named by China Business Law Journal as the among the Deals of the Year 2022.

In the Manolo Blahnik case, Wanhuida represented the famous Italian designer in a retrial before the SPC and obtained a favourable decision. Blahnik successfully invalidated through the proceedings that the registration of the trademark “MANOLO&BLAHNIK (马诺罗·贝丽嘉)” filed in class 25 by a Chinese squatter in 1999, based on the designer’s name rights and the bad faith of the registrant, putting an end to a 22-year trademark battle. The decision will pave the way for Manolo Blahnik’s entry into the Chinese market.

Video profile: Corner Stone & Partners

Bird & Bird represents a host of reputable brands in their IP issues, including Anker Innovations Technology, Estée Lauder, the International Olympic Committee, Li & Fung, Riot Games and Tencent. In China, the firm supports clients’ online enforcement activities across platforms such as WeChat, Pinduoduo, Taobao and

DLA Piper handles more than 9,000 trademarks for both global clients and domestic companies, and has a patent prosecution portfolio of close to 200 matters. The firm has advised HSBC on trademark and brand protection matters across Asia, with particular emphasis on mainland China and Hong Kong.

DLA Piper is also the exclusive adviser to luxury shoemaker Manolo Blahnik on all its IP matters globally. In a landmark case selected in China Business Law Journal’s Deals of the Year 2022, the firm successfully secured the invalidation of the “MANOLO&BLAHNIK (马诺罗·贝丽嘉)” trademark in China, filed by a squatter in 1999, putting an end to a 22-year trademark battle and paving the way for the brand’s entry into the Chinese market.

Chance Bridge Law Firm assisted two Chinese companies in responding to anti-dumping investigations. In March 2022, Indonesia’s Ministry of Finance announced anti-dumping duties for imports of hot rolled coil of other alloy products from China. With the help of the international trade and compliance team of Chance Bridge, Taigang Stainless Steel obtained a final tariff of 8.6%, a steep drop from the 16.6% in the preliminary ruling.

Last July, India’s Ministry of Commerce and Industry made a disclosure prior to the issuance of a final ruling related to anti-dumping investigations for the import of resin bonded thin wheels from China, under which Zhejiang Xinbao Industry & Trade, advised by Chance Bridge, obtained a satisfying result of zero margin of injury, which means no duty was levied.

King & Wood Mallesons provided legal support to the Chinese government in a WTO-arbitrated dispute that began in 2012, when China lodged a complaint to the WTO about US-imposed countervailing duties on certain Chinese imports such as solar panels. According to the latest WTO ruling, China can retaliate against a total of USD645 million worth of annual US exports by imposing tariffs. This is the sixth-highest retaliatory amount to date for the WTO, and the second time China has won such a ruling against the US.

JunZeJun Law Offices acted as legal counsel for China’s Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM) in another high-profile WTO dispute regarding China’s claims that the US, citing national security reasons, imposed illegal tariffs on steel and aluminium products from China and elsewhere. The case sent ripples affecting USD13 billion worth of the global aluminium trade, as well as 35 million tonnes of the global steel trade. In December 2022, the WTO panel ruled that the US tariffs in question did violate WTO rules and did not qualify for the national security exception.

Additionally, JunZeJun’s trade relief team advised Risen Energy on anti-dumping and countervailing review, customs verification, retrospective investigation and trade remedy issues regarding the US and other regions. Li Zhigang, the company’s chief legal officer, highly commends the team’s professionalism and results. “Not only have they fought for all time low rates in the industry, and sometimes even zero tariffs, they have also helped us secure the lowest separately approved rates in the country,” he says.

Pillsbury’s offices in China and the US work together to provide around-the-clock services to clients on export control and sanction matters. The firm advised multiple companies on the China tariff exclusion process under section 301, including Valmet, Victaulic and KONE, resulting in exclusions granted and significant tariffs reduced. It also acted as the US export control and sanctions adviser to Leapmotor, an electric vehicle manufacturer, in its USD807 million listing on the Stock Exchange of Hong Kong.

Steptoe was involved in numerous high-profile and difficult trade disputes between China and the US, covering anti-dumping and countervailing duty trade remedies, customs and WTO dispute resolution.

Selected by the MOFCOM for the international trade panel, Steptoe advised the ministry on a number of complex trade cases and assisted in the panel proceedings regarding China’s anti-dumping measures on stainless steel products from Japan. It also acted as overseas legal counsel in the above-mentioned steel and aluminium tariff dispute.

East & Concord Partners conducted legal due diligence in a wide range of photovoltaic and wind power M&A projects for several giants in the power sector. This includes: 100 such projects designated by Three Gorges International Tendering, amounting to RMB20 billion (USD2.8 billion); 27 projects by China Three Gorges Renewables, amounting to RMB7 billion; and four projects each for Shenhua Guoneng Group and State Power Investment Ronghe Investment, each valued at about RMB1 billion.

Corporate and M&A are among the core offerings of AllBright Law Offices. Last year, the firm took part in several major M&A projects across a variety of industries. In the infrastructure sector, AllBright lent its expertise in the joint restructuring between Shandong Hi-Speed Group and Qilu Transportation. It was the largest of such projects both in Shandong province and the industry, involving four listed companies and three commercial banks.

AllBright represented Shanghai and Hong Kong-listed Fosun Pharma in acquiring Antejin Biotech, a Chengdu-based developer and producer of bacterial vaccines. The firm advised State Power Investment Corporation Chongqing Electric Power in its acquisition of household photovoltaic power plant assets from Zhejiang Chint Anneng Electric Power System Engineering.

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Zhong Lun Law Firm represented Hoya, a Japanese manufacturer of optical products, in setting up a joint venture with display products maker BOE, being one of the largest foreign investment projects in the flat panel display photomask industry in China to date. The firm also advised on the RMB800 million JV between transportation equipment firm Cummins and Chongqing Machinery & Electronics, as well as a JV between Cummins Singapore and Sinopec.

Additionally, Zhong Lun facilitated the RMB6.2 billion acquisition of Dongfeng Automobile by state-owned carmaker Dongfeng Motor, which involved a transfer agreement and partial tender offers.

Gide advised Adeo Services, the third-largest global player in the home improvement and DIY market, on its sale of 100% equity in department store chain operator Leroy Merlin Consulting (Beijing) and transfer of property to Ministorage Investment V, a Hong Kong-registered operator of self-storage businesses in Asia. It also advised Bel, a leading European player in the health food sector, on its acquisition of 70% share capital of Shandong Junjun Cheese, a manufacturer of dairy products.

Aurélien Lacroix, corporate development vice president at electrical infrastructure manufacturer Legrand, praises the China team of Gide for their strong knowledge in M&A and the legal environment. He singles out David Boitout, the partner in charge of Gide’s practice in Asia, as a highly skilled M&A professional. “[Boitout and his team] are capable of being proactive for suggesting relevant scenarios and alternatives to complete deals in China at the best conditions for their clients,” says Lacroix.

Slaughter & May advised chemical company INEOS on three landmark back-to-back joint ventures with Sinopec for a total value of USD7 billion; advised Swire Beverages on the purchase of six beverage preparation and packaging subsidiaries of Coca-Cola Bottlers Manufacturing in mainland China as part of the latter’s restructuring; and advised Chinachem Group on its joint venture with ESR Group, an integrated logistics real estate platform, for the development of a prime cold storage and logistics facility with sustainable building features in Hong Kong, with capital commitments mounting to HKD14 billion (USD1.8 billion). The three projects were selected for China Business Law Journal’s Deals of the Year 2022.

Haiwen & Partners advised wireless communication equipment company Fibocom Wireless in its acquisition of 51% equity interest in Rolling Wireless Technology, a supplier of mobile network access devices for the automotive industry, providing holistic legal services from due diligence to communication with regulators. The firm also advised Ping An Healthcare, the flagship platform of Ping An’s healthcare ecosystem, in its purchase of Scientia Smart Health Technologies.

In China’s education sector, Haiwen facilitated the merger of Rise Education with Dada Auto, a Hong Kong-registered charging service provider for electric vehicles and subsidiary of Newlink. Rise subsequently changed its name to NaaS Technology. The deal allowed Newlink’s entity to become a Nasdaq-listed company in place of the former Rise Education.

With its extensive experience in Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) projects, Jingtian & Gongcheng frequently places as the legal navigator and escort for outbound Chinese companies. Last year, the firm advised Huayou Cobalt, a Zhejiang-based lithium-ion battery material producer, on Chinese law in the acquisition of the Arcadia lithium project in Zimbabwe from Prospect Resources, an Australian listed company, and its local minority shareholders, for USD422 million.

Additionally, the firm helped China Power acquire two wind power projects in Kazakhstan, the 100MW Borey and the 50MW Energo Trust. It also advised civil engineering company Gezhouba Group in the co-establishment with Venus Essential of three photovoltaic projects with a total capacity at 390MW in Myanmar.

JunHe advised on a large number of complex and significant cross-border M&A, including some landmark deals in the fashion and cosmetics industry. The firm helped Chinese beauty company S’Young acquire EviDenS de Beauté, a French-Japanese luxury cosmetics brand sold in more than 30 countries and regions, for RMB360 million. The firm also represented venture capital firm Challenjers Venture and fashion conglomerate Youngor Group in their equity investment in fashion company Alexander Wang.

JunHe advised China’s Tasly Pharma in its joint venture with Mauna Kea Technologies, a French medical device company. The project further involved patent infringement review for several target products with a goal to commercialise them in the Chinese and US markets.

Freshfields, calling on its fully integrated global practice, is a lead adviser on large, complex outbound M&A transactions for Chinese companies. The firm advised Li & Fung, one of the world’s leading providers of supply chain solutions, on its long-term strategic partnership with Maersk, a Danish shipping and logistics company; as well as the sale of its logistics arm, LF Logistics, to Maersk for USD3.6 billion.

Morgan Lewis represented Silk Road Fund (SRF), a sovereign investment fund in China, on its participation in a global consortium’s acquisition of a 49% stake in Saudi Arabian Oil (Aramco) for USD15.5 billion. SRF is a state-owned investment fund designed to foster outbound investment for the BRI.

In 2022, Skadden advised on a number of high-profile M&A transactions with a total value of more than USD65 billion. The firm advised ECARX, a leader in the design, development and delivery of intelligent vehicle technology in China, in its de-SPAC merger with Cova Acquisition, a blank cheque company, the largest of such deals involving a Chinese company to date. It also participated in the above-mentioned Rise – Dada/NaaS merger.

Grandall Law Firm provides legal support to financing activities in pharmaceutical, new energy and other popular sectors. The law firm advised Reistone Biopharma, a subsidiary of Hengrui Medicine, on its nearly USD100 million offshore series A financing. It also participated in the A-share private offering of Shanghai Pharmaceuticals, raising about RMB14 billion (USD1.96 billion), which attracted Yunnan Baiyao as a strategic investor..

Furthermore, Grandall advised on the RMB5 billion series A financing of Voyah, a high-end electric vehicle (EV) manufacturer under Dongfeng Motor Corporation, making it the largest first-round financing in the history of China’s EV market.

Hylands Law Firm handled more than 60 PE and VC cases last year, introduced four new partners specialising in the area, and offered PE and VC expertise to a host of reputed clients such as SAIF Partners, One Capital and We Capital. The firm advised Gold Endeavor Capital on its RMB400 million investment in Gaussian Robotics, a manufacturer of automated cleaning robots with a presence in more than 40 countries and regions.

In addition, Hylands acted as legal counsel of Chinese dairy company Mengniu for its participation in the pre-IPO financing of Ringpai Hospital Management. Ringpai operates more than 500 pet hospitals in China, but there was uncertainty around its listing due to a lack of main business qualification. This necessitated due diligence and a comprehensive risk assessment before a feasible solution could be proposed.

Shihui Partners acted as the Chinese legal counsel in the USD800 million non-redeemable series B preferred-share financing of JD Property, with Hillhouse Capital and Warburg Pincus as co-lead investors. The firm also represented Jiangsu Zejing Automotive Electronics, a leading vendor of automotive head-up display products in China, in its pre-IPO series D financing with a post-closing value of RMB2.3 billion.

Shihui also advised PICC Investment, an investor in the RMB2.5 billion private equity financing of GienTech, a member of the China Electronics Corporation dedicated to services related to digital transformation.

Cooley lent its VC expertise to investors and investees alike. It represented Full-Life Technologies, a fully integrated global radiotherapeutics company headquartered in Shanghai and with operations in Europe, in its USD37 million series A financing led by Sequoia China. On the investor side, Cooley represented Eight Roads Capital in its investment in the USD200 million series B financing of Sironax, a biotech company dedicated to the discovery and global development of novel treatments for patients with age-related degenerative diseases.

Kenneth Lai, CFO of Pulnovo Medical, is impressed by the PE and VC knowledge, expertise and skills demonstrated by Cooley, especially Liu Yiming, a recently appointed partner in charge of the Shanghai office. Cooley advised Pulnovo in a recent financing round which raised tens of millions of US dollars from top-notch investors in the US and China. “Liu and the Cooley team consistently provided us with first-rate client service that reflects solid technical skills, outstanding problem-solving capabilities, and unparalleled professionalism,” says Lai.

DLA Piper advised: Wise Road on its USD1.46 billion acquisition of ASE Technology, a Taiwanese semiconductor giant; Silk Road Fund on its investment in Kerry Logistics; and NEA as existing shareholder on its follow-on participation in the USD30 million series B+ investment in InCarey Group, a China-based digital healthcare company focusing on chronic and special diseases, led by Long Hill Capital.

AllBright Law Offices acted as counsel and an administrator in the pre-reorganisation and reorganisation of Jiangxi Firstar Panel Technology and its core subsidiaries, marking the first reorganisation of a listed company in Jiangxi province, as well as the first regional application of pre-reorganisation. The reorganisation plan was approved by the court in August 2022.

AllBright also served as the administrator in the personal bankruptcy settlement proceedings of Zhang Yuansheng, which ended with the debtor and creditor reaching a settlement, a first in a personal bankruptcy case in mainland China. This was a significant development for the further promotion of this much-anticipated procedure.

As an administrator, JunHe took part in the RMB37.1 billion substantial consolidation and bankruptcy reorganisation of Dongying Fangyuan Nonferrous Metals, along with 19 related entities, the plan of which was approved by the court.

In a dispute on an application to revoke repayment to an individual creditor, JunHe represented the respondent, a provincial branch of a state-owned bank, which ended with the court dismissing all claims of the opposing administrator, including revocation of a previous repayment to a client. The case tested lawyers’ ability to master both specialist knowledge and industry practice in a short time, and was made more challenging by the ambiguous definition and extension of property in the Enterprise Bankruptcy Law.

Zhong Lun Law Firm was the special legal counsel, as well as one of the court-appointed joint administrators, in the consolidation and reorganisation of Nanjing Construction Industrial Group and 24 related entities. In April 2022, the Nanjing Intermediate People’s Court ruled in favour of the reorganisation plan, putting an end to three years of debt risk resolution. It was the first such case involving a large construction company successfully using out-of-court debt restructuring, pre-reorganisation and judicial reorganisation, as well as the first application of pre-reorganisation in Nanjing.

CMS China advised Bank of China (BOC) during the Tsingshan Group nickel crisis of March 2022, which saw the nickel price surge 500% in a day and the London Metal Exchange halt trading. The unprecedented event was followed by an intense six-month restructuring that saw BOC’s position turn from initial loss to profit, and Tsingshan avoid bankruptcy, all without any court action.

Sidley Austin advised on the debt restructuring of several Chinese property heavyweights following a turbulent year in the real estate sector. The firm acted as the onshore legal counsel for RiseSun Real Estate Development, which implemented a scheme of arrangement to restructure its USD780 million offshore notes issued on the Singapore Exchange, making RiseSun the first Chinese real estate company to complete an offshore debt restructuring since 2016.

Furthermore, Sidley Austin represented: Modern Land in its restructuring of USD1.34 billion in offshore dollar-denominated notes; R&F Properties in the restructuring of 10 offshore bonds amounting to USD4.9 billion; and Evergrande in its ongoing restructuring of USD19 billion of offshore liabilities.

Ray Liu, general manager of capital markets at RiseSun, lauds the consistency and high quality of Sidley’s services. “The close collaboration between Sidley’s Hong Kong, London and New York teams proved indispensable for our USD debt project to complete a scheme of arrangement in March 2022, recording the shortest time to do so in the history of Chinese property companies,” says Liu.

Stephenson Harwood advised Madison Pacific Trust on the enforcement sale of 51% shares in HG Storage International, a Jersey-incorporated oil and gas JV. The shares were pledged to Madison as collateral under the terms of certain notes issued by a subsidiary of the now defunct HNA Group. The firm also advised the liquidators of Shanghai Huaxin Group (Hong Kong), the primary offshore unit of CEFC China Energy Group, on the sale of company assets including HKD3 billion (USD382.6 million) worth of Hong Kong properties, shares and luxury vehicles.

Hansheng Law Offices took an innovative approach using blockchain technology to track the transaction process for the series of “Tongbao” asset-backed security (ABS) products of China Baowu Steel Group. The firm made use of blockchain’s unique reliability in verifying the authenticity of transactions, ensuring traceability of all cash flow, transaction outcomes and background information, which averts the risks of defective or untrue accounts receivable in trade finance.

Merits & Tree Law Offices served as sole legal counsel in tranches 1 to 3 of Jiangsu Jinnong’s small loan debt-backed securitisation, the first small loan ABS product under the principal-agent model. The amount of shelf offering was RMB250 million, involving 47 small loan companies. Merits & Tree was also engaged by investment firm JIC Trust to advise on the RMB750 million green asset-backed scheme jointly launched with Wuhan Huazhong China Communications City. Specifically, the firm helped JIC set up a property trust and participated in various drafting and negotiation processes.

Llinks Law Offices advised on the Panda bonds issuance by Yuexiu Transport Infrastructure, helping it make the most of the Panda bond boom arising from the growth of offshore renminbi borrowing costs. From 2021 to June 2022, Llinks supported Yuexin in the registration of about RMB8 billion of Panda bonds, and the issuance of about RMB3 billion.

In addition, Llinks advised the Gansu Province Transportation Construction Group on the launch of the 4.6%, RMB1 billion, three-year sustainability-linked corporate bonds, the first in China’s transport sector on the SSE.

With Tian Yuan Law Firm as its legal support, China National Investment and Guaranty Corporation completed several first-in-market ABS issuances. These include the successful issuance of the first tranche of the 2022 Chongqing Maohe Infrastructure – China Construction Fifth Engineering Division public-private partnership (PPP) asset-backed commercial papers (ABCP) in the China Interbank Bond Market, the first domestic PPP-ABCP in China.

Tian Yuan also advised on the first tranche issuance of green battery asset-backed notes by Weineng Battery. It was China’s first securitisation product with new energy vehicle power batteries as assets.

Furthermore, Tian Yuan provided legal support for the listing of the Huizhou-Dongguan expressway ABS product on the Shenzhen Stock Exchange with Huajin Securities as the administrator and lead underwriter. With a total size of RMB3 billion and an average interest rate of 3.9%, this was the first attempt to securitise highway infrastructure assets led by a private company.

Last year, V&T Law Firm facilitated the issuance of securitisation products amounting to a total of RMB47.5 billion, of which more than RMB7.5 billion was related to green financing. The firm took part in the issuance of CITIC Securities – Chengdu China Overseas International Centre (COIC) green asset-backed securities, the first carbon neutral commercial mortgage-backed securities (CMBS) in the market. The firm further advised on a similar product amounting to RMB5 billion by CITIC Securities and Shanghai COIC, larger than any other concurrent carbon neutral CMBS products at the time.

Latham & Watkins describes its lawyers as “not generalists, but rather specialists in a number of areas where we can add the most value to our clients”. The firm focuses on complex and bespoke derivatives and structured products, such as over-the-counter and exchange-traded derivative products, and advises on margin finance and equity-linked products to a wide range of high-profile banking clients including Goldman Sachs, Citibank, Deutsche Bank, Morgan Stanley, JP Morgan, UBS and HSBC.

Global Law Offices represented a range of tax compliance projects in 2022, helping companies to avert tax risks amid China’s recent top-down campaign of full-on corporate compliance. The law firm also has a dedicated advisory service centre to deal with the challenges of customs classification of import and export goods faced by companies, and provides tax planning advice.

Jeremy Gong, a tax director at Bosch (China) Investment, is pleased with Global’s service. He particularly praises the firm’s Shanghai-based partner, Zhao Deming, saying: “Zhao and his team stands for the top quality of professional service in this area.”

Haiwen & Partners’ tax team is deeply involved in various types of complex transactions like equity transfer, cross-border restructuring, M&A, and employee stock ownership plans. In one foreign contracting project, the team provided a contractor client with a tax training course. To help companies better understand their local tax obligations, the team also provides a course on the tax systems, laws and regulations and investment environment of 29 key investment destination countries and regions.

CMS China’s tax team served many key European companies in the automotive and manufacturing industries in 2022, providing tax advice on their investments in China and other China-related matters.

Polly Zhang, head of legal at MAHLE Holding (China), says: “CMS provides a high-quality and fast service, which is trusted by our management.” As an example, she says CMS China had a direct impact on the final decision of her company’s cross-border consignment business through its advice on possible risks and solutions for external control, accounting, taxation and customs in the import consignment business.

She also recommends , the managing partner of CMS China’s Shanghai representative office. “She is well versed in China’s legal practice and is adept at balancing business opportunities and legal risks to provide effective legal solutions,” she says.

Morrison Foerster specialises in cross-jurisdictional tax advice. Last year, the firm was involved in high-profile transactions across a range of industries including technology, consumer goods, retail, real estate, life sciences, fintech and insurance.

At a time when special purpose acquisition companies (SPACs) were taking off in Asia, Morrison Foerster was instrumental in developing de-SPAC structures from a tax perspective. This had not been done before. The firm also advised on other complex cross-border tax issues in SPAC transactions. Morrison Foerster’s tax clients include well-known companies like GLP, Softbank, Alibaba and Blackstone Group.

Gide provides tax-related advice on transactions like group reorganisations, M&A tax planning and structuring, joint ventures and major projects, project financing, business establishment and operation, tax-efficient financing, tax compliance, transfer pricing, tax audits and disputes, subsidies and preferential treatments, tax treaties and tax reform.

In the sale of a subsidiary of leading European biopharmaceutical company Ipsen to a French buyer, Mayoly Slinder, Gide advised the seller on all Chinese legal and tax issues of the project including the structuring and implementation of Ipsen’s reorganisation in China prior to sale. This involved separating two business lines in terms of corporate and equity structure, governance, personnel, assets and other resources, and setting up a new Ipsen entity.

DLA Piper’s China transfer pricing team including lawyers, economists, certified accountants and tax advisers can work with the firm’s experts in the US and Europe to help companies address their transfer pricing challenges and opportunities in domestic and cross-border transactions.

When an international client was considering the spin-off of one of its businesses, including some Chinese subsidiaries, DLA Piper used its experience in similar deals to analyse various plans, and the pros and cons of handling cash amid China’s strict foreign exchange control environment. This included developing debt restructuring and capital conversion steps, and talking to appraisal firms and auditors to help the client consider alternative solutions.

AllBright Law Offices served as the legal counsel for the joint lead managers who handled SAIC-GMAC Automotive Finance’s issuance of RMB1 billion (USD140 million) of three-year senior unsecured fixed-rate green notes on the HKEX. It is the first dim sum bond and the first offshore green bond in China’s auto finance industry. The firm also advised SAIC-GMAC on the issuance of Rongteng 2022-1 retail auto loan asset-backed securities totalling RMB10 billion. AllBright also advised Huabao New Energy on its IPO, which raised RMB5.83 billion, making it the largest fundraising project on the ChiNext board of the Shenzhen Stock Exchange (SZSE) since 2022.

Grandway Law Offices has been involved in numerous stock and debt offerings for companies in the automotive, industrial and manufacturing sectors in the past year, including the listing of electric vehicle manufacturer Leapmotor on the HKEX, which raised HKD6.28 billion (USD801 million). The firm worked with Zhejiang Dingli Machinery, the world’s only electric articulated boom lift manufacturer, on its non-public issuance of stocks on the SSE, with a planned fundraising amount of RMB1.5 billion.

Grandway also advised Ningbo Shanshan, a leading company in the lithium battery materials industry, on listing global depository receipts on the SIX Swiss Exchange, raising USD319 million. The move has made Ningbo Shanshan one of the first A-share listed companies to be listed on the SIX Swiss Exchange since the China Securities Regulatory Commission expanded the China-Switzerland Stock Connect programme in February 2022.

Han Kun Law Offices helped complete several significant transactions in the automotive sector last year. It advised Li Auto, an electric vehicle manufacturer, on its USD2 billion at-the-market (ATM) offering on the Nasdaq. This is the first ATM offering of a dual primary-listed company in the US and Hong Kong, with one of the largest placements among Asian enterprises. Han Kun also provided legal services to Chinese electric vehicle maker NIO to list on the SEHK and Singapore Exchange by way of introduction without raising funds, becoming a triple-listed company in Hong Kong, Singapore and the US.

Xu Dian, vice president and general counsel at Li Auto, says: “[Han Kun Law Offices] excels in its knowledge of the automotive industry and the relevant legal regulations pertaining to both the automotive sector and related industries. It provides timely feedback and offers valuable insights, possessing robust collaborative resources and smooth internal teamwork.”

Kirkland & Ellis has demonstrated excellent performance in private equity investment in manufacturing. The firm represented Blackstone in the acquisition of Interplex, a leading maker of interconnect and mechanical products for the rapidly growing sectors of auto electrification, medical and life sciences, information and communications technology, and industrial applications. The transaction was valued at about USD1.6 billion. The firm was also involved in the acquisition by Baring Private Equity Asia, a prominent private markets investment enterprise in Asia, of Ginko International. Ginko is the largest developer and manufacturer of contact lenses and related care products in Greater China. The firm provided legal advisory services to a special committee of Ginko’s board of directors.

Slaughter and May has extensive experience in handling cross-border M&A between multinational corporations and Chinese manufacturing companies. Last year, It advised the UK chemical giant INEOS on a string of deals valued at USD7 billion with Sinopec, a Chinese state-owned oil and gas enterprise. These transactions included INEOS’ acquisition of a 50% stake in Sinopec’s subsidiary, Shanghai SECCO Petrochemical, with a transaction value of RMB10.5 billion. Additionally, Sinopec bought a 50% stake in INEOS’ subsidiary in Ningbo, which produces ABS resin materials widely used in manufacturing auto parts and pipelines. These two giants also set up a joint venture with a 50-50 ownership structure to establish a high-density polyethylene plant in Tianjin.

AllBright Law Offices assisted multiple aviation-related companies in their IPOs and stock issuances, such as Hubei Chaozhuo Aviation Technology’s listing on the SSE’s Science and Technology Innovation Board, and Xi’an XICE Testing Technology’s listing on the ChiNext board of the SZSE. The firm also provided comprehensive legal services for Airbus on setting up an aircraft lifecycle services centre in Chengdu, Sichuan province. This project is the world’s only aircraft recycling centre operated by an aircraft manufacturer and the first Airbus aircraft lifecycle services centre outside Europe. The project will drive the development of Chengdu’s aviation-related industries, including aviation manufacturing and maintenance, logistics and material sales.

Dentons China represented AVIC International Leasing and Air China in implementing a financial lease for six aircraft, including Airbus and ARJ21 aircraft, amounting to RMB1.6 billion. The firm also assisted AVIC International Leasing in separately arranging mortgage financing loans for nine aircraft leased to Turkish Airlines, involving multiple jurisdictions such as the UK, Ireland, New York and Turkey, with an estimated total of USD900 million. The firm facilitated the smooth progress of the projects in a short period of time and helped the clients avoid substantial tax transaction losses.

Jingtian & Gongcheng participated in the largest M&A restructuring project in China’s A-share market to date within the national defence and military industry. The firm served as the legal adviser to AVIC Electromechanical Systems in its stock-for-stock M&A by China Avionics Systems (Avionics), along with raising matching funds and attending to related transactions. The deal exceeded RMB48.9 billion, with Avionics planning to raise matching funds of up to RMB5 billion. The firm also successfully represented CLC Aircraft Leasing (Tianjin) in handling China’s first arbitration judicial review case involving third-party funding, overcoming dual challenges in non-enforcement and revocation procedures, and safeguarding the arbitration award.

A&L Goodbody served as transaction counsel for Carlyle, assisting subsidiary Maverick Aviation Partnership in the acquisition of AMCK Aviation’s portfolio comprising 125 aircraft valued at USD4 billion. Additionally, the firm acted as the Irish legal adviser for the AASET 2022-1 Issuer in a USD522.4 million offering of aircraft asset-backed notes. The proceeds from the notes will be utilised to acquire a portfolio of 25 aircraft leased to 12 lessees across 11 countries.

Holman Fenwick Willan is one of the international law firms operating a comprehensive aviation practice in Hong Kong. With over 40 years experience in handling aviation financing, corporate and commercial matters, and disputes, the firm has a resource network of more than 70 full-time aviation lawyers spread across 20 offices worldwide. It assisted the Beijing Hongyuan Group in acquiring Boeing cargo aircraft and provided legal services for aircraft financial leases and CMI (crew maintenance and insurance). The project involves the jurisdictions of mainland Mainland China, Hong Kong, Germany, Saudi Arabia, Ireland and Belgium, and marks its first involvement in China’s free trade zones.

Boss & Young Attorneys at Law participated in various key urban infrastructure projects last year, including the development of the permanent site for the World Laureates Forum in Lingang New Area of the Shanghai Free Trade Zone. Upon completion it will provide an international platform for scientific innovation and co-operation, with a total investment of about RMB3.8 billion (USD528 million).

The firm also assisted Ping An Basic Industry Investment Fund Management in establishing an infrastructure fund to facilitate the indirect acquisition of the Shenzhen Nanshan District Vanke Yuncheng Metro Support Project, valued at about RMB6.5 billion.

Additionally, Boss & Young advised Shanghai Lingang Economic Development on establishing a fund with Shanghai Construction Engineering, Arcplus and Shanghai Xuhui Capital to invest in essential infrastructure in key areas such as Shanghai’s Lingang New Area. This project plans to raise RMB10 billion.

City Development Law Firm has achieved remarkable success in the field of urban infrastructure development. The firm has provided legal services for various notable projects, including the Nanjing Metro Line 5 public-private partnership (PPP), covering the construction, operation and handover phases, with a project value of RMB19.6 billion. The firm also made significant contributions to the development of the Jinshan Lake Cultural and Ecological Area in Yizhou district of Hechi City, Guangxi province. This project encompasses schools, plazas, residential areas and supporting infrastructure, with an investment of about RMB6 billion. Additionally, the firm played a crucial role in the Phase I PPP of the Tiantai Underground Comprehensive Pipe Gallery in Taizhou city, with an investment of RMB2.47 billion.

Jingtian & Gongcheng provided legal services for the construction of two venues and a village for the 2022 Winter Olympics, as well as venue testing and post-event venue utilisation. The firm demonstrated outstanding performance in urban engineering construction last year, having participated in key PPP projects such as: the Shenzhen Airport-He’ao Expressway expansion with an investment of RMB43.3 billion; the Wuhan Huangxiao River and Airport River Basin Water Environment Comprehensive Management project costing RMB6.8 billion; and the Shenzhen Longgang Sports Centre with a RMB4.1 billion investment.

Mayer Brown has decades of expertise in construction and infrastructure. It has not only handled iconic projects and major construction arbitrations for the Hong Kong government and government-funded statutory bodies, but also cross-border construction matters including international airports, world-class racehorse training centres, chemical production facilities, and large-scale amusement parks.

Pinsent Masons specialises in the construction and infrastructure industry. It has gained favour from both domestic and international large contractors, including Chinese contractors that ranked among the top 10 in the 2022 ENR Global Top 250 International Contractors list. Last year, the firm actively participated in investment and arbitration projects related to the Belt and Road Initiative. The firm’s Chinese team represented infrastructure contractors in handling projects in Asia, Africa, the Middle East, Australia, South America and Europe, as well as international arbitrations in various jurisdictions such as Geneva, London, Dubai and Hong Kong.

Chang Tsi & Partners specialises in protecting the legal rights of retail and consumer product companies. The firm represented TOTO, a leading player in the sanitary ware industry, in multiple cases of the selling of counterfeit goods. The Chongqing High People’s Court recognised the argument that the deliberate use of counterfeit goods in construction projects falls under the category of sales activities. As a result, this ruling corrected the initial judgment and appellate decision, finding that the accused had infringed the law by selling goods with counterfeit registered trademarks. This ruling holds significant guiding implications for similar cases involving contracts for labour and materials exclusively signed by a contractor.

JunHe was involved in various high-profile listings, investments and M&A in the consumer and retail sectors last year. For example, it advised Miniso, a global lifestyle retailer, on conducting dual primary listings on the Main Board of the HKEX. It also represented Asia Food Growth Fund as the exclusive lead investor in the series B financing of the convenience fast food brand Mo Xiaoxian. Furthermore, the firm assisted with the acquisition of HYSOUND Group, one of the leading nationwide chains of audiological care clinics in China, by Sonova, a leading provider of hearing care solutions.

Longshine Law Firm conducted two research projects on consumer rights protection commissioned by the China Consumers Association (CCA) last year. Zhang Dezhi, director of the consumption supervision department of the CCA, says: “In our collaboration with Longshine Law Firm I experienced their professionalism and service level in the consumer products and retail sectors. [The firm] adhered to an efficient and professional service philosophy, diligently completing all tasks.”

Dorsey achieved several impressive transactions in the consumer products and retail sectors. The most notable was their representation of Coca-Cola in the sale of its preparation and packaging operations for non-aerated beverages in mainland China to subsidiaries of Swire Pacific and China Foods. This deal was large in scale and complexity, involving more than a dozen Chinese legal entities, post-transaction commercial arrangements among the three parties, and compliance with the listing rules of the HKEX and the state-owned enterprise regulations applicable to Swire Group and agricultural products supplier COFCO Corporation, respectively.

In the past year, White & Case has similarly been committed to providing business law advice to leading retailers and manufacturers worldwide. Its services include assisting foreign and domestic enterprises in establishing joint ventures, representing domestic companies in dealing with affairs involving customs tariff rulings for overseas expansion, and handling cross-border M&A. For instance, it represented BBPOS, a Hong Kong-based mobile payment solutions provider, in selling its group shares and assets to Stripe, one of the world’s highest-valued unicorns in the digital payment sector, based in the US.

Lusheng Law Firm provides legal support to education businesses, with a focus on IP. The firm represented one of the largest education companies, McGraw Hill, in a lawsuit against a Chinese online English educational institution for the unauthorised online use of its core teaching material, Reading Wonders. As a result, McGraw Hill was awarded compensation of RMB3 million (USD420,000). The case involved the use of textbooks and a compilation of work by many authors and editors, making it extremely challenging to gather evidence to prove the full chain of titles. Lusheng established a claim on copyright ownership by resorting to evidence rules and assumptions to transfer the burden of proof to the defendant.

Since the implementation of China’s Double Reduction Policy, the education and training industry has experienced a considerable decline in business, with some institutions having to reduce their workforce to adapt. Tahota Law Firm advised China’s first education and training institution listed in the US on handling employee and labour relations. The firm developed an optimised plan and guided it through the process in accordance with the principles of legal compliance and smooth transition. This approach avoided social instability, and litigation and arbitration cases.

Tian Yuan Law Firm has engaged with educational institutions in the areas of IPOs, investment and financing, and M&A for more than 20 years, and has advised on overseas listings by such businesses in China. Its services include online education, Sino-foreign co-operative education, study abroad agencies, publishing and distribution, and related policy research. Last year, Tian Yuan assisted several educational enterprises in completing M&A transactions and resolving disputes.

Kirkland & Ellis has been involved in capital market transactions for multiple educational enterprises in the past year. The firm advised Jianzhi Education Technology Group, a leading provider of digital educational content in China, on its USD25 million listing on Nasdaq. Additionally, the firm represented LAIX, a New York-listed leading AI-driven education technology company in China, in its going-private transaction.

The firm also facilitated the merger between US-listed RISE Education Cayman and NaaS, a leading provider of electric vehicle (EV) charging services in China, by serving as US legal counsel to the audit committee of the board of directors of RISE. The merger gave NaaS a listing on the Nasdaq, becoming China’s first listed EV charging service company, with RISE resolving its delisting crisis. The combined company has a market capitalisation of USD1.77 billion.

Grandall Law Firm was a legal adviser in the first environmental public interest civil lawsuit in Guizhou province regarding the ecological flow guarantee of the Yangtze River Basin, which received court support. The firm also advised on the capital increase and share expansion of China National Nuclear Corporation (CNNC) Huineng, a platform dedicated to the development, construction and operation of non-nuclear clean energy projects under the CNNC, which ultimately attracted seven investors and raised RMB7.5 billion.

The firm also advised Shandong Energy Group’s New Energy Company on promoting and implementing a distributed photovoltaic scale-up project in Yishui county, Linyi city. The RMB400 million project aligns with China’s objectives of achieving carbon neutrality and peak carbon dioxide emissions.

King & Wood Mallesons (KWM) advised Shenzhen Energy Gas Investment, Shenzhen Energy Group’s wholly owned subsidiary, in its strategic investors introduction, bringing in four domestic and foreign strategic investors and establishing a diversified shareholder structure of “state-owned capital + foreign capital” and “industry + finance”, raising RMB3.37 billion. In addition to attracting foreign investment, KWM assisted Chinese companies in expanding globally. The firm facilitated CNNC, CNNC Overseas and its Argentine subsidiary in formally signing the design, procurement and construction contracts for the Atucha III nuclear power plant with Nucleoelectrica Argentina. This project is an important milestone in China-Argentina nuclear energy co-operation and further promotes global goals of peak carbon dioxide emissions and carbon neutrality.

Lantai Partners represented a major state-owned energy enterprise in a dispute with a UK company over international voluntary emission reductions (VERs) trading. The agreement reached by both parties involved registering the enterprise’s wind power projects under the UK company’s name and conducting international VER trading, with the profits to be shared according to the agreed terms. However, the UK company sold 500 tonnes of VERs without consent and concealed the proceeds. Lantai Partners formed a dedicated team, investigated and collected evidence both domestically and internationally. Finally, they reached a settlement that encompassed ceasing infringement, returning the assets and compensating for losses.

Shearman & Sterling was actively involved in several significant cross-border endeavours for Chinese state-owned enterprises last year, including advising China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC) on establishing its first global R&D centre for conventional and renewable energy in the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC). The firm provided valuable assistance to CNPC by analysing various options for setting up and constructing R&D centres in the Middle East, ensuring the smooth establishment of its first overseas R&D centre. The firm also advised PetroChina International on the restructuring of its participating interest in the Rumaila oil field project in Iraq. It handled a range of legal matters for PetroChina, including intricate JV restructuring, the implementation of new corporate governance structures, project operations and management, bank financing negotiations and government approval procedures.

White & Case’s energy and natural resources practice covers the development and financing of electricity, energy, oil and gas, renewable energy, mining and metals, and infrastructure projects in China and internationally. The firm provided legal support for projects and transactions valued at more than USD45 billion globally, including significant energy projects in China.

Despite the challenges posed by the pandemic and urban control measures, Hylands Law Firm provided clients with wealth management services last year. These included establishing family trusts, designing structures for overseas asset management and inheritance, and offering comprehensive wealth planning solutions. The firm advised CITIC Trust on establishing a new charitable trust, offered guidance on its long-term fund management and the operation of large-scale charitable foundations, as well as resolving legal issues across various fields. The registered amount for this trust reached RMB100 million.

Landing Law Offices has extensive experience in the field of private wealth succession. Leveraging its global presence, the firm’s family wealth management team assists clients in utilising flexible legal mechanisms in overseas offshore centres, and tools such as offshore trusts for cross-border asset allocation and inheritance. Last year, with the sudden passing of a client who controlled a private company, the firm handled legal matters in relation to the inheritance of equity and control of domestic and foreign companies under complex family relationships, as well as secondary wealth management and planning for the corresponding inherited assets.

Last year, Zhong Lun Law Firm provided tax and wealth planning services to multiple listed companies and their founders. The firm played a crucial role in assisting a major artist in establishing the first art asset inheritance trust in China, which focuses on preserving and passing on artistic legacies. To tackle the practical challenges typically associated with trusts for artworks, such as valuation difficulties, authentication complexities, delicate preservation requirements, intricate management and operation, and stringent copyright protection demands, Zhong Lun proposed an innovative approach that offers tailored professional services covering every stage of the entire life cycle of artworks, ranging from valuation to circulation, within the fundamental framework of art pieces serving as trust assets.

Deacons is one of the oldest and largest law firms in Hong Kong. In response to growing demand, the firm has strategically expanded its family and marital services, handling a large number of marriage disputes, wealth planning and inheritance-related matters. It has been recommended by professional service providers, including prominent accounting firms and family offices in Hong Kong. Deacons navigated multiple probate and asset distribution disputes among high-net-worth families in the past year, entailing valuable assets spread across various jurisdictions.

Harneys provides ongoing consultancy services to institutions, commercial and private trustees, including private banks and trust companies. Its services encompass establishing, managing, restructuring and terminating various types of trusts, as well as handling high-value, cross-jurisdictional and contentious trust and asset litigation. The firm has a specialised advisory team for Asian trusts and private clients. In the past year, it offered consultation on the establishment, management, dispute resolution, asset restructuring, cross-border probate, succession planning and private wealth affairs for multiple trusts based in the British Virgin Islands and the Cayman Islands.

Commerce & Finance Law Offices engaged in several significant transactions in fintech last year. It provided legal services to Export-Import Bank of China for the issuance of the market’s first “iDeal-ePrime” online cross-border green bonds through Shanghai Clearing House. This exemplifies innovation by leveraging the “iDeal-ePrime” interconnection system, which connects the foreign exchange trading centre with Bond Connect Company. The bonds were issued to global investors, allowing them to participate in China’s green bond market.

Global Law Office offers legal compliance support for various financial business innovations, such as fintech, the digital transformation of traditional financial institutions, big data in finance, and intelligent finance. The firm provided comprehensive solutions for judicial and government investigations across 10 jurisdictions, as well as compliance solutions for cross-border retrieval of judicial and law enforcement data. One of the firm’s clients was a leading encrypted asset exchange.

Merits & Tree Law Offices is a prominent law firm in the field of asset management apps, providing specialised legal services related to the apps and digital products of trust companies, wealth management and sales companies. It assisted Minmetals International Trust in setting up the industry’s first administrative service trust product in China, which aims to be a trust bank. This achievement serves as a model in the industry’s transformation. To address the challenges arising from the implementation of fintech product compliance, the firm developed a novel three-dimensional financial product model, encompassing fintech compliance, product compliance, and the protection of financial consumer rights integrated throughout the product’s entire life cycle.

Morrison Foerster (MoFo) provides legal services to leading fintech companies in significant transactions across mainland China and Hong Kong. These companies include Alibaba, Softbank, Tencent and China Telecom. As fintech is one of the fastest growing segments within the financial services market, it is subject to focused government regulation. The firm assists these companies in developing innovative structures and strategies to enable robust compliance amid rapid regulatory changes and limitations on foreign participation. Last year, MoFo advised Alpha Fintech, a next-generation payments technology company, in its acquisition by PPRO, a leading digital payments infrastructure provider. This acquisition is expected to drive transformative changes in the payment industry and facilitate a more globalised payment process.

As a member of the Global Blockchain Business Council, as well as Hong Kong and Singapore FinTech associations, Latham & Watkins has achieved significant accomplishments in the field. The firm serves global financial institutions, emerging technology companies and strategic investors, offering consulting services in areas such as blockchain, cryptocurrency, tokenisation, payments, cloud computing, data management, artificial intelligence, electronic transactions, cybersecurity and digital banking.

Last year, Latham & Watkins acted as the legal adviser for Binance, one of the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange and blockchain infrastructure provider. The firm counselled on regulatory compliance and IP matters pertaining to Binance’s establishment of a non-fungible token platform for artists, creators and cryptocurrency enthusiasts.

Jingtian & Gongcheng served emerging companies and large groups in the healthcare industry in the past year, advising them on IPOs and M&A, and assisting with various types of investment and financing activities in the secondary market.

Wang Wei, general manager of Genertec Universal Medical Group’s legal affairs department, says Jingtian & Gongcheng has been a longstanding partner in his company’s non-litigation projects, where he has “enjoyed working with the firm on every project”, including Genertec’s M&A of dozens of healthcare institutions and A-share listed companies.

Wang also recommends the firm’s Shanghai and Beijing-based partner, Zhao Bojia. “Zhao has dedicated himself to the healthcare sector for several years, amassing a wealth of vibrant expertise, providing professional service and showcasing remarkable responsiveness. Zhao’s outstanding performance has left a lasting impression on all colleagues at our company,” he says.

JunHe’s healthcare team consists of dozens of partners and nearly 100 lawyers with extensive experience in various practice areas, and has been deeply involved in influential and groundbreaking transactions in the industry.

The firm advised a leading global provider of hearing healthcare solutions, Sonova, the buyer of a 100% stake in Chinese hearing healthcare chain Hysound. The acquisition was completed successfully within four months, showcasing the firm’s efficiency. Negotiations were confrontational, as both the buyer and seller had previously explored unsuccessful alternative transaction models. The due diligence work was time-sensitive and demanding due to the fact that Hysound has about 200 shops in more than 70 Chinese cities.

ZSK Attorneys at Law has a wide range of capabilities in the pharmaceutical sector including clinical trial agreement negotiation, legal risk assessment and data protection compliance. The firm serves a diverse set of clients including various pharmaceutical companies, biotechnology companies, contract research organisations (CROs) and bio labs.

ZSK assisted several covid-19-related transactions in the past year, including providing Chinese legal advice to China Health Group on a series of clinical trials, international registrations and post-marketing manufacturing and sales of covid-19 antiviral treatment drugs. It also advised Beijing Stemexcel Technology, a leading domestic CRO, on its overseas clinical trials for a covid-19 vaccine developed by domestic companies.

Cooley advised clients on more than 10 China-related cross-border corporate partnering and licensing transactions with deal values around USD1 billion in 2022. For example, Cooley represented an affiliate of Chinese medical device provider Peijia Medical in its licensing agreement with JenaValve, an international transcatheter heart valve maker. The agreement was for exclusive rights to develop and commercialise JenaValve’s innovative transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) systems in the greater China region.

The firm also represented DotBio, a Singapore-based biotech company specialising in next generation antibody therapies, in its collaboration with Shanghai Junshi Biosciences, a leading innovation-driven biopharmaceutical company dedicated to the discovery, development and commercialisation of novel therapies, to develop next-generation antibody therapies.

Latham & Watkins not only advised on healthcare industry M&A and capital markets deals, but also handled litigation in white-collar investigations and defence for clients. It represented life sciences companies and board members in their most sensitive corporate crises. For example, the firm defended the board of directors of Sinovac Biotech, a leading provider of biopharmaceutical products in China, against dissident shareholders in a high-stakes, multi-pronged dispute led by Latham’s Beijing and Chicago offices, with parallel proceedings in Hong Kong and Antigua.

AnJie Broad acted as legal counsel in multiple complex cases with wide-ranging impacts and significant amounts in 2022, and handled several landmark cases in the insurance industry. For example, managing partner Zhan Hao and partner Wan Jia, based in the firm’s Beijing office, represented China Ping An in an insurance contract dispute with Nuofei Boer Panel Industry.

This was the first case in China to involve a large dispute over the calculation method for business interruption insurance. The Supreme People’s Court has commented that this case will promote a better understanding of business interruption insurance in the domestic insurance market, and in judicial practice for related cases.

Hui Ye Law Firm handled several high-profile insurance litigation cases last year. In a dispute over the termination of an inherent defects insurance (IDI) contract for engineering quality, Hui Ye represented the policyholder and won the case after going through the first instance, second instance and retrial.

This was the first case involving IDI disputes in the country, and the judgment directly affected the handling of existing policies with premiums ranging from tens of millions to billions of renminbi. The case was selected as one of the annual top 10 typical cases by the Shanghai Financial Court.

Video profile: Huang & Huang Co Law Firm

Kangda Law Firm handled influential insurance litigation and non-litigation cases in China, serving dozens of well-known property insurance companies, life insurance companies, insurance asset managers and insurance intermediaries.

The firm’s services are “very professional and meticulous, with extensive case experience, and very thorough legal analysis,” says the general manager of the legal department of a leading insurance company in China. He also recommends Lu Wenxuan, a partner in the firm’s Beijing office, stating that “his analysis of cases is clear and organised and he communicates fluently in both Chinese and English. He can help clients unravel complex cases and provide in-depth and easy-to-understand explanations.”

Clyde & Co’s sizeable China insurance team provides a full range of contentious and non-contentious insurance services to local, regional and global clients, including for notifications, coverage disputes, claims, corporate, commercial, advisory and regulatory matters. It has advised on Belt and Road Initiative matters and high-profile incidents through to the largest losses and claims, as well as policy coverage issues arising from the covid-19 pandemic.

Dorsey represents PICC, the largest property insurance company in China and Asia, as well as some of its insureds, in a variety of major civil actions, product liability litigations, coverage disputes and regulatory consultation matters in North America. It also represents PICC Property & Casualty Company, the largest non-life insurer in Asia, in its various disputes in the US and Canada on a routine basis.

Han Kun Law Offices provided legal services on various investment deals of Tencent,, Baidu, Amazon, Coupang, Missfresh and many other major Chinese and international internet companies in 2022. The firm helped with data compliance matters, patent infringement litigation, merger filings, financing and corporate restructuring. Han Kun also advised on regulatory issues such as anti-unfair competition and cybersecurity laws.

As the key service firm for Coupang’s China data compliance matters in the past year, Han Kun helped Coupang assess its compliance gaps in light of the Personal Information Protection Law and the Data Security Law, and helped the company establish its China data compliance mechanism.

Jincheng Tongda & Neal played a key role in assisting Chinese e-commerce giant in developing its innovative and cutting-edge business model, called “community group buying”. Given the lack of precedent and limited availability of existing business models, providing accurate and enforceable legal advice was a significant challenge. The model involved multiple legal entities including platforms, merchants, buyers, community leaders and logistics, resulting in complex legal relationships.

The firm began by examining the legal relationships between the various entities and thoroughly analysing the legal responsibilities and risks associated with each one under the community group buying model. To develop a comprehensive understanding of the legal landscape, the firm drew upon a wealth of case studies and other e-commerce business models. Additionally, it consulted with several regional administrative authorities to ensure that the business practices were both legal and enforceable. Through these efforts, the firm effectively constructed a business model with minimal legal risks for

W&H Law Firm’s annual revenue growth in the internet and e-commerce sector reached nearly 100% in 2022. The firm’s client list includes notable companies such as Huitongda Network, ByteDance, Douyin Group and Qihoo 360 Technology.

In particular, W&H played a crucial role in representing Douyin Group in a series of high-profile litigations against prominent industry players including Baidu, iQIYI, and Shanghai Himalaya Culture and Technology Group. The firm’s expertise and proficiency in navigating complex legal cases enabled it to successfully represent its clients’ best interests and achieve favourable outcomes.

Video profile: W&H Law Firm

Slaughter and May provided legal advice and support for various high-profile transactions and strategic partnerships in the region. The firm advised Alibaba as a pre-IPO investor on the HKD567 million (USD73.6 million) listing of GOGOX on the HKEX, and Tencent on the secondary listing of its subsidiary, Tencent Music Entertainment Group.

Additionally, the firm advised PCCW on its strategic partnership with Lenovo in relation to its IT solutions business, and on the global offering and listing of SenseTime Group on the HKEX, raising HKD5.8 billion.

Tilleke & Gibbins played a pivotal role throughout 2022 in helping various Chinese tech giants enter and operate smoothly in the Thai market as part of their global expansions. The firm’s strategic advice enabled these clients to protect their intellectual property in Thailand, despite the absence of specific regulations in certain areas of IP.

In one instance, Tilleke & Gibbins represented a major Chinese e-commerce platform in Thailand, effectively enforcing their trademark rights against online infringers who were using the client’s brand name in their website domains. Additionally, the firm assisted a Chinese client in responding to and overcoming the rejection of its trademark application in Thailand. Tilleke & Gibbins filed a civil suit, arguing several points including inherent distinctiveness in the terms and overall appearance of the mark, ultimately achieving a successful outcome.

JunZeJun Law Offices has handled multiple litigation cases for well-known social media, video platforms and gaming companies. Among them, the WeMade v 37 Interactive copyright infringement dispute was selected as a Deals of the Year recipient by China Business Law Journal. JunZeJun represented the defendant. This was the first non-infringement declaration litigation heard by the Guangzhou Internet Court, involving a highly publicised dispute over the copyright of The Legend of Mir in the gaming industry.

Deng Shuhui, vice president of Shanghai Yiworld Network Technology, was “impressed by JunZeJun’s case handling effectiveness and service quality”. JunZeJun has served the company since 2020, representing it in more than 10 intellectual property cases. Deng commends JunZeJun’s Guangzhou-based partner Ye Jian. “Ye has handled many significant and complex typical cases that have attracted widespread attention from the industry and the judiciary, and has extremely strong overall control capabilities over cases.”

Llinks Law Offices has a strong presence in the field of international sports law. Wu Wei, a partner at the firm’s Shanghai office, is an arbitrator with the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) and has handled many cases. He has also served as legal counsel for numerous top football clubs in various Chinese leagues, handling more than 100 cases at the FIFA and CAS levels.

In addition, Wu is active in public affairs, participating in the revision of Chinese sports laws and regulations, and holding social positions such as convenor of the disciplinary and dispute resolution committee of the Chinese Basketball Association, and vice president of the Sports Law Research Association of the China Law Society.

SGLA Law Firm has exhibited a high level of expertise in the entertainment industry, particularly in cases related to IP rights and unfair competition. Notably, the firm represented a prominent film and television company, the rights of which to adapt the famous historical drama Lang Ya Bang was infringed upon by a tabletop murder mystery game developer. SGLA provided comprehensive investigation and litigation services for the company in the first case of its kind in the country.

Cui Jinglong, legal director of Daylight Entertainment, was very satisfied with SGLA’s services and professionalism. He commends Wang Yuehan, Shanghai-based senior partner. “Wang was very meticulous and rigorous in the process of defending our rights on the infringement case for our company,” says Cui. “He was hands-on and had very strong communication skills with outstanding professional capabilities.”

ELLALAN assisted various Hong Kong media units of a global company on protecting their IP rights in China including trademark, domain name and copyright matters. The firm advised on brand strategy, co-ordinated enforcement, trademark invalidation actions against multiple hijackers and identical marks, and copyright advice and protection. Impressed by the expertise and quality of the firm’s Hong Kong and Beijing teams, the global company recently decided to move its entire trademarks portfolio of more than 600 trademarks from an established legal powerhouse to ELLALAN for handling.

Skadden advised video game developer Activision Blizzard on its USD75 billion acquisition by Microsoft, the largest deal in the technology and gaming industries to date. Its APAC antitrust team led regulatory filings in China, Japan, Australia and other jurisdictions for the mega-deal, which will examine horizontal overlaps and other competition issues raised by Microsoft’s Xbox console and video games such as Minecraft, Doom, and The Elder Scrolls, and Activision Blizzard’s titles such as Call of Duty, World of Warcraft, and Diablo.

Commerce & Finance Law Offices participated in several significant transactions in the real estate industry in the past year. The firm was the China legal adviser to the trustee in the debt restructuring of R&F Properties, one of the largest by a listed real estate company in Asia in 2022. The debt restructuring involved extending the maturity of 10 US dollar-denominated notes with a funding amount of about USD4.9 billion. The firm advised the underwriters and sponsors on the IPO in Hong Kong of Onewo, a leading property management service provider in China. It also acted as the Chinese legal adviser to the exclusive sponsor in the listing of property management company Suxin Joyful Life Services on the HKEX.

JunHe’s real estate and construction team consists of more than 30 professional lawyers, including more than 10 partners and consultants who work in offices in Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Shenzhen. When facing large and complex real estate investment projects, the firm can quickly assemble a cross-departmental and cross-regional team of specialised lawyers to provide clients with one-stop services.

In 2022, despite the crisis in the real estate industry, JunHe assisted companies such as Henan Railway Construction & Investment Group, Tai’an City Development and Investment, Zhengzhou Urban Development Group, and Mianyang Investment Holding Group in issuing overseas bonds. Some of these issuers even publicly issued US dollar bonds for the first time in overseas markets, and set a record for the lowest comparable issuance rate during the same period.

Llinks Law Offices’ legal services in the real estate sector are highly regarded by both Chinese and foreign clients, with the firm specialising in complex domestic and cross-border transactions. Its real estate team works closely with real estate authorities at all levels of government, with a diversified clientele including financial institutions, private equity funds, domestic and foreign investors, real estate developers, project owners, architects and design agencies on projects ranging from primary and secondary land development, shopping centres, office buildings, hotels, residential and villa developments, logistics properties and data centres.

An assistant general counsel of a leading global private equity firm says they are satisfied with the services provided by Llinks’ team, naming Shanghai-based partner Nicholas Lou: “Lou is very hands-on, conscientious and quite responsive. He is also commercially sensitive, so he understands the client’s business intentions and will proactively help explore ways to achieve our objectives.”

DLA Piper provides a full range of legal services across the real estate industry in Greater China, with an on-the-ground presence in Hong Kong and mainland China. The firm has a dedicated and sophisticated team with a significant range of expertise in due diligence, acquisition and divestment, JV, structuring, financing, funds, taxation, leasing and facilities management, project and commercial developments, REITs, hotel management, restructuring, trusts and syndicates. Its diverse client base includes large multinational corporations, institutional funds, investment managers, sovereign wealth funds, foreign pension funds, private equity groups, asset managers, and major domestic and international corporations.

Sidley Austin had a very active presence in the real estate sector in the past year, representing various companies in IPOs, placements of new shares, and acquisitions. The firm represented Suxin Joyful Life Services and Lushang Life Services in their Hong Kong IPOs, raising HKD230 million and HKD138.4 million, respectively. Sidley also acted for one of the largest real estate developers in China in a high-stakes Hong Kong International Arbitration Centre case, seated in Hong Kong, concerning an alleged breach of an investment agreement.

Jim Cheung, vice president of Ganglong China Property Group, commends Hong Kong partner Renee Xiong. “In particular, Renee Xiong has been outstanding based on my prior working experiences with her.”

AllBright Law Offices has a diversified client base in the shipping sector including Mediterranean Shipping Company, Shanghai Huihang Jiexun Network Technology, Maersk, the China Shipowners Mutual Assurance Association, and CFPC (Singapore).

Lilian Ding, a senior claim officer at Maersk, is very satisfied with AllBright’s services and professionalism. She says of Shanghai-based senior partner Cao Fang: “Cao understands our company’s situation and is experienced in practice, so that he can consider both the law and the practice, and provide practical and efficient solutions.”

Huang & Huang Co Law Firm handled dozens of high-profile and highly representative maritime cases of various types in 2022, involving fire and explosion hazards, cargo loss and shortage claims, insurance disputes, vessel collisions, marine salvages, oil pollution and wreck removals, personal injury, bill of lading and charter disputes. Among them was a series of labour disputes involving the Angelic Power crew, which was selected as one of the annual national exemplary maritime cases by the Supreme People’s Court.

Liang Qilan, manager at Maxtop Worldwide Logistics, who nominated Huang & Huang, says: “Huang & Huang possesses rich and profound legal knowledge. They can stand in the clients’ perspective to strive for the maximum interests for clients with a strong sense of responsibility and dedication.”

Wang Jing & Co handled multiple domestic and cross-border shipping and vessel-related dispute cases. In a vessel collision damage compensation dispute of Taiwan Product Insurance v All Oceans Transportation, YangMing Marine Transport, the firm represented the two defendants in the retrial procedure before the Supreme People’s Court and obtained favourable results. The case was selected as one of the top 10 exemplary cases of protecting Taiwanese rights and interests in mainland China published by the Supreme People’s Court.

Thomas Zhang, vice president of Skuld (Far East), commends Guangzhou-based partner Wang Jun. “Wang has extensive experience and knowledge in dispute resolution and transaction design in shipping, insurance, marine engineering, and ship finance cases. He is familiar with Chinese law as well as English law, and specialises in handling legal disputes involving multiple countries.”

CMS China has a dedicated team for shipping litigation in Hong Kong, handling court proceedings, arbitration and mediation relating to disputes such as those under demise, time and voyage charterparties, bills of lading, logistics and freight forwarding agreements, marine casualty, trade and commodities, brokerage, brokers’ liability, ship sale and purchase, ship management and shipbuilding. The team also has extensive experience in restructuring and insolvency-related disputes, as well as shareholder and director disputes.

David Landau, managing director of Dolphin Group of Companies, says: “Advice received [from CMS] has always been reasonable, practical and commercial and, so far, always achieving a positive outcome.” He recommends partner Andrew Horton and of counsel Helen Tang in Hong Kong.

With decades of experience in shipping transactions and disputes, Reed Smith provides comprehensive legal services including ship financing, leasing, construction contracts, collision claims, cargo loss, arrests of ships, regulatory compliance and cross-border litigation for major shipping clients in Greater China and beyond.

Zheng Biao, legal & commercial department manager of Cosco (HK) Shipping, is “very appreciative of the professional advice and litigation strategy provided by Reed Smith”. Zheng cites Hong Kong-based partners Li Lianjun and Li Min. “Even with his leading position in the shipping industry and his vast experience and contacts, Li Lianjun remains attentive and dedicated to our business needs,” says Zheng. “We are always impressed by Li Min’s acumen and command of the latest market developments, with many years of experience in handling maritime disputes,” he adds.

Haiwen & Partners has advised in the technology sector on various high-profile transactions. Bain Capital managing director, Chen Qian, is “very satisfied” with Haiwen’s services. When NaaS achieved a US listing via a reverse merger with RISE Education in 2022, Haiwen acted as China counsel for RISE, of which Bain Capital was the biggest shareholder.

“Haiwen demonstrated a high level of professionalism in the transaction and always provided balanced advice that strictly adhered to regulatory boundaries, while exploring innovative solutions to help close such a structurally original deal,” says Chen.

He commends Wang Lei, a partner at the firm’s Beijing office. “I have had over eight years of co-operation with Wang, who always provides most sincere analysis and advice based on his meticulous basic work and the most comprehensive and balanced thinking. He has become a ‘thought partner’ for me and the project team.”

Shihui Partners has provided long-term legal services to a large number of tech and telecoms companies, and has advised various types of companies, investors and underwriters. The firm has provided diversified legal services including consulting on issues such as access arrangements, licensing, outsourcing, e-commerce, advertising, logistics and IP, and has analysed the impact of compliance, structural establishment and financing as a result of developments in IT and changes in government regulations.

Shihui acted as legal counsel to Chinese metaverse company Movai in its USD130 million series B and C financing rounds, with SoftBank Vision Fund, Alibaba and Sequoia Capital among its investors. Movai built three virtual platforms that has been commercialised, empowering multiple industries such as entertainment, tourism, consumption, e-commerce, finance, education and healthcare.

Zhong Lun Law Firm provided comprehensive internal compliance risk assessment for Vipshop, a leading Chinese e-commerce platform listed on the NYSE, covering 10 major compliance areas including data compliance and cybersecurity. Led by Beijing-based partner Rachel Li, the legal team involved conducted a comprehensive and detailed investigation of Vipshop’s overall cybersecurity and data security management, four major business lines, and two special scenarios.

Based on the characteristics of the business, Zhong Lun designed multiple rounds of questionnaires and conducted more than 100 interviews. Due to the diverse data compliance risk scenarios and highly integrated data analysis scenarios, the project posed high demands on the team’s professional knowledge, implementation plans, and compliance management.

Bird & Bird’s in-depth specialisation and full-service approach differentiates it from its competitors, and it invests in young and talented technology, media and telecoms lawyers to serve its clients. The firm focuses on data protection and privacy, non-fungible tokens and other innovative tech, cloud, IT and telecoms expertise, and mid-market technology M&A and VC work.

Driven by the implementation of the Personal Information Protection Law and Data Security Law in 2021, the firm has been advising on an increased number of compliance, data localisation and transfer matters.

Dorsey has provided legal services to tech clients in various areas including sanctions law advisory and compliance, IPOs, dispute resolution, export control compliance and data privacy, and employment compliance.

The general counsel of a Chinese mobile application developer unicorn says: “Dorsey’s team conducts a comprehensive analysis of evidence and litigation strategy for each case upon receiving instructions. They provide formal case updates and analysis via email whenever there is progress in the case, including the next steps and plans. This allows us to have a clear understanding of the progress of the cases.”