Spotlight on Top 10 Most Influential M&A Lawyers in China, 2023

2 mins read

Hong Kong is an international hub for legal expertise in a multitude of sectors, but regrettably, a lot of the talent there goes unrecognised. A key sector for the Hong Kong-based legal expert pool is corporate law and mergers and acquisitions (M&A), where countless well-regarded professionals advise important businesses and help to shape economic growth and industry trends. This article aims to highlight some key legal figures in the realm of Corporate/M&A who are based in Hong Kong and position these professionals in the context of their experience, achievements, and industry impact.

The following ten international lawyers are making great strides in their respective firms and are substantially contributing to the legal field in China. They serve different industries like finance, technology, automotive, hospitality, and others. Their expertise is proven by their successful handling of IPOs, acquisitions, joint ventures and investments, strategic partnerships, cross-border transactions, and more. Let’s take a look at these notable individuals:

Jonathan B Stone

Working with Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom and Affiliates, Jonathan B Stone heads the firm’s Hong Kong office. His major contributions lie in investment-grade DCM work where he regularly represents tech issuers on Reg S and convertible bond offerings.

David Zhang

David Zhang leads the Asia capital markets practice at Kirkland & Ellis. He is hailed for taking the forefront in the firm’s significant ECM matters and maintaining important client relationships.

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Denise Jong

Reed Smith Richards Butler LLP Denise Jong is an established capital markets expert, known for her work on IPOs and top-up placements. She represents both issuers and sponsors.

Benita Yu

Benita Yu from Slaughter and May is highly regarded by Chinese corporations for advising on their IPOs. She also represents various financial institutions.

Robert Ashworth

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer’s Robert Ashworth is a leading force in substantial acquisitions, joint ventures and investments in the technology and finance sectors. He co-heads the firm’s global M&A practice.

Timothy Gardner

Part of Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP, Timothy Gardner is widely recognized for his work on major cross-border M&A transactions, often involving a private equity element. His clientele includes top names from the finance, automotive and technology sectors.

Tommy Tong

Tommy Tong of Herbert Smith Freehills handles a range of corporate law instructions for Chinese and international companies, specialising in cross-border investments, acquisitions and disposals.

Neeraj Budhwani

Working with Milbank LLP, Neeraj Budhwani regularly advises international clients on cross-border deals, covering public and private M&A transactions and leveraged buyouts.

Yuval Tal

Yuval Tal, although without a firm website, is known in the industry as a go-to advisor for international clients in the hospitality and leisure sectors. He regularly provides counsel on strategic partnerships, acquisitions and joint ventures.

Emma Davies

Emma Davies is celebrated for her extensive practical experience with advising global companies on cross-border transactions involving Chinese counterparties and interests, despite having no firm website. She also provides advice on competition law issues.

These international lawyers show how diverse and dynamic Corporate/M&A law practice can be in China, demonstrating sterling leadership, commendable expertise, and a deep commitment to their clients and industries. Readers are encouraged to follow these lawyers and their work for deeper insights into the rapidly evolving practice fields of corporate law and M&A in the Chinese context.

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