We have an integrated team of over 200 lawyers working across China’s three major business centres: Beijing, Shanghai and Hong Kong. In addition, we are able to call on the expertise of lawyers from the firm’s other offices in Asia and our network of 29 offices globally. With more than 2,600 lawyers around the world, our clients have access to more market-leading practices and experts in relevant practice areas than any other firm.

We have a track record for advising on more “firsts” in China than any other firm. We offer a compelling combination of:

  • market experience: unparalleled insight into China’s legal and economic framework
  • technical skills: offering consistent, top-quality international standards
  • cross-practice strengths: top-tier expertise in corporate/M&A, competition and regulatory advice, banking, project finance, capital markets, financial sponsors, and dispute resolution
  • commercial understanding: dedication to assisting clients achieve their commercial objectives and manage risk
  • sectoral knowledge: expertise in a wide range of prominent business sectors and industries
  • cultural awareness and linguistic capabilities: we have 100 Chinese-speaking lawyers and an in-depth understanding of how best to negotiate and conclude PRC deals
Our expertise

M&A and strategic investment

Our China corporate practice has a sophisticated and sizeable M&A legal advisory team, who advise leading multinational and Chinese companies, financial institutions and financial sponsors on their domestic and international deals.

With our wide office reach and global network we provide seamless local, regional and global advice, working in close collaboration with exceptional local practitioners to get the deal done. Our corporate practice is supported by our banking and finance, projects, employment and incentives, competition/antitrust and regulatory experts ensuring comprehensive advice on all aspects of a transaction.

Our track record of market-leading deals includes advising:

  • on the US$25.9bn merger of China’s train makers CSR Corporation Limited and China CNR Corporation Limited through a securities exchange offer effected through a PRC law-governed merger by absorption (M&A Deal of the Year & China Deal of the Year by ALB China Awards 2016)
  • on the US$103bn merger of Cheung Kong Holdings and Hutchison Whampoa Limited. This is the largest ever Hong Kong public M&A transaction
  • on the merger of China Minmetals and China Metallurgical, creating an entity with assets of more than US$100bn
  • Charoen Pokphand Group on the US$9.4bn acquisition from HSBC of its entire shareholding in Ping An Insurance. This is the largest ever single China inbound investment
  • UBS on its strategic investment in Postal Savings Bank of China

Competition and regulatory advice

Our competition team assists clients with the co-ordination of global merger filings, advises on antitrust compliance issues and guides clients through cartel and other competition investigations. We also advise on merger control and enforcement in China and other competition jurisdictions in the region.

Our track record of market-leading deals includes advising:

  • SABMiller on MOFCOM clearance with remedies in relation to its US$100bn acquisition by AB InBev
  • China Merchants Group on multijurisdictional merger control filings for the acquisition of Sinotrans & CSC, creating an entity with assets of more than US$100bn
  • Glencore on MOFCOM clearance, including remedies for its US$90bn merger with Xstrata. In China, this case set a number of significant precedents for merger control practice, and involved challenging and extensive remedy negotiations with MOFCOM
  • a number of global leading life science companies on responding to the National Development and Reform Commission’s market investigation into the healthcare sector in 2014 and 2016, respectively, and conducting related self-checks and compliance
  • Rio Tinto on MOFCOM clearance in relation to the proposed US$116bn iron and ore production joint venture with BHP Billiton, which also involved merger control filings and contact with competition authorities in Japan, Korea and other jurisdictions  

Financial sponsors

Our financial sponsor sector team comprises private equity, M&A, funds, financing and special situations lawyers. They advise private equity investors, sovereign wealth funds, pension funds and institutional investors across all phases of the investment cycle.

The team offers capability across all investment strategies, including buy-outs, minority investments, co-investments, private investments in public enterprises, take-privates, equity, equity-linked and debt instruments, financing, derivatives and structured solutions, restructurings and investments in distressed situations.

Working closely with our capital markets, competition and disputes resolution teams our financial sponsor sector lawyers offer comprehensive advice on securities and capital raising, regulatory issues, merger control and disputes. Our expertise spans many sectors, including technology, healthcare, real estate, infrastructure, financial services, food and beverage, retail and industrials.

Our track record of market-leading deals includes advising:

  • a leading global bank on the acquisition financing of Hillhouse Capital and CDH Investments’ US$6.8bn acquisition of Belle International, China’s largest footwear retailer. This is the largest take-private buyout in Hong Kong in history
  • the lead arrangers on the acquisition financing of Carlyle and CITIC’s US$2.1bn acquisition of McDonald’s China business
  • Bright Food and Baring Private Equity Asia on their sale of the Weetabix group to Post Holdings, Inc. for US$1.76bn
  • the management and employees of Tricor Holdings Limited in relation to their investment in Trivium Europe Limited for the management equity plan established by Permira for the purposes of its US$835m acquisition of Tricor Holdings Limited
  • Hony Capital on the £900m acquisition of Pizza Express restaurants in the UK, Hong Kong, China and 11 other jurisdictions and on the £640m debt financing to fund the acquisition

Banking

Our banking team advises on the most complex financing transactions in the PRC, spanning leveraged, acquisition and structured financing. Our team also has expertise in bilateral and syndicated lending facilities, real estate finance and debt restructuring.

Our track record of market-leading deals includes advising:

  • Bank of China Limited, Macau Branch, China Merchants Bank, New York Branch and CTBC Bank on the facilities for the acquisition of McDonald's China and Hong Kong business to a consortium formed by CITIC and Carlyle at a purchase price of up to US$2.1bn
  • Bank of China Limited, CTBC Bank Co., Ltd. and China Merchants Bank Co., Ltd., New York Branch on US$630m senior debt facilities to finance Carlyle's acquisition of a global outsourcing services provider
  • the senior arrangers (comprising seven international, Taiwanese and Chinese banks and coordinated by Standard Chartered Bank) and the mezzanine arrangers (comprising Dignari Capital and Huatai Financial Holdings) on the senior and mezzanine facilities for the acquisition of Wharf T&T Limited (a telecommunications operator in Hong Kong) by a consortium formed by MBK Partners and TPG
  • a major investment bank on a syndicated facility agreement providing for a US$450m term loan facility for Biostime Healthy Australia Investment Pty Ltd to refinance the acquisition bridge loan financing the acquisition of its 83% shareholding in Swisse
  • on the HK$39bn term loan facility for China Cinda Asset Management Co., Ltd. to acquire Nanyang Commercial Bank Limited, the largest acquisition financing in the history of China's banking sector  

Capital markets

Our capital markets team advises on a full range of debt and equity capital markets products, and has played a significant role in the development of the capital markets in Asia, especially in Hong Kong. Our lawyers have pioneered a number of products, including CNH bonds, panda bonds, retail debt offerings, regulatory capital, CNH IPOs and REITs.

Our track record of market-leading deals includes advising:

  • Bank of China Limited, New York Branch as issuer on its issuance of RMB1.5bn Notes and Bank of China Limited, Luxembourg Branch as issuer on its issuance of US$750m Notes due 2019, US$500m Notes due 2019, US$1bn Notes due 2021 and €500m Notes due 2021 under its US$20bn Medium Term Note (MTN) programme. This multi-currency offering of green bonds totalling over US$3bn is the world’s largest green bond issuance
  • China Yangtze Power Company Limited on the concurrent issuance of US$300m exchangeable bonds and €200m exchangeable bonds, exchangeable into the H shares of China Construction Bank Corporation. This is the first dual currency exchangeable bond issuance in the international capital markets and is a new asset class of exchangeable bonds (being convertible into H shares) structured entirely by Linklaters lawyers
  • the establishment and network expansion of the landmark Stock Connect programme, including Shanghai-Hong Kong and Shenzhen-Hong Kong Stock Connect Programmes
  • the PRC Ministry of Finance (MOF) on its RMB23bn sovereign bond offering in Hong Kong, which was the first listing of sovereign debt by the MOF and also the largest-ever offshore RMB bond transaction
  • Standard Chartered Bank on its issuance of bonds denominated in Special Drawing Rights (SDR), which was the first issuance of SDR bonds by a commercial entity  

Dispute resolution

We are the only international firm that has a dedicated PRC disputes practice that can draw on the expertise of a team comprising more than 40 PRC-qualified lawyers.

Our disputes team has extensive experience in advising clients on PRC-related arbitrations and on disputes involving PRC parties. They have a deep understanding of PRC laws and the evolving legal and regulatory environment in that market.

Among notable cases, our disputes team has:

  • acted for the client in parallel court proceedings both in Hong Kong and Beijing in connection with breach of contract claims worth more than HK$1bn
  • successfully represented a resource trading multinational in obtaining a US$100m award in London-seated ICC arbitration against PRC counterparties involving pledged assets in the PRC and in resisting a subsequent challenge to the enforcement of the award before the Hong Kong courts
  • acted for a global bank on the commodity financing secured by metal which has been the subject of fraud allegations and seizure in Qingdao and Penglai, including proceedings in the PRC and England
  • represented a Japanese listed company to conduct internal investigation into its PRC subsidiaries (one of the biggest enterprises in the Chinese sanitation industry) and local management involving alleged financial irregularity, fraud and other suspected misconduct
  • advised a leading investment bank on a potential CIETAC arbitration against a PRC company for recovery of a US$20m debt owed under a distributorship agreement  

Project Finance

Our projects team specialises in large-scale projects across the globe. These projects include power, renewables, nuclear, oil and gas, petrochemicals, LNG, mining, ports, water and waste, telecoms, stadia, airports, roads, bridges and rail-related transactions.

Our team has extensive project finance experience in energy and infrastructure projects both in the PRC and internationally, advising Chinese and international borrowers and financial institutions alike.

Our track record of market-leading deals includes advising:

  • all lenders including CDB, CEXIM, Japanese/Korean/European ECAs and Russian banks on Yamal LNG project financing in Russia, sponsored by Total, Novatek and CNPC
  • CDB on the US$1.5bn project financing (backed by Sinosure) for the development of the 2 x 1000 MW Jawa 7 coal-fired power plant located in Indonesia
  • Chinese lenders on a number of Belt and Road power projects in Pakistan, including: 
    • Thar 3.8Mtpa coal mine and 2X330MW coal-fired power plant 
    • UEP 99MW windfarm 
    • 330MW Thar Energy pit mouth coal-fired power project 
    • 330MW ThalNova pit mouth coal-fired power project 
    • Suki Kinari 870MW hydro plant 
    • HubCo 2x660MW coal-fired power plant 
    • KAPCO coal-fired power plant      
  • CDB on the US$2bn project financing to Kazakhstan Petrochemical Industries Inc. for the development of a 500,000 ton/year polypropylene project in Kazakhstan  
Our Awards

Awards

  • China Practice of the Year
    IFLR Asia Law Awards 2017
  • Structured Finance and Securitisation Deal of the Year - Bank of China green covered notes
    IFLR Asia Law Awards 2017
  • Debt and equity-linked deal of the year - China Yangtze Power dual currency exchangeable bonds
    IFLR Asia Law Awards 2017
  • Asia Finance Deal of the Year: Acquisitions:
    ChemChina-Syngenta financing The Asia Legal Awards 2017
  • M&A Deal of the Year and China Deal of the Year
    CSR Corporation Limited and China CNR Corporation Limited Merged into CRRC Corporation Limited ALB China Awards 2016
  • China Employer of Choice 2016
    Asian Legal Business
  • Competition Firm of the Year
    China Law and Practice Awards 2016
  • Deal of the Year: Top Spring issues two tranches of convertible bonds
    China Business Law Journal Awards 2016
  • Banking and Finance Law Firm of the Year
    China Business Law Journal Awards 2016
  • Energy and Natural Resources Law Firm of the Year
    China Business Law Journal Awards 2016
  • Best Overall International Law Firm for China Work
    China Business Law Journal Awards 2016
  • Competition and Antitrust Law Firm of the Year
    China Business Law Journal Awards 2016
  • Deal of the Year: CRRC Corporation issues H-share convertible bonds
    China Business Law Journal Awards 2016
  • Deal of the Year: Financing for the China-Russia LNG project in Yamal Peninsula
    China Business Law Journal Awards 2016
  • Deal of the Year: South Korea issues first Panda bonds by overseas governments in China
    China Business Law Journal Awards 2016
  • Deal of the Year: Development of the Thar Block II coal mine in Pakistan
    China Business Law Journal Awards 2016
  • Deal of the Year: Top Spring issues two tranches of convertible bonds
    China Business Law Journal Awards 2016
  • Securities Deal of the Year: Debt: Bank of China four currency six tranche US$3.5bn One belt, One Road bond
    The Asian Legal Awards 2016
  • Debt Market Deal of the Year: Abu Dhabi, Hungary, Singapore, Taipei and Hong Kong Branches of Bank of China Issued Bonds
    ALB China Awards 2016
  • SRI bond - Bank of China's US$3.03bn multi-currency Green bond
    IFR Asia Awards 2016

Chambers 2017 rankings

Tier 1 - Banking and Finance (International Firms)

Tier 1 - Banking and Finance: Leveraged and Acquisition Finance (International Firms)

Tier 1 - Capital Markets: Debt (International Firms)

Tier 1 - Capital Markets: Derivatives and Structured Products (International Firms)

Tier 1 - Capital Markets: Securitisation (International Firms)

Tier 1 - Competition/Antitrust (International Firms)

Tier 1 - Corporate/M&A: The Elite (International Firms)

Tier 1 - Dispute Resolution: Litigation (International Firms)

Tier 1 - Financial Services: Contentious and Non-contentious Regulatory (International Firms)

Tier 1 - Projects and Infrastructure (International Firms) 

Legal 500 2017 rankings

Tier 1 - Banking and finance – foreign firms

Tier 1 - Corporate and M&A – foreign firms

Tier 1 - Project and energy – foreign firms  

IFLR 1000 2016 rankings

Tier 1 - Banking – foreign firms

Tier 2 - Competition – foreign firms

Tier 1 - Energy and infrastructure – foreign firms

Tier 1 - Mergers and acquisitions – foreign firms

Tier 2 - Project finance – foreign firms  

Beijing
Unit 5206, Level 52 China World Tower B
No. 1 Jianguomenwai Avenue
Beijing
100004
Telephone: +861065058590
Fax: +861065058582
Shanghai
Linklaters LLP
29th Floor, Mirae Asset Tower
166 Lu Jia Zui Ring Road
Shanghai
200120
Telephone: +862128911888
Fax: +862128911818
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