We have a truly integrated team of over 200 lawyers working across China’s three major business centres: Beijing, Hong Kong SAR and Shanghai. We are not only able to call on the expertise of lawyers from the firm’s other offices in Asia and our network of 30 offices globally, but with our Shanghai Free Trade Zone Joint Operation with Zhao Sheng Law Firm, we can also provide seamless international and Chinese legal advice on joint matters, to help our clients achieve their China inbound and outbound strategic objectives.

Our many years of experience in China, and our track record on numerous complex international investments into China, have provided us with an exceptional understanding of the local legal and economic landscape. With around 100 Chinese-speaking lawyers, we know how best to negotiate and conclude deals in China. Our deep understanding of the culture and language, combined with our cross-practice strength and sector knowledge, mean clients can rely on Linklaters to achieve their commercial objectives while effectively managing risk.

Our expertise

Banking

Our banking team advises on many complex financing transactions in China, 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 includes advising:

  • Bank of China, China Construction Bank, Bank of Jiangsu, China Minsheng Bank and Nanyang Commercial Bank, as lenders on their financing on the acquisition of an Italian leading biomedical equipment manufacturer
  • China Development Bank (CDB) on the acquisition finance for China National Offshore Oil Corporation's investment in Arctic II LNG in Russia
  • CDB on Belarus’s first offshore RMB sovereign loan facility covered under the financial innovation mechanism of the Shanghai Free Trade Zone

Capital markets

Our capital markets team advises on a wide range of debt and equity capital markets products, including convertible and exchangeable bonds, medium-term note programmes, regulatory capital, straight debt issues, liability management transactions and IPOs, and has played a significant role in the development of the capital markets in China and other jurisdictions in Asia.

We assist banks, securities houses, multinational corporations and government entities on all legal, regulatory and documentation issues relating to derivatives on a wide spectrum of underlying assets, including interest rate, currency, equity, index, fund, bond, credit and commodity.

Our track record includes advising:

  • the People’s Bank of China (PBOC) on its successful issuance of RMB 10bn bills in Hong Kong SAR through the tendering platform CMU BID, operated by the Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA). We have participated in all bill offerings by PBOC since its first issuance of RMB bills through the HKMA tendering platform in November 2018, amounting to a total of 17 tranches and RMB 210bn issued to date.
  • the Ministry of Finance of the People’s Republic of China on its €4bn bonds in 2019 – the largest ever foreign currency sovereign bond offering by the Chinese government. We also advised on its issuance of US$6bn bonds in 2019.
  • FIA and its members on the rules and regulations,  including conducting a rules survey, of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China (including Shanghai Clearing House, Shanghai International Energy Exchange, Shanghai Gold Exchange)

Competition/Antitrust

Our competition team offers a sophisticated approach, combining international experience with local presence and expertise to deliver commercial, expert advice to clients on merger control and enforcement in China and other competition jurisdictions in the Asia region.

Our track record includes advising:

  • QIAGEN N.V.’s US$11.5bn transformational acquisition by Thermo Fisher Life Scientific
  • Bayer’s US$7.6bn sale of its animal health business to Elanco - creating the world’s second largest animal health company
  • Jingye Group’s historic acquisition of British Steel, the UK’s second largest steelmaker

Corporate M&A

Our China corporate practice has a sophisticated and sizeable M&A legal advisory team that has advised numerous multinational and Chinese companies, financial institutions and financial sponsors on their domestic and international transactions.

With our global network,  including our Shanghai Free Trade Zone joint operation with Zhao Sheng Law Firm, we provide seamless international and Chinese legal advice. Our corporate practice is supported by our banking and finance, energy and infrastructure, employment and incentives, competition/antitrust and regulatory experts, ensuring comprehensive advice on all aspects of a transaction.

Our track record includes advising:

  • China Three Gorges on the proposed acquisition of a major stake in the Portuguese energy utility group, Energias de Portugal
  • Suning.com on its acquisition of 80% shares in Carrefour China (awarded 2019 Deals of the Year by China Business Law Journal)

Dispute Resolution

Our dedicated disputes practice has a deep understanding of the evolving legal and regulatory environment in China, with extensive experience in China-related arbitrations and disputes involving Chinese parties.

We are known for our ability to deploy large teams at short notice across multiple jurisdictions and draw on the expertise and experience of nearly 300 litigators globally to handle large, complex multi-jurisdictional cases involving top tier Chinese and international companies.

Our track record includes advising:

  • Bank of East Asia on securing a significant win for striking out a US$275m dishonest assistance claim brought by the liquidators of the Hong Kong-listed China Medical Technologies
  • office holders in parallel court proceedings, in Hong Kong SAR and Beijing, on breach of contract claims worth more than HK$1bn
  • Moody’s Investors Service (Hong Kong) on an investigation and subsequent enforcement action initiated by the Securities & Futures Commission of Hong Kong in relation to the publication of a research report, including representing Moody’s at the Hong Kong Court of Final Appeal
  • a Chinese state-owned enterprise on a complex shareholder dispute relating to China Shanshui Cement, involving multiple proceedings in mainland China, Hong Kong SAR and the Cayman Islands
  • the Hong Kong liquidators of Lehman Brothers and MF Global (formerly known as Man Financial) in the winding-up and liquidation of the Asian entities of Lehman Brothers and MF Global

Energy and Infrastructure

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

Our team has extensive experience in energy and infrastructure projects, advising Chinese and international borrowers and financial institutions alike.

Our track record includes advising:

  • China Development Bank (CDB) on Lekki Deepwater Port in Nigeria sponsored by China Harbour and Tolaram. This project was awarded “Africa Infrastructure Deal of the Year” by Project Finance International in 2019
  • CDB and other Asian and European Export Credit Agencies on the Arctic 2 LNG project financing in Russia, sponsored by Novatek, China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC), China National Offshore Oil Corporation, Japan Oil, Gas and Metals National Corporation and Total A consortium of investors led by CDB on the financing of Pattan hydropower project in Pakistan
  • all lenders including CDB, the Export-Import Bank of China, Japanese, Korean and European Export Credit Agencies and Russian banks on the financing for the Yamal LNG project in Russia, sponsored by Total, Novatek and CNPC
Our renowned experience is recognised by the market:
"Their ability and propensity to provide advice and creative solutions is what sets them apart from their competitors."

Band 1 – Chambers Asia-Pacific 2020, Banking & Finance (International Firms): China

"They're very responsive to queries and able to think ahead of the issues. The team is organised and the division of work is clear. They are well aware of the commercial concerns and work hard to navigate to achieve the commercial goal."

Band 1 – Chambers Asia-Pacific 2020, Capital Markets – Debt (International Firms): China

"They're very good, proactive in identifying issues, and very commercially aware of our restrictions and requirements. They are particularly good on China cross-border work."

Band 1 – Chambers Asia-Pacific 2020, Capital Markets – Derivatives & Structured Products (International Firms): China

"Linklaters is very helpful to us, as we are largely involved in cross-border transactions."

Band 2 – Chambers Asia-Pacific 2020, Corporate/ M&A: The Elite (International Firms): China

"Linklaters is a firm who really sees the bigger picture and aren't put off by a challenge."

Band 1 – Chambers Asia-Pacific 2020, Competition/Antitrust (International Firms): China

"They're very efficient, practical and understand the client's core business concerns."

Band 2 – Chambers Asia-Pacific 2020, Dispute Resolution – Litigation (International Firms): China

"The team has great depth and a solid understanding of the types of energy projects we work on and goes to extreme lengths to meet tight timelines while maintaining quality and offering user-friendly, practical legal advice."

Band 1 – Chambers Asia-Pacific 2020, Projects & Infrastructure (International Firms): China