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:

  • Shanghai Pudong Development Bank (SPDB), Ping An Bank, China Merchants Bank and Industrial Bank on the US$3.5bn leveraged financing to fund the privatisation of 58.com by a consortium of Warburg Pincus, General Atlantic, Ocean Link and the Chairman and CEO of 58.com.
  • China Development Bank on the acquisition finance for China National Offshore Oil Corporation's investment in Arctic II LNG in Russia.
  • Ping An Bank and SPDB on the US$1.1bn leveraged financing to fund the privatisation of China Biologic by a consortium led by Centurium Capital.

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. Our team 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 series of issuance of RMB bills in Hong Kong SAR through the tendering platform CMU BID operated by the Hong Kong Monetary Authority. In 2020, PBOC successfully issued a total of RMB 155bn bills with different tenure. We have participated in all bill offerings by PBOC since its first issuance of RMB bills through the HKMA tendering platform in November 2018.
  • The Ministry of Finance of the People’s Republic of China (MOF) on its US$6bn 144A/Reg S sovereign bonds offering in 2020. This was the first time MOF has targeted US and global investors in a Rule 144A/Reg S offering. The deal is recognised as “China Deal of the Year” and “Debt Market Deal of the Year” by Asian Legal Business China Law Awards 2021. We have been the international legal advisor to MOF since 2009, providing legal services on all its sovereign bond offerings targeting international investors.
  • On China Connect Schemes – helping design, draft documentation for, and advise on regulatory and legal issues affecting launch of each of Shanghai/Shenzhen-Hong Kong Stock Connect, Bond Connect and Greater Bay Area Wealth Management Connect. It is one of the leading innovative investment channels that connect the securities markets of the Chinese mainland and the world.

Antitrust & Foreign Investment

Our Antitrust & Foreign Investment Group 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 region.

Our track record includes advising:

  • Intel on the China merger filing of its US$9bn sale of NAND and SSD businesses to SK Hynix.
  • QIAGEN N.V.’s US$11.5bn transformational acquisition by Thermo Fisher Life Scientific.
  • Dialog on the China merger filing of its US$5.6bn acquisition by Renesas.
  • 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:

  • Morgan Stanley on its acquisition of a controlling stake in Morgan Stanley Huaxin Securities, its joint venture with China Fortune Securities. 
  • Suning.com on its acquisition of 80% shares in Carrefour China. This award winning deal was recognised as “Midsize M&A Deal of the Year” by SSQ Asian Legal Business China Law Awards 2021 and “Deal of the Year” by China Business Law Journal 2019.
 

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), The Export-Import Bank of China (CEXIM) and other Asian and European export credit agencies on the Arctic 2 LNG project financing in Russia. This was sponsored by Novatek, China National Petroleum Corporation, China National Offshore Oil Corporation, Japan Oil, Gas and Metals National Corporation and Total.
  • 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 2019.
  • A syndicate led by CDB on the project financing of Pattan hydropower project in Pakistan.
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