FURTHER PROOF of the ever-strengthening market in Hong Kong and China was given in the appointment of four senior lawyers to Jones Day’s regional mergers and acquisitions, private equity and capital markets practices.
Partners Carson Wen and Katherine U and counsel Susan Yu have joined the firm from Heller Ehrman LLP and counsel Charles Kwak moved from Morgan Stanley. Hong Kong partner-in-charge Barbara Mok said the new appointments showed the firm’s commitment to support the growing needs of its multinational, regional and local clients.
They follow the appointment earlier this year of partner John Kao to coordinate the firm’s Greater China M&A practice and Stephen Peepels as partner in the capital markets practice.
“M&A in Asia outside of Japan is anticipated to grow more than 20 per cent this year. And with more and more companies doing business in China and more Chinese companies looking outside of China, we’re experiencing an increasing demand for international legal services involving cross-border transactions and disputes,” Mok said.
The increased demand is reflected in the growth of the firm’s practice areas. “When Jones Day opened its first office in Shanghai, China in 1999, we only had three lawyers in the Shanghai office. Today we have over 25 in our Shanghai office, nearly 30 in our Beijing office and 45 in Hong Kong,” Mok said.
“Regionally we have grown 10-fold in China, from 10 lawyers to 100, excluding Taipei.” The Greater China M&A and corporate finance groups have 61 lawyers.
Recent deals that the China M&A team have worked on include the US$110 million acquisition of and financing for Shanghai Square, the US$66.8 million acquisition of Lamex Group by HNI Corporation, the sale of 14 per cent of the outstanding share capital of Huaxia Bank to Deutsche Bank and Sal Oppenheim and entry into strategic cooperation with Deutsche Bank and Merix Corporation’s US$128 million acquisition of the operations of Eastern Pacific Circuits Limited.