The Lawyer’s new China Elite report contains the most detailed research available on the PRC legal market and contains unparalleled insight into the country's leading law firms. They vary in size, practice focus and geographic coverage, but they all share one common quality – ambition... Read more
This year, The Lawyer’s annual ranking of the largest UK law firms by turnover is available as an interactive, digital benchmarking tool. For the first time this will allow you to manipulate each data set against the metrics of your choice.
Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, Allen & Overy (A&O), Linklaters and Slaughter and May have been battling it out to win instructions to advise the Hong Kong government on its high-profile privatisation programme.
The Hong Kong government is poised to appoint a firm to advise on the first part of the HK$112bn (£9bn) asset sale, which involves the privatisation of the Hong Kong Airport Authority.
A&O is understood to be the frontrunner for the work. The magic circle firm has advised on a string of corporate finance deals in the region recently, including the Bank of China's initial public offering in July 2002.
The Hong Kong government has relationships with a number of firms, including Deacons, Herbert Smith, Johnson Stokes & Master and Richards Butler.
The airport privatisation plan was announced in August by the newly-appointed financial secretary Henry Tang Ying-yen. Press reports suggest that the government expects to raise between HK$10bn (£8m) and HK$30bn (£24m) with the scheme.
It is understood that the privatisation programme will also include the disposal of other transport assets, including tunnels, bridges, the partially privatised Mass Transit Railway Corporation and the wholly-owned Kowloon-Canton Railway Corporation.
However, one source told The Lawyer that the government is likely to use different firms for each tranche of the privatisation.
"The government wants to be seen to be spreading work around," said the source.