Skadden, China” />Turnover: $14.6m (£7.44m)
Number of partners: Seven in Hong Kong and one in Beijing
Number of fee-earners: 33 in Hong Kong (excluding partners) and 10 in Beijing
Locations: Beijing, Hong Kong
“If we do it, we’ll do it right,” says Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom China head Gregory Miao of the US firm’s long-term strategy to launch in Shanghai.
“We are looking there for our next venture and will carefully evaluate all opportunities and look for the best time,” Miao explains. “There’s no specific timetable to open, but in the next year or two we’ll be there.”
Skadden launched its first China office in 1989, when it opened in Hong Kong. This was followed by a Beijing launch in 1991. The firm also has two other Asia offices in Tokyo and Singapore.
Of the firm’s offices in Hong Kong and Beijing, Miao says: “From the very beginning both offices were designed to work as one.”
He explains that, if the firm was to launch in Shanghai, it would be looking to target a different sector, seeking to focus more on its developing private equity and private sector business opportunities.
“In the past four or five years the private sector has become very strong. Shanghai has the most developed private sector,” Miao says.
The firm’s Hong Kong office focuses on a broad range of practice areas, including corporate, capital markets, cross-border M&A and energy-related project finance. The Beijing office advises Chinese clients on financing and M&A transactions and acts for foreign clients on investment or acquisition projects in China.
“We’re the only major US firm in Hong Kong with a first-rate US and Hong Kong practice. We’re way ahead of the pack,” says Miao.
In the past five years the firm has bagged lead roles on a number of high-profile mandates, which have included advising on the $1.3bn (£662.62m) IPO of the third-largest oil and Gas company in China, China National Offshore Oil Corporation, and advising on the $3.4bn (£1.73bn) IPO of Sinopec, the largest petrochemical company in China.
In 2005 Miao led the team advising China Construction Bank on its $9.2bn (£4.7bn) IPO. The firm also boasts China Minmetals and China National Chemical Corporation among its clients.
Also in 2005 the firm lured former Simmons & Simmons head of China corporate Nick Norris to launch the corporate and capital markets practice in Hong Kong. The firm also dipped into Linklaters to poach corporate partner Dominic Tsun, also for Hong Kong.
The firm’s general strategy includes growing its Asia offices. “The China market’s so big, so recruiting is always on the top of our agenda,” says Miao.