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Two Beijing-based firms Fangda & Partners and Jia Yuan Law Offices have launched bases in Hong Kong.
Fangda first revealed its Hong Kong launch plan in April 2012, when it hired litigation partner Peter Yuen from Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer’s Hong Kong office (23 April 2012). Yuen has set up a new Hong Kong solicitors’ firm Peter Yuen & Associates for the sole purpose of entering into association with Fangda, a registered foreign firm in Hong Kong.
Following Yuen’s appointment, Fangda has also tapped other international firms in Hong Kong to staff its new office. It has recruited private equity and M&A counsel Peng Haifeng from Debevoise & Plimpton, litigation associates Rachael Shek from Clifford Chance and Doris Yeung from Deacons.
Beijing-based Jia Yuan is 20-partner boutique firm with a strong focus on corporate finance and capital markets. It’s a familiar name among magic circle firms and Wall Street firms in Hong Kong, as Jia Yuanhas worked on numerous Hong Kong IPOs, representing large Chinese state-owned companies.
Jia Yuan’s Hong Kong office is currently staffed by four lawyers, including partners Xu Ying and Sun Tao, who will spilt their time between Beijing and Hong Kong. Different from Fangda’s Hong Kong approach, Jia Yuan will mostly second its lawyers from its three mainland offices to Hong Kong.
“The main focus of the Hong Kong office is not on Hong Kong listings but on providing follow-up services to our clients that have already been listed there or have plans to invest overseas,” said Yan Yu, Jia Yuan’s managing partner. “A growing number of Chinese companies are looking to invest overseas using Hong Kong as a spring board. We are hoping to be more involved in Chinese outbound transactions with our presence in Hong Kong.”
Among a long list of clients, Jia Yuan has recently worked on CITIC Securities’ $1.7bn IPO in Hong Kong with Baker & McKenzie and Lathman & Watkins, the $2.7bn Shanghai IPO of Shaanxi Coal, and the $861m Hong Kong IPO of Yitai Coal with Clifford Chance.
Currently, there are 16 Chinese firms with offices in Hong Kong.