Beijing-based Han Kun has taken a team of eight partners and around 10 other lawyers from AllBright’s Shanghai head office to expand in China’s financial hub.
With the team acquisition, Han Kun’s Shanghai office will expand significantly to 10 partners and 40 other lawyers. The eight-partner team joining from AllBright Law Offices is led by corporate partner David Tang, who was a senior equity partner of the Shanghai firm and a member of its management committee.
Other partners joining Han Kun are banking and finance partner James Miao, dispute resolution partner Andy Liao, construction partner David Huang, employment partner Will Huang, and corporate partners Michael Mao (with a focus on Korean clients), Li Jun, and Zhu Min.
The team is experienced in cross-border transactions and matters as well as representing multinational companies in investments and regulatory issues in China.
Han Kun’s growing reputation is built on its traditional focus on corporate, M&A, and capital markets transactions in the TMT sectors. The firm has been gradually broadening its practices and geographical coverage in recent years. It is one of the fastest growing firms in China, according to this year’s The Lawyer China Elite report to be published at the end of this month.
The firm achieved 78 per cent year-on-year revenue increase in 2014. Lawyer headcount at the end of 2014 was 140, representing a 30 per cent increase from 110 in 2013. The latest hires will push the firm’s total number of partners to 32 from 24.
The revenue hike was a result of a strong increase in big-ticket instructions won by Han Kun. In the past two years, it has advised on a raft of high-profile transactions, such as Baidu’s $1.9bn acquisition of 91 Wireless, COFCO’s $1.5bn acquisition of a majority stake in Noble Group’s agriculture business, and Chinese internet giant Tencent’s strategic partnership with JD.com. In 2014, it also completed 10 overseas IPOs of Chinese technologies companies, including five in the US and four in Hong Kong, and involved in the formations of 250 funds for private equity clients.
Han Kun’s Shanghai office was first opened in 2009 and remained a team of around 20 lawyers until the latest expansion. At the end of 2014, it opened its first international office in Hong Kong. It also has an office in Shenzhen. In April 2015, Han Kun signed a formal alliance agreement with Italian firm Origoni Grippo Cappelli & Partners.