Freshfields takes second huge IPO

There isn’t a bigger IPO in Asia this year than the estimated $12bn (£6.59bn) Industrial & Commercial Bank of China (ICBC) flotation. Perhaps unsurprisingly, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer ace corporate lawyer Teresa Ko features prominently on yet another massive IPO.

Freshfields is advising the underwriters on Hong Kong law, working with Shearman & Sterling, which will provide US law advice. Shearman’s Asia managing partner Matthew Bersani is leading the advice from the firm.

The underwriters, which include Merrill Lynch, Deutsche Bank, Credit Suisse and two Chinese investment banks, are taking local Chinese law advice from Haiwen & Partners.

Advising ICBC as issuer on Hong Kong law is Herbert Smith, with Beijing partners Michael Fosh and Jeremy Xiao. They will work alongside Davis Polk & Wardell for US law advice, led by John Crowley and Bill Barron, while King & Wood will provide the local law advice.

At $12bn (£6.59bn), the IPO, expected in October, would top the $11bn (£6.04bn) Bank of China (BoC) IPO last month, which featured Freshfields and Sullivan & Cromwell for the issuer, with Allen & Overy and Shearman advising the underwriters.

But then the BoC float was tipped to only raise $9.8bn (£5.39bn), so how much the ICBC float will eventually raise is open to debate.