Davis Polk raids OMM for Beijing head

Davis Polk & Wardwell

has ramped up its China M&A capability with the hire of Howard Zhang, the former Beijing managing partner O’Melveny & Myers.

The firm announced Zhang’s hire today (1 April) and he is expected to join Davis Polk next Monday (7 April).

Zhang is well known in the region both for his time at O’Melveny and as a former diplomat with the Chinese government. He is particularly recognised for advising on venture capital and private equity transactions.

John Ettinger, managing partner of Davis Polk said the move to expand his firm’s Beijing office was the result of the “highly successful” practice it had built in China.

Davis Polk opened its Beijing office in February 2007.
Its China deal highlights include acting as lead counsel for the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC) on its $21.6bn dual-listed initial public offering, the largest in history and roles on the IPOs of Air China, China Merchants Bank, China Construction Bank, Sinopec, China Unicom and Baidu.com.

“Howard Zhang adds an unsurpassed understanding of the regulatory environment and business practices in China,” Ettinger. “He is a welcome addition to our partnership and I know he will be integral to continued success for the firm and our clients.”

Howard Chao, O’Melveny’s Asia Practice Chair confirmed that Zhang had played a significant role in the growth of the firm’s China practice.

“The strength of O’Melveny’s China venture and private equity team, of which Howard was an important member, is testament to his talent and dedication as a lawyer, and as our partner,” added Chao. “We wish him nothing but the best in his future endeavours.”