Morgan Lewis announced today that it will significantly expand its pan-China corporate, capital markets, mergers & acquisitions and private equity practice by adding nine partners in Hong Kong, Beijing, and Shanghai. All nine partners will arrive from another global law firm, joining Morgan Lewis’s seven-partner team in mainland China. The move furthers Morgan Lewis’s commitment to China and the Asia-Pacific region, and deepens the presence there with the expected addition of some 40 lawyers and legal professionals to the firm’s 30 lawyers and legal professionals already in China. These 70-plus lawyers and legal professionals will also work closely with Morgan Lewis’s offices in Singapore and Tokyo.
The nine-partner team is led by Edwin Luk, one of Hong Kong’s most highly respected corporate lawyers and well known for advising on Hong Kong capital markets, mergers and acquisitions, and private equity matters in relation to Chinese companies. Mr. Luk served as global head of his previous firm’s capital markets practice. Maurice Hoo, who was global practice group co-leader of the mergers & acquisitions and private equity practice group at his former firm, also leads the team.
In addition to Mr. Luk and Mr. Hoo, partners Ning Zhang, June Chan, Keith Cheung, Connie Cheung, Louise Liu, Billy Wong, and Mathew Lewis will soon join Morgan Lewis in Hong Kong and mainland China.
“I am extremely excited that this market-leading group will be joining our team. Morgan Lewis’s commitment to our clients is to provide comprehensive and seamless corporate, M&A, private equity, and capital markets services through a single partnership in all major financial centers and markets across the globe. Adding this cohesive corporate team of partners furthers this commitment, and continues our strategic and careful growth in China,” said Morgan Lewis Chair Jami McKeon. “We have long recognized the importance of Hong Kong as one of the world’s principal financial centers, and we have been looking for just the right team there. Edwin Luk, Maurice Hoo, and their elite team compete at the highest level in the Hong Kong and China markets, and they represent many of our key clients and other leading companies. Following on our recent expansions into Singapore and Shanghai with top quality teams, this new team gives our clients even deeper access to the finest legal talent in the Asia-Pacific region.”
All nine partners have worked together for many years, serving multi-national and Chinese public and privately held corporate clients, investment banks, and private investment funds across multiple industries, most notably in technology. The new partners focus on public (especially those involving Hong Kong and US listed companies) and private mergers and acquisitions, China outbound M&As and investments, capital markets, private equity and venture capital, technology and emerging companies, and corporate joint ventures, as well as securities regulation, ongoing regulatory compliance, debt restructuring, and other general corporate and commercial matters. Their experience spans multiple industries, including technology; healthcare; consumer/retail; food and beverage; education; media and telecommunications; financial services; traditional manufacturing; automotive; renewable energy; mining; and natural resources.
In accordance with The Law Society of Hong Kong rules, Morgan Lewis will file an application to become a registered foreign law firm in Hong Kong, and will seek approval to associate with Luk and Partners, a newly formed Hong Kong Solicitors’ firm.
This expansion furthers Morgan Lewis’s rapid and strategic growth in and ongoing commitment to serving its clients with legal needs in Asia. In late 2014, the firm significantly expanded its Tokyo office with the addition of the leading asset management regulatory practice from Bingham McCutchen. In 2015, Morgan Lewis secured a key base of operations in the thriving business center of Singapore with its novel combination with The Stamford Law Firm, led by Suet-Fern Lee. In 2016, Morgan Lewis significantly expanded its mainland China representative office in Beijing and branch office of Morgan Lewis Consulting in Shanghai with a team of more than 25 lawyers and legal professionals from another global law firm.
Edwin Luk, Hong Kong: Mr. Luk focuses on advising technology companies on private equity financings, and Chinese issuers on cross-border mergers and acquisitions. He also provides advice on securities regulation, ongoing regulatory compliance, debt restructuring, and other general corporate and business matters.
Maurice Hoo, Hong Kong: Mr. Hoo advises global private equity funds and family offices in their acquisitions, investments and divestments throughout Asia, with a focus in China. He also regularly advises multi-national and Chinese companies on cross-border M&As in a wide range of industries, but with a focus on technology.
Ning Zhang, Beijing and Hong Kong: Mr. Zhang handles a broad range of complex cross-border transactions including M&A, private equity, and venture capital and capital markets in Hong Kong and the United States. He advises Chinese companies, including emerging companies, through all stages of their life cycle, from restructuring, debt and equity financings, outbound investments and acquisitions, public offerings in Hong Kong and the United States to trade sales and going-private transactions, and is particularly active in the technology healthcare and consumer space.
June Chan, Hong Kong: Ms. Chan focuses on IPOs, M&A, private equity, and general corporate and commercial law. She represents issuers and underwriters in IPOs on the Main Board and Growth Enterprise Market of the Stock Exchange of Hong Kong Limited and secondary fund raisings such as rights issues, convertible bonds, open offers and top-up placings.
Connie Cheung, Hong Kong: Ms. Cheung focuses on private equity and venture capital transactions, and cross-border M&As. She advises venture capital and private equity funds on their investments and divestments in the Greater China region and advises domestic and foreign clients on Hong Kong general corporate and commercial matters.
Keith Cheung, Hong Kong: Mr. Cheung focuses on corporate finance, capital markets, M&A, and private equity. He advises China issuers and sponsors in IPOs on the Stock Exchange of Hong Kong Limited and secondary fund raisings such as rights issues, convertible bonds, open offers and top-up placings. He also advises listed issuers on mergers and acquisitions, privatizations, general offers, and other corporate transactions.
Mathew Lewis, Beijing and Shanghai: Mr. Lewis focuses on capital markets transactions throughout Asia, with a particular emphasis on China. He has extensive experience in IPOs, Rule 144A/Regulation S placements, and other equity, debt and equity-linked transactions including both private placements and registered US securities offerings.
Louise Liu, Hong Kong: Ms. Liu focuses on capital markets transactions for Chinese companies. She advises issuers and underwriters in IPOs on the Stock Exchange of Hong Kong Limited with Rule 144A/Regulation S international placements, US IPOs, and private placements.
Billy Wong, Hong Kong: Mr. Wong focuses on capital markets, M&A, private equity investments, and venture capital financing. He represents Chinese issuers and sponsors in initial public offerings (IPOs) on the Stock Exchange of Hong Kong Limited and secondary fund raisings such as rights issues, convertible bonds, open offers and top-up placings. He regularly advises Hong Kong-listed companies on public M&A; substantial acquisitions and disposals; connected and notifiable transactions; and compliance issues related to a broad range of industry, regulatory, and Hong Kong listing rules.