The China Law & Practice Awards 2016 fetes the industry’s finest

Sep 22, 2016
The tenth anniversary CLP Awards ceremony rewards winners in Beijing gala
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On September 21, nearly 200 leading legal professionals attended the tenth anniversary of the China Law & Practice Awards at the Park Hyatt Beijing.

The 2016 Awards received almost 1,000 individual nominations, the highest on record. As China’s regulatory regime continues to evolve—sometimes unpredictably—incorporating novel structures to deals and devising creative solutions to complex cases are crucial to stay ahead of the game. Innovation lies at the heart of these Awards.

The big winners included Zhong Lun Law Firm and Baker & McKenzie taking home the China and International Firm of the Year grand prizes, respectively, and Han Kun Law Offices being feted the Most Innovative Firm of the Year for its work in cutting-edge TMT and venture capital deals.

As for the ultimate award of the evening—the Firm of the Decade, a one-time, tenth anniversary special that seeks to recognize growth and international recognition achieved in parallel with China’s rise to the global stage over the past ten years—went to King & Wood Mallesons.

And commenting exactly on the nation’s legal development was former President of China University of Political Science and Law, Professor Jiang Ping, the China Law & Practice 2016 Lifetime Achievement Award winner. His speech was met with a standing ovation, with lawyers—with some of whom are ex-students—lining up to take photographs with the one of the nation’s leading legal scholars.

Thank you to all the teams that submitted information about their work and to everyone who spoke with the judges. We look forward to welcoming you back to celebrate your achievements next year.

Congratulations to all winners and finalists.


DEBT & EQUITY-LINKED DEAL OF THE YEAR

WINNER: Greentown China’s consent, exchange and new bond offering

Davis Polk & Wardwell
Jingtian & Gongcheng
Maples and Calder
T&C Law Firm
White & Case

This three-in-one deal combined consent from Greentown’s renminbi and USD bondholders, a concurrent offer to exchange the USD notes and a new money issuance of $500 million. The triple transaction was executed within a single timetable and was the first of its kind on the Hong Kong stock exchange.

Finalists:

Bank of China’s $3.55B four-currency bond
China Exim Bank’s $6B loan-backed MTN program
Ministry of Finance Rmb3B London panda bond
State Grid’s $2.1B dual-currency four-tranche bond

 

ENERGY & NATURAL RESOURCES DEAL OF THE YEAR

WINNER: Hai Duong BOT power plant

Guantao Law Firm
King & Wood Mallesons
VILAF
Watson Farley Williams

In its largest investment overseas to date, China Power Engineering Consulting Group Co. Ltd. signed an agreement with Malaysia’s JAKS Resources Berhad to construct a thermal power plant in Hai Duong using the build-operate-transfer model. The plant marked China’s biggest single investment in Vietnam and is one of the key projects of the Belt and Road initiative.

Finalists:

China Yangtze Power’s Rmb104B material asset restructuring
Maamba coal power plant financing
Pakistan wind power project financing
Silk Road Fund’s $1.2B Russian LNG project

 

EQUITY DEAL OF THE YEAR

WINNER: Focus Media $7B backdoor listing

Fangda Partners
Jingtian & Gongcheng

Focus Media Holding Ltd.’s Rmb45.7 billion backdoor listing on the Shenzhen Stock Exchange through Hedy Holding Co. Ltd., which followed its 2013 de-listing from the US, represented the first re-listing of a NASDAQ-listed company on the A-share market. This reverse merger is at the forefront of a significant privatization trend involving the US and Chinese markets.

Finalists:

China Huarong Asset Management $2.5B IPO
China Merchants Rmb12B share exchange and listing
China Re $2B IPO
Dali Foods $1.15B IPO

 

FINANCE DEAL OF THE YEAR

WINNER: Bank of Dalian $2.3B restructuring financing

Guantao Law Firm
Haiwen & Partners

Bank of Dalian, which was classified as high risk in 2014, brought on board China Orient Asset Management Corp. as a strategic investor to acquire its assets. The deal required substantial M&A, finance, restructuring and tax work in light of the necessary due diligence, complicated batching and disposal of risky assets, heavy negotiation and calculation of losses before enterprise income tax payments.

Finalists:

Beijing Enterprises-EEW €2.5B acquisition financing
Norilsk Nickel Rmb5B syndicated revolving credit facility
Weetabix $1.3B term loan B refinancing
WuXi Pharma $1.1B LBO financing

 

M&A DEAL OF THE YEAR

WINNER: HP and Tsinghua’s $4.5B partnership

Allen & Overy
AnJie Law Firm
Fangda Partners
Jingtian & Gongcheng
Simpson Thacher & Bartlett
Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom
Zhong Lun Law Firm

Hewlett-Packard’s strategic partnership with Chinese Tsinghua University’s involved the latter’s subsidiary Unisplendour’s purchasing a 51% stake in a new business comprising H3C Technologies and HP’s China-based server, storage and technology services. This represented a rare instance of a U.S. tech giant opening a core business to a Chinese partner amid global cybersecurity concerns.

Finalists:

Alibaba’s $4.4B acquisition of Suning
COSCO and China Shipping’s $15B restructuring
Ctrip and Qunar’s $3.4B merger
JP Morgan and Tencent’s $6.9B investment in Postal Savings Bank

 

REAL ESTATE & CONSTRUCTION DEAL OF THE YEAR

WINNER: Shanghai Disney Resort

Baker & McKenzie
Guantao Law Firm
Jin Mao Partners
Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison
Zhong Lun Law Firm

The opening of the Shanghai Disney Park & Resort in June 2016 was the result of more than 10 years’ planning and structuring. Disney’s joint venture with Shanghai Shendi Group for this project was a milestone for foreign cultural import as well as the consumer market in China. It was the first theme park project of international standard, and required complex legal considerations in real estate, construction, M&A, IP and employment.

Finalists:

China Xintiandi’s sale of Corporate Avenue 1, 2 & 3
Cindat’s $571M acquisition of New York hotel portfolio
GLP’s CLF II Fund

 

TMT DEAL OF THE YEAR

WINNER: WuXi Pharma $3.3B privatization

Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton
Conyers Dill & Pearman
Fangda Partners
O’Melveny & Myers
Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom
Sullivan & Cromwell
Walkers
Weil, Gotshal & Manges
Willkie Farr & Gallagher
Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati
Zhong Lun Law Firm

Innovative debt and equity structuring tools were employed in this take-private to facilitate a later A-share re-listing. This was one of the largest completed privatizations of a U.S.-listed Chinese company and among the most significant, particularly against the backdrop of the highly regulated biotechnology and pharmaceutical industry.

Finalists:

Bona Film $1B privatization
China Tower $36.5B restructuring
Qihoo 360 $9.4B privatization
Youku $5.6B privatization

 

OUTBOUND DEAL OF THE YEAR

WINNER: CNRC’s $7.8B acquisition of Pirelli

Covington & Burling
Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer
King & Wood Mallesons
JunHe
Pedersoli e Associati

This 100% acquisition of Italian tire company Pirelli & C. S.p.A. by the China National Tire & Rubber Co. Ltd. involved Italian, Hong Kong, Luxembourg and PRC laws, the structuring of multiple transactions, syndicated loans, multi-jurisdictional anti-monopoly reviews and the creation of holding companies in Hong Kong and Europe to obtain preferential tax treatment.

Finalists:

Bohai Leasing’s $7.6B acquisition of Avolon
Chinese consortium’s $1.9B acquisition of OmniVision
Dalian Wanda’s $3.5B acquisition of Legendary

 

CHINA DEALMAKER OF THE YEAR

WINNER: Yu Yongqiang (JunHe)

 

INTERNATIONAL DEALMAKER OF THE YEAR

WINNER: Jeanette Chan (Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison)

 

AVIATION FIRMS OF THE YEAR

CHINA WINNER: King & Wood Mallesons

INTERNATIONAL WINNER: Allen & Overy

 

BANKING & FINANCE FIRMS OF THE YEAR

CHINA WINNER: JunHe

INTERNATIONAL WINNER: Kirkland & Ellis

 

CAPITAL MARKETS FIRMS OF THE YEAR

CHINA WINNER: Jingtian & Gongcheng

INTERNATIONAL WINNER: Clifford Chance

 

COMPETITION FIRMS OF THE YEAR

CHINA WINNER: JunHe

INTERNATIONAL WINNER: Linklaters

 

DISPUTE RESOLUTION FIRMS OF THE YEAR

CHINA WINNER: Zhong Lun Law Firm

INTERNATIONAL WINNER: Herbert Smith Freehills

 

ENERGY FIRMS OF THE YEAR

CHINA WINNER: King & Wood Mallesons

INTERNATIONAL WINNER: Herbert Smith Freehills

 

HEALTHCARE & LIFE SCIENCES FIRMS OF THE YEAR

CHINA WINNER: Global Law Office

INTERNATIONAL WINNER: Baker & McKenzie

 

INSURANCE FIRMS OF THE YEAR

CHINA WINNER: Jincheng, Tongda & Neal

INTERNATIONAL WINNER: Mayer Brown JSM

 

INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY FIRMS OF THE YEAR

CHINA WINNER: Fangda Partners

INTERNATIONAL WINNER: Hogan Lovells

 

LABOR & EMPLOYMENT FIRMS OF THE YEAR

CHINA WINNER: River Delta Law Firm

INTERNATIONAL WINNER: Eversheds

 

M&A FIRMS OF THE YEAR

CHINA WINNER: Fangda Partners

INTERNATIONAL WINNER: Simpson Thacher & Bartlett

 

PRIVATE EQUITY & VENTURE CAPITAL FIRMS OF THE YEAR

CHINA WINNER: Han Kun Law Offices

INTERNATIONAL WINNER: Kirkland & Ellis

 

PROJECTS & INFRASTRUCTURE FIRMS OF THE YEAR

CHINA WINNER: Zhong Lun Law Firm

INTERNATIONAL WINNER: Clifford Chance

 

REAL ESTATE FIRMS OF THE YEAR

CHINA WINNER: King & Wood Mallesons

INTERNATIONAL WINNER: Sidley Austin

 

REGULATORY & COMPLIANCE FIRMS OF THE YEAR

CHINA WINNER: Zhong Lun Law Firm

INTERNATIONAL WINNER: Covington & Burling

 

SHIPPING & MARITIME FIRMS OF THE YEAR

CHINA WINNER: King & Wood Mallesons

INTERNATIONAL WINNER: Watson Farley & Williams

 

TAX FIRMS OF THE YEAR

CHINA WINNER: Zhong Lun Law Firm

INTERNATIONAL WINNER: Baker & McKenzie

 

TMT FIRMS OF THE YEAR

CHINA WINNER: TransAsia Lawyers

INTERNATIONAL WINNER: Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison

 

TRADE FIRMS OF THE YEAR

CHINA WINNER: King & Wood Mallesons

INTERNATIONAL WINNER: Steptoe & Johnson

 

UP-AND-COMING FIRM OF THE YEAR

WINNER: Jin Mao Partners

 

OFFSHORE FIRM OF THE YEAR

WINNER: Conyers Dill & Pearman

 

HONG KONG FIRM OF THE YEAR

WINNER: Deacons

 

MACAU FIRM OF THE YEAR

WINNER: Rato, Ling, Lei & Cortes Advogados

 

TAIWAN FIRM OF THE YEAR

WINNER: Lee and Li

 

JAPAN FIRM OF THE YEAR

WINNER: Nishimura & Asahi

 

KOREA FIRM OF THE YEAR

WINNER: Kim & Chang

 

AUSTRALIA FIRM OF THE YEAR

WINNER: Minter Ellison

 

SOUTHEAST ASIA FIRM OF THE YEAR

WINNER: WongPartnership

 

REGIONAL CHINA FIRMS OF THE YEAR

EAST CHINA WINNER: Llinks Law Offices

NORTH CHINA WINNER: Deheng Law Group

SOUTH CHINA WINNER: Guanghe Law Firm

WEST & CENTRAL CHINA WINNER: Solton & Partners

 

PRO BONO INTIATIVES OF THE YEAR

WINNERS: Hogan Lovells, JunHe, Zhong Lun Law Firm

 

LAWYERS OF THE YEAR

COMPETITION WINNER: Susan Ning (King & Wood Mallesons)

DISPUTE RESOLUTION—ARBITRATION WINNER: Xing Xiusong (Global Law Office)

DISPUTE RESOLUTION—LITIGATION WINNER: Xi Zhou (JunHe)

INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY WINNER: Simon Tsi (Chang Tsi & Partners)

LABOR & EMPLOYMENT WINNER: Jiang Junlu (King & Wood Mallesons)

PRIVATE CLIENT WINNER: Han (Antonio) Chen (Han Kun Law Offices)

REAL ESTATE & CONSTRUCTION WINNER: Wang Jihong (Zhong Lun Law Firm)

REGULATORY & COMPLIANCE WINNER: Eric Carlson (Covington & Burling)

TAX WINNER: Tony Dong (King & Wood Mallesons)

RISING STAR WINNER: Zheng Lu (Baker & McKenzie)

 

IN-HOUSE TEAMS OF THE YEAR

CHINESE COMPANY WINNER: Tencent

CHINESE FINANCIAL INSTITUTION WINNER: Anbang Insurance

INTERNATIONAL COMPANY WINNER: 3M

INTERNATIONAL INVESTMENT BANK WINNER: BNP Paribas

 

GRAND PRIZES

MOST INNOVATIVE FIRM OF THE YEAR WINNER: Han Kun Law Offices

CHINA FIRM OF THE YEAR WINNER: Zhong Lun Law Firm

INTERNATIONAL FIRM OF THE YEAR WINNER: Baker & McKenzie

FIRM OF THE DECADE WINNER: King & Wood Mallesons

 

CHINA LAW & PRACTICE 2016 OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT AWARD

Professor Jiang Ping

China Law & Practice is proud to present the 2016 Outstanding Achievement Award to renowned legal scholar Professor Jiang Ping, for his remarkable impact on civil law and other fundamental PRC legislation.

Professor Jiang’s achievements in legal reform and tireless advocacy of the Rule of Law throughout his long career have earned global praise, with Forbes dubbing him “an icon of integrity and courage in China’s judicial system.”

One senior lawyer China Law & Practice spoke to emphasized that Professor Jiang’s “standing, vision, and persistence have inspired many legal professionals in China, and in turn have influenced the nation’s entire legal environment,” while another highlighted that “his fearless and progressive philosophy for the country’s legal framework has been recognized and commended not only in the PRC but also all over the world.”

A lifetime professor and former president of China University of Political Science and Law, Professor Jiang also serves as the vice president of the Beijing Bar Association, the chairman of the Beijing Arbitration Commission, and the president of the Comparative Law Institute of the Chinese Law Academy.

He is also the team leader of the Expert Drafting Committee on Civil Law and Property Rights Law and a former member of the National People’s Congress Standing Committee.

Professor Jiang’s knowledge and mentorship are also internationally sought after, for he has lectured at Ghent University in Belgium, the University of Rome II in Italy, Aoyama Gakuin University in Japan, Columbia University in the U.S., and a number of other reputable academic institutions.

His extraordinary accomplishments are perfectly in line with the mission of the China Law & Practice Outstanding Achievement Award. On behalf of China’s legal community, we are proud to extend this award to Professor Jiang for his efforts and contributions to building the PRC legislative backbone that we know and work with today.

 

For feedback on the China Law & Practice Awards ceremony or questions relating to the research or selection process, please contact the editor at kjo@alm.com.