HONG KONG, February 13, 2017: Morgan Lewis has expanded significantly its China corporate, capital markets, mergers and acquisitions, and private equity practice with the addition of 13 partners in Hong Kong, Beijing, and Shanghai. All 13 partners arrived from another global law firm, joining Morgan Lewis’s current seven-partner team in mainland China. The move furthers Morgan Lewis’s commitment to Greater China and the Asia-Pacific region, deepening its presence there and adding some 40 lawyers to create a team of more than 70 lawyers and legal professionals in China. This team will also work closely with Morgan Lewis’s offices in Singapore and Tokyo.
Leading the 13-partner team is 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 and 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, Connie Cheung, Keith Cheung, Rosita Chu, Eli Gao, Mathew Lewis, Louise Liu, Billy Wong, Yan Zeng, and Roger Zhou have joined Morgan Lewis in Greater China. In Hong Kong, the lawyers will operate as Luk & Partners, a newly formed solicitors’ firm. 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 to associate with Luk & Partners.
“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,” said Morgan Lewis Chair Jami McKeon. “Edwin Luk, Maurice Hoo, and their elite team compete at the highest level in the Greater 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 13 partners have worked together for many years, serving multinational and Chinese public and privately held corporate clients, investment banks, and private investment funds across multiple industries. The new partners focus on private and public (especially those involving Hong Kong and US listed companies) mergers and acquisitions, China outbound mergers and acquisitions 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.
Particularly noted for its work in the education, technology, and retail sectors, the team has worked with an exceptionally broad range of industries including food and beverage, media and telecommunications, financial services, traditional manufacturing, automotive, healthcare, renewable energy, mining, and natural resources.
“I am extremely excited that this market-leading group has joined our team. Morgan Lewis’s commitment to our clients is to provide comprehensive and seamless corporate, mergers and acquisitions, 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 Ms. McKeon.
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.
The new partners are:
- 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 multinational and Chinese companies on cross-border mergers and acquisitions in a wide range of industries, with a focus on technology.
- Ning Zhang, Beijing and Hong Kong: Mr. Zhang handles a broad range of complex cross-border transactions including mergers and acquisitions, 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, and public offerings in Hong Kong and the United States to trade sales and going-private transactions. He is particularly active in the technology healthcare and consumer space.
- June Chan, Hong Kong: Ms. Chan focuses on initial public offerings, mergers and acquisitions, private equity, and general corporate and commercial law. She represents issuers and underwriters in initial public offerings 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 mergers and acquisitions. 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, mergers and acquisitions, and private equity. He advises China issuers and sponsors in initial public offerings 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.
- Rosita Chu, Hong Kong: Ms. Chu handles cross-border mergers and acquisitions, joint ventures, and corporate restructurings across Asia. She advises on all types of equity capital markets transactions, including initial public offerings, alternative public offerings, secondary offerings, placings, and rights issues in Hong Kong and the United States, acting for various China- and Hong Kong-based companies and financial institutions.
- Eli Gao, Hong Kong: Mr. Gao counsels on a broad range of equity and debt securities offerings, mergers and acquisitions, and other general corporate matters. He represents issuers and underwriters in various US and Hong Kong public and private offerings, and he regularly advises public companies on regulatory compliance issues.
- Mathew Lewis, Shanghai: Mr. Lewis focuses on capital markets transactions throughout Asia, with a particular emphasis on China. He has extensive experience in initial public offerings, 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 initial public offerings on the Stock Exchange of Hong Kong Limited with Rule 144A/Regulation S international placements, US initial public offerings, and private placements.
- Billy Wong, Hong Kong: Mr. Wong focuses on capital markets, mergers and acquisitions, private equity investments, and venture capital financing. He represents Chinese issuers and sponsors in initial public offerings 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 mergers and acquisitions; substantial acquisitions and disposals; connected and notifiable transactions; and compliance issues related to a broad range of industry, regulatory, and Hong Kong listing rules.
- Yan Zeng, Hong Kong: Ms. Zeng works on China and offshore aspects of China foreign direct investments, mergers and acquisitions, private equity and venture capital, cross-border financing, corporate governance, and tax planning.
- Roger Zhou, Hong Kong: Mr. Zhou focuses on capital markets, foreign direct investments in China, mergers and acquisitions, joint ventures, and other general corporate matters. He represents issuers and underwriters in various initial public offerings on the Stock Exchange of Hong Kong Limited and in a broad range of debt and equity offerings.