King & Wood Mallesons (KWM) is a Hong Kong-based international firm that was formed as a merger between PRC firm King & Wood, Australian firm Mallesons Stephen Jaques, and UK firm SJ Berwin. It has over 2000 lawyers and 23 offices worldwide. Apart from Hong Kong the firm also has mainland offices in Beijing, Chengdu, Guangzhou, Haikou, Hangzhou, Jinan, Nanjing, Qingdao, Sanya, Shanghai, Shenzhen and Suzhou.
Focusses / specialisms
The Sino-Australian venture is a dominant player in China’s legal market. It is the only international firm that can practise PRC law and so a go-to counsel for A-Share, H-Share, and panda bond transactions. The firm is also strong in projects, private equity, finance, M&A, and structured finance and securitisation—especially in Korean cross-border ABS deals, cross-border auto loan securitisations and retail structured products.
Key clients of the firm include Castle Peak Power Company, CEIEC, China General Nuclear Power Corporation, CSSC Shipping, Zhong An Technology group, Shui On Land, Pamfleet, Ningxia Tianyuan Logistics Group and Shandong Chenming Paper Holdings.
Research period review: 30th edition (2019/2020)
The firm’s corporate team kept busy with joint ventures, inbound work and acquisitions in the mining, automotive, technology, education, tourism, manufacturing, fashion and beverage sectors.
KWM’s finance practice was preoccupied with conventional lending mandates, outbound and acquisition financings, real estate and aviation finance.
In capital markets the firm advised on Hong Kong, China and US IPOs, dim sum bonds, US dollar bonds, panda bonds, exchangeable bonds, capital bonds and convertible bonds.
The private equity team assisted clients in acquisitions and various rounds of funding, while the funds piece acted in renminbi and US dollar funds, investments, LP work and AI funds.
During the research period the firm bolstered its finance team with the hire of partner Katherine Ke from Clifford Chance; welcomed capital markets expert Jason Kuo from Paul Hastings; and boosted its contentious regulatory practice with partner Rachel Yu from Herbert Smith Freehills.
Deal highlights: 30th edition (2019/2020)
-BOC Macau $68 million aircraft financing
-Castle Peak Power Company HK$4.3 billion revolving and term loan facilities
-China General Nuclear Power Corporation $600 million 2.75% green bond issue
-CMH Healthcare Fund
-CSSC Shipping HKSE IPO
-Ghana Western Railway Line BOT
-Poly Property HKSE IPO
-Sino Energy International Holdings Group insolvency
-Strong Day Holdings HK$283 million acquisition of Dining Concepts Holdings
-TPV Technology HK$4.6 billion take-private
Client feedback: 30th edition (2019/2020)
“Extremely localised in China with fast and accurate responses.”
Capital markets: Debt
“The firm is professional.”
“KWM has vast resources which are well deployed and managed. They are committed and highly responsive. They are experts in law but their commercial, pragmatic approach means it is deftly applied. They have regard not just to the law as written but how it is applied by regulators and the social, economic and political shifts which influence issues and the development of new regulatory approaches.”
“KWM showed a deep knowledge on both M&A transactions and capital markets.”