Kirkland & Ellis International LLP will open an office in Shanghai. The Firm received approval from the Ministry of Justice on July 30 and will begin practicing in China in November. The new office will focus on complex transactions involving China for international private equity firms and corporations and will represent Chinese entities active abroad.
The Shanghai office is Kirkland's tenth worldwide and second in Asia. Since opening in Hong Kong in 2006, Kirkland has represented numerous private equity funds in Asia, including Bain Capital in its landmark investment in GOME Electrical Appliances Holdings Limited, the largest retail enterprise in China. The Firm also represents globalizing Chinese companies such as China Investment Corporation, the US$200 billion fund established by the Chinese government to make investments in alternative assets abroad.
"The Shanghai office is a direct response to our clients' growing activity in China," said Thomas D. Yannucci, chair of Kirkland's Firmwide Management Committee. "Given the strength of Kirkland's worldwide litigation, intellectual property and restructuring practices, we also see opportunities to serve rapidly globalizing Chinese companies."
"Cross-border transactions involving China are inherently complex," said Chuan Li, a senior Chinese partner at Kirkland. "Getting a deal done often requires experienced M&A lawyers in both mainland China and Hong Kong, working seamlessly with other Kirkland specialists around the world."
Kirkland's Hong Kong and Shanghai offices will be highly integrated. The Shanghai office will be led by corporate private equity and M&A partners Xiaoyang "XY" Li and Chuan Li, who will relocate from Kirkland's Hong Kong office. They will be supported initially by several associates with Chinese and U.S. legal training and experience in private equity deals.
XY Li, 54, joined Kirkland last year from Jun He Law Offices in Beijing and is internationally recognized as a leading attorney in private equity and M&A. He represents private equity funds and international and domestic public and private companies in mergers and acquisitions and other complex corporate matters in China. Mr. Li has more than 20 years of experience advising clients in China while working in both international and elite Chinese law firms. Prior to his tenure at Jun He, he was the managing partner of the corporate practice group and a member of the management committee of King & Wood, the largest law firm in China.
Chuan Li, 38, a native Chinese speaker with legal training in both China and the United States, joined Kirkland's Chicago office in 2001 where he focused on leveraged buyouts and other complex deals for large and mid-market private equity funds. He relocated to Hong Kong in 2007, where he has been involved in Asian and Chinese mergers, acquisitions, leveraged buyouts, PIPEs and growth equity investments by private equity funds such as Bain Capital and Oaktree Capital Management and other complex transactions by U.S. companies such as General Motors Acceptance Corporation and Kellogg Company. Mr. Li also advises Chinese companies in their overseas investments.
About Kirkland's Asia Practice
Kirkland's Hong Kong office focuses on complex transnational transactions throughout Asia for private equity funds and serial strategic acquirers. Kirkland represents private equity funds in their Asian LBOs, PIPEs, joint ventures, growth equity investments, fund formations, restructurings and other complex transactions. The Hong Kong team has advised on deals in Australia, China, Hong Kong, India, Japan, Korea, Macau, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand and other Asian countries. The team is bolstered by more than 20 China Practice Group lawyers from the Firm's U.S. and European offices with extensive Asian deal experience and cultural ties.
About Kirkland & Ellis
Kirkland & Ellis LLP is a law firm with approximately 1,500 lawyers representing global clients in complex private equity, corporate and tax, litigation and dispute resolution/arbitration, restructuring, and intellectual property and technology matters. The Firm has offices in Hong Kong, Chicago, London, Los Angeles, Munich, New York, Palo Alto, San Francisco and Washington, D.C.
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Kirkland & Ellis International LLP
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