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Kirkland & Ellis LLP announced today that it is expanding in China and has opened an office in Beijing. The Beijing office is located in China World Office 2 in the heart of Beijing's Central Business District. As a key component of the Firm's Greater China practice, the office will focus on complex M&A and private equity transactions, international capital markets transactions, fund formation and government enforcement and investigations.
"The Beijing office underscores our commitment to our Greater China practice and is a core element of our long-term investment in Asia. Since 2006 we have attracted top lawyers to advise on complex transactional work involving Greater China and the rest of Asia, as well as government enforcement and investigations," said Jeffrey C. Hammes, Chairman of the Firm's Global Management Executive Committee. "Cross-border transactional activity between Greater China and the rest of the world continues to grow, and our strong platform in Asia, the U.S. and Europe positions us to provide the best advice and service to our clients across the globe. Our presence in Beijing expands our reach throughout the region and ensures our ability to serve our clients better."
Corporate partners David Zhang, who has practiced in China for more than 20 years, and Chuan Li, who is a founding partner of the Firm's Hong Kong and Shanghai offices, will launch the Beijing office.
"Kirkland has advised on some of the most sophisticated and significant transactions in Greater China in recent years, including the largest leveraged buyout in China to date, the largest Hong Kong IPO this year and the only U.S. IPO from China this year," said Mr. Zhang. "Having a strong on-the-ground presence in Beijing will better position us to access and efficiently serve our target client base and underscores our ongoing strategy in Asia of focusing on diversified high-end, high-value transactional practices that enable us to provide the best advice and representation through diverse market conditions."
Mr. Zhang, 51, the Firm's senior Chinese lawyer, has represented many well-known Chinese companies on M&A and capital markets transactions. Since 2003, he has represented Chinese issuers or leading investment banks on 36 U.S. IPOs, 17 Hong Kong IPOs and a significant number of other Rule 144A and Regulation S offerings of equity, debt and convertible securities. In recent years, he has been involved in a number of high-profile, going-private transactions by U.S.-listed Chinese companies.
"Beijing has become a leading global commercial center and is a key market for our business in Greater China, which has grown rapidly in Hong Kong and Shanghai," said Mr. Li. "Staying close to our clients is a fundamental tenet of our business model, and by being in Beijing we can provide even better service to global and Chinese private equity firms, Chinese state-owned enterprises as well as rapidly growing Chinese private companies."
Mr. Li, 42, 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 has led numerous cross-border mergers, acquisitions and other complex private equity and corporate transactions involving China by global private equity funds and multinational corporations. He also advises Chinese companies in their outbound investments and other strategic and financing transactions outside China.
Kirkland has led several of Greater China's marquee transactions, including representing Focus Media's independent committee in connection with its US$3.7 billion going-private transaction; representing Tudou Holdings Limited in its merger with Youku, which won several "2012 M&A Deal of the Year" awards; representing the buyer group led by Carlyle Group, Sequoia Capital and Actis in the going-private transaction involving 7 Days Group Holdings Limited; representing the underwriters in the Nasdaq IPO of LightInTheBox; representing Cartesian Group in the acquisition of Burger King's China business; representing Koor Industries in its $2.4 billion going-private sale of Makhteshim Agan Group to China National Chemical Corporation; representing Bain Capital in its US$265.5 million going-private leveraged buyout of China Fire & Security Group, Inc., the first control take-private of a Chinese-listed company by a private equity fund and the 2012 China Law & Practice Private Equity Deal of the Year; representing the underwriters in the US$1.78 billion Hong Kong IPO of SINOPEC Engineering Group (Co.), Ltd., the largest IPO in Hong Kong in 2013; and representing CITIC Securities Co., Limited (China), in its purchase of CLSA, an Asian equity brokerage, for US$1.25 billion from Crédit Agricole Corporate & Investment Bank.
About Kirkland's Asia Practice
Kirkland attorneys have been trusted advisors in Asian deals for more than two decades, regularly representing clients in complex transactions in and involving Greater China and the rest of Asia, including inbound and outbound mergers and acquisitions and leveraged buyouts, capital markets issuances, joint ventures, growth equity investments, and offshore and RMB fund formations. The Firm also has a leading government enforcement and investigations practice, based in Shanghai, led by a former federal prosecutor with the U.S. Department of Justice. Kirkland's Hong Kong, Shanghai and Beijing offices have more than 65 lawyers — half of whom are fluent in Mandarin. The Beijing office is Kirkland's third in Greater China and eleventh worldwide. The Firm opened the Hong Kong office in 2006 and the Shanghai office in 2009.
About Kirkland & Ellis
Kirkland & Ellis LLP is a global law firm with approximately 1,600 lawyers representing 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 Beijing, Chicago, Hong Kong, London, Los Angeles, Munich, New York, Palo Alto, San Francisco, Shanghai and Washington, D.C.