After opening its doors in July 2009, Latham & Watkins' Beijing office is the most recent addition to the firm’s Greater China practice.
Working closely with the Greater China team based in Hong Kong and Shanghai, as well as colleagues in Seoul, Singapore and Tokyo, the Beijing office represents Chinese companies in cross-border mergers and acquisitions, private equity, capital markets transactions and complex financing transactions. The team also advises US, European and Asian companies conducting business in China and throughout the Asia-Pacific region.
The Greater China team includes lawyers who are fluent in both written and spoken Mandarin and have received US, Hong Kong and PRC legal education and training.
Transactional Prowess in Greater China
Members of the Latham team draw on more than 25 years of experience advising clients doing business in China. As counsel to issuers or underwriters, the firm's lawyers have been involved in many international equity, debt and equity-linked offerings by issuers in China and across Asia. Latham also represents some of the world's largest private equity funds and multinational corporations in their acquisitions or investments in the PRC and Asia. In addition, the firm regularly acts as lead counsel for the sponsors or lenders on the region's landmark power, petrochemical, and oil and gas projects.
Recognized for Excellence in China and Throughout Asia-Pacific
Latham earned the "Innovative Firm in Asia" recognition for its work on groundbreaking deals in the Financial Times’ 2016 “Asia-Pacific Innovative Lawyers” report, and was named to Asian Legal Business’ “Innovation List” in 2016.
In the 2018 edition of Chambers Asia-Pacific, Latham received a number of commendations for practice areas based in Greater China, including:
- Banking & Finance – Interviewees praise the team's "ability to act commercially and identify commercial risks in addition to legal risks," adding that "the firm makes a decision and does not 'sit on the fence'."
- Capital Markets – "It's very pleasant working with them, an experienced team...Their Chinese language capabilities are very important to me." Feedback highlights the firm's deal-making approach, with a client noting: "I'm highly impressed with their technical knowledge and ability to appropriately manage corporate issuers towards a successful and commercially viable outcome." Clients also praise the group's level of organization, with one saying: "A very outstanding team with strong co-ordination and collaboration. They demonstrate very high efficiency in execution and each team member has high standards of professional ethics and high levels of expertise."
- Corporate/M&A – "We are very impressed by Latham’s outstanding quality of services and professionalism. They have demonstrated a broad spectrum of capabilities and extensive experience across a wide range of practices such as M&A and corporate finance," one interviewee remarks, further stating: "The team is extremely competent and highly knowledgeable." Another market source lists the team's key strengths while acting on one recent matter: "They were very good and knowledgeable on US regulations, and were also aware of the differences and nuances within a Chinese environment."
- Private Equity – "The team is very strong and has good connections to subject matter experts in global offices where required,"
- International Arbitration – Clients are quick to highlight the team's dedication to service, with one source praising its "meticulous working attitude" and adding that it is "highly efficient and duly delivers on work, responds to feedback, collects all kinds of information, and follows up on the case." Certain sources highlight the "impressive bilingual capacity of the team" and describe the team as being "completely at home serving Chinese clients and understanding their strategic needs." Other commentators praise the firm for its ability "to produce innovative solutions to meet the demands of the case."
- Litigation – Clients commend the team's responsiveness and ability to meet their needs. "They always meet my expectations and sometimes even go a step further," one client reports, adding that "the response time to all queries is impeccable." Another interviewee adds: "They take care of our commercial needs and objectives."
- Restructuring/Insolvency – One client affirms: "Latham has been our go-to law firm for a diversity of matters over the years," explaining that this is because "they are very strong and solid in many subject matters and in various countries." Another source highlights its international capabilities, rating it as a "top-tier global firm that we can rely on when a situation involves multiple jurisdictions."
(The guide is based on client and peer feedback as well as the firm’s work during the last 12 months.)