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Terence Foo, Clifford Chance China Co-Managing Partner

符国成律师在为各类跨境并购和企业合资提供法律服务方面拥有超过20年的经验,包括为国际客户的跨境并购以及为中国客户的海外投资提供法律咨询。他在TMT、金融服务、能源、矿业、消费品和零售等领域具有丰富的执业经验。此外,符律师还担任高伟绅中国私募股权业务组负责人,在为私募股权基金和主权财富基金的对华投资方面拥有丰富经验,包括全面收购、上市公司私有化、上市公司股权的私募投资、成长性资本/风险资本、上市前投资和基石投资等。

符律师曾荣获多个法律界权威评级机构颁发的奖项,包括2014年ALB法律大奖评选的“年度国际交易律师”、以及入选2020年ALB中国十五佳并购律师等。符律师从2016年起担任高伟绅中国区联席管理合伙人。

ALB:您为您的律所制定的整体策略是?

符国成律师我们着眼于客户的需求,并有针对性地投入资源培养我们的律师团队,从而为客户提供高质量法律服务以满足其需求。我们拥有广泛而多样化的客户群,从世界知名的跨国公司和金融机构,到领先的中国国有企业、私营企业、科技公司和金融机构。随着我们的客户所开展的交易愈加复杂和成熟化,我们已经建立起了一支深植在中国大陆的合伙人团队,以在核心业务领域为本地区的客户提供专业法律服务。

人才是我们最宝贵的财富。为帮助我们中国籍的律师成为世界一流的律师,我们致力于吸纳、培养和提拔本地人才。我们坚信团队的力量,并在倡导合作与包容文化的工作氛围中,使我们的客户能够享受到来自高伟绅全球网络的优质法律服务。

ALB:您认为疫情将会如何影响和改变贵所的运营?

符律师员工的健康是我们的第一要务。所幸,我们之前已经在技术方面进行了大量的投入,这使得我们的员工在疫情期间可以实现在家中高效办公。此外,我们还为所有员工提供了用于设立“家庭办公室”的津贴。我们的律师极富工作积极性且惯于团队合作,因此即使采用远程办公的模式,我们仍能依靠他们为客户提供优质服务。

随着疫情的改善,我们采取了循序渐进的措施安排员工回到办公室。虽然我们已经全面恢复了办公室的正常工作安排,但我们仍将继续保持灵活、弹性的工作时间。我们没有“必须见面交流”(face time)的文化,并且信任我们的员工会尽职尽责。

面对面会议固然重要,但我们的客户也对其他工作方式保持开放态度。在这段特殊时期之前,没有人会相信香港上市项目能够通过各方团队远程工作完成。但我们代表联席保荐人参与的京东香港首次公开发行和港交所第二上市项目就是在疫情期间这样完成的。该交易在没有经历著名的“印刷商阶段”(printer sessions)下成功完成。

ALB:您致力于在律所内部培养怎样的文化?

符律师我们提倡开放和合作文化,注重卓越,并支持多样性和包容性。

为了促进开放交流的文化,我们鼓励合伙人和律师在工作中保持平易近人的态度,对不同的观点持开放心态;此外,我们不鼓励不必要的等级制度。我们希望我们的员工保持成长的心态,不断学习和提高,从而为客户提供优质的法律服务。我们提倡互相尊重,这是提倡多样性和包容文化的关键。

ALB:您对招揽人才和人才保有有着怎样的策略?您认为什么样的的律师最适合您的律所?

符律师我们之所以能够吸引人才并组建最佳团队,主要归结于三方面:提供国际视野并参与顶尖客户业界领先的复杂重大交易的经验;在倡导多样性与包容文化和合作文化的环境中工作;为一家注重他们个人职业发展并关注他们福祉的律所工作。

我们欢迎有上进心、能够提出实用的商业解决方案、协作性强、善于沟通的人才加入我们。

ALB:您得到的最好的建议是什么?

符律师任用比自己更优秀的人才,并助力他们获得成功。

 

ALB Conversations: Terence Foo, Clifford Chance China Co-Managing Partner

Terence Foo has over 20 years of experience in advising on cross-border M&A and joint ventures, including advising multinational clients on cross-border M&A, as well as advising Chinese clients on their outbound investments. He has advised clients on a broad range of sectors and has particular expertise in the TMT, financial services, energy, mining and consumer goods and retail sectors.

Apart from Mr. Foo’s cross border M&A experience, he also heads the China private equity practice and has extensive experience in advising private equity and sovereign wealth funds on investments in China, including buyouts, take-privates, PIPEs, growth capital/venture capital, pre IPO and cornerstone investments in China.

Mr. Foo has won many awards granted by the legal directories, including China International Dealmaker of the Year in ALB China Law Awards 2014 and ALB China 2020 Top 15 M&A Lawyers. Mr. Foo has become Clifford Chance China Co-Managing Partner since 2016.

ALB:How would you describe your overall strategy for the firm?

Foo: We look ahead to what our clients' need and we develop and invest in our people to deliver a high quality service to meet their needs. We have a broad and diverse base of clients, ranging from world renowned multinational corporates and financial institutions to leading Chinese state-owned enterprises, private-owned enterprises, tech companies and financial institutions. Our clients are doing more complex and sophisticated deals and, in anticipation, we've built up a deep bench of partners in China to provide on-the-ground expertise, across key areas.

Our people are our most valuable assets. We are dedicated to recruiting, developing and promoting local talent, with the aim of helping our PRC background lawyers become world-class lawyers. We believe in the power of teams, working in a collaborative and inclusive culture, to deliver the benefits of our global network to our clients.

ALB:How do you feel the pandemic reshapes the way your firm operates?

Foo: Our top priority is the health and wellbeing of our people. Fortunately, we had invested heavily in technology, which allowed our people to work from home efficiently during the pandemic. In addition, we provided all employees with an allowance to set up their "home office". Our lawyers are highly motivated and used to working collaboratively, and we can count on them to deliver even when working remotely.

As the situation improved, we took incremental steps to enable our employees to return to the office. Even though we have fully resumed working in the office, we still continue to offer flexibility and do not insist on fixed working hours in the office. We don't have a culture of "face time" and trust our employees to do the right thing.

Physical meetings are important, but our clients are also becoming more open-minded to alternative ways of working. Before the onset of this special period, no one would have believed that a HK IPO could be done by teams working remotely. But this was the case for JD.com's IPO and secondary listing on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange which was completed in the midst of the pandemic, where we acted for the joint sponsors. It was done without the famous "printer sessions".

ALB:What kind of internal culture are you looking to foster?

Foo: Our culture is an open and collaborative one, focused on excellence, and supports diversity and inclusiveness. 

To foster a culture of open communications, we encourage our partners and lawyers to be approachable, to keep an open mind to different views and we discourage unnecessary hierarchy.  We want our employees to have a growth mindset, to be continuously learning and improving, so as to deliver excellent client service. We also value respect in the way that we treat one another, which is a key part of supporting diversity and inclusiveness.

ALB:How would you describe your hiring and talent retention strategy? What kinds of lawyers would make the best fit for your firm?

Foo: Our ability to attract talent and build the best teams comes down to three key areas: offering international exposure and experience advising on market-leading and complex deals for top clients; working in a diverse and inclusive team environment with a collaborative culture; and working for a firm that focuses on their professional development and wellbeing.

We appeal to people who are highly motivated, able to come up with commercial and practical solutions, collaborative, and are good communicators.

ALB:What is the best piece of advice you have ever received?

Foo: Hire people who are better than you, and help them achieve success.

 

ALB Conversations is a weekly series of in-depth Q&As with leaders of law firms and in-house legal departments across Asia. If you are a managing partner or general counsel based in the region who is interested in being a part of this series, please send an email to shiyu.liu@tr.com.

“对话ALB”(ALB Conversations)是一系列每周发布的深度对谈类文章,我们将与亚洲各地的律所管理者和企业总法律顾问展开对谈。如果您是执业于亚洲地区的律所管理者或总法律顾问,并有兴趣参与该系列访谈,请邮件联络shiyu.liu@tr.com.