福建世礼律师事务所成立于2000年，一直是福建及周边地区精品律师事务所的卓越代表。世礼长期注重律所管理，人均业务量始终居市场前列，专业水准与服务质量更是受到同行及客户的高度评价，2016年则作为厦门市唯一一家律师事务所被中华全国律师协会评为“全国优秀律师事务所”。世礼核心合伙人构成在律所发展的近二十年间极其稳定，并吸收有着根本相同理念的新合伙人加入。作为福建省内极少数严格按照一体化方式管理的律所，有明确的愿景、使命与价值观。世礼于2007年加入世界知名的Lawyers Associated Worldwide （LAW），是该国际律所联盟组织最早的中国成员所之一。世礼的主要业务领域包括供应链业务、海关业务、知识产权及国际业务。
Number of partners in mainland China
2020 ALB China Firms to Watch
What they lack in size, small law firms in China are making up with specialised expertise and professional strengths, winning business from a variety of clients – including some very large companies – and competing toe-to-toe with larger firms in the legal market. As in other years, ALB compiles its list of China Firms to Watch for 2020 by showcasing the achievements of ten such outstanding small firms.
The law firms included in this year’s ranking were all founded after 2000, with seven of them established during the first decade of the millennium, and three between 2010 and 2020. The “youngest” one is CM Law Firm, established in 2018. Most of these firms have their offices in Beijing and Shanghai. Lusheng’s headquarters is in Beijing with offices in Shanghai and Guangzhou; Cathay Associates Kejie has an office in Shenzhen, whereas Sphere Logic Partners’ headquarters is in Xiamen.
Most of the firms on the list have no more than five partners on the mainland. Their main business areas include capital market, mergers and acquisitions, dispute resolution, compliance, infrastructure, public-private partnership, intellectual property, civil and commercial litigation, construction and engineering, TMT and Internet, education, healthcare and medicine, biotechnology, telecommunications, media, entertainment, fintech, family wealth and family trust, supply chain business, customs business, and anti-dumping.
In July 2019, Cathay Associates Kejie advised Sino-Ocean Group Holding on the issuance of $600 million of 4.75 percent guaranteed senior notes due 2029. The company plans to raise $D600 million through the offering. The issuance seized a window of opportunity before the Fed held the meeting on interest rates and has been highly recognised and sought after by the international capital market and investors. The issuance was rated by international credit rating agencies, Moody’s and Fitch, reflecting the investment grade of Sino-Ocean Group and the notes. In March 2019, Cathay Associates Kejie advised Sino-Ocean Group on the public issuance of 2.9 billion yuan ($434 million) of corporate bonds to qualified investors. The issuance was approved by the China Securities Regulatory Commission. This is the largest single offering of AAA real estate corporate bonds in 2019. China Chengxin Securities Rating gave the company the AAA credit rating and the AAA bond credit rating for the issue. CM Law Firm assisted several Chinese companies in completing their IPOs overseas, and provided many enterprises with legal services in private equity investment and financing, mergers and acquisitions, dispute resolution and compliance. In So-Young International Inc’s U.S. IPO project, CM was the underwriter’s Chinese lawyers, providing Chinese legal analysis and advice to underwriters and issuers on industry regulatory policies and potential risks. So-Young is the largest medical beauty service platform in China and the first online medical beauty service platform listed in the United States. CM has also provided legal services for many rounds of pre-IPO USD equity financing and compliance. In the Gem IPO project of Three Squirrels (“the nation’s first listed snack”), CM was the legal counsel of the lead underwriter, providing important legal advice and support to the underwriters on business model compliance demonstration, food import production and sales link compliance, e-commerce platform and e-commerce operator responsibility division and other compliance issues. Additionally, CM was the seller’s Chinese legal counsel in China Literature’s acquisition deal on New Classics Media, the latter a well-known TV and film production company in China, with great influence in the industry. Before the deal, New Classics Media had planned to be listed on A-shares. As the leader of the listed companies in literature IP category, China Literature is the pioneer and leader of online literature, also a company listed in HK. The deal involved different equity structures, both domestic and foreign. The pre-deal restriction and the arrangement of new and old equities were highly complicated. CM has participated in the whole progress of the combination of these two leading enterprises and helped them link the business chain.
Since its establishment in July 2014, Beijing Cyan Law Firm has been making remarkable achievements in various practice areas, and received clients’ recognition for its outstanding services, especially in domestic and foreign construction and engineering, cross-border construction projects, guarantee letters related to cross-border construction and engineering involving a huge sum of money, domestic and foreign commercial arbitration, cross-border investment and trade, public-private partnership (PPP), sports industry and domestic and foreign intellectual property rights.
HHP Attorneys-At-Law adheres to the concept of “teamwork and quality service.” By virtue of its excellent services and business philosophy of differentiated competition, the firm has built a good market reputation in the fields of M & A and restructuring, financial services, dispute resolution, and compliance over the past 15 years, and established long-term, strong cooperation relations with many renowned enterprises at home and abroad. HHP is the first member firm of the legal network Meritas in mainland China. HHP’s successful cases have been noted by Supreme People’s Court as the Typical Cases of the Year, Top Ten Typical Cases of “Belt and Road” Construction and more. While the Supreme People’s Court called for exposure draft for establishing an independent guarantees judicial interpretation, HHP’s novel cases were studied by the Court and HHP’s lawyers’ opinions were well taken. As an industry expert, HHP has constantly been invited to deliver lectures on advanced legal issues for government departments, banks, finance agencies, multination enterprises, etc. Ministry of Justice has recognised HHP lawyers’ professional qualification and rich experience in overseas investment and included them into national lawyer talent pool.
Lusheng Law Firm (“Lusheng”) has built a solid presence in the industry as a reputable boutique firm with strong business capabilities in intellectual property. Over the years, Lusheng has handled a great deal of cases with significant influences, including about 30 typical cases selected by the Supreme People’s Court or the High People’s Courts at provincial level. Some of these cases have become precedents in judicial practice for other cases to refer to or apply, and some have played a guidance role in legislative amendments and improvements, thus having a positive impact on promoting the development of the legal system in China’s intellectual property field. Since its establishment 14 years ago, the firm saw growth in its team and business, from several lawyers at the beginning to over 100 employees at present, and from only engaging in IP litigation services to obtaining the patent agency qualification granted by State Intellectual Property Office. Lusheng was awarded the honour of “Excellent Intermediary Service Agency” by Chaoyang District Intellectual Property Office of Beijing City. Having won trust from relevant industries and organisations, Lusheng was entrusted with major research projects including “modification of trademark law” (delegated by China Trademark Association) and “reminder (early warning) report on intellectual property risks of Chinese enterprises in One Belt And One Road countries” (delegated by associations of industries), making contributions for the profound development of intellectual property.
PacGate Law Group is one of the first law firms in China that provide comprehensive legal services in the field of private equity and venture capital, and has always regarded serving the Chinese venture capital market as the business focus. PacGate conducted the first batch of projects approved under the Document Hui Fa  No. 75 issued by the State Administration of Foreign Exchange, and served as the lead law firm, providing legal services for the first batch of enterprises listed on the STAR market. PacGate also acted as the legal adviser to Dingdang Medicine Express in its new round of financing, and provided legal services including designing and demonstrating transaction structures and transaction scheme, drafting, revising and negotiating investment transaction documents with lawyers of investors, assisting the company in discussing with original shareholders about the financing related issues, preparing all signature pages of investment transaction documents for all parties, coordinating the parties’ signatures, producing signed versions of documents, and coordinate the delivery matters. The structure of this round of financing transactions for Dingdang Medicine Express was quite complicated and involved multiple delivery arrangements, and the condition and method for each delivery were different, which posed high requirements for lawyers on their ability to design and draft transaction scheme documents. Meanwhile, this round of financing involved several participants, requiring lawyers to assist the company in communicating with old and new investors separately, and to coordinate and handle the different demands of different investors. Within a very short period, Pacgate provided professional advice from a legal perspective on the transaction scheme and transaction structure, conducted an in-depth analysis of the legal issues involved in the transaction, and finally proposed a commercially viable solution satisfying the needs of the client and the needs of its new and old investors.
Sheppard Mullin Richter & Hampton, headquartered in Los Angeles, established its Shanghai office in 2007. The firm’s China operation has maintained rapid growth in the fields of intellectual property, M&A investment, funds, and has built a good brand reputation in industries such as life science, medical and healthcare, communications and the Internet. More and more Chinese enterprises are faced with multiple international disputes in commercial, IP and anti-monopoly. Sheppard Mullin has represented them in many cross-border disputes and successfully protected their legal interests in foreign jurisdictions.
Shihui Partners specialises in providing legal services in the new economy field for private equity investment and financing, domestic and over-seas listings, M&A and restructuring, fund establishment, wealth management, and antitrust. Shihui has success-fully completed the private equity financing, mergers and acquisitions, red chip return and listing projects for hundreds of companies. One of the major projects of Shihui in 2019 was that the firm represented JD Group in signing the Series A financing agreement for Jingdong (JD) Health, with the value of over $1 billion, and participated in the whole process of the project, including the restructuring plan design, due diligence and preparation of transaction documents. Shihui also participated in major projects such as JD Mall’s financing series, JD Logistics’ $2.5 billion Series A financing, and Series B financing of JD Digits (formerly JD Finance) of 13 billion yuan ($1.9 million), which have witnessed the rapid and steady business expansion of JD Group.
Sphere Logic Partners, founded in 2000, has been an outstanding representative of boutique law firms in Fujian and surrounding areas. With the focus on the firm management, SLP’s per capita business volume has always been at the forefront of the market, and its service standards and quality are highly praised by its peers and clients. In 2016, the firm was awarded as an Outstanding National Law Firm by the All China Lawyers Association, the only law firm in Xiamen whichever receives the honour. The core partners of SLP remain extremely stable over the past nearly two decades, and meanwhile, the firm attracts new partners sharing the same philosophy to join them. As one of the few firms in Fujian which adopt the integrated management, SLP has clear vision, mission and values. SLP joined the world-renowned law firm association Lawyers Associated Worldwide (LAW) in 2007, becoming one of its first Chinese member firms. The main business fields of SLP include supply chain, customs matters, intellectual property rights, foreign and cross-border business.
T&D Associates is a partnership law firm established with the approval of Beijing Municipal Bureau of Justice. Its main business areas include anti-dumping and anti-trust. T&D Associates has extensive collaborations with a number of large international law firms in the United States, the European Union, Japan and South Korea, and maintains close ties with the legal and financial circles at home and abroad; and it also maintains good communication with relevant Chinese government departments. Adhering to the principle of client first, T&D always provides clients with specialised services of high quality and efficiency, and endeavours to meet specific needs of clients.
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