United States: Latham & Watkins Continues Its Global Expansion - Launches Office In Shanghai
Latham strengthens Asia practice with new office in China, to complement Hong Ko
Last Updated: April 18 2005

Latham strengthens Asia practice with new office in China, to complement Hong Kong, Singapore and Tokyo offices

Shanghai. Latham & Watkins LLP1 announces the opening of its Shanghai office, bolstering the Asia practice with a team spanning four of the region’s most important commercial centers. Latham’s Shanghai office will strengthen the firm’s vibrant China practice and will focus on a range of transactional practice areas including project development and finance, capital markets, mergers and acquisitions and private equity. The office will also support the broader Asia team’s focus on dynamic practices such as restructuring, distressed debt and complex foreign direct investment work.

The Shanghai office will continue to strengthen the firm’s US corporate finance practice, and enhance the M&A and private equity practices in northeast Asia, including outbound work for Chinese blue chip companies. As a base, the Shanghai office complements the firm’s existing Greater China practice and will support the growth of the firm’s leading project finance capability into new industry sectors and countries such as Korea, the Philippines and Malaysia.

Latham & Watkins has extensive experience in transactions involving China and has advised on some of the most prominent deals in China and the Asian region. The firm represented both the Renminbi and US Dollar lenders, which included seven PRC and 12 international banks, on the project financing of the greenfield Nanhai Petrochemicals Complex in Guangdong Province, China. The award-winning project, named China Deal of the Year in 2004, is one of the largest Sino-foreign projects in PRC history and the largest private project financing ever done in Asia, with a total investment of US$4.3 billion.  In the corporate finance area, Latham represented Ctrip.com International Ltd., a leading provider of Chinese online travel services based in Shanghai, and The9 Limited, a cutting-edge online game operator and developer in China, in connection with their recent NASDAQ initial public offerings.

"We are committed to developing strength in key financial and economic centers around the world. China, with Shanghai as one of its key strategic centers, is a crucial market for our global expansion and overall success in the Asian region," said Latham & Watkins’ Chairman and Managing Partner Robert M. Dell. "We have worked hard at establishing a preeminent presence in the region, and the new Shanghai office joins a leading Asian team of over 40 lawyers. Having a strong Chinese capability will be a hallmark of the world’s global elite firms and we are building our stake in this market."

The firm has appointed Rowland Cheng, previously a partner in Latham’s San Francisco office, as Office Managing Partner of the Shanghai office. In addition to his time in the US, Cheng has previously been resident in the firm’s Hong Kong and Singapore offices, where he represented a range of clients in financings, acquisitions, joint ventures and venture investments and restructurings, with particular expertise in complex project financings in Asia. He began his practice in the Los Angeles office of Latham & Watkins.

Dell commented: "Rowland knows the firm, knows the region and is well positioned to lead the team in Shanghai. Rowland will look to leverage the network of opportunities afforded by our strong practices in Hong Kong, Singapore and Tokyo as well as from our European and US bases."

The new office comprises two partners and two associates - Cheng will be joined by finance partner James Redway and two associates:

  • James Redway: currently a partner in the Singapore office of Latham & Watkins, Redway will split his time between Shanghai and Singapore. With more than 20 years experience in banking law and international finance, ten of which have been in New York, Redway has practiced as a US lawyer in Taipei and Singapore for approximately ten years.
  • Guanghao Lu: A graduate of the law schools of Columbia University in New York and Fudan University in Shanghai, Lu is returning to Shanghai after practicing for over two years in New York in the areas of corporate finance and M&A.
  • Jeffrey Sun: A graduate of Columbia (where he was a Kent Scholar) and Fudan University in Shanghai, Sun is joining Latham & Watkins from a senior position with Pudong Law Office, a prominent PRC law firm. Sun has extensive experience in a broad range of transactions in China acting on behalf of both Chinese and international clients.

"Building on our successes in China is important to our competitiveness worldwide. We are excited about the business prospects both within the domestic Chinese market, as well as among multinational clients that have cross-border business and investment interests in this region," said Cheng. "China has been developing at a dramatic rate, with growing dominance in many industries. Its emergence as a commercial dynamo gives it a special place at the heart of international commerce - our experience and aspirations in China and the broader Asian region match this opportunity."

Recent Asia Practice Accolades & Awards

Nanhai Petrochemicals Complex

The deal was named Asian Legal Business "China Deal of the Year" and received the Asian Legal Business Industry Award for Infrastructure. It also received the "Asia-Pacific Petrochemical Deal of the Year 2003" by Euromoney/Project Finance Magazine, and "Project Finance Deal of the Year 2003" by Asian Legal Business, FinanceAsia and IFLR.

IFR Asia’s Singapore Equity Deal of the Year 2004Latham acted as counsel to Temasek in connection with its S$2.1 billion sale of shares in, and bonds exchangeable into shares of, Singapore Telecommunications Limited. IFR Asia recognized this deal as the "Singapore Equity Deal of the Year 2004."

Dealogic’s Asia Project Finance Review 2004Latham has claimed fourth place in Dealogic’s Asia Legal Adviser table. In addition, Jupiter Telecom Refinancing II was recognized as the second-largest project in the league table’s Asia Top 10 Project Finance deals for 2004.Project Finance International–Asia Pacific Awards 2004 Project Finance International recently recognized Latham for its contributions to Korea’s first merchant power project, K-Power. The project was awarded Asia-Pacific Power Deal of the Year, and Latham represented the lender.

About Latham & Watkins

Latham & Watkins is a global law firm with nearly 1,600 attorneys and 22 offices including Boston, Chicago, Frankfurt, Hamburg, Hong Kong, London, Los Angeles, Moscow, New Jersey, New York, Northern Virginia, Orange County, Paris, San Diego, San Francisco, Shanghai, Silicon Valley, Singapore, Tokyo and Washington, D.C. For more information on Latham & Watkins, please visit the Web site at www.lw.com.

Contact: Robert M. Dell, Chairman & Managing Partner
+1 415 395 8050

Rowland Cheng, Office Managing Partner
+86 21 6101 6000

1. Latham & Watkins operates as a limited liability partnership worldwide with an affiliate in the United Kingdom and Italy, where the practice is conducted through an affiliated multinational partnership.

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