US law firm Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft has hired three capital markets partners from Jones Day in Hong Kong as it continues to build its practice in the region.
The addition of three senior capital markets specialists — Joseph Lee, Jeffrey Maddox and David Neuville — gives the firm a significant boost in an area the firm has been keen to build in Asia as part of its expansion in the region.
Cadwalader has a traditional strength in structured finance, but the new three-partner team aims to leverage the firm’s client relationships to win securities mandates. “Cadwalader’s reputation with international investment banks and issuers creates opportunity for clients in multiple financial markets,” said Lee.
The firm’s expansion into Asian capital markets advice follows in the footsteps of many of its US rivals, drawn by the resilience of the region’s financial markets to the downturn in the developed world.
The attraction is clear. Hong Kong has become one of the world’s leading hubs for initial public offerings during the past couple of years. Companies listing in the city raised $6 billion through IPOs during the last quarter of 2011, which put it comfortably ahead of New York. This year has got off to a slow start, with less than $1 billion raised in the first quarter, but there are plenty of issuers on the sidelines waiting to issue.
Debt markets, on the other hand, are busier than ever. In Hong Kong, borrowers have raised more than $12 billion so far this year, up significantly on the $1.7 billion raised during the same period last year.
Lee is a Hong Kong-qualified lawyer who focuses on initial public offerings, but has also advised companies in Hong Kong and China on a number of mergers and acquisitions, joint ventures and private equity transactions, and has extensive experience in corporate restructuring and reorganisation.
To continue to offer Hong Kong law advice, Lee has established Joseph P.C. Lee and Associates, a local law firm that will form an alliance with Cadwalader, which does not have a licence to offer local advice.
Maddox has focused on international equity and debt transactions in Asia since moving to Hong Kong in 1994. His experience also includes high-yield debt offerings, Rule 144A debt and preferred stock private placements, Regulation S offerings, debt restructurings and issuer tender offers.
Neuville also came to Hong Kong in 1994 and has developed strong relationships with issuers and underwriters throughout North and Southeast Asia, particularly in India and China. His experience includes offerings of equity, depositary receipts, convertible bonds, straight debt securities and high-yield debt, as well as mergers and acquisitions, and private equity and venture capital transactions.
“Cadwalader is a firm with a long standing history in the financial markets,” said Neuville. “It is renowned for its market leading practices and deep relationships with global financial institutions. Our team is perfectly situated to support Cadwalader’s reach in Asia, and Cadwalader’s affiliations are perfectly suited for our high quality transactions work.”
Cadwalader now has five partners based in Hong Kong.