US-headquartered, private equity (PE)-focussed law firm, Ropes & Gray, this month announced the promotion of 29 attorneys to counsel, four of whom practice within the firm’s Asia-based effort. The news forms part of the firm’s annual career recognition programme and the Asian promotions involve lawyers specialising in the areas of PE, as well as financial transactions.
The promotions include those of Hong Kong-based Shan Huang, whose advisory practice covers corporate and PE clients engaged in investment in Chinese corporates and joint venture (JV) partnerships; Boxin Wang, who represents both buy-side and sell-side PE sponsors, asset managers and big tech companies on sophisticated PE transactions and M&A deals; and Stephen Hui, who advises corporate borrowers, PE and private credit funds on complex cross-border financing transactions, as well as special situations. Seoul-based Keun Shin, whose specialism focusses on complex cross-border M&A, JVs and other corporate transactions, also progresses through to counsel.
Huang and Wang report to Hong Kong-based PE transactions partner, Oliver Nip (pictured), while Hui reports to Hong Kong finance partner, Jackie Kahng. Shin reports to PE transactions partner, Jaewoo Lee, who was promoted to managing partner of the Seoul office, in August.
Nip spoke to FinanceAsia regarding the Asian private equity investment landscape.
“There continues to be investor appetite to deploy capital in across Asia, but we have noticed that many are certainly being more cautious, and more focussed on due diligence than in previous years, to identify targets with operations that are resilient to macro-economic headwinds,” he explained.
“Competition of quality targets remain fierce, and advisors need to stand ready to deliver seamless execution.”
When FA caught up with Lee in the summer following his new appointment, he emphasised the strategic nature of client appetite. “Generally, our (Korean) clients are looking to gain access to important new market segments, or to acquire key technologies or brands, through M&A deals that are strategically vital for them,” he explained.
For inbound Korean deals, he highlighted attractive investment opportunities across the full spectrum of potential deal types – from leveraged buyouts (LBOs) to minority stake investments, as Korean conglomerates streamline their non-core businesses.
In the company release, Ropes & Gray business leaders reaffirmed the practical business advisory capability offered by the new counsel.
“With these promotions, we are investing in areas where we see strong client demand and growth opportunities,” said David Djaha, the company’s managing partner.
“These lawyers have impressed discerning clients, and our own teams, with the quality of their counsel. They represent the diverse and global nature of our firm,” he added.
Ropes & Gray has four offices across Asia, in Hong Kong, Shanghai, Seoul and Tokyo.