Skip to main content Skip to footer menu

Clifford Chance

Show Serch
  • Image of China
  • Image of China
  • Image of China
  • en
  • zh
  • Language options


We have been in mainland China for nearly three decades. We use our know-how, experience, and full-service capability to get the best possible results for clients.

We have been calling China our home for nearly three decades

Our view has always been that if you want to succeed in China then you have to know China well. That's why we were the first international law firm to open an office in Beijing in 1985 (our Shanghai office followed in 1993 and our Hong Kong office has been open since 1980). It's why all our partners are Mandarin speakers and have over ten years' mainland China experience. And it's why we have built an 80-lawyer full-service capability in mainland China - our team includes lawyers in finance, capital markets, corporate/M&A, and litigation and dispute resolution. We found that international and Chinese clients value this on the ground commitment because it delivers results. They can see that our in-China capability is built on the solid know-how that comes from nearly three decades of experience, and that we have more Tier One rankings in Greater China than any other firm.

We work with international and Chinese clients

International clients choose us because we can give them a fuller picture of the China-specific aspects of a deal, and negotiate effectively with counterparties who we often know well.  As one client puts it:

  • "We have a lot of choices of other law firms, but nobody can match their knowledge and experience."
    Chambers Asia Pacific, 2013

Chinese clients know that we understand their business culture and that our international network gives them the reach and depth to make the most of international opportunities, whether it's an investment in a new energy project, expanding into a new market, or raising capital in foreign markets.

Greater China and beyond – China Desks

All three of our Greater China offices (Beijing, Hong Kong and Shanghai) often work together on inbound and outbound deals, and our Hong Kong office has a dedicated mainland China team.

We have also established the China Desks, a cross-practice network of over 60 lawyers with mainland China experience within the firm, to make sure that Chinese clients get the full benefit of our global network. These China Desk lawyers give clients a first point of contact in their own jurisdictions. We have desks in Africa, the Americas, the Asia Pacific region, Europe and the Middle East.

Recent highlights

Awards and milestones

Our China practice frequently wins industry awards from various independent legal publications for its extensive experience and ever-growing prominence.

As an acknowledgement of our market-leading position in China, we have been awarded:

Chambers Asia Pacific

  • China International Law Firm of the Year, 2013 & 2012
  • China Corporate Law Firm of the Year, 2013
  • China Banking & Finance Law Firm of the Year, 2012


  • China International Law Firm of the Year, 2013 & 2012

IFLR Asia Pacific

  • China Practice of the Year, 2012

Recent assignments

Examples of work include advising:

  • China Development Bank and Bank of China as mandated lead arrangers on the limited recourse US$1.2 billion syndicated project financing for the Karara Iron Ore Project in Australia (Project Finance Deal of the Year: Australian Legal Business Awards, 2011 and Deal of the Year: Asian Counsels Awards, 2010). The team also advised the banks on the US$336 million additional non-recourse financing for Australian Karara iron ore project. We subsequently advised China Development Bank on a US$250 million syndicated facility granted to Karara Mining Limited, which was the third tranche of financing provided in respect of the Karara Iron Ore Project and brings the total raised by Karara Mining Limited from China Development Bank Corporation and the Chinese banking syndicate to more than US$ 2 billion
  • a syndicate of banks in relation to a US$6 billion term loan facility to CNOOC for its acquisition of Nexen Inc
  • the world's second-largest alumina producer and third-largest primary aluminium producer Aluminum Corporation of China (Chinalco)/its Hong Kong listed subsidiary Chalco on the C$925 million takeover bid for up to 60% of SouthGobi Resources, a dual-listed company in Canada and Hong Kong with coal mines assets in Mongolia. We also advised the group on the acquisition of c.12% of Rio Tinto plc, its proposed US$19.5 billion strategic partnership with Rio Tinto and on its 51/49 joint venture with Rio Tinto for mineral exploration in China
  • Airbus on the establishment of a joint venture with Chinese state-owned enterprises for the A320 final assembly line in Tianjin. We also advised Airbus on the establishment of a joint venture with a group of Chinese state-owned industrial partners for a manufacturing centre in Harbin, in north east China and two aviation services joint ventures in Beijing
  • EQT Partners Asia Ltd on its leveraged buyout of China F&B Group, which operates the franchise of two renowned international restaurant chains, Dairy Queen and Papa John's Pizza in China. They are respectively the largest ice cream restaurant chain and the second largest pizza restaurant chain in China. EQT led a consortium of equity co-investors. The acquisition was also funded by mezzanine financing
  • the Export-Import Bank of China on its establishment of the China Central and Eastern European Investment Co-operation Fund (‘China-CEE Fund’), a Luxembourg SICAV-SIF regulated by the Commission de Surveillance du Secteur Financier. The China-CEE Fund, which focuses on the investments with high potential returns in Central and Eastern Europe, has raised US$500 million at its initial stage.

Directory listings and client comments

Directory listings

For the third year running, Clifford Chance China has achieved more Tier-One rankings than any other international firm across all major legal directories – we earned 15 Tier One rankings in Chambers, five Tier One rankings in IFLR 1000 and four Tier One rankings in Legal 500 in 2013.

Chambers Asia Pacific, 2013

  • Tier One in Aircraft Finance
  • Tier One in Banking & Finance (International Firms)
  • Tier One in Banking & Finance: Leveraged & Acquisition Finance (International Firms)
  • Tier One in Capital Markets: Debt (International Firms)
  • Tier One in Capital Markets: Derivatives & Structured Products (International Firms)
  • Tier One in Capital Markets: Equity (International Firms)
  • Tier One in Competition/Antitrust (International Firms)
  • Tier One in Corporate/M&A: The Elite (International Firms)
  • Tier One in Dispute Resolution (International Firms)
  • Tier One in Financial Services: Contentious Regulatory
  • Tier One in Financial Services: Non-contentious Regulatory
  • Tier One in Investments Funds: Hedge Funds
  • Tier One in Investment Funds: Real Estate
  • Tier One in Private Equity: Buyouts
  • Tier One in Projects & Infrastructure (International Firms)

Client comments

  • "Clifford Chance strives to understand the client’s business and the local environment. We have a lot of choices of other law firms, but nobody can match their knowledge and experience."
    Chambers Asia Pacific, 2013
  • Sources say: "A team that really gets into the trenches and gets the deal done. With their legal advice we achieved something that otherwise would have been described as impossible given the depth and breadth of what had to be completed."
    Chambers Asia Pacific, 2013
  • "This thriving practice is notable for the sheer depth and breadth of banking and finance expertise it offers. The team also excels when it comes to PRC-related acquisition financing and project financing, acting for a range of state-owned entities (SOEs) and Chinese corporate seeking advice on outbound financing requirements."
    Chambers Asia Pacific, 2013
  • "This team remains a pre-eminent name in the market, combining first-class experience with formidable bench depth. The range of expertise on offer is also impressive, covering not only IPOs and bonds but also hybrid products and sukuk."
    Chambers Asia Pacific, 2013
  • "This firm combines formidable international resources with solid local knowledge to field a top-tier competition practice. Its broad-based expertise enables the team to act in a range of sectors, including telecoms, resources and finance."
    Chambers Asia Pacific, 2013
  • "This pre-eminent magic circle firm is lauded for its ability to handle the full range of corporate and M&A transactions for an enviable list of local and international clients."
    Chambers Asia Pacific, 2013
  • "This firm continues to field one of the finest commercial litigation practices in the market, combining formidable manpower and cutting-edge expertise to establish itself at the zenith of the market."
    Chambers Asia Pacific, 2013
  • "This team earns glowing praise from interviewees for its strength in depth and comprehensive understanding of the legal and commercial intricacies of structuring deals in Greater China. Clients further benefit from the team's ability to draw on the prowess of its counterparts for regulatory, fund formation and acquisition financing matters."
    Chambers Asia Pacific, 2013
  • Sources say: "They are willing to be patient during negotiations and understand the real need for give and take when it comes to Asian transactions."
    Chambers Asia Pacific, 2013