A practice that's built on solid experience
We formed our Australia practice to help clients make the most of domestic and regional opportunities; Australia has a mature economy, substantial natural resources and longstanding business links with Asia Pacific markets.
Our local team of more than 80 partners and lawyers are leaders in their fields. They bring decades of experience, expertise and specialist knowledge to businesses looking to expand or defend their interests in Australia and around the world.
Local and regional know-how that delivers results
We are passionate about our clients' businesses and are committed to using our knowledge of the law and the markets we operate in to offer global solutions, new ideas, a fresh perspective and, ultimately, competitive advantage.
We advise clients from all commercial and industrial sectors, financial institutions, governments, regulators, trade bodies and not for profit organisations on domestic, inbound and outbound work. With the ability to quickly put together teams that manage complex, fast-moving transactions in Australia and beyond, we seek to provide our clients with the highest quality advice and legal insight which combines our local knowledge with the breadth and depth of our global network. Our clients include many leading businesses, operating across a wide variety of markets, cultures and languages.
Across Australia, our core areas of focus are Corporate, Banking & Finance, Litigation & Dispute Resolution and Antitrust & Competition.
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Our view has always been that if you want to succeed in China then you have to know China well. We've had a Hong Kong office since 1980 and we were the first international law firm to open an office in Beijing in 1985, followed by our Shanghai office in 1993. We have since built a full-service capability - our team includes lawyers in corporate/M&A, capital markets, banking and finance, real estate, employment, intellectual property, competition/antitrust, anti-corruption, dispute resolution and financial regulatory. We find 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 more than three decades of experience.
We work with international and Chinese clients
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.
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We regularly work on India-related business for both international and Indian clients. As current Indian regulations prohibit foreign firms from having an office in India or advising on Indian law, we do this in cooperation with the Indian bar and we work with carefully chosen Indian law firms.
The India Group – a network of India-experienced lawyers
Every year partners from across our network work with clients on a wide range of India-related corporate and M&A, securities and banking matters. We also have a top tier India Dispute Resolution and Regulatory practice that is run from our Singapore office. These partners are usually members of our India Group, a firm-wide network of lawyers with hands-on experience of in- and outbound Indian-related transactions. The India Group partners give clients a tried and tested route to our India experience and capability.
Recent examples of our work for international clients include advising: Japan Bank for International Cooperation as part of a consortium of lenders on a total of ¥55 billion (US$500 million) in loans to India's largest petrochemical company, Reliance Industries Limited; the international lenders on the US$3.5 billion partial refinancing of the 3960MW Sasan UMPP coal fired power plant; a syndicate of banks in respect of an unsecured US$160 million facility for Nhava Sheva (India) Gateway Terminal Pvt. Ltd; and the murabaha financing facility to Alok Industries (Deal of the Year: IBLJ, 2013).
Recent examples of our work for Indian clients include advising: ONGC Videsh Limited in its proposed US$1 billion Rule 144A/Reg S offer of Guaranteed Notes guaranteed by Oil and Natural Gas Corporation Limited; Indiabulls Real Estate on its US$175 million high yield offering; State Bank of India on Bharat Forge Limited's US$60 million Term Loan Facility; and Ramky Enviro Engineers' acquisition of Australia's Enviropacific Services.
India experts with a proven track record
We're recognised as having deep experience in India. Clients know that we understand India, its legal framework and its business environments, and rank us accordingly:
- "Clifford Chance are very good. They get the technical stuff right and get the bigger picture of the India context."
Chambers Asia Pacific, India, Banking and Finance (International Firms), 2020
- "We see them quite frequently, they do deals pretty often."
Chambers Asia Pacific, India, Capital Markets (International Firms), 2020
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Indonesia – an attractive investment option
Indonesia is considered an attractive and profitable destination in Asia Pacific. With many promising changes underway in its business environment, and buoyed by regulatory reforms, increasing levels of investment and a growing middle class, Indonesia is set for long-term economic prospects.
Our core areas of practice
Our Indonesia focus group advises on the international aspects of corporate/M&A transactions and advisory work, foreign direct investment advice as well as capital markets, projects and banking and finance in a range of sectors including financial institutions, energy and resources, private equity, consumer goods & retail (CG&R) and, technology, media & telecommunications (TMT).
Local, regional and global know-how that delivers successful results
Our scale, scope and experience allow us to provide high quality solutions to legal, regulatory and business issues. We offer considerable insight into the issues that can arise and enables us to anticipate our clients' needs and help our clients resolve their potential obstacles from the onset.
Recent examples of our Indonesia work include advising:
- Nebras Power on its acquisition from Engie of up to 35.5% in PT Paiton Energy, Indonesia's largest Independent Power Provider (IPP), as well as on the acquisition of a stake in the Operations & Maintenance company that runs Paiton (2016)
- A private equity investor in relation to further investments into Gojek, a market-leading transport app in Indonesia (2016)
- the lenders (including ADB, KEXIM and SACE) in connection with the export credit financing of the 501MW Grati CCGT extension project (2016)
- Citi, Credit Suisse and IndoPremier Securities as underwriters on the US$115 million IPO and listing on the IDX of PT Prodia Widyahusada, an Indonesian healthcare company (2016)
- the Joint Lead Managers and Bookrunners, Dubai Islamic Bank PJSC and National Bank of Abu Dhabi PJSC, on the US$400 million Bridge Facility provided to PT Garuda Indonesia (Persero) Tbk. (2015)
- Dubai Islamic Bank and National Bank of Abu Dhabi as the Lead Arranger and Bookrunner in respect of Garuda Indonesia's issuance of global Sukuk of up to US$500 million. The sukuk is the first ever offshore US dollar offering by an Indonesian corporate issuer, and the first sukuk issuance utilising the airline capacity structure (as part of a sukuk-al-wakala structure) in Asia. (2015)
Clifford Chance's association with Jakarta-based Linda Widyati and Partners (LWP) ceased in September 2017. As current Indonesian regulations prohibit international firms from advising on Indonesian law, we have built strong relationships with leading Indonesian law firms who are able to provide our clients with local advice and representation where required. The firm will continue to provide international law advice for Indonesia-related matters from its South East Asia hub in Singapore.
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A well-established team
The firm has advised Japanese clients since 1974 and opened the Tokyo office in 1987. Our lawyers know the culture and practicalities of Japanese business and advise clients on both international and Japanese law. Our fully-integrated practice of Japanese and foreign lawyers working side-by-side ensures that we are familiar with both local and international legal and business practices, enabling us to provide relevant and culturally-attuned advice. We have top-ranked teams across practices: Capital Markets, Corporate, Finance and Litigation and Dispute Resolution.
A proven track record on inbound and outbound transactions
We have longstanding relationships with Japanese companies, banks, and institutions. When we work with these clients on cross-border matters their team often includes domestic lawyers and specialist lawyers from our 23-country network. We're used to working in these extended teams to cover every aspect of a deal – from fund- raising and regulatory filings to documenting international-law issues in Japanese.
A proactive approach to client relationships
Our lawyers work hard to keep clients briefed on new developments. These range from technical updates on regulatory changes and new forms of finance, to sharing our partners' deep sector-knowledge of market trends and opportunities. We are also always searching for innovative ways to deliver the best service to our clients.
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Local know-how, regional and international reach
Clifford Chance is committed to Korea. We've worked with Korean clients for more than 35 years and were one of the first international law firms to open an office in Seoul in 2012. Our clients include Korean and international corporations, banks and financial institutions, and regulatory bodies. We work with Korean businesses who are managing and building their overseas operations, and with international companies who are investing in Korean markets and enterprises.
Our Korea team includes lawyers fluent in Korean and English. We have hands-on experience of Korean and international deals and work closely with Korean-speaking colleagues in Hong Kong, Singapore and Tokyo when clients need to access other markets. The team regularly draws on the firm’s expertise in the full range of practice areas and our global network.
Capability and connections that deliver for all our clients
Complex, international work demands teams who work together to obtain the best possible results and connect clients – both international and Korean – to the right skills and resources.
For example, we are advising Korean clients on several international financings and M&A projects; our Korean competition-law team is working with Korean clients across multiple jurisdictions; and we are advising Korean clients on EU Commission antitrust investigations.
We have been also representing Korean clients in ICC, LCIA, UNCITRAL and SIAC arbitrations with our global international group. Legal 500 has ranked us as one of the leading international arbitration firms in Korea for 2016.
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Our teams work on inbound and outbound deals across and beyond the region and these teams often include colleagues from our other Asia Pacific offices and lawyers from carefully chosen local law firms. This gives clients the right mix of local-language and local-law capability and the expertise of specialist lawyers from across the firm.
Our experience means we are familiar with the culture, market and legal intricacies in each jurisdiction, which is why we are regularly recognised by Chambers Asia Pacific as international experts in India, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.
One platform for international and Singapore law capability
In Singapore, we have a strong team of more than 120 lawyers combining local and international talent across all key areas of our practice.
In 2008, the Singapore Government awarded one of only six new Qualifying Foreign Law Practice licences to Clifford Chance, as part of its plans to further liberalise the legal sector. This licence allows us to practice and advise on a wide range of international and Singapore law in permitted practice areas. The QFLP was renewed in 2014.
In 2012, Cavenagh Law LLP and Clifford Chance Pte Ltd registered as a Formal Law Alliance in Singapore under the name Clifford Chance Asia. The Formal Law Alliance allows the two firms to provide the broadest range of Singapore and international law services from one platform with Singapore litigation representation provided through Cavenagh Law LLP.
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A track record built on efficient multi-office team work
Our experience has taught us how to work efficiently on complex projects and make sure that we use our resources – and our clients' time – as effectively as possible. We are used to working on fast-paced projects with teams that understand local-market practicalities. Clients say that our approach and capability, our talented lawyers, and our extended team-working delivers the right results:
Highlight transactions include:
- The Kingdom of Thailand's THB76 billion (US$2.3 billion) inaugural government bond switching transaction
- BTS mass transit growth infrastructure fund
- The financing of Berli Jucker's US$6.2bn acquisition of Big C
- Burgos Wind Project in the Philippines
- The Nam Ngiep 1 Hydro Power Project in Laos
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Asia Pacific regional coverage
We opened our first Asia Pacific office in 1980 and have since gone on to build a significant market-leading presence in the region. Our 400-plus lawyers advise clients on the full range of business law for their regional and international activities.
Our Asia Pacific network began with our Hong Kong and Singapore offices which opened in 1980 and 1981 respectively. Since then, we've invested to keep pace with our clients' businesses and worked on opportunities both within and beyond the region.
We now have eight offices in five Asia Pacific countries. These include Beijing (1985) and Shanghai (1993), Tokyo (1987), Sydney and Perth (2011) – and our newest office, Seoul, which opened in 2012. In other countries where we don’t have offices, we have close working relationships with local law firms. This gives us a cost-effective way to deliver results for clients in every country in the region.
Multi-jurisdictional teams with a dedicated ASEAN focus
The Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) offers huge opportunities for investors. The ten country bloc – Singapore, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam, Myanmar, Brunei, Laos the Philippines and Cambodia – is one of the fastest growing regions in the world.
The ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) was set up in 2015. It is built to create a single market across ASEAN nations. With the AEC beginning to emerge, we are one of the few firms with a dedicated taskforce of partners and associates focusing on industry trends, opportunities and challenges for clients in the ASEAN region. Our Country Focus Groups for Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam, include teams of lawyers based in all our practice areas and offices worldwide. These teams pool their knowhow and expertise for issues involving ASEAN jurisdictions.
Our teams of talented lawyers have won us a string of awards that include:
- Asia Pacific Law Firm of the Year
Chambers Asia Pacific Awards 2020
- China practice of the year - International law firm
IFLR Asia Pacific Awards 2020
- International Firm of the Year
IFLR Asia Pacific Awards 2019
- International Firm of the Year
Asia Legal Awards 2019
- Syndicated Corporate Loan Law Firm of the Year
APLMA awards 2018, 2019
- Syndicated Project Finance Law Firm of the Year
APLMA awards 2017, 2018, 2019
- Advised DVB Bank SE, Norddeutsche Landesbank Girozentrale and BNP Paribas on the financing of Korean Air Lines' first Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner
- Advised one of Asia's largest alternative investment management firms, PAG Asia Capital on its US$170 million investment as part of a combined US$225 million investment with existing investor Meridian Capital into Europe-based dairy and ice cream producer Food Union Group
- Advised United Luck Group Holdings Limited (United Luck) on its US$1 billion acquisition of 100% of the shares of Outfit7. Outfit7 is headquartered in UK and Cyprus, and is the creator and developer of highly-popular mobile APPs such as 'Talking Tom' and 'Talking Angela', which were hailed in 2016 as one of the 'Most Downloaded APPs of All Time' for Android
- Advised the underwriters on the international aspects of the US$184 million (Rs 12.4) initial public offering of BSE Ltd. (formerly the Bombay Stock Exchange), Asia's oldest stock exchange. The IPO was the first listing of a stock exchange in India and was oversubscribed by 51 times
- Advised KrisEnergy Ltd. on a number of capital restructuring transactions including a consent solicitation for the mandatory exchange of its S$130 million and S$200 million senior unsecured notes for new S$130 million and S$200 million senior unsecured accrued interest notes, listed on the Singapore Stock Exchange, and a S$139.5 million preferential offering of senior secured notes and equity warrants, listed on the Singapore Stock Exchange. The firm's Banking and Finance team is also advising KrisEnergy on the restructuring of its revolving credit facility and the Derivatives team is advising on the restructuring of the currency swaps linked to the underlying bonds
- Advise Mondelēz International, Inc. (NASDAQ: MDLZ) on the sale of most of its grocery business in Australia and New Zealand (excluding Philadelphia cream cheese) to Bega Cheese Limited (ASX: BGA) for AU$460 million
- Advised Qatar-based energy company Nebras Power Q.S.C on the acquisition from Engie of 35.5% in PT Paiton Energy, Indonesia's largest Independent Power Provider through its associated office in Jakarta, Linda Widyati & Partners (LWP)
- Advised ANZ on its agreement to sell its 20% stake in Shanghai Rural Commercial Bank (SRCB) to China COSCO Shipping Corporation Limited and Shanghai Sino-Poland Enterprise Management Development Corporation Limited
- Advised global energy company Royal Dutch Shell plc on an agreement with Viva Energy Pty Ltd for the sale of Shell Aviation Australia Pty Ltd for a total transaction value of approximately US$250 million. This follows the sale of Shell’s other downstream activities in the country to Viva Energy in 2014, on which Clifford Chance also advised
- Clifford Chance maintains its market leading position advising on the biggest initial public offerings on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange for 2016. The firm's Greater China team advised on 10 IPOs totalling US$15.293 billion. The list includes Postal Savings Bank of China's US$7.6 billion IPO, the largest IPO globally for 2016, CR Pharmaceutical's US$1.8 billion IPO, China Merchants Securities' US$1.3 billion IPO and Everbright Securities' US$1.1 billion IPO
Chambers Asia Pacific 2020
- Tier One in Aviation: Finance
- Tier One in Banking & Finance
- Tier One in Capital Markets (Debt)
- Tier One in Capital Markets (Equity)
- Tier One in Corporate/M&A
- Tier One in Corporate/M&A: Private Equity
- Tier One in Investment Funds: Hedge Funds
- Tier One in Projects & Infrastructure
- "excellent and well co-ordinated internationally, with excellent local expertise."
- "quick to get up to speed on complex technical issues, good communicators and easy to deal with."
Chambers Asia Pacific 2020 – Arbitration
- "They cover Hong Kong, Singapore and a broad range of Asia-Pacific transactions."
- "They have an ability to handle big deals across multiple jurisdictions without losing quality control."
Chambers Asia Pacific 2020 – Aviation Finance
- "They are reliable and very experienced in the structured finance market," report impressed clients, naming the team as "definitely one of our first choices for large international financing transactions."
- "provide comprehensive high-level legal services for cross-border transactions."
- "The team was very timely in responding to our queries, had a good grasp of our requirements, understood what we were looking to achieve and provided sound advice on the way forward."
Chambers Asia Pacific 2020 – Banking & Finance
- "I really appreciate that they are solution-driven and realistic about their recommendations. They follow regulatory developments as well as market developments, so they are able to provide commercially efficient and effective advice to clients."
- "Clifford Chance is clearly a market leader in the Hong Kong IPO market, and is highly reputable and experienced as both issuers’ and underwriters’ counsel. They are always one of the firms we recommend, considering their reputation, quality, experience, and resources in the Hong Kong IPO market."
- "technically strong and very reliable with a deep and strong talent pool that provides consistent and high-quality work."
Chambers Asia Pacific 2020 – Capital Markets
- "I like the fact that they have a very strong network of lawyers. We like working with lawyers that understand our business and they really do some good homework and knowledge transference between themselves."
- "The team is strong technically and offers very good communication and project management skills."
Chambers Asia Pacific 2020 – Corporate/M&A
- "I think they are very efficient. They seem to know their stuff and have a broad spectrum of knowledge"
- "They're very seamless if they need to use their offices across different jurisdictions."
Chambers Asia Pacific 2020 – Investment Funds: Hedge Funds
- "Clifford Chance is an international law firm which has a lot of experience in cross-border deals. They are brilliant in partnering with local law firms. The timeline was very short, yet Clifford Chance was impressively able to co-ordinate the different interests of each of the lenders and sponsors."
- "diligent and well experienced"
- "quick responses and ability to allocate resources in a short time"
- "built up knowledge of financing practices in South-East Asia"
Chambers Asia Pacific 2020 – Projects & Infrastructure
- Antitrust & Competition
- Capital Markets
- Employment - Advisory, Litigation & Transactional
- Funds & Investment Management
- Intellectual Property
- Joint Ventures & Strategic Alliances
- Litigation & Dispute Resolution
- Private Equity
- Project Finance
- Real Estate
- Regulatory Investigations & Financial Crime
- Restructuring & Insolvency
- Telecommunications, Media & Technology