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.
We have been calling China our home for more than three decades
Our view has always been that if you want to succeed in China then you have to know China well. 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). We have built a full-service capability in mainland China - 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.
A top-tier track record and extensive resources
We opened our Hong Kong office, our first in the Asia Pacific region, in 1980 and today we are the leading international firm in Asia Pacific.
Our track record of top-tier deals is built on substantial resources – clients have access to more than 150 lawyers in our Hong Kong office, and 250-plus lawyers in our eight other Asia Pacific offices in China, Australia, Korea, Japan, Singapore, and Thailand.
When projects involve jurisdictions outside Asia Pacific, or the input of specialist lawyers, we can call on the wider resources of our 3,400-lawyer firm.
Experience that delivers for domestic, regional and international clients
We use our experience of complex cross-border deals to manage multi-office teams efficiently and work effectively with local law firms in Asia Pacific countries where we don't have an office.
International clients value our on the ground regional network, particularly if they want to develop business in China or the region's other fast-growing economies. They know that our advice is based on hands-on local market experience.
Domestic and regional clients draw upon our teams' local and regional know-how – we in turn utilise our international network to help them with their activities outside the region. Our people are well known for their work with clients who want to access Hong Kong's financial markets.
A team that mirrors Hong Kong's role as a regional hub
Hong Kong is a hub for Asian business and we reflect this – we combine regional reach and deep sector expertise in a single office.
We do this in a number of ways. For example, our teams in Hong Kong all have strong links with, and first-hand experience of, the intricacies of the markets in mainland China, Japan, Korea, South East Asia and other parts of the region.
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:
- "We have a very tight schedule but they work hard to help us achieve our timelines. They really meet our needs in terms of delivery."
- "They are very good at keeping up to date and give us appropriate advice when we need it."
- "They had good turnaround times and they did a good job."
- "What I appreciate is that they take a lot of trouble over the nitty-gritty of the issues. They go very deeply into the case and spare no effort."
Chambers Asia Pacific, 2015
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.
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.
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.
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 and real estate expertise provided through Cavenagh Law LLP.
- "One of the beautiful things about CC is that they genuinely have a specialist for every area," enthuses a source, adding: "They've got an extra dimension when it comes to product specialisation."
Chambers Asia Pacific 2017
Our track record is built on more than 20 years of headline-making deals. Our Thailand Focus Group, led from the firm's South East Asia hub in Singapore, delivers world-class service and the highest quality international law advice to our clients by combining deep local experience with access to global insights through the Clifford Chance network.
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
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:
- 2016: Aviation Law Firm of the Year (Asian Legal Business Awards)
- 2016: International Deal Firm of the Year (Asian Legal Business Awards)
- 2016: Asia Pacific Firm of the Year (Chambers Asia Pacific Awards)
- 2016: International Firm of the Year (IFLR Asia Awards)
- 2016: Project Finance Team of the year (IFLR Asia Awards)
- 2016: Restructuring Team of the year (IFLR Asia Awards)
- 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 2017
- Tier One in Aviation: Finance
- Tier One in Banking & Finance
- Tier One in Capital Markets
- Tier One in Corporate/M&A
- Tier One in Investment Funds
- Tier One in Projects & Infrastructure
- "One of the many benefits that we have enjoyed with Clifford Chance is that the team has greater breadth of experience in relevant areas of importance and significance".
- "I feel completely confident that we are being represented by the highest calibre lawyers, who are able to strike the right balance between our commercial considerations and the requirements of the arbitration process."
Chambers Asia Pacific 2017 – Arbitration
- "Excellent! They operate very effectively on a global basis. I think they are the best in managing complex global deals that require strong co-ordination between their various offices."
- "They've showed that they're quick and sharp in picking up issues while at the same time finding the right commercial solution. Ultimately, the real value comes in when the right commercial decision is made and they've always managed that for us."
- "They have broad aircraft financing and leasing expertise across the globe."
Chambers Asia Pacific 2017 – Aviation Finance
- "They give extremely sharp advice and are very assertive. They always give extremely relevant suggestions and have good knowledge of legal frameworks. They have a clear understanding of legal implications and are great negotiators."
- "They're always very prompt to reply and they give us detailed responses. They're technically sound and what they can offer on top of that is to offer advice from a business perspective. They are a very commercial law firm in that sense."
Chambers Asia Pacific 2017 – Banking & Finance
- "They have a broad platform which provides coverage of different products".
- "You can access them at all times and they're not calculating all of the tiny calls you have in the fees."
Chambers Asia Pacific 2017 – Capital Markets
- "They act as if integrated into our team, and it was clear that our success was their success."
- "They were helpful not only from the legal perspective, but from the business perspective as well."
Chambers Asia Pacific 2017 – Corporate/M&A
- "They made an outstanding contribution and were pivotal to the success of the transaction."
Chambers Asia Pacific 2017 – Islamic Finance Asia Pacific
- "The firm has the capability to help large international fund managers navigate the regulatory landscape in China."
- "Their industry knowledge in this area is high; they definitely understand the issues here and how they relate to us."
Chambers Asia Pacific 2017 – Investment Funds
- "Clifford Chance has a broad offering in the life sciences space, including regulatory and corporate capabilities."
Chambers Asia Pacific 2017 Life Sciences
- "a powerhouse in the region, with an exceptional international network and ability to handle time-sensitive and complex matters." Others observe that they "see them a lot in an international role," with one source explaining: "Clifford Chance is our international counsel and we're satisfied they always give us their highest-quality advice."
- "Their services are outstanding. They understand our needs, sometimes even better than us, and are always responsive. We trust Clifford Chance to fight battles for us, and they exceed our expectations."
Chambers Asia Pacific 2017 – 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