Cleary Gottlieb to Launch Hong Kong Law Practice; Announces Addition of Leading Hong Kong Law Partner Freeman Chan

December 2, 2010

Leading international law firm Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP announced today that Freeman Chan, 48, will join the firm as a partner in early 2011 as part of the launch of the firm’s Hong Kong law practice. Freeman Chan joins Cleary Gottlieb from the Hong Kong office of Norton Rose, where he leads their China corporate finance practice.

Cleary Gottlieb intends to launch its Hong Kong law practice in early 2011 after completing the necessary regulatory steps. The practice will focus initially on Hong Kong-listed IPOs and other capital markets transactions, as well as private equity and other M&A transactions.

Freeman Chan will work closely with Cleary Gottlieb’s existing partners in Asia in developing the Hong Kong law practice, including Clay Johnson, who focuses on capital markets and M&A work, and Michael Preston, who focuses on private equity and other M&A work. The firm has more than 40 lawyers in Hong Kong and Beijing, 17 of whom will be Hong Kong qualified when the Hong Kong practice is launched. The firm also intends to add additional experienced Hong Kong corporate lawyers in the near future.

Cleary Gottlieb’s managing partner Mark Walker, commented: “We are excited that Freeman, an acknowledged market leader, will join us to lead our Hong Kong law practice. Adding Hong Kong law capability to our existing, successful Asia practice is a natural and important extension of our firm’s global business model, which combines strong local law and international law practices around the world.”

Freeman has more than 20 years experience representing issuers and underwriters in Hong Kong-listed IPOs and other Hong Kong capital markets transactions, as well as representing financial sponsors and major corporate clients in private equity, public M&A and other transactions. He is a member of the Takeovers and Mergers Panel of the Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission. Freeman’s recent client representations include acting as issuer’s counsel in the Hong Kong-listed initial public offerings of Greatview Aseptic Packaging, China Modern Dairy, Sihuan Pharmaceutical, Springland International, Sunac China, Belle International, China Dongxiang, China Mengniu Dairy, China Yurun Food and China Shanshui Cement, and advising on M&A and other corporate transactions for various financial sponsor and corporate clients.

“There are obvious synergies between my current practice and Cleary Gottlieb’s strong practice in China, Hong Kong and the rest of Asia,” said Freeman Chan. “In addition, the firm’s extensive global practice and client base are an excellent platform as Hong Kong continues to attract issuers from countries outside of Greater China. Together, we will be able to provide market-leading Hong Kong, U.S and English law capabilities in a broad range of corporate and finance transactions.”

Clay Johnson commented: “The addition of Freeman and the launch of our Hong Kong law practice will enable us to expand the services we offer to our clients in China, the rest of Asia and globally in both our capital markets and private equity and M&A practices, and will also significantly enhance our overall China practice team and capabilities.”

About Cleary Gottlieb’s Asia Practice

Cleary Gottlieb has had an active presence in Asia for over 30 years, beginning with the opening of its Hong Kong office in 1980, followed by the opening of its Beijing office in 2006. One of the first U.S. law firms to establish an office in Asia, the firm has strengthened its commitment to the region over the years and is involved in groundbreaking M&A, private equity, capital markets, restructuring and sovereign debt matters.

The firm has substantial experience acting as international counsel in capital markets, private equity and other M&A transactions involving Hong Kong-listed companies or Hong Kong law. For example, the firm acted as U.S., French and English counsel to UC RUSAL in its $2.2 billion Hong Kong-listed IPO and simultaneous listing on the professional compartment of Euronext Paris – the first Russian issuer Hong Kong IPO.

About Cleary Gottlieb

Founded in 1946 by lawyers committed to legal excellence, internationalism and diversity, Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP is a leading international law firm with approximately 1,100 lawyers around the world.

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Tel: +852 2532 7418

Jane Nelthorpe
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