Sidley was among the first U.S. law firms to recognize the importance of having a presence in China. The Firm opened an office in Hong Kong in 1994, followed by one in Beijing in 1996 and one in Shanghai in 1999. This strategic establishment of our offices in the key commercial, financial and governmental centers of China has enabled us to represent multinational and domestic corporations, as well as government authorities, banks and financial institutions.
The Firm’s team in China is one of the largest of the international law firms, with approximately 130 professionals. Members of our team advise clients on U.S., Hong Kong and English law and speak fluent English, as well as fluent and native Mandarin and Cantonese and other Chinese dialects. Several lawyers of the China team are recognized as leading lawyers and ranked in the top tier of their field by such major legal publications as Chambers, IFLR 1000 and Asia Pacific Legal 500. We have also worked as key counsel in numerous award-winning transactions in China.
Over the years, we have nurtured long-term relationships with our clients, advising on solutions that make a difference to their business. Together, we work on mergers and acquisitions, international public offerings such as dual-listings and other cross-border securities transactions, investment fund formation, life sciences, antitrust, litigation and arbitration, regulatory, compliance, privacy, data security and information law matters, joint venture and foreign direct investment matters, restructuring, banking, structured finance and securitization, and private equity and venture capital transactions.
We also represent China-based companies with a variety of cross-border outbound matters in transactions around the globe, including in the United States, Europe and multiple Asian jurisdictions. Sidley has substantial experience in guiding foreign and domestic companies through the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) process. We also represent Chinese and other Asian clients making U.S. acquisitions and U.S. companies being acquired by non-U.S. companies. Our team in China works seamlessly with our global network of talented lawyers in other jurisdictions to facilitate transactions for global clients.
We also have deep relationships with key Chinese government bodies and some of our senior lawyers are P.R.C. government alumni. We have extensive experience working with state-owned enterprises and other sovereign entities. We are particularly proud of our long-standing role as international counsel to the Ministry of Finance of the People’s Republic of China since China’s re-entry into the international debt capital markets in 1994. Through such close collaboration, we have a detailed understanding of China’s regulatory frameworks and decision-making processes. We have broad knowledge in the critical areas for international business, as well as an awareness of local and cultural differences. Due to regulatory restrictions, international law firms can only provide information on the Chinese legal environment. In circumstances where formal legal opinion on Chinese law is required, we work with leading domestic counsel, many of whom are leaders in their field.