BEIJING–LAWFUEL – Davis Polk & Wardwell today announced that Howard Zhang will join the firm on April 7, 2008 as a partner in the Beijing office. Mr. Zhang will advise clients on cross-border securities, mergers and acquisitions and strategic investment transactions. He joins the firm from O’Melveny & Myers, where he was Managing Partner of their Beijing office and a member of the Mergers & Acquisitions Practice.
Mr. Zhang, a former diplomat with the Chinese government, is internationally recognized for his expertise in venture capital and private equity transactions. He has extensive experience working with leading private equity firms, venture capital funds, investment banks and multinational corporations. He is routinely listed as a leading lawyer in directories, including Chambers and Legal 500. According to Chambers Global 2008, clients and peers refer to Mr. Zhang as the “guru of private equity.”
Davis Polk’s Beijing office opened in February 2007 to expand the presence and reach of the firm’s broad and highly successful practice there. The firm was lead counsel for the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC) on its $21.6 billion dual-listed initial public offering, the largest IPO in history. Davis Polk also advised ICBC on a $3.78 billion investment by Goldman Sachs, Allianz Group and American Express. Other Chinese matters handled by Davis Polk include the IPOs of Air China, China Merchants Bank, China Construction Bank, Sinopec, China Unicom and Baidu.com, the proposed $18.5 billion acquisition of Unocal by China National Offshore Oil Corporation, sovereign debt offerings by the People’s Republic of China, the formation of China International Capital Corporation, and numerous other equity and high-yield debt offerings, and mergers and acquisitions and private equity transactions involving companies in China.
“This move to expand our Beijing office is a result of the highly successful practice we’ve built in China,” said John R. Ettinger, Managing Partner of Davis Polk. “Howard Zhang adds an unsurpassed understanding of the regulatory environment and business practices in China. He is a welcome addition to our partnership and I know he will be integral to continued success for the firm and our clients.”
“Davis Polk has a long history as a leading firm on global transactions involving China,” said Howard Zhang. “I look forward to building on the firm’s exceptional success and helping to further establish its presence in the Chinese marketplace.”
“Our Beijing office already has represented issuers and underwriters in many important and frequently ground-breaking offerings, as well as a number of large M&A transactions,” said Show-Mao Chen, Davis Polk partner and head of the office in Beijing. “Howard’s arrival is a key step in building on these assignments. In particular, Howard significantly bolsters our M&A and private equity capabilities in China, and will be a natural fit and excellent addition to our preeminent global M&A practice.”
Mr. Zhang holds a JD from Boston University, where he was a recipient of the American Jurisprudence Award, and a BA from Shanghai International Studies University.
Active in China for more than a century, Davis Polk has been involved in a number of the largest-ever Chinese cross-border transactions. The firm has been active throughout Asia since the early 1900s and was one of the first Wall Street law firms to open offices in Tokyo and Hong Kong. The firm’s China practice now consists of over 25 lawyers in the region.
About Davis Polk & Wardwell. Davis Polk & Wardwell is a global law firm based in New York City. For nearly 160 years, its lawyers have advised industry-leading companies and global financial institutions on their most challenging legal and business matters. Davis Polk ranks among the world’s preeminent law firms across the entire range of its practice, which spans such areas as capital markets, mergers and acquisitions, credit, litigation, private equity, tax, investment management, insolvency and restructuring, executive compensation, intellectual property and real estate. The firm has approximately 700 lawyers in offices in New York, Menlo Park, CA, Washington, DC, London, Paris, Frankfurt, Madrid, Hong Kong, Beijing and Tokyo. For more information, go to: http://www.davispolk.com.