With an eye toward advising on the upsurge of international investment activity into and out of China, White & Case has strengthened its regional venture capital and private equity practice with a significant hire in Hong Kong and integration of related practices in Asia and California.
Peter W.H. Tan joined White & Case as a senior associate in early November, bringing impressive credentials in regional mergers and acquisitions, venture capital financing and Internet, technology and start-up transactions. He previously worked in the corporate finance group of a major West Coast U.S. firm in Hong Kong and recently served a secondment as Corporate Counsel for Emerson Electric Asia-Pacific. He is a graduate of the National University of Singapore and is admitted to practice law in Hong Kong, Singapore, and England and Wales. He is fluent in English, Mandarin, Cantonese and Bahasa Melayu.
Tan will be working most closely with White & Case’s China practice led by partner John Kuzmik. White & Case has had a dedicated China practice since 1979 and recently advised on such notable venture capital and private equity deals as the financing of China Unicom’s GSM cellular networks in several cities in China and the acquisition by a publicly-listed company of broadband assets and businesses in China valued in excess of US$3 billion. White & Case’s China practice is based in Hong Kong, with China capabilities in Shanghai, Beijing and Palo Alto.
“White & Case sees great potential in venture capital and private equity investments across Asia, and particularly in China as its relationship with Silicon Valley matures. We have brought together an impressive team of advisors on both sides of the Pacific Ocean with the experience and skills to deliver positive results for our clients,” said Kuzmik.
Kuzmik elaborated that foreign investment in China has accelerated to an unprecedented pace, driven by factors such as the availability of foreign finance, capital and private equity; structural changes in the Chinese economy; and the Chinese Government’s emphasis on privatizing state-owned enterprises.
The Firm’s “California connection” is being driven in the United States by Jeff Washenko, a partner with significant practice experience in Asia and now located in northern California. His previous posting was in Singapore, where he headed the Mergers & Acquisitions Group for Southeast Asia. Washenko works closely with the China practice along with fellow California partner Douglas Young, who specializes in representing investors, acquirers and sellers in restructurings, leveraged acquisitions and other types of private equity transactions. Washenko and Young are supported by approximately 40 attorneys practicing out of the Firm’s San Francisco and Palo Alto offices.
This cross-border team has been assembled in response to increasing demand from clients in northern California for guidance in navigating the Chinese legal, regulatory and corporate landscapes. The strengthened practice also reflects the continual effort of White & Case to respond to the growth potential of Asian clients, particularly Chinese companies expanding and investing abroad.