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Seventh Annual Institute on Corporate & Securities Law in Hong Kong 2019

Author(s): James Grandolfo, Stephen Revell, Yvette Rodriguez
Practice Area: Corporate & Securities, International Law
Published: May 2019
ISBN: 9781402434129
PLI Item #: 251711
CHB Spine #: B2492

James leads the Hong Kong office where he specializes in capital markets, M&A and private equity transactions. James has been based in Hong Kong since 2000 and has developed expert knowledge advising clients across all of Asia.

Primary Focus & Experience

James has over 20 years of experience advising clients in every major country in Asia. He represents issuers and investment banks in a variety of debt, equity and equity-linked capital markets transactions, including high-yield, regulatory capital, corporate hybrids, Rule 144A/Regulation S transactions and SEC-registered offerings, privatizations and liability management transactions. Jim is highly active in the corporate space regularly advising clients on a variety of M&A, equity and leveraged finance transactions with particular focus on Southeast Asia. He also has extensive experience advising issuers and underwriters on offerings by sovereign and quasi-sovereign entities.

Recognition & Accomplishments

James heads Milbank’s Hong Kong office and is a top tier ranked lawyer in the Philippines, China and India by Chambers Asia Pacific and Chambers Global, 2019. Jim leads Milbank’s Legal 500 Tier One-ranked Philippines practice and is listed as a leading lawyer in Hong Kong in Debt Capital Markets and Equity Capital Markets in IFLR 1000.

James is the Vice-Chair of the International Securities Law Committee of the American Bar Association as well as the Co-Chair of the Practising Law Institute’s Annual Institute on Corporate & Securities Law in Hong Kong.

Stephen is the senior corporate partner in Freshfields Asia practice and a member of the global transactions team. Stephen splits his time between Hong Kong and Singapore. He was the co-head of Freshfields’ global capital markets practice for many years helping build a practice that has acted on many of the world’s most significant capital markets offerings and been responsible for many innovations in capital markets globally. His specializations include privatizations, debt and equity securities offerings, especially those with cross-border elements – he has worked on listings on over 15 different stock exchanges.  He has particular experience of dual listings and has worked on transactions involving ‘duals’ listed on Singapore, Hong Kong, Malaysia, London, Almaty, Zagreb, Prague, Moscow, Kiev and several western European countries. He also has an active M&A practice and has recently been appointed a member of the takeover panel in Singapore.

Stephen has a well-earned reputation for driving deals to a successful conclusion through a combination of innovative thinking and carefully planned execution. He has been at Freshfields for nearly 40 years and a partner for over 30 years– clients benefit from his experience and his knowledge of the firm throughout the world.  He is a hands-on partner, always available for clients, and gets fully involved in any transaction.  He has spent time on secondment to clients and works hard at understanding client goals and challenges.

He has a deep understanding of market norms and practices, including the need to respect the fact that all companies are different.  His relationships with regulators around the world gives him a clear perspective and understanding of the policy drivers.

Stephen has practiced in the United States, for some of this time as US managing partner, throughout Europe and in Asia and has worked on transactions in over 50 countries – he is known for his global perspective and local knowledge. He is a highly experienced emerging markets specialist – one who can get the job done to international standards in a developing business and legal environment.

Qualifications and education

Stephen was educated at Christ’s College, Cambridge and is admitted to practice in England and in Hong Kong.  

Yvette has been with Deutsche Bank since 2006 and is currently the Head of Global Capital Markets Legal for Asia Pacific.  She also chairs Deutsche Bank’s APAC Legal Diversity & Inclusion Council.   She first joined Deutsche Bank in New York in 2006 and moved to Hong Kong in 2012.   

As the Head of the APAC Capital Markets practice, Yvette is responsible for advising DB on a broad range of debt and equity capital markets and M&A transactions for corporate and sovereign Asia-based clients.  She has advised on a number of landmark transactions, including Alibaba’s US IPO (2014), Vietjet’s IPO, the first international IPO in Vietnam (2016), Kaisa Group’s first liability management exercise and return to the capital markets following its two-year trading suspension (2017), Qingdao Haier’s IPO on CEINEX in Germany, the first for an A-share listed company (2018) and Ant Financial’s USD 14 billion dollar series C equity financing (2018). 

She actively participates in industry groups within Hong Kong and speaks on industry panels.  She is currently co-chair of the Practising Law Institute’s (PLI) Institute on Corporate & Securities Law in Hong Kong, an annual key gathering of legal practitioners, government regulators and investment bank professionals from Asia, the U.S and the U.K.  She represents Deutsche Bank as a member of the Asia Securities Industry & Financial Markets Association (ASIFMA) equity capital markets committee and the International Capital Markets Association (ICMA) debt capital markets committee.  In 2018 she received the ILFR In-House Contribution Award. 

Prior to joining Deutsche Bank, she worked from White & Case in New York from 1999-2005.  She is also a Philippines qualified lawyer and worked from Romulo from 1996-1998.