Hong Kong Stock Exchange hires Kirkland partner as co-head of IPO vetting

Veteran partner Li-Chien Wong to be reunited with former Kirkland colleague Stephanie Lau

Li-Chien Wong Image courtesy of HKEX

A Kirkland & Ellis partner is set to join Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing (HKEX) as managing director and co-head of IPO vetting.

Li-Chien Wong, who is qualified to practise law in Hong Kong, England, Singapore and Malaysia, will bring 25 years of experience as a corporate and capital markets lawyer to her new role.

She has spent the past decade as a partner in Kirkland’s Hong Kong office, having been based in the city since 2001, and advises major PE firms, investment banks and corporations on corporate finance transactions including Hong Kong IPOs, spin-offs, additional listings, and M&A and privatisations.

Prior to Kirkland she spent almost six years at Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom, where she made partner, and earlier had a stint as an associate at Sidley Austin.

At HKEX Wong will work in partnership with Stephanie Lau, herself a former Hong Kong-based Kirkland partner who moved over to HKEX back in 2016 and is also managing director and co-head of IPO vetting. The company said the duo will lead a team expected to ‘support the development of Hong Kong as a global listing venue of choice.’

HKEX operates a number of equity, commodity, fixed income and currency markets through its subsidiaries the Stock Exchange of Hong Kong, the Hong Kong Futures Exchange and the London Metal Exchange. At the end of last month it reported total market capitalisation of HK$42.13trn.

Wong will take up her new role on 15 March, reporting to head of listing Bonnie Chan. She succeeds Janice Wu, who HKEX said will leave at the end of March to pursue interests outside of the group.

Chan said Wong brings “a wealth of leadership and legal experience, having advised leading investment banks and a wide range of corporates on capital market matters over more than two decades”. She added: “I know that her expertise will be invaluable to us as we continue to build and enhance our listing franchise."

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