22 Aug 2023

Linklaters adds M&A specialist in Hong Kong from Securities and Futures Commission

Roger Cheng joins Magic Circle firm’s corporate practice having led takeovers team at the regulator

Roger Cheng Image courtesy of Linklaters

Linklaters has added an M&A specialist in Hong Kong from the city’s financial regulator, the Securities and Futures Commission (SFC).

Roger Cheng has joined the firm’s corporate practice as a partner after just under five years at the SFC, where he was a senior director and head of the takeovers team. Before that he was a partner at Slaughter and May, where he trained and qualified. 

During his time at the SFC Cheng helped to develop the regulator’s policy initiatives, including listing and post-listing regulations, as well as acting as co-leader of the Asia Pacific Takeovers Regulators Forum and developing mutual regulatory insight between Hong Kong and regulators for other regions, such as Singapore.

Cheng brings a strong profile in public M&A in various sectors and has extensive experience in equity capital markets transactions, including IPOs and other equities work. Linklaters described him as “a rare partner-level private practitioner who has a deep insight into the regulatory framework.”

Cheng commented: “Linklaters has a strong reputation for its market-leading corporate practice, and I am delighted to be joining such a fantastic team. I look forward to working closely with our clients and helping them achieve their strategic objectives.”

Cheng’s hire follows Dentons announcing earlier this month that it was cutting ties with its China arm, Dacheng Law Office, citing Chinese cybersecurity and data protection laws. Dentons said at the time that Dacheng will operate as a separate, standalone law firm but will serve as its preferred law firm for clients with legal needs in China.

And just last week Latham & Watkins announced it was closing its Shanghai office in a strategy shift that will see it operate its mainland China team out of a “consolidated hub” in Beijing.

Going the other way, Morgan Lewis & Bockius announced in July that it was setting up shop in the booming southern city of Shenzhen, shortly after HFW said it was opening there after becoming the first UK-based international law firm to be given permission to open a representative office in the Greater Bay Area (GBA). 

Other UK law firms are also exploring new ways of working with Chinese law firms, with Eversheds Sutherland’s international arm and King & Wood Mallesons’ (KWM’s) China business recently unveiling an exclusive cooperation agreement.

Cheng is Linklaters’ fourth lateral partner hire in Asia this year, following M&A lawyer Yoshiyuki Asaoka joining in Tokyo from Nishimura & Asahi and finance specialist Rahul Chatterji relocating from Shearman & Sterling’s London office ahead of Shearman’s planned merger with Allen & Overy. Andrew Battisson also joined the firm in Singapore in July from Norton Rose Fulbright to lead its international arbitration team in Asia.

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