Debevoise boosts Hong Kong Hong deal team

Mergers and acquisitions veteran William Y. Chua joins the firm from Sullivan & Cromwell.

Debevoise & Plimpton has expanded its deal team with the hire of mergers and acquisitions specialist William Y. Chua in its Hong Kong office. Chua joins the firm as a partner. 

Chua, who is a Hong Kong native, joins the firm from Sullivan & Cromwell, where he was a partner for 13 years and led the firm’s Beijing office. 

Chua has experience in private equity and strategic mergers and acquisitions, finance and capital markets, including takeovers, leveraged buyouts, take-private transactions, divestitures and spinoffs, the firm said.

“We are steadily building on our market-leading capabilities in the region. William brings us deep transactional experience in Asia combined with the cultural background and language abilities that our clients need,” Michael W. Blair, presiding partner at Debevoise said in a statement. 

Chua’s arrival at Debevoise is part of a move to strengthen its transactional capabilities in Asia that complements its private equity funds practice in the region and reinforces its growing strategic mergers and acquisitions practice in financial services and other sectors, the statement said. 

Among transactions, Debevoise advised AIF Capital in its $750 million sale of Famy Care and Nereus Capital on its joint venture with Hareon Solar and Treasury Group.

Chambers Asia Pacific ranked Chua for both M&A and capital markets work. He is “one of the most diligent US lawyers in town,” and “has substantial experience handling PRC-related deals,” the guide said.

According to the firm, Chua’s arrival represents the latest in a series of strategic moves that Debevoise has made in Asia in recent years. Last year, the firm converted its Hong Kong office to become a local practice. Earlier this year, Debevoise recruited Mark Johnson, a highly regarded litigator in Asia, as a partner in the Hong Kong office.

The firm has an established fund formation practice. This year, the firm advised Baring Private Equity Asia in the formation of its $4 billion Fund VI; Morgan Stanley Private Equity Asia in its Private Equity Asia IV, a $1.7 billion fund; and Navis Capital Partners in its $1.44 billion Fund VII, among others.