If someone could bottle Jeanette Chan’s energy, they would not only make a fortune many times over, they would put out of business every barista from Seattle to Sydney. Because Jeanette Chan, who heads up Paul Weiss’s China Practice Group as well as the firm’s Asia Communications and Technology Practice Group, is speaking to ALB from her Hong Kong office, where she has just stepped off a plane from New York City, and sounds as if she has just completed nothing more arduous than a leisurely Sunday morning bike ride – rather than a flight notorious among business travellers as the longest non-stop trip today’s airframe technology allows.
Known as a serious rainmaker within the firm and, as this magazine once described her, a “household name” in the Asian deal-making community, Chan has proudly led her firm from strength to strength in the highly competitive and fast changing field of technology, media and telecommunications. while Chan’s infectious enthusiasm for her work is part of the equation behind Paul Weiss’s capability in this field, the unique way the firm organises itself goes a long way towards explaining its success. working across borders and across disciplines, Paul Weiss’s TMT attorneys do not sit in their silos but rather work actively on a spectrum of deals in a variety of places at any given time.
“We have practice space, not office space”, explains Chan. “Our [TMT] practice runs out of different offices, something which is different from other firms and yet makes our expertise more coherent throughout the practice group.” It is this organisational trick which allows the firm to work on major TMT deals across mainland China, Hong Kong and Taiwan – a multi-jurisdictional empire with a
sometimes-tricky political environment – and service major clients such as AmericaOnline, Microsoft and Motorola. Chan and her firm have worked on a number of deals, such as Lenovo’s acquisition of IBM’s personal computer business and work surrounding the sale of broadband internet cable in Taiwan. As well, Paul Weiss
has become a leader in handling private equity deals in the region long before the term catapulted from the business pages to the front pages.
This long experience (dating back at least to the early 1990s) in private equity and other matters across Greater China has blessed Paul Weiss
with other advantages as well. with what might be called a “honeybee approach” to TMT work throughout the region, Chan and her team are able to cross-pollinate deals across different jurisdictions in a way other firms cannot, making honey for themselves and their clients along the way. This activity has made Paul Weiss
particularly strong at navigating the complex and often changing thicket of regulation surrounding TMT across mainland China, Hong Kong and Taiwan, and has enabled the firm to provide a value added service to clients.
“Just before our meeting I was on the phone to a client in Los Angeles who is working on a lot of projects in China centered around high-tech infrastructure, and he like every client asked if we got involved with the business side,” says Chan.
“And of course I said yes, although lawyers usually don’t, but because we know the market so well and know the regulators so well, we find ourselves looking at business plans and assumptions and models. we are in a really unique position to ask questions about these things and give very practical advice”.
Paul, Weiss Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison
Unit 3601, Fortune Plaza Office Tower A
No. 7 Dong Sanhuan Zhonglu
Chao Yang District, Beijing 100020
Jeanette K. Chan, partner
Ph: (8621) 5828-6300 or (852) 2536-9933