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China

Vinson & Elkins opened our Beijing office in 1997 as one of the first U.S. firms to arrive in mainland China. Our Hong Kong office followed 10 years later, opening in 2006. With the availability of U.S., British, and Australian lawyers, we offer clients spoken and written Mandarin language capability, including the ability to negotiate, draft, and translate Chinese legal documents.

V&E’s China practice group has extensive experience in advising western companies investing in China, as well as in representing Chinese companies on their overseas projects and acquisitions. Our China matters include assisting clients with navigating the complex Chinese regulatory approval process, conducting due diligence, structuring investments, and negotiating and drafting all necessary documentation. We also have experience in post-investment legal, administrative, and regulatory aspects of operating a business in China.

Our China practice focuses primarily on the energy sector, and our experience includes the acquisition and development of the following:

  • Oil and gas projects
  • Cross-border pipeline projects
  • Coal and gas-fired power generation projects
  • Wind-power farms
  • Hydroelectric projects
  • Refinery and petrochemical projects

Much of our work involves representing international investors in negotiating and documenting joint ventures with Chinese investors. We have assisted clients in forming joint ventures with some of China’s largest and best-known companies, as well as with prominent enterprises in most of China’s regions.

Experience Highlights

  • CNPC on its $2.6 billion acquisition of Petroleo Brasileiro SA’s assets in Peru

  • Sinopec on its $8.5 billion joint venture with Saudi Aramco for a 37.5% stake in the Yanbu Refinery on the west coast of Saudi Arabia

  • Hopu Investments, a leading China-based private equity fund, on investment in New Age (Africa Global Energy) Limited. Hope and New Age will jointly develop LNG export projects in Congo-Brazzaville, Cameroon and Nigeria

  • Sinopec on its $7.1 billion acquisition of a 40% stake in Repsol Brasil, S.A., a subsidiary of Repsol YPF, S.A. which holds all of Repsol’s upstream assets in Brazil

  • Chinese state-owned company on its $4 billion acquisition of a stake in GDF Suez global E&P assets and a gas facility in Trinidad

  • CNOOC on its $3.47 billion acquisition from Chesapeake Energy of a 33.3% net undivided interest in oil and gas leases

  • A Chinese oil and gas company in connection with a dispute with an African government concerning the termination of a production sharing contract for an onshore block

  • China Zhenhua Oil on its $700 million acquisition of assets from a Panama company owning upstream assets in Egypt

  • Joint venture company on structuring a project, which includes building a transnational pipeline from Ethiopia to Djibouti, creating an LNG plant in Djibouti, shipping assets from Djibouti to other countries, principally China, sale of interests of the full supply chain to investors