Squire Patton Boggs has won two China Business Law Journal Deal of the Year awards, announced in January 2017. The awards were in recognition for advising Water Solutions (Hong Kong) on a dispute over the validity of a foreign-related arbitration clause and advising on the sale of Wolverhampton Wanderers Football Club.
International Dispute Resolution partner Peter Chow, together with PRC counsel Winston Gao Wenjie of Tian Yuan Law Firm, advised the Hong Kong subsidiary of US company Water Solutions on a dispute with Tall & Stout Industrial Corporation (Shenzhen). The dispute led to the recognition of the validity of an arbitration clause in the Shenzhen Intermediate People’s Court, which provided for AAA arbitration in the US. This is a rare case where the Chinese courts applied a foreign law to determine the validity of an arbitration clause.
Squire Patton Boggs Corporate partner David Hull advised Bridgemere Group UK and businessman Steve Morgan, the shareholders of Wolverhampton Wanderers FC, on the sale of the club to Fosun Group, a publicly listed Chinese investment company. This was only the second purchase by a Chinese buyer of a UK football club and was the first acquisition by a Chinese company (as opposed to an individual). A number of complex issues were addressed in the share purchase agreement, including deferred consideration dependent on the promotion of the football club to the Premier League. The transaction was closed in a short timeframe and the Football League’s approval was obtained within two weeks.
Both deals are featured in the January 2017 issue of China Business Law Journal, which “reports on outstanding deals and cases that saw the most sophisticated efforts by legal counsel.” The winning deals were chosen based on overall significance, complexity and the innovative nature of the deals as well as deal size and broader interests.