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Mayer Brown JSM recognized among most innovative law firms in Asia Pacific by Financial Times

13 June 2018
Mayer Brown JSM has been ranked as one of the Asia Pacific region’s “Most Innovative Law Firms” by The Financial Times, reflecting the firm’s ability to take on challenging matters and cases that require innovative, out-of-the-box solutions.

Amidst significant competition from leading global law firms, Mayer Brown JSM won a “standout” award and was ranked second in the “Legal Expertise: Driving Value” category for its innovative solutions in the landmark restructuring of Z-Obee. With no Chapter 11-style legislation in Hong Kong and the inability to appoint provisional liquidators solely for restructuring purposes, the firm's unprecedented solution enabled the appointment of provisional liquidators in Bermuda to allow them to seek recognition and assistance from the Hong Kong Court under common law. The firm was widely praised for its creative and cutting-edge response as no other firm had addressed the issue through common law before. The Mayer Brown JSM team was led by John Marsden, who was also commended by the FT, and included Tom Pugh and Richard Tollan.

“We are delighted that the Z-Obee restructuring case has been recognized as a standout transaction among its peers,” said John Marsden, lead partner on the Z-Obee case and global co-leader of the firm’s Restructuring, Bankruptcy and Insolvency practice. “The case set an important precedent for companies wanting to pursue corporate rehabilitation through the innovative use of common law principles.”

In addition, Mayer Brown JSM was recognized for managing complexity and scale for its ground-breaking work on the issuance of US$575 million 5.875% Senior Notes due in 2024 for Indika Energy. The firm was awarded a “Highly Commended” title for its bespoke solution for the Indonesian energy services company, which involved a first-of-kind “bridge to bond” transaction. The deal structure enabled Indika to take majority control of PT Kideco Jaya Agung, Indonesia’s third-largest coal mine, despite tremendous complexities presented by folding in the new financing to Indika’s existing capital structure. Corporate & Securities partner Jason T. Elder, who was also commended by the publication, led a multi-office, multi-practice team that included partners Thomas Kollar and Doos Choi in Hong Kong and Jason Bazar in New York.

Jason T. Elder, lead partner on the Indika transaction and co-leader of the firm's global Corporate & Securities practice, said, “The Indika transaction was transformational, enabling the company to take majority ownership in a prized Indonesian coal mining asset. Our team effectively managed the complexity and challenges of bringing together many different transaction streams to launch this bridge-to-bond transaction, showing a new depth of maturity in Asia’s capital markets. We are extremely pleased to have received this honor in recognition of the cutting-edge solution that we created for a long-standing client.”

Mayer Brown JSM was also “Highly Commended” for its work on the majority sale of PRASAC Microfinance Institution, Cambodia’s largest microfinance institution. The firm advised its clients, who collectively had a 67% shareholding in PRASAC, on the sale, which was one of the most significant transactions in Cambodia at the time. The Mayer Brown JSM team was led by Ho Chi Minh City-based Corporate & Securities partner David Harrison.

“We pride ourselves on our deep industry knowledge and our innovative and collaborative culture,” added Mr. Elder. “To be recognized twice in the same category of managing complexity and scale is a testament to the excellence of our entire practice.”

The FT Innovative Lawyers program was established in Europe in 2006 and inaugurated in Asia-Pacific in 2014. The publication assesses lawyers on their innovation for clients and in their own businesses, ranking them for delivering exceptional value to business and society.