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T: +86 21 2250 6900


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Established in 1993, our Shanghai office is part of our Greater China practice. With lawyers based in our offices in Hong Kong and Shanghai, our Greater China team has been providing multi-lingual quality English and Hong Kong law advice since 1979. Our global reach and local presence make us one of the largest legal practices in the Asia Pacific region.
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The Shanghai office has a particular focus on ship finance and marine and international trade. It is one of the few international law firms with a base in mainland China and a truly international shipping practice. The team is able to advise on cross border shipping matters, drawing closely on the expertise of colleagues based in Hong Kong, Singapore, Seoul, Dubai, Paris, Piraeus and the United Kingdom. Our dedicated lawyers represent Chinese corporates, international banks, insurance companies, shipping, shipbuilding and trading companies.

Along with our colleagues in Hong Kong and our alliance partners in Guangzhou, our team in Shanghai also provides a comprehensive range of legal services to clients operating within Greater China. They advise on matters relating to such things as commercial disputes, corporate M&A, banking and finance, private wealth, employment, investment funds, real estate, restructuring and insolvency, regulatory issues and international arbitration. Their clients range from individuals to small and medium enterprises, state owned entities and multi-nationals, and represent a host of industry sectors.

"Stephenson Harwood is responsive and able to provide informative and practical advice."

Chambers Greater China 2022

Asset finance

CMB Financial Leasing

Advised to strike a leasing deal for five 15,000 TEU containerships that the French carrier CMA CGM is ordering in China from China State Shipbuilding Corporation. These vessels form part of CMA CGM’s mega newbuilding project worth over US$1 billion.

A PRC finance leasing company

Acted for a PRC finance leasing company in its finance lease of four 37,000 DWT Interline coated tankers. The matter is important as the intention was for the lessee/charters to use part of the proceeds from the transaction to repay its existing syndicate bank loan and other sale-and-lease-back transaction. We successfully assisted the clients despite the challenging timetable and the background complexities with the lessee's other transactions.

An investment holding company

Acted for an investment holding company and its subsidiary in a financial leasing transaction involving a passenger cruise ship purchased from another corporation. The financier of the cruise ship is another PRC based leasing company.

A new PRC finance leasing company

Advised a new PRC finance leasing company on a sale and finance lease transaction which involved one A350-900 aircraft being leased to a Hong Kong airline. The transaction involved both pre-delivery and delivery financing. In respect of the pre-delivery financing, the finance leasing company sought external financing by way of bank lending and issuance of asset-backed securities. This matter was challenging because the purchase agreement was settled in US dollars while the loan agreement provided for a Renminbi loan. There was also immense time pressure to meet the deadline of instalment payment under the aircraft purchase agreement.

A major PRC finance leasing company

Advised a major PRC finance leasing company operating in a wide variety of businesses in over 20 countries and regions, ranging from aviation, shipbuilding, automotive, construction machinery, urban infrastructure, large equipment manufacturing, highways and rail transportation. Our client has a considerable market presence in the financing of oceangoing vessels and is now looking to expand into the business of owning and operating such vessels. To that end, our client embarked on a project for the acquisition of five newbuild 208,000 dwt Newcastlemax bulk carriers, all of which will be chartered out under long term time charters to Cargill, a major US-based agricultural and industrial commodities trader.

Marine and international trade

A PRC based bulk carrier

Acted for a PRC based bulk carrier and the charterers in their London arbitration. Initiated by the owners, the arbitration involves a series of disputes that arose from the parties' 10-year long time charter, which concluded in 2008. The matter is significant as the parties acknowledge that some disputed items should be capable of settlement; they are in the process of trying to narrow the issues in dispute before proceeding to arbitration on the remaining issues. We are assisting our clients with this and the settlement negotiations.

A Japanese organising freight forwarding company

Acted for a Japanese organising freight forwarding company in the Hong Kong High Court, defending a cargo claim arising from a casualty.

Syndicates of lenders

Advised syndicates of lenders with regards to the Korean rehabilitation proceedings in connection with Hanjin Shipping Co. Ltd.

A major commodity trader

Advised a major commodity trader in the successful defence of a US$270 million claim relating to commodity “repo” (Sale and Repurchase) deals affected by a major metals warehousing fraud in China.

A major bank

Advised a major bank enforcing mortgages in relation to a fleet of seven vessels. Added complications were that there were allegedly pre-existing mortgages entered by a mainland Chinese bank which did not appear on the ship registry.

Major insurers

Advised major insurers in relation to claims brought in the Hong Kong court in respect of losses allegedly arising from the sinking of a vessel in Hong Kong waters. This matter also involved claims under connecting carrier agreements and interpretation of the vessel’s safe carrying capacity.


Please note that we have two offices in Shanghai:

Stephenson Harwood Shanghai Representative Office
Units 1816-1820
Infinitus Tower 
168 Hu Bin Road, Huangpu District
Shanghai 200021

T: +86 21 2250 6900 │F: +86 21 2250 6969

Wei Tu Law Firm Associate Office
Units 1801
Infinitus Tower 
168 Hu Bin Road, Huangpu District
Shanghai 200021

T: +86 21 6335 5135

Step free access is available through the main entrance. A member of the security team and reception staff will assist and direct you to reception. 

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