David Bulley

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T +852 6201 3662

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David is the Managing Partner of the Hong Kong office and Local Corporate Group Head. He is also head of Asia Private Equity, M&A and Corporate Restructuring and global co-head of SPACs.

Recognised as a leading lawyer in each of his practice areas, David has been named Cayman Islands “Merger and Acquisitions Lawyer of the Year” for the last two years running, having completed transactions with an aggregate value in excess of USD65 billion during this time. He was also named Cayman Islands “Corporate Finance Lawyer of the Year” and “Most Trusted Corporate Restructuring Specialist” in 2019 and was named to Asia Legal Business’ “40 Under 40” in 2020.

David’s corporate clients include Ascendent Capital Partners, Benchmark Asia, Celadon Partners, Goldman Sachs, MUFG, SoftBank Group Corp. and SoftBank Vision Fund.

On the restructuring side David has led on many of the largest Cayman restructurings, particularly in the offshore oil and gas sector. Recent deals include acting for Pacific Drilling on its restructuring by US Chapter 11 and Cayman process, acting for an ad hoc group of creditors of Noble in relation to Noble’s restructuring and acting for an ad hoc group of creditors on the restructuring of Valaris.

David is qualified in England & Wales, Cayman Islands and British Virgin Islands. He graduated from Cambridge University and trained at Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer in London before practicing at Kirkland & Ellis and Sullivan & Cromwell in London.


“Mergers and Acquisitions Lawyer of the Year – Cayman Islands” – Lawyer Monthly 2020

“ALB 40 Under 40” – Asian Legal Business 2020

Mergers and Acquisitions Lawyer of the Year – Cayman Islands” – Lawyer Monthly 2019

Most Trusted Corporate Restructuring Specialist – Cayman Islands” – CV Magazine 2019

Corporate Finance Lawyer of the Year – Cayman Islands” – Finance Monthly 2019

M&A Rising Star” – IFLR 1000 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021

Restructuring Rising Star” – IFLR 1000 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021

Deal of the Year” – China Business Law Journal 2018 for work on Sensetime’s Series C/C+ financing


PE / M&A

  • MUFG in connection with its USD706 million investment in Grab Holdings Inc.
  • Ascendent Capital Partners on its USD150 million investment in Best Assistant Education Online Limited
  • Celadon Partners on multiple M&A and financing transactions
  • Cornershop in connection with a USD500 million issuance and tender offer;
  • SoftBank Vision Fund in connection with an investment totaling USD1.5 billion in Chehaoduo, a leading Chinese customer-to-customer auto retail services company;
  • A Japanese investor in connection with a USD700 million investment in a tech company;
  • Itochu Corporation in connection with the structuring and establishment of a new investment fund with affiliates of CITIC Group Corporation;
  • China Automation Group on its privatization by way of a Cayman scheme of arrangement for HKD391,998,649.50 (about USD50.06 million);
  • A lead investor in connection with its investment in SenseTime’s Series C and Series C+ issuance;
  • China UnionPay in connection with its bid for Chinese tech assets; and
  • Elliott Management on the merger between Ocean Rid UDW Inc. and Transocean.


Creditor Representations

  • The Ad Hoc Group of Creditors of Ocean Rig UDW. Inc. on a financial restructuring by way of multiple Cayman Schemes of Arrangement to reduce the debt load by USD3.2 billion;
  • The Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors on the Chapter 11 of Scottish Re;
  • The Ad Hoc Group of Creditors on the first restructuring of Hercules Offshore Inc. by way of US Chapter 11;
  • The Ad Hoc Group of Towergate Insurance Group senior secured creditors in connection with Towergate’s successful restructuring by way of Scheme of Arrangement; and
  • Senior high yield noteholders on the EUR 1.2 billion restructuring of A.T.U Auto-Teile-Unger GmbH through an administration.

Debtor Representations

  • Pacific Drilling on its restructuring by way of US Chapter 11;
  • CHC Group Limited on its restructuring by way of US Chapter 11 and parallel Cayman process;
  • Whalsay Energy Limited on its debt restructuring and subsequent listing on the Cayman Stock Exchange;
  • Zim Integrated Shipping Services on the restructuring of its financing and capital markets financings, which was the largest restructuring in Israeli history; and
  • Eksportfinans ASA on its USD 23 billion contingency plan and successfully resisting attempts by debt funds to trigger a global restructuring of the group.

Trustee Representations

  • Chapter 7 Trustee in connection with Scottish Re; and
  • Nordic Trustee AS in connection with multiple bond restructurings involving assets in Europe and Asia.


  • University of Cambridge (England)


13 Jan 2022 | News

Appleby’s Hong Kong Office recognised as a long-established and well-regarded offshore firm by Legal 500

With clients commenting “they are very professional and pro-active” and “very competent team...

11 Jan 2022 | Deals

Appleby advises China Post on USD128 million investment in ULE Holdings

The Hong Kong team was led by managing partner David Bulley and partner Vincent Chan.

Contributors: Vincent Chan
20 Dec 2021 | News

New Listing Regime for Special Purpose Acquisition Companies (SPACs) in Hong Kong

The new regime is taking effect on 1 January 2022.

Contributors: Angelina Wong
1 Dec 2021 | News

Appleby's Hong Kong office named as one of the Top Asia-related SPAC Legal Advisers by Asia Business Law Journal

Appleby has been named second in the recent Asia Business Law Journal league table.

3 Aug 2021 | News

Hong Kong Partner David Bulley named as "M&A Lawyer of the Year" in two jurisdictions in the Innovation & Excellence Awards 2021

David Bulley has been named “M&A Lawyer of the Year” for both the Cayman Islands and British Vir...

20 Jul 2021 | Deals

Appleby acts as Cayman counsel on Black Spade Acquisition Co's USD150 Million SPAC IPO

Black Spade Acquisition Co is sponsored by Black Spade Sponsor LLC, an affiliate of Black Spade Capi...

9 Jul 2021 | News

Hong Kong Partner David Bulley once again named as "Corporate Finance Lawyer of the Year"

David Bulley, has been named “Corporate Finance Lawyer of the Year – Cayman Islands” in Financ...


21 May 2021 |

2021 - A Jekyll and Hyde Year for SPACs

In this article we offer our views on why this has happened and look ahead to the future for SPACs a...

Contributors: Dean Bennett
18 Aug 2020 |

The facilitation of cross border restructurings in Bermuda, the British Virgin Islands and the Cayman Islands

In this update, we consider the powers and discretion of the domestic courts in Bermuda, the BVI and...

13 Aug 2020 |

Special Purpose Acquisition Companies (SPACS) make a comeback

In this global article on SPACs we revisit the basics, then look to each of our key jurisdictions fo...

27 Jul 2020 |

The use of Cayman Islands Structures for SPAC IPOs

Special purpose acquisition companies (SPACs), also known as “blank cheque companies” or “shel...

Contributors: Dean Bennett

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