Judy Lee is the Asia Group Head of Appleby and a partner in Hong Kong. Judy practises a wide range of Bermuda, Cayman and BVI corporate law, specialising in corporate finance and investment funds. She is responsible for the development in Asia of our law firm as well as our corporate administration and fiduciary services business Appleby Global Services.
Judy has over 25 years of offshore and onshore experience in listings on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange and the Singapore Stock Exchange as well as mergers and acquisitions, private equity investments and other corporate finance transactions. Judy leads Hong Kong Capital Markets team which is recognised as one of the offshore market leaders for their specialist IPO and listing work advice in Hong Kong as well as overseas. Under her leadership, the team was able to complete consistently more than 50 listings on the Hong Kong stock exchange in 2018, representing close to 40% of the market share. In addition, she has extensive experience in the structuring and setting up of Cayman investment funds in Asia. She also advises on Bermuda and Cayman court-sanctioned shareholders privatisation schemes of arrangement.
Judy is the three-time winner for the ´Best in Offshore´ individual award at Euromoney Legal Media Group’s Asia Women in Business Law Awards 2013, 2018 and 2019 (as well as nominated as a finalist from 2013 to 2016), the ´Offshore Investment Funds Lawyer of the Year in Hong Kong Award´ at the Corporate INTL Magazine Global Awards 2014 and 2017 and the ´Women in Law Award´ at Lawyer Monthly’s Legal Awards 2016. She was nominated as a finalist for the ´Dealmaker of the Year Award´ from 2014 to 2016 and the ´Woman Lawyer of the Year Award´ in 2016 at the Asian Legal Business Hong Kong Law Awards. She has also been recognised for the third year in a row in the fourth edition of IFLR1000 Women Leaders list 2021 and is the only offshore lawyer in the Asia-Pacific region to be included. These serve as excellent endorsements to Judy’s capability and highlight her outstanding achievements in corporate and investment funds laws. Most recently, Judy has been recognised as ‘Leading Individuals’ in the Legal 500 Asia Pacific 2020 Rankings. She was acknowledged for her ‘very commercial and efficient’ style as a leader in the office and remains as one of the market leaders in relation to offshore listings on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange. Clients commented that “Judy Lee is a very safe pair of hands and provides a high standard of work”.
Judy has been repeatedly recognised by the legal directories as one of Asia’s leading lawyers. Clients commented on Judy with “a strong corporate finance, capital markets and investment funds practice” and described her as “very hands on; sound technical knowledge and attention to details”. They noted Judy as one who “keeps her advice practical and focused, and is a pleasure to deal with” and “a very pragmatic, insightful and efficient lawyer” who offers “great commercial understanding and excellent client service”. She was singled out as one of the notable mentions in the Asian Legal Business´ Offshore Client Choice 2017 and 2018 for her strong track record for corporate and investment funds laws. She was lauded as “Judy has been exceptionally brilliant. I have nothing but good things to say about her. In the region her team provides coverage that you don´t get from other firms.” She is consistently ranked as an offshore leading individual by IFLR 1000, Legal 500 and Chambers Asia-Pacific from 2012 to 2021, with client´s commenting her “strong technical background and attention to detail”. In 2018, she has also been recognised as one of China’s Elite Top 50 Lawyers (Foreign Firms) by China Business Law Journal.
Judy authored the chapter titled “Choosing Your Offshore Listing Vehicle – Key Factors to Consider” in the 2015, 2016, 2019 and 2021 IPO Handbook for Hong Kong, published by Thomson Reuters. Judy has also written an article on the topic ´Island Hopping on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange´ published at The Business Bermuda Nexus.
She is registered with the Bermuda Bar and as a foreign lawyer in Hong Kong and is admitted as a solicitor in the British Virgin Islands. She speaks fluent English, Cantonese and Mandarin. She is a member of the Law Societies of England & Wales and Hong Kong.
Recent cases include:
- Cayman and BVI counsel to Everbright Securities Company Limited in connection with its listing on the Main Board of the Hong Kong Stock Exchange, with proceeds of approximately HKD8.6 billion.
- Bermuda and BVI counsel to Dalian Wanda Commercial Properties Co., Ltd. in connection with its listing on the Main Board of the Hong Kong Stock Exchange, with proceeds of approximately USD3.7 billion.
- Cayman counsel to Alibaba.com Limited (a Cayman Islands company listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange) in its privatization through a court-sanctioned scheme of arrangement and the related share capital restructuring. The estimated amount payable is approximately USD23.6 billion. This deal won the M&A Deal of the Year and Equity Deal of the Year awards at the ALB HK Law Awards 2013 as well as Technology, Media & Telecoms Deal of the Year award at the ALB China Law Awards 2013.
- Cayman counsel to New Century Asset Management Limited in the global offering and listing of units of New Century Real Estate Investment Trust on the Main Board of the Hong Kong Stock Exchange, with gross proceeds of approximately HKD680 million. The deal won the the Equity Capital Market Deal of the Year award at the CBLJ Deals of the Year 2013.
- BVI counsel to CNPC General Capital Limited in the issuance of USD2 billion guaranteed Senior Notes and US$7 billion Medium Term Note Programme. This deal won the Debt and Equity-Linked Deal of the Year Award at the China Law & Practice Awards 2013.
- Bermuda counsel to Kerry Logistics Network Limited in its initial public offering on the Main Board of the Hong Kong Stock Exchange, with gross proceeds of approximately HKD2.2 billion.
- Bermuda counsel to China Resources Gas Group Limited in its USD1.5 billion global medium term note programme. The transaction was nominated for the Debt Market Deal of the Year in the ALB HK Law Awards 2012.
- BVI counsel to CNPC Golden Autumn Limited, a subsidiary of China National Petroleum Corporation, the largest integrated oil and gas company in China, in the issuance of RMB guaranteed bonds due 2013 and 2014 in an aggregate principal amount of RMB2.5 billion and RMB500 million respectively. This deal was nominated for the Debt Market Deal of the Year in the ALB China Law Awards 2012.
- Bermuda counsel to AXA Asia Pacific Holdings Limited in a repurchase of perpetual preference shares issued by AXA China Region Limited and related matters. This deal was nominated for the M&A Deal of the Year in both the ALB HK Law Awards 2012 and the ALB SE Asia Law Awards 2012.
- BVI counsel to a syndicate of banks in the S$1.94 billion re-financing for the development of Asia Square Tower 1, located within Singapore´s Marina Bay. This deal was nominated for the Asset and Corporate Finance Deal of the Year in the ALB SE Asia Law Awards 2012.
- BVI counsel to Sinochem Offshore Capital Company Limited in its issuance of 1.8% Guaranteed Notes due 2014 in an aggregate principal amount of RMB3.5 billion guaranteed by Sinochem Hong Kong (Group) Company Limited. This deal was nominated for the Debt Market Deal of the Year in both the ALB HK Law Awards 2011 and the ALB China Law Awards 2011.
- Cayman counsel to Goodbaby International Holdings Limited in its listing on the Main Board of the Hong Kong Stock Exchange with gross proceeds of HKD1.47 billion. This deal was nominated for the Equity Market Deal of the Year in the ALB HK Law Awards 2011.
- Cayman and BVI counsel to Meadville Holdings Limited (a Cayman Islands company listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange) in its business combination with TTM Technologies, Inc. (a company listed on NASDAQ) worth USD521 million. This deal was nominated for the M&A Deal of the Year in the ALB HK Law Awards 2010.
- Cayman counsel to The Ming An (Holdings) Company Limited (a Cayman Islands company listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange) in its privatisation through a court-sanctioned scheme of arrangement by its major shareholder, another company listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange. This deal was nominated for the M&A Deal of the Year in both the ALB HK Law Awards 2010 and the ALB China Law Awards 2010.
- BVI counsel for Melco Crown Entertainment Limited (a Cayman Islands company listed on NASDAQ) in its acquisition of a 60 per cent equity interest and shareholder loan in the developer of Macau Studio City, a large-scale integrated gaming, retail and entertainment resort in Macau.
- Bermuda, Cayman and BVI counsel to Champion REIT in its HKD12.9 billion acquisition of the retail, car park and office portions of Langham Place located in Hong Kong’s Mongkok district. This deal won the Debt Market Deal of the Year in the ALB HK Law Awards 2009.
- Mergers & Acquisitions
- Public & Private Offerings of Debt & Equity
- Schemes of Arrangement
- Funds & Investment Services
“[Judy has] strong technical background and attention to detail.”