Best law firm for ABS/MBS 2019
Fangda Partners, founded in 1993, prides itself on having more senior securitization lawyers than any of its peers. The firm specializes in corporate asset securitization, credit ABS and ABN. Wu Dong and Yan Yan are the two partners leading the firm’s securitization market coverage.
In terms of deal volume, Fangda is not the biggest in the market. Zhong Lun Law Firm, King & Wood Mallesons and Dentons rank above it.
During the awards period, Fangda provided legal services to 23 ABS deals with a total value of Rmb45.7 billion ($6.5 billion), according to Wind data.
However, the local firm jumped on a series of challenging and innovative deals such as the first public-private partnership (PPP) ABS. The Rmb706 million deal is backed by China Fortune Land Development’s receivables from providing heating to Gu An Industrial Park.
The firm was also the sole law firm advising on the first-ever microloan ABS in 2013. The Rmb500 million transaction was backed by the loans offered by the microloan platform Ant Financial. The deal was also the first onshore ABS with a revolving structure.
The firm is particularly proud of its work on a more recent transaction. The deal, Chengdu Jiaotou Parking Lot Income Rights ABS, is backed by the rights to future income generated by smart parking spaces on the roads of the city of Chengdu. These parking spaces are car lanes on the public roads used for parking and thus have an unclear ownership structure and rights of use.
However, these parking spaces have a stable source of income.
Fangda successfully communicated with the local regulatory bodies to clear any legal difficulties. The deal opened the way to securitizing future income from other parking lanes in China, a type of public asset with huge potential.
As the Chinese ABS market is set to grow in complexity in the future, it is important for law firms to not only grab market share from existing asset types, but also identify new ones for their clients. Fangda has done that during the awards period.