Leo (Liang) Zhou is Head of Chinese Banking and Finance of Dentons and Head of International Practice of Dentons Guangzhou Office. Mr Zhou is a leading Chinese lawyer in cross-border finance and investment and an expert of RMB internationalisation. Mr Zhou was praised as “the best Chinese business lawyer” by his clients. Asia Legal Business also praises Mr Zhou’s “humility, diligence, and wisdom in the commercial transaction.”
Mr Zhou is now the external legal counsel of the Hong Kong branches or subsidiaries of three of the “China’s Big Four Banks”, namely Bank of China (Hong Kong), China Construction Bank (Asia) and CCB Hong Kong Branch, Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (Asia) and ICBC Hong Kong Branch. His other Hong Kong and international bank clients include Nanyang Commercial Bank, China Construction Bank Singapore Branch. Mr Zhou may be the only one lawyer in China that provides legal service to the three of the “China’s Big Four Banks” in Hong Kong at the same time.
Being one of the first lawyers in China to comprehensively develop expertise in design and compliance work of financial products relevant to RMB internationalisation, Mr Shou has acted for the Hong Kong banks in designing more than 15 cross-border financial products. It is highly demanded for a lawyer to be deeply involved in the financial product design from the initial stage of framework and process setting, to the documentation preparation, to issuance of the legal opinion filing to Hong Kong Monetary Authority. Only a few lawyers in China are able to help in these aspects. Many matured financial products in the Hong Kong markets integrate our ideas, including Entrusted Payment, Funded Risk Participation, etc. The aforementioned products are innovative and of great significance because they allow the funds flowing in and out of mainland China legally and therefore enrich and deepen the connotation of the RMB internationalisation. Hong Kong Monetary Authority usually takes his legal opinion as one of their judgment basement as well.
Being the outstanding lawyer with abundant experience in reformation to commercial banks in Guangdong Province, Mr Zhou became the youngest independent director of a commercial bank in the Guangdong Province in 2009. Now, Mr Zhou is the independent director of two commercial banks and external legal counsel of other 5 commercial banks in mainland China.
Mr Zhou is also well known for his extensive experience in cross-border investment. He provided legal service to many important clients in cross-border transactions, including JP Morgan, Deutsche Bank, HSBC NF Fund, Genesis, TTM Technologies, Colgate-Palmolive, Tesco, Mitsui & Co., Ritz-Carlton, CITIC Prudential Life, Cardinal Health, Evergreen, etc.
Mr Zhou was awarded by Asia Legal Business under Thomson Reuters as the 2015 ALB Top 15 Rising Lawyers in China in consideration of his extensive experience in the cross-border practice. His clients praise his remarkable work and expertise in the field of cross-border financial transactions, and also his “humility, diligence, and wisdom in the commercial transaction.”