Freshfield's relationship with Alibaba yields little in windfall IPO

September 25, 2014 In an article at The Lawyer, Natalie Stanton chronicles how a promising relationship between Alibaba and Freshfields did not yield significant payout in Alibaba's recent windfall IPO on the New York Stock Exchange.

Alibaba reportedly paid out $15.8m in legal fees through the course of its IPO, the fourth largest sum in the past 10 years in the US and nonetheless a bargain by the standards of the IPO's success.

Back in 2007, Freshfields established a close relationship with Alibaba during its 2007 IPO on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange. Afterwards, Freshfields' Hong Kong Partner Timothy Steinart became legal counsel at Alibaba.

Freshfields received the first call when Alibaba began to prepare it's latest IPO, intended for the HKSE. But after differences between Alibaba and Hong Kong officials over management structure derailed the IPO, Alibaba turned its focus to the NYSE and US Firm Simpson Thatcher, who collected the majority of the fees.

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