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Claire GAO


Practice Area:

Banking and Finance

Education Background:

BPP University, LPC and PSC
The University of Law, GDL
University College London, LLM
Nanjing University, Mainland China, LLB

Working Languages:

Chinese (Mandarin) and English

Work Experience:

2019 – present: Zhong Lun Law Firm Limited, Solicitor

Professional Qualification:

Solicitor, qualified in England and Wales

Representative Cases:

Claire is currently a London based associate of Bank and Finance team of Zhong Lun Law Firm,
specialises in banking and finance work. She has advised nearly all the Chinese financial institutions in the UK and numerous other leading international financial institutions and companies on their various types of cross-border transactions and finance work.

General Banking

• Represented the London branches of all major Chinese financial institutions on providing debt finance to the companies in the UK and China through bilateral, syndicated loans or secondary debt trading with a total value of over USD 5bn
• Represented the London branches of various Chinese banks to assist them in dealing with LIBOR transition related matters including drafting or amending numerous USD, Sterling and/or Euro single or multi-currency facility agreements relating to LIBOR transition
• Assisted many Chinese policy banks with providing international loans to governments, banks and enterprises in Asia and other countries including Vietnam, Sri Lanka, Dominican Republic and etc

Project Finance

• Advised many Chinese banks on providing loan finance to the People’s Bank of Sri Lanka
• Advised the London branch of a Chinese bank for providing loan financing in the total amount of approximately Euro 100m for the Republic of Côte d'Ivoire, represented by the Minister of Economy and Finance as borrower
• Advised the London branch of a Chinese bank on providing commercial and Sinosure secured facilities for two Belt and Road projects in Côte d'Ivoire
• Advised many Chinese banks on financing some infrastructure projects located in Angola, Sierra Leone, Côte d‘Ivoire, Iraq, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh

Asset Finance, Property Finance, and Others

• Represented the London branch of a Chinese bank to provide legal service for its ship finance transaction on a sale and lease back basis in relation to an LNG carrier
• Advised the London branch of a Chinese bank on its financing for six 737-800 NG aircraft to a reputable UK-listed company and its debt restructuring work
• Advised Bank of China London Branch on a successful completion of its landmark commercial property refinancing project in the UK
• Advised a listed company in China on providing financing in the sum of over £20m to a student accommodation on project in Glasgow and a hotel construction project in Birmingham
• Advised some major Chinese financial institutions, insurance companies and enterprises on matters or disputes arising from or in connection with L/C, SBL/C, performance bond, refund guarantee, forfaiting transaction and international trade
• Advised a world leading logistics company on its inter-group restructuring

Social Activities:

2018-2019 Pro bono at the UK Society of Chinese Lawyers (UKSCL)

Claire has published dozens of articles including:
• 2022.2.14: FAQs on the Main Routes to Cross-border Green Finance in the UK – Green Funds and Others
• 2021.12.16: FAQs on the Main Routes to Cross-border Green Finance in the UK – Green Bonds
• 2021.8.11: FAQs on Cross-border Green Finance Transactions by Chinese Enterprises in the UK
• 2021.8.4: Countdown to LIBOR Curtain Call Series – Transition options for USD LIBOR under ARRC Guidance
• 2021.6.18: LIBOR Countdown to Curtain Call - How to Arrange Alternative Interest Rate Swaps in Facility Agreements?
• 2021.6.18: Hainan Free Trade Port: A New Opportunity to Join the Chinese Market!
• 2021.3.26: Amendments, Exemptions and "Consents" involved in Facility Agreements under English law
• 2021.3.26: Latest Announcement from the UK Financial Conduct Authority: the Official Cessation and Loss of Representativeness of the LIBOR Benchmarks
• 2021.3.26: Borrowers and Lenders' Trade-offs and Options in Dealing with Facility Agreements in the context of the LIBOR Transition
• 2021.3.2: The Impact of China's Blocking Measures on Future Cross-border Financing
• 2021.1.18: The Impact of China's Export Control Law on Future Business
• 2020.3.25: The Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Financial Businesses such as "Neibaowaidai" and the Relevant Advice

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