Orrick hires Zeng as partner for M&A and private equity practice

Law firm Orrick has named Sarah Zeng as a partner for its global M&A and private equity practice. Previously, she was a managing partner at Denton‘s Beijing office.


June 4, 2018 — Orrick announced today that Sarah Zeng has joined the firm’s M&A and private equity practice, resident in Beijing. Sarah has over 25 years of corporate law experience serving Chinese state-owned enterprises (SOEs) and U.S. multinational companies. Most recently, she served as Managing Partner of Denton’s Beijing office. Prior to that, Sarah was General Counsel of Hong Kong-listed Weichai Power, China’s largest engine manufacturer, and Vice President and Country Manager (China) for El Paso Corporation, a Fortune 500 energy company, where she chaired the boards of four major power plants owned by the company in China.

Sarah is the 18th partner to join Orrick’s Global M&A practice since 2016 and the fourth in China in the past year. Last month, the firm announced the addition of Jeff Zhang, a seasoned M&A practitioner from King & Wood Mallesons, in Beijing. The firm’s M&A practice ranked #13 for global M&A volume in 2017 (Mergermarket).

“Sarah has a unique combination of legal skills and business acumen that has proven invaluable to Chinese companies pursuing global strategies. With Sarah’s addition, and Jeff Zhang’s arrival last month, we have a distinctively strong platform to serve SOEs and private enterprises in their outbound investment activities, drawing on the firm’s fully integrated global network,” said Xiang Wang, Orrick’s Asia Managing Partner.

Sarah’s practice focuses on Chinese outbound M&A, foreign direct investment (FDI) transactions in China and other cross-border transactions with Chinese components. She has extensive experience in representing Chinese SOEs, private corporations and private equity funds, as well as multinational corporations in cross-border M&A transactions, including divestitures, joint ventures and FDIs. Sarah has particular experience in the power, energy and manufacturing sectors.

“Orrick has a tremendous platform for Chinese power and manufacturing companies with global ambitions looking to diversify and expand overseas with M&A and energy lawyers based in more than 25 markets worldwide,” said Sarah. “I am particularly excited to work with the firm’s market leading Africa team to support Chinese companies investing in Africa and other emerging markets.”

Sarah’s arrival follows the additions last year in Hong Kong of cross-border M&A partners Scott Peterman, from Jones Day, and Mark Lehmkuhler, formerly with Davis Polk. The firm also expanded its Asia platform in April with the addition of James Atkin, the former managing partner of Vinson & Elkins’ Tokyo office, as global co-head of Orrick’s Oil & Gas practice, based in Tokyo. Orrick also announced the arrivals earlier this year of cross-border M&A partners Paul Doris, from Watson Farley & Williams, in London, and David Schwartz, from Hughes Hubbard & Reed, in New York.

Dual educated and a PRC native, Sarah has an LL.B. from Peking University in Beijing and an LL.M. from the American University Washington College of Law.