HONG KONG, Nov. 26, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Charltons Solicitors has been named Hong Kong's top Independent Law Firm in the Euromoney Legal Media Asia Women in Business Law Awards 2012.
The firm picked up the prestigious award in the face of strong local competition in recognition of its flexible work arrangements to help women advance in the legal profession. Approximately half of Charltons' associates are women, as are most of its partners, with women in the majority in the Beijing and Shanghai offices, both also managed by women.
This is the second time in three months that Charltons has won a major industry award - in September, also in a strong field of contenders - it was named Boutique Law Firm of the Year 2012 at the Macallan Asian Legal Business Awards.
Charltons was founded in Hong Kong in October 1998 by Julia Charlton following an early career with a "Magic Circle" law firm in London. It has since established itself as a leading legal adviser on Hong Kong capital and corporate finance markets.
Charltons has developed particular strengths in the resource sector, and is a long-term adviser to a number of large and increasingly international Chinese miners and State Owned Enterprises which are becoming more active internationally. The growth of Charltons' mining practice has been closely informed by wider industry trends, and the firm has recently advised some of the largest players in the Australian mining boom and has a keen interest in resource-rich Myanmar, where it will open a Yangon office in the near future.
A Mandarin-speaker heading a multilingual team, Julia said: "Throughout a very tough year we have managed to remain busy, and I firmly believe our approach to flexible and part-time working has played a key role in helping us provide cutting edge advice to key clients."
Julia shaped Charltons' progressive work practices on the basis of her own experiences as a single mother of four. Three of the children have now graduated from Oxford University, and the fourth is currently completing a medical degree at King's College, London.
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Background information follows:
Charltons is a focused corporate finance firm employing a team of 46 legal professionals and support staff who are vastly experienced in offering advice to both multinational and local companies operating in Hong Kong and the PRC. The firm has represented US, European, Japanese and Hong Kong investment banks in corporate finance transactions, including H-share, PRC and red chip offerings. Many of Charltons lawyers are dual qualified in Hong Kong and in other jurisdictions.
Over the past twelve months, Charlton's has worked on several Hong Kong IPOs and advised on a US$6 billion placing of shares of a Hong Kong listed insurance company. The placing was one of the largest ever undertaken in Asia. This year, Charltons' M&A practice also remained very active, with the firm advising a major US retail group, on its investment in an Asian internet fashion retailer and a Hong Kong group on the disposal to a major Japanese trading house of a significant interest in a car dealership group with dealerships in Mainland China.
Charltons' mining practice has also continued to go from strength to strength and over the past year, when the firm advised a number of junior and mid-size mining companies interested in pursuing a Hong Kong listing. During the year, the firm also advised a Hong Kong-listed mining group (one of the few international mining companies to have had a woman at the helm) in relation to a US$500 million plus disposal of a major Peruvian copper project. It also advised the Shanghai and Hong Kong listed gold company Zijin Mining Group Co., Ltd, on its AU$180.3million takeover offer for ASX-listed Norton Gold Fields Limited.
Julia Charlton's career has been heavily influenced by her Tyneside mining roots. In the 14 years since its establishment, Charltons has provided advice to many of the key participants in China's mining boom. Julia has been a long-term adviser to a number of large Chinese miners and SOE's who over recent years have become increasingly active internationally. She continues to provide advice to listed and non-listed mining and natural resource companies and industry experts together with sponsors and financial institutions servicing the mining and natural resource sector. The growth of Charltons' mining practice has been closely informed by wider industry trends. She has recently advised some of the largest players in the Australian mining boom and has a keen interest in resource rich Myanmar. With an eye to opportunities in the reforming South East Asian country Charltons will shortly open an office in Yangon.
Julia has raised four children as a single working mother. She began her career with Slaughter and May in London before moving to Hong Kong for the firm as an assistant solicitor in 1987. She has remained in Hong Kong ever since and established Charltons in October 1998 after being a partner in another city firm.
Both Julia and the firm have received numerous industry accolades and awards, and Julia herself has on four separate occasions been named a "Leading Lawyer" by Asian Legal Business. In 2008 she was named Professional of the Year in the AmCham/SCMP Women of Influence Awards. She is an absolute advocate of the need to provide a flexible and supportive environment for women to balance family and career commitments.
Julia has also found the time to become actively involved in a wide range of Corporate Social Responsibility and regulatory activities in Hong Kong, including as a member of the Listing Committee of the Hong Kong Stock Exchange and of the Takeovers Panel and Takeovers Appeal Panel of the SFC, a member of the Securities Law Committee of the Hong Kong Law Society. She has been a Visiting Lecturer at Nanjing University and acts as Treasurer for the Friends of the London School of Economics in Hong Kong. She has delivered a large number of speeches and professional papers.
Together with two of her children, Julia has established two charities operating in Asia. The Asia Education Foundation, founded with her son Jeremy, and the Asia Environmental Foundation founded with her daughter Olivia.