Frances Woo is the Managing Partner of the Hong Kong office. Frances joined Appleby in 1994, became a Partner in 1997, was appointed as Managing Partner in 2000 and heads up the Private Client and Trusts Practice Group. She also headed up the Corporate Practice Group until 2013, for the Asia region and served as Group Chairman between 2012 and 2015.
Frances is based in Hong Kong and has over 20 years of experience working in Greater China and other Asian markets. She practises a full range of corporate and commercial law particularly specialising in mergers and acquisitions, advising on public and private offerings of debt and equity, restructurings, structured and other finance matters and funds work (mutual funds, unit trusts, limited partnerships, private equity). Clients include global and regional financial institutions, multi-national organisations, listed entities and private equity houses. As Group Chairman, she led the Group's global client relationship program and chaired the Board, setting and determining strategy.
Frances is recommended as an offshore leading individual in the latest edition of Chambers Asia Pacific. In the 2012 edition of The Legal 500, clients praised her for being "able to tap into worldwide expertise to handle offshore issues anywhere from Mauritius to Bermuda; she is a no-nonsense practical adviser who is very responsive and efficient." She was also praised as "probably the first Asian and also first female to be appointed chair of a global offshore firm."
Frances has written for a number of international legal publications including Legal Week, Global Assets, STEP Journal and Asia-MENA Counsel. She has been quoted frequently in The Lawyer, Asian Legal Business, Asia-MENA Counsel, China Business Law Journal, China Law & Practice and Venture Capital Journal. Frances has also spoken frequently at various conferences including IFLR, IBA, IPBA and numerous industry conferences.
Frances was born and educated in Toronto, Canada. She holds a B.Sc. Honours Degree from the University of Toronto graduating in 1987 with distinction. She went on to study law at Osgoode Hall Law School, York University obtaining a JD degree in 1991. Prior to joining the Group, Frances practiced corporate commercial law in Toronto, Canada. Frances is a barrister and solicitor in Canada, a solicitor in England and Wales, Hong Kong and in the British Virgin Islands and is registered with the Bermuda Bar.
Frances is fluent in English, Cantonese and Mandarin. She is a member of the International Bar Association, the Inter-Pacific Bar Association, the Law Society of Upper Canada, the Law Society of Hong Kong and a non-practising member of the Law Society of England and Wales. She is also a Fellow of the Hong Kong Institute of Directors.
"[Frances] is able to tap into worldwide expertise to handle offshore issues anywhere from Mauritius to Bermuda; she is a no-nonsense practical adviser who is very responsive and efficient."