Ian Lewis is a partner of Mayer Brown. He has over 31 years experience gained in several Asian jurisdictions and has been based in Beijing since 2002. Prior to that, he has spent time in Vietnam, Thailand and Hong Kong. He is currently Managing Partner of the Beijing office.

Ian has significant China commercial, real estate and hospitality experience and has a particular focus on entertainment, attraction development and commercial arrangements relating thereto. Ian is also a regular conference speaker on real estate, hotel and hospitality related topics.

Over his years in Asia, Ian has had experience of negotiating large cross-border transactions and these have included infrastructure projects, joint ventures and other investment arrangements using a broad range of structures, many of which have involved complex regulatory issues. Ian is recognised as Recommended Corporate/M&A Lawyer in the 2012 Editorial of Legal 500 Asia Pacific. He was named as a Highly Recommended Project Finance Lawyer in 2006-2008 & 2011 and a Highly Recommended Projects Lawyer in 2002, 2003 and 2005 by PLC Which Lawyer? Yearbook. Legal 500 Asia Pacific also listed him as a Leading Projects Lawyer in 2002-2005. He has been recognised as a Leading Lawyer in M&A by IFLR1000 from 2012 to 2015 and 2017 to present.

Spoken Languages

  • English


  • Acted for Merlin Entertainments in connection with potential joint venture arrangements to be made with China Media Capital (CMC) involving attractions within the PRC including a LEGOLAND Theme Park.
  • Acted for Merlin Entertainments in connection with certain Madame Tussaud’s attractions located within the PRC and other related projects.
  • Acted for Tetra Tech Inc. in connection with certain joint venture arrangements concluded within the PRC.
  • Acted for Research in Motion in connection with data centres and related commercial agreement made with service providers in the PRC.
  • Assisted 3C Media Creative International in connection with overseas activities related to television format arrangements.
  • Acted for the government of Vietnam on Phu My 2.2 Power Project, a project which was noted as Project Finance Deal of the Year in the 2002 Finance Asia Awards. 
  • Acted for a UK-based investor in the acquisition of a majority interest in Honiton Energy, a company with interests in PRC-based wind farms.
  • Acted for Marubeni in the acquisition of water project assets in China.
  • Acted for the Vogel and Burda groups in the restructuring of their China publishing-related interests.
  • Acted for GE Eaglemoss in the structuring of PRC publishing arrangements with the China Peace Publishing House and the negotiation of project funding arrangements involving HSBC, related TV media arrangements and the launch of part-works in the China market.
  • Acted for several foreign parties involved in information-based e-commerce business including start-up joint venture and acquisition.
  • Acted for Cathay Pacific in the acquisition of a minority interest in Taikoo Engineering.
  • Acted for HKI Properties in the sale of a majority interest in a Beijing hotel project also involving the negotiation of related hotel management arrangements.
  • Acted for a client on structuring an offshore joint venture and onshore corporate vehicles for the acquisition of property assets in Beijing having a value in excess of HK$4.8 billion.
  • Acted for Poyry PLC in the negotiation of joint venture arrangements involving a PRC design institute and the acquisitions of consultancy businesses in the PRC.


Law Society Final Examinations obtained from the Law Society's College of Law Guildford

Aberystwyth, University College Wales, LLB


  • Hong Kong
  • England and Wales


  • Member of the Pharmaceutical Working Group, European Union Chamber of Commerce in China
  • Member, Inter-Pacific Bar Association
  • Associate Member,Independent Power Producers Forum
  • Past Chairman, IPBA Energy and Natural Resources Committee
  • Recommended - Corporate and M&A: Foreign Firms, China – The Legal 500 Asia Pacific (2020, 2021)
  • Highly Regarded - Mergers and Acquisitions, China – IFLR1000 (2018-2023)
  • Leading Lawyer - Mergers and Acquisitions, China – IFLR1000 (2012-2015, 2017)
  • "excellent lawyer" – The Legal 500 Asia Pacific (2013)
  • "one of the best legal advisors I have ever had" – The Legal 500 Asia Pacific (2012)