Sam Kelso
  1. Counsel

Mr. Kelso is counsel in the Davis Polk Corporate Department, resident in Hong Kong. He has worked on a wide variety of U.S. and cross-border M&A and private equity transactions. He has previously worked in the New York, London and Northern California offices.

Work Highlights

  • Advanced Semiconductor Engineering’s $3.35 billion acquisition of Siliconware Precision Industry
  • Universal Studios’ Beijing theme park joint venture with Beijing Shouhuan
  • I Squared Capital’s $1.9 billion acquisition of Hutchinson’s Hong Kong fixed-line business, Cube Highways investment in India, sale of Amplus Energy to Petronas and various other investments in Asia 
  • Various pre-IPO investment rounds by Go-Jek, Lufax, Byton and Razer
  • Tencent’s investments in N26, Olacabs and
  • China Investment Corporation on various global investments
  • Temasek on various investments in China
  • Uber on the merger of Uber China and Didi Chuxing
  • Baidu Capital’s investment in Grab and Baidu’s acquisition of Qunar
  • Various going-private transactions, including of AsiaInfo, Focus Media, Shanda Games, Bona Film, China Hydro,, Ku6 Media and E-House
  • SinoPac’s sale of Far East National Bank to Cathay Bank
  • Comcast’s $3.8 billion acquisition of DreamWorks Animation
  • GO Scale Capital’s $3.3 billion terminated acquisition of Lumileds from Philips
  • Philippine Long Distance Telephone’s sale of SPi Global to CVC Capital
  • Various investments and dispositions by Morgan Stanley Infrastructure in India
  • Shanda Interactive’s sale of Cloudary
  • ChipMOS Taiwan’s merger with its parent company, ChipMOS Bermuda
  • The Federal Reserve Bank of New York’s $25 billion debt-for-equity exchanges for AIG’s Asian insurance businesses, AIA and ALICO
  • Warburg Pincus’ investment in QuEST Global and acquisition out of bankruptcy of the U.S. operations of GPX Tire
  • Vector Capital’s acquisition of Precise Software and Pharsight
  • Francisco Partners’ Numonyx joint venture with Intel and STMicro
  • MediaTek’s acquisition of Analog Devices’ chipset business
  • PowerDsine’s sale to Microsemi
  • Telecom Italia’s €20 billion combination with TIM
  • NTL’s $6 billion merger with Telewest
  • Citigroup’s $12.5 billion acquisition of Banamex

Professional History

  • Counsel, 2013-present
  • Davis Polk since 2001
  • Hong Kong office, August 2009-present
  • Northern California office, 2006-July 2009
  • London office, 2004-2006
  • New York office, 2001-2003

Bar Admissions

  • Hong Kong
  • State of California
  • State of New York
  • Supreme Court of New South Wales


  • B.A., University of Sydney, 1994
  • LL.B., University of Sydney Law School, 1996
    • First Class Honours
  • LL.M., University of Cambridge, 1998
    • Cambridge Commonwealth Scholarship
    • First Class Honours