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The Lion City awakens

Greater China, traditionally a major Asian powerhouse of lateral hires, witnessed a quiet 2022. On the other hand, Singapore had a strong Q3 and moved ahead of Hong Kong, China, and India as the joint busiest hiring market in Asian Pacific, alongside Australia. The lateral hiring markets in Japan, Thailand, and Indonesia grew stably in Q3.

Despite several economic headwinds, Corporate/M&A/Capital Markets practices remain the top partner recruiting areas in the Asia Pacific, despite a 48% drop from 2021. Real Estate and Employment remained stable in term of hiring numbers compared to 2021.

The top partner recruiter so far in 2022 is Herbert Smith Freehills, with two more partner hires made in Q3 (Hong Kong and Bangkok). the firm also made its largest ever round of senior associate promotions of Asian ethnicity. Singaporean law firms, including ADTLaw and DentonsRodyk, and leading Indian law firm Trilegal, were active in Q3.

Top Partner Recruiters in the Region

Appointments

  • Despite countries in the region showing success in suppressing the Covid-19 pandemic, we still saw a 25% decrease in senior appointments in 2022 compared to 2021.
  • July saw significant drops in 2022 compared to 2021 and 2020.
  • The APAC lateral hiringmarket saw consecutive growth in July, August and September.

Locations 

  • Australia saw76 key recruitments in Q1, Q2 and Q3 of 2022, followed by Singapore (58) and Hong Kong (53).
  • Despite that Australian hiring spree, we saw a decreasing overallin that market. It is also rare to see Japan, Thailand, and Indonesia more active than China.

Practices

  • Corporate/M&A/Capital Markets practices dominated the key hires in Q1, Q2, and Q3 of 2022.
  • All practices except Real Estate observed a drop compared to 2021.
  • Despite a drop overall in Corporate/M&A/Capital Markets, hiring in those areas remains popular in the region.

Types

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Baker Botts Redraws Asia Strategy Map With Singapore Opening

At the end of 2021 Baker Botts announced it was closing its Hong Kong office, just over a year after shuttering its Beijing premises, bringing to an end a 16-year physical presence in Greater China, and Asia as a whole. Not only was this the latest in a number of law firm withdrawals from the region, it was also part of a trend of energy-focused firms seemingly giving up on Asia (Locke Lord and Vinson & Elkins made their own exits belatedly official in late 2020). As with the other two firms, Baker Botts had allowed headcount to dwindle, in their case until only one partner was resident in Hong Kong, so the announcement arguably came as neither a shock nor a surprise. What came as both, however, was the recent announcement that the firm had reopened in Asia with a three-partner team hire from Ashurst in Singapore. Asia was not permanently off the agenda, it is now clear.

The team comprises of Ashurst’s then-global co-head of international projects Richard Guit, energy resources and infrastructure partner Michael Harrison and energy projects partner Daniel Reinbott. At the time of the firm’s Hong Kong closure, they issued a statement leaving to door open to alternative Asia openings, but then which exiting firm doesn’t? The timing suggests that Singapore was already in the firm’s thinking even at that time.

Another notable aspect of this move is the pivot from China/Hong Kong to Singapore, a process also followed by McDermott, Will & Emery and Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe in recent years. UK firm Addleshaw Goddard also ceased operations in Hong Kong in 2022 but maintains its Singapore presence.

Much has been made of Hong Kong’s internal difficulties in recent years, and the strain that travel restrictions and social distancing requirements have put an increasingly frustrated population under. Finally the Hong Kong government has lifted inbound quarantine restrictions which had severely compromised the SAR’s status as an international business hub, and the phrases “opening up” and “bouncing back” have been bandied about with much optimism. But in the meantime, it seems Singapore has stolen a march on Hong Kong as a venue for international firms making entrepreneurial moves in APAC.

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Preparing for your lateral move

Making a lateral move is arguably the most significant part of a private practitioner’s career after making partner, so making this decision is contingent on a number of important factors including timing, cultural fit, business compatibility and long-term planning. Let us help you take the first step in your lateral move.

Why a lateral move?

There are many reasons for making a lateral move, including better remuneration, faster progression to equity, access to a larger/more blue-chip client base, relocation to other markets, or joining a more prestigious firm. It may be that you have reached a glass ceiling where you are and need a new challenge, or your current firm is restructuring and you have been asked to leave. However, to lay the groundwork for a successful move, you must above all ask the key questions: what are the reasons for leaving your current law firm and can those issues be satisfied at your prospective new firm?

Is there such a thing as perfect timing?

When you start thinking about a lateral move, it may appear timing is a key factor. Our answer is: There is no perfect time to go to market. As many lawyers will move after receiving bonuses in the first quarter of the year, there is also more competition for the plum roles. Also, people generally think summer is not a good time to move as many senior partners will be taking vacation, which would theoretically slow down the process. In reality, the lateral partner hiring process is so lengthy (anywhere between three to 12 months, and beyond) that picking the ideal moment to begin is all but impossible.

You may also like to know which career stage is the best time is to move. In the past, the accepted rule was that partners were expected to have a certain amount of portable business (generally around US$1m per year) to be viable to the market. According to the American Lawyer’s report in 2017 lateral success rate is highest for moves in their 50s. However in today’s market, mid-sized or leading regional/country firms are open to considering smaller books of business as long as incoming partners can demonstrate business development capability in the medium term or can service existing clients from an ongoing workflow. This in particular applies to younger partners. Partners will always have to pay their own way, there are just different methods of getting to this point. So again, there is no “best” time to move, only the best time for you.

How to identify firms that are a good fit?

A successful lateral switch should ideally provide a better platform for your business to grow, so an appropriate amount of due diligence on a potential law firm is crucial. Will the move offer the opportunity to grow your practice through a better brand and stronger internal resources, marketing as well as fee-earning? Is the size of the international or regional network of the firm a factor for you?

Every major firm’s Profit- per-Equity-Partner figures are readily available but they only show part of the story. Your own compensation package may bear little or no resemblance to those figures so PEP shouldn’t necessarily be a benchmark for your own expectations, but they are a useful indicator of a firm’s prosperity in general.

Keeping your current clients is a big part of making a successful lateral move. Conflict issues have scuppered many a lateral move, meaning that the incoming partner’s business case becomes much less viable if key clients cannot be ported over. Clearing conflicts is something most firms will look to do early in the process so have a recent client list prepared.

Prepare yourself. Firms will demand that you complete a questionnaire and a business plan. The questionnaire generally deals with your career to date, the business plan deals with your future. It is worth sounding out key clients on a discreet basis about their enthusiasm for instructing new at your proposed new firm. This will shape your business plan. Also try to contact alumni with a connection to the firm. A hiring firm will naturally present their best side, you will need to get another angle for a complete picture.

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Celebrating IWD 2022 with the first Chairwoman in Vietnam of an international law firm

Dr. Nguyen Thi Lang, the first chairwoman in Vietnam of a global law firm, is also one of the first two J.D. graduates from HCMC University of Law and is therefore an ideal role model to discuss this year’s International Women’s Day theme, Breaking the Bias. In this interview with Sam Kenworthy, Dr. Lang Nguyen shared her career experience and tips for breaking the glass ceiling.

Dr Lang Nguyen: Dr Nguyen Thi Lang, Chairwoman of Duane Morris Vietnam

Sam: Sam Kenworthy, Director – Head of Private Practice, Hughes-Castell

 ———————-

Sam: What made you pursue a career in law?

Dr Lang Nguyen: First of all, law is actually one popular academic degree in higher-level education. It requires a tremendous amount of study and continuous learning to stay updated on new laws, policies, changes and trends in the legal environment.

Being a logical person with strong critical thinking and an active mind, I found law very interesting with many knowledge facets for various fields including business, constitutional, criminal, environmental, health care, intellectual property, etc. Law governs almost everything in our life.

I started pursuing the career in law at the Ho Chi Minh City University of Law and obtained my bachelor law degree in 1999. Coincidentally, my mother-in-law was, and still is, one of the most famous lawyers in the country, with a good reputation and known for her charisma. She inspired me to follow the legal career path, and strongly encouraged me to enhance my studies by going forward with the Master’s and Doctorate degrees in law.

After following the legal path for over two decades, I continue to recognize that law is still really interesting to me. There is no case the same as other cases, the matters are always new, varied, challenging and the problems you have to handle are constantly changing. You have to adapt, develop your mind, embrace new knowledge, handle new experiences and hear other perspectives all the time. To sum up, those have been my inspirations, my motivations and the basis of the pursuit of my career in law.

Sam: What specific challenges have you experienced as a woman in law during your career?

Dr Lang Nguyen: A female lawyer has to face many challenges during her career path, not just in Vietnam but in every nation, all over the world.

First, I have to deal with the challenge of balancing between my great responsibilities with my job and my family life, especially my role as a child-bearer. As you may know, a legal career can be very stressful. I have to be both fast and accurate under high-pressure while the matters are diverse and involve a wide range of areas, from banking & finance, real estate, complex M&A transactions, large scale investment, power supply and infrastructure, etc.  to give just some examples. The clients are from many nationalities, with different cultures, characters, demands, etc. Accordingly, I have to be very hardworking and sharp.

But the moment I go back home, I again have to be a wife, a mother, to build a loving family life with my husband and take care of the kids. Luckily, my mother-in-law and my husband are very understanding and supportive to me in my work and the family duties.

On the other hand, I would need to mention about gender discrimination which occurs everywhere, not just in the legal field. You may see that nowadays it is no longer a small number of women who are lawyers and associates at law firms, but still very few are partners, especially in international/global law firms. Hence, I have always worked hard, not just hard enough, in trying to express my talents and prove that I am also strong, brave and not afraid of any challenges, and attempting to network with business partners and clients so that I now proudly stand at this position today, the first Vietnamese Chairwoman of a global law firm in Vietnam.

Sam: Would you share any outstanding accomplishment(s) that have shaped your career? Have there been any make-or-break moments?

Dr Lang Nguyen: There have been various milestones in my professional life which have shaped my career path. After graduating as one of the first two doctors in law from Ho Chi Minh City Law University, I also became one of the first two Vietnamese lawyers who was appointed as an international counsel of a magic circle law firm in Vietnam. I then became a partner of one of the first foreign law companies in Vietnam  at the age of 35. At that time there were only comparatively few female partners in the international law firms, especially in Vietnam. Subsequently, I have been nominated as a Chairwomen of the Duane Morris offices in Vietnam, which makes me very proud of myself, being one of the first Vietnamese lawyers who became the Chair of a global law firm in Vietnam.

Sam: What are the most important attributes which have led to your progression to a global law firm’s executive role?

Dr Lang Nguyen: From my perspective, what has contributed the most to my progression to an executive role in a global law firm is firstly my character. I am very adaptable, open-minded and not afraid of changing and improving my experiences and my knowledge every single day.

Secondly, I must mention my background at various large international law firms such as PwC Legal, Freshfields, Frasers, and Duane Morris. I have accumulated deep knowledge and experience from many years of hard work in legal practice, at very different firms.

This variety has brought me an in-depth understanding of the global legal working lifestyle, culture and people. Last but not least, a value which brought me to the position of a female partner and also a chairperson in a global law firm is my professional and interpersonal skills. I can manage to handle professional tasks, cultivate a strong relationship between clients and the firms, and display good management skills over my colleagues working in the firm.

Sam: Can you highlight any mentor who has inspired you and why? 

Dr Lang Nguyen: I must say that my first, longest-standing and the most important mentor of my legal life is my mother-in-law. She has almost 40 years of experience working as a leading lawyer specializing in real estate, commercial and corporate, researching and teaching at Hanoi Law University and Ho Chi Minh City University of Law, and she also holds a significant role in the Ho Chi Minh City Bar Association. As I mentioned earlier, she was the one who inspired me to keep learning and chasing my dream of being a lawyer. From the early days of my career, she oriented and instructed me a lot so that I could choose an appropriate road to follow my legal career for more than 20 years.

Sam: You are one of the first two Doctors of Law from HCMC University of Law; have you always been academically driven?

Dr Lang Nguyen: To be honest, I love learning new things, and accumulating both academic and practical knowledge. That is why I had constantly been studying from my Bachelor’s law degree to my Master’s degree up to my doctorate. It was a long journey which took me almost 12 years with significant encouragement and support from my family. At present, my academically driven path varies a little bit from studying to delivering knowledge to law students and young lawyers. Actually, this is also another way of learning. At this point of my life, I want to transmit my knowledge, experience which I have achieved for years to the next generation by being a lecturer of the master and doctor degrees for legal professionals held by Tra Vinh University, Ho Chi Minh City University of Law, University of Law and Economics.

Sam: As a leader, you must have a lot on your plate. How do you balance your work and personal life? 

Dr Lang Nguyen: Being a chairwoman in a global law firm means you have to deal a lot with both professional and management responsibilities, which could cost a lot of time. I, of course, have many instances of working overnight or working through weekends. However, I always try to spend time with my family, especially my husband and my kids. Attempting to have dinner with family every day is a real challenge in this position, but that’s what I want to do.

I want my kids to know they still have me beside them during their childhood and their lives later on. I am also very pleased that despite many challenges in my work and personal life which have been observed by my children, my daughter has also been inspired by my work and she has made up her mind to follow the law career path leading her to currently study law at Monash University. In addition, I still keep in touch with my high school and university friends. So sometimes after work or after any long period of being involved in high-pressure deals/matters, I can still spend my time hanging out with them, talking and sharing with them many other aspects outside of my working life.

Sam: Is there a single piece of advice you’d give to any aspiring junior female lawyers?

Dr Lang Nguyen: I would encourage them not to fear taking on challenges in work and their personal life, and they should have the passion to learn new things and enrich their knowledge every single day. To keep learning from all other people you interact with, schools, lecturers, peers, co-workers, colleagues, clients and from all matters in which you are involved during their working life is very important and fulfilling.

The world keeps changing every day, as does legal practice. Therefore, in the early stages of their careers, junior lawyers must learn to be adaptive and be flexible, and to keep challenging their minds, seeking relevant methods of approaching different issues if so required by the job. Do not forget to make and maintain friendships and practice networking skills, making business development easier in the future. And most of all, think outside of the box, prepare to take on the global stage and never stop learning.

Thank you very much.

Featured

How to succeed in a video job interview

Video interviewing is becoming an essential part of the hiring process. During the coronavirus outbreak, companies are moving more and more interviews to video to reduce non-essential face-to-face meetings. Being able to communicate your value well to a prospective employer via video is, therefore, paramount. Here are four tips for managing your nerves and turning up for your video job interview confident and well prepared.

Preparation

The key to a successful video job interview is to prepare beforehand. Remember to keep testing your environment and equipment regularly to ensure everything is working properly. Practice by making a video of yourself answering the questions on camera as many times as you can to familiarise yourself with all the variables.

Your online interview might be conducted through an application such as Zoom, Microsoft Teams, Skype Business, Google Meet, WhatsApp, WeChat, Feishu/Lark, or other video conferencing programs. When you confirm the application, be sure to clean up the profile you will use or create a new professional account. Don’t use any account with a comedic or light-hearted screen name like “loveUxxx92xX” or a profile picture showing you in a similar vein. Plus, in case you are requested to take the interview with an application you are not familiar, do run trials on the software as many times as possible.

You must find a suitable place to conduct a video interview. Key is to be in a place free of distractions. So the best place to do your video interview is in your own home where you can control the surroundings. A coffee shop or a friend’s place may bring unintended distractions that are out of your control. When you are interviewing with a potential employer, try to ensure that no one else is in there, at least in the same room.

We recommend using a laptop or desktop computer with a webcam supported by a stable internet connection with a bandwidth speed of at least one megabits per second. Headphones with a built-in microphone would be perfect.

Pay attention to the lighting too. Finding a good brightness level is essential. You do not want to have light sources behind you since that will leave your face in shadow. Play with the lighting in the room beforehand to help put the perfect spotlight on you.

Dress and Appearance

Dress professionally! Wear the same interview attire you would like for an in-person interview. While the camera angle should only show you from the waist up, there is a possibility you will need to stand up at some point, so make sure everything below the waist looks professional.

Colours work differently on camera than in real life. First, choose clothing that does not blend into the background. Second, try not to wear colors that contrast too much. This means combining pure white and pure black is not ideal. The camera will over-adjust and end up making the white too bright. Third, wearing solid colours are better than patterns which may distort on camera.

If you wear glasses, remember to adjust the lighting in the room to reduce glare from the lenses.

You should also be aware of makeup. It can come across very differently on camera. You can take a few photos using your webcam to find the right balance.

During the Interview

Make eye contact, and remember that means looking at the camera at eye-level rather than at the faces on your computer screen.

A video interview can deaden your energy, so you have to proactively make sure that you smile and speak clearly, slowly but enthusiastically. Remember not to fidget or make a lot of movement, you may appear out of focus should the connection be slow or unstable. It may also be distracting for the interviewer.

Try to convey optimism with your body language throughout the interview. One way to achieve this is to maintain good posture, sitting with your back straight, feet on the ground, and arms resting on your laptop or the desk. When you are listening, nod and smile when appropriate to communicate.

Memorize important information! Unlike a phone interview where you can rely on notes, video interviews are just like in-person interviews where you cannot use notes or sticky memos. Although interviewers cannot see your notes, it will appear obvious when you look down/elsewhere to review your notes and can disrupt the flow of the conversation.

What If Something Goes Wrong?

You cannot predict an accident, but you can prepare for the worst. There is always a chance of an unavoidable problem. Here are three rules to have ready just in case:

  • Remember to ask for a phone number before the interview so that you can reach the other party if you experience technical difficulties such as audio and/or video cutting out or the connection dropping.
  • Remember to apologise for any interruption (sirens, construction noise, traffic, etc.) and ask for a few moments until the disturbance has subsided. If the interruption is severe, you could mute your microphone.
  • Remember to explain to the interviewer if there is an emergency. If someone enters the room unexpectedly or you need to leave the room immediately, you should briefly tell them what is going on and ask if you can call or email later to reschedule.

As with phone or in-person interviews, you should thank the interviewer for the opportunity and follow up with a post-interview thank-you email within 24 hours. It would be great if you can add something that you and the interviewer discussed that will make your thank-you email more personal.

Editor: Sam Kenworthy (Director – Head of Private Practice, Hughes-Castell)

Contributor: Fai Choi (Marketing Manager, Hughes-Castell)

Legal Move Updates (Oct – Dec 2022)

Editor’s note: This is an ongoing list.

December 

5 December – Ashurst (Hong Kong, China)

London-headquartered Ashurst has hired restructuring and insolvency expert Lance Jiang as a partner in Hong Kong from Addleshaw Goddard, which recently closed its office in the Chinese city.

With this move, Jiang becomes the latest Addleshaws Hong Kong partner to find a new home, after litigator Janie Wong, who moved to Howse Williams, and disputes head Ronald Sum, who joined Baker McKenzie.

Jiang has more than 20 years of experience and advises on cross-border restructurings and insolvencies with a Chinese element. He joined Addleshaw Goddard in 2018 from an in-house role at Chinese distressed-debt manager Great Wall AMC International Holdings. (from http://www.legalbusinessonline.com)

November

29 November – King & Spalding (Singapore, Singapore)

King & Spalding announced today that Richard Sharpe, an experienced trial lawyer and former barrister, has joined the firm as a partner in its Special Matters and Government Investigations practice. He is based in the firm’s Singapore office.

Sharpe assists multinational clients with a variety of criminal, civil fraud and transactions matters, including anti-bribery and corruption, anti-money laundering, international sanctions, cyber-crime, other cross-border investigations, and strategic transactions assessment. He also has significant experience in complex civil litigation and arbitrations arising from fraud and other misconduct and advises global companies on investment-related international risk and the design and implementation of compliance programs. (from http://www.kslaw.com)

23 November – Kennedys (Singapore, Singapore)

UK law firm Kennedys has bolstered its aviation offering in Asia by hiring Tristan Thompson as a partner in Singapore from DLA Piper, and naming Anita Quy as its new APAC practice head.

Thompson specialises in handling aviation and aerospace matters on behalf of operators and their insurers and reinsurers across jurisdictions. He joined DLA, where he was most recently a legal director, in 2019. Thompson began his career at Clyde & Co. (from http://www.legalbusinessonline.com)

23 November – Zhong Lun Law Firm (Hong Kong, China)

The PRC’s Zhong Lun Law Firm has hired disputes expert Terence Luk as a partner in Hong Kong from local firm Fairbairn Catley Low & Kong, where he spent about 25 years.

Luk advises on a range of disputes, including shareholder disputes, commercial litigation, cross-border arbitration, receivership, liquidation, bankruptcy, divorce, custody, wardship, guardianship, mediation, Mental Health Ordinance-related applications, professional misconduct, defamation, shipping, contentious probate matters, commercial fraud, disciplinary proceedings, regulatory and criminal matters.

His clients include companies listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange and NASDAQ, real estate developers, local and international banks and other financial institutions, multijurisdictional corporations, charitable organizations, NGOs, government officials, celebrities and affluent individuals. (from http://www.legalbusinessonline.com)

23 Novmeber – Trilegal (Bengaluru, India)

Indian law firm Trilegal has hired labour and employment lawyer Veena Gopalakrishnan as a partner in Bengaluru from AZB & Partners.

With 14 years of experience in employment law advisory, Gopalakrishnan offers advice relating to workforce structuring, employee mobility and employee benefits. She has also worked with organisations and industry bodies to create awareness of workplace sexual harassment, LGBTQIA+ inclusion, and diversity and inclusion. (from http://www.legalbusinessonline.com)

22 November – Withers (Hong Kong, China)

U.K.-based firm Withers has hired Dentons’ Hong Kong private funds lead, Simon Wong, as a partner.

Wong’s appointment comes just weeks after the firm brought on veteran corporate partner Kazumitsu Goto from Japanese firm TMI Associates in Tokyo. (from http://www.law.com)

21 November – Squire Patton Boggs (Sydney, Australia)

Squire Patton Boggs has appointed Graeme Slattery to lead its Sydney office, replacing Campbell Davidson, who has led the office since the firm launched in Australia a decade ago.

Davidson, a mergers and acquisitions lawyer, will remain with the firm, according to the firm. (from http://www.law.com)

20 November – Clyde & Co (Bangkok, Thailand)

Clyde & Co will soon be launching a new office in Bangkok, Thailand, having hired partner Ian Johnston and legal director Sorawat Wongkaweepairot from the shuttered Thai office of Kennedys.

The Thai office, which will open subject to regulatory approval, will focus on providing insurance advice to local and international insurers and reinsurers, and litigation and arbitration services, according to the firm’s statement. (from http://www.law.com)

16 November – Selvam (Singapore, Singapore)

Selvam, Duane Morris’ Singapore joint law venture firm, has added Jerald Foo as a director in its litigation and dispute resolution group from local firm Oon & Bazul.

A former judicial officer, Foo focuses on commercial litigation, arbitration, and mediation. He joined Oon & Bazul as a partner in September last year along with fellow litigator Priscilla Lua. Both were senior associates at Cavenagh Law, the Singapore law firm of Clifford Chance.

Foo’s areas of practice include cross-border disputes, company law, banking law, equity and trust, joint venture and shareholder disputes, restructuring and insolvency, fraud and asset recovery, international trade, oil and gas, employment and white-collar crime. (from http://www.legalbusinessonline.com)

16 November – Tilleke & Gibbins (HCMC, Vietnam)

Thai firm Tilleke & Gibbins has boosted its corporate and commercial advisory capability with the hire of YKVN M&A partner, Tram Ngoc Bich Nguyen, for its Ho Chi Minh City office.

Nguyen, who has spent 16 years at Vietnamese firm YKVN becoming partner in 2019, specializes in advising on domestic and cross-border M&A transactions. Qualified in Vietnam, she also advises on real-estate projects as well as data protection laws. (from http://www.law.com)

15 November – Dentsu Group Inc (Tokyo, Japan)

Tokyo-based advertising and public relations giant Dentsu Group has promoted Alison Zoellner to general counsel, effective in January.

The post will give Zoellner responsibility for legal and compliance teams for 900 companies owned by Dentsu, which does business in 145 countries. (from http://www.law.com)

15 November – Fangda Partners (Shanghai & Shenzhen, China)

Aaron Chen, who has returned from Jia Yuan Law Offices, is a Fangda partner in Shanghai. He focuses on IPO, investment, financing, M&A and restructuring in many areas such as automobiles, aviation, electrical appliances, energy and pharmaceuticals.

Chen’s clients included famous companies such as SAIC Motor, Junshi Biosciences, Apptec and Midea Group.

He was a member of the 18th Main Board Issuance Appraisal Committee of the China Securities Regulatory Commission.

Zou Wen, who had previously spent five years at GEN Law Firm and AnJie & Broad Law Firm after leaving the Shenzhen Intermediate People’s Court in 2017, has joined Fangda’s Shenzhen office as a partner. She had served the court for more than a decade, specialising in IP and criminal law. (from http://www.law.com)

14 November – Paul Hastings (Hong Kong, China)

Paul Hastings has boosted to its capital markets stead by adding Deacons partner, Peter Cheng, to its Hong Kong office.

Cheng primarily represents issuers and underwriters on Hong Kong initial public offerings (IPO). He also advises corporates on compliance with Hong Kong Listing Rules, as well as on M&A and private equity investments. He has particular experience acting for companies dealing in the TMT sector. (from http://www.law.com)

14 November – Pinsent Masons (Sydney, Australia)

Pinsent Masons has poached an energy and infrastructure team from K&L Gates to join its Sydney office, while Baker McKenzie and HFW have also made hires in the city.

The Pinsent Masons team consists of partner Kirstie Richards and senior associates Luke Salem and Alec Kibblewhite, who will lead the firm’s Australian planning and environment capabilities, the firm announced. (from http://www.law.com)

11 November – Karas (Hong Kong, China)

Karas LLP in association with Mishcon de Reya is growing its contentious and non-contentious private client capabilities, welcoming new Partner Jonathan Mok and his team to its Hong Kong office on 1 December 2022.

One year on from Karas LLP and Mishcon de Reya launching their association, this marks a significant expansion of the firms’ trilingual private client capability, complementing the expertise across Mishcon de Reya’s London and Singapore offices.

Jonathan is an established senior lawyer, known for his work in high-profile family disputes, criminal defence and regulatory compliance practices.

His reputation for promoting his clients’ interests – beyond a sole focus on family matters to include regional and global wealth planning – has been developed both as the sole principal of Jonathan Mok Legal and in his years spent within international law firms. He will be joined by Carmen Cheng as Special Counsel, along with associate Sarah Wong and legal assistant Angela Li. (from http://www.mishcon.com)

10 November – Reed Smith (Singapore, Singapore)

Reed Smith has continued its Asia expansion with the addition of an associate from Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy in Singapore.

Hui Ling Teo, a transportation lawyer who has spent the last seven years at Milbank in Singapore, has left the firm to join Reed Smith as a partner. (from http://www.law.com)

10 November – Saraf and Partners (Mumbai, India)

Indian law firm Saraf and Partners has hired litigation and arbitration specialist Sairam Subramanian as a partner in Mumbai from Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas & Co.

Subramanian is experienced in general and commercial disputes, infrastructure and property-related disputes. He joined SAM in 2019 from Khaitan & Co, prior to which he worked at DSK Legal. (from http://www.legalbusinessonline.com)

8 November – White & Case (Sydney, Australia)

White & Case has launched a debt finance practice in Australia with the hire of two former London based partners.

Partner duo Mark Wesseldine and David Kirkland will spearhead a new debt finance practice, based in the firm’s Sydney office. (from http://www.law.com)

8 November – Bird & Bird (Hong Kong, China)

International law firm Bird & Bird welcomes back Wilfred Ng as a partner in the Tech & Comms team, based in Hong Kong. He started at the firm on the 1st of November.

Wilfred joins from Tencent’s International Privacy and Data Protection Department where he was Senior Legal Counsel, specialising in data protection and privacy issues. Before this role, he was a technology, media, telecoms and data protection lawyer at Bird & Bird in the Hong Kong office, with a secondment in the London Commercial practice covering a range of commercial regulatory and corporate transactional matters in the TMT space. (from http://www.twobirds.com)

7 November – K&L Gates (Hong Kong, China)

K&L Gates has hired Simmons & Simmons debt capital markets partner Jay Lee in Hong Kong.

Qualified in Hong Kong and the U.S., Lee advises financial institutions and corporations on debt capital markets transactions including RMB bonds, G3 bonds, high-yield bonds, asset-backed securities, medium-term notes, and loan syndications. He also advises on structured debt products and derivatives transactions, as well as mergers and acquisitions. (from http://www.law.com)

3 November – Clyde & Co (Singapore, Singapore)

Clyde & Co has hired projects expert Ton van den Bosch (L) as a partner in Singapore from Addleshaw Goddard, where he was the office managing partner.

van den Bosch joined Addleshaw Goddard as a partner in 2019 from Ince & Co, where he was head of the global terminals and maritime infrastructure practice and energy and projects team in South and Southeast Asia. He was earlier general counsel at International Container Terminal Services and Bluewater Energy Services, and also worked at Allen & Overy.

Specialising in corporate, restructuring and project development, van den Bosch focuses on the energy, offshore, logistics, ports, transportation, infrastructure, agribusiness and terminals industries in frontier and emerging markets in Asia, the Gulf and in Africa.

Clyde & Co has also hired Sumyutha Sivamani as legal director in Singapore from RPC. Sivamani specialises in cyber risk and incident response.  (from http://www.legalbusinessonline.com)

2 November – Makarim & Taira S (Jakarta, Indonesia)

Indonesian law firm ADCO Law has hired Alexandra (Alex) Gerungan as partner and head of its litigation and alternative dispute resolution practice from Makarim & Taira S, where she spent more than 17 years.

She is ADCO’s second partner hire in a little over a month, with the other being corporate lawyer Alta Mahandara, who joined from Wibowo Hadiwijaya & Co in September.

Gerungan has expertise in civil lawsuits, arbitration, employment, debt recovery and restructuring, insurance claims, police and anti-corruption investigations, compliance and internal investigations, and other general corporate and commercial issues. She started her career at Luhut MP Pangaribuan & Partners. (from http://www.legalbusinessonline.com)

2 November – White & Case (Sydney, Australia)

White & Case has hired an antitrust partner from Norton Rose Fulbright to its antitrust practice in Sydney.

Belinda Harvey is the firm’s second recent antitrust hire in Sydney, with partner Stefanie Benson joining from Allen & Overy. (from http://www.law.com)

2 November – Shihui Partners (Beijing, China)

Chinese law firm Shihui Partners has hired a team of over 30 intellectual property (IP) practitioners, including patent lawyers, and patent agents and process managers.

One of its new partners is Yue Weining, who joins from King & Wood Mallesons. Yue, who made partner at King & Wood in 2016, has a legal career spanning 15 years specializing in the protection of intellectual property rights with a particular focus on high-tech areas including electronics. He has advised domestic and international technology companies in emerging markets on IP rights protection involving business areas like artificial intelligence, computer software and algorithms to chips and semiconductors. (from http://www.law.com)

1 November – Baker McKenzie (China)

Shih Yann Loo, a senior partner in Baker McKenzie Hong Kong’s intellectual property (IP) group, has been appointed as the firm’s Asia Pacific chair. He succeeds M&A and tax partner Michael Wong, who has returned to practice in Taipei.

As an IP partner qualified in Hong Kong, Singapore and the U.K., Loo’s practice focuses on cross-border litigation enforcement in Hong Kong and China. He has represented clients in some of the largest IP litigation cases across Greater China. These landmark cases include advising a U.S. client on a patent litigation against China’s technology and electronics giant Huawei, and also litigating successfully the first trade secret case in China. (from http://www.law.com)

October

31 October – Ashurst (Canberra, Australia)

Ashurst has hired a special counsel from Australian firm Clayton Utz to join as a partner in the firm’s digital economy team, as it expands its Canberra office to help Australian Government agencies in digital and data projects.

Mathew Baldwin has advised public and private sector clients on a range of contracting and procurement law issues including cloud services, cyber security and data protection, Ashurst said in a statement. (from http://www.law.com)

31 October – Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher (Singapore, Singapore)

Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher has hired a new disputes partner, Paul Tan, for its Singapore office.

Tan, a former partner at Cavenagh Law, which operates in a Formal Law Alliance (FLA) in Singapore with Clifford Chance, will lead the Asia international arbitration practice at Gibson Dunn. (from http://www.law.com)

30 October – Clyde & Co (Sydney, Australia)

Clyde & Co appointed head of insurance Lucinda Lyons as its new Australia managing partner.

Lyons, who joined the firm as a partner in 2016, will take over the role from current incumbent Michael Tooma when his five-year term expires on Nov. 1. (from http://www.law.com)

27 October – Dechert (Hong Kong, China)

Dechert has appointed its next Hong Kong managing partner 10 months after the former office leader left the firm.

Asia head and global co-head of white collar, compliance and investigations at Dechert Maria Sit has been appointed to the role, replacing David Cho who left the firm in January. (from http://www.law.com)

27 October – Nozomi Sogo Attorneys at Law (Tokyo, Japan)

Nozomi Sogo Attorneys At Law has hired the president of European Business Council in Japan as the Tokyo-based firm’s first foreign partner.

Swiss-qualified Michael Mroczek, who previously spent a nearly ten-year stint as the first foreign law partner at Okuno & Partners, specializes in international dispute resolution. He is registered as an EU lawyer with the Warsaw Bar Association. The experienced litigator has also served as a former president of the Swiss Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Japan, and an attorney-at-law at Swiss law firm Stach Rechtsanwälte AG. (from http://www.law.com)

25 October – Yoon & Yang (Seoul, Korea)

South Korea Big Six law firm Yoon & Yang has hired two lawyers and a consultant for its aviation practice, taking its head count in that specialised offering to eight lawyers.

Helen Sohn, a veteran aviation lawyer, has joined Yoon & Yang as senior foreign attorney. She was most recently a partner at the firm’s Big Six rival, Lee & Ko, where she had practiced for almost three decades. (from http://www.law.com)

25 October – Herbert Smith Freehills  (Singapore, Singapore)

Herbert Smith Freehills has appointed global co-heads of its technology, media and telecoms sector, with one of the appointments based in its Singapore office for the first time.

Singapore-based partner Mark Robinson takes up one of the co-head roles alongside London partner Veronica Roberts. (from http://www.law.com)

24 October – IndusLaw (Mumbai, India)

Indian law firm IndusLaw has recruited corporate specialist Ashutosh Narang as a partner in Mumbai from Luthra & Luthra Law Offices, which he leaves after a seven-month stint.

Narang, who joined Luthra from a general counsel role at Capital India Finance in March, has more than 16 years of experience. He advises on corporate and commercial matters with focus on banking and finance, fintech, Insolvency & Bankruptcy Code and other regulatory advisory work. His clients include funds, banks and other financial entities. Prior to joining Capital India Finance, Narang worked for law firms AZB & Partners and Link Legal. (from http://www.legalbusinessonline.com)

19 October – Luthra & Luthra Law Offices (Delhi & Bengaluru, India)

Indian law firm Luthra & Luthra Law Offices has hired two partners, Tamal Mandal in Delhi, and Abhilekh Verma in Bengaluru. They join from the UK’s Department for International Trade (DIT) and from Kochhar & Co, respectively.

Mandal will be joining the firm’s international trade practice, while Verma will be a part of the corporate practice.

These partner hires are Luthra’s first since August, when the firm brought on board corporate lawyer Sarika Raichur and litigator Abhimanyu Kampani as partners in Delhi from Kochhar & Co and Rajiv Mohan Law Offices, respectively. The firm is currently in a rebuilding phase, after losing 21 partners to DSK Legal in July this year.

With more than 13 years of experience, Mandal advises on litigation, arbitration, inter-state disputes, and trade and investment policies and negotiations with a focus on emerging sectors such as climate change, e-commerce, artificial intelligence, and data privacy. Before joining DIT in 2020, he worked for the World Trade Organization. Mandal started his career at the erstwhile Amarchand & Mangaldas & Suresh A Shroff & Co in 2009.

Meanwhile, Verma has more than 26 years of experience. He joined Kochhar as a partner in 2017 from Khaitan & Co, prior to which he worked at J Sagar Associates, and in an in-house role with telecom major Bharti Airtel. (from http://www.legalbusinessonline.com)

19 October – HFW (Hong Kong, China)

UK law firm HFW has added a new partner, disputes expert Kevin Warburton, in its Hong Kong office. Warburton will join HFW from local firm Tanner De Witt.

Warburton is HFW’s first partner hire in Hong Kong since September last year, when disputes lawyer Karen Cheung joined from Li & Partners.

With 15 years of experience, Warburton advises on arbitration, commercial litigation, regulatory investigations and inquiries, and privacy and cyber security. He joined Tanner De Witt in 2020 from Slaughter and May, where he spent about 13 years, leaving as a partner. (from http://www.legalbusinessonline.com)

18 October – Zhong Lun Law Firm (Shanghai, China)

Zhong Lun Law Firm has hired Jiang Haoxiong as a partner in its capital markets practice, who was previously a partner at Chen & Co Law Firm and Hui Cheng & Partners.

With 30-plus years of experience in capital markets, Jiang specifically focuses on outbound and inbound public offerings and listings, M&A, private equity investing, and cross-border financing.

He was a member of the 10th and 11th Main Board Issuance Appraisal Committee of the China Securities Regulatory Commission, which “helps corporates to grab opportunities and develop smoothly amid the strengthened capital markets regulatory environment”, according to Zhong Lun.

Jiang has advised on significant transactions, such as the Haid Group listing on the SZSE, the Sinopharm Group listing on the HKEX, Fosun High Technology’s listing on the HKEX via a red-chip structure, and French firm Groupe SEB acquiring Chinese-listed company Supor via an equity transfer agreement, voluntary general offer and private placement. (from http://www.law.asia)

18 October – Grandway Law Offices (Shanghai, China)

Grandway Law Offices welcomed Peng Cheng as partner. Peng was originally from AllBright Law Offices. Peng is a capital markets expert and has extensive experience in corporate restructuring and listing, New Third Board listing, equity investment and financing, and mergers and acquisitions. (from http://www.legalbusinessonline.com)

18 October – JunHe (Hong Kong, China)

In Hong Kong SAR, JunHe recently added Philip Kwok as partner. Before joining JunHe, Kwok worked at EY’s Hong Kong member firm, LC lawyers.

Kwok was among the first batch of lawyers to pass the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macau Greater Bay Area Legal Professional Examination. Kwok focuses on complex commercial litigation and arbitration, regulatory investigations, cybersecurity and data protection, financial technology compliance, electronic data preservation and retention, as well as disputes and regulatory matters for internet and e-commerce businesses. (from http://www.legalbusinessonline.com)

18 October – King & Spalding (Middle East, Singapore & Tokyo)

International law firm King & Spalding said Monday it hired Damien Bailey, the one-time global co-head of telecommunications at Herbert Smith Freehills as a partner to its corporate, finance and investments practice group.

Bailey joins King & Spalding from KPMG Law, where he was a partner. Before joining KPMG, Bailey led the telecom practice at HSF. He also previously led the Asia-Pacific technology, media, telecommunications practice at Simmons & Simmons in Hong Kong.

Bailey, currently based in Sydney, Australia, is expected to divide his time between the firm’s Middle East, Singapore and Tokyo offices, and focuses on data, digital, technology and telecommunications transactions, King & Spalding said in a statement. (from http://www.legalbusinessonline.com)

17 October – Thomson Geer (Sydney, Australia)

Australian law firm Thomson Geer has hired a special counsel from top tier corporate firm Clayton Utz to join its construction disputes practice as a partner.

Jack Fan, who joins Thomson Geer’s Sydney office, has experience in complex disputes involving major public infrastructure and has acted on some of the largest public infrastructure projects in New South Wales, including the Sydney Metro Northwest and City and Southwest projects, Parramatta Light Rail, a number of stages of the WestConnex motorway, the NorthConnex motorway, and various rollingstock projects. (from http://www.legalbusinessonline.com)

14 October – Han Kun Law Offices (Shanghai, China)

Two former Deloitte Legal partners have joined the Shanghai office of China’s Han Kun Law Offices, following the recent closure of the Big Four accounting firm’s legal arm in Shanghai.

Partners Weiheng Jia and Cody Chen, who were previously partners at Deloitte’s now defunct legal China affiliate Qin Li Law Firm, are corporate lawyers who specialise in multiple practice areas, notably cross-border M&A and corporate regulatory compliance. (from http://www.law.com)

13 October – Penningtons Manches Cooper (Singapore, Singapore)

UK law firm Penningtons Manches Cooper has welcomed back energy lawyer John Zadkovich as a partner in Singapore. Zadkovich had been running an independent energy consultancy in Hong Kong for the past three years.

Penningtons Manches Cooper’s presence in Singapore dates back to 1996, when one of its constituent firms, Thomas Cooper, opened an office in the city-state. Zadkovich marks the firm’s second Singapore partner hire in two years; in February last year, it added corporate lawyer Nick Dingemans from Watson Farley & Williams.

With more than 15 years of experience in energy, trade and finance matters across Asia-Pacific, Europe and the Middle East, Zadkovich puts particular focus on international arbitration, investigations and public international law. He advises sovereign states, state-owned entities, companies, trading houses, private equity funds, and family offices.

Prior to running his independent consultancy, Zadkovich worked for Vinson & Elkins and McGrigors for close to a decade in total. (from http://www.legalbusinessonline.com)

13 October – Gadens (Sydney, Australia)

Australian law firm Gadens has hired Dentons’ Sydney office head, who was also its real estate leader in Australia.

Sally Tuckfield joins the national firm as partner in its real estate and construction group in Sydney, Gadens said in a statement. (from http://www.law.com)

12 October – Hiswara Bunjamin & Tandjung  (Jakarta, Indonesia)

Herbert Smith Freehills’ Indonesia association firm Hiswara Bunjamin & Tandjung has hired disputes lawyer Prawidha Murti as partner in Jakarta from Oentoeng Suria & Partners, which operates in association with Ashurst.

Murti is the third partner to join Hiswara Bunjamin & Tandjung this year. In May, the firm hired Abimata Putra and Irfan Ghazali from HHP Law Firm and telecom company Sarana Menara Nusantara, respectively. It also lost two partners to Widyawan & Partners, Linklaters’ Indonesia association firm: Disputes and labour expert Narendra Adiyasa, and corporate lawyer Teguh Arwiko.

With about 20 years’ experience, Murti advises international and domestic clients in sectors such as private wealth, energy, infrastructure, projects and construction, technology, media and telecommunications, finance, mining and resources, and aviation, on litigation, arbitration, regulatory and compliance investigations, and contentious competition and employment matters.

Murti was at Oentoeng Suria for five years. Previously, she worked at law firms Makes & Partners and Lubis Santosa & Maramis. (from http://www.legalbusinessonline.com)

11 October – Seyfarth Shaw (Hong Kong, China)

U.S. law firm Seyfarth Shaw has added corporate expert Stefano Beghi as a partner in Hong Kong from Italy’s Gianni & Origoni, where he spent about 19 years.

This is the second partner appointment in Hong Kong this year for Seyfarth, which opened its Hong Kong office in 2017. In January, Seyfarth hired TMT expert Paul Haswell as a partner from Pinsent Masons.

Beghi advises international companies as well as family-owned businesses in Middle East, Asia and Europe on multi-jurisdictional issues, including commercial strategy and commercial transactions.

Prior to joining Gianni & Origoni, Beghi worked at advisory firms Andersen Legal and EY. (from http://www.legalbusinessonline.com)

11 October – PDLegal  (Singapore, Singapore)

Singapore boutique PDLegal has hired insurance disputes expert Wei Hong Ling as a partner, the firm’s second partner hire in 2022. Ling was most recently a vice-president at insurance company Marsh.

In February this year, PDLegal hired disputes specialist Cathryn Neo as a partner in the firm’s international arbitration and China practices from Ashurst ADTLaw.

With roughly 16 years of experience, Ling advises on insurance claims relating to cyber, professional indemnity, bankers’ blanket bonds, and trade credit. He acts for statutory boards, corporations, engineers, architects, quantity surveyors, project engineers, and contractors in sectors such as earthworks, air-conditioning and mechanical ventilation, pipe works, and fireproofing.

Ling worked for Marsh and JLT (which merged with Marsh in 2020) for nearly six years. Previously, he worked at law firms WongPartnership, Tan Kok Quan Partnership, and Drew & Napier.  (from http://www.legalbusinessonline.com)

10 October – Morgan, Lewis & Bockius (Singapore, Singapore)

Morgan Lewis & Bockius has claimed an eight-lawyer team, including three partners, from K&L Gates, providing a significant boost to its global aviation practices in London, Dubai and Singapore.

Parners Sidanth Rajagopal and Manuela Krach will join Morgan Lewis in London along with an associate, while partner James Bradley will be resident in Singapore, the firm said in a statement. (from http://www.law.com)

9 October – Herbert Smith Freehills (Melbourne, Australia)

Herbert Smith Freehills has hired partner Alice Molan to join its financial services regulatory practice in Melbourne from Walkers in Hong Kong.

Joining the firm on 10 October 2022, Molan will advise clients in the banking, non-bank lending, payments and fintech sectors on Australian and offshore banking regulatory matters alongside partner Charlotte Henry, HSF said. (from http://www.law.com)

7 October – Helmsman (Singapore, Singapore)

Singapore and Hong Kong law firm Helmsman has hired Una Khng as director and head of its commercial disputes practice group. Khng was most recently deputy divisional registrar of the Singapore International Commercial Court (SICC), and assistant registrar of the Supreme Court of Singapore.

Helmsman, established as a shipping and commodity boutique in 2019, created dedicated practice groups for commercial disputes, employment, and corporate, banking and finance last month. Since then it unveiled the following lawyers as the respective practice heads: Associate director Zhida Chen (commodities), director Lynette Koh (corporate, banking and finance), director Maureen Poh (shipping), and associate director Matthew Teo (employment).

Experienced in dispute resolution, Khng advises on matters related to financial products, banking and investment, joint ventures and shareholders, corporate governance, breaches of trust, contracts, fraud and white-collar crime, misrepresentation. and property. Prior to joining the Supreme Court, Khng was at Drew & Napier for nearly six years, leaving in 2013 as an associate director. (from http://www.legalbusinessonline.com)

3 October – Linklaters (Hong Kong, China)

Linklaters has hired Richard Woodworth, the co-head of Allen & Overy’s Asia Pacific restructuring practice, just three months after Allen & Overy took two of Linklaters’ capital markets heavy hitters in Hong Kong.

Woodworth joins Linklaters as a partner in the firm’s Asia restructuring and insolvency practice, leaving Allen & Overy with three restructuring partners in its 11 offices in Asia. He advises creditors, borrowers, insolvency practitioners and other stakeholders on all aspects of financial restructurings and formal insolvency proceedings. (from http://www.law.com)

2 October – Reed Smith (Beijing, China)

Reed Smith has brought on its third new partner for Asia in less than two months.

Corporate lawyer and tech specialist Barbara Li has joined Reed Smith in Beijing with two associates. The team joins from PwC, where Li was a partner in the tax and business advisory team at PwC China, focusing on corporate & regulatory matters.  (from http://www.law.com)

Home Comforts for Singapore’s Big Hitters

The perceived wisdom is that Singapore will pose an increasing threat to Hong Kong in attracting legal talent as the latter sticks doggedly to a Zero-Covid target policy which involves stricter social distancing and quarantine requirements than elsewhere. This continues to curtail business travel, undermining Hong Kong’s acknowledged status as an international hub, and places added burdens on families seeking to reconnect with loved ones overseas during the school break.

Moves such as Sidley Austin’s hire of private equity partner Daniel Lindsay from Goodwin Proctor and relocation from Hong Kong to Singapore are expected to set the pattern. Singapore remains the most obvious choice for those wishing to maintain proximity to the Asian markets and enjoy a similar quality of life despite the fact that Hong Kong retains a significantly elevated status in the financial world. But arguably the most notable moves in Singapore in 2022 have been internal and seen big-name partners return to their former homes.

McDermott Will & Emery must have been delighted to crown a spate of hires into their recently-launched Singapore office with Sidley’s Yuet Ming Tham, one of the premier names in white-collar crime in Asia and the firm’s global co-chair of White Collar: Government Litigation and Investigations, in April. It was a genuine statement hire that grabbed the attention of the market and underlined McDermott’s regional ambitions. She took a team of four, including Shu Min Ho who joined as a partner, and was immediately installed as head of APAC. Yet barely five months later she and her team have returned whence they came, with Yuet Ming Tham being reappointed to her departmental global co-chair position.   

In July, almost the entire complement of EY’s Singapore law firm Asia Atlas Law Corporation (AALC) joined Dentons Rodyk, the firm many of them they had left four years earlier to set up EY’s legal arm. Evelyn Ang, who led the team in both directions, returned to her position of Senior Partner in the M&A group, joined by fellow Senior Partner Emily Low and Partner Glenda Lee. Kenneth Cheow remains in place at AALC as the new office head and the firm has subsequently moved to bolster its ranks but it still represents something of a bloody nose. This is not the first time EY have encountered bumps in the road in Singapore, having dissolved its association with PK Wong & Partners in 2018 after four years.

So while observers will continue to keenly monitor movement of senior talent from Hong Kong to Singapore, some of those already in place have found the lure of home comforts too strong to resist.

Omicron-related social restrictions impair Asia Pacific Legal Recruitment Growth

When most of the Asia Pacific’s legal markets are recovering, sustaining, and growing, China witnessed  a quiet first half of 2022 due to the spreading of Omicron. A strong lockdown has been adopted in Shanghai since March and has been extended into other Chinese cities, including Beijing. With the easing of social restrictions, we witnessed the growth of Japanese and Thai legal markets. Clearly, the different approach to social restrictions are shaping the dividebetween legal markets.

The top partner recruiter in 2022 so far is Herbert Smith Freehills, demonstrating its ambitious growth plans for Asia through significant hires and the largest ever round of senior associate promotions of Asian ethnicity. In addition, leading Indian law firms, including DSK Legal and Rajah & Tann, were actively hiring in Q2. It is rare to note a Japanese firm, Atsumi & Sakai, get into the top partner recruiters too.

Top Partner Recruiters in the Region

q2-1

Appointments

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  • Despite countries in the region showing success in suppressing the Covid-19 pandemic, we still saw a 27% decrease in key appointments in 2022 compared to 2021.
  • April witnessed significant drops in activity compared with 2021 and 2020.

Locations

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q2-5

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  • Australia led the hiring market with 60 key recruitments in Q1 & Q2, followed by Hong Kong (38) and Singapore (32).
  • Only Australia and Japan saw increased key appointments from 2021 and 2020. It is also rare to see Japan more active than before China.
  • China observed a decrease in key appointments in February, March, and April, feasibly due to the spreading of Omicron. Key cities including Shanghai and Beijing were locked down for weeks.
  • Australia, Hong Kong, Singapore, and Japan saw a strong June.

Practices

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  • Corporate/M&A/Capital Markets practices dominated the key hires in the first half of 2022.
  • All practices except IP, IT, TMT, observed a drop compared to 2021.
  • Despite a drop in Corporate/M&A/Capital Markets, hiring in those areas remains popular in the region.

Types

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Legal Move Updates (Jul – Sep 2022)

Editor’s note: This is an ongoing list.

September 

29 September – ADCO Law (Jakarta, Indonesia)

Jakarta-based law firm ADCO Law has hired corporate lawyer Alta Mahandara as partner from Wibowo Hadiwijaya & Co.

With nearly 15 years of experience, Mahandara advises on foreign investment, electricity and water utility projects, railways, cross-border M&A, general corporate matters, mining, energy and infrastructure projects, sale and purchase, joint ventures, facility and loan agreements, security, licensing and power purchase agreements.

Mahandara worked for Wibowo Hadiwijaya for nearly 12 years. He began his career with a short stint at mobile tower operator PT Protelindo. (from http://www.legalbusinessonline.com)

29 September – Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe (Singapore, Singapore)

Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe has hired projects lawyer as its second Singapore partner a year after opening an office in the city state.

A specialist in the renewable energy field, Karthik Kumar joins Orrick from Jones Day, where he was a lawyer for 10 years and a partner for six. (from http://www.law.com)

29 September – Trilegal (Delhi, India)

Indian law firm Trilegal has hired disputes lawyer Rajat Jariwal as partner in Delhi from Khaitan & Co. He is set to join the firm in the next few months.

Jariwal is the latest in a string of lateral hires by Trilegal this year. In August, the firm welcomed tax specialist Meyyappan Nagappan and disputes expert Shalaka Patil as partners in Mumbai from Nishith Desai Associates and Cyril Amarchand Mangaldas, respectively following addition of competition expert Rudresh Singh as a partner in Delhi from L&L Partners and corporate expert Pranav Atit as partner in Mumbai from AZB & Partners in July. Prior to that in April, it decided to hire disputes experts Anuj Berry and Vishrov Mukerjee as partners in Delhi from Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas and J. Sagar Associates, respectively.

With 17 years of experience, Jariwal specialises in civil and commercial litigations relating to environment defense and environmental advisory, as well as shareholder disputes both before courts and arbitral tribunals, tenders, defamation, and mining issues arising out of India’s Mines and Mineral (Development and Regulation) Act. Jariwal worked for Khaitan for more than 12 years, becoming a partner in 2017. (from http://www.legalbusinessonline.com)

27 September – AZB & Partners (Mumbai, India)

Indian law firm AZB & Partners has welcomed back Ajay Upadhyay as the Mumbai-based head of its compliance and investigation team from KPMG. Prior to leaving for KPMG in 2017, Upadhyay held the same role.

Specialising in dispute resolution, expert witness, forensic, financial crime and regulatory investigations and advisory services, Upadhyay has 20 years of experience. At KPMG, he was a forensic services partner. (from http://www.legalbusinessonline.com)

27 September – Holman Fenwick Willan (Perth, Australia)

Global law firm Holman Fenwick Willan hired shipping partner Ashwin Nair in Perth as it continues to expand in Australia.

Nair, who joins the firm from maritime boutique Cocks Macnish, where he was special counsel, specializes in shipping, admiralty and marine insurance, acting for shipowners and charterers and their P&I Clubs and other insurers of marine risks, HFW said. He has a particular interest in the offshore energy and commercial fishing industries. (from http://www.law.com)

27 September – Bird & Bird (Singapore, Singapore)

Bird & Bird has hired aviation expert Niel Liebenberg as a partner in Singapore. Liebenberg’s most recent role was as general counsel at China Aircraft Leasing Group (CALC) in Singapore and Hong Kong.

Specialising in asset leasing and project finance with focus on aircraft finance, leasing and sales, Liebenberg has more than 24 years of experience. He joined CALC in 2016 after working in law firms like White & Case, Hogan Lovells, Norton Rose Fulbright, and Beaumont & Son (now part of Clyde & Co), and in in-house roles at Transportation Partners and BOC Aviation. (from http://www.legalbusinessonline.com)

27 September – Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison (Hong Kong, China)

Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison has moved to rebuild its Hong Kong office with a partner hire, nine months after its former China head and heavyweight partner Betty Yap left for Linklaters.

Paul Weiss has added corporate partner Bosco Yiu from Goodwin Procter, according to two people with knowledge of the move. (from http://www.law.com)

22 September – Cyril Amarchand Mangaldas (Mumbai, India)

Cyril Amarchand Mangaldas has hired finance lawyer Jian Johnson as a partner in Mumbai from ICICI Bank, where he spent more than 13 years, and was most recently senior group head of the corporate legal group.

Johnson marks CAM’s second finance partner hire in Mumbai this year. In April, CAM welcomed back project finance specialist Manasvini Raj as a partner from International Finance Corporation, a unit of the World Bank, where she was a counsel.

Johnson advises on derivatives, capital markets, project finance, structured finance, general corporate, securities, M&A, IPR, regulatory and compliance, technology, corporate centre and policy.  (from http://www.legalbusinessonline.com)

22 September – Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas (Bengaluru, India)

Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas has hired four dispute resolution lawyers in Bengaluru, including partner Karan Joseph. Joseph was most recently running his own law chambers.

With more than 10 years of experience, Joseph advises on commercial, civil, employment and constitutional issues. These include cases relating to company law, arbitration, intellectual property, white collar crime and employment-related disputes.

Joseph represents both private clients, as well as central and state governments, before the High Court of Karnataka, trial courts and tribunals in Bengaluru, and other courts in India. (from http://www.legalbusinessonline.com)

22 September – Khaitan & Co (Mumbai, India)

India’s Khaitan & Co has hired corporate lawyer Prateek Desai as partner in Mumbai office from Trilegal, where he was a counsel.

Desai advises Indian corporates, credit funds, financial sponsors, banks and other financial institutions on banking, finance, commercial debt and private credit and structured credit transactions. His clients include oil and gas, real estate, pharmaceuticals, technology, financial services, specialty chemicals, power, transportation and infrastructure companies.

Prior to joining Trilegal last year, Desai worked at Talwar Thakore & Associates, AZB & Partners, and Wadia Ghandy & Co.  (from http://www.legalbusinessonline.com)

21 September – Mills Oakley (Sydney, Australia)

Australian law firm Mills Oakley has acquired a second small insurance firm in a fortnight as it further expands its insurance practice.

The national firm has acquired Vardanega Roberts in Sydney, and its two partners Stephen Vardanega and Mike Roberts and their team will join Mills Oakley on October 1. (from http://www.law.com)

20 September – White & Case (Sydney, Australia)

White & Case is expanding its global antitrust practice with the hire of an Allen & Overy lawyer in Sydney.

Stefanie Benson joins the partnership having previously been a counsel at A&O. She advises domestic and international clients on the antitrust aspects of complex mergers and joint ventures across the Asia-Pacific region, according to a White & Case statement. (from http://www.law.com)

18 September – Reed Smith (Hong Kong, China)

Reed Smith has bolstered its dispute resolution practice with the hire of arbitration partner Zeldar Wang. Joining Reed Smith’s Hong Kong office as a partner, Wang has been seconded to the firm’s Shanghai office.

Wang primarily handles international arbitrations and advises on commercial disputes in areas such as trade, commodities and shipping. (from http://www.law.com)

15 September – Dentons (Adelaide, Melbourne, Perth, and Sydney, Australia)

In a significant recruitment drive that reflects increasing client demand, Dentons has appointed six new lateral partners in Australia, continuing its growth trajectory with a total of 12 new partners joining since 1 July 2022. These six partner appointments build on a truly national Australian offering, in particular, strengthening its national real estate practice and adding depth and breadth to its Melbourne office.

Meet Dentons’ six newest partners:

Paul O’Halloran – Employment and Safety, Melbourne
Seamus Gunson – Real Estate, Melbourne
Nathan Rhimes – Real Estate, Melbourne
Jill Milburn – Corporate, Sydney
Darryl Kipping – Real Estate, Perth
Brendan Golden – Recovery & Restructuring, Adelaide

Employment and safety specialist Paul O’Halloran and his team specialise in workplace disputes including employee misconduct, industrial action, reputational risk and union disputes, across a range of industries including education, religion, health and aged care. Commenting on the move, Paul said “It is a great privilege to be joining Dentons, to grow Dentons’ national Employment and Safety practice in Melbourne, the heartland of industrial disputation in Australia”.

Seamus Gunson is a real estate specialist and brings experience advising on sales, acquisitions and leasing of industrial, commercial and retail property, as well as the development of apartment towers and subdivisions.

Nathan Rhimes also commences as a partner in our Real Estate practice, bringing significant expertise in advising on all aspects of property and development, including acquisition and due diligence, mixed use development and land subdivision, as well as advising landlords and tenants in relation to the leasing of commercial offices and retail premises.

Paul, Seamus and Nathan’s appointments continue Dentons’ growth trajectory in the Victorian market, increasing the firm’s footprint in Melbourne and adding depth to our national Real Estate and Employment and Safety teams. The recruitment comes on the back of the recent partner appointments in Melbourne of Ryan Hennessey, Restructuring and Recovery, and Matthew Hennessey, Intellectual Property, Technology & Competition.

In Sydney, Jill Milburn brings a wealth of experience advising clients on capital raisings, mergers and acquisitions, management buyouts, divestments and joint venture arrangements, across a range of industries including automotive, transport and logistics, banking and finance, and energy and mining. Commenting on the move Jill said, “I’m thrilled to be joining Dentons and I am excited by the tremendous opportunity to connect clients to global resources and the diverse talent within the world’s largest law firm”.

Darryl Kipping joins our Perth office, further expanding our national Real Estate practice. Darryl brings substantial and diverse knowledge advising on all aspects of property law including pre-acquisition due diligence, off the plan contracts for strata title and commercial and industrial property.

In Adelaide, Brendan Golden joins our national Recovery and Restructuring practice, where he brings expertise in dispute resolution and insolvency, property litigation, debt recovery and corporation law disputes.

Seamus Gunson commenced with the firm on Monday 5 September 2022. Paul O’Halloran commences with Dentons on Thursday 15 September 2022. The remaining new partners and teams will commence with the firm in the coming weeks. (from http://www.dentons.com)

15 September – Appleby (Hong Kong, China)

Offshore law firm Appleby has hired two former Harneys investment funds lawyers in Hong Kong: Bronwyn King joins as partner, while Grace Yeung joins as legal manager.

King, most recently partner and head of Asia-Pacific at the Cayman Islands-heaquartered Intertrust Law, was at Harneys Hong Kong until March 2021, leaving as a partner. She has more than 15 years of offshore experience, specialising in investment funds, asset management regulatory and general corporate transactions. King’s previous employers include Simmons & Simmons, and offshore firms Mourant Ozannes, Walkers, and Ogier. (from http://www.legalbusinessonline.com)

15 September – Trowers & Hamlins (Kuala Kumpur, Malaysia)

Trowers & Hamlins has hired corporate expert Geoff Allen as a partner in Kuala Lumpur, becoming the UK-headquartered law firm’s third partner in Malaysia. Allen was most recently working at Pinsent Masons Vario.

Trowers opened its Kuala Lumpur office in 2012. In 2015, it became the first foreign law firm to be granted a Qualified Foreign Law Firm (QFLF) licence in Malaysia. Trowers currently has 16 lawyers in the Malaysian capital. (from http://www.legalbusinessonline.com)

15 September – Deacons (Hong Kong, China)

Hong Kong law firm Deacons has added corporate lawyer Mark Stevens to its now 33-strong corporate commercial practice. His joining marks the first partner-level hire for Deacons’ corporate commercial practice in Hong Kong this year. (from http://www.law.com)

14 September – Mills Oakley (Melbourne, Australia)

Australian law firm Mills Oakley is enhancing its litigation capability with the acquisition of Melbourne boutique Patrick & Associates, including principal Ben Patrick and his team of six lawyers and support staff. (from http://www.law.com)

14 September – Clifford Chance (Singapore, Singapore)

Clifford Chance has appointed its next Singapore office managing partner, as international firms continue to cement their presence in the country.

Corporate partner Valerie Kong will begin her term in the position on 1 October 2022, according to a statement by the firm on Wednesday. She becomes the first woman to take on the position. (from http://www.law.com)

13 September – Baker Botts (Singapore, Singapore)

Baker Botts has relaunched its Asia strategy and is set to open in Singapore, as many international law firms plump for investment in the city.

Baker Botts had previously pulled out of Asia entirely with the closure of its Hong Kong office after several partner exits from the base last year.

“The three partners are: Ashurt’s global co-head of international projects Richard Guit, energy resources and infrastructure partner Michael Harrison and energy projects partner Daniel Reinbott. Guit and Harrison have both been at the firm for over six years, while Reinbott has spent the last 14 years at Ashurst, according to their LinkedIn profiles. (from http://www.law.com)

12 September – Baker Botts (Singapore, Singapore)

Baker Botts had previously pulled out of Asia entirely with the closure of its Hong Kong office after several partner exits from the base last year.

At the time, the firm left the option to return open, stating it was “considering additional markets where the scale of the firm’s Asia practice can be expanded”. In October 2020, Baker Botts also shuttered its Beijing offering”.

“The three partners are: Ashurt’s global co-head of international projects Richard Guit, energy resources and infrastructure partner Michael Harrison and energy projects partner Daniel Reinbott. Guit and Harrison have both been at the firm for over six years, while Reinbott has spent the last 14 years at Ashurst, according to their LinkedIn profiles. (from http://www.law.com)

8 September – RPC Premier Law (Singapore, Singapore)

RPC has hired a technology lawyer as a partner for its joint legal venture, RPC Premier Law, in Singapore.

Nicholas Lauw, who advises on high-value contentious and non-contentious intellectual property and technology-related deals and matters, was most recently a partner at Singapore firm Rajah & Tann, where he had practiced for almost 14 years. Lauw joined Rajah & Tann in 2009 as a senior associate and was made partner in 2013. (from http://www.law.com)

6 September – Thomson Geer (Melbourne, Australia)

Australia-headquartered Thomson Geer has become the latest local firm to pick up an international infrastructure partner with the hire of a Hong Kong-based Eversheds Sutherland partner.

Jae Lemin, who will work in Thomson Geer’s Melbourne office, had been a partner at Eversheds since 2016, according to his LinkedIn profile. An infrastructure finance lawyer, he has a particular focus on the energy and renewables sector. According to the firm’s website, his clients include lenders and borrowers who require financing for significant infrastructure projects across the Asia-Pacific region. (from http://www.law.com)

6 September – Baker McKenzie (Hong Kong, China)

Baker McKenzie continues to grow its bench strength and capabilities in Hong Kong by hiring veteran arbitrator Ronald Sum JP as partner. Ronald will bring a team, composed of associates Plato Cheung and Beryl Wu, with him. This latest hire further bolsters the Firm’s bench strength in Hong Kong, following the recent hire of partners Thomas Tarala and Victoria Lloyd.

Ronald joins the Firm from Addleshaw Goddard where he led its Arbitration Practice in Asia. His practice covers all areas of dispute resolution, specializing in China related matters, international arbitration, cross border disputes, complex commercial disputes, sports related disputes, insurance and reinsurance.

Ronald is highly regarded in the international arbitration arena, and has acted as both counsel and arbitrator in administered arbitration proceedings in Hong Kong, Mainland China, Singapore, Australia, London and the United States. In addition to being an accredited arbitrator and mediator of various institutions — including the Hong Kong International Arbitration Centre (HKIAC), China International Economic and Trade Arbitration Commission (CIETAC), and Shanghai International Economic and Trade Arbitration Commission (SHIAC) — Ronald also sits on the Hong Kong Government Advisory Committee on the Promotion of Arbitration and the Hong Kong Steering Committee on Mediation. He is also an Investor State Mediator under the China and Hong Kong Closer Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA). Ronald is qualified as a solicitor in Hong Kong, England and Wales, and Australia, and has passed the Greater Bay Area (GBA) legal professional exam. (from http://www.bakermckenzie.com)

5 September – MinterEllison (Sydney, Australia)

MinterEllison welcomes back to the firm leading financial services and superannuation lawyer Ruth Stringer as a partner in the Capital Solutions practice.
Ruth will again lead the firm’s national Superannuation practice, which she established some years ago. She will provide expertise and advice to clients as they look ahead and respond to legislative change and current and future member needs. (from http://www.minterellison.com)

5 September – Slaughter and May (Hong Kong, China)

Slaughter and May’s long-serving corporate partner Benita Yu has been appointed as senior partner and head of the firm’s Hong Kong office. Yu succeeds Peter Brien, who will be retiring from the firm, where he has served for three decades.

Yu joined the firm in 1994. She advises on high-stakes securities, M&A and corporate finance and debt financing deals. (from http://www.law.com)

5 September – DLA Piper (Perth, Australia)

Global law firm DLA Piper has today confirmed three recent senior hires in Perth including Owen Alcorn (Partner), Matthew Watkins (Partner) and Neil Macdonald (Special Counsel).

Owen Alcorn has been appointed as partner in our Finance, Projects & Restructurings (FP&R) practice in Perth and commences today. He is returning to Australia, having joined from Herbert Smith Freehills in London. Owen brings deep international experience on a wide variety of financing transactions, including project finance, acquisition finance and general corporate finance. Owen will be focused on supporting the mining industry, particularly in Perth where we have a substantial portfolio of projects in the pipeline. He will also act for lenders and sponsors on infrastructure and renewables projects across Australia.

Matthew Watkins will join the firm on 12 September as partner in our Corporate practice in Perth, moving across from Gilbert + Tobin. Matthew is an experienced corporate lawyer who advises on the full spectrum of private and public M&A and equity capital markets transactions, particularly in the energy and natural resources sector. The addition of Matthew, following the appointment of James Nicholls (Partner) last year, gives us strength and depth to support the heavy domestic demand we are seeing in the junior and mid-cap markets. (from http://www.legalbusinessonline.com)

5 September – DAC Beachcroft (Singapore, Singapore)

Insurance-focused law firm DAC Beachcroft has tripled its partner count in Singapore after hiring Summer Montague and Andrew Robinson from RPC and DLA Piper, respectively.

Specialising in cross-border insurance and reinsurance disputes, Montague advises on property, power generation, onshore and offshore energy, mining and construction, including product recall policies and product liability claims in Asia, Europe and the U.S. in sectors such as technology, pharmaceutical and automotive. In addition, she covers cyber security and information technology claims.

Before joining RPC, Montague worked with Mayer Brown and Kennedys in Singapore and London and also had an in-house stint at Zurich Insurance.

Robinson advises on insurance and reinsurance matters with a focus on international financial lines and indemnity disputes, ESG (environmental, social, and governance) and regulatory, compliance and casualty losses, as well as litigation, arbitration, and mediation. He is also experienced in cyber risks and data security. (from http://www.legalbusinessonline.com)

1 September – Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas & Co (Delhi, India)

Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas & Co has hired project and project finance specialist Samridha Neupane as a partner in New Delhi from Saraf and Partners, after a stint that lasted three months.

Neupane joined Saraf in May this year from L&L Partners (now Luthra & Luthra Law Offices). With more than 11 years of experience, he advises Indian and foreign investors, regulatory authorities, think-tanks, developers, contractors, multilateral institutions and financial institutions on investments, private equity, mergers, and acquisitions. He has a special focus on energy and infrastructure in the renewables space.

Prior to joining L&L, Neupane worked at Khaitan & Co and Tatva Legal. (from http://www.legalbusinessonline.com)

1 September – Herbert Smith Freehills (Bangkok, Thailand)

Herbert Smith Freehills has hired M&A and competition lawyer Niab Paiboon as partner in Bangkok from Allen & Overy.

Niab has more than 12 years of experience in advising Thai and international clients on public and private M&A in sectors such as energy, petrochemicals, TMT, food and beverage, financial institutions, consumer and automotive. As part of her M&A practice, Niab has built up experience in competition law in Thailand in areas such as merger control regulations. (from http://www.legalbusinessonline.com)

August

25 August – Assegaf Hamzah & Partners (Jakarta, Indonesia)

Indonesian law firm Assegaf Hamzah & Partners (AHP) has welcomed back tax expert Nazly Parlindungan Siregar as a partner in Jakarta. from KPMG in Singapore.

Siregar, who was at AHP for a year between 2017 and 2018, has more than 20 years of experience in international tax. She worked more than 12 years with Deloitte in San Francisco, London and Jakarta, and also counts PwC and KPMG among her employers. (from http://www.legalbusinessonline.com)

24 August – Luthra & Luthra Law Office (Delhi, India)

Indian law firm Luthra & Luthra Law Office has hired Sarika Raichur and Abhimanyu Kampani as partners in Delhi from Kochhar & Co and Rajiv Mohan Law Offices, respectively.

The announcement comes as Luthra looks to rebuild following a number of high-profile departures. In July, Luthra lost 63 lawyers, including 21 partners, to DSK Legal, and later saw the exit of partner Pallavi Bedi to Phoenix Legal.

A corporate specialist, Raichur advises on inbound and outbound investments, India entry strategies, M&A, disposals, joint ventures, private equity, venture capital, venture debt, investment funds, restructuring, distressed assets financing, special situation investments, franchising, distribution, commercial contracts, securities litigation, shareholders’ disputes, corporate governance and general corporate advisory.

Raichur joined Kochhar in 2016 from boutique firm Yuti Law, which she co-founded. Prior to that, she worked at Khaitan & Co. and the London office of European law firm Noerr. (from http://www.legalbusinessonline.com)

24 August – Herbert Smith Freehills (Hong Kong, China)

Herbert Smith Freehills has welcomed back banking and finance expert Ellen Mao as a partner in the Hong Kong office from Paul Weiss Rifkind Wharton & Garrison, where she was a counsel.

Mao advises international, Asian, and particularly Chinese clients on syndicated lending, cross-border financing, insolvency work and complex project financing.

Mao started her career with JunHe in Shanghai, before joining Clifford Chance in 2010. She moved to Paul Weiss in 2020. (from http://www.legalbusinessonline.com)

24 August – Squire Patton Boggs (Singapore, Singapore)

U.S. law firm Squire Patton Boggs has hired shipping specialist Joel Cockerell as a partner in Singapore from HFW.

Cockerell is Squire Patton Boggs’ second partner hire from HFW in Singapore in the past year, after commodities lawyer Ivan Chia came on board last September. The past year has also seen a number of partner departures from the firm’s Singapore office, including Ignatius Hwang and Alfred Chia to McDermott Will & Emery, and Biswajit Chatterjee to Hogan Lovells.

Cockerell specializes in admiralty work, including vessel casualties, collisions, groundings, salvage, pollution, wreck removal and hull, machinery insurance claims, and charterparty and bill of lading disputes. He was at HFW for nearly three years, prior to which he worked at Reed Smith and Clyde & Co. Cockerell also spent more than 12 years in the Royal Australian Navy. (from http://www.legalbusinessonline.com)

22 August – Clyde & Co (Singapore, Singapore)

Clyde & Co partner, Andrew Bicknell, has relocated from the firm’s London office to Singapore. He has joined the firm’s Asia Pacific energy, marine and natural resources practice, and brings along with him one associate, Callum Gerrish, who has a focus on shipping and trade disputes including marine insurance recovery claims and casualty matters.

Bicknell’s practice focuses on international shipping, trading and marine insurance disputes. (from http://www.law.com)

22 August – Grandall Zimmern (Hong Kong, China)

Grandall Zimmern Law Firm, the Hong Kong association firm of the PRC’s Grandall, has hired real estate expert Shiu-man Wan as a partner from Baker McKenzie, where he spent 18 years.

Wan, who became a partner of Baker McKenzie in 2015, has a primary focus on development project matters, including the drafting of deeds of mutual covenant, obtaining of pre-sale consent, compliance with relevant laws, and project conveyancing. (from http://www.legalbusinessonline.com)

22 August – Phoenix Legal (Delhi, India)

Indian law firm Phoenix Legal has hired and projects expert Pallavi Bedi and disputes specialist Aman Avinav as partners in New Delhi. Bedi joins from Luthra & Luthra Law Offices, making her the latest departure from that firm.

Last month, Luthra & Luthra (then known as L&L Partners), lost 63 lawyers, including 21 partners, to DSK Legal as the firm announced an overhaul of its structure.

With more than 18 years of experience, Bedi specialises in projects, energy and infrastructure. She advises domestic and international borrowers and lenders on finance of projects such as nuclear power, renewables, oil and gas, LNG, mining as well as transportation projects including railways, ports, airports among other projects.

Having started her career at Trilegal in 2004, Bedi worked for the legacy Amarchand & Mangaldas & Suresh A Shroff & Co, Mayer Brown and J. Sagar Associates prior to joining Luthra & Luthra in 2017.

Experienced in dispute resolution with focus on commercial and regulatory litigation, arbitration and white-collar crimes, Avinav has acted for clients before Supreme Court of India and High Courts in New Delhi, Mumbai, Punjab and Haryana, Madhya Pradesh and Assam. He had been an independent practitioner since 2018. (from http://www.legalbusinessonline.com)

21 August – Reed Smith (Hog Kong, China)

Reed Smith has added Fangda Partners counsel, Matthew Townsend, as a partner for its Hong Kong office.

Townsend acts as arbitration counsel in complex and high-stakes arbitration proceedings. His practice focuses on disputes relating to M&A and the energy, infrastructure, construction and technology sectors. (from http://www.law.com)

18 August – Squire Patton Boggs (Singapore, Singapore)

Squire Patton Boggs has grown its intellectual property team in Northern California with the addition of trademark partner Candice Kwok.

Kwok arrived, according to a firm announcement, on Thursday, after practicing for nearly two decades in the Singapore office of United Kingdom-born IP firm Marks & Clerk. (from http://www.law.com)

18 August – Cyril Amarchand Mangaldas (Mumbai, India)

Cyril Amarchand Mangaldas has welcome back finance specialist Okram Singha as a partner in Mumbai from Trilegal.

Singha, who joined Trilegal from CAM in 2019 as a counsel following a one-year stint, has more than 14 years of experience. He advises lenders, multilateral institutions, sponsors, investors and borrowers on structured finance, project finance, debt capital market transactions and general banking matters. (from http://www.legalbusinessonline.com)

18 August – Baker McKenzie (Brisbane, Australia)

Global law firm Baker McKenziea has hired an experienced funds partner Tr to join its transactional practice group’s financial services & funds team in Brisbane.

Trudi Procter, who joins from Australian firm McCullough Robertson, advises on all facets of financial services regulation and compliance, Baker McKenzie said. (from http://www.law.com)

17 August – Allen & Overy (London, UK)

Allen & Overy has announced that Indian corporate M&A expert Harsh Pais will be joining in London as a partner to lead its India Corporate practice. Harsh is a recognised market-leader in Indian corporate M&A and has previously worked in India and New York.
Harsh has a wealth of expertise advising multinational corporations and private equity funds investing into India. He has experience is across sectors, with a particular focus on energy, technology and financial services. Harsh’s role at A&O will see him based in London, working as part of A&O’s highly regarded India Group. (from http://www.law.com)

17 August – Widyawan & Partners (Jakarta, Indonesia)

Widyawan & Partners, Linklaters’ Indonesia association firm has welcomed disputes and labour expert Narendra Adiyasa as a partner in Jakarta from Hiswara Bunjamin & Tandjung (HBT), the local association firm of Herbert Smith Freehills.

With experience in litigation, arbitration and alternative dispute resolution, Adiyasa has experience in labour problems, contingency planning and crisis management in relation to strikes, health and safety breaches, termination of employment, internal regulatory investigations and other employment-related issues in the Southeast Asian country. (from http://www.legalbusinessonline.com)

11 August – Howse Williams (Hong Kong, China)

Hong Kong law firm Howse Williams has continued its lateral hiring streak after adding a team of three litigation lawyers, including partner Janie Wong, from Addleshaw Goddard.

Earlier this year, Addleshaw Goddard had announced it would be closing its Hong Kong office. Joining Wong on the move to Howse Williams are senior associate Plato Cheung and associate Hugo Tam.

Wong becomes Howse Williams’ fifth lateral partner hire since May. Over the past four months, the firm has hired real estate partners Alan Yip and Jovanne Zee from Mayer Brown and Charles Russell Speechlys, respectively; insurance expert Gary Chow from Clyde & Co, and corporate specialist William Wong from Clifford Chance. (from http://www.legalbusinessonline.com)

10 August – Haiwen & Partner (Hong Kong, China)

PRC law firm Haiwen & Partners has hired shipping dispute resolution specialist Edward Liu as a partner in its Hong Kong office from the UK’s Hill Dickinson.

Liu joined Hill Dickinson in 2018, and became a partner in 2021. Prior to that, he worked at Reed Smith for nearly eight years across two stints, and DLA Piper. (from http://www.legalbusinessonline.com)

8 August – Bowers (Hong Kong, China)

Hong Kong boutique law firm Bowers has hired a new partner for its dispute resolution practice.

Mark Bedford has joined the firm from Zhong Lun Law Firm, one of China’s most prominent law firms where he had practiced as a partner for over seven years. (from http://www.law.com)

7 August – Clifford Chance (Singapore, Singapore)

Clifford Chance has hired Kobre & Kim Asia investigations head, Vasu Muthyala, as a partner for its litigation and dispute resolution team. Muthyala is based in Hong Kong and will be relocating to Singapore for his new role.

Muthyala advises multinational corporations, financial institutions, corporate executives and government officials on a broad range of cross-border government investigations and regulatory enforcement matters. His practice focuses on U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act violations, anti-money laundering, sanctions and securities fraud. (from http://www.law.com)

4 August – ADTLaw (Singapore, Singapore)

UK firm Ashurst’s Singapore alliance firm, ADTLaw, has hired three M&A partners and a counsel from Allen & Gledhill, the largest firm in the city-state. Tao Koon Chiam joins as ADTLaw’s head of corporate/M&A for Southeast Asia, while Xiaozheng Ko and Choo Yi Ming join as director, and George Kho as associate director.

The hires come at a time when Ashurst has been steadily adding laterals across Asia. In June, it hired M&A transactions expert Yuan Yan as a partner in Shanghai from Clifford Chance, and last week, it added projects lawyer Tom Wilson as special counsel in Tokyo from the Asian Development Bank. Wilson will become a partner once the necessary regulatory approvals are received.

With more 20 years of experience, Tao specializing in deal structuring and execution for cross-border private equity (PE) transactions. He was with A&G for more than 14 years.

Experienced in PE funds on transactions throughout Southeast Asia, Ko advises various sectors including financial services, digital economy, and projects and infrastructure. He worked for A&G for more than 11 years.

Choo focuses on M&A for sovereign wealth funds and large-cap corporates in joint ventures and acquisitions of targets with a particular emphasis on real estate platforms, including for data centres, industrial and logistics properties, hotels, student accommodation and offices. She worked for A&G for more than nine years.

Ko, who was at A&G for more than eight years, advises industries such as food and beverage, education, healthcare, insurance, construction and fast-moving consumer goods on various matters including venture capital transactions. (from http://www.legalbusinessonline.com)

4 August – J Sagar Associates (Bengaluru, India)

Indian law firm J Sagar Associates (JSA) has hired corporate expert Ajay G Prasad as partner in Bengaluru from Kochhar & Co.

Prasad, who joined Kochhar in 2013, was made a partner last year. He earlier worked for PwC, MMB, and Khaitan & Co.

With more than 13 years of experience in M&A, joint ventures, corporate restructuring and reorganisations, business transfers, asset purchases, and other strategic and financial Investments, Prasad advises on foreign inbound and outbound investments, fintech, banking and finance, corporate governance, insolvency and bankruptcy, employment law, and other regulatory matters. (from http://www.legalbusinessonline.com)

3 August – Johnson Winter & Slattery (Canberra, Australia)

Australian law firm Johnson Winter & Slattery is opening an office in Canberra and has hired two partners from rival MinterEllison for the launch.

In what the company described as a long-term strategic move, it has hired the recent head of MinterEllison’s foreign investment and trade team, David Moore, and foreign investment and mergers partner Mellissa Lai. and acquisitions of MinterEllison, to staff the new office in the Australian capital. (from duchetridao.com)

3 August – Sidley Austin (Singapore, Singapore)

Investigations and compliance lawyer Shu Min Ho has become the second McDermott Will & Emery Singapore partner to return to Sidley Austin, after a stint that lasted three months.

In April this year, Ho joined McDermott’s Singapore office, which opened in July 2021, along with Yuet Ming Tham, head of Asia-Pacific and Singapore managing partner at Sidley. Tham recently announced that she was returning to Sidley as global co-chair of the white-collar (government litigation and investigations) practice.

Ho, who began her career in 2011 at Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, joining Sidley in Hong Kong in 2019. She has experience in cross-border investigations, with a focus on bribery, corruption, fraud, embezzlement and other corporate crime, especially in the pharmaceutical and medical device sectors. (from http://www.legalbusinessonline.com)

3 August – Ashurst (Tokyo, Japan)

UK law firm Ashurst has hired projects lawyer Tom Wilson as special counsel in Tokyo from Asian Development Bank, where he held an in-house role. Wilson will become a partner once the necessary regulatory approvals are received.

Wilson is Ashurst’s first partner-level lateral hire in Tokyo since it added Alexander Dmitrenko, the former head of Asia sanctions at Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, in November last year.

With more than 14 years of experience in cross-border transactional project development and finance with PPP in the Asia-Pacific region, Wilson has advised the governments Uzbekistan, Vietnam, Bangladesh, Cambodia, Palau, Pakistan and the Philippines on PPPs in sector such as LNG infrastructure, renewables, utilities, transport and social infrastructure. (from http://www.legalbusinessonline.com)

1 August – Kudun and Partners (Bangkok, Thailand)

Emi Rowse Igusa has joined Kudun and Partners as a partner launching a brand new Japan Practice to cater to the burgeoning Japanese legal needs in Thailand. She is a specialist in commercial litigation and international arbitration and has represented numerous clients in arbitration cases under the ICC, LCIA, SIAC and TAI rules. She has extensive experience in advising clients on commercial contracts, shareholder and joint venture disputes, employment law, investigations (corruption, fraud and corporate governance) and competition law. In addition to practicing law, Emi is a professional counselor. She possesses a unique combination of skills as a lawyer and a counselor, allowing her to comprehend the psychology of dispute resolution, an increasingly topical issue in the field. Emi is half Japanese and speaks fluent Japanese.

Emi was previously a senior counsel and of counsel with Herbert Smith Freehills based in Tokyo, Hong Kong and Bangkok for over 10 years and Robertsons in Hong Kong as an associate for 7 years. Some of her landmark cases include representing a major Japanese trading house in an arbitration case relating to a dispute over a natural resources project, acting for a high net worth individual in Hong Kong in an arbitration over a family shareholders dispute and representing a major energy company in an arbitration concerning a multi-billion dollar dispute. (from http://www.kap.co.th)

1 August – Norton Rose Fulbright (Brisbane, Australia)

Norton Rose Fulbright has hired an energy and infrastructure partner from DLA Piper amid expectations that work related to renewable energy projects will increase following the election of a new government in Australia.

Kate Muller, who joins the firm’s Brisbane office, advises international and domestic clients across the energy and resources, infrastructure, government and transport sectors, with a primary focus on Australia and Asia. (from http://www.law.com)

1 August – Loeb & Loeb (Hong Kong, China)

Loeb & Loeb is pleased to announce the arrival of Terence Wong as a partner in Hong Kong. Terence joins the firm’s Litigation department and focuses on international commercial arbitration and other dispute resolution mechanisms, such as mediation, expert determination and court proceedings.

With more than 20 years of experience in the region, he has handled disputes for clients throughout Hong Kong, Mainland China, the United States of America, Singapore, England, France, Indonesia, the Middle East, Nigeria, Tanzania and Venezuela. (from http://www.loeb.com)

July

28 July – King & Spalding (Singapore, Singapore)

King & Spalding has appointed a new Singapore managing partner as the firm continues its push to diversify its sector expertise in the city-state.

Debt finance and restructuring partner Andrew Brereton, who joined the firm in 2019, will take on the new role, succeeding project finance lawyer Kelly Malone. (from http://www.law.com)

28 July – Wotton + Kearney (Canberra, Australia)

Wotton + Kearney is opening its eighth office in Canberra, having attracted experienced insurance litigator Catherine Power and her team from Sparke Helmore. The move into Canberra continues the firm’s strong growth trajectory as the largest specialist insurance law firm across Australia and New Zealand.

The eight-strong team, led by Partner Catherine Power, includes Gemma Burke (SC), Cindy Lim (SC), Emma Bozic (SA), Rachel Walls (SA), Denisa Zezulka (Solicitor), Wendy Bradford (Practice Manager) and Sheridan Martin (Legal Admin). The majority of the team join the firm on 1 August 2022 and will move into a new office at 17 Moore St, Canberra in September when the fit-out is complete. (from http://www.wottonkearney.com.au)

21 July – Watson Farley & Williams (Singapore, Singapore)

Watson Farley & Williams has added dispute resolution expert Kimarie Cheang as a partner in Singapore from Incisive Law, where she was director  and head of the China group.

Cheang has 15 years of experience advising on disputes in international trade and transportation, oil and gas including liquefied natural gas, metals and mining, soft commodities, shipbuilding, offshore and construction, and insurance sectors. Her clients include oil majors, national oil companies, state-owned enterprises, mining companies, trading companies, and shipping companies.

Cheang joined Incisive in March 2020, after working at HFW for more than a decade. She was earlier at Singapore law firm Allen & Gledhill.

Cheang is WFW’s second disputes partner hire in Singapore in the past two years. Last August, the firm brought on board Sumeet Malhotra from Hill Dickinson. With her arrival, WFW now has eight partners in the city-state. (from http://www.legalbusinessonline.com)

19 July – DSK Legal (Delhi, India)

Indian law firm DSK Legal has hired 63 former lawyers of L&L Partners, including 21 partners. They include Delhi-based senior partners Bobby Chandhoke (L) and Sudhir Sharma.

The news comes just about a year after L&L Partners lost 85 lawyers, including 21 partners, as part of an exodus led by erstwhile equity partner Mohit Saraf, who then set up his own outfit, Saraf and Partners, in three Indian cities.

As for the group headed to DSK, the exits happened after L&L reportedly dissolved its litigation arm, and gave the lawyers the option of leaving or joining the firm’s existing corporate arm under a unified structure. L&L also recently acquired the disputes practice of Verus, led by partner Krishnayan Sen.

The partners joining DSK specialise in a range of practice areas, including dispute resolution, competition and antitrust, employment, international trade, corporate/M&A, intellectual property, and fintech.

Apart from Sharma and Chandhoke, the partners are Abdullah Hussain, Akhil Anand, Altaf Fathima, Anant Garg, Ashish Chandra, Deepali Chandhoke, Durga Bose Gandham, Kanika Chaudhary Nayar, Kunal Mehra, Mohit Bakshi, Pradyuman Dubey, Prashant Mishra, Prashant Pakhiddey, Saleem Hasan Ansari, Saurabh Tiwari, Shiv Sapra, Subhash Bhutoria, Suyash Srivastava, and Tarun Dua. (from http://www.legalbusinessonline.com)

19 July – Trilegal (Delhi, India)

Indian law firm Trilegal has hired competition expert Rudresh Singh as a partner in Delhi from L&L Partners.

The news of Singh leaving L&L comes around the time that the firm saw some 63 of its lawyers, including 21 partners, exit and join DSK Legal, including partners Bobby Chandhoke and Sudhir Sharma.

Singh advises on competition law, antitrust and merger control matters, representing private equity and other institutional investors. He joined L&L in 2013, and was named as a partner in 2020. (from http://www.legalbusinessonline.com)

18 July – Sidley Austin (Singapore, Singapore)

Life sciences expert Yuet Ming Tham has rejoined Sidley Austin with her team of three lawyers after just five months at McDermott Will & Emery in Singapore.

Tham confirmed her move in a post on her LinkedIn profile. She returns to Sidley in the same capacity as when she departed the firm in April. (from http://www.law.com)

18 July – Gilbert + Tobin (Melbourne, Australia)

Australian law firm Gilbert + Tobin hired K&L Gates partner Zac Kerr, who joins the firm in Melbourne.

Kerr was global co-head of construction and infrastructure at K&L Gates, advising on projects and infrastructure transactions globally, particularly in Australia and Asia. (from http://www.law.com)

15 July – BeiGene (Beijing, China)

A former in-house legal leader for Sanofi and Pfizer is joining BeiGene as the global biotech company’s general counsel.

Chan Lee will take over as Beijing-based BeiGene’s top lawyer on July 18. He succeeds Scott Samuels, BeiGene’s first-ever legal chief and in-house lawyer who joined the company in 2017 and built its global legal and compliance team. (from http://www.law.com)

14 July – Siam Premier (Bangkok, Thailand)

Bangkok-based law firm Siam Premier International Law Office has hired corporate specialist Maythawee Sarathai as a partner from Hunton Andrews Kurth.

Maythawee advises on domestic and cross-border financing, M&A, general corporate and commercial matters, distressed debt situations including settlement, recovery and enforcement strategies, and business and asset re-organisation. He joined Hunton Andrews Kurth last year following nearly 24 years at Mayer Brown. (from http://www.legalbusinessonline.com)

13 July – Sidley Austin (Singapore, Singapore)

Sidley Austin has hired a Hong Kong-based Goodwin Procter private equity partner for its Singapore base.

Daniel Lindsey, who specializes in private equity deals, joins the firm’s partnership in Singapore this month. He joined Goodwin in 2018 from Kirkland which he joined in 2016 from Linklaters. He has been based in Asia since 2012 having previously been based in London. (from http://www.law.com)

13 July – Mishcon de Reya (Singapore, Singapore)

UK law firm Mishcon de Reya has hired aviation specialist Ethan Tan in Singapore as partner and head of its Asia aviation practice from Reed Smith, where he was a counsel.

Tan has expertise in aviation finance, operating leases, finance leases, commercial lending, ECA-backed lending, OEM purchase orders, aircraft secured bonds, ABSs, hedging, asset-driven M&A, aviation JVs, MRO contracts, restructuring, enforcement and repossession, private jets, aircraft trading, and commercial disputes. His clients include airlines, lessors, banks and investors. (from http://www.legalbusinessonline.com)

13 July – Argus Partners (Delhi, India)

Indian law firm Argus Partners has welcomed corporate experts Jitendra Soni and Namitha Mathews as partners in Delhi, with Mathews becoming its fifth hire from Algo Legal in about a month.

Last month, Argus hired four partners, namely Abhinav Bhalaik and Armaan Patkar in Mumbai, Ankit Guha in Bengaluru, and Neha Madan in Delhi, from Algo Legal, which is currently embroiled in a defamation lawsuit against its former client Sequoia Capital, among others. Argus also hired Bhavya Mohan as a partner in Bengaluru in June.

Soni is experienced in corporate and M&A, private equity, venture capital, technology and data privacy, and advises both traditional and emerging technology companies. Until April this year, he was at DSK Legal, prior to which he worked for Cyril Amarchand Mangaldas, AZB & Partners, and Gnarus Partners.

Meanwhile, Mathews has more than 15 years of experience in litigation, dispute resolution and corporate advisory. She focuses on civil law, corporate law, private estate law, alternative dispute, real estate, infrastructure, property laws, education and white-collar issues. Mathews joined Algo Legal in 2020 from Samvid Legal, a law firm she founded in 2017. (from http://www.legalbusinessonline.com)

7 July – Howse Williams (Hong Kong, China)

Hong Kong firm Howse Williams has hired Alan Yip as partner and head of its real estate practice from Mayer Brown, where he had been a partner since 2010.

Yip is Howse William’s fourth lateral partner hire in recent months after Jovanne Zee – another property law expert – insurance specialist Gary Chow, and corporate lawyer William Wong.

Yip advises on land compulsory sale applications, residential first-hand sale legislation compliance, project conveyancing, strategic acquisitions for redevelopment purpose, commercial real estate building plans and town planning legal issues, property-related litigation, government leases, leasing projects, stamp duty legal advice and PRC real estate projects and acquisitions. (from http://www.legalbusinessonline.com)

7 July – Allen & Gledhill (Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam)

The Ho Chi Minh City office of Singapore law firm Allen & Gledhill has hired corporate and banking expert Phuong Tran as a partner. Tran was most recently deputy head of legal at Vietnamese conglomerate Masan Group.

Prior to joining Masan Group in October last year, Tran spent more than six years at the Singapore office of Vietnamese law firm YKVN, becoming a partner in 2020. He earlier worked for Allen & Overy, VILAF, and Kim & Chang.

Tran’s practice areas include banking and finance, capital markets, corporate and commercial, and M&A. He has experience in corporate matters such as structure advice, due diligence, negotiation, documentation, and regulatory advice, involving industries such as including real estate, securities, pharmaceutical, education, power and energy, and insurance. He also has experience in international arbitration. (from http://www.legalbusinessonline.com)

6 July – Atlas Asia Law Corporation (Singapore, Singapore)

Atlas Asia Law Corporation (AALC), EY’s Singapore law firm, has hired corporate expert Liew Lan Hing as a director from casino developer and operator Genting Singapore, where she was general counsel and senior vice-president.

Her hire shortly comes after AALC lost eight lawyers, including three directors, to Dentons Rodyk. The directors included founder and managing director Evelyn Ang, who rejoined Dentons Rodyk as senior partner.

With more than two decades of experience in capital markets and M&A, Liew advises on corporate and commercial matters and compliance. Before joining Genting, she was at law firms Baker McKenzie Wong & Leow and Rajah & Tann. (from http://www.legalbusinessonline.com)

6 July – Trilegal (Mumbai, India)

Indian law firm Trilegal will hire corporate expert Pranav Atit as partner in Mumbai from AZB & Partners, with Atit set to start it in his new role in the next few months.

Since last year, Trilegal has hired five partners from AZB, including Sai Krishna Bharathan, Shivani Kabra, Pallabi Ghosal and Vivek Bajaj in late 2021, and Richa Choudhary in March.

With more than 10 years of experience in cross-border M&A and private equity (PE), Atit advises PE sponsors and investors on public and private M&A deals, including Reliance Industries and Apax. He has particular expertise in the information technology and infrastructure sectors. Additionally, Atit also advises on securities laws and offshore flip structures. (from http://www.legalbusinessonline.com)

5 July – Park Arbitration Chambers (Seoul, Korea)

Kim & Chang’s veteran partner and co-founder of its international arbitration practice, Eun Young Park, has retired from the Big Six South Korean firm, to set up his own practice, Park Arbitration Chambers.

Park has been at Kim & Chang for over 25 years and prior to that served as a judge on the country’s district courts for two years. He was also a Judge Advocate at the South Korean Ministry of National Defence for four years until 1994. (from http://www.law.com)

4 July – King & Wood Mallesons (Melbourne, Australia)

Partners continue to depart Norton Rose Fulbright in Australian, with energy partner Jo Crew leaving to join King & Wood Mallesons.

Melbourne-based Crew was a senior partner and head of NRF’s Australian projects and construction team, and co-head of the firm’s Australian energy, infrastructure and resources sector team. (from http://www.law.com)

1 July – Clayton Utz (Canberra, Australia)

Australian law firm Clayton Utz added a digital, data and technology law specialist to its partnership with the hire of a lawyer from Ashurst.

Robert Dearn, who was previously an associate at Ashurst, joins Clayton Utz’s public-sector practice in Canberra. (from http://www.law.com)

1 July – Dentons Rodyk (Singapore, Singapore)

Singapore Big Five Law Firm Dentons Rodyk are today announcing the arrival of senior corporate lawyers Evelyn Ang and Emily Low. Together with six other lawyers, they join Dentons Rodyk from Big Four accounting firm EY’s Singapore law practice, Atlas Asia Law Corporation (AALC). The news follows Dentons’ recently launched combination with leading Vietnamese law firm LuatViet, as the Firm pursues its goal of being the leading pan-ASEAN law firm.

Dentons Rodyk is also delighted to welcome AALC’s former Director Glenda Lee as Partner, to the firm. Like Evelyn, Glenda begins her second chapter at Dentons Rodyk in the M&A practice, having left initially in 2018 for AALC. (from dentons.rodyk.com)

Legal issues and opportunities in Web3

Whether you hate or love Web3, it is hot now because technology influencers like Venture capitalist Marc Andreesen, former Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey, and Tesla chief Elon Musk are recently debating it.[1] The Web3 advocates also believe it is reshaping the economic landscape. Gartner estimates that Web3 will increase global GDP by USD 1.76 trillion by 2030. [2] The rise of Web3 inevitably raises many legal issues such as virtual governance, data privacy, IP protection, regulatory compliance, and infringement. These also provide plenty of business opportunities for technology lawyers and law firms to join this fast-evolving area of law.

What is Web3?

Web3 is a new platform built on decentralized and blockchain technology owned by the builders and users where people can bind cryptocurrencies, NFTs, and metaverses together into a new platform. On Web3, individuals can provide services directly to each user and trade items of value that inherently exist within the system. An example of a Web3 application/network/platform might be a metaverse (an online, 3-dimensional universe that combines multiple virtual spaces in which users will be able to collaborate, meet, play games, and socialize) that works on a decentralized blockchain instead of using a bank.

Does Web3 need legal protection?

There is a misconception that a decentralized platform is unregulated. In addition, digital assets are rapidly growing in many parts of the world where local regulators have introduced laws and regulations governing transactions. For example, the US Treasury’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) is developing rules to track cryptocurrency exchanges and report suspicious activities. In addition, Australia and Canada consider Bitcoin a financial asset with a value that can be taxed. In Asia, Japan’s parliament passed a bill into law in June to regulate stablecoins or cryptocurrencies for investor protection.

Legal worries will increase in the metaverse as it is growing dramatically around the world. In general, many users believe NFTs offer undeniable proof of ownership. However, things may not be as simple as we thought. For example the property ownership, according to João Marinotti, Professor of Law at Indiana University, as virtual land ownership falls under contract law rather than property law. Also, purchasing an NFT doesn’t give users ownership over the digital asset. [3]

Although Web3 is an entirely new and complicated landscape, a new kind of legal protection is needed when things go wrong. Cryptocurrency litigation is soaring[4]. Disputes arise with NFTs related to licensing and joint ownership of an asset. Companies nowadays use metaverses as part of their business and marketing strategies that raise many legal issues concerning governance, IP protection, and infringement. [5]

Opportunities in Web3

If any technology landscape wants to grow to its full potential, it needs to incorporate a proper legal framework that includes set rights and obligations to protect all parties’ interests. Legal issues we need to address include taxation, virtual governance, regulatory challenges, licensing and ownership, transaction tracking and reporting, data privacy, and IP protection.

To avoid being left behind, traditional law firms, lawyers, and law students need to understand the development of Web3 technologies and the changing laws and regulations related to Web3 and regional governments.

[1] Sam Shead, ‘Elon Musk and Jack Dorsey are talking about “Web3” – here’s what it is and why it matters’, CNBC.com,  CNBC, 21 Dec 2021, https://www.cnbc.com/2021/12/21/elon-musk-and-jack-dorsey-are-talking-about-web3-heres-why.html (accessed 15 June 2022)

[2] Jamilia Grier, ‘Why Law Firms Need To Pivot To Web3’, bytebao.io, ByteBao, 19 April 2022, https://www.bytebao.io/blog/why-law-firms-need-to-pivot-to-web3, (accessed 15 June 2022)

[3] Jack Brassell, ‘Legal Worries In The Metaverse As NFTs And Blockchains Don’t Protect Virtual Property’, beyondgames.biz, Beyond Games, 4 May 2022, https://www.beyondgames.biz/22138/legal-worries-in-the-metaverse-as-nfts-and-blockchains-dont-protect-virtual-property/ (accessed 15 June 2022)

[4] Sam Skolnik, ‘Crypto Lawsuit Deluge Has Big Firms Scrambling to Keep Up’, bloomberglaw.com, Bloomberg, 17 May 2022, https://news.bloomberglaw.com/business-and-practice/crypto-lawsuit-explosion-has-big-law-scrambling-to-keep-up (accessed 15 June 2022)

[5] Jamilia Grier, ‘Why Law Firms Need To Pivot To Web3’, bytebao.io, ByteBao, 19 April 2022, https://www.bytebao.io/blog/why-law-firms-need-to-pivot-to-web3  (accessed 15 June 2022)

In Memoriam

Katherine Fan 1985 – 2022

Hughes-Castell is deeply saddened by the passing of our wonderful Managing Director Katherine Fan, who died peacefully in her hometown of Sydney on May 30, 2022, surrounded by her loving family. Katherine was very loved and respected both within our company and the broader legal and law firm community. Everyone who knew Katherine experienced what a beautiful and vibrant person she was, always smiling, full of charm and sparkling energy.

Katherine first joined Hughes-Castell in 2010 and after moving to work at Morrison Foerster and Baker McKenzie, Katherine came ‘home’ in 2019 because Hughes-Castell has always been a family for our people. Katherine leaves behind an indelible mark in all our hearts. At every level of engagement, she was a force of nature. With clients and candidates, her charm, her professionalism, and her dedication made her a trusted adviser. With colleagues, she was a role model and a source of guidance and encouragement.

We offer our heartfelt condolences to Katherine’s family and close friends.  Everyone in Hughes-Castell has been shaken by the loss of our dear Kat and she will be deeply missed by all. May her memory be a blessing and an inspiration for all of us.

Rest in Peace Katherine Fan, 1985 – 2022kat-b&w

Time to move in-house?

Moving in-house from a senior private practice position is a huge decision. However, in 2022, we have already seen three significant hires made in Asia’s technology or fintech industry, Joshua Chu going to Coinllectibles, Julie Gao to ByteDance, and Charlton Tse to Tencent. So, is this a prescient time to take a General Counsel/Chief Legal Officer at a tech/fintech company?

In the past, law firms’ partners have been reluctant to move in-house. Most senior lawyers thought they would enjoy less prestige, admittedly for a work-life balance trade-off. The pandemic has posed challenges for various industries, including the legal sector, but tech and fintech companies seem to have successfully overcome these challenges across Asia. While many people were locked down and worked from home, demanding online/networking solutions and fintech services, there was an explosion of digital/online networking products and fintech services. As a result, these companies continue to expand on headcount and revenue that lure top-tier lawyers to address market changes in a way that navigates the complex and rapidly changing legal environment.

Companies may have traditionally viewed security, compliance, and legal as costs and obstacles that slow down their businesses. However, in fast-growing, heavily regulated tech and financial industries, data protection, cyber-crime, and the myriad regulations covering money movement have become more challenging so addressing these issues effectively is core to product and business viability in the long term. Also, multinational tech or fintech companies have grappled with numerous regulatory disputes worldwide on topics such as operating licenses, employees’ rights, and controversies over their strategic business directions. Thus, more startup, tech, and fintech companies started hiring top-tier lawyers to take General Counsel and C-suite roles to ensure that companies can cope with requirements and restrictions set out by regulators.

More and more tech and fintech companies are operating globally. Global operations need legal departments in each of the countries where they are conducting business. Their general counsels and chief legal officers need to oversee or work in conjunction with their foreign counterparts. Instead of working in a single jurisdiction, this is a very appealing opportunity for some senior lawyers with multinational qualifications and experience looking for international exposure.

So now seems an opportune time to move in-house. We expect to see more top-tier law firms’ partners and senior associates moving in-house to tech or fintech companies, but let us be clear that it is not for every partner: experience, attitude, and personality matter. Experience-wise, you must have excellent judgment, maturity, and a commercial mindset to develop strong relationships with businesspeople and gain their trust by not falling into the trap of being the “no” person. Rather you must be the pragmatic person who balances risks with business demands and tries to find a way to get the deal done. In achieving this, the knowledge of how the business works and industry-relevant subject matter experience are required, which is why lawyers often join existing clients. They will also be shifting from revenue generators to corporate monitors. Finally, a good team player will be best suited to working in-house as they can build relationships in-house and gain a reputation for being resourceful.

Omicron wave slows Asian legal markets’ recovery

In January, firms and lawyers were full of hope, expecting a lively 2022 fueled by global liquidity, recovery from the pandemic, and growing opportunities in the tech and biotech industries. However, the Omicron surge in China, Hong Kong, India, Japan, and Korea slowed the recovery. Compared to Q1 2021, we witnessed a significant decline in recruitment activities in China. Only the Australian legal market shone in Q1.

Corporate/M&A/Capital Markets practices constituted the top senior recruitment hires in Q1. Projects/Construction/Infrastructure practices climbed to 2nd, overtaking Litigation/Disputes/Arbitration/Investigation practices. We also saw a rise in Energy & Resources practices in Australia.

The most significant partner recruiters for Q1 2022 were Ashurst and Herbert Smith Freehills. Ashurst has actively recruited in Australia and Herbert Smith Freehills in Australia and Singapore.

Top Partner Recruiters in the Region

Appointments

  • There is 34% decrease in lateral hires in Q1 compared to 2021 despite Australia’s strong showing this year.
  • The significant hires are evenly spread over 3 months. Despite the Chinese New Year holidays and being a shorter month, February witnessed the most hires in Q1. 

Locations

  • Only Australia saw growth (27%) in the number of key appointments compared to 2021.
  • China and India saw a dramatic drop in 2022 due to the Omicron surge. Under the uncertainty of the pandemic, firms remained conservative in hiring.
  • Corporate/M&A/Capital Markets practices in Hong Kong remained active, therefore Hong Kong stayed the 2nd key location for lateral hires.

Practices

  • Corporate/M&A/Capital Markets practices constituted 20% of the key hires in Q1 of 2022. 
  • Unlike 2021 and 2020, there were only few hires in Litigation/Dispute Resolution/Arbitration/Investigations practices, but there was strong growth in Projects/Construction/Infrastructure practices.
  • Energy & Resources practice area has seen stable growth since 2021. All these hires were made in Australia.   

Types

  • Lateral hires dominated the hiring markets in Q1.
  • We witnessed a growing tendency for senior lawyers to rejoin former firms. 
  • By contrast, we saw a gradual fall in Promotions. 

Tech Unicorns continue to lure big names from Private Practice in Asia

The news that US IPO doyenne Julie Gao was leaving Skadden Arps to join TikTok owner ByteDance as Chief Financial Officer was initially greeted with shock and surprise by the market but, given a brief cooling off period, it seems like the move makes a lot of sense and is indeed part of an increasing pattern.

Gao’s stellar practice saw her dominate the US listings market for PRC companies in recent years but with that deal flow being stymied by increased regulatory scrutiny it does seem like an opportune time to explore a different path. She has already advised the company on major acquisitions of other online platforms so there’s obviously familiarity there, and rumours continue to swirl over a proposed listing in New York or Hong Kong (despite official  briefings that there are no firm plans) where Gao’s experience and expertise would presumably be leant on, albeit her role is CFO rather than GC.

Also, this is just the latest case of a big name partner leaving the ranks of private practice for an in-house role at a tech enterprise on the rise. In 2019 Jeanette Chan brought down the curtain on 33 years with Paul Weiss to join digital payments startup Airwallex as GC. More recently, former Skadden capital markets colleague of Julie Gao Chris Betts withdrew from the firm’s partnership to take the mantle of GC at Grab Holdings in Singapore. Going further back, Leiming Chen joined Ant Group after ten years at Simpson Thacher & Bartlett in 2016, and, perhaps the standard bearer for this type of move, Tim Steinert was tempted away from Freshfields to join Alibaba Group way back in 2006. These are a few amongst many.

What is interesting to consider is the reasoning behind these moves. While the traditional, possibly outdated, mantra for moving in house was the pursuit of a more amenable work-life balance, none of the above roles could be viewed as slow-paced. Also these partners were at global elite firms, at the top of their pay grades, so despite any pleas of “it’s not about the money”, healthy packages and lucrative stock options are also a factor.

The centrality of these roles within the relative companies is something that is universally cited as being key however. Having spent their careers as outside counsel, the lure of being in the decision-making circle, in a unique position, in a booming and ever-evolving industry, is a compelling proposition for those who have, to a greater or lesser degree, reached the pinnacle of their careers in private practice. As tech start-ups continue to flourish and attract huge investment, we can expect to see a lot more of these types of moves in the coming years.

Legal Move Updates (Apr – Jun 2022)

Editor’s note: This is an ongoing list.

June

30 June – Herbert Smith Freehills (Singapore, Singapore)

Herbert Smith Freehills’ Singapore alliance firm Prolegis has added a new partner and head of projects from the Singapore formal law alliance unit of CMS.

Adrian Wong advises equity sponsors, government authorities and others on energy, infrastructure and data centre project development, including M&A. (from http://www.law.com)

30 June – Allen & Overy (Hong Kong, China & Sydney, Australia)

Allen & Overy has hired corporate experts Gilbert Li and Iris Yeung as partners in Hong Kong from Linklaters.

Li, who headed the Hong Kong corporate practice at Linklaters, advises on M&A and enterprise content management, covering the energy, infrastructure, financial services and fintech sectors. He will split his time between A&O’s Hong Kong and Sydney offices.

Yeung advises investment banks and corporations on M&A and equity fund-raising. She will work closely with A&O’s Greater China practice, as well as its joint operation firm Shanghai Lang Yue Law Firm to provide Mainland China companies with Hong Kong-related services. Yeung worked more than 12 years at Linklaters, having started her legal career there in 2010. (from http://www.legalbusinessonline.com)

29 June – Wee Swee Teow (Singapore, Singapore)

Wee Swee Teow (WST), one of Singapore’s oldest law firms, is acquiring boutique Tang Thomas. The latter firm’s two name-partners will take on practice head roles at the merged outfit, which will keep the name Wee Swee Teow.

Cynthia Tang, managing partner of Tang Thomas, will head WST’s corporate practice, while partner Raj Joshua Thomas will co-head WST’s dispute resolution practice and lead its regulatory practice. With these additions, WST will have eight partners in total.

Tang, a former lawyer at Kelvin Chia Partnership, also worked in-house with Italian pharmaceutical giant Menarini Group. She co-founded Tang Thomas with Thomas in 2020. (from http://www.legalbusinessonline.com)

27 June – Jingtian & Gongcheng (Hong Kong, China)

PRC firm Jingtian & Gongcheng has hired corporate finance lawyer Kelvan Cheung as a partner in its Hong Kong office from Deacons, the SAR’s largest local firm.

Cheung has more than 15 years of experience in the area of corporate finance. He advises on IPOs, M&As, private equity transactions, and regulatory compliance matters. Cheung joined Deacons more than 12 years ago, and was appointed as a partner in 2015. (from http://www.legalbusinessonline.com)

27 June – Clyde & Co (Melbourne, Australia)

Norton Rose Fulbright has lost its second Australian partner in a week after insurance lawyer Matthew Ellis resigned to join Clyde & Co.

Ellis, who will join the firm’s Melbourne office, is a corporate and regulatory lawyer focused on the insurance sector, with experience across corporate transactions, the regulation of insurance products and services, regulatory investigations and financial services class actions. (from http://www.law.com)

22 June – DLA Piper (Melbourne, Australia)

DLA Piper has added a tax partner from Norton Rose Fulbright in Melbourne.

Adam Smith has a broad practice across all areas of taxation including on cross border M&A transactions, corporate restructuring, property transactions, stamp duty and GST, DLA said. (from http://www.law.com)

22 June – Goodwin Procter (Hong Kong, China)

As a part of its regional enlargement, Goodwin has individually employed Kirkland & Ellis associate Daniel Dusek for its Hong Kong workplace, two individuals on the agency added.

Dusek had been a associate at Kirkland since 2017, performing on a number of main offers throughout his time there, together with advising on the take-private deal of China’s largest on-line classifieds market, 58.com Inc., valued at $8.7 billion, and on the $2.6 billion take-private of Sina Corp., which owns one in all China’s largest social media platforms—Weibo. Last yr, Dusek suggested a consortium on the $5.7 billion personal fairness buyout of Chinese recruiting firm 51job Inc.

Prior to becoming a member of Kirkland, he was a associate at fellow U.S. led agency Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom. He spent over 16 years at Skadden and had been based mostly in the agency’s Beijing, Hong Kong and New York places of work throughout his time there. (from http://www.law.com)

22 June – Atsumi & Sakai (Tokyo, Japan)

Japanese law firm Atsumi & Sakai has hired Harukuni Ito (L), Mitsuru Misawa and Kazuki Ishihara as partners in its Tokyo office. The new partners span emerging practice areas such as data protection, risk advisory, and environmental, social and governance (ESG).

Ito, who joins from U.S. law firm Jones Day, is an IP practitioner with a focus on the pharmaceutical and medical industries. He is also experienced in commercial disputes and data security.

Misawa was most recently in an in-house role at green energy supplier Enfinity Global. Having started his career at Nishimura & Asahi in 2005, Misawa worked at TMI Associates between 2013 and 2019, mainly in the firm’s Jakarta, Kuala Lumpur and Singapore offices. He is a corporate lawyer with experience in project finance, cross-border M&A and commercial disputes, among other things.

Ishihara is an IT and startup practitioner, experienced mainly in fintech, startup support and data security, covering not only Japan but also mainland China, Hong Kong, and Taiwan. He worked for Yahoo! Japan as an in-house counsel between 2013 and 2015. (from http://www.legalbusinessonline.com)

22 June – Hill Dickinson (Singapore, Singapore)

UK-headquartered law firm Hill Dickinson has expanded its Singapore office with the hires of Matthew Dow as a partner and Binoy Dubey as counsel and master mariner. They join from Norwegian firm Wikborg Rein and Incisive Law, respectively.

Specialising in international commercial dispute resolution with a focus on shipping and offshore disputes, Dow advises on shipping casualties, underwater cable disputes, offshore casualties involving jackups, and charterparty and bill of lading disputes.

Dow, who started his career at Holman Fenwick Willan in London, joined Wikborg in 2019. (from http://www.legalbusinessonline.com)

22 June – Ince  (Hong Kong, China)

Ince has hired dispute resolution veteran Stephen Chan as a partner in its Hong Kong office from Reed Smith, where he was also a partner.

Chan’s hire comes a few weeks after Ince’s Hong Kong office lost litigation partner Bonita Chan to Anthony Siu & Co, PRC firm Jia Yuan Law Offices’ association firm in the city.

Stephen Chan’s practice includes multi-jurisdictional fraud and asset tracing involving freezing, gagging and other urgent interim injunctive measures, technology-related disputes, shareholder and company disputes, and contentious employment matters. Chan is also experienced in arbitration under HKIAC, SIAC, ICC, UNCITRAL and other institutional arbitral rules. (from http://www.legalbusinessonline.com)

21 June – Herbert Smith Freehills (Melbourne & Perth, Australia)

Herbert Smith Freehills (HSF) has hired a trio of tax partners in Australia from former local tax advisory associate firm Greenwoods, which was acquired earlier this year by PwC.

Toby Eggleston and Ryan Leslie have joined HSF in Melbourne while Nick Heggart has moved across in Perth, shortly after around 65 employees from Greenwoods, including 15 partners, made the move to PwC earlier this month. (from http://www.globallegalpost.com)

16 June – Nishimura & Asahi (Tokyo, Japan)

Nishimura & Asahi, Japan’s largest law firm, has hired energy and natural resources specialist Alexander Woody as a partner in Tokyo from White & Case, where he spent 22 years.

Woody, who advises clients on project investments, development and financing in the energy and natural resources space, has more than 20 years of experience in Japan, with a focus on cross-border LNG investments, tolling and purchase agreements and transportation arrangements. He also advises clients on solar, battery and wind power investments, as well as early-stage hydrogen projects. ( from http://www.legalbusinessonline.com)

14 June – Johnson Winter & Slattery (Sydney, Australia)

Australian law firm Johnson Winter & Slattery has poached a project finance and banking partner from Ashurst, as the firm aims to win more project work.

Simon Irvine, who joins JSW’s Sydney office this week, has more than 25 years’ experience advising on the funding and development of major projects in Australia and internationally. (from http://www.law.com)

10 June – Clifford Chance (Hong Kong, China)

Clifford Chance has hired Kirkland & Ellis’ Hong Kong funds partner Liyong Xing, marking the third partner to leave Kirkland Hong Kong this year.

Xing advises global and Asian fund sponsors on the structuring, formation and governance of private investment funds across a variety of strategies, including venture capital, growth capital, buyout, real estate, infrastructure, secondaries and co-investment. (from  http://www.law.com)

9 June – Amber Group (Singapore, Singapore)

Benjamin Bai, former vice president and chief intellectual property and international litigation counsel at Ant Group, recently moved on to digital asset trading company Amber Group as chief legal counsel.

Bai, who will soon be relocating to Singapore from Shanghai, was previously a partner and head of the regional IP practices at Allen & Overy and Jones Day. (from http://www.law.com)

9 June – Cyril Amarchand Mangaldas (Bengaluru, India)

Kiran Nidumuri as the head of its disputes practice in South India from IndusLaw. He will be based in Bengaluru.

Nidumuri, who spent seven years at IndusLaw, was named as one of ALB Asia’s Top 15 Litigators for 2022; he was earlier one of ALB’s Asia 40 Under 40 in 2017. (from http://www.legalbusinessonline.com)

9 June – Ashurst (Shanghai, China)

UK firm Ashurst has hired Yuan Yan, an expert in corporate transactions, as a partner in its Shanghai office from Clifford Chance, where he was a counsel.

Yuan advises private equity and corporate clients on cross-border M&A transactions, including minority/growth capital investments, joint ventures and control acquisitions in countries and regions including China, Southeast Asia, Europe, and North and South America. (from http://www.legalbusinessonline.com)

9 June – TOKO (Hong Kong, China)

The head of DLA Piper’s global technology and fintech sector initiative, Scott Thiel, has left the partnership to lead the firm’s affiliate business in digital assets.

Hong Kong-based Thiel has become the chief executive officer at TOKO, the firm’s affiliated digital asset business consultancy. (from http://www.law.com)

7 June – Allens (Brisbane, Australia)

Australian corporate law firm Allens has hired an employment and safety partner from MinterEllison, as more focus is being placed on effective management of risks associated with sexual harassment and workplace bullying.

Samantha Betzien, who joins Allens’ Brisbane office, has more than 20 years of experience advising on strategic and complex safety, employment and industrial relations matters, Allens said. (from http://www.law.com)

6 June – Argus Partners (Bengaluru, India)

Indian law firm Argus Partners has hired commercial dispute resolution expert Bhavya Mohan as a partner in Bengaluru from Arista Chambers.

Mohan has more than 10 years experience in commercial dispute resolution including international arbitration, and advises private clients, public sector enterprises and multinational corporations in a range of sectors such as manufacturing, retail, infrastructure, banking, technology, real estate, and private equity. (from http://www.legalbusinessonline.com)

2 June – Gilbert + Tobin (Perth, Australia)

Australian law firm Gilbert+Tobin has poached a corporate advisory partner from global firm Squire Patton Boggs to join its corporate advisory team in Perth.

Simon Rear is the latest partner hire in the Western Australia capital, where energy and resources lawyers are in strong demand, thanks to the booming mining sector. (from http://www.law.com)

2 June – Australian Institute of Company Directors (Sydney, Australia)

The former global chief executive officer of Herbert Smith Freehills, Mark Rigotti, is leaving the firm after 26 years to lead an Australian business group.

Rigotti, who most recently was senior adviser to the firm, will join the Australian Institute of Company Directors as chief executive designate at the end of July before taking over as CEO in September. (from http://www.law.com)

1 June – Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas & Co (New Delhi, India)

Law firm Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas & Co. (SAM) has appointed Shally Bhasin as an equity partner for litigation for its New Delhi hub.

Bhasin has over 26 years of experience and has done matters relating to financial services, bankruptcy, infrastructure litigation, environment litigation, white collar crime, telecom and tender related litigation, among others, Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas said in a statement. (from http://www.vccircle.com)

1 June – King & Wood Mallesons (Sydney, Australia)

Global law firm King & Wood Mallesons has hired competition and regulatory partner and former regulator Luke Woodward from Australian corporate firm Gilbert + Tobin.

In 20 years at Gilbert + Tobin, Woodward worked across a mix of transactional, contentious and regulatory legal matters. Prior to joining Gilbert + Tobin, he held various positions at the country’s competition regulator, the Australian Consumer and Competition Commission, including lead prosecution lawyer, executive general manager of the compliance division (responsible for enforcement) and senior assistance commissioner, where he was responsible for mergers and acquisitions, and general counsel. (from http://www.law.com)

1 June – Eric Chow & Co (Hong Kong, China)

Commerce & Finance Law Offices’ Hong Kong association firm Eric Chow & Co has hired litigator Christy Leung as a partner from Winston & Strawn.

Leung joined Winston in July 2019, and was named as a partner in 2021. She earlier worked at Debevoise & Plimpton, Herbert Smith Freehills, and Reed Smith Richards Butler.

With experience in handling contentious regulatory matters and complex commercial disputes with a focus on the financial services sector, Leung advises PRC banks, financial institutions, listed companies, licensed corporations and individuals in regulatory proceedings brought by the Securities and Futures Commission, the Hong Kong Stock Exchange, Hong Kong Monetary Authority and other regulatory and law enforcement agencies. (from http://www.legalbusinessonline.com)

1 June – Hauzen (Hong Kong, China)

DWF, UK’s largest listed law firm, has entered an affiliation agreement with Hong Kong-based Hauzen. The two firms also announced the addition of marine and insurance lawyer Anthony Woo as a partner from Clyde & Co.

Established in 2017, Hauzen has five partners, and provides services related to financial markets, securities regulation, cryptocurrency, white-collar litigation, investment funds, Marshall Islands law, listed0company governance, and corporate services. The firm is also in association with the PRC’s Anjie Law Firm, which merged with Broad & Bright in 2021.

Woo has expertise in multi-jurisdictional commercial dispute resolution, mainly representing insurers, shipowners, and traders. He joined Clyde & Co in 2016, prior to which he had been a Hill Dickinson partner since 2014. Woo earlier worked for Kennedys, Reed Smith Richards Butler, and DLA Piper. (from http://www.legalbusinessonline.com)

May 

26 May – SCL Nishimura & Asahi (Bangkok, Thailand)

SCL Nishimura & Asahi, the Thai office of Japan’s largest law firm, has hired veteran lawyer Punjaporn Kosolkitiwong in Bangkok as the head of its litigation department from Dej-Udom & Associates.

Punjaporn has almost 40 years of experience in litigation, and previously headed the litigation department of Dej-Udom. She handle arbitrations, civil and criminal cases, tax-related issues, intellectual property and international trade cases in both the Bangkok and provincial courts. (from http://www.legalbusinessonline.com)

24 May – Economic Law Practice (Mumbai, India)

India’s Economic Law Practice has rehired tax expert Ritesh Kanodia as partner in Mumbai. Kanodia was most recently at Dhruva Advisors.

Besides tax, Kanodia is also experienced with foreign trade policy including customs laws and regulations, and export control. (from http://www.legalbusinessonline.com)

24 May – Saraf and Partners (Delhi, India)

Indian firm Saraf and Partners has hired projects, energy and infrastructure expert Samridha Neupane as a partner in Delhi from L&L Partners, its tenth lateral hire in the past 10 months.

Neupane is focused on renewable energy and natural resources-related work, and has experience in strategic investments, private equity investments, and M&A, along with project and construction-related documentation and general corporate law advisory. (from http://www.legalbusinessonline.com)

20 May  – Coinllectibles (Singapore, Singapore)

Hong Kong law firm ONC Lawyers has lost its technology consultant, Joshua Chu, to Singapore-headquartered metaverse blockchain company Coinllectibles.

Chu is moving in-house to Coinllectibles, which is publicly traded on the over-the-counter markets in the U.S., as chief risk officer. (from http://www.law.com)

19 May – Howse Williams (Hong Kong, China)

Hong Kong law firm Howse Williams has expanded after hiring insurance expert Gary Chow and corporate specialist William Wong as partners from Clyde & Co and Clifford Chance, respectively.

Chow, who was a counsel at Clyde, joined that firm in 2013 from local outfit Leung & Lau. Specialising in personal injury and insurance-related litigation, Chow acts for liability insurers with experience in defending personal injury claims involving work accidents, traffic accidents, occupiers’ liability and medical malpractice.

Wong was previously a consultant at Clifford Chance, having joined that firm in 2014. He has experience in contentious regulatory work and financial services and commercial litigation, representing institutional and individual clients in investigations by regulatory authorities and law enforcement agencies in Hong Kong. Wong earlier held in-house roles at Credit Suisse and Merrill Lynch. (from http://www.legalbusinessonline.com)

16 May – Kingson Reid (Melbourne, Australia)

Australian employment law firm Kingston Reid has hired a partner from the international firm Holman Fenwick Willan (HFW).

Melbourne-based Brendan Milne has expertise in industrial disputes and enterprise bargaining and has been involved in some of Australia’s most significant and complex industrial disputes over the past decade, including industries such as stevedoring, mining and construction, Kingston Reid said. (from http://www.law.com)

16 May – Ashurst (Brisbane & Perth, Australia)

Global law firm Ashurst has bolstered its transport and infrastructure group with the appointment of two projects partners from fellow BigLaw firm Corrs Chambers Westgarth.

Andrew McCormack and Chris Campbell have both joined Ashurst, in a move that will expand the firm’s focus on the energy and resources and infrastructure sectors. The news follows the firm’s addition of 12 Australians to its global partnership ranks last month.

Mr McCormack will be in the Brisbane office and brings 17 years of experience. His practice covers transport, infrastructure, resources and property development, with both government and private sector clients. He was a partner at Corrs for nine years. (from http://www.lawyersweekly.com.au)

16 May – King & Wood Mallesons (Beijing, China)

Fangda Partners has lost veteran intellectual property (IP) litigation partner Gordon Gao to King & Wood Mallesons in Beijing.

Gao updated his LinkedIn profile with his new King & Wood Mallesons appointment and received several congratulatory comments from his network but he has since deactivated his LinkedIn page. (from http://www.law.com)

12 May – Herbert Smith Freehills (Tokyo, Japan)

Herbert Smith Freehills has appointed a Tokyo partner to the new role of North Asia corporate practice head.

In the new role, partner Andrew Blacoe will lead the firm’s corporate practice in Tokyo and Seoul, according to a firm statement. (from http://www.law.com)

11 May – Grandall (Hong Kong, China)

Beijing-based Grandall Law Firm has hired Mayer Brown veteran partner Thomas So as head of its dispute resolution practice in Hong Kong.

So joins Grandall from Mayer Brown, where he practiced for over 25 years. (from http://www.law.com)

10 May – Liberty Mutual (London, UK)

Peng Lim, the Singapore-based global head of the aviation practice at Kennedys Law, is set to leave the firm and join insurance company Liberty Mutual as head of aviation claims.

The newly created role, at Liberty Special Markets, is based in London, and Lim is expected to move in November.

As head of aviation claims, Lim is expected to help Liberty Mutual tap into opportunities from a growing aviation insurance industry. (from http://www.legalbusinessonline.com)

10 May – Watson Farley & Williams (Hong Kong, China)

Watson Farley & Williams has welcome back aviation finance expert Simon Collins as a partner in Hong Kong from White & Case, where he spent 17 years.

Collins, who had a six-year stint at WFW starting in 1998, advises clients on cross-border aviation and maritime finance transactions, including asset and project finance, structured lending and restructuring, leasing, and commercial shipping transactions. Notable work includes advising Colombian airline Avianca in a Japanese operating lease with call option (JOLCO) financing.  (from http://www.legalbusinessonline.com/)

9 May – Rajah & Tann Asia (Bangkok, Thailand)

We are pleased to announce that R&T Asia (Thailand) has officially launched its new Intellectual Property practice, and warmly welcomes new partner Nuttaphol Arammuang who will spearhead the team in guiding clients through the precise navigation of all aspects of IP.

Boasting an impressive 20 years of experience, Nuttaphol is well reputed amongst leading legal publications for his all-encompassing IP expertise.

The introduction of this new practice is in line with our network’s ongoing vision of enhancing our capabilities to serve local, regional, and international clients through the effective expansion of service offerings and seamless collaboration between our offices. (from https://www.linkedin.com/company/rajah-&-tann/)

9 May – Widyawan & Partners (Jakarta, Indonesia)

Linklaters’ formal association firm in Indonesia, Widyawan & Partners, today announced the hire of Teguh Arwiko, who has joined as a partner in the corporate practice, based in Jakarta.

Teguh joins Widyawan & Partners from Hiswara Bunjamin & Tandjung, (in association with Herbert Smith Freehills), where he was a partner.

Teguh is an Indonesia-qualified corporate lawyer specialising in advising corporates, and private equity and sovereign wealth funds on public and private M&A and JVs, with a particular focus on the financial services, TMT/digital economy and real estate sectors. His arrival will further strengthen the firm’s public M&A capabilities and financial services and tech sectors offering, demonstrating the firm’s commitment to deliver best in class support in these rapidly growing areas. (from http://www.linklaters.com)

5 May – Jardine Matheson (Tokyo, Japan)

Linklaters’ Tokyo corporate partner Matthew Bland has left the firm to join listed holdings company Jardine Matheson as group general counsel.

Bland, who has relocated to Hong Kong for his new role, succeeds former Linklaters partner and global head of corporate practice Jeremy Parr, who took on the in-house role in 2015 after three decades at Linklaters. Parr will soon be retiring. (from https://legal-mag.com/)

5 May – IndusLaw (Bengaluru, India)

Indian law firm IndusLaw has made its second disputes partner hire in two months after adding Maneesha Kongovi in Bengaluru from Argus Partners.

Kongovi’s hire comes at a time when IndusLaw has been expanding in South India. The firm recently acquired real estate-focused outfit ASLF, which has offices in the cities of Bengaluru and Chennai.

With experience in appearing before the Supreme Court of India, the Bombay High Court, the High Court of Karnataka, the Delhi, Gujarat and Calcutta High Courts, and also tribunals and district courts, Kongovi has worked on matters including commercial disputes, customs claims, real estate and construction disputes, infrastructure disputes, writ petitions, public interest litigations, winding-up proceedings, and trademark infringements.

Having worked at Bharucha & Partners and the legacy Amarchand & Mangaldas & Suresh A Shroff & Co earlier in her career, Kongovi established her own chambers in 2014. She joined Argus in 2019. (from http://www.legalbusinessonline.com)

4 May – HFW (Melbourne, Australia)

Global law firm Holman Fenwick Willan (HFW) has made its 10th Australian partner hire in the past two years, bringing on commercial litigation and international arbitration partner Bronwyn Lincoln from Australian firm Corrs Chambers Westgarth.

Melbourne-based Lincoln specializes in international commercial arbitration and high-value multijurisdictional disputes, with a focus on international trade, shareholder and joint venture and project and infrastructure disputes. (from http://www.law.com)

4 May – Mayer Brown (Singapore, Singapore)

Disputes lawyer Kay-Jannes Wegner has left Kim & Chang after over a decade. He has relocated from Seoul to Singapore, along with associate Edern Coënt, for Mayer Brown.

Kay-Jannes Wegner, a foreign legal consultant at South Korean Big Six firm, Kim & Chang, has left the firm, relocating to Singapore to join Mayer Brown as partner.

Wegner is a disputes lawyer who represents Asian and European clients on arbitration matters including construction and infrastructure, and energy and defense-related disputes. He also sits as an arbitrator in International Chamber of Commerce and Korean Commercial Arbitration Board cases. (from http://www.law.com)

3 May – DLA Piper (Hong Kong, China)

DLA Piper today announces the appointment of Crystal Chen as a partner in its Finance, Projects and Restructuring (FP&R) practice, based in Hong Kong.

Crystal joins the firm from Linklaters in Hong Kong, where she was a partner in its energy and infrastructure practice. Crystal is a leading banking and finance lawyer. She is experienced in the development and financing as well as acquisition and disposal of projects in the power, petrochemical and mining sectors. She has extensive experience in a wide range of other types of financing work, including leveraged finance buy-outs, acquisition finance and other structured event-driven financings.

Qualified in New York, Hong Kong and the PRC, Crystal is bilingual and primarily focuses her practice on China inbound and outbound transactions. Crystal has served a broad range of clients, including policy banks, commercial banks, multilateral development agencies, governments, export credit agencies, private equity funds, project sponsors and other project participants. (from http://www.dlapiper.com)

2 May – Pinsent Masons (Australia & Singapore)

Pinsent Masons has refreshed its leadership structure in Asia Pacific ahead of what it has deemed the next phase of its strategic growth in the region.

The appointments will see Melbourne-based partner James Morgan-Payler become the firm’s first formal head of APAC, while Singapore-based international business manager Johanna Murray will become the region’s first chief operations officer. (from http://www.law.com)

April

28 April – Harry Elias Partnership (Singapore, Singapore)

Harry Elias Partnership LLP today announced the appointment of Joanna S. as a partner in the Construction and Engineering practice.

With over 14 years of experience, Joanna is a specialist in in the construction and infrastructure sector. She is amongst the inaugural batch of legal practitioners recognized by the Singapore Academy of Law as an Accredited Specialist in Building and Construction Law and is also accredited as a Fellow of the Singapore Institute of Arbitrators.

Joanna has extensive experience representing major contractors in large-scale infrastructure, engineering and construction disputes across a wide range of jurisdictions globally and sectors. Prior to joining Harry Elias Partnership, Joanna worked with other leading international firms, where she advised and represented clients in a variety of international disputes, including rail and metro projects, power plant, solar plant, mining, integrated resorts, and commercial and residential building projects across Asia-Pacific.

Joanna also frequently advises and represents clients in adjudication proceedings commenced pursuant to the Building and Construction Industry Security of Payment Act 2004 (“SOPA”) in Singapore. Most recently, she successfully defended a Singapore listed company against a multi-million dollar claim made by a subcontractor pursuant to the latest amended SOPA. (from http://www.linkedin.com)

27 April – Greenberg Traurig (Singapore, Singapore)

The US led firm is the latest international outfit set to enter Singapore, though the hires will initially be based in its Tokyo office.

The additions will be led by Hogan Lovells partner Joseph Kim, who has joined as the firm’s Asia head of energy and infrastructure practice. He brings along with him Hogan Lovells counsel William Wu and associate Da Woon Jeong.

Kim had been a partner at Hogan Lovells for seven years, and a partner at Paul Hastings for seven years prior to his move.

The fourth hire is Jared Raleigh, who was an in-house counsel at Acciona Construction Australia in Melbourne. He will relocate to Singapore for the move, having previously worked at the Singapore offices of mining company Orica and at Jones Day and Hogan Lovells as an associate. (from https://prolifelawyer.com)

27 Apr – ByteDance (Hong Kong, China & Singapore)

TikTok-owner ByteDance has appointed Julie Gao, head of the China practice at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom, as its new chief financial officer (CFO), according to an internal memo sent to staff on Monday and seen by Reuters.

Gao, one of Skadden’s top capital markets lawyers, will be based in Hong Kong and Singapore once she joins ByteDance, according to the memo sent by ByteDance chief executive Liang Rubo. (from http://www.legalbusinessonline.com)

27 Apr – McDermott Will & Emery (Singapore, Singapore)

U.S. law firm McDermott Will & Emery has continued to expand its newly established Singapore office after hiring four lawyers specialising in investigations and compliance from Sidley Austin, including partners Yuet Ming Tham (L) and Shu Min Ho. Tham will join as Singapore managing partner.

McDermott opened its Singapore office last year, following a year without a presence in the Asian region. Since then, it has expanded rapidly through a series of laterals. First, it hired Ignatius Hwang and Merrick White from Squire Patton Boggs and King & Spalding. Then came the additions of Alfred Chia (also from Squire Patton Boggs), Siddhartha Sivaramakrishnan (from Herbert Smith Freehills), and Clarinda Tjia-Dharmadi as Asia transactions chair (from Latham & Watkins).

Specialising in white-collar crime and life sciences, Tham was head of Asia-Pacific and Singapore managing partner at Sidley, additionally holding the role of global co-chair of the government investigations and compliance group. She joined the Hong Kong office of Sidley in 2012 from DLA Piper, having been head of the latter firm’s Asia regulatory compliance and investigation groups, and Asia life sciences practice since 2008.

With expertise in the FCPA and anti-bribery compliance, money-laundering regulations and sanctions, data privacy and employment, Tham represents clients on matters involving the SEC, the U.S. Department of Justice, FINRA, as well as Asian enforcement agencies.

Meanwhile, Ho began her career in 2011 at Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, joining Sidley in 2019. She has experience leading cross-border investigations, with a focus on bribery, corruption, fraud, embezzlement and other corporate crime, especially in the pharmaceutical and medical device sectors.

Also moving with Tham and Ho from Sidley to McDermott are counsel Sam Johnson and Margaret Huang. (from http://www.legalbusinessonline.com)

26 April – Squire Patton Boggs (Perth, Australia) 

Squire Patton Boggs has hired a former human resources manager, industrial relations adviser, labor market economist and industrial inspector to join its employment practice in Perth.

Kim Hodge, who joins as a partner from national firm McCabe Curwood Lawyers, advises clients across sectors including mining and resources, engineering, utilities, retail, health care, education, not-for-profit, and local government. (from http://www.law.com)

26 April – Ashurst (Sydney, Australia)

Global law firm Ashurst announces the appointment of Miriam Kleiner as a partner in Legal Governance Advisory, the firm’s head office strategic advisory practice led by partner Rob Hanley.

The appointment of Miriam reflects Ashurst’s commitment to assisting clients with their ever-increasing governance needs. The Ashurst Legal Governance Advisory team works alongside Ashurst’s Risk Advisory and Board Advisory consultants to deliver a unique integrated legal and consulting offering. The team advises General Counsel, Company Secretaries and Non-Executive Directors of ASX listed and larger non-listed entities on current and emerging strategic risks as well as ‘business as usual’ governance and company secretarial matters.

Miriam is one of the few lawyers in Australia who is a true specialist in the governance advisory field. With over 15 years’ experience advising on corporate governance, company secretarial and related advisory matters, Miriam’s experience extends across the financial services, healthcare, energy and resources, consumer and retail, information technology, and leisure and entertainment sectors. (from http://www.ashurst.com)

21 April – King & Spalding (Hong Kong, China)

U.S. law firm King & Spalding has hired international arbitration lawyer Nils Eliasson as a partner in Singapore from the Hong Kong office of Shearman & Sterling, where he led that firm’s Asia international arbitration practice.

Eliasson, who joined Shearman in 2015 from the Swedish law firm Mannheimer Swartling, is the second high-profile disputes partner in Asia to exit the U.S. firm in the past few months. In February, Singapore partner Daryl Chew left Shearman to join UK arbitration firm Three Crowns.

Eliasson acts as counsel and arbitrator in commercial, construction, and investment treaty disputes in Asia, with particular experience in the energy, infrastructure, and telecommunications sectors. Following his departure, Shearman now has seven partners in Hong Kong, but none specialising in disputes. (from http://www.legalbusinessonline.com)

20 April – DSK Legal (Bengaluru, India)

Indian law firm DSK Legal has hired a team of lawyers from rival Dua & Associates in the southern city of Bengaluru. Led by partner Srinivas BR, it also includes partners Brijita Prakash, Karan Ajitsaria and Siddharth Suresh.

Srinivas is an expert in real estate transactions, including title due diligence and foreign direct investment in the real estate sector in India, while Prakash has experience in real estate, litigation and financing.

Ajitsaria is experienced in debt and equity financing with particular focus on structuring financing in the real estate sector, and Suresh focuses on private equity, foreign investment, joint ventures and acquisitions in the fintech, real estate, technology, construction and power sectors. (from http://www.legalbusinessonline.com)

19 April – Trilegal (Delhi, India)

Trilegal has hired disputes experts Anuj Berry (L) and Vishrov Mukerjee as partners in Delhi from Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas and J. Sagar Associates, respectively. They are set to join the firm in the next few months.

The duo will become Trilegal’s first partner laterals since it added four from AZB in Mumbai and Bengaluru in December last year.

Berry, who has been with SAM since 2006, works in the areas of general commercial litigation including shareholder disputes, company law-related disputes, litigation concerning the Competition Act 2002 and white-collar defense such as regulatory and internal investigations. In 2021, he was selected by clients as one of the ALB Asia Super 50 Disputes Lawyers.

Meanwhile, Mukerjee had two stints at JSA, first between 2007 and 2009, and then since 2012. He focuses on regulatory disputes, arbitration in the infrastructure sector and commercial litigation on complex cases such as issues pertaining to changes in law, powers of regulatory commissions, and compensatory mechanisms for the cancellation of coal blocks. (from http://www.legalbusinessonline.com)

12 April – Cyril Amarchand Mangaldas (Mumbai, India)

India’s Cyril Amarchand Mangaldas has welcomed back project finance specialist Manasvini Raj as a partner in Mumbai from International Finance Corporation, a unit of the World Bank, where she was a counsel.

Raj began her career in 2010 at the erstwhile Amarchand & Mangaldas & Suresh A. Shroff & Co, and moved to CAM following the split in 2015, spending two years there. She later worked for White & Case in New York before joining the IFC in Mumbai in 2020.

With more than 11 years of experience in project finance, structured finance, project development and M&A in the infrastructure and energy sectors, Raj’s clients include lenders, multilateral institutions, export credit agencies, sponsors, investors, borrowers and contractors. (from http://www.legalbusinessonline.com)

10 April – Clyde & Co (Sydney, Australia)

Global law firm Clyde & Co has launched an Asia-Pacific cyber risk advisory practice to meet increasing client demand, hiring a senior cyber risk specialist to lead the practice.

Chris McLaughlin joins from Aon, where he was head of the Aon Cyber Solutions in Australia. His hire by Clyde & Co reflects the firm’s ongoing expansion of its global technology and cyber risk offering to meet the rapidly increasing demand for cyber, privacy and digital advice, Clyde & Co said in a statement. (from http://www.law.com)

7 April – Appleby (Hong Kong, China)

Offshore law firm Appleby has hired Richard Grasby as partner and head of its private client and trusts team in Hong Kong. Grasby was most recently a foreign legal consultant at Facey & Associates.

Grasby was at another offshore law firm, Maples and Calder, for close to nine years until May 2017, leaving as a partner. He then joined wealth management specialist firm Charles Russell Speechlys, also as a partner, and spent another year there. Grasby previously worked at the legacy SJ Berwin and offshore firm Ogier.

At Appleby, he will focus on trusts, asset holdings, succession, governance, regulatory and compliance, family offices and related matters. (from https://www.legalbusinessonline.com/)

6 April – Rajah & Tann (Singapore, Singapore)

Singapore firm Rajah & Tann has reshuffled its leadership team and refreshed its practice group heads as it seeks to groom the next generation of leaders and give younger partners a greater say in the firm’s direction.

Arbitration partners Kim Beng Ng and Kelvin Poon step up to become joint deputy managing partners, replacing Rebecca Chew, who has been in the post since 2016. (from https://www.globallegalpost.com/)

5 April – Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld (Hong Kong, China)

Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld hired international arbitration and cross-border disputes heavyweight Ing Loong Yang from Latham & Watkins in Hong Kong, bolstering its international disputes practice.

Yang, recognized as a leading cross-border disputes practitioner, has more than three decades of experience handling international arbitration cases and commercial litigation in Asia, particularly involving entities in Greater China. He handles complex, sensitive matters involving shareholder and joint venture disputes, technology and other licensing disputes, commercial criminal defense, Foreign Corrupt Practices Act investigations, private equity, as well as compliance and regulatory matters, Akin Gump said. (from https://www.law.com/)

5 April – Ghows (Singapore, Singapore)

Ghows, a Singapore-based law firm specializing in technology and intellectual property, has hired IP specialists Teresa O’Connor (L) and Patsy Koh as directors from Infinitus Law.

O’Connor has more than 40 years of experience in IP. especially in copyright and trademark. Her notable clients include BMW, Nintendo, Sony, and Möet Hennessy. Meanwhile, Koh has more than 25 years of experience in IP law with a focus on patents and trademarks. She has advised clients such as Nippon Steel, BSH Hausgeräte GmbH, Kyowa Kirin, Sysmex and Mos Food. (from https://www.legalbusinessonline.com/)

4 April – Baker McKenzie (Sydney, Australia)

Baker McKenzie has hired a lawyer from King & Wood Mallesons to join its partnership in the restructuring and insolvency team based in Sydney as it anticipates an increase in distressed debt and restructuring.

Gavin Rakoczy was previously a special counsel at KWM and has over 15 years of experience advising insolvency practitioners, companies, boards, banks and special situation funds in restructuring and insolvency. (from http://www.law.com)

4 April – Mayer Brown (Singapore, Singapore)

International law firm, Mayer Brown announced on Friday the appointment of energy lawyer Justin Tan, to its Corporate and Securities practice in Singapore a key Asian hub at the centre of the practice’s ambitious Asian growth plans.

Commencing his new role from 01 April, Tan most recently served at Clyde Co in the city-state, where he served as partner for the past seven years, according to his LinkedIn profile.

With a career focusing on the energy, infrastructure and commodities sectors, the announcement highlighted Tan’s cross-border work, representing multinational corporations, Japanese trading houses and Chinese SOEs in high profile energy and infrastructure deals. (from https://www.financeasia.com)

1 April – DWF (Australia)

Global law firm DWF has expanded its insurance practice in Australia with the hire of partner Matt Dudakov from local firm Lander & Rogers.

The hire comes a year after DWF pulled back from its ambitions in Australia and shuttered its law offices in Sydney, Melbourne and Newcastle. (from http://www.law.com)

1 April – HFW (Melbourne, Australia)

UK law firm HFW has hired a team of three disputes lawyers in Perth from Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan led by the office’s founding partner, Paul Evans.

HFW said the hires continue a period of sustained investment in Australia, which is now its third-largest market globally after London and Hong Kong, revenue having increased by almost 80% over the past six years and now accounting for 10% of the firm’s turnover.

Quinn, meanwhile, has experienced the second team loss from its Perth arm within a year following the departure of four disputes lawyers to Jones Day last July. The office, which launched in 2017, currently houses two associates and one partner, according to the firm’s website.

Evans brings 35 years of experience handling complex commercial litigation to his new firm and focuses on disputes relating to corporate governance, transactions and takeovers, and competition and economic law.  (from https://www.globallegalpost.com/)

1 April – Linklaters (Tokyo, Japan)

Linklaters today announced that Tracy Whiriskey has joined as a partner in the firm’s corporate practice, based in Tokyo. Tracy has extensive experience in energy transition, the digital economy, infrastructure funds, insurance and other rapidly emerging business areas.

Tracy joins Linklaters from Ashurst where she headed up the corporate M&A practice in Tokyo and the insurance sector in Asia. Prior to joining Ashurst in July 2016, Tracy worked at Clifford Chance for over 10 years. (from https://www.linklaters.com/)

Building a network in a post-pandemic world

If you are a junior associate or in-house counsel, networking in the legal profession is vital in making connections, finding clients, creating collegial collaborations, and building referral relationships. However, networking for lawyers poses a few challenges in the wake of the pandemic. For more than a year, lawyers have not been able to attend industry events, business meetings, and even internal training/conferences. As we are approaching the post-pandemic world, lawyers will be back into the workplace again soon. Therefore, it is essential to consider new ways to build a network during the post-pandemic era.

Although we revert to business as usual, life has changed. Companies and law firms are adapting to the new normal with hybrid work schedules, remote working arrangements, and virtual meeting facilities. With all these changes, old methods of networking may be phased out, so we have collected a few essential considerations.

Events go virtual

Like it or not, companies and law firms have embraced the online world, and more organizations will continue to host virtual conferences, events, and meetups for cost and risk purposes even after the pandemic. You should regularly seek out events online for legal professionals that are relevant to your practice areas, more so now in jurisdictions beyond your own. You shouldn’t limit yourself to the lawyer-only audience, so be creative about where to find the events you need most, for example, networking skills, technology, or sector-specific industries.

Remember that attending an event is not only useful for making connections but is also helpful for publicizing your profile. Nowadays, most events provide digital attendee profiles for networking. Be sure to submit a compelling profile, including bio, photo, company, contact information, and links to any published articles. Also, please review the list of attendees so you can identify any networking targets and perhaps contact them beforehand. One of the great things about attending virtual events is the flexible schedule meaning you can attend and network asynchronously. The flexibility fits particularly well with legal professionals who need to work around busy schedules.

It is always not enough to simply attend an event but to engage and network for maximum impact, whether in-person or virtual. Today, many virtual events employ a wide range of innovative strategies and formats of participating during the process. Among the best channels to engage during the event are Q&A sessions where comments and insights on real-time charts can be shared via the event’s messaging tools, during discussions and breakout sessions.

Be sure to network after the virtual event ends. Here are a few tips:

  • Share your attendance on social media.
  • Search for other attendants’ sharing of the event on social media and reach out to them.
  • Follow up by email or instant message with any new connections you made at the virtual event, and remember to nurture the relationships.

Social media boosts your networking efforts

Lawyers, in general, are resistant to using social media for business purposes. But, in the legal industry, we see many companies use a lot of social media usage, including LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, to promote their companies, products/services, news, and staff. Legal recruiters are used to finding talent and screening candidates on social media platforms. Lawyers can learn more about law firms or in-house legal teams on social media. It can also be a potential referral source.

To stand out, maintain your social media profiles, share information regularly, and perhaps develop your own thought leadership pieces on topics of interest related to your work or practices. But note the differences between social media platforms and remember to separate personal and professional profiles, and the content in each, as necessary.

Networking happens everywhere, all the time. Although the pandemic has added an extra layer of challenges to networking, be sure you are open to the changes and adapt.

Tips to prepare for a legal internship

An internship nowadays is vital to a lawyer’s career. Summer internships are an important opportunity to learn about areas of the law you might want to pursue. Also, perhaps even more importantly, having a good internship could increase your chances of landing a dream job after law school. There are a set of things you should prepare for an internship to maximise your experience.

Do keep in mind that your goal is not necessarily to find a perfect job this summer. Your goal should be at a minimum to add profressional legal experience to your resume and explore the industry. Whether it’s a summer associate position in a BigLaw firm, a law clerking position in a small or mid-size firm, an in-house internship, prosecutor’s office position, judicial intern, or legal research assistant, make sure to take the most you can out of the experience. A summer internship is an exciting opportunity to gain real experience, expose yourself to different practice areas, see how a real law office operates, and maybe set yourself up for a post-graduation job offer.

How to choose the “right” internship? If you wish to gain experience of a specific area, for example arbitration, you need to target organizations/firms offering such internships. As you are doing a background check for the organizations, try to reach out to your network; if you find anyone who interned/works at the organizations, talk to them for advice.

How can you land a legal internship in areas that may be of interest to you? In considering your options, think about your strengths and weaknesses and who you are as a person. Then, try your best to inquire about various firms’ practices, their clients, their rankings in the legal directories. Second, the legal world is a network. Lawyers and law professors know many people. Talk to them and let them know you are looking for an internship and your practice of interest. Third, once you have targeted law firms or organistions, take time to prepare your internship application materials, including a well-drafted cover letter, detailed resume, law school transcripts, and a letter of recommendation if possible. Fourth, be prepared for your interview as it is your opportunity to shine. Show up on time, wear appropriate business attire (even on virtual interview), and be prepared. Finally, follow up diligently with your application, and do not give up if an application is rejected. Stay with it, and you will find the right internship.

It is possible that your first internship will be in your dream field. Make sure you maximize your internship opportunity! Try to improve at least one legal skill, whether you improve your legal writing or learn how to effectively research issues. Getting put on various assignments can help you find out what you like and dislike. This will help you narrow your search for future legal positions. As an intern, it is vital to establish a good reputation in the office so that your employer will likely give you more work. One of the goals for the internship is to leave with a glowing letter of recommendation. Last but not least, leaving your internship with a writing sample will provide you with a substantial advantage for jobs in the future.

IWD 2022: Work together to break the bias

The theme of this year’s International Women’s Day is #BreakTheBias. Women are encouraged to take action to interrupt biases that may prevent us from realizing our gender-equal goals. In striving to achieve these goals, we must work together to fight against the bias, stereotypes, and discrimination towards female lawyers and women in all walks of life.

Resource groups/networks are essential to support female lawyers and are key to the success of diversity at law firms. The following are valuable sources of support, development, and networking for female lawyers in the region:

The Asian Australian Lawyers Association https://www.aala.org.au/
Association of Asian Women Lawyers http://www.aawl.org.uk/
Singapore Association of Women Lawyers https://sawlsgp.org/
Women in Law Hong Kong https://www.wilhk.com/about-us

In celebration of International Women’s Day 2022, we applaud the firms for their efforts in promoting Diversity and Gender Equality:

Allen & Overy https://www.allenovery.com/en-gb/global/about_us/all_in/striving_for_a_better_gender_balance
Ashurst https://www.ashurst.com/en/about-us/responsible-business/diversity-and-inclusion/gender/
Baker McKenzie https://www.bakermckenzie.com/en/aboutus/diversity
Charltons https://www.charltonslaw.com/the-firm/diversity-equal-opportunities/
Clifford Chance https://www.cliffordchance.com/about_us/inclusion-and-diversity/gender.html
Debevoise & Plimpton https://women.debevoise.com/
DLA Piper https://www.dlapiper.com/da/singapore/focus/diversity-and-inclusion/gender/
Duane Morris https://www.duanemorris.com/practices/womens_impact_network_for_success.html
Gibson Dunn https://www.gibsondunn.com/diversity/women-of-gibson-dunn/
Herbert Smith Freehills https://www.herbertsmithfreehills.com/diversity-and-inclusion
Hogan Lovells https://www.hoganlovells.com/en/diversity/regions/asia-pacific
K & L Gates https://www.klgates.com/diversity
Latham & Watkins https://www.lw.com/AboutUs/WomenEnrichingBusiness
MinterEllison https://www.minterellison.com/about-us/gender-equality
Morrison Foerster https://www.mofo.com/culture/diversity/#aboutmofodiversity
Norton Rose Fulbright https://www.nortonrosefulbright.com/en-hk/about/diversity-and-inclusion/gender-balance
Paul Hastings https://csr.paulhastings.com/inclusive-leadership/
Proskauer Rose https://www.proskauer.com/diversity/womens-initiatives
Reed Smith https://www.reedsmith.com/en/winrs
Shearman & Sterling https://www.shearman.com/about-us/womens-initiatives
White & Case https://www.whitecase.com/diversity/advancing-women
Withers https://www.withersworldwide.com/en-gb/gender-equality

Boutiques target International Arbitration in Singapore

There have been a number of eyecatching moves in the Singapore international arbitration market over the past year, with senior partners making moves few would have predicted. At the turn of 2022 it was announced that partner Simon Dunbar and counsel Kevin Lim would be leaving international arbitration titans King & Spalding for diminutive Singapore boutique Gateway Law Corporation. Around the same time, Norton Rose Fulbright’s practice head KC Lye joined dispute resolution boutique Breakpoint LLC. PDLegal added Ashurst ADTLaw senior associate Cathryn Neo as an arbitration and China disputes partner. Three Crowns, the global international arbitration firm, launched its fifth office after hiring Shearman & Sterling office head Daryl Chew. In another blow to Singapore Biglaw, Jones Day head of arbitration Matthew Skinner left Singapore altogether to join Shearman & Sterling in London, but the local moves bear more scrutiny.

Singapore has, as been endlessly documented, long touted itself as the leading regional international arbitration centre, and with good reason. It is now one of the two most preferred international arbitration centres alongside London, and is constantly evolving and innovating to stay ahead, including the introduction of an integrated arbitration centre in Maxwell Chambers. It has also been leading the way in technological advancement as the world adapts to the pandemic. Disputes doyenne Lucy Reed was recently appointed as president of the SIAC and is looking forward to enhancing what has already been a well-oiled machine for decades.

What is interesting is the recent shift to local boutiques. In a split legal market, the Ministry of Law, keen to advance the city state’s status in international arbitration, had always allowed and encouraged international firms to lead the way in this market, bringing their own expertise, experience and credibility. It was the only form of dispute resolution open to international firms to practice and despite the emergence of some talented individuals in local firms, the international contingent continued to dominate the international arbitration landscape. These moves may be coincidental in their timing, or they could be an indication that the market is recognizing that smaller boutiques offer a more adaptable and agile platform, are less prone to exposure to conflicts, and are potentially more lucrative. Three Crowns is just one example of an international arbitration specialist firm formed in recent years and more similar launches in Singapore are to be expected; whether local firms follow a similar path will be interesting to observe. Biglaw may finally be facing a challenge to its hegemony.

Lawyers’ career planning during the pandemic

We are living in unprecedented times in many ways and legal career decisions have become even more pivotal. No matter if you are an experienced law practitioner planning a career transition, a new graduate navigating opportunities for the first time, or a law student seeking an internship, we would provide the following tips:

Think thoroughly

Covid-19 has taken away many treasurable things, but it has also given us something in return, time. If anyone is contemplating changing jobs, they should think thoroughly about their career goals and objectives. What type of job would you ideally want to be doing? Are you looking for a change of direction?

Keep your options open

Don’t just look at the past and your skills and apply this to the future. Broaden your horizons and explore job opportunities that you may not have previously considered, perhaps options in areas of the legal profession that are growing during the pandemic.

Learn about the changing legal market

Due to the pandemic, the legal industry is changing rapidly globally. Spend time reading the news or talking to legal professionals/agencies to be stay informed about the market; what practice areas will boom? For example, areas like employment law, safe working environments, dispute resolution, insolvency/bankruptcy and others have grown in response to this crisis.

Connect as usual

The pandemic has bred uncertainty, so connecting with your professional network even remotely is vital during this challenging time. Don’t be afraid to reach out to your peers or agencies. You can share experiences or brainstorm on new opportunities. You may be able to find hidden jobs by having conversations with people in the industry which reveal job vacancies that are not widely advertised or opportunistic hiring practices.

Time to learn

Throughout the pandemic, we have come to depend more heavily on technology, which is where legal professionals with legaltech experience and skills will excel. Junior lawyers can get ahead by mastering relevant skills. So, what do you need to do to become a tech-savvy lawyer? Look for how-to videos online, register for online courses, and read legal tech blogs to stay on top of trends and developments.

Don’t be discouraged

The devastation due to the pandemic has had a ripple effect on the whole world and brought many initiatives to a halt. Instead of doing nothing, make sure you maximise your time and be focused on what you can do, such as updating your resume, honing cover letters, developing personal connections, and online profiles to communicate your status. Remember that chances are more likely to be taken by those who are well prepared.

Take care

We are in surviving from a global crisis, so be good to yourself physically and mentally. Take time to rest, eat well, and exercise to make sure you are fit for the post-pandemic workplace. Be positive always and learn how to be more adaptable to different difficult situations in the future.

Career Paths for China-based Lawyers with Doreen Jaeger-Soong (Part 1)

Doreen Jaeger-Soong, Managing Director at Hughes-Castell, one of Asia’s leading executive search firms, has been an authority on the legal market in China for over 30 years. In this interview with Art Dicker from China Business Law Podcast, she discusses the different possible paths for lawyers and the choices they must make as they progress through their careers in China and shares those decades’ worth of wisdom using real-life hypotheticals on what she would recommend for different lawyers at different stages in their careers.

 

Doreen: Doreen Jaeger-Soong (Hughes-Castell, Managing Director)

Art: Art Dicker (R&P China Lawyers, Director)

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Art: Doreen is Principal and Managing Director of Hughes-Castell, a premier legal recruiting firm in Asia-Pacific that I myself have used before when I was Asia Pacific General Counsel at Cadence Design Systems, so I can personally vouch for you guys. You really know what you are doing, very thorough and very professional. So, it is a pleasure to have you on.

 

Doreen: Thank you very much. I am looking forward to sharing all my collected wisdom.

Art: Let us dive into it. So, today’s discussion focuses on career paths for lawyers in China. And I want to start with a more open-ended question, thinking about young lawyers as they are developing skills coming out of law school. So, Doreen, what are some of the big trends you see that might affect their development and what skills they start to develop early on in their careers?

 

Doreen: I do think that young lawyers coming out of law school should look at joining a firm with cross-border or international exposure, whether that is a Chinese law firm or a Chinese law firm attached to an international firm.  If they are lucky to join an international firm as a legal consultant, they will be able to gain experience in cross-border transactions. Apart from general corporate transactional skills, data privacy, antitrust and sanctions are important. These are areas where, if you go into the U.S. or even into Europe, you have to have a very good understanding of the geopolitical environment. Chinese enterprises are investing very heavily right now in South America and Africa and being exposed to that type of international work is essential, I think, for young lawyers who aspire to have a career that will be more than just a domestic one.

Art: I guess, presumably, that helps them then interact better with the clients they are working for and gets more contacts to that memo that they have to write, or that piece of advice, or those negotiations in which they are involved. So, building on that, for young associates who are thinking a step or two ahead and taking steps to start to build their own books of business with the idea of becoming partners someday, how early do people need to start thinking about that, and what are the things they need to think about when they are getting ready to do that?

Doreen: I think that, as long as they have joined a good Chinese law firm or any good international firm, they should focus the first 3 or 4 years on developing good drafting and communication skills. Learn how to communicate their ideas clearly, logically, and concisely. That is really important and always the first step.

Once they get beyond that and become a mid-level associate, they should start developing more. Obviously, everyone uses social media platforms here, whether it is in Weibo, WeChat, or whatever. But beyond that, being able to be more proactive in terms of developing your knowledge base by attending conferences and networking events is also important because you want to stay informed. You want to be able to hear what other people have to say, not live in a bubble. So I think that is very important as well in a social context because a good client relationship, I know for sure, is not that you think of the person as your client, but as someone, you personally are engaged with and care about, so they sense that too. And then that brings a degree of mutual benefit to each other because they will be more loyal to you, and you will want to deliver your best work for them. It builds a nice long-term relationship. So when they start off, in their first 4 or 5 years there may be interaction with the bankers or the analysts at their level. And that is great! They should socialize with them as much as possible.

I always tell my consultants in China to go out and have coffee with their candidates. I enjoy talking to my candidates; through conservations over time, they become no longer just a name at the end of an email or a voice at the end of the phone, but the person you have face-to-face or eye-to-eye contact with, so the relationship you build when you are already in your late 20s or early 30s will benefit you later in your career. This is important.

Art: That makes total sense, and people sometimes forget that your peers at those investment banks or private equity funds or so forth, you may think that they are junior and not involved in the decision-making now, but they are rising simultaneously with you through the ranks as well. And so when you are ready to become partner, they will probably be in a similar position.

A related question for young lawyers. Do you see some common mistakes they make at different stages, maybe in junior to mid-level and then mid-level to senior-level? You must have seen so many examples now, and you have seen things where they have come back and said, “Doreen, I really wish if I could have done that over again, I could have made a different choice.” Do you have any anonymous stories that you can share about that kind of situation?

Doreen: It surprises me how many young lawyers make career decisions and job choices without doing much due diligence on where they are going. And I think that is one of the fundamental mistakes a lot of people make because a lot of times when you are interviewing for a job, the person who interviews you is not going to show you the whole picture. So you should be, as I said, doing due diligence, doing research. What is the chatter? Is that person, that partner, tough to work with? Will they yell at you or not? Or are they a good mentor? So I think doing due diligence is the first thing I would advise you should do because I see far too many who change jobs within a year or less than two years after things don’t work out. And when you have a series of those kinds of short-term moves, anyone involved in hiring will say, why do they change jobs so often?

Art: I am sure a big part of it is they have not done their due diligence. There also seems to be an expectation for rapid promotion; maybe both in-house and law firms are more traditional in their lockstep kind of models. I always see this sort of impatience every two years: “I need a promotion, a significant raise every year.” I wonder if you ever think that it is sometimes a little short-sighted, where you are jumping from company to company instead of sticking it out at one company longer and building relationships with those people who are going to be your champions for your long-term development?

Doreen: Having talked to many corporations in the past 30 years, the view is that the average time it takes for you to settle into a company is 12 months. After 12 months, that is when you start actually to add value to the company. So if you leave shortly after that, then people will feel: “Well, I spent a year training that person for no reward,” and that doesn’t leave a good taste in anyone’s mouth. And I think that young people, young lawyers who are joining companies or firms should be thinking that they have been given this opportunity and they need to prove to the employer that it was worth it to give them this chance and deliver. It is also beneficial for them because when they do decide to make a move in 2 or 3 years’ time, there will be a good reference from the employer. I think that is important. When you are at a mid-level, when you are more like 5, 7 years PQE and you move as a senior legal counsel or something similar in a company, for example, you have to ask who you are reporting to, how long has that person been there? And if that person has been there for a long time, you should understand that is a good sign.

Art: Some people like a role that they are familiar with and comfortable with and run a bit on autopilot, and they have it very much down. They know the business inside and out. And some people are always looking for a new challenge. And some people, I think, don’t see, don’t think enough about their next step in their career. And just cruise on by and wake up and realize that there is some timeline or trend working against them that they didn’t think about. So I am wondering, and it is a very general and open-ended question, do you think people can stay too long in a role?

Doreen: I think that partly depends on the company. I have been with my company now for 33 years. It was 33 years last August, and my company has grown from being one with three consultants to eventually, at one point, over 20 in four locations. So when you join a corporation/company/law firm (I would say the corporation is maybe more relevant in this case), it has to be able to offer you development opportunities and let you grow as a person. That means you may spend 5 or 6 years as maybe a Head of Legal for China. And then perhaps, eventually, the company wants to make you a General Counsel for China, which includes the legal and compliance functions. Then, maybe they can offer you a chance to become the Asia Pacific General Counsel. You could even then, from there, be sent to the U.S or wherever the global headquarters are. I have seen that too, where my candidates have reached a position in China,  then they get sent to the U.S. or Europe, the head office, to spend a few years to further develop and get to know the head office better, and then be sent back into senior positions again. So when you find a company that can offer you those kinds of development opportunities, that is a company where you really can commit long-term.

I call all my placements my children, so I think about my children who are nowadays 20 plus years from their placement. One of them just celebrated 23 years at his company. I placed him there, and he is now the Global  General Counsel, and another one who just celebrated 27 years, she was the first lawyer they hired in Asia, and now the legal department in Asia is 25 people. So again, I think joining a company that can grow with you is essential. When I first started at Hughes-Castell, I was told that you have the responsibility of lawyers’ careers in your hands, you should never  encourage them to move without helping think through why they want that, because moving for lawyers is a big thing, and in those days, they could only afford maybe 2 or 3 moves in their career, otherwise, they look suspect. But, of course, that mentality is totally out the window now. People do change regularly, every 4 or 5 years, even senior lawyers. So I think that in a way, you are right; longevity can be viewed as a disadvantage.  If you have been sitting in the same role with more or less the same headcount of people under you for many years, you can be very comfortable, but it will be tough for you to find something else because other employers will say, your job hasn’t changed. Your team hasn’t grown. You are competent there, but maybe you won’t adjust to a new industry or a new environment. So that is a double-edged sword.

…….To Be Continued ……