Legal Move Updates (October – December 2020)

Editor’s note: This is an ongoing list.

December 2020

23 Dec – White & Case (Tokyo, Japan)

White & Case has hired a new partner, Clara Shirota, in Tokyo specializing in debt financing deals. (from

17 Dec – L&L Partners (Delhi, India)

India’s L&L Partners has welcomed a third lawyer in as many months, with infrastructure specialist Prabjot Singh Bhullar rejoining the firm in Delhi. Bhullar advises on construction regulatory and compliance issues, due diligence and acquisitions, and investments. He was previously a partner at firms such as AZB & Partners and J. Sagar Associates. (from

17 Dec – Ogier (Hong Kong, China)

Offshore firm Ogier has hired corporate and financial disputes expert Justin Davis as a partner in Hong Kong from competitor Carey Olsen, where he was a counsel. The Hong Kong office has promoted managing associate Michael Snape, who also specialises in disputes, to partner.(from

15 Dec – K&L Gates (Sydney, Australia)

K&L Gates hires technology partner from Sparke Helmore Lawyers. The hire of Richard Chew is intended to help meet demand as clients move operations online. (from

15 Dec – Clifford Chance (Beijing, China)

Clifford Chance has appointed Beijing-based Yong Bai as its Greater China head of antitrust as Chinese authorities ramp up new rounds of anti-monopoly enforcements targeting the country’s largest technology companies. (from

15 Dec – Charles Russell Speechlys (Hong Kong, China)

Ray Ng, who was most recently partner and head of the dispute resolution for Asia at offshore law firm Ogier, has joined UK firm Charles Russell Speechlys (CRS) in Hong Kong. Ng’s appointment comes as CRS becomes a registered Hong Kong firm able to advise on local law, after its initial three-year period advising on foreign law in the Chinese city. (from

11 Dec – Hamilton Locke (Sydney, Australia)

Another Australian law firm nabs partners from international firms. Capital markets lawyer Guy Sanderson joins Hamilton Locke from Baker McKenzie, and energy and infrastructure specialist Matt Baumgurtel joins from K&L Gates, continuing a trend of local firms hiring partners from their global counterparts.  (from

10 Dec – Baker McKenzie Wong & Leow (Singapore, Singapore)

Baker McKenzie Wong & Leow, the member firm of Baker McKenzie International in Singapore, has hired disputes specialist Emmanuel Chua as a local principal. Chua joins from energy corporation Chevron, where he held an in-house role. Chua, who worked at both Allen & Gledhill and Drew & Napier earlier in his career, joined Chevron last year from Herbert Smith Freehills, where he spent five years. He advises on risk avoidance and mitigation strategies, including cross-jurisdictional contingency planning and strategic advice. Chua is also is a reserved panel arbitrator for the Singapore International Arbitration Centre, a member of the Turnaround Management Association and an instructor of trial advocacy for the Singapore Institute of Legal Education. (from

10 Dec – ZICO Insights Law (Singapore, Singapore)

ZICO Insights Law, the ZICO Law network’s Singapore firm, has established a disputes practice after hired Cheryl Ng as a director. Ng previous managed her own disputes practice at boutique Intelleigen Legal. (from

9 Dec – Dentons Rodyk & Davidson (Singapore, Singapore)

Dentons Rodyk & Davidson, the Singapore law firm of Dentons, has appointed Gerald Singham as its next managing partner. He will replace Philip Jeyaretnam SC, who has been appointed as a judicial commissioner of the Supreme Court of Singapore. (from

8 Dec – BHP (Singapore, Singapore)

Anglo-Australian mining company BHP has appointed a new Group General Counsel, Lyndon Arnall, based in Singapore. Lyndon has joined for 9 years and previously led the legal team for the miner’s global commercial functions. (from

7 Dec – Merits & Tree (Shenzhen, China)

Merits & Tree has recently hired Ru Qinggu, an expert in investment, finance and M&A, in its Shenzhen office. Ru’s main practice areas include cross-border transaction and trade, government regulation, compliance and dispute resolution. With experience in corporate in-house counselling and strategic operations, he is good at providing comprehensive legal risk control and solutions for domestic and foreign corporates. Ru has led in a number of influential cross-border investment and finance deals, having accumulated rich experience in global trade security, finance compliance, cyber security data privacy protection, labour law compliance as well as competition law compliance. (from

4 Dec – Norton Rose Fulbright (Melbourne, Australia)

Norton Rose Fulbright bolsters Australian construction practice with partner hire. Stephen Natoli joins from local firm Holding Redlich. (from

3 Dec – Hill Dickinson (Hong Kong, China)

Hill Dickinson expands Asia offering with 3rd partner hire this year. Richard Lyons joins the firm’s construction and commercial arbitration practice from Dubai-based infrastructure contractor Arabtec LLC, where he was head of legal. (from

3 Dec – Squires Patton Boggs (Sydney, Australia)

Squires Patton Boggs has welcomed two new partners, Natalie Lonergan and Tatiana Gotvig, who joined the firm’s energy and natural resources practice from Norton Rose Fulbright. Both will be based in the firm’s Sydney office and will be joined by associates Graham Johnson and Cindy Yuan. (from

2 Dec – Broad & Bright Law Firm (Beijing, China)

Broad & Bright Law Firm has hired patent expert Kou Haixia to join its Beijing office as a partner. Prior to joining Broad & Bright, Kou was the vice-manager of legal litigation department at Sunshine Intellectual Property Group. (from

1 Dec – Anli Partners (Shanghai, China)

Anli Partners has added two partners: Li Quanhong, a commercial dispute resolution lawyer, and Nie Ming, an expert in financial and securities, in its Shanghai office.

Prior to joining Anli, Li practiced in AllBright Law Offices. He focuses on commercial litigation and arbitration, M&A and restructuring, tax planning, tax dispute resolution, criminal defense as well as corporate counselling, and he is especially good at dealing with Japanese companies’ business. His clients include Mitsubishi Corporation, Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ, Omron and FTL Express. 

Nie was the Vice-President at Mizuho Bank (China) Limited before joining Anli. Nie has expertise in dealing with commercial services of commercial banks, and has experience in areas of corporate regulation, internal control and compliance management, finance and investment, commercial litigation and arbitration. Currently, Nie is also an arbitrator at Shanghai Arbitration Commission. (from

1 Dec – Stephenson Harwood (Hong Kong, China)

Law firm Stephenson Harwood LLP has strengthened its international arbitration practice with the arrival of partner Dr Fan Yang, who joins the firm in Hong Kong.

1 Dec – Norton Rose Fulbright (Sydney, Australia)

Norton Rose Fulbright has appointed a restructuring and insolvency partner as its new Australia chair. Sydney-based Scott Atkins takes over on December 1 and succeeds Perth-based partner Chris McLeod in the position.

November 2020

27 Nov – Norton Rose Fulbright (Hong Kong, China)

Global law firm Norton Rose Fulbright has announced the hire of new partner Becky Tai to expand its shipping practice in Hong Kong. (from

27 Nov – East & Concord Partners (Chengdu, China)

East & Concord hired Liu Chaowen, an expert in real-estate, as a partner to join its Chengdu office from Yingke (Chengdu) Law Firm, where Liu practiced as a partner. (from

26 Nov – Merits & Tree (Beijing, China)

Merits & Tree has hired Du Kun, an expert in human resources, dispute resolution, corporate contract, to join its Beijing office as a partner. (from

23 Nov -White & Case (Hong Kong, China)

White & Case nabs top PE partner in the Hong Kong office of Weil, GotshalWeil, Gotshal & Manges. Daniel Abercromby has left the firm after just 13 months to join U.S. rival White & Case and previously was a partner at Kirkland & Ellis.

18 Nov – Hill Dickinson (Singapore, Singapore)

Singapore. Hill Dickinson has hired a new partner, Jonathan Goacher, from DWF, which earlier this year decided to shutter its Singapore office. Goacher, who has expertise in insurance regulation, will be leading the firm’s regulatory practice in Singapore. (from

18 Nov – CMS (Singapore, Singapore)

CMS recruits former DWF India Practice Head in Singapore. Corporate lawyer Babita Ambekar moves over as the listed U.K. firm readies Singapore closure. (from

17 Nov – DLA Piper (Hong Kong, China)

Global law firm DLA Piper announced today that Ed Sheremeta is re-joining the firm as a senior Real Estate partner in the Asia Pacific Real Estate practice, based in the Hong Kong office. Ed was previously a partner at DLA Piper in Hong Kong, having joined the firm in 2013. (from

17 Nov – Gilchrist Connell (Brisbane, Australia)

An Australian law firm has poached an insurance partner and an associate from Norton Rose Fulbright to join its Brisbane office, the latest in a string of partners to leave the Anglo-Australian firm. Insurance partner Brett Solomon is the latest of several partners to leave the Anglo-Australian firm. (from

17 Nov – Moray & Agnew (Newcastle, Australia)

DWF Australia loses another Partner to a domestic firm. Michelle Dawson, who is jumping to Moray & Agnew’s Newcastle office, is the third partner in three months to leave DWF. (from

16 Nov – Paul Hastings (Seoul, Korea)

Paul Hastings LLP, a leading global law firm, announced today that Mr. Dong Chul Kim will succeed Litigation partner Jong Han Kim as Seoul’s Office Chair from January 1, 2021. Mr. Jong Han Kim will transfer to the firm’s Los Angeles office where he will continue to represent Korean and U.S. clients in cross-border litigation. (from

13 Nov – Hicksons Lawyers (NSW, Australia)

Lachlan Wilson is the second partner to jump from the international firm to an Australian firm this year. Lachlan, disputes partner, leaves DWF in Australia to join Hicksons Lawyers. (from

12 Nov – L&L Partners (New Delhi, India)

India’s L&L Partners has welcomed back technology media and telecommunications (TMT) specialist Asim Abbas as a partner in Delhi, nearly two decades after he first left the firm. Abbas joins from J. Sagar Associates. He focuses on TMT, M&A and general corporate advisory, and also advises clients on policy, regulatory, contractual, compliance and approvals, transactional and litigation. (from

12 Nov Peter Doraisamy (Singapore, Singapore)

Singapore boutique firm Peter Doraisamy has added three new lawyers: Partners Mike Chiam and Kyle Gabriel Peters, and associate Nicholas Kwa. Chiam, who was working in CNP Law’s Blockchain-Cryptocurrency-ICO team until earlier this year, specialises in commercial and corporate advisory, regulatory financial services, M&A, fundraising, VCCs, private equity, venture capital, and fintech.  Peters, who joins from K&L Gates Straits Law, specialises in commercial and corporate litigation, insolvency and restructuring, fraud and investigations, and international arbitration.

Peters’ exit from K&L Gates follows the recent departure of Nick Williams, who joined Hogan Lovells as a partner in the latter firm’s business restructuring practice in Singapore. (from

11 Nov – Milbank (Hong Kong, China)

Milbank lands Magic Circle Hong Kong trio in major Asia push. Clifford Chance’s Andrew Whan and Neeraj Budhwani and Linklaters’ Davide Mencacci are the latest to move to a U.S. firm.  (from

10 Nov – M.B.KEMP (Hong Kong, China)

Former Stephenson Harwood Greater China Chief, Voon Keat Lai, leaves for Hong Kong Boutique K.B.KEMP. (from

10 Nov – Hunton Andrews Kurth (Tokyo, Japan)

Hunton Andrews Kurth hires Tokyo partner from Shearman & Sterling. George Borovas will lead a global nuclear energy practice at the Houston-based firm. (from

9 Nov – Ashurst  (Sydney, Australia)

Global law firm Ashurst has hired a projects partner, Bree Miechel, from Reed Smith in Singapore to join its Sydney office. (from

9 Nov – Mills Oakley (Perth, Australia)

Australia’s Mills Oakley hires another partner from Norton Rose Fulbright. A litigator with over 20 years’ experience in Australia, the U.K. and the BVI, Meriel Steadman joins Mills Oakley’s Perth office. (from

9 Nov – Latham & Watkins (Tokyo, Japan)

Latham expands Tokyo disputes offering with Ropes & Gray Partner. White-collar and antitrust specialist Kaede Toh moves over. (from

8 Nov – Kennedys (Melbourne, Australia)

Kennedys hires professional indemnity lawyer, Emily Schneider, from Australian Firm Barry.Nilsson to join its insurance group in Melbourne. (from

7 Nov – J.Sagar Associates (Mumbai, India)

Former L&L Partner Apurva Jayant has joined J. Sagar Associates as a partner in its Corporate team in Mumbai. She will be joining the firm along with her team on November 9. (from

6 Nov – JunHe (Beijing/Shanghai, China)

JunHe warmly welcomes the prominent Corporate/Cross-border M&A lawyer, Ms. Zhang Hong who joined our Beijing and Shanghai offices on November 2, 2020. Ms. Zhang specializes in complex cross-border M&A and corporate restructuring in and outside China. (from

5 Nov – L&L Partners (New Delhi, India)

J.Sagar Associates (JSA) partner Asim Abbas is due to join L&L Partners in Delhi, according to two sources. (from

4 Nov – DeHeng Law Offices (Shanghai, China)

DeHeng Law Offices has recently expanded its team in Shanghai office by adding multiple partners: Deng Xueping, Ma Hongtao, Yang Min, Yu Yunbo, Zhao Zhidong and Wu Yanan. (from

4 Nov – Desai & Diwanji  (Mumbai, India)

Disputes specialist Anoj Menon has left Indian law firm AZB & Partners to rejoin Desai & Diwanji as a partner in Mumbai. Menon is an expert in litigation, arbitration and dispute resolution. He left Desai & Diwanji in 2017 to join AZB. (from

4 Nov – Macpherson Kelley (Brisbane, Australia)

Deloitte Legal has lost a five-member tax team to local Australian firm Macpherson Kelley’, the second local departure from the accounting giant in a week. John Ioannou – a partner at Deloitte – and Dominic Moon – a special counsel at the accounting firm – have both joined Macpherson Kelley as principal lawyers and will be joined by three other lawyers from Deloitte. (from

4 Nov – Phoenix Legal (Mumbai, India)

Indian law firm Phoenix Legal has hired a six-lawyer maritime disputes team from boutique Legasis Partners, including partner Gautam Bhatikar and counsel Zoeb Cutlerywala. Bhatikar has more than two decades of experience in offshore maritime and shipping, insurance, environment, international trade, oil and gas, energy, commercial litigation and alternative dispute resolution. He advises banks, shipowners, PSUs, oil companies and insurers. (from

4 Nov – Baker McKenzie (Taiwan)

Baker McKenzie has elected Michael Wong as its new Asia-Pacific chair. Wong, the first Taiwanese lawyer to hold the role, succeeds Ai Ai Wong. (from

3 Nov – S&R Associates (New Delhi, India)

Indian law firm S&R Associates has hired a team of five banking and finance specialists in Delhi from J Sagar Associates, including partners Divyanshu Pandey and Arpita Garg. Pandey specialises in banking, finance and restructuring including structured finance, cross-border lending transactions, hybrid debt financing, project finance, acquisition financing, real estate finance as well as restructuring, enforcement and insolvency matters.  Garg’s banking and finance specialisation covers restructuring, insolvency, structured finance, real estate and trade finance, bond issuances and project finance. (from

2 Nov – Ashurst (Hong Kong, China)

Ashurst has hired a new partner, Jonathan Chapman, in Hong Kong focusing on structured financing and derivatives transactions. (from

2 Nov – Ropes & Gray (Hong Kong, China)

Ropes & Gray has promoted Chune Loong Lum as Partner for its Hong Kong office. (from

October 2020

30 Oct – Johnson Winter & Slattery (Melbourne, Australia)

Australian firm Johnson Winter & Slattery has hired Norton Rose Fulbright senior counsel James Love to join its dispute resolution team as a partner, as increases in regulation in the country lead to more litigation. (from

30 Oct – Lander & Rogers (Melbourne, Australia)

Australian law firm Lander & Rogers has nabbed a partner, Sarah Fregon, from Deloitte Legal to help build its regulatory and government disputes practices. (from

29 Oct – L&L Partners (Mumbai, India)

India’s L&L Partners has welcomed back Shonali Choudhry as a partner in the firm’s Mumbai office from Advani & Co., where she was a consultant. Choudhry specialises in mergers and acquisitions, infrastructure & project finance and private equity as well as in arbitration and environmental matters. (from

28 Oct – Morrison & Foerster (Tokyo, Japan)

Morrison & Foerster adds Baker McKenzie M&A partner, Jeremy White, in Tokyo. (from

26 Oct – DSK Legal (Mumbai, India)

Sajit Suvarna has been promoted to Deputy Managing Partner of DSK Legal. He currently heads the Real Estate practice at the firm. (from

26 Oct – HFW (Sydney, Australia)

HFW has hired a four lawyer team to join its Sydney construction offering, as the firm continues to expand its Australian presence. Partner Antony Riordan, senior associate Brooke Gilbey and associates Natasha Joukhdar and Rachel Irwin join HFW’s Sydney office from Australian firm Colin Biggers & Paisley. Riordan had been at the firm for over 30 years, according to his LinkedIn profile, and was most recently head of the firm’s commercial dispute resolution team. (from

26 Oct – Yoon & Yang (Seoul, Korea)

Big Six Korean law firm Yoon & Yang has hired Seung-Kook Synn and Sung Uk Park as partners in Seoul from conglomerate SK Group and Kim & Chang, respectively. At SK Group, Synn was general counsel, overseeing global legal affairs including M&A, antitrust, intellectual property and litigation. Meanwhile, Park was a senior foreign attorney at Kim & Chang, focusing on inbound and outbound M&A, private equity, fund formation and disputes and investigations relating to foreign direct investments involving multinational corporations.  (from

26 Oct – Jia Yuan Law Offices (Shanghai, China)

Jia Yuan Law Offices has recently hired Mo Huan as a partner in Shanghai. Mo is an expert in intellectual property, who previously practiced as an attorney in Ropes & Gray LLP.  (from

23 Oct – JunHe (China)

Legendary law firm co-founder and longtime leader, Xiao Wei, is set to pass the torch to the next generation. Launched in 1989, Xiao Wei led JunHe to be one of the China’s most prestigious law firms, with 880 lawyers including 240 partners working out of 13 offices in China and the US. Warren Hua will succeed Xiao Wei as managing partner on 1 January 2021. The other members of the management committee are: Beijing-based M&A partners Sammuel Zhao and Yongqiang Yu, Guangzhou office head Ping Zhang, and Shanghai-based disputes specialist Lei Wu, the only new member. (from www.

23 Oct – Hylands Law Firm (Beijing, China)

Hylands Law Firm hires Lin Tiejun, an expert in dispute resolution and litigation, as a partner from King & Capital Law Firm in its Beijing office. Lin has expertise in dispute resolution and litigation, capital market/securities, M&A. His clients include large private companies and small and medium state-owned enterprises. (from

23 Oct – Clifford Chance (Hong Kong, China)

Leading international law firm Clifford Chance has announced the appointment of Dauwood Malik to be Hong Kong’s new Office Managing Partner effective 1 November 2020. (from

23 Oct – Trilegal (New Delhi, India)

Indian firm Trilegal has hired a new disputes partner Nitesh Jain from Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas. Jain specializes in commercial disputes, international and domestic arbitrations, and white-collar crimes.  (from

22 Oct – Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas (Mumbai, India)

India’s Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas has bolstered its real estate practice in Mumbai with the hire of partner Bhoumick Vaidya and his five-member team from Kanga & Co. Vaidya focuses on title diligence, private equity investment, foreign investment, general corporate and commercial matters. (from

20 Oct – Clifford Chance (Singapore, Singapore)

Clifford Chance has promoted Singapore office head Kai-Niklas Schneider to its global executive team. Schneider will take up a newly-created role on the firm’s executive leadership group, focusing on global financial investors such as private equity firms and asset managers. (from

19 Oct – Mayer Brown (Singapore, Singapore)

Mayer Brown has hired Paul JP Teo as a partner in Singapore from Baker McKenzie, where was the Hong Kong-based head of the firm’s international arbitration practice for Greater China. (from

19 Oct – Gulapa Law (Manila, Philippines)

Al-Shwaid de Leon Ismael has promoted to the Corporate/Commercial Partner at Gulapa Law in Manila, Philippines. 

16 Oct – Hylands Law Firm  (Beijing, China)

Hylands Law Firm hired Shen Qian, an expert in trade, as a partner in its Beijing office from Guantao Law Firm, where Shen was a partner. Shen focuses on areas of domestic trade remedy, tax, competition and anti-trust. She has dealt with multiple domestic and international trade cases including representing a central enterprise in an arbitration case with a target value of nearly 1.6 billion yuan, acting as a Chinese expert witness in the United States federal courts for an international bankruptcy dispute case, acting as s a Chinese expert witness of an international investment dispute case in Singapore Supreme Court, advising China Iron and Steel Association in the Costa Rican rebar safeguard case, advising China Chamber of Commerce for Textile Importers and Exporters on the safeguard case of Turkey Polyester staple fiber, advising a central enterprise on the EPC project of the Africa Cup of Nations stadium, and advising China Council for the Promotion of Trade for the case of Argentina’s sunset review of anti-dumping. (from

16 Oct – Baker McKenzie (HK & US)

Baker McKenzie has added two partners to its global executive committee to replace two existing members whose terms have ended. The firm has appointed Hong Kong partner Shih Yann Loo and Dallas-based partner Melinda Phelan to the executive committee as the terms of Singapore partner Ai Ai Wong and Washington, D.C., partner Duane Webber have come to an end, according to a statement. (from

13 Oct – Zhong Lun Law Firm (China)

Zhong Lun Law Firm has recently added five partners: Dou Xing, Sun Yu, Yang Jingyu, You Xiao and Zhao Yanchun. The five lawyers are based across its Nanjing, Shanghai, Chengdu and Shenzhen offices. (from

12 Oct – Han Kun Law Offices (Beijing, China)

Han Kun Law Offices is pleased to announce that Mr. Wang Xikang has recently joined the firm, further strengthening Han Kun’s capital markets and M&A practices. He will mainly be based in the firm’s Beijing office. Mr. Wang Xikang’s practice focuses on capital markets transactions, corporate/M&A, private equity and venture capital investments, corporate financing, and foreign direct investments. (from

12 Oct – DaHui Lawyers (Beijing, China)

DaHui Lawyers welcomes new partners Xiang Li, a patent specialist, and Zhao Pei, an expert in private equity and M&A, in its Beijing office. (from

10 Oct – East & Concord Partners (Chengdu, China)

East & Concord recently hires dispute resolution expert Li Yongsheng and finance expert Zhong Jingjing to join its Chengdu office as partners. Prior to joining East & Concord, Li practiced in Si Chuan Ying Ji Law Firm, while Zhong was a partner at AllBright’s Chengdu office. (from

8 Oct – Kobre & Kim (Hong Kong, China)

Kobre & Kim adds offshore Disputes Partner in Hong Kong. Timothy Haynes joins from Walkers where he headed its insolvency and dispute resolution group in Hong Kong. (from

8 Oct – Harry Elias Partnership (Singapore, Singapore)

Construction and engineering expert Yvonne Foo has left Clyde & Co, where she was a legal director, to rejoin Harry Elias Partnership as a partner in Singapore. She is Harry Elias Partnership’s first partner hire since its split from Eversheds Sutherlands in June, ending the three-year-old merger between the two firms. (from

7 Oct – Hogan Lovells (Singapore, Singapore)

Hogan Lovells has hired Nick Williams as a partner in the firm’s business restructuring practice in Singapore from K&L Gates. The exit of Williams from K&L Gates follows the July departures of corporate partners Nicholas Hanna and Mark Tan, who joined Pinsent Masons’ transactional services group in Singapore. (from

5 Oct – Asia Search Partners (Hong Kong, China)

Matthew Bersani, who says he anticipates major changes and challenges for the legal industry in Asia, has joined a Hong Kong-based recruiting firm co-founded by wife Molly Cliff. (from

1 Oct – Bird & Bird (Singapore, Singapore)

Bird & Bird has hired Lijun Chui as a dispute resolution partner in Singapore. Lijun Chui, who joins as a partner, was most recently a counsel in the Singapore office of Clifford Chance. (from

1 Oct – Ashurst (Melbourne, Australia)

Ashurst has hired the global leader, Hilary Goodier, of Herbert Smith Freehills’ legal technology strategy to be the inaugural global chief operating officer of its NewLaw division, Ashurst Advance. The hire of Hilary Goodier signals a continued push to build out its New Law offering, Ashurst Advance. (from

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