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Australian firm Minter Ellison has raided Linklaters and CMS Cameron McKenna in a bid to boost its Asian capacity
The firm has snapped up star Camerons construction partner Julian Hill and Linklaters partner Elaine Kwee. Hill, who was head of Camerons' Hong Kong energy projects and construction practice, has joined Minters as a partner and will lead the firm's six-lawyer Asian construction team. He takes with him Camerons associate Stephen Yip. Kwee, who specialises in energy and infrastructure financing and M&A, joins as special counsel. Together with Anthony Hill, who joined last month from the defunct Sinclair Roche & Temperley Hong Kong partnership (The Lawyer, 10 June), the new hires are part of a serious Asian push by Minters. Hong Kong managing partner Sam Farrands said: "The Hong Kong office is the hub of Minter Ellison's Asian practice. We need a strong team on the ground here to handle not only the increasing level of work locally, but also throughout Asia." Farrands added that the firm had recently secured a number of lucrative appointments, including projects for the Hong Kong government and Asiawide projects for DuPont and General Electric subsidiary GE Global eXchange. Julian Hill worked for a number of high-profile clients at Camerons, including the Hong Kong government's state bodies. It is understood that he has taken a number of clients with him to Minters. Anthony Hill, a commercial litigator and insolvency lawyer who joined Minters as head of litigation services, also had a number of high-end clients, including PricewaterhouseCoopers. Camerons partner Mark Badger will take over Julian Hill's construction-focused responsibilities, but the firm has not yet decided who will handle energy. According to Mark Moseley, head of Camerons' global practice group for energy projects and construction, the loss of the government-focused Julian Hill will allow the firm to focus on more lucrative developer clients. The firm is also reviewing where in greater China it should base its construction lawyers. It has recently recruited Molly Rilley from Masons and Luke Filei from Simmons & Simmons, both of whom are currently based in the People's Republic.