Clifford Chance's Asian exile returns

Clifford Chance's Asian project finance specialist, Tim Soutar, has transferred to the firm's London headquarters after spending 14 years at its Hong Kong office.

Soutar said he had returned to the UK for family reasons. In the future, he will have a broader role helping to co-ordinate Clifford Chance's 100-lawyer global projects group, led by partner Rodney Short.

“In addition to transactional work, I will be helping to develop Clifford Chance's Asian expertise in Europe,” he explained. “Having these skills, including the ability to provide same time-zone advice, is becoming increasingly important to our international clients.”

Soutar added: “I will also be working with Rodney Short to ensure that our global projects group continues to maximise the value of our international integrated network to our clients. On major project financings, one can now usually expect to be dealing with participants spread right across the world.”

During his time in Hong Kong, Soutar acted on the Zhuhai plant scheme, the first project financing in China where an export credit agency accepted project risk. He also spent time working on the ongoing Hopewell Bangkok Transport project, the development of a $4 billion integrated mass transit and toll road system for Bangkok.

Other clients included Star Petroleum, Citicorp, the Hong Kong and Shanghai Banking Corporation, and Barclays de Zoete Wedd.

Responsibility for the firm's Hong Kong office is now shared between Hong Kong managing partner Roger Best and Asian group managing partner John Woodall.