Herbies set to expand TMT expertise into Dubai and Japan

Herbert Smith has set its sights on Asia for a technology, media and telecoms (TMT) push by hiring a senior lawyer in Dubai and planning to boost its presence in Japan.

Practice head Nick Elverstone said: “We set up the media part of the TMT group in London about two years ago and we want to roll it out in Dubai, Japan and other areas in Asia.

“We’re hiring in Hong Kong and want to put someone in Tokyo by the early part of next year.”

Elverstone said he was likely to send a senior lawyer to Tokyo to be the firm’s first TMT lawyer devoted to the Japanese market, but that he still had to decide who to send.

“I’d like it if that person was a senior associate and was hungry and had something to prove,” he said.

For the time being Hong Kong-based TMT consultant Michelle Chan oversees the region for the group.

Herbert Smith has also bolstered its TMT presence in Dubai with the hire of Freehills senior associate Jessie McDonald.

The new Dubai office, which opened in March with former Norton Rose partners Nadim Khan and Zubair Mir, counts Middle East telecoms company Etisalat as a major client.