DLA Piper takes projects quintet from King & Wood Mallesons

DLA Piper has hired a group of five finance and projects lawyers led by partner Carolyn Dong from King & Wood Mallesons in a bid to strengthen its relationships with major Chinese energy companies.

Energy partner Dong, who was based in King & Wood Mallesons’ Beijing office, will relocate to Hong Kong to take her new role in DLA Piper. She will join the firm with four associates, three of whom will be based in Beijing while one will join the Hong Kong office.

Dong has been advising on large-scale project and structured financings in the energy and resources sector across Asia Pacific and globally for more than twenty years.

She joined legacy King & Wood in 2009 from BP Asia-Pacific in Hong Kong and Singapore, where she served as the finance manger and internal auditor. Prior to BP, Dong was a senior associate at Clifford Chance in Hong Kong and director of international finance at Sinopec.

DLA Piper’s finance & project team in Asia will be increased to 28 lawyers after the arrival of the team.

DLA Piper’s Asia Pacific managing director Bob Charlton saiod the hires would “significantly strengthen the firm’s relationships with major Chinese energy companies”.

In a statement global energy chairman Robert Gruendel added: “China is one of the world’s biggest consumers of industrial commodities, consuming about 40 per cent of the world’s copper as well as vast quantities of iron ore and coal. We believe there will be more outbound interest in the investment of natural resources from Chinese companies across the globe and in particular Africa and Latin America. The joining of Carolyn and the team will add a strategic advantage for our clients in Greater China and internationally.”

In November 2011, DLA Piper hired two partners from the Beijing office of legacy Mallesons Stephen Jaques prior to the Australian firm’s combination with King & Wood (29 November 2011).

KWM was also trying to build up its global energy practice, as the firm recruited a three-lawyer energy and resources team in Beijing led by former Dewey & LeBoeuf partner Dirk Walker last June (7 June 2012).