King & Spalding recruits KWM arbitration co-head to Singapore

US firm King & Spalding has hired King & Wood Mallesons’ arbitration co-head Peter Megens as a partner in its Singapore office, as the firm plans to expand its base in the city state.

Megens will move from Melbourne to the Singapore office of King & Spalding in July. He joined legacy Mallesons Stephen Jaques as a partner in 2000 and is currently the firm’s co-head of arbitration and a senior member of its construction team.

Megens has over 30 years’ experience representing clients in disputes arising out of construction, energy, mining and infrastructure projects. Increasingly, the cases and projects Megens has handled have a connection to South East Asia. He estimates that roughly 30 per cent of his arbitration cases relate to projects throughout the region.

“Singapore has developed into a hub for international arbitration work in the region. It’s a logical move for me to develop my practice further from the point in the region where the real growth is taking place,” said Megens. “King & Spalding’s client and work profiles are very impressive and its plan to grow in the region offers attractive opportunities.”

He will work closely with King & Spalding’s Singapore managing partner John Savage, who is also a highly regarded international arbitration practitioner, to develop the firm’s disputes practice in the region.

“Our firm has made a strategic decision to invest further in our marquee international arbitration practice, and especially in our international construction disputes capability,” said Reggie Smith, King & Spalding’s global disputes head, in a statement.

Megens is King & Spalding’s third lateral partner hire in Singapore since October 2012. His appointment comes after that of oil and gas partner Merrick White from Clifford Chance and project finance partner Kelly Malone from Norwegian firm Wikborg Rein.

Savage noted that the firm will continue to grow in Singapore with more lateral hires and internal promotions, as the office will serve as a hub for the firm’s work in energy, project finance
and international arbitration throughout the Asia Pacific region. The firm has recently doubled its office space in 9 Raffles Place, which can now accommodate up to 40 lawyers.

With the joining of Megens, King & Spalding will have six partners and 11 other fee-earners in Singapore. Following his departure, King & Wood Mallesons’ arbitration practice will be led by Sydney dispute resolution partner Max Bonnell.