"I am responsible for coordinating all The Lawyer's coverage of Asia Pacific, including international firms' practices there, key developments of the region's leading independent firms and in-house departments based in Asia. As a native Mandarin-speaking journalist who grew up in China, I have a particular interest in, and strong connections with, the Greater China markets, but am also fascinated by the fast-evolving and highly-dynamic region as a whole. I also have sound knowledge of Australia, where I received my bachelor's degree in media and later worked as a legal journalist. I joined The Lawyer in September 2011, after spending over five years at a well-known Asia-focused legal publication, with three of these years as China editor. I tweet as @TheLawyerAsia."
Commerce & Finance (C&F), one of the leading ‘red circle’ firms in China, has signalled that it would consider the idea of a global alliance seriously.
The top Chinese law firms have rapidly expanded headcount in the last year, according to exclusive research published by The Lawyer today.
Asia Pacific 150: The rise of Asia’s indies subscription
Yesterday saw the publication of The Lawyer Asia Pacific 150, the annual ranking of the largest law firms by lawyer numbers across Asia Pacific
Davis Polk & Wardwell is among one of the fastest growing international firms in Asia, growing lawyer headcount by nearly 29 per cent between 2012 and 2013, according to The Lawyer Asia Pacific 150 2014.
The growth of international firms in Asia Pacific stalled in 2013, while the top 100 independent firms in the region by 12 per cent, research for The Lawyer Asia Pacific 150 2014 revealed.
Asia Pacific 150 2014: Year of the indie subscription
After the first flush of enthusiasm, international firms are reassessing their position in Asia Pacific, while the locals go for growth
Eversheds dropped lawyer headcount in the Asia Pacific by 23.5 per cent in 2013.
Australia: medium pace subscription
A prolonged period of tough trading conditions has forced a rebalancing in the top end of the legal market, while mid-sized players are growing
China: Metamorphosis subscription
Economic growth is cooling but China’s legal market shows no sign of slowing, with some leading firms undergoing a profound transformation
Hong Kong: new influences subscription
US and regional firms are loosening UK firms’ grip on the market, and IPOs are not the big financial prize they once were
Singapore: a regional future subscription
Well-positioned for the mooted single ASEAN economic community, Singapore’s firms are flexing their muscles to become go-to regional players
South Korea: Defence force subscription
Its legal market is destined to open up to US and European firms soon. Korean players are finding ways to power up for the challenge
South-East Asia: flavour of the month subscription
Local ASEAN firms are expanding, while the internationals also want a taste of the action promised by the planned regional economic union
Bird & Bird joins Indonesia race with double allies subscription
Bird & Bird has expanded its Pan-Asian alliance network by adding two Indonesian firms.
It’s widely known in China that some big international names are seeking a local ally or potential merger partner. Linklaters is understood to be among them
WongPartnership has become the latest Singaporean firm to open an office in Myanmar, as the firm launches a regional strategy.
DLA Piper’s Hong Kong corporate partner Esther Leung has left to join Chinese firm Jun He, a month after a team of four moved to Winston & Strawn.
Allen & Overy Aussie head to leave the firm subscription
The movement of personnel in Australia’s legal sector has showed no sign of slowing down nearly three years after a big wave of entrants into the market
Clifford Chance has advised China Mobile on its $880m investment in Thai telecommunications company True Corporation, which turned to Linklaters for advice.
Herbert Smith Freehills names new China chief subscription
Herbert Smith Freehills (HSF) has named Hong Kong-based Julian Copeman as Greater China managing partner, a month after predecessor Justin D’Agostino’s appointment to global disputes head.
Allen & Overy Aussie head to leave the firm subscription
Allen & Overy’s (A&O) Australian senior partner Grant Fuzi is to leave the firm at the end of this year, four years after he launched the magic circle firm’s offices down under.
What is the state of mind among foreign firms operating in China? What are their main concerns about the market and how are their Chinese counterparts faring?
Asia moves: 9 June 2014 subscription
All the latest partner hires and other appointments within firms and offices in the Asia Pacific region.
Fountain Court plans Singapore launch in September subscription
Fountain Court is to launch an office in Singapore in early September, after appointing former Rajah & Tann litigation partner Kanaga Dharmananda as a member of chambers.
Tokyo-based TMI Associates is to become the first Japanese firm to launch in Silicon Valley with an office opening planned in the global technology hub in July
Japan’s TMI Associates plans Silicon Valley launch subscription
Tokyo-based TMI Associates is planning to open an office in Silicon Valley in July, mainly targeting intellectual property related work.
Hill Dickinson has bolstered its Asia office network with the hire of two shipping partners, taking one from Clyde & Co in Singapore and another from Kennedys in Hong Kong.
Ashurst’s Chinese alliance firm, Guantao, is taking a serious look at its long-term strategy, and is drafting in former Ashurst senior partner Geoffrey Green as an adviser.
China’s Fangda poaches second Freshfields partner subscription
Chinese firm Fangda has hired Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer’s China antitrust head Michael Han as a partner in Beijing, its second lateral hire from the magic circle firm in two years.
QBE makes first group GC change in two decades subscription
Insurance group QBE has turned to Australian supermarket chain Woolworths for its new group general counsel, hiring Peter Horton to succeed incumbent Duncan Ramsay who is leaving the organisation after 21 years.
Ashurst’s former senior partner Geoffrey Green has been appointed as a strategic adviser by its Chinese alliance firm Guantao as the firm puts its long-term strategy under review.
Shearman & Sterling and Cravath Swaine & Moore have played lead roles in Japanese group Mizkan’s $2.15bn acquisition of Unilever’s North American pasta sauce businesses, Ragu and Bertolli.
Chinese firms continue expansion into Hong Kong subscription
It’s nearly 14 years since Hong Kong (HK) returned to Chinese sovereignty, but so far there are only 20 Chinese firms have opened an office in the special administrative region
DLA Piper hires Asia employment head from JP Morgan subscription
DLA Piper has appointed former JP Morgan in-house counsel Julia Gorham as its new employment head in Asia.
Chinese firm Longan opens in Hong Kong subscription
Beijing-headquartered Longan has become the latest Chinese firm to venture into Hong Kong, after launching an office in the special administrative region.
Taylor Wessing adds Korean firm to Asia network subscription
Taylor Wessing has formed an association with South Korean firm DR & AJU, becoming the latest UK firm to make a move into the jurisdiction.
China Yuchai GC Deborah Foo engineers smooth investor relations and new ventures for an organisation that stretches across four culturally diverse territories and spans activities from building engines to hospitality
Asia moves: 16 May subscription
All the latest partner hires and other appointments within firms and offices in the Asia Pacific region.
The competition among global accountancy firms to grow in the legal services sector has intensified, particularly in Asia. Last week, The Lawyer revealed that Ernst & Young has set plans to double its Asian legal capacity within the next 12 months
Norwegian firm Wikborg Rein will soon expand its China presence to Beijing on the back of increasing revenues from the jurisdiction.
Silicon Valley firm Fenwick & West has expanded overseas for the first time with the launch of a Shanghai office.
King & Wood Malleson’s (KWM) former Australian managing partner Tony O’Malley has launched an advisory boutique in Sydney with the firm’s former corporate, M&A and tax head Tim Blue.
EY Law Asia: We'll double in size in a year subscription
Ernst & Young (EY) has big ambitions to double its Asian legal capacity within the next 12 months.
A&O follows clients to Myanmar subscription
Myanmar has just celebrated its new year with the Thingyan festival, when people pour water on one another as part of the cleansing ritual to welcome the new year
Allen & Overy expands into Myanmar subscription
Allen & Overy (A&O) has become the first magic circle firm to enter into Myanmar, with the launch of an office in Yangon.
Winston & Strawn has hired a team of four corporate lawyers from DLA Piper’s Hong Kong office led by Asia corporate head Mabel Lui.
Dacheng: We're not grown up enough to merge - yet subscription
Dacheng, arguably the largest firm in Asia by lawyer number, has elected a new leadership team last month. The firm’s chairman and founder Peng Xuefeng speaks to The Lawyer about his plans for the future
King & Wood Mallesons has made up 26 new partners across its network since last July, including nine latest promotions in Europe and the Middle East.
BLP launches Indonesia alliance subscription
Berwin Leighton Paisner (BLP) has formed an alliance with Indonesian firm Mataram Partners as its newly launched Asia Network continues to expand.
News last week from Clifford Chance that seven of its 21 newly appointed partners were sat in Asia once again showed leading UK firms looking East for its then next batch of partners
Appleby has become the first offshore firm to obtain a licence from China’s Ministry of Justice that allows it to offer offshore legal services in the country.
Lawrence Graham (LG) has surrendered its Singapore foreign law practice licence in preparation for its merger with Wragge & Co next month.
Baker & McKenzie is in the process of opening a third office in Australia with the hire of two partners in Brisbane.
Norwegian firm Wikborg Rein’s five-year formal law alliance (FLA) with boutique Singaporean firm Pan Asia has come to an end
Wikborg Rein and Pan Asia Law end Singapore alliance subscription
Norwegian firm Wikborg Rein’s five-year formal law alliance with Singaporean firm Pan Asia Law has come to an end.
Australian firm HWL Ebsworth continues its growth spree with the acquisition of South Australian firm Kelly & Co.
Dacheng unveils newly revamped leadership team subscription
China’s largest firm by headcount Dacheng has elected a new management team following an election process that began in February
China’s largest firm by headcount Dacheng has appointed a new leadership team following a month-long election process.
Asia moves: 14 April subscription
All the latest partner hires and other appointments within firms and offices in the Asia Pacific region.
Asia’s lucky generation subscription
Top law firms are promoting more partners in Asia Pacific
Radical new perspective for HFW subscription
Commitment to Asia as senior partner relocates to Singapore on a permanent basis
eBay’s Singapore-based associate general counsel Steven Liew has left the online shopping giant to set up a boutique consultancy firm aiming at problems solving for technology companies.
DAC Beachcroft has promoted 16 lawyers to partner, more than tripling the five promotions it made last year.
Asia promotion prospects on the rise subscription
There are many ways to boost a firm’s presence in Asia, be it by lateral hires, relocations or internal promotions. While there is a clear sign that some firms are making strong lateral hires, with Latham & Watkins’ hire of Vinson & Elkins’ former China co-head David Blumental among the most recent high-profile moves, the
Vinson & Elkins’ (V&E) former China co-head and energy partner David Blumental has left the firm to join Latham & Watkins six months after the Huston-based energy firm closed its Shanghai office.
Back in September 2013, The Lawyer has predicted that there would be a new wave of domestic consolidation among Chinese firms resulting in the emergence of a new look ‘red circle’
China’s e-commerce giant Alibaba Group has instructed Slaughter and May for its latest strategic investment in Chinese department store operator Intime Retail, which turned to Davis Polk & Wardwell for advice.
Red giant subscription
If merger goes ahead, this Chinese superfirm will be a global game-changer
Stephenson Harwood has formalised its relationship with local firm Virtus Law after its application for a formal law alliance (FLA) was approved by Singapore’s Attorney General’s Chambers.
Skadden joins Seoul race with office launch subscription
Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom has become the latest international firm to establish a base in Seoul.
Singaporean firm WongPartnership has won a legal challenge over the bills it charged to a local hotel’s former general manager.
In China the proposed merger of Jun He and Zhong Lun is being described as a deal that “has never been done before”.
Elite 'red circle' firms Zhong Lun and Jun He plot merger as consolidation grips China legal market subscription
China’s top-tier firms Jun He and Zhong Lun are in discussions about a possible merger, in a move that would create the largest firm by revenue in China.
Australian firm Clayton Utz and its Hong Kong association firm Haley & Co have broken off their relationship, with the former retrenching to focus on its domestic market.
Chinese firm Zhong Lun has bolstered its domestic practice through the acquisition of legacy Beijing firm Kaiwen, two years after the firm agreed a merger with Beijing-based capital markets boutique Grandway.
Clifford Chance and Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer have advised Temasek and AS Watson respectively, as the Singaporean sovereign fund buys a near 25 per cent stake in Asian Tycoon Li Ka-shing’s retail chain for $5.6bn (£3.5bn).
PwC Legal chief puts Asia growth at top of agenda subscription
PricewaterhouseCooper’s legal arm, PwC Legal, has set out ambitions to become a global top-20 legal services player within the next five years, putting growth in Asia at the top of the expansion tree
Australian firm Minter Ellison has appointed former PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) Australian senior partner and chief executive Tony Harrington to succeed outgoing chief executive John Weber.
Allen & Overy is advising Société Générale on the disposal of its private banking business in Singapore and Hong Kong to Singapore’s DBS Bank, which turned to Allen & Gledhill and Clifford Chance for advice.
US firm Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman has boosted its energy and projects practice in Japan with the hire of practice leaders from Hogan Lovells and Simmons & Simmons.
Herbert Smith Freehills (HSF) has appointed Hong Kong based partner Justin D’Agostino as its new global dispute resolution head, succeeding Sonya Leydecker who will take up the co-CEO role from 1 May 2014.
Indonesia is likely to be the next target as Berwin Leighton Paisner (BLP) looks to expand its newly launched Asia network of independent law firms.
Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom and Shearman & Sterling have been drafted in as Chinese social media company Sina Weibo prepares for a $500m IPO in the US.
Last September, China’s largest and most cosmopolitan city, Shanghai, launched an ambitious new free trade zone
The head of PricewaterhouseCooper’s legal arm (PwC Legal) has set out the firm’s ambitions to become a global top-20 legal services player within the next five years.
Asia moves: 17 March subscription
Stephenson Harwood has appointed London-based partner Richard Parsons as its global head of aviation, succeeding Singapore-based Paul Ng who is joining Milbank Tweed Hadley & McCloy.
Chinese firms Commerce & Finance and Jingtian & Gongcheng are understood to have reached an intention to settle an ongoing legal action in Canada with 11 financial institutions.
Rajah & Tann: staying local has its advantages subscription
Singaporean firm Rajah & Tann’s managing partner Lee Eng Beng says staying local and being flexible is the way forward in the increasingly competitive South-East Asia region.
A Shanghai Bureau of Justice official has hinted that the Shanghai Pilot Free Trade Zone’s (FTZ) experiment on allowing associations between Chinese and foreign firms will lead to further opening up of the country’s legal services sector.
Shanghai’s ground-breaking Pilot Free Trade Zone could mark the beginning of the long-awaited liberalisation of China’s legal services sector.
The last Singapore-based partner of Australian firm Allens, Marae Ciantar, has joined local firm Rajah & Tann to head its energy and resource practice.
Davis Polk & Wardwell and Chinese firm Han Kun have advised Chinese internet giant Tencent on its strategic partnership with online retailer JD.com.
Milbank mulls move away from Hong Kong law practice subscription
Milbank Tweed Hadley & McCloy is understood to be considering winding up its Hong Kong law practice, just three years after its launch in 2011.
US firms muscle in on Hong Kong subscription
Hong Kong IPO activity is hotting up again, but UK legal stalwarts are looking over their shoulders as US rivals make up ground fast
Four solicitors in Hong Kong, including Allen & Overy’s (A&O) litigation consultant Kevin Kee, have been granted higher rights of audience by way of assessment.
A&O in second raid on Ashurst to boost Lloyd hire subscription
Allen & Overy has hired a second partner from Ashurst, Karan Dinamani, to boost its private equity practice, following the recent appointment of Stephen Lloyd as private equity sector group co-head.
Rajah & Tann raids Hunton & Williams in Thailand subscription
Singaporean firm Rajah & Tann has taken a team of 14 lawyers from US firm Hunton & Williams’ Bangkok office.
Asia moves: 4 March subscription
Can Herbies succeed in Singapore without the QFLP? subscription
Why has Herbert Smith Freehills (HSF) decided to walk away from the Singapore qualifying foreign law practice (QFLP) scheme?
Allen & Overy (A&O), Clifford Chance, Latham & Watkins, Norton Rose Fulbright and White & Case have successfully renewed their Qualifying Foreign Law Practice (QFLP) licences in Singapore, while Herbert Smith Freehills (HSF) has decided not to re-apply.
Curtis enters Beijing targeting international trade subscription
New York-based Curtis Mallet-Prevost Colt & Mosle (Curtis) will open its first China office in Beijing to focus on international trade matters.
Nishimura & Asahi expands China presence to Shanghai subscription
Japanese big-four firm Nishimura & Ashahi has opened a second China office in Shanghai.
Bird & Bird’s CEO David Kerr on why the low risk, cost-effective and practical cooperative agreement approach is the best way forward in Asia.
Bird & Bird launches in Korea via local alliance subscription
Bird & Bird has signed a cooperation agreement with South Korean firm Hwang Mok Park, blazing a new trail for international firms to tap into the market.
Allen & Gledhill launches in Myanmar subscription
Allen & Gledhill has become the latest Singapore firm to establish a presence in Myanmar, after launching an associate firm in Yangon.
Clifford Chance, Skadden Arps Meagher & Flom and Australian firm Gilbert + Tobin have taken lead roles in Shell’s $2.6bn deal to offload its Australia downstream business to Vitol.
Dechert is understood to be in the process of hiring O’Melveny & Myers’ (OMM) Singapore partner Dean Collins as part of the firm’s plan to open an office in Singapore later this year.
Allen & Overy and Norton Rose Fulbright are understood to have successfully completed the Singaporean renewal process to extend their Qualifying Foreign Law Practice (QFLP) licences for another five years.
Catering to the cutting-edge internet cable needs of the likes of BT and C&W, and taking on heavyweights for consortia tenders is all in a day’s work for Ciena’s Fred Linker
Accounting firm Ernst & Young (EY) is in the process of launching a legal services unit in China through the acquisition of Shanghai-based Chen & Co.
One of legacy King & Wood’s founding partners, Bai Yanchun, has joined Beijing-based Commerce & Finance as a partner.
Singapore-based Rajah & Tann and RHTLaw Taylor Wessing have both expanded their regional presence with a tie-up with local Vietnamese firms.
Baker & McKenzie opens in Myanmar subscription
Baker & McKenzie has become the latest international firm to set foot in Myanmar with the opening of its Yangon office.
DLA Piper’s Asia leadership question subscription
With none of the three committee members based in Asia, will DLA Piper’s new US-led Asia management structure help the firm to achieve its ambition to be bigger and stronger in the region?
Shearman & Sterling has hired partner George Borovas in Tokyo from Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman to launch its global nuclear power practice.
Chinese giant Dacheng has kicked-started an election process for a new leadership team under a new governance and management structure.
39 Essex Street seals Kuala Lumpur launch subscription
London set 39 Essex Street has confirmed plans to open an office in Kuala Lumpur in October, making it the first UK chambers to have a presence in Malaysia.
Australian mid-market firms, Thomsons Lawyers and Herbert Geer, are to merge to form the seventh largest independent firm in the country by number of lawyers.
Asia Moves: 11 February 2014 subscription
Paul Hastings rejigs China leadership team subscription
Paul Hastings has announced changes to its China leadership team following two incumbents’ moving back to the US.
Jones Day appoints new partner-in-charge for Asia subscription
Jones Day has installed its first overarching Asia management role with the appointment of David Carden as partner-in-charge of Asia.
ChinaLaw: a tale of dynasties subscription
Many top Chinese firms are confronting their first succession issues as their founders prepare to step down. Can they build the right frameworks to ensure a strong generational transition?
DLA Piper has added Hong Kong partner Mark Fairbairn and Singapore of counsel Ashley Bell to its restructuring group, both joining from O’Melveny & Myers.
Shanghai firms merge to form enlarged Boss & Young subscription
Shanghai-based Boss & Young and JoinWay have merged to form a 200-lawyer firm under the banner of Boss & Young.
Reed Smith has become the latest international firm to open an office in Kazakhstan’s capital Astana.
Japan’s Mori Hamada & Matsumoto to launch in Myanmar subscription
Japanese ’big four’ firm Mori Hamada & Matsumoto is in the process of opening an office in Yangon, the largest city of Myanmar.
Asia moves: 20 January 2014 subscription
Taiwan: Smart island subscription
International law firms are moving in to exploit the global hi-tech hub
Clyde & Co has appointed Hong Kong-based aviation finance partner Paul Jebely to head the practice globally.
Legacy Mallesons Stephen Jacques’ sole London partner Robert Hanley has left King & Wood Mallesons SJ Berwin’s (KWMSJB) London office, two months after the two firms formally merged.
Bakers loses two partners to US rivals in Hong Kong subscription
Baker & McKenzie has seen two of its Hong Kong partners leaving to join US rivals Dechert and Troutman Sanders respectively.
Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton and Sidley Austin have taken the lead roles in Japanese drinks maker Suntory’s $16bn (£9.7bn) acquisition of US spirits group Beam, the maker of Jim Beam.
Zhong Lun raids Dechert for Hong Kong chief subscription
Zhong Lun has appointed Dechert’s Hong Kong managing partner Basil Hwang as a partner in its Hong Kong associate firm Boughton Peterson Yang Anderson (BPYA).
Hogan Lovells hires Freshfields Asia IP head subscription
Hogan Lovells has hired Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer’s former Asia IP/IT and TMT head Mark Parsons as a partner in Hong Kong.
K&L Gates adds team of six in Tokyo subscription
K&L Gates has hired two partners and four associates from two Japanese firms in Tokyo.
Winston & Strawn to launch in Taiwan subscription
Winston & Strawn is set to launch an office in Taiwan after hiring a four-partner team from rival Washington DC firm Finnegan Henderson Farabow Garrett & Dunner last August.
Asia moves: 6 Jan 2014 subscription
Pinsent Masons has strengthened its Asian corporate capability with the hire of three partners in Singapore from local rival KhattarWong and a senior lawyer in Shanghai from legacy SJ Berwin.
Chinese firm Fangda has added corporate capability in Hong Kong with the hire of partner Andrew Lui from US firm Edwards Wildman Palmer.
The Hong Kong Securities & Futures Commission (HKSFC) has appointed Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton partner Megan Tang as director in its corporate finance division.
Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, Gibson Dunn & Crutcher and King & Wood Mallesons have secured roles on Hong Kong Telecommunications’ (HKT) $2.4bn (£1.5bn) acquisition of CSL from Telstra.
Debevoise & Plimpton and Linklaters have played lead roles advising the $4bn (£2.4bn) landmark bancassurance partnership between AIA and Citibank in the Asia-Pacific region.
Jones Day elects 34 to partnership subscription
Jones Day has promoted nine lawyers outside of the US to the partnership in its 34-strong global promotion rounds, including two in London, three in Europe and four in Asia.
Swedish automotive safety systems manufacturer Autoliv has named China-based Asia legal head Anthony Nellis as interim general counsel, succeeding Lars Sjöbring who is joining Transocean as general counsel.
DLA Piper has unveiled a major overhaul of its management structure in Asia in a bid to increase the integration between the Asia offices and its US partnership.
Eversheds left partnerless in Shanghai subscription
Eversheds has named Shanghai-based corporate of counsel Jack Cai as the new head of its Shanghai office following two partner exits, including former Shanghai managing partner Jean-Marc Deschandol.
Debevoise & Plimpton has hired litigation partner Tony Dymond from Herbert Smith Freehills in London, a year after the firm took heavyweight Kevin Lloyd from its City rival.
Asia moves: 16 December subscription
Legacy SJ Berwin HK partner joins Stephenson Harwood subscription
The newly combined Hong Kong office of King & Wood Mallesons and SJ Berwin has seen the first legacy SJ Berwin partner departure, as litigation partner Giovanna Kwong leaves for Stephenson Harwood.
WFW appoints new managing partners subscription
Watson Farley & Williams (WFW) has elected London finance partner Chris Lowe and Germany head Lothar Wegener as joint managing partners.
Paul Hastings’ Hong Kong corporate partner and Greater China chair Raymond Li has emerged to be the owner of Hong Kong’s second-most expensive home, which is worth $95m.
Chinese firm Jun He is being sued by two domestic rivals, Commerce & Finance and Jingtian & Gongcheng, over its adviser role in the Sino-Forest’s independent investigation.
Clayton Utz appoints new chief executive subscription
Clayton Utz’s board has appointed litigation partner Robert Cutler to succeed Darryl McDonough as the firm’s next chief executive partner.
Former Herbert Smith Freehills’ Singapore partner John Dick has joined Ernst & Young Singapore as a partner as the “big four” accounting firm mulls legal services launch.
Herbert Smith Freehills has named Tokyo managing partner Peter Godwin as the firm’s new regional head of disputes in Asia.
Hong Kong: Solid state subscription
It has not been a spectacular year for Hong Kong’s top-end players but routine work remains strong and the mid-level market is toughing it out
Fox International Channels (FIC) has appointed Francis Chang as its senior vice-president legal and business affairs and general counsel for Asia Pacific and the Middle East.
Davis Polk & Wardwell and Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer have secured lead roles in the $2.5bn (£1.5bn) IPO of China Cinda Asset Management, Hong Kong’s biggest global offering so far this year.
KWM global litigation head joins Quinn Emanuel subscription
King & Wood Mallesons’ global head of disputes resolution Beau Deleuil is joining Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan’s Sydney office.
KWM global dispute resolution head to leave the firm subscription
King & Wood Mallesons’ global head of dispute resolution Beau Deleuil is leaving the firm, a month after his appointment to the role.
Asia moves: 2 December subscription
Allen & Overy has hired partner Peter McDonald from Herbert Smith Freehills to build up the firm’s antitrust and competition practice in Australia.
China: Extra grip subscription
The government’s tougher stance on corruption has triggered investigations into multinationals’ practices and spurred a market for compliance advice
Stalemate in Singapore subscription
The bulk of legacy Freehills’ Singapore team has walked out on Herbert Smith Freehills in a move that highlights the challenges both legacy firms are facing over integration
Ashurst was among a raft of firms that have secured advisory roles in Chinese state-owned group Aviation Industry Corporation of China (AVIC)’s €320m acquisition of German listed company KHD Humboldt Wedag International AG (KHD).
Minter Ellison chief to step down subscription
Australian firm Minter Ellison will initiate the search for a new chief executive partner, after incumbent John Weber announced he is to step down in June next year.
Australian firm Minter Ellison has hired a partner each from US firm Winston & Strawn and Gide Loyrette Nouel to strengthen its Greater China capability.
Duo of IP firms join Myanmar rush subscription
Another two international firms have joined the growing rush into Myanmar, with UK IP firm Rouse and South East Asian firm Tilleke & Gibbins both expanding into the country.
Herbert Smith Freehills (HSF) has seen the majority of the legacy Freehills Singapore team exit the Singapore office a year after the firms merged, with former Freehills Singapore managing partner John Dick the latest to quit the office.
Asia moves: 18 November subscription
SocGen names new Asia Pacific general counsel subscription
Société Générale Group has named Christopher Davies as its new regional general counsel for Asia Pacific, as predecessor Mark Duncan promoted to a role in the Paris headquarters.
Ooredoo Asia GC: Myanmar calling subscription
Helping the country open up to the world is an exciting opportunity, says Singapore-based Scott Weenink, Asia GC for telecoms provider Ooredoo
Indonesian conglomerate Lippo Group has reduced a $250m arbitral award made against it from $250m to $700,000 after a battle in the Singapore Court of Appeal.
King & Wood Mallesons and Latham & Watkins are among the firms that have landed roles in the $1.1bn IPO of Huishang Bank, the third Chinese bank to go public in Hong Kong in a month.
Singaporean firm WongPartnership has broadened its regional coverage by forging a strategic alliance with Malaysian boutique Foong & Partners.
Fewer than half of in-house lawyers at major Chinese companies have voting power in board meetings, a survey by Baker & McKenzie and the China University of Political Science and Law (CUPL) has revealed.
DLA Piper has named the new leadership line up for its Australia projects group as well as Asia Pacific banking and finance practice following a string of partner departures.
Former Norton Rose Fulbright Beijing head and long-serving real estate partner Peter Burrows has joined newly established Beijing firm DaHui Lawyers.
Three partners together with 20 lawyers and staff are moving from DLA Piper’s Sydney office to join Australian firm HWL Ebsworth.
China’s Ministry of Commerce has established two sub panels for legal services in relation to trade investigations.
Shanghai-headquartered AllBright has become the latest Chinese firm to expand into Hong Kong.
Asia moves: 4 November subscription
King & Wood Mallesons SJ Berwin (KWMSJB) has seen the first partner departure following its merger last Friday, with London real estate partner David Ryland leaving to join Paul Hastings.
China: at the golden gates of wealth subscription
As Clydes makes its China move, free trade zones clear way for deeper law firm links
As SJ Berwin’s combination with King & Wood Mallesons goes live today, the enlarged Swiss Verein has established a new global organisational structure aimed at installing practice and sector integration.
Dacheng launches into Mongolia subscription
Dacheng has become the latest foreign firm to set up a base in Mongolia’s capital Ulaanbaatar.
King & Wood Mallesons and SJ Berwin will combine to a $1bn global law firm headquartered in Asia tomorrow (1 November).
DLA Piper’s former Australia chairman and country managing partner Tony Holland is leaving the firm to join Gilbert + Tobin (G+T) as a partner.
Clyde & Co has received regulatory approval to establish a joint venture in Chongqing with domestic firm West Link Partnership, making it the first international commercial firm to have a presence in south west China.
Milbank Tweed Hadley & McCloy has hired US capital markets lawyer James Grandolfo as a partner from Allen & Overy’s Hong Kong office.
Asia moves: 29 October subscription
Some of China’s largest firms, including Dacheng, JunZeJun and Jingtian & Gongcheng, are among the first to feel the pinch as the country’s stock markets regulator gets tough on accounting fraud in the domestic market.
US firm Herzfeld granted Myanmar licence subscription
New York-based Herzfeld Rubin Meyer & Rose (HRMR) has become the latest US firm to establish a presence in Myanmar.
The Hong Kong High Court has refused to throw out insider trading claims against a former Slaughter and May lawyer and her boyfriend, an ex-Linklaters lawyer.
SJ Berwin will open a second Middle East base in Riyadh following its merger with King & Wood Mallesons (KWM), which will go live on Friday (1 November).
Jakarta’s cold hand of protectionism subscription
Bahasa! Expat lawyers in Indonesia may have to take ethics exam in local language
SJ Berwin has broadened the managerial lineup for its real estate group, as part of the firm’s efforts to line up its practice management structure with KWM
King & Wood Mallesons’ Hong Kong partner Ronald Arculli has been appointed as the first chairman of the FWD Group, the insurance unit of Pacific Century Group owned by Hong Kong tycoon Richard Li.
The Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM) of China has launched its inaugural panel, with a total of 20 international firms and 18 Chinese firms winning spots.
Local law firms in Asia, with the exception of those in Australia, demonstrate virtually no appetite for social media communication, research by benchmarking company Living Ratings has found.
Clifford Chance has come under fire in Singapore after the domestic government criticised the firm for misleading clients over its operations in the city-state.
Herbert Smith Freehills (HSF) and Slaughter and May have taken lead roles on French Energy company EDF’s investment for Hinkley Point C nuclear project.
Mayer Brown JSM has hired Hong Kong-based partner Gabriela Kennedy from Hogan Lovells to lead its intellectual property and technology, media and telecommunications (TMT) group in Asia.
London set 39 Essex Street is to set up a base in Kuala Lumpur, a move that will make it the first UK chambers to have a presence in Malaysia.
Jones Day and Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton have taken lead roles on the first major Asian investment in Italy’s Serie-A football clubs.
Fountain Court eyes Singapore launch subscription
Inner Temple set Fountain Court is weighing up whether to open an outpost in Singapore, in a move that further underlines the growing popularity of the Asian arbitration hub.
Davis Polk & Wardwell, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer and Morrison & Foerster (MoFo) have won roles on Chinese supermarket Wumart Stores’s proposed acquisition of a minority stake in Thai retailer CP Lotus for HK$2.3bn (£185m).
Asia moves: 15 October subscription
Allen & Overy and Australian firm Minter Ellison have advised Lloyds Banking Group in selling its Australian operations to Australian bank Westpac for £900m (A$1.55bn).
China: Forest Fire subscription
Two Chinese firms are being sued in a blazing forestry deal row but the country’s whole legal profession is about to feel the heat.
A pair of elite Chinese capital markets firms, Commerce & Finance and Jingtian & Gongcheng, are facing negligence and breach of duty claims filed by 11 international financial institutions, including Credit Suisse Securities and Banc of America Securities.
Australia: Specialist forces subscription
The arrival of specialist international firms has added another dynamic to the fast-changing Australian legal market
K&L Gates hires five partners in Australia subscription
K&L Gates has hired five partners across Melbourne, Perth and Sydney from international and Australian rivals.
The founding partner of Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan’s Australia office, Michael Mills, is aiming to more than double the size of the base from two partners to up to 12 partners.
Asia moves: 7 October subscription
RPC has raided Ince & Co for its Asia insurance and reinsurance group head Iain Anderson.
Freshfields feels Alibaba’s pain subscription
If Alibaba is indeed turning away from Hong Kong to New York for its highly anticipated, multibillion-dollar listing, will Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer become the biggest loser among all the legal advisers to the Chinese e-commerce giant?
Hill Dickinson has appointed London partner Mike Mallin to be the resident partner for its newly open Hong Kong office and has entered into an association with local firm Laracy & Co.
Peninsula Hotels group names new general counsel subscription
The Hongkong and Shanghai Hotels (HSH), the owner and operator of The Peninsula Hotels has promoted senior legal counsel Nadine Maurellet to be the group general counsel.
Herbert Smith Freehills (HSF) has hired two partners in Australia, with Sydney corporate partner David Ryan joining from Baker & McKenzie and Brisbane financial partner David Lyons joining from Norton Rose Fulbright.
Vinson & Elkins is relocating Beijing-based energy partners Paul Deemer and Rob Patterson to London and Moscow respectively in a further reduction of its Chinese capabilities.
US firms Weil Gotshal & Manges and Jones Day have picked up key roles on the merger between US semiconductor equipment maker Applied Materials and Japanese rival Tokyo Electron.
The China paradox subscription
Vinson & Elkins closing in Shanghai shows China is not a bottomless goldmine after all. Will it be a graveyard for Western ambitions?
Manulife’s Asia GC: Balance of trade subscription
Manulife’s Asia GC Steven Yeo uses the Chinese philosophy of ‘yin and yang’ to safeguard the insurance company’s strong growth across Asia
South Korea: Seoul train subscription
The past year has seen an influx of international firms setting up offices in Seoul, but have they started reaping the benefits of being on the ground?
Why Ashurst is about to enter a rock and hard place subscription
Bold Ashurst is first to achieve full financial docking with Australian firm but it will be no walk in the park
Stone Chambers opens in Singapore subscription
Stone Chambers has become the latest British set to open an office in Singapore, with Andrew Moran QC spearheading the new base.
DLA Piper has hired IP partner Horace Lam from Jones Day’s Beijing office along with a team of four lawyers.
Merged Ashurst to adopt UK’s managed lockstep system subscription
Ashurst and Ashurst Australia have been given the green light on the full financial integration, which will see the Australian partners migrating to Ashurst UK’s managed lockstep.
Minneapolis-based Dorsey & Whitney is to close its Sydney office before the end of the year, following the relocation of sole Sydney partner John Chrisman to Hong Kong.
DLA adds two corporate partners in Australia subscription
DLA Piper has hired a partner each from Gilbert + Tobin and Ashurst to strengthen its corporate offerings in Sydney.
DLA sweats it out in Asia Pacific subscription
Ruthlessness rules at DLA in Singapore, rubbing up against more subtle local ways
Tencent GC: Chatty man subscription
Taking his Silicon Valley expertise to Chinese internet giant Tencent, GC Brent Irvin is helping the company take on the digital status quo with the likes of WeChat
Dentons has opened a new satellite office in Astana, its second office in Kazakhstan.
Wragges leads Dyson IP battle against Samsung subscription
British technology company Dyson has instructed Wragge & Co to issue a High Court claim against rival Samsung over alleged patent infringements.
Saudi tycoon Mohamed bin Issa al Jaber has filed a petition in a New York court, requesting that White & Case hand over documents relating to a 10-year-old confidential settlement it had reached for client Barclays.
Asia moves: 10 September 2013 subscription
Clyde & Co has added three new partners and a number of lawyers to its Australian offices, a year after the firm opened there.
HSF’s Shanghai M&A partner quits for Mayer Brown JSM subscription
Herbert Smith Freehills’ (HSF) corporate and M&A partner Betty Tam has quit the firm to join Mayer Brown JSM as a partner in Shanghai.
Bevan Brittan has cut seven positions, including two lawyer roles, as a result of a redundancy consultation, the firm said today.
DLA Piper Asia Pacific partner departures continue subscription
DLA Piper has seen three more partners leaving its Asia Pacific offices, one each in Hong Kong, Melbourne and Sydney.
Berwin Leighton Paisner (BLP) contentious tax head Liesl Fichardt has become the latest partner exit the firm after being hired by Clifford Chance.
Dundas & Wilson is to refocus on growth of its Scottish base, turning away from the firm’s previous strategy of building itself out as a major UK firm.
Linklaters has appointed former Allen & Overy (A&O) Hong Kong partner David Kidd as its first head of Asia restructuring and insolvency practice.
HowardKennedyFsi has launched a redundancy consultation round, with seven fee earner roles across its real estate, corporate and employment departments at risk.
2018: Chinese globalisation in full flight videosubscription
Prediction: Within 10 years two large Chinese firms will have combined with foreign firms
Former Hong Kong partner of K&L Gates, Navin Kumar Aggarwal, has been sentenced to 12 years in prison after pleading guilty over a HK$8bn (£665m) fraud and money laundering scheme to cover his gambling debts in Macau.
Asia moves: 27 August subscription
Seoul-based Jipyong Jisung is advising a consortium led by Incheon International Airport Corporation, which has won the $1.1bn bid to build a new international airport near Yangon.
JP Morgan has retained three leading regulatory and litigation firms in China, Hong Kong and the US to assist it as the US government investigates allegations of bribery connected to the bank’s hiring practices in Hong Kong.
King & Wood Mallesons’ (KWM) Hong Kong office, the only fully financially-integrated arm of the two legacy firms, has moved to a unified human resources framework, including a single employee renumeration system.
Dacheng becomes Chinese pioneer with Moscow office subscription
Chinese giant Dacheng has opened a branch office in Moscow, making it one of the first Asian firms to have a base in Russia.
Tollers contemplates ABS as PEP soars by 69 per cent subscription
Northampton firm Tollers is contemplating a possible ABS launch for its consumer-focused arm as the firm reports a 69 per cent increase in its net profit for 2012/13.
DLA Piper’s former Singapore managing partner Matthew Glynn has resigned from the firm, making him the second former office leader to leave so far this year.
Asia moves: 13 August subscription
Hill Dickinson secures licence for Hong Kong launch subscription
Hill Dickinson has obtained the approval to launch an office in Hong Kong and enter into an association with a local firm.
Ooredoo, one of the two winning bidders for Myanmar’s hotly contested foreign telecommunications licences, has appointed Norton Rose Fulbright and Australian boutique firm…
Addleshaw Goddard has forged an association with a newly-established Hong Kong firm, which has been launched by Minter Ellison’s head of litigation Nigel Francis and DLA Piper corporate partner Brett Stewien.
Ashurst has moved a step closer to launching in Korea after hiring partner John Kim from Korean firm Yulchon.
K&L Gates hires two from White & Case and WFW subscription
K&L Gates’ Singapore office has taken a partner each from White & Case and Watson, Farley & Williams for its energy and corporate practices.
Asia moves: 6 August subscription
NBA China general counsel joins KWM subscription
King & Wood Mallesons has hired the former general counsel of China’s national basketball league.
SJ Berwin senior partner Stephen Kon, managing partner Rob Day and KWM global managing partner Stuart Fuller answer a few personal questions.
Berwin rings in year of the billion-dollar BFF subscription
China link could give SJ Berwin the friendly leg-up it needs
Singapore: Cash course subscription
The city-state is working hard to become a global wealth management hub, and law firms are gearing up for a prosperous new world
Bryan Cave benefits as Blank Rome exits Hong Kong subscription
Bryan Cave has hired two partners in Hong Kong from US rival Blank Rome, which has recently closed an office in the city.
Baker & McKenzie has named intellectual property partner Andy Leck as its new Singapore managing partner, following the appointment of incumbent Edmund Leow as a Judicial Commissioner in the Supreme Court of Singapore.
The merger between King & Wood Mallesons and SJ Berwin was given the green light by partnerships from all sides earlier today. The ground-breaking $1bn deal, which will go live on 1 November, has also received wide support from the Chinese legal community.
Taylor Wessing’s Singapore arm is planning to launch a regional network under which it will form associations with local firms across the South East Asian region.
Morrison & Foerster has recruited two corporate partners, Jake Robson and Adam Summerly, for its relaunched Singapore office.
Clarke Willmott's PEP slumps to 10-year low at £140k subscription
Average profit per equity partner (PEP) at Clarke Willmott has fallen by 14 per cent to £140,000 from £163,000 between 2011/12 and 2012/13, the lowest figure recorded since 2002/03 when PEP stood at £138,000.
Exigent mulls US acquisition subscription
Legal process outsourcing (LPO) provider Exigent is at an advanced stage of acquiring a technology company in the US as the firm’s latest international move.
Australian firm Minter Ellison has added two tax advisers to its Hong Kong office to spearhead the development of its tax practice in the region.
Asian moves: 23 July subscription
Baker & McKenzie has shaken up the London management committee with partners Helen Bradley and Monica Kurnatowska added to the board.
Bevan Brittan has seen turnover fall for the fifth consecutive year with revenues down 3 per cent to £32.8m, the lowest point since 2007/08.
Former Morgan Stanley head of compliance for Southeast Asia, Nizam Ismail, has joined Taylor Wessing’s Singapore office as a partner to lead its regional compliance solutions unit.
Moore Blatch launches City office subscription
Hampshire firm Moore Blatch has hired corporate finance partner Stephen Clow from DMH Stallard to launch a new London office.
Sidley Austin has becoome the first firm to benefit from the imminent closure of Vinson & Elkins’ (V&E) Shanghai office, picking up energy partner Tju Liang Chua.
Allen & Overy (A&O) has advised Norwegian telecom company Telenor in winning one of the first two licences for foreign companies to provide telecommunications services in Myanmar.
Watson Farley sees PEP drop by 13 per cent to £388k subscription
Watson Farley & Williams has seen a 13 per cent fall in average profit per equity partner (PEP), despite reporting a 2 per cent increase in turnover for 2012/2013.
British pharmaceutical giant GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) has instructed Chinese firm Jun He to represent it amidst investigations over several of its senior executives’ alleged bribery and tax violations.
Number crunching: Linklaters subscription
Linklaters’ LLP accounts since 2006/07 illustrate the flattening impact of the post-crash years on the magic circle firm’s financials. The firm recently announced its 2012/13 global turnover figure of £1.195bn – still 7 per cent off its 2008/09 peak of £1.296bn.
Blackstone Chambers is advising McDermott Will & Emery as the US firm faces pregnancy discrimination claims from a former associate in London.
Vinson & Elkins to close Shanghai office subscription
Vinson & Elkins has confirmed plans to close its Shanghai office in a bid to consolidate its China practice to focus on state-owned energy companies.
Ince & Co turnover inches up to £93.2m subscription
Ince & Co has posted a 1.7 per cent increase in its 2012/13 turnover from £91.6m to £93.2m.
Rajah & Tann has expanded its coverage in Malaysia with associate firm Kamilah & Chong completing a three-way merger to create enlarged firm Christopher & Lee Ong.
Debevoise & Plimpton partner Peter Goldsmith QC is to challenge the Singaporean government over the state’s anti-gay legislation.
Average profit per equity partner has fallen by 11 per cent at Sacker & Partners from £860,000 to £765,000
Pinsent Masons’ former dispute resolution and litigation head Nigel Kissack has joined South African legal process outsourcing (LPO) provider Exigent as global strategy consultant.
HFW turnover rises 14 per cent to £141m subscription
Holman Fenwick Willan has posted a 13.8 per cent increase in its 2012/13 turnover to £141m from £123.9m in 2011/12.
Asian moves: 9 July subscription
Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher has made its first Singapore partner lateral hire following obtaining a Qualifying Foreign Law Practice in the city state earlier this year.
Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer has hired Linklaters’ Singapore partner Arun Balasubramanian to co-head the firm’s India group.
Mills & Reeve turnover rises by 2 per cent to £70.9m subscription
Mills & Reeve reported a two per cent increase in its 2012/13 turnover from £69.4m in 2011/12 to £70.9m, with its net profit up by four per cent from £19.5m to £20.4m.
Citibank’s India general counsel Sandip Beri has recently resigned to return to private practice with India’s largest firm, Amarchand & Mangaldas.
Asian Moves: 2 July subscription
Jones Day takes on Orrick’s former Asia chief subscription
Orrick’s former Asia managing partner and China office leader Michelle Taylor has joined Jones Day’s Hong Kong office.
Australia’s Shine Lawyers eyes UK acquisition subscription
Newly-listed Australian personal injury firm Shine Lawyers has set plans to expand into UK through acquisition, following in the footsteps of its listed rival Slater & Gordon.
The former legal director of the British Olympic Association (BOA), Sara Sutcliffe, has become interim CEO at the English Table Tennis Association (ETTA).
Ashurst prepares for October vote over Oz merger subscription
Ashurst has decided to bring forward the timetable for the proposed full merger with its Australian offices, which could see both sides’ partners voting on the deal in October.
Chinese state-owned conglomerate China Resources is in the process of creating an international panel following the launch of a domestic panel in September 2012.
Gibson Dunn & Crutcher has named its Hong Kong founding partner Kelly Austin as the new partner-in-charge ahead of the office’s plan to convert to a Hong Kong solicitors’ firm in August.
Minter Ellison elects new chairman subscription
Australia’s largest independent firm Minter Ellison has elected Brisbane-based corporate partner Bruce Cowley as its new chairman.
Cloisters’ barrister Caroline Musgrave has secured victory for military nurse Wendy Williams in a sex discrimination claim against the Ministry of Defence (MoD).
Asian Moves: 25 June 2013 subscription
CC hires Latham's Dubai funds partner for Singapore subscription
Clifford Chance has hired Latham & Watkins’ head of investment funds in the Middle East and Africa Kai Schneider for its Singapore office.
Members of the CMS network and Loyens & Loeff have won roles advising on the first major continental European acquisition by Hong Kong billionaire Li Ka-Shing’s Cheung Kong Group.
Australian firm HWL Ebsworth opens in Perth subscription
HWL Ebsworth, ranked as the 21st largest independent firm in The Lawyer Asia Pacific 150, has expanded its national coverage by opening a new office in Perth.
Following the appointment of Sue Kench as its new Australia managing partner, Kin & Wood Mallesons (KWM) has named Sydney-based partner Tim Bednall as the new head of corporate M&A and tax practices in Australia.
Addleshaw Goddard, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer and White & Case have played roles in Chinese property developer Wanda Group’s first two major investments in the UK.
Eversheds’ former head of China (EMEA) in London Sharon Shi has moved to Shanghai to take up a general counsel position.
Revealed: The Lawyer Asia Pacific 150 subscription
The Lawyer today launches the inaugural edition of Asia Pacific 150, an in-depth guide to the most exciting legal scene in the world.
Asia Pacific 150: China: After the honeymoon subscription
The Lawyer Asia Pacific 150 reveals that newly merged Anglo-Australian firm Herbert Smith Freehills has taken over Baker & McKenzie as the largest international firm in Asia Pacific by lawyer headcount.
Asia Pacific 150: M&A advisers: Work force subscription
Who’s in on all the big deals in the region? Read on…
Asia Pacific 150: Australia: Under-powered subscription
There’s been plenty of action on the international tie-ups front, but the domestic legal market is slow
Asia Pacific 150: Japan: Southern comfort subscription
Japanese firms are looking south to Singapore and beyond as they seek relief from a grim home market
Asia Pacific 150: South Korea: Opening time subscription
Increased access to a dynamic jurisdiction that is investing overseas too – what’s not to like about Korea?
Asia Pacific 150: Singapore: Magnetic south subscription
Everyone wants in on bustling South East Asia, but the region’s top firms are hanging onto their independence for now
Asia Pacific 150: Who's who in tomorrow's world subscription
Welcome to the Asian century, as The Lawyer provides an in-depth guide to this most exciting of legal scene
Seyfarth Shaw raids HSF for double Australia launch subscription
US employment firm Seyfarth Shaw has expanded into Australia by taking on eight employment partners from three firms, Herbert Smith Freehills (HSF), Ashurst and Arnold Bloch Leibler.
Notebook: Korean top six firms show 20% revenue hike subscription
Korea’s top law firms are growing and keeping it friendly with incomers - for now
Asian moves: 4 June 2013 subscription
Korea’s top six local firms recorded a 20 per cent increase in their collective turnovers in 2012, despite a recent influx of foreign rivals into the market.
Jones Day to downsize in Beijing subscription
Jones Day’s Beijing office could be halved in size in the coming months, as the firm mulls over the relocation of several partners and associates to other China offices.
Allen & Overy adds first litigation partner in Perth subscription
Allen & Overy has extended its litigation practice to Perth with the hire of partner Mark van Brakel from Australian firm Corrs Chambers Westgarth.
King & Wood Mallesons’ year-long merger negotiations with Singaporean firm WongPartnership failed just days before a tie-up was to be announced to the market, The Lawyer can reveal.
Bingham has expanded in Japan by snatching a seven-lawyer investment funds team from White & Case’s Tokyo office.
Exclusive: China giant Yingke targets domestic SME market with launch of virtual legal services subscription
Yingke, one of China’s largest law firms, is getting closer to launch a new division branded as Yingke Cloud, aimed at revolutionising the provision of volume legal services in China.
Dipping a toe into the Asia Pacific subscription
Associations are the way in for Western firms to dip a toe in the Asian market
Look both ways subscription
Chinese firms are pushing ahead with international expansion as equally important internal changes are being played out
Clyde & Co gains approval for Beijing office launch subscription
Clyde & Co has become the lastest firm to have gained regulatory approval for a Beijing opening from China’s Ministry of Justice.
Addleshaw Goddard opens in Hong Kong subscription
Addleshaw Goddard has received the regulatory approval to open in Hong Kong and has named private equity head Andrew Carpenter to international managing partner.
Baker & McKenzie and Linklaters have obtained regulatory approval from South Korea’s Ministry of Law to launch into Seoul.
DLA Piper has entered into a strategic alliance with Indonesian firm Ivan Almaida Baely & Firmansyah (IAB&F) to tap into one of the fastest growing emerging economies in the world.
Nishimura and Asahi, one of the largest firms in Japan, has set down plans to open two new offices in major centres in Myanmar and Thailand as part of a regional push.
Shearman & Sterling and Simpson Thacher & Bartlett have played key roles on Chinese internet giant Sina Corporation’s sale of a stake in the country’s Twitter-like site Weibo.
Kirkland confirms plans for imminent Beijing launch subscription
Kirkland & Ellis has named Shanghai corporate partner Li Chuan as the partner who will lead its proposed Beijing office.
Clifford Chance has promoted 20 lawyers to partners across its global network, seven fewer than last year.
Avoiding clashes in international networks subscription
‘Don’t ask, don’t tell’ policy avoids rows among firms’ complex overseas networks
Top areas for promotions to partnership subscription
As UK firms expand globally, are City promotion prospects on the wane?
Tyco renews fixed-fee contract with Eversheds subscription
Eversheds has secured a two-year extension of its multi-million pound contract with US industrial conglomerate Tyco.
China's Yingke launches in Israel with local merger subscription
Beijing-headquartered Yingke has launched in Israel through a local merger, making it one of the first foreign firms to have done so following the deregulation of the legal market.
Singapore-headquartered Rajah & Tann has blamed the exit of five international arbitration partners to rival Allen & Gledhill on “professional disagreements” between them and the firm.
Baker & McKenzie and Clifford Chance have played lead roles on CP All’s $6.6bn (£4.3bn) acquisition of a controlling stake in Siam Makro.
The Singaporean High Court has refused permission for a suspected $50m fraudster to instruct London counsel to defend criminal proceedings against him.
Herbert Smith Freehills (HSF) has added 19 associates to the partnership in its first round of promotions following the merger between Herbert Smith and Freehills, with over half based in Asia Pacific.
Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer has lured Herbert Smith Freehills partner Tim Mak to its Asia dispute resolution practice in Hong Kong.
Chinese firm Zhong Lun has hired the first western partner for its London office following its recent launch in New York.
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.
BHP Billiton appoints new chief counsel from Herbies subscription
BHP Billiton has appointed Herbert Smith Freehills (HSF) litigator Geoff Healy as its new chief legal counsel, succeeding incumbent David Williamson who is returning to Ashurst Australia after three years at the mining company.
US firm Seyfarth Shaw is set to open in Shanghai in May, marking its second overseas launch following London.
Providing behind-the-scenes legal back-up for TV productions is fast-paced and diverse, says Sony Pictures TV Networks’ Jessica Deery
New south sales subscription
Recent law firm mergers with Australians are producing the hoped-for results in terms of cross-referrals. Where are these top level deals coming from?
Geely Holding Group, which acquired Swedish automaker Volvo in 2010, has appointed veteran in-house lawyer Kenneth Tung as chief legal counsel to oversee all international legal affairs.
Singapore’s former deputy prime minister Shunmugam Jayakumar has retired from his long-standing political career and will take a consultancy role at Singaporean firm Drew & Napier.
MetLife hires Asia legal head from UBS subscription
Insurer MetLife has appointed former UBS Asia-Pacific general counsel Kevin Wilkey as its new head of legal in Asia.
One of Singapore’s largest firms, WongPartnership, has revamped its management structure by appointing Rachel Eng and Ng Wai King as joint managing partners.
2Birds hires Asia aviation head from Virgin Atlantic subscription
Bird & Bird has appointed former Virgin Atlantic counsel Leo Fattorini as a partner and head of its Asia aviation practice.
Corrs' Melbourne head quits for HWL Ebsworth subscription
Australian firm HWL Ebsworth has boosted its partnership with four lateral hires including the partner in charge of Corrs Chambers Westgarth’s Melbourne office, Andrew Pitney.
Greenberg Traurig opens South Korea base subscription
US firm Greenberg Traurig has opened an office in Seoul despite the rising threat from North Korea.
Sidley adds Hong Kong energy partner from Simmons subscription
Sidley Austin has hired partner Tom Deegan from Simmons & Simmons’ Hong Kong office to build up its global energy practice.
Australian firm Johnson Winter & Slattery (JWS) has hired three corporate partners from Corrs Chambers Westgarth’s Sydney office in a bit to broaden its cross-border M&A capability.
Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer and White & Case are among a raft of firms to win roles on CVC’s sale of a $1.3bn stake in Indonesian retailer Matahari Department Stores.
Hong Kong's Deacons hires WilmerHale's Beijing head subscription
Hong Kong’s largest independent firm Deacons has appointed senior private equity lawyer Robert Woll as a partner in its financial services group.
Singapore International Arbitration Centre (SIAC) has revamped its governance structure, with Allen & Gledhill senior partner Lucien Wong appointed to chair its new board of directors.
Clifford Chance, Linklaters and Chinese firm Jiayuan have secured roles advising on the issue of RMB bonds by Chinese state-owned metals and mining conglomerate China Minmetals.
One of Japan’s largest law firms, Anderson Mori & Tomotsune, is to add three new offices, in Singapore, Shanghai and the Japanese city of Nagoya.
Hong Kong and Singapore are becoming important international disputes hubs, and moves are afoot to further open up their court systems
Sidley Austin has appointed its first Singapore-qualified partner, a month after being granted a licence to practise local law in the jurisdiction.
Ashurst has received regulatory approval for its Beijing representative office, a year after the hire of partner Patrick Phua from King & Wood Mallesons.
China's Yingke expands into Milan and Brussels subscription
China’s largest law firm by lawyer headcount Yingke has confirmed plans to expand into Milan and Brussels via local associations.
Herbies names new Greater China head subscription
Herbert Smith Freehills (HSF) has appointed Hong Kong arbitration partner Justin D’Agostino as its new managing partner for Greater China as incumbent Andrew Tortoishell retires.
Shearman cuts six lawyers from Hong Kong base subscription
Shearman & Sterling has made six lawyers redundant in Hong Kong, as the US firm continues to adjust its Greater China team in response to the capital markets slowdown.
Herbies prepares ground for April Seoul launch subscription
Herbert Smith Freehills (HSF) has received final regulatory approval to open its long-planned base in Seoul.
US firm McKenna Long & Aldridge (MLA) has opened a base in South Korea, its first Asia office.
Asian Development Bank GC: Eastern time subscription
Christopher Stephens recently left Orrick to help the Asian Development Bank achieve its goals as GC
K&L Gates rebuilds Hong Kong with partner hires subscription
K&L Gates has hired a partner each from Allen & Overy (A&O) and Orrick, Herington & Sutcliffe in Hong Kong to build up its corporate and dispute resolution practice.
Norton Rose has boosted its corporate practice in Australia with the hire of three partners from Australian firm Corrs Chambers Westgarth.
Hogan Lovells shakes up management committee subscription
Hogan Lovells has made a series of changes to the International Management Committee (IMC) with global litigation head Patrick Sherrington succeeding Crispin Rapinet as Asia and Middle East managing partner.
Ince & Co has appointed Chinese shipping veteran lawyer Guo Xu from China Ocean Shipping Group (COSCO) as a consultant in Beijing.
Stone Chambers to enter Singapore subscription
Stone Chambers will be the latest London set to expand into Singapore, as the city-state’s position as a regional disputes resolution hub strengths.
Number crunching: DLA Piper Asia Pacific subscription
This month DLA Piper’s UK country head Andrew Darwin will begin his new role as Australia managing partner, a position he is expecting to occupy for two years.
Tesco has installed a permanent legal director for China following a year-long vacancy period.
Eversheds and Linklaters have taken lead roles on the sale of HMV Asia to Greater China private equity group AID Partners Capital
LPO provider CPA Global has opened its first office in mainland China and acquired a Silicon Valley-based company to expand its IP management offerings.
One of Vietnam’s largest firms, VILAF, has expanded its energy practice by taking on sole-partner local boutique LDV Lawyers.
Clifford Chance has revamped its global partnership council, with two new faces joining the firm’s governing body.
Dutch firm De Brauw Blackstone Westbroek and Linklaters have played lead roles on ORIX’s acquisition of Dutch asset manager Robeco Groep from Rabobank.
Malaysian firm ZICOlaw opens in Myanmar subscription
Malaysia headquartered regional firm ZICOlaw has established an office in Yangon, Myanmar, it’s seventh location outside of Malaysia.
DLA Piper has laid off six capital markets fee-earners in Hong Kong as the firm continues to adjust its Asia Pacific businesses to new market conditions in the region.
Berwin Leighton Paisner (BLP) has obtained the regulatory approval to open a representative office in Beijing, which will be led by the firm’s former chair Peter Robinson.
Firm sends senior figures to Australia to seek a combination with a local firm as it aims to become the latest foreign outfit to enter the market.
Veteran aviation lawyer and partner in Hogan Lovells’ Washington, DC office Jeffrey Shane is to join the International Air Transport Association (IATA) as general counsel.
Hong Kong defends regional disputes crown subscription
To maintain its status as a top disputes hub Hong Kong opens court access - a bit
Number crunching: Clifford Chance Asia Pacific subscription
Skadden partner Paul Mitchard QC, who advised Chelsea FC owner Roman Abramovich on his court battles with Russian oligarch Boris Berezovsky, is among 15 lawyers who have obtained higher rights of audience in Hong Kong.
Australia financial services company AMP has unveiled an inaugural international legal panel, with Allen & Overy, Ashurst, Baker & McKenzie among those being awarded the mandate.
Partner exodus continues at Linklaters' Aussie ally subscription
Two more partners have left Linklaters’ Australian ally Allens to join rival firms in Sydney and Singapore.
RPC saw turnover rise by 12 per cent in 2011/12 while its distributable profit increased by 18 per cent.
Cheng Jun, Zhonglun, Beijing subscription
I believe there is always a bigger world out there waiting for us to explore. We’ve been waiting so long for the Chinese companies to grow.
Eversheds has formed a new management team in Asia and entered into a relationship with Danish firm Rønne & Lundgren following its Copenhagen closure.
Clifford Chance has relocated its London head of banking litigation Matthew Newick to Hong Kong, after losing two litigation partners to Davis Polk & Wardwell.
Lawyers suffer in toxic Beijing smog subscription
Toxic Beijing smog sparks doubts among lawyers about working in the city
Slaughter and May joined Dutch duo De Brauw Blackstone Westbroek and Stibbe and a host of additional firms on Philips Electronics’ sale of its lifestyle entertainment business to Japanese company Funai Electric.
Singapore-based Rajah & Tann has expanded its South East Asia network to Cambodia and Myanmar by tying up with two local firms.
Slaughter and May names new Hong Kong senior partner subscription
Slaughter and May’s incumbent Hong Kong senior partner Richard Thornhill will retire from the firm on 30 January with partner Peter Brien taking over the role.
US firm Goodwin Procter has said it remains committed to opening a Beijing office, despite withdrawing its application for a representative office in the city last year.
Gary Pryke, Drew & Napier, Singapore subscription
Singapore has continued the opening of the legal market to foreign firms. Singapore firms will need to be agile and alert to navigate these sea changes.
Singaporean firm Allen & Gledhill, Clyde & Co and City shipping boutique Waterson Hicks are embroiled in a lawsuit filed by a Swiss Bank against the Singaporean firm over alleged negligent advice.
Clydes and Allen & Gledhill battle out professional negligence case in Singapore
Akin Gump launches new Singapore office subscription
Akin Gump has opened an office in Singapore, with two lawyers relocating from the US to lead the base.
AIG Asia assistant general counsel Aaron Le Marquer has swapped his in-house career for private practice after joining Thai firm Tilleke & Gibbins as a consultant in Bangkok.
Ashurst and a group of Malaysian firms have advised on the RM1.8bn (£373m) sale of Aviva’s Malaysian joint venture CIMB-Aviva to Sun Life Financial and Khazanah.
Asian firms to spearhead Myanmar expansion subscription
Two of South East Asia’s largest firms, Rajah & Tann and Zaid Ibrahim & Co, have announced plans to expand into Myanmar.
Asia partner shortage subscription
Firms plug the talent gap in Asia with junior partnerships
Myanmar horizons subscription
Law firms are following the many companies scrambling to grab a piece of the action in the fast-emerging country formerly known as Burma
Clifford Chance has hired former Allen & Overy (A&O) Australian competition partner Dave Poddar, its first lateral partner hire since its 2011 launch in Australia.
Watson Farley & Williams (WFW) has hired Ashurst Munich-based counsel Marcus Nothhelfer as a partner to launch a German desk in Bangkok.
Baker & McKenzie has welcomed back lawyer and investment banker Lance Chen as a partner and head of its US securities practice group in Hong Kong and China.
Australian national firm Gadens Lawyers has hired a Clifford Chance Singapore-based counsel to lead the launch of its Singapore office.
Mayer Brown JSM and Slaughter and May have taken advisory roles on Cable & Wireless Communications’ (CWC) agreement to sell its controlling stake in a Macau telecom company to CITIC Telecom International for $750m (£466m) in cash.
Ashurst appoints new EU competition partner in Italy subscription
Ashurst has added Italian antitrust veteran Denis Fosselard as a new partner in its European competition team.
Eversheds scoops up Salans' Shanghai employment team subscription
Eversheds has taken on a team of four employment lawyers from the Shanghai office of Salans, which is to merge with SNR Denton in the coming months.
Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer has appointed corporate partner William Woo from Orrick Herrington & Sutcliffe’s Hong Kong office.
Baker & McKenzie has appointed Korean lawyer Seong Soo Kim as a partner in its banking and finance and Korea practices in Hong Kong.
DLA Piper has hired Shearman & Sterling counsel Yu Jin Tay in Singapore as a partner and global co-chair of its international arbitration practice.
Gibson Dunn receives approval to return to Beijing subscription
US firm Gibson Dunn & Crutcher has secured approval from China’s Ministry of Justice to open a representative office in Beijing, almost 10 years after the firm closed its China presence.
K&L Gates’ Sydney office has taken on corporate partner Andrea Beatty, the first partner to join the firm following its 1 January merger with Australian firm Middletons.
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.
Tiger eyes reform subscription
Singapore’s legal leaders outline 2013 initiatives to further liberalise the market
VimpelCom GC: Steppe ladder subscription
A fascination with Russia since the 1990s has paid off for Jeffrey McGhie, now group GC at Russian telecoms giant VimpelCom
Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton, Clifford Chance, King & Wood Mallesons (KWM) and Shearman & Sterling were among the advisers on China Machinery Engineering Corporation’s (CMEC) HK$3.9bn (£240m) IPO in Hong Kong.
US firm Edwards Wildman Palmer has obtained approval to fully integrate its associated Hong Kong firm Lister Lo Lui & Choy and has added local litigation capability by hiring partner John Yiu from Hong Kong firm ONC Lawyers.
Allen & Overy (A&O) has appointed VILAF managing partner Tran Anh Duc as head of its Hanoi branch and co-head of its banking and corporate practice in Vietnam.
US technology-focused firm Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati has opened an office in Beijing, its third in Greater China after Shanghai and Hong Kong.
Clifford Chance London partner Sumesh Sawhney, who focuses on the Indian market, will join Jones Day’s London office as a partner in the coming months.
Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, Linklaters and Slaughter and May have won advisory roles on a $1.1bn (£657m) offer to take private Hong Kong-listed investment holding company Guoco Group.
Norton Rose has joined a raft of Chinese and South African firms advising on Rio Tinto Group’s $373m (£231m) sale of its stake in South Africa’s Palabora Mining to a consortium led by China’s Hebei Iron & Steel Group.
Clifford Chance has teamed up with Singapore litigation boutique Cavenagh Law to form an integrated full service offering in the jurisidiction under the banner ‘Clifford Chance Asia’.
Clifford Chance and Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer have advised on Chinese company Jinsheng Industry’s SFr650m (£436m) acquisition of business units from Swiss-based Oerlikon, one of the largest outbound Chinese investments in the German-speaking market in 2012.
Simmons & Simmons has taken on Hong Kong capital markets partner Jay Lee, who joins from Standard Chartered Bank.
Ashurst Australia has seen the exit of senior litigation partner John Emmerig, who has joined Jones Day’s Sydney office.
Withers has hired partner Simon Michaels from Berwin Leighton Paisner (BLP) for its wealth planning practice in Singapore.
Brisbane-based Australian firm HopgoodGanim has strengthened its ties with China by signing cooperation agreements with two Chinese firms, Dacheng and Zhejiang T&C law firm.
Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer has advised HSBC on the $9.4bn (£5.8bn) sale of its entire shareholding in China’s Ping An Insurance Group to Thai conglomerate Charoen Pokphand Group, which was represented by Linklaters.
Akshay Jaitly, Trilegal, India subscription
The biggest challenge for our firm is to keep the engine of growth running well while making progress inclusive for a larger number of people.
Clyde & Co has submitted an application to form a joint law venture (JLV) with its Singaporean association firm Clasis and intends to use its Singapore base as a regional headquarters for Asia Pacific.
Linklaters’ Australian ally Allens has elected Ian Wallace as the firm’s new chairman of partners, succeeding incumbent Ewen Crouch who is stepping down when his current term expires at the end of 2012.
US firm King & Spalding has added four lawyers, including partner Kelly Malone, to its energy practice in Singapore.
Watson Farley & Williams has hired a team of four lawyers from Holman Fenwick Willan (HFW) in Hong Kong to strengthen its dispute resolution and projects practice.
Orrick’s senior partner for China Christopher Stephens will leave the firm for the general counsel role at the Asian Development Bank (ADB).
IPO blimey subscription
Many firms are having their worst time for a decade in Hong Kong, due to a precipitous fall in IPO work
Outside interest subscription
Beyond Beijing and Shanghai, other Chinese cities are powerful too - and growing faster than the international star venues
Herbert Smith Freehills (HSF) and Morrison & Foerster (MoFo) have advised on the IPO of Shanghai-based Fosun Pharmaceutical Group on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange, a deal that raised HK$3.97bn (£318m).
Herbert Smith Freehills has moved a step closer to opening its long-planned Seoul office, with London-based partner Tony Dymond receiving Foreign Legal Consultant (FLC) approval from the country’s Ministry of Justice.
Chinese premier Wen Jiabao’s family has instructed two veteran Chinese lawyers for advice following a New York Times report into its alleged wealth.
China light subscription
Mention of Chinese outbound investment always gets lawyers excited, so here is The Lawyer’s reality check on dealflow, highlighting Linklaters’ fantastic 2012.
The Centre for Effective Dispute Resolution (CEDR) has launched its first local mediator panel in Hong Kong, driven by growing demand in Hong Kong for commercial mediation services.
Atlanta-based intellectual property law firm Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton has opened an office in Shanghai, its third in Asia.
A group of 12 partners from eight Chinese firms have come together to establish a new firm in Beijing under the banner of Anjie.
Jones Day has bolstered its Hong Kong office with the addition of M&A lawyer Chris Swift, one of three Allen & Overy (A&O) partners in Hong Kong to join new firms in recent weeks.
MoFo to reopen in Singapore after three-year break subscription
Morrison & Foerster (MoFo) has obtained a foreign law practice license for its relaunch in Singapore, with the firm set to return to the city state after a three-year hiatus.
In BP’s proposed $27bn (£16.8bn) sale of its stake in TNK-BP to Russian state oil company Rosneft both sides have turned to their regular advisers for advice.
Reed Smith’s Hong Kong office has appointed Stephenson Harwood partner Jason Toms and associate Joyce Cheung to its global shipping group.
Clifford Chance doubles size of low-cost India base subscription
Clifford Chance has doubled the size of its India Knowledge Centre over the past two years, with the base now home to 60 consultants.
Squire Sanders opens in Sydney with Allens partner subscription
Squire Sanders has extended its Australian footprint to Sydney with the hire of a five-member team including Allens M&A partner Campbell Davidson.
Baker & McKenzie’s global private equity head Mark McNamara is set to leave the firm to join King & Wood Mallesons in Sydney as private equity head.
Baker & McKenzie has elected Hong Kong-based Paul Tan as managing partner for its China, Hong Kong and Vietnam offices.
IBA Conference: Bar talk subscription
Thousands of lawyers descended on Dublin last week for the annual International Bar Association conference. Of course, The Lawyer was there too, to bring you the inside knowledge
Jones Day has added two partners to its Singapore office after taking part in the application process for the country’s second round of Qualifying Foreign Law Practice (QFLP) licences.
Allen & Overy (A&O) and Debevoise & Plimpton are among the firms to have advised on pan-Asian life insurer AIA’s $1.7bn (£1bn) acquisition of the Malaysian insurance business of Dutch financial services group ING.
MoFo hires real estate trio from Skadden in Tokyo subscription
Morrison & Foerster (MoFo) has taken a trio of real estate lawyers in Tokyo from Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom, including the latter’s former Japan real estate head Masahiro Shiga.
Loeb & Loeb enters Hong Kong with former Salans ally subscription
Loeb & Loeb has gained a presence in the Hong Kong market after sealing a deal with Salans’ former local association firm Pang & Co.
Kirkland & Ellis has promoted five new partners each in Hong Kong and London as part of a global round that has seen 84 make the grade.
Allen & Overy partner joins MoFo in Hong Kong subscription
Morrison & Foerster (MoFo) has hired a second corporate partner in Greater China within a month with the addition of a lawyer from Allen & Overy (A&O).
A power of good subscription
Malaysian investment in Battersea power station is indicative of the country’s growing influence both internationally and as a regional force
DeHeng Law Offices, one of China’s largest law firms, has appointed Brussels-based competition lawyer Frank Fine as a senior counsel in anticipation of increasing European Commission investigations on Chinese companies.
Allen & Overy (A&O) and Clifford Chance have been called in to advise on Malaysian telecom group Axiata’s issuance of a 2-year RMB1bn sukuk, one of the largest of its type in the South East Asian country.
Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton, McDermott Will & Emery, and Paul Hastings have gained approval from South Korea’s Ministry of Justice to open offices in Seoul, while Linklaters has become the latest UK firm to file an application.
SJ Berwin has relocated the founder and former managing partner of its Paris office to Hong Kong to head its office there.
Slaughter and May is considering whether to add US law capability to its Hong Kong base by hiring US-qualified lawyers as part of its regular strategy review.
Silicon Valley-based Gunderson Dettmer has poached two partners from DLA Piper’s Beijing office to launch its first overseas presence in China’s capital city.
Vinson & Elkins names new Beijing managing partner subscription
Vinson & Elkins has elected Robert Patterson as Beijing managing partner, two years after his relocation from Moscow.
Akin Gump names new Beijing chief subscription
Akin Gump has named corporate partner William Rosoff as head of its Beijing office, replacing international trade partner Spencer Griffith who will relocated back to the firm’s Washington DC office.
Wilson Sonsini launches Hong Kong law practice subscription
Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati has become the latest US firm to add Hong Kong law capability to its offerings.
The Shanghai Lawyers Association has admitted the first foreign lawyers to its membership in a new initiative.
Edward Lehman, managing director and founder of Chinese law firm Lehman Lee & Xu, has been found guilty of a second contempt of court by the Hong Kong High Court and has received a six-month prison sentence, suspended for two years.
Malaysia tightens grip on foreign law firms subscription
Malaysia has amended its Legal Professional Act in a move that some believe will become a double-edged sword on foreign legal practices operating in the country.
Dechert is set for growth in China after the firm secured a licence to launch a Shanghai base, which will be the firm’s third location in Asia.
Climate change subscription
Australia’s mid-tier is going through a period of evolution as the country’s larger outfits merge with international players
Freshfields has broken its traditional lockstep in Asia in a bid to remain competitive in the region’s tightening legal talent market, with two top performing partners in Hong Kong awarded considerable bonus equity points last year.
Cosmetics giant Avon appoints new GC subscription
International cosmetics company Avon has appointed Jeff Benjamin as its new general counsel and senior vice president following the July departure of former general counsel Kim Rucker to Kraft Foods.
Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer has reopened in Singapore five years after its 2006 withdrawal from the city state.
Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, the only magic circle firm currently without a Singapore base, has signed a lease with Ocean Financial Centre, a newly-completed office building in the heart of Singapore’s CBD Raffles Place.
Berwin Leighton Paisner launches Dubai office subscription
Berwin Leighton Paisner has opened an office in Dubai, its second office in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) following Abu Dhabi.
In a bid to meet the challenges in a more competitive market, King & Wood Mallesons’s Australian partnership has replaced its transitional lockstep remuneration system with a modified one.
Allens’ Beijing and Shanghai offices are in the process of winding down, with staff from both offices set to move into Linklaters’ Beijing premises.
Seoul searching subscription
Three international law firms are making a big splash in Seoul as South Korea opens up its legal service sector, but what’s in it for the local law firm elite?
Take-home advantage subscription
Chinese firms wanting to poach international talent can use tax as a lure
Ashurst has hired senior litigation partner Angus Ross from Allen & Overy’s Hong Kong office in a bid to build its Asia dispute resolution practice.
Singapore attracts 23 licence applications subscription
Singapore’s Ministry of Law has confirmed that 23 foreign law firms have applied for the Qualifying Foreign Law Practice (QFLP) licence following the two-month window for applications, which closed on 31 August.
Linklaters partners Christopher Kelly and Christopher Bradley and Allens partner Nic Tole´ will lead the aligned firms’ alliance joint ventures in Asia.
Two more Chinese firms open in Hong Kong subscription
Two Beijing-based firms Fangda & Partners and Jia Yuan Law Offices have launched bases in Hong Kong.
Covington hires 2Birds partner for Shanghai launch subscription
Washington DC headquartered Covington & Burling has recruited a partner from Bird & Bird’s Shanghai office as the firm prepares to open its second office in China.
Holman Fenwick Willan’s Sydney head David Coogans is moving to Hong Kong to join Howse Williams Bowers, a firm established earlier this year by three of Reed Smith Richards Butler’s founding partners in Hong Kong.
King & Wood Mallesons, German firm Hengeler Mueller and Paul Hastings advised Chinese automotive and equipment manufacturing company Weichai Power on its €738m (£584m) investment in German forklift truck maker Kion Group, which was represented by Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer and Gleiss Lutz.
We've got Asia covered subscription
Linking up with an Australian firm is very much à la mode in the international legal community but, as this week’s cover story explores, it is a challenging task to achieve full financial integration with local firms – and all to secure a launchpad for the Asia Pacific region.
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Better billing is key to winning work from Aussie in-housers
The great Aussie merger mystery subscription
In the past three years eight UK firms have launched Down Under, but only a couple have done it through full equity mergers. Read on to find out why
Latham & Watkins has relocated corporate partners Rod Brown and Luke Grubb from London to Singapore in a bid to increase its English law capability in South East Asia.
Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer and Sullivan & Cromwell have joined Chinese firm Jingtian & Gongcheng advising Hong Kong-listed China Telecom Corporation on its $13.4bn (£8.5bn) acquisition of 3G network infrastructure from its parent company.
K&L Gates eyes tie-up with Australia's Middletons subscription
US firm K&L Gates is the latest firm to set its sights on the Australian market with a proposed combination with Australian firm Middletons on the cards.
Baker & McKenzie has appointed its first Myanmar-qualified lawyer to its Bangkok-based Myanmar centre.
McDermott lures Jones Day's former Shanghai chief subscription
Long-serving Jones Day Shanghai partner Winston Zhao has left the firm for McDermott Will & Emery, citing the latter’s local ally MWE China as a major draw.
Vale of mid-tiers subscription
City mid-tier firms face battle for business with regional players
Simpson Thacher & Bartlett and Sullivan & Cromwell have advised alongside a duo of Japanese firms on the $8.5bn (£5.5bn) IPO of Japan Airlines (JAL), one of the largest listings globally so far this year.
AMP GC: On the money subscription
Brian Salter, general counsel at Australian financial services outfit AMP, took on the role just as the financial crisis hit and the company embarked on a huge, complex takeover
Roads-tinted view subscription
As Indonesia develops its creaking infrastructure to spur even faster economic growth it will attract increasing interest from businesses, banks and law firms
Heineken has instructed Duane Morris’ Singapore joint venture to advise on its ongoing attempt to acquire all the remaining shares in Asia Pacific Breweries (APB), in a deal that could potentially turn into a bidding war.
South African law firm ENS has embarked on a pan-Africa expansion plan with the opening of an office each in Rwanda and Burundi.
Sturdy Wellington subscription
Domestic post-earthquake reconstruction work and strong trade ties in Asia are putting New Zealand’s lawyers on a good footing to ride out the economic malaise
Freehills, which will merge with Herbert Smith on 1 October, has emerged as the largest Australian firm by revenue, as revealed by the latest survey from Australian magazine BRW.
Clayton Utz and Minter Ellison, the two so-called big six Australian firms that remain independent, are keeping their options open, with neither firm’s management ruling out a merger.
Singaporean firm Stamford Law has hired an arbitration partner apiece from international rivals DLA Piper and Clyde & Co, bucking the trend of international firms poaching lawyers from local firms.
A Chinese law firm based in Guangdong province’s manufacturing hub Dongguan has filed a lawsuit against Jones Day alleging that the US firm has damaged its reputation in an ongoing tussle over their Chinese brands.
Analysis of Singapore market data: Sing it loud subscription
The Singapore government is opening the door to international firms and developing the lion city as a centre of arbitration
Hill Dickinson looks to Hong Kong for further growth subscription
Hill Dickinson is aiming to open a Hong Kong base by the end of the financial year.
Ince & Co has expanded its Greater China footprint with the launch of a third office in Beijing.
Offshore firm Bedell Cristin opens in Singapore subscription
Offshore firm Bedell Cristin is to launch in Singapore to underpin its operations in the British Virgin Islands (BVI).
Qantas appoints new general counsel from Allens subscription
Global airline Qantas has appointed Allens corporate partner Andrew Finch as general counsel succeeding the long-standing incumbent Brett Johnson who will retire in October.
Herbert Smith, Norton Rose join North American firms on Chinese oil group's $15bn mega-deal subscription
Herbert Smith and Norton Rose joined a raft of Canadian and US firms advising on the $15.1bn (£9.7bn) acquisition of Canadian oil and gas producer Nexen by China National Offshore Oil Company (CNOOC).
Clifford Chance elects new Tokyo head subscription
Clifford Chance has named Eiichi Kanda as the new managing partner of its Tokyo office as incumbent Peter Kilner relocates to Hong Kong.
Freshfields snaps up last ex-Dewey Beijing partner subscription
Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer has appointed former Dewey & LeBoeuf Beijing partner Yuan Gang as China head of energy and natural resources.
Herbert Smith and Freehills, which will merge on 1 October, have confirmed the full membership of the enlarged firm’s global executive team, which is made up of 13 members with six from Freehills and seven from Herbert Smith.
Freehills has named its Perth head Jason Ricketts as its new Australia managing partner, with incumbent Gavin Bell preparing to take on global responsibilities at the merged firm Herbert Smith Freehills as joint CEO.
Paul Hastings, Slaughter and May and Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati have secured roles for longstanding clients on Samsung Electronics’ $310m (£198m) acquisition of UK chipmaker CSR’s mobile technology development business.
Clifford Chance, Sheppard Mullin Richter & Hampton and Ropes & Gray have become the first three firms to receive permission from South Korea’s Ministry of Justice to open a foreign legal consultant office in the country.
Exeter-based Ashfords and South East firm Thomas Eggar have both had a relatively flat year, in terms of revenues with 2011-12 turnover remaining largely unchanged while average profit per equity partner (PEP) increased by a double-digit figure.
The former head of Herbert Smith’s China M&A practice Simon Meng will join King & Wood Mallesons in Shanghai as a partner in the coming months.
Allen & Gledhill has appointed Lee Kim Shin as its new managing partner, with current managing partner Lucien Wong set to take on the newly created role of chairman and senior partner from 1 August.
Trowers & Hamlins has confirmed the launch of a representative office in Kuala Lumpur at the same time as unveiling a 13 per cent rise in net profit for the 2011-12 financial year.
General Electric’s (GE) former Asia Pacific general counsel Steve Maloy has taken a senior advisory role at Beijing-headquartered Chinese law firm JT&N with the aim of helping the firm grow its international practice.
Reynolds Porter Chamberlain (RPC) is set to launch in Hong Kong in August with a 40-member team led by five partners.
Simpson Thacher & Bartlett Hong Kong partner Chen Leiming was arrested last Thursday following a road accident in Hong Kong, according to a local newspaper in Hong Kong.
Herbert Smith’s former Tokyo managing partner Steve Lewis, who until recently was leading the firm’s Brazil initiative, has left the firm to join Bingham.
White & Case has appointed Freehills partner John Tivey to lead its global mining and metals industry group from Asia.
Herbert Smith Shanghai partner Simon Meng has resigned, leaving the firm’s Shanghai office with only two partners.
Details have emerged that King & Wood Mallesons is looking beyond the UK and US to broaden its global footprint, with Singapore and Canada being two key locations it is considering opening in.
International construction and contract mining giant Leighton Holdings, which is headquartered in Sydney, has appointed Richard Willcock as its new group company secretary and general counsel.
Singapore fling subscription
Will King & Wood Mallesons next move be a Singapore link-up?
Bird & Bird has appointed Al Jazeera Network’s chief legal officer Osama Abu-Dehays as a partner to strengthen its media and sports practice in the Middle East.
Allen & Overy (A&O) has reduced its Hong Kong partnership by four, letting the long-serving partners go after seeing a drop in demand in the market.
Number crunching: Slaughter and May subscription
Despite the global economy’s woes, Slaughter and May’s corporate practice has experienced its traditionally strong deal flow over the past three years.
Insurance group RSA has appointed Fortis Bank’s former Asia and Middle East general counsel to a similar role.
Orrick Herrington & Sutcliffe has tapped Morgan Stanley and Proskauer Rose for partner hires for its corporate practice in Hong Kong and Beijing.
King & Wood Mallesons signs up Dewey Beijing partner subscription
King & Wood Mallesons has hired a three-lawyer energy and resources team in Beijing led by former Dewey & LeBoeuf partner Dirk Walker.
Australian financial services group AMP’s general counsel Brian Salter has formed a plan to set up an international panel, which will consist of mainly global law firms with a strong Asia presence.
Asia major subscription
AMP solicits international panel contenders to augment Asian offensive
As UBS’s first Asia-Pacific general counsel, Kevin Wilkey is rekindling his love affair with Hong Kong, a land of opportunity and increasing competition
Herbert Smith has named its former global corporate head Michael Walter as its South East Asia managing partner.
The Australian government has established a whole-of-government legal roster that features the Australian arm or alliance firm of all the UK firms present in the country except Clifford Chance.
Morgan Lewis & Bockius has appointed the Beijing managing partner of collapsed firm Dewey & LeBoeuf to ramp up its two-partner Beijing office.
The government of Singapore is inviting more foreign law firms to apply for Qualifying Foreign Law Practice (QFLP) licences and will start accepting applications from 1 July.
Korean paean: are UK firms missing the boat? subscription
Statistics show Korean legal spend is booming. So why are UK firms missing out?
Six law firms have won roles as China’s largest e-commerce company Alibaba Group has reached agreement with Yahoo! on a $7.1bn (£4.5bn) deal that will see Alibaba buy back half of Yahoo!’s 40 per cent stake in the group.
Number crunching: Hong Kong IPOs subscription
The Hong Kong Stock Exchange (HKEX) has been the world’s largest bourse by deal volume for the past three years.
Berwin Leighton Paisner (BLP), which has applied for a licence to open in Beijing later this year, will see its former chair Peter Robinson first take up a temporary secondment posting with Tesco in Shanghai.
Dechert is ramping up its China presence with the hire of a private equity partner in Beijing office and plans to open in Shanghai in the near future.
Clifford Chance’s Asia managing partner Peter Charlton has been charged with drink driving offences and will appear in court in June.
Ropes & Gray has hired two Hong Kong partners in preparation for the launch of its Hong Kong law practice on 28 May.
King & Wood Mallesons Shanghai capital markets partner Stanley Cha has left the firm amid accusations that he was illegally practising PRC law.
Friendly fire subscription
Translating Slaughter and May’s European best friends approach to Asia-Pacific faces major challenges
Hong Kong phooey subscription
Salans says it never really was in HK, but it’s still there anyway. Are you following this?
Herbert Smith prepares to vote on Freehills tie-up subscription
Herbert Smith is gearing up to vote on its proposed tie-up deal with Australian firm Freehills, with the firm scheduling mid-June for a partner ballot.
Salans has closed its Hong Kong office weeks after pulling out of Beijing as it shifts the focus of its China practice onto Shanghai.
Local heroes subscription
In the increasingly international and competitive Hong Kong legal market, independent firms continue to enjoy success
The dragon’s teeth subscription
King & Wood Mallesons has poached Australian competition partner Stephen Ridgeway from Ashurst’s Melbourne office.
Minter Ellison has added Mayer Brown finance partner Nicola Marley to its London team.
Dutch firm De Brauw Blackstone Westbroek has unveiled plans to launch an office in Singapore this September, its fifth foreign office.
Leading Chinese law firm Fangda Partners has appointed Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer litigation partner Peter Yuen to launch its planned Hong Kong office.
Red all over subscription
Chinese lawyers relieved as Communist Party boss is arrested
China's Zhong Lun picks up ex-Freshfields partner subscription
Beijing-headquartered Zhong Lun has secured the services of former Freshfields partner Carl Cheng as a partner in Shanghai.
Hogan Lovells signs association with Indonesian firm subscription
Hogan Lovells has entered into an association with Indonesian law firm Hermawan Juniarto, in a bid to strengthen its presence in the emerging South-East Asian market.
Minter Ellison adds Nabarro partner to Perth base subscription
Minter Ellison has appointed Nabarro’s international committee chair Michael Hales as a partner in its Perth office.
Despite A&O’s failed gambit with Allen & Gledhill, foreign firms can now take shares in Singapore outfits and the polite clamour of tie-up talks can be heard, says Yun Kriegler
US aluminium group Alcoa has appointed Audrey Strauss as its new chief legal officer, succeeding retiring incumbent Kurt Waldo.
Squire Sanders has secured a licence from Singapore’s Attorney-General’s Chambers for its launch in the Lion City.
AXA Asia GC: The end game subscription
Asia regional general counsel Johnny Cheung hopes his ambition to see a deal through to conclusion will stand him in good stead for AXA’s life insurance JV with ICBC
Temasek Holdings, an investment company owned by the government of Singapore, has appointed Lee Theng Kiat as president and general counsel, the first holder of the legal head role.
DLA Piper names new Asia-Pacific managing director subscription
DLA Piper’s incumbent Asia-Pacific managing director Alastair da Costa will relocate back to the UK after more than four years at the helm in Hong Kong.
Asia deals roundup: China bank deals and airline JV subscription
UK firms Clifford Chance, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer and Ashurst, along with leading Chinese firms King & Wood Mallesons, Jun He, Commerce & Finance and Grandall were among the advisers on a raft of Chinese corporate deals in the past week.
Irish firm A&L Goodbody is seeking to gain a foothold in the Chinese legal market by inking agreements with 12 Chinese law firms to facilitate Sino-Ireland cross-border transactions.
China's Broad & Bright joins MSI Global Alliance subscription
Chinese firm Broad & Bright has signed up to MSI Global Alliance, an international association of 250 independent accounting and law firms.
Band of gold subscription
International firms are fighting to make friends with China’s red circle elite in the hope of cracking Hong Kong’s lucrative IPO market
Sullivan & Cromwell has taken the lead counsel role in Chinese asset manager Cinda’s $1.6bn equity sale to four foreign investors, while Paul Weiss and Clifford Chance have assisted in Morgan Stanley Private Equity Asia’s $300m investment in Tianhe Chemicals Group.
Bird & Bird adds five partners across Asian offices subscription
Bird & Bird has added five partners to its Asian practice with four external appointments and one internal promotion.
Chinese lawyers have to take an oath of allegiance to the Communist Party under a new measure introduced by the country’s Ministry of Justice (MoJ).
Minter Ellison’s former South Australian and Northern Territory chief financial officer Craig Raneberg has admitted stealing A$2.7m (£1.8m) from the firm at a hearing in an Australian court.
Chinese firm Yingke has continued its global expansion with the addition of offices in New York, Hong Kong and São Paulo.
Clifford Chance Asia managing partner Peter Charlton was arrested last Thursday following a road accident in Hong Kong.
Kirkland & Ellis and Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom have bagged the lead counsel roles in the merger of US-listed Chinese online video companies Youku and Tudou, while a number of other firms have reaped the benefit of a high level of financing deals in South East Asia.
US firm Nixon Peabody has increased its offering in the greater China region by forming a strategic alliance with Beijing-headquartered Hylands Law Firm.
Covington hires Korean partner for Seoul launch subscription
Covington & Burling has become the latest US firm to file a preliminary application for a Seoul office, and has hired corporate lawyer William Park from local Korean firm Apex to oversee the expansion.
Move On Up: Thrings subscription
The downturn put lateral hires on hold and prompted office closures, but internal promotions remained steady as women took the lead
Taylor Wessing’s Singaporean strategic alliance firm RHT will join the UK firm’s international network and change its name to RHTLaw Taylor Wessing, effective from 16 March.
The past week has seen a flurry of firms working on large M&A transactions across Asia Pacific, including HSBC’s sale of its general insurance business to Axa and QBE, and China Guangdong Nuclear Power Group’s $2.4bn bid for Australian mining company Extract Resources.
Squire Sanders joins US firms’ Korea race subscription
Squire Sanders has applied to open an office in Seoul after the Korean Ministry of Justice officially started accepting US firms’ applications yesterday.
Ropes & Gray has become the latest US firm to draw up plans to enter Korea, while Paul Hastings has claimed to be the first US firm to submit a preliminary application for a Seoul office to the Ministry of Justice of Korea.
Simmons & Simmons has secured the services of partner Lesli Ligorner, formerly the co-chair of Paul Hastings’ international employment law practice, for its Shanghai base.
The combination between Allen & Overy (A&O) and Singaporean firm Allen & Gledhill is likely to take the form of a Formal Law Alliance (FLA) - the loosest kind of association possible - rather than a full merger.
Ashurst to launch in Beijing with Mallesons hire subscription
Ashurst is one step closer to a Beijing launch after recruiting a Beijing partner from Mallesons Stephen Jaques.
IPOs, delistings and dim sum bonds in Hong Kong are keeping several firms busy, including Allen & Overy (A&O), Clifford Chance, Eversheds, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer and Slaughter and May.
Simmons and Clydes hire from King & Wood Mallesons subscription
Simmons & Simmons and Clyde & Co have hired a partner each from King & Wood and Mallesons Stephen Jaques respectively, as King & Wood Mallesons goes live today.
King & Wood and Mallesons have addressed perceived client confidentiality issues ahead of their 1 March merger by pledging to keep the Chinese partnership out of the firm’s network system.
Pacific Rim mergers: oceans apart? subscription
Will cultural differences introduce a spanner to the King & Wood-Mallesons deal?
Holman Fenwick Willan has boosted its Perth office with the appointment of Western Australia’s former Attorney General and environment minister Cheryl Edwardes as a partner.
US firm Katten Muchin opens in Shanghai subscription
Chicago-based law firm Katten Muchin Rosenman has opened an office in Shanghai. It is the firm’s first Asia office and second international base following London.
Retired NBA superstar Michael Jordan has instructed Chinese law firms Fangda and Jun He to advise on and act in a lawsuit in China against Qiaodan Sports Company for the unauthorised use of his name.
Zhong Lun W&D has inked a strategic alliance with 30-lawyer City firm DKLM as it endeavours to maintain its London presence following the recent departure of its nine-member City team.
International cigarette and tobacco company Philip Morris International has appointed Kraft Foods general counsel Marc Firestone to head its legal department as current general counsel David Bernick resigns.
Akin Gump has opened an office in Hong Kong with newly recruited partners Gregory Puff and Andrew Abernethy, joining from Shearman & Sterling and Norton Rose respectively.
Lion City set for roaring trade subscription
Singapore is an increasingly attractive proposition for international firms
Withers has confirmed that it will launch an office in Singapore, its second in Asia, to meet the growing demand from high-net-worth individuals for tax and trust advice in South East Asia.
Watson Farley finalises Hong Kong launch plan subscription
Watson Farley & Williams has recruited a partner from Goodwin Procter in Hong Kong as it finalises its plan to open an office in the city.
Squire Sanders is to launch an office in Singapore after hiring three partners from US rival Bryan Cave in Hong Kong and Singapore.
Clyde & Co has named senior shipping and dispute resolution partner Brian Nash as its new managing partner for Singapore, with Nash relocating from London to the city state for the new post.
Singapore’s parliament has passed amendments to its Legal Profession Act that will pave the way for foreign firms to merge with local firms and make it easier for foreign QCs to appear in Singapore courts.
McDermott prepares for South Korea launch subscription
McDermott Will & Emery is laying the ground for a Seoul launch and has deployed Korea head In-Young Lee to the city to lead the preparation.
Clifford Chance and Slaughter and May have been called in to assist in US private equity group Carlyle’s £650m sale of UK cash management business Talaris to Tokyo-listed Glory.
China's Zhong Lun swoops on rival for City launch subscription
The first Chinese law firm to open in London, Zhonglun W&D, will go through a major restructuring after the departure of its entire London team to help a rival Chinese firm - Zhong Lun - launch an office in the City.
Herbert Smith has named Salans consultant Brenda Horrigan as a partner in Shanghai as the UK firm continues to build up its mainland China arbitration practice.
A new study rating 197 countries on their respect for the rule of law highlights oil and gas rich Burma, South Sudan, Turkmenistan, Libya, Angola and Iraq as ‘extreme risk’ countries, offering the least legal protection to foreign companies and investors.
One of China’s largest law firms, Grandall, has planted its first flag in Europe by opening an office in Paris.
Number crunching: King & Wood Mallesons subscription
Many unions are a result of the long-term relationship between couples, but the link between China’s King & Wood and Australia’s Mallesons Stephen Jaques seems like love at first sight.
China’s CleanTech sues Nasdaq for alleged racism subscription
CleanTech Innovations has filed a New York law suit against Nasdaq for alleged discriminatory acts against Chinese companies after it was forced to delist last year.
Herbert Smith and Australia’s Freehills are pushing ahead with merger talks after The Lawyer first reported the pair were mulling discussions in December.
Lawyers give Osborne RMB plan stamp of approval subscription
The UK Treasury’s plans to make London the leading international centre for trading China’s currency, the renminbi (RMB), have been welcomed by finance lawyers.
Linklaters, Clifford Chance win dim sum bond roles subscription
Linklaters and Clifford Chance have completed the RMB3bn (£300m) offshore bonds issuance of Agricultural Development Bank of China (ADBC) in Hong Kong.
Great haul of China subscription
A massive domestic push and some international toe-dipping has seen China’s Dacheng grow into a firm of 2,600 lawyers. Now it has global ambitions
The Bar Council has launched a new China training scheme that will see 10 Chinese lawyers taking on a practical placement in barristers’ chambers in London.
Reed Smith suffers exodus of 50 staff in Hong Kong subscription
A total of 50 staff including 15 lawyers have left Reed Smith’s Hong Kong arm to join newly established Hong Kong firm Howse Williams Bowars (HWB).
Baker & McKenzie has hired a team of five lawyers, including two partners, from Linklaters’ Tokyo office in a bid to expand its Japan corporate and M&A practice.
King & Wood’s principal founder and chairman Wang Junfeng has been elected to the role of president of All China Lawyers Association (ACLA), the nation’s bar association in charge of the professional administration of lawyers.
The managing partner of a China-based boutique legal consultancy has been made an OBE in the Queen’s 2012 New Year’s Honours list, in recognition of his services to UK business and legal services in China.
US firms lead march on South Korea subscription
Trade agreements with the EU and US prompt Western firms to look at Seoul
A lawyer in Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman’s Washington DC office has taken up the general counsel role at firm client China Security & Surveillance Technology (CSST).
Three partners have quit Reed Smith Richards Butler’s Hong Kong office to set up a new firm led by litigation veteran Chris Howse.
Silicon Valley-based Cooley has opened an office in Shanghai, marking the firm’s first move into an international jurisdiction.
After a year of negotiations King & Wood and Mallesons Stephen Jaques will today seal their tie-up deal, which will create a three-partnership Asia-centric international firm.
Allen & Overy (A&O), Linklaters, Jingtian & Gongcheng and Fangda Partners have acted in Shanghai-based state-owned steel manufacturer Baosteel Group’s recent issuance of RMB3.6bn (£363m) offshore renminbi bonds in Hong Kong.
King & Wood, Mallesons ready to run the gauntlet subscription
The proposed tie-up between Chinese top-tier firm King & Wood and Australia’s Mallesons Stephens Jacques has sparked lively discussion in the global legal market since the plan was announced in July.
Apple loses Chinese iPad trademark challenge subscription
Technology giant Apple is considering its next step after losing a court case in Shenzhen over the ownership of its iconic iPad trademark.
Beijing-based Jun He has hired yet another lawyer from an international firm with the arrival of Jones Day lawyer Christine Kang to become a litigation partner at the Chinese firm.
Stephenson Harwood has strengthened its China corporate practice by hiring a new partner each for its Hong Kong and Shanghai offices from Bird & Bird and Baker & McKenzie respectively.
Sheppard Mullin makes it three US firms into Seoul subscription
Sheppard Mullin has become the third US firm that has publicly announced its plan to open a Seoul office in the first quarter of 2012 following the recent ratification of the Korea-US Free Trade Agreement by both countries.
SJ Berwin's Asia head defects to SNR Denton subscription
SNR Denton has strengthened its Hong Kong office with the addition of SJ Berwin’s Asia managing partner and the creation of a new Asia Pacific director of operations role.
A China-based Kirkland & Ellis corporate partner has left the firm at the end of his three-year contract to return to his former firm Jun He.
US firms Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton and Paul Hastings have both confirmed plans to open a Seoul office following the recent ratification of the Korea-US Free Trade agreement by both countries.
Global deeds subscription
In an astonishing growth spurt, Chinese law firms are following their clients by going global with a vengeance. Yun Kriegler reports
Hire power subscription
Lateral hires in Hong Kong highlight market optimism as the jurisdiction repositions itself as an offshore Rmb centre. Yun Kriegler reports
Riding with the dragon subscription
Chinese outbound investment is rising exponentially, providing international law firms with a new and increasingly important client base. Yun Kriegler reports
International firms set sights on Beijing subscription
In recent months a number of international firms have set up shop in Beijing, mainland China’s largest legal market in terms of lawyer numbers and revenue. Several other firms are understood to be applying for Beijing licences.
Hogan Lovells has hired a Squire Sanders & Dempsey partner in San Francisco to strengthen its IP and IP litigation capabilities, particularly in the Chinese context.
Chinese law association first to admit foreigners subscription
Foreign lawyers based in Shanghai are to be offered membership of a local association for the first time, as the Shanghai Lawyers Association extends a welcome to ’specially invited members’.
Ex-2Birds partner targets Asian ally for ABS in City subscription
With ABSs the talk of the town, a new frontier has opened up: Asian-owned ABSs.
King & Wood leads for Wolong on Austrian deal subscription
Beijing-headquartered King & Wood has played the lead counsel role in China Wolong Group’s acquisition of Austria’s largest motor manufacturer ATB Group in an investment exceeding €100m (£85.73m).
Temple Court targets China with HK outpost subscription
Temple Court Chambers is establishing a Hong Kong annexe in a bid to attract more work to London from Greater China.
US firm Proskauer Rose has launched a representative office in Beijing, three years after announcing its intention to open in the Chinese capital.
Australia's AAR follows Rio Tinto into Mongolia subscription
Australian firm Allens Arthur Robinson (AAR) has opened a representative office in the Mongolian capital Ulaanbaatar.
MSI Global Alliance, an international association of 250 independent accounting and law firms, has added South Korean law firm Lee International to its membership.
US firm Bingham McCutchen will soon add Beijing to its roster of global offices after securing a licence from China’s Ministry of Justice to open a representative office in the city.
O’Melveny & Myers has entered into a formal association with Indonesian law firm Tumbuan & Partners and will relocate Singapore-based partner Joel Hogarth to Jakarta to coordinate the association.
Ashurst’s Australian merger partner Blake Dawson has lost two partners, with DLA Piper and Mallesons Stephen Jaques benefiting from the departures.
China giant targets City outpost subscription
China’s largest firm by lawyer headcount is drawing up plans for a London launch after expanding its reach with a base in Chicago.
Singapore firm Allen & Gledhill (A&G) is considering dumping joint venture partner Linklaters for Allen & Overy (A&O) as local firms look to gain access to the wider Australasian market.
Gibson Dunn & Crutcher has poached two high-profile Hong Kong partners as part of a plan to localise in Hong Kong.
Stephenson Harwood has turned to US firm Blank Rome for the hire of a Hong Kong construction and dispute resolution partner.
US firms Morrison & Foerster (MoFo) and Sidley Austin have bulked up their Chinese capital markets teams with the addition of a partner apiece.
Edwards Wildman, Hogan Lovells and SNR Denton have all hired partners from Barlow Lyde & Gilbert (BLG) as the firm today merges with Clyde & Co.
Former UK Attorney General Peter Goldsmith has been appointed to the Hong Kong International Arbitration Centre (HKIAC) along with a partner each from Fasken Martineau, Herbert Smith and Hogan Lovells.
Linklaters has worked alongside Malaysian firm Rahmat Lim & Partners to provide advice on Abu Dhabi-based Aabar Investments PJS’s $1.9bn (£1.19bn) acquisition of a 24.9 per cent stake in Malaysia’s RHB Capital.
Hong Kong law firms will soon be able to convert to limited-liability partnerships (LLP) following a seven-year campaign by the legal profession.
Mallesons signs up with Integreon in Aussie LPO deal subscription
Mallesons Stephen Jaques has signed a formal supplier agreement with legal process outsourcer (LPO) Integreon in a bid to increase efficiency and reduce cost for clients.
Baker & Mckenzie has become the latest international firm to expand into Turkey, following partnership approval for an exclusive relationship with Istanbul-based firm Esin Attorney Partnership.
Australian firm Minter Ellison has bulked up its London corporate team with the addition of a partner from Mayer Brown.
International employment law alliance L&E Global has admitted Australia’s Harmers Workplace Lawyers to its membership, as the organisation expands into Asia Pacific.
Taylor Wessing’s Singapore alliance firm RHT has hired two partners from rival Singaporean firms to bolster its litigation and dispute resolution practice.
Bennett Jones, Blake Cassels & Graydon and Vinson & Elkins took leading roles on Sinopec’s £1.88bn takeover of Canada’s Daylight Energy.
DLA Piper and Hogan Lovells have taken lead roles in a $1.9bn asset swap deal between SABMiller and Turkey’s Anadolu Efes that will create an Eastern European business with combined sales o $3.bn.
Clifford Chance has bolstered its Hong Kong office with the hire of a partner from Sydney firm Henry Davis York.
Mayer Brown JSM has added two lawyers to its Beijing office on the same day its new Singapore base officially opens.
Norton Rose relocates Montreal partner to Hong Kong subscription
Norton Rose has relocated Montreal-based partner Andrew Bleau to fortify its Hong Kong capital markets and M&A practice four months after its merger with Canadian firm Ogilvy Renault.
With UK and US firms vying for dominance in the Hong Kong legal market, a number of Chinese firms are also emerging as serious contenders in the Asian financial hub.
Eversheds’ Hong Kong office has hired veteran China employment lawyer Winnie Ng from Minter Ellison.
Allens' Thai affiliate opens base in Laos subscription
Allen Arthur Robinson’s Bangkok alliance firm Siam Premier has opened a branch in Laos with the aim of capitalising on growing levels of foreign investment in the country.
Beijing-headquartered Jun He has hired its fourth new partner from international firms since August this year with the addition of Weil Gotshal & Manges partner Jasson Han.
Watson Farley & Williams (WFW) has established a joint venture in Singapore that will see 15 partners and more than 30 legal staff working under the banner of Watson Farley & Williams Asia Practice.
Beijing-headquartered Global Law Office (GLO) has established a German desk and expanded its domestic reach to Shenzhen, its third Chinese base.
White & Case has hired partner Alex Zhang from Jones Day to head its Shanghai office and China corporate and M&A practice.
A&O leads on Chinese-backed Saudi project subscription
Allen & Overy (A&O), Norton Rose and White & Case took lead roles in a billion-dollar Saudi Arabia deal that saw two Chinese banks provide funding.
As the big UK firms have flocked to Australia seeking new growth opportunities in the Asia-Pacific region, there has been a gold-rush mentality among US firms keen to capitalise on Hong Kong’s importance as an Asian financial hub.
A number of Australian and Canadian law firms have been called in to act on two Chinese mining companies’ recent overseas acquisitions - Hanlong Mining’s A$1.65bn bid for Perth-based Sundance Resources and China Minmetals’ A$1.3bn takeover of Montreal-based Anvil.
Ten-partner Sydney Atanaskovic Hartnell has opened an office in London, reversing the trend for UK firms flocking to Australia.
Baker & McKenzie’s Singapore member firm Baker & McKenzie Wong & Leow has appointed former Ang & Partners partner Chan Leng Sun as a principal in its dispute resolution practice.
Sidley expands Asian presence on executive committee subscription
Sidley Austin has added two Asia-based partners to its executive committee, bringing the total number of Asia-based executive committee members to five.
Links guides Carlyle on Haier investment subscription
Linklaters has advised Carlyle Group on its recent investment into Hong Kong-listed Haier Electronics, with the Chinese company turning to longstanding counsel DLA Piper.
Mid-tier firms on the up Down Under subscription
The increasing number of partners joining mid-tier practices in Australia is a reflection of the strong growth recently witnessed in mid-market domestic work.
US firms Debevoise & Plimpton, Goodwin Procter, Paul Weiss Rifkind Wharton & Garrison and Simpson Thacher & Bartlett have been engaged to advise on a $1.6bn (£1.04bn) investment in Chinese ecommerce company Alibaba Group.
Canada’s Gowlings has opened a representative office in Beijing, becoming the third Canadian firm to land in China.
Thirty lawyers from Minter Ellison’s legacy Perth office are to financially integrate with the Australian firm on 1 October, the same day that the office’s other 80 lawyers will launch Squire Sanders’ Australian arm.
Reed Smith has become the latest beneficiary of partner departures from Simmons & Simmons after hiring Paris corporate lawyer Marc Fredj.
Taylor Wessing’s Singapore ally RHT Law has joined global law firm association Interlex Group as its exclusive Singapore member.
Australia’s Mallesons Stephen Jaques has grown its Asian debt capital markets practice with the addition of two Simmons & Simmons lawyers who specialise in renminbi (RMB) products.
Yingke also puts Hong Kong, US, Japan, Australia, Singapore, Middle East on its shopping list
Singapore firms flex regional muscle subscription
UK firms such as Olswang, Taylor Wessing and Withers may have been making a splash in Singapore, but a number of the city-state’s domestic players are also unveiling their pan-Asia ambitions.
Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton and DLA Piper took lead roles on Chinese company Sichuan Hongda Group’s $3bn (£1.95bn) investment in Tanzania.
Sydney-based Gilbert & Tobin has successfully defended Google against claims brought by Australia’s competition and consumer regulator the ACCC alleging that it ran misleading advertisements .
Slaughter and May’s Chinese best friend Jun He has expanded its presence in Southern China by opening an office in Guangzhou, the capital of Guangdong province.
Clyde & Co has hired a construction partner from Stephenson Harwood’s Hong Kong office ahead of its November merger with Barlow Lyde & Gilbert (BLG).
US firm Debevoise & Plimpton is to expand its Asian disputes and investigations capabilities by relocating three lawyers to Hong Kong and upping the time spent in Asia by two key litigation partners from London and New York.
Allen & Overy (A&O) has secured the services of Hutchison Whampoa’s deputy head group general counsel Bernardine Lam, who will join the firm’s Hong Kong corporate practice as a partner early next year.
Mid-tier law firms in Australia are the biggest winner in terms of revenue growth in the past two years, according to the latest Top 30 Law Firm list released by Australia’s BRWmagazine.
Leading Singapore firm Rajah & Tann has kickstarted a push into Asia Pacific with the launch of two new offices, in Ho Chi Minh and Bangkok respectively.
DLA Piper builds Sydney with AAR hire subscription
DLA Piper has appointed veteran corporate lawyer Warwick Painter as a partner in its Sydney office.
Olswang gears up for Singapore launch subscription
Olswang has obtained a foreign law practice licence for its Singapore office from the country’s Ministry of Law, and has appointed partner Rob Bratby as Asia managing partner as it moves closer to launch its first presence in the region.
EU-Korea FTA drives Korean firm to Germany subscription
Against the backdrop of the EU-Korea Free Trade Agreement, South Korean firm Shin & Kim has announced a plan to open an office in Munich in October.
Ashurst moves to vote on Blake Dawson tie-up subscription
A proposed tie-up deal between Ashurst and Australia’s Blake Dawson, which will create a 31-partner practice across Hong Kong, Shanghai, Singapore and Tokyo and Papua New Guinea, is expected to face a vote among Ashurst’s partners before the end of September.
Ropes & Gray has strengthened the IP capabilities of its newly opened Shanghai office with the hire of Geoffrey Lin, a former IP partner at Hogan Lovells.
International employment law alliance L&E Global has admitted Australia’s Harmers Workplace Lawyers to its membership, as the organisation expands into Asia Pacific.