Norton Rose nets Simmons star for new Bangkok arm

Norton Rose is hiring Simmons & Simmons Asian markets expert Phillip John to open a new office in Bangkok.

John will be managing partner of the new office. Its main areas of activity will be corporate finance, banking, project finance and capital markets.

The move into Thailand is the latest step in Norton Rose's strategy to strengthen its Asian capabilities.

The firm opened its Singapore office in 1982 and five years ago set up a strategic alliance with Indonesian law firm Lubis Ganie Surowidjojo (LGS). It has been involved in serving clients in the Thai market for some time from these offices.

Paul Giles, managing partner of Norton Rose in Asia, says: “We took this decision in response to requests from our clients who have been keen to increase our presence in this region. We are extremely optimistic about our prospects here in future.”

Harrison, who has eight years' experience of the Asian market, was transferred to Simmons & Simmons in Hong Kong after qualifying in 1992.

He has worked on a number of high-profile transactions in Asia, including advising the Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand (EGAT) on the Houay Ho Thailand – Laos hydro-electric power project.

His areas of practice include corporate finance, M&A, securities and equity capital market transactions.

Simmons & Simmons Hong Kong head of corporate Nick Norris was unavailable for comment.

In March, Norton Rose lost its Singapore alliance Lee & Lee after 19 years, following on from its exit from Hong Kong two years ago after it ended its association with Johnson Stokes & Master.

Giles says: “We have acted on some major corporate transactions in the Thai market, working with some large Thai law firms.

“We felt that we had the right pedigree to establish our own name and office in Bangkok too.”