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Clyde & Co aims to grow its global aviation finance team by 40 per cent within two years and has kick-started the process with the appointment of Norton Rose of counsel Leigh Borrello in Singapore.
Borrello, who starts today (3 September) as a partner, will head an on-the-ground team of two associates, a trainee and a paralegal in the new Singapore practice.
The team will also be joined by London partner Siva Subramanium, who will spend half of his time in Singapore and the other half in London.
Clydes partner Gavin Hill, who heads the aviation finance group, said the firm’s expansion will be client-driven, as was the case in Singapore.
“Our clients’ focus on Hong Kong has dwindled, with many seeing Singapore as the hub of South East Asia, which is what led us to open the largest UK aviation finance practice there,” said Hill.
Hill explained that the aviation finance team is hoping to grow its 25-lawyer practice to 35 in the next couple of years.
“The obvious choices would be Hong Kong, Shanghai and New York, although it all comes down to whether the clients want this or not,” said Hill. “Currently we have local counsel in these areas who can do the work on the ground, but not so much on the transactional side.
“If our clients want us to plug the gaps and we can find the right person with the right expertise, these would be the appropriate areas for growth.”
The news comes just weeks after Clydes announced it was plotting a hiring frenzy in the Middle East, with a plan to hire at least 40 lawyers in the region during the next financial year (The Lawyer, 16 July).