Simmons & Simmons boosts its Italian and Hong Kong presence

Simmons & Simmons has boosted its international corporate and financial practices in Italy and Hong Kong, taking on two new partners.

Richard McKeown is joining the Hong Kong office from Stephenson Harwood, where he has been a partner since 1995. He specialises in banking and finance law, including domestic and cross-border financing, capital market issues, secured and tax-structured financing and acquisitions and general corporate finance.

Corporate head Jerry Walter says the development reflects the fact that Hong Kong’s corporate and finance departments are flourishing.

Simmons has acted for the underwriters on Hong Kong and English law in a share offering by the Chinese petroleum and chemical corporation Sinopec, worth $3.5bn (£2.42bn).

And its head of corporate in Hong Kong has led a team advising Pacific Century CyberWorks on a multibillion-dollar alliance with Telstra Corporation (see åThe Lawyer Deals’ page 12).

Italy’s corporate department has also taken on a new partner. Local lawyer Antonio di Pasquale joined the Rome office as a partner at the beginning of the month from family firm Francesco di Pasquale.

He is currently working on the potential acquisition of the majority stake in the international fashion designer Gianfranco FerrÈ.

Walter says that the moves are a result of the firm’s overseas growth strategy, which aims to make each office a dynamic practice in its own right.

Senior partner Bill Knight says: “We continue to develop international capabilities through a strategy of organic growth in our key markets. Our practice strengths in Italy and in Hong Kong are already there to be seen, with substantial work being undertaken across the borders. These further new partners will enable us to build on that existing platform.”