Jardine Matheson wins A&O partner

Linklaters client Jardine Matheson Group has appointed veteran Allen & Overy (A&O) corporate partner Jonathan Gould as its next general counsel based in Hong Kong.

As first revealed on www.thelawyer.com/lawyer news on 5 June, Gould will replace former Linklaters partner James Watkins, who retires at the end of the year.

Linklaters’ strong institutional relationship with Jardine Matheson pre-dates Watkins’ arrival there in 1997 and has passed through a long succession of senior corporate partners who have been involved in Linklaters’ Hong Kong office. The relationship with Jardine Matheson was founded by former Linklaters senior partner Charles Allen-Jones, who set up Linklaters’ Hong Kong office in a joint venture with Deacons in 1976. Allen-Jones joined the board of Jardine Matheson’s property company Hongkong Land Holdings in 2001. He is understood to have been instrumental in identifying a suitable successor to Watkins in the Hong Kong-based general counsel role. Gould’s credentials for the job include playing an instrumental part in establishing A&O’s Hong Kong operation in 1988.

A&O has no previous relationship with Jardine Matheson. There is no formal panel and although other firms are used, Linklaters currently acts as main corporate adviser to the group. David Barnes manages the relationship, while fellow corporate partner Raymond Cohen is also closely involved.

It is too early to say whether Gould, who is also joining the main board, will seek to introduce work to A&O.