Asia moves: 2 December

All the latest partner hires and other appointments within firms and offices in the Asia Pacific region.


Allen & Overy (A&O) has hired partner Peter McDonald from Herbert Smith Freehills to build up the firm’s antitrust and competition practice in Australia. McDonald will be based in A&O’s Sydney office and will be a partner of the firm’s global antitrust team. He joined legacy Freehills’ competition and market regulation group in Melbourne in 2003 after five years working with the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission as a senior officer. He was made up in 2009.

Herbert Smith Freehills has added two IP partners to its Sydney office, with one lateral hire and one internal relocation. The firm has hired Rebekah Gay from Sydney-based IP litigation boutique Shelston IP, who previously worked in the firm as an associate from 2000 to 2004.  London-based IP litigation partner Joel Smith will relocate to Sydney in December on secondment.

HopgoodGanim has added resources and energy partner Simon Panegyres to its Perth team. Panegyres will joins from Perth firm Allion Legal in February 2014, bringing the firm’s total number of partners to 34.

HWL Ebsworth has appointed banking and finance lawyer Geoff Stevens as a partner in its Perth office. Stevens joins from Western Australian firm Lavan Legal, where he was a partner. He was made up in that firm in 1997. His practice ranges from front-end financing transactions to regulatory matters and insolvencies.

King & Wood Mallesons has promoted three to partners in Australia. The new partners are Mark Bayliss from the projects and real estate team in Sydney, Juliana Jorissen from the dispute resolution team in Perth and Jerome Tse from the tax team in Sydney.


Minter Ellison has hired a partner each from US firm Winston & Strawn and Gide Loyrette Nouel to strengthen its Greater China capability. In Beijing, the firm has appointed Jem Li as a corporate partner, who was formerly the managing partner of Winston & Strawn’s Beijing office. The second new partner Rebecca Silli joins from French firm Gide’s Hong Kong office, where she was the former managing partner.

Squire Sanders has added a three-lawyer team to its Shanghai office. The new team consists of German qualified corporate partner Benjamin Kroymann, previously a counsel of Dentons’ Shanghai office. He joins the firm with his team members, senior consultant Ren Furong and consultant Leon Xu.

Hong Kong

Clifford Chance has hired arbitration lawyer Romesh Weeramantry as a foreign legal consultant in Hong Kong. Weeramantry joins from King & Wood Mallesons’ Hong Kong office, where he was a foreign lawyer. He is particularly experienced in bilateral investment treaty disputes. Prior to joining KWM in 2012, he was an associate professor at the City University of Hong Kong.

Stephenson Harwood’s Hong Kong office has promoted two to partners. The new partners are Simon Wong in the finance group and Phillip Rompotis in the litigation and dispute resolution group. The promotions have brought the total partnerships of the firm to 15 in its four offices in Greater China.

Mayer Brown JSM has added six new partners in its Greater China offices, with one lateral hire and five internal promotions. Real estate partner Ricky Yiu has joined the firm in Hong Kong as a partner from Baker & McKenzie’s Hong Kong office. He has more than 20 years of experience in the sector. Four of the five newly promoted partners are based in Hong Kong and they are litigation lawyers Marina Fung and Mei Ling Lew, insolvency lawyer Thomas Pugh and corporate lawyer Chester Wong. The other new partner is Beijing-based corporate lawyer Zhen Han. The promotions are effective from 1 January 2014 and are part of the firm’s 22-strong global promotion round.


Duane Morris & Selvam, a joint venture between US firm Duane Morris and Singaporean firm Selvam, has hired Geoffrey Grice as a consultant. Grice was previously a partner of Herbert Smith Freehills’ Singapore office. Dual qualified in Australia and England and Wales, Grice has over 20 years of experience in the projects and infrastructure sectors across Asia Pacific. 

King & Spalding has promoted Singapore senior associate Simon Dunbar to the partnership. Dunbar’s practice primarily focuses on international arbitration and has more than nine years of experience with most in Singapore. His promotion is effective from 1 January 2014.