Asia moves: Allen & Overy, Clyde & Co and K&L Gates expand in China

A raft of international firms have focused their recent recruitment efforts on building up corporate offerings in China, but Linklaters has lost another China corporate partner to its US rival in recent weeks.

Australia

Herbert Smith Freehills has made up five new partners in Australia, in response to the recent departure of 10 partners who joined White & Case to launch the US firm’s Melbourne and Sydney offices. The five newly promoted partners are from the firm’s project finance, projects and environment and planning teams in its Melbourne and Sydney offices. They are: Heidi Asten, Richard Wilkinson, Erin Wyeth in Melbourne and Elizabeth Charlesworth and Andrew Griffiths in Sydney.

K&L Gates has hired John Mann as a partner in its Melbourne office. Mann joins from Clarendon Lawyers and focuses on corporate and transactional work. He started his career in 1988 in legacy firm Middletons (which combined with K&L Gates in 2013) and was made up at the firm in 1995.

Norton Rose Fulbright has promoted three lawyers to its Australian partnership, effective 1 January 2017. The new partners are Matt Ellis in insurance, Jyoti Singh in corporate in Melbourne, and James Morris in banking and finance in Sydney. The latest round of promotions follows the promotion of six new partners in May and eight lateral hires in 2016.

China

Allen & Overy has added Shearman & Sterling counsel Wayne Lee as a partner in its Chinese corporate practice in Shanghai. Lee focuses on advising private equity and investment funds. His appointment is the latest by the magic circle firm to expand its China corporate offering. Earlier this year the firm hired Lina Lee and Jonathan Hsui from Ashurst in Hong Kong, plus debt capital markets partner Alex Tao and regulatory partner Charlotte Robins, who joined from Davis Polk & Wardwell and Norton Rose Fulbright respectively.

Clyde & Co’s Chongqing joint venture firm Clyde & Co Westlink has appointed new corporate partner Yang Liu. He joins from Chinese firm HaoLiWen Partners, where he was a partner in Shanghai. He is also experienced in advising on shipping, international trade and logistic matters.

K&L Gates has added two corporate partners in Shanghai. Simon Poh and Amigo Xie join the firm from Linklaters and local firm Llinks respectively. Poh previously co-headed Linklaters’ automotive sector team and Asian healthcare sector team. Xie returns to K&L Gates following a one-year stint in Llinks. He practiced with the US firm from 2005 to 2015 and was made up in 2013.

Zhong Lun has expanded its Shanghai office with two partner lateral hires. Disputes partner Jerry Fang joins from Global Law Offices, where he became a partner when he moved from Davis Polk & Wardwell’s Hong Kong office in 2015. Restructuring partner Yang Feixiang joins the firm from Shanghai bankruptcy boutique firm Jun Yue, where he was a partner. He is experienced in insolvency and restructuring transactions as well as insurance.

Singapore

Ince & Co has hired Nicholas Lum as a partner in its shipping and international trade team in Singapore. Lum joins from Singaporean firm Oon & Bazul where he was a disputes partner and the head of the China group. At Ince & Co, he will also lead the firm’s China practice from Singapore.

Dentons Rodyk & Davidson has hired former EY partner John Dick as a partner in its energy practice. Dick helped EY found its associated Singapore foreign law practice DA Partners in 2015 but the practice has recently ceased trading. Prior to joining EY he was the managing partner of legacy Australian firm Freehills, which merged with Herbert Smith in 2012.

Withers KhattarWong has expanded its finance practice with the appointment of Drew & Napier partner Farhana Siddiqui. Siddiqui spent 12 years with Drew & Napier and specialises in private wealth structuring, acquisition finance and debt capital markets.