Asia Moves: 11 February 2014

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


Australian boutique firm Allion Legal has hired former Richard Winter as principal to head up its new finance practice in Sydney. Winter joins from K&L Gates’ Sydney office, where he headed up the firm’s New South Wales banking and financial services practice.

Baker & McKenzie has hired Martin Irwin as a partner in its energy, resources, infrastructure and corporate practice group in Melbourne. Irwin joins from Herbert Geer, where he was a partner from 2010. He was previously a senior associate at Allens Arthur Robinson. Recently, Irwin has advised Canadan pension fund Caisse de depot et placement du Quebec on a series of investment in Australian PPPs.

HWL Ebsworth has hired three partners and a team of lawyers from Thomsons Lawyers. The three partners Craig Powell, Sean O’Donnell and Brendon Noney, and their teams, have joined the firm’s Norwest office in New South Wales. Powell is a commercial litigator, O’Donnell is a franchising lawyer and Noney focuses on information and communications technology.

Lavan Legal has hired corporate and energy partner Daniel Kirk from King & Wood Mallesons’ Perth office, where he was promoted to partner in the energy, resources and projects group in 2011. The firm also hired a commercial disputes senior associate in Melbourne, Gavin Rakoczy, who joins from Lander & Rogers.

Squire Sanders has hired corporate and financial services partner Michelle Segaert from Sparke Helmore. Segaert has over 27 years of experience in funds management, corporate transactional work and financial services regulation. She began her career at the Sydney office of King & Wood Mallesons and had worked in Linklaters’ London office. She also has in-house experience, having served as general counsel of investment bank Carnegie Wylie (now Lazard Carnegie Wylie) and senior corporate counsel of Allco Finance Group.

Sparke Helmore has promoted two Sydney-based lawyers to partner. Daniel Atkin is a member of the firm’s M&A and private equity team, while Wayne Kaplan is in the property team. In addition, the firm has strengthened its professional indemnity and liability team in Sydney with the lateral hire of partner Chris Wood, who was previously a partner of Lee & Lyons Lawyers.


Beijing-based DaHui Lawyers has hired former Shearman & Sterling counsel Chris Chen as a partner. Chen’s practice focuses on capital markets and M&A transactions. He is qualified in both China and the US and has more than 10 years of experience studying and working in the US.

German firm Graf von Westphalen has introduced a new career level, known as local partner status, for Chinese fee-earners in its Shanghai office. Li Li is the first Chinese lawyer to be promoted to local partner. Li has been working in the firm’s Shanghai office since its opening in 2009. She is qualified in China and New York and advises both inbound and outbound matters between China and Europe.

Hong Kong

Edwards Wildman Palmer has hired US securities partner Man Chiu Lee from Hogan Lovells’ Hong Kong office. He is experienced in cross-border capital markets and M&A transactions. Prior to joining legacy Hogan & Hartson’s Hong Kong office as a partner in 2007, he was an associate at Clifford Chance and Orrick in Hong Kong and New York respectively.

K&L Gates has hired Greg Heaton has a partner in its investment management practice in Hong Kong. He was previously a partner of Deacons. He also previously worked at the Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission and the Australian Securities and Investments Commission. He is admitted in Hong Kong and Australia.

Orrick has promoted Hong Kong corporate lawyer Keith Cheung to partner. He focuses on corporate finance transactions in Hong Kong and also advises listed issuers on general compliance and other corporate transactions. He is the only Asia-based lawyer among the firm’s 15-strong global promotion round.

Norton Rose Fulbright has hired insurance partner Declan McDaid from Deacons. With over 20 years’ experience in London and Hong Kong, McDaid focuses on contentious non-marine insurance, acting on behalf of insurers in insurance-related matters and providing advice on policy and coverage issues. His appointment brings the number of partners in the Hong Kong dispute resolution and litigation team to six. Declan has over 20 years’ experience working in insurance practices in London and Hong Kong.


Singaporean firm Drew & Napier has welcomed back construction and engineering partner Lee Chau Ee. Lee rejoins the firm from the Dubai office of Reed Smith, where he founded and headed up its Middle East construction and Engineering practice. He served as Reed Smith’s Dubai office managing partner from 2011 to November 2013. He will head up Drew & Napier’s construction and engineering practice.

Stephenson Harwood has added a corporate partner in Singapore. Tom Platts joins from Herbert Smith Freehills’ Singapore office, where he was a senior associate. He has been based in Singapore for three years and was in London and Paris previously.

South East Asia

Kuala Lumpur-headquartered regional firm ZICOlaw has appointed Chulapong Yukate as a senior advisor for Indochina and Myanmar based in Malaysia and Matthew Rendall as a Partner of Sok Siphana & Associates, its member firm in Phnom Penh, Cambodia.
Yukate was previously a partner of Deacons and had worked at Baker & McKenzie and DLA Piper’s Bangkok office. Rendall was previously managing partner of Phnom Penh-based Sciaroni & Associates.


Allen & Overy has elected Nick Wall as a partner in its Tokyo corporate and M&A practice. Wall joins A&O from Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, where was a senior associate in Tokyo. He also spent time on secondment in Freshfields’ London office doing international M&A work. He is a registered foreign lawyer in Japan and member of the Daini Tokyo Bar Association, licensed to practise English law in Japan.