Pinsent Masons bolsters corporate practice in Singapore and Shanghai

Pinsent Masons has strengthened its Asian corporate capability with the hire of three partners in Singapore from local rival KhattarWong and a senior lawyer in Shanghai from legacy SJ Berwin.

In Singapore, Pinsents has added Perry Yuen, Kelvyn Oo and Bethia Su to its partnership, with all three joining from Singaporean firm KhattarWong’s corporate and securities department. Yuen was previously the head of the department at KhattarWong.

They are expected to be joined by up to five associates from the Singaporean firm.

Following the group’s departure, there will be no corporate partners left at KhattarWong. The firm lost the bulk of its corporate practice in 2011 when 24 partners and a group of lawyers broke away to form RHTLaw, which is now the Singaporean arm of Taylor Wessing (28 September 2011). KhattarWong is now headed by newly-elected managing partner Deborah Barker, who is also the firm’s litigation head.

In Shanghai, Pinsents has hired legal director Philipp Senff, who was previously the Shanghai head of legacy SJ Berwin. Senff was one of two senior associates who relocated from Frankfurt to launch the Shanghai office in 2009 (30 October 2009). A German national and a German qualified lawyer, Senff will focus on advising manufacturing and industrial clients operating in China.

“These appointments are a real statement of intent for the firm. We have had 30 per cent turnover growth in Asia Pacific for each of the past two years and are confident about our future prospects,” said Pinsent Masons’ Asia head Ian Laing.

“Singapore has cemented its place as a regional hub for South East Asia, in particular Myanmar, Vietnam and Indonesia. Meanwhile Shanghai remains a crucial centre of manufacturing for China with strong links into Europe through Munich. We have a significant opportunity to win greater corporate work in a number of important areas,” he added.

The appointments come following a number of other key hires by Pinsents in the two Asian hubs. Last year, the firm launched its TMT practice in Singapore with the hire of partner Brian Tan from local IT boutique Keystone Law Corporation (18 April 2013) and in 2012 the firm took two partners in Shanghai from legacy Salans (18 June 2012).