Asia moves: 4 March

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


HWL Ebsworth has added five new partners across its Brisbane, Perth and Sydney offices. Three partners have joined the firm’s insurance practice, and they are Andrew Cheetham, Scott Hay and David Andersen. Cheetham joins from Cooper Grace Ward’s Brisbane office, while both Hay and Andersen join from Piper Alderman’s Sydney office. Also, in Sydney, the firm has hired banking and finance partner Paul Gatward from Clayton Utz. In Perth, former Herbert Smith Freehills corporate partner Andrew Shearwood joins the firm’s commercial team.

Gadens has appointed banking and finance partner Doug Stipanicev as its new Perth office head. Stipanicev joined the firm in 2012 and was previously a partner at Herbert Smith Freehills for over 20 years. He successes long-serving office head David Albrecht.

Former DLA Piper partner Simon Davidson and former Minter Ellison partner Mitzi Gilligan has joined force to set up a new virtual firm Hive Legal. Both partners are based in Melbourne, where Hive Legal’s office is located. Gilligan has experience in commercial law and regulatory matters. Davidson’s practice focuses on private equity and capital markets work.

K&L Gates has added Elizabeth Gray as a new partner to its investment management practice in Sydney. Gray joins the firm from Henry Davis York, where she was a partner and is joined by senior associates Matthew Watts and Lisa Lautier and lawyer Edward Vassie. Gray advises clients in the financial services industry with investment fund transactions, financial services regulatory projects, and new product development.

Sparke Helmore has hired insurance partner Julie Kinnear from Fox Tucker Lawyers in Adelaide, South Australia. She joins the firm’s professional indemnity and directors’ and officers’ liability team.


Zhong Lun has strengthened its IP practice in Shanghai with the hire of new partner Michael Shu. Shu joins from IP specialist firm Wanhuida, where he was a senior partner for almost two years. Prior to that, he served as general counsel for Adidas in China for eight years.

Jun He has hired corporate partner George Niu from Global Law Office. Niu advises clients in venture capital investments and in the TMT sectors. Prior to joining Global as a partner in 2005, he practised at Jun He for four years. He rejoins Jun He with a number of lawyers, including Jiang Huifang, from Global.

Hong Kong

Dentons has added capital markets lawyer Wei Guangqin to its partnership in Hong Kong. Wei was previously a corporate special counsel in Fried Frank’s Hong Kong office. His practice focuses on corporate finance and US securities laws. He also previously served as an associate adviser to the strategic planning and development committee of the China Securities Regulatory Commission.

Withers has expanded Asian wealth planning practice with the relocation of New York lawyer Wei Zhang to Hong Kong. Zhang joined Withers’ New York office in 2010, where she has been working on a broad range of tax, estate planning and expatriation issues for international families with US connections.


Hogan Lovells has hired former Allen & Overy senior associate Andy Ferris as a partner in its Singapore office. Ferris is an experienced debt capital markets lawyer who has advised on issues of debt and equity-linked instruments in Asia.

Gadens has relocated Sydney partner Mark Skinner to Singapore to launch a banking, finance and property practice there. He will join existing partner Mark Rathbone, who joined from Clifford Chance and launched the firm’s Singapore office in 2012.   

DFDL has hired Huy Luu as a senior international tax adviser in Singapore. Luu began his tax career in the US and had previously worked in Ernst & Young and Latham & Watkins. Luu joins the firm from VDB Loi.