Linklaters hires A&O partner as first Asia restructuring head

Linklaters has appointed former Allen & Overy (A&O) Hong Kong partner David Kidd as its first head of Asia restructuring and insolvency practice.

Kidd will join Linklaters’ Hong Kong office on 1 October from David Kidd & Co, a sole-proprietor Hong Kong firm set up by him last year. Kidd was previously a partner for A&O in Hong Kong, which he joined from CMS Cameron McKenna in 2002 (25 February 2002) and became head of A&O’s Asian business restructuring and insolvency group in 2003 (17 February 2003).

He left A&O in September 2012, around the same time as a number of other partner departures, including senior litigation partner Angus Ross who joined Ashurst’s Hong Kong office (7 September 2012) and corporate partner Jeremy Hunt who moved to Morrison & Foerster (3 October 2012).

Kidd’s appointment gives Linklaters a strong Asia component to its global restructuring and insolvency capability. Prior to the hire the firm didn’t have a dedicated group and practice head in the region.

Kidd indicated that his first priority after joining Linklaters would be assemble a team around restructuring and insolvency, possibly through both lateral hires and internal relocation. He will work closely with Linklaters’ global restructuring and insolvency head Tony Bugg and other colleagues in the same practice group in London and New York. He will also collaborate with Linklaters’ Australian ally Allens on regional deals.

“Asia is entering into an interesting time as restructuring practice is concerned. Asia presents certain challenges for investors, particularly as the world economy is still in difficult situations. Asia’s demand for debt is also increasing. There are interesting dynamics that will create more insolvency and restructuring solutions,” said Kidd.

Stuart Salt, Linklaters’ regional managing partner for Asia, noted that the practice is an extremely important part of the firm’s business, which enables the firm to service clients at each stage of the economic cycle. The firm has advised on major global insolvency events such as Lehman Brothers and MF Global.

In addition to Kidd’s hire, Linklaters has also strengthen its litigation and regulatory practice in Hong Kong with the hire of two partners from Herbert Smith Freehills. A few weeks ago, the firm hired Herbert Smith Freehill’s (HSF) Asia disputes head Gavin Lewis (16 August 2013)and earlier this year it recruited financial regulatory partners Nikunj Kiri from HSF (29 January 2013).