Holman Fenwick Willan (HFW) has appointed Justin Young as its new chief operating officer.

Young joins from Clifford Chance where he was regional general manager for South East Asia for the last six years. He led the firm’s business services team and supported its 45 per cent growth in Singapore and 81 per cent growth in Bangkok during his tenure.

He also set up Clifford Chance’s association with LWP in Jakarta and formal alliance with Cavenagh Law in Singapore. Young also led the team responsible for renewing the firm’s Qualifying Foreign Law Practice licence in Singapore.

HFW has a strong presence in the Asia-Pacific region and operates six offices in Hong Kong, Shanghai, Singapore, Melbourne, Sydney and Perth.

HFW managing partner Marcus Bowman said: “I am delighted to welcome Justin to the firm. Despite some difficult market conditions, he joins at a time of continued growth for the firm and his experience of implementing new operating models and creating structures to support growth will ensure we continue to focus on running our business in the most effective and efficient way.”

Young replaces HFW’s former COO Alastair Mitchell who left the firm in April to join Pinsent Masons as its first COO. He had worked at HFW for four years after leaving Linklaters, where he worked for 13 years.

Pinsents is not the only firm to have grown its management team through the addition of an inaugural COO this year.  In May Nabarro appointed Shiree Murdoch as its first COO after a reshuffle of its senior management team.