Freshfields revamps Asia management team

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer has shaken up its Asia management team as the firm’s former US managing partner relocates to Hong Kong to add firepower to the capital markets practice.


Shanghai managing partner and corporate specialist Melissa Thomas has been appointed Beijing managing partner, replacing Nicholas French, who will move to London. Thomas will serve a three-year term as managing partner.

Corporate partner Heiner Braun will succeed Thomas as Shanghai managing partner, while finance partner James Lawden will replace James Wood as Japan managing partner. Wood will return to London to focus on client work.

The changes follow the appointment of Teresa Ko to the new role of chairman of the China practice in April (21 April 2011).

The firm has also announced that Stephen Revell, global co-head of the international capital markets practice and US managing partner between 1998 and 2002, will relocate to Hong Kong to deal with the increased demand from international issuers for listings on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange.

London senior associate David Cotton, an international capital markets lawyer, will also move to Hong Kong.

In a statement managing partner for Asia Rob Ashworth said: “Asia’s a strategically important region for the firm. We expect to see major growth in our practices as our international clients increasingly look to invest in the region and major corporates and financial institutions in Asia require advice to support their international growth plans.

“Our new managing partners will play a vital role in ensuring we capitalise on every opportunity arising from these strategically important economies.”