Representative Partner Moves and Promotions: 2011 Year in Review


Posted on December 21, 2011 at 8:12 AM

With many moves and promotions at the senior level and partner level so far this year, there has certainly been a shakeup in the makeup of many of the top firms in Asia and the Middle East. Let’s see what has happened since June. [To see January through June 2011 Partner Moves see: Representative Partner Moves & Promotions: 2011 Year in Review]




*Baker & McKenzie has also promoted six associates to the partner level in their Hong Kong, Beijing, and Shanghai offices. Cheung Kwun Yee, Sally Hung, Christina Lee, and Isabella Liu were all promoted in the Hong Kong office. Liu Jinghua was promoted in the Beijing office and Victor Gu was promoted in the Shanghai office.


*Ogier has hired Kristy Calvert, formerly at Rio Tinto Group, to lead its new representative office in Shanghai. She will become managing director of the office after working as the Asian legal director in Shanghai for Rio Tinto. Ogier becomes the first Channel Islands law firm to have an office in Mainland China. According to an email from the managing partner of the firm’s Hong Kong office, James Bergstrom to the Asian Lawyer, Ogier will perform “liaison and market research activities,” as opposed to practicing law. Ogier has a similar setup in Tokyo.


*Reed Smith has hired Jay Yan, who previously was the head of Dorsey & Whitney’s Shanghai office, for their new Shanghai office which launched earlier in July.  Having worked in Shanghai for 15 years, Yan’s experience in M & A, foreign exchange control in China, litigation, regulatory and compliance matters, corporate financing, debt restructuring, and cross-border investment will definitely boost this new office.  Zack Dong from Reed Smith’s Beijing Office will be joining Yan in Shanghai.  This is Reed Smith’s third office in China since their first opening in Hong Kong in 2008.


*Clifford Chance has promoted eight lawyers in their PRC offices to the counsel level. In the Beijing office, Vanessa Chan, Joseph Chu, Jin Hao, and Jean Yu have all been promoted. In the Hong Kong office, Emma Christian and Teresa Leung were promoted. Finally in their Shanghai office, Jiahua Ni and Ming Yen Yip were promoted to counsel roles.


*Freshfields has promoted Richard Wang from senior associate to counsel. Wang, who moved from Linklaters to Freshfields in ’05, works in Freshfields’ Beijing office. He has experience in IPOs and secondary offerings in compliance matters.


*Davis Polk has promoted Miranda So, Hong Kong, to the Partner level. Both have great experience in corporate law, including M&A and corporate finance transactions.


*Linklaters appointed Tien-yo Chao as a partner in its China practice, effective in August. He joins from Morrison & Foerster in Hong Kong where he has been a partner since 2003, after previously heading his own firm and serving as a partner at Slaughter and May. Chao brings huge experience in the Greater China markets. He has a broadly based corporate practice with a particular emphasis on M&A and equity capital markets. The firm also appointed corporate partner Fang Jian as national managing partner for China and corporate partner Betty Yap as head of the China practice.




*Hogan Lovells hired Michael Chin to their Shanghai office; he was formerly the co-chair of Dorsey & Whitney’s Asia practice. The former Dorsey & Whitney and Jones Day employee specializes in mergers and acquisitions, private equity and venture capital transactions. Chin’s departure leaves Dorsey & Whitney with only one partner in Shanghai, which is the firm’s only Mainland China office. Hogan Lovells now has 26 lawyers in its Shanghai office.


*Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe appointed Thomas Man as partner in the firm's China corporate practice based in Beijing. Man focuses on inbound and outbound M&A and complex cross-border transactions representing Chinese and international companies. He joins from Hogan Lovells where he had been a member of the firm's China corporate practice. Man received his JD from Indiana University School of Law-Bloomington. He also holds a PhD in American constitutional history from The Johns Hopkins University and MA in Western History from Beijing University.



*White & Case expanded its China M&A practice with the hire of new partner Alex Zhang from Jones Day. He joins the firm as head of its Shanghai office, as well as head of its China corporate and M&A practice. A native of the PRC, Zhang is a recognized leader in China M&A, corporate and private equity. He has over 20 years’ experience in advising international and Chinese clients on China-related matters. He has advised on a number of notable transactions in 2011, including the sale of a majority interest in CITIC Pharmaceutical and China Health System to Shanghai Pharmaceutical.




*Sidley Austin has appointed Anthony Jacobsen as partner in its Shanghai office. Jacobsen has a broad capital markets and general corporate practice with a focus on advising issuers and sponsors for IPOs on the HKSE. Several transactions on which he was lead partner are award-winning deals. Jacobsen speaks fluent Mandarin, Cantonese and English.



*DLA Piper appointed John Shi and Nicolas Groffman as partners in its Greater China practice. They will both be joining the firm’s Beijing office in the near future. Shi joins from Mallesons Stephen Jaques where he has been the Beijing chief representative since 2004. He previously worked in Denton Wilde Sapte as the firm's Beijing chief representative. Shi’s more than 20 years' experience encompasses corporate advisory as well as regulatory matters, including FCPA. His expertise includes M&A, foreign direct investment and all types of corporate structures and operational issues in China. Groffman joins DLA from Mallesons Stephen Jaques' Beijing office where he was a partner in the M&A group. He has a broad based corporate and M&A practice with a focus on China foreign direct investment, corporate and commercial and corporate regulatory compliance. Having worked in China for over 10 years, Groffman is also experienced in dispute resolution and financing. He has particular expertise in the telecommunications and media, real estate, climate change and clean energy sectors, as well as experience in the areas of labour law, construction, automotive and financial services industries.

*Eversheds bolstered its China capability with the appointment of former Norton Rose corporate partner Virginie Deslandres as senior partner. She has been working in China for over 25 years and has extensive knowledge of the legal landscape across Asia, where she has advised large multi-national and mid-size companies on market entry strategy, multiple cross-border M&A deals, joint ventures and corporate restructurings. Deslandres specializes in advising French and European companies across Asia. Her expertise also extends to infrastructure projects, construction and tax planning. Being a French national, she is admitted to the Paris Bar and holds a Doctorate in business law.

*Hogan Lovells strengthened its Greater China IP practice with the lateral hire of William Fisher as a partner based in the firm's Shanghai office. An experienced US IP lawyer and China IP strategist, Fisher was formerly in Perkins Coie's Seattle office where he focused on counseling and litigation in the areas of patents, trademarks, trade secrets, and copyrights. A fluent Mandarin speaker, Fisher has extensive experience providing clients with strategic advice on managing intellectual property assets in China, including acquiring, protecting and enforcing patent and other intellectual property rights in the country.


Hong Kong


*Baker & McKenzie has also promoted six associates to the partner level in their Hong Kong, Beijing, and Shanghai offices. Cheung Kwun Yee, Sally Hung, Christina Lee, and Isabella Liu were all promoted in the Hong Kong office. Liu Jinghua was promoted in the Beijing office and Victor Gu was promoted in the Shanghai office.


*Fangda hired Hu Jun, formerly partner at FenXun in Beijing and associate at Simpson Thacher & Bartlett’s Hong Kong office. Jun will be working in Fangda’s M&A and foreign direct investment teams. The hire brings Fangda’s partner number to 35.


*Harneys assigned Ian Mann as head of litigation and restructuring for Asia. Working in Hong Kong, Mann became a partner this year and his expertise is in insolvency and restructuring. In September, Claire Robery, formerly a senior associate at BVI and a former Jones Day litigator will join him.


*Linklaters hired Tien-yo Chao, formerly a partner in Morrison & Foerster’s Hong Kong office, as a partner for its China practice. He has a broadly based corporate practice with experience in M&A and equity capital markets. Linklaters also appointed corporate partner Fang Jian as national managing partner for China and corporate partner Betty Yap as head of the China practice.


*Clifford Chance has promoted eight lawyers in their PRC offices to the counsel level. In the Beijing office, Vanessa Chan, Joseph Chu, Jin Hao, and Jean Yu have all been promoted. In the Hong Kong office, Emma Christian and Teresa Leung were promoted. Finally in their Shanghai office, Jiahua Ni and Ming Yen Yip were promoted to counsel roles.


*DLA Piper has hired Yan Zhao, formerly a senior counsel at Foley & Lardner. DLA Piper is hiring Zhao to their IP team as a Partner, as he has practiced IP law in China for 13 years. He will be based in DLA Piper’s Hong Kong office, moving from Foley’s Shanghai office. DLA Piper is looking to reload its IP practice after a few of their best IP lawyers left the group last year.


*Davis Polk has also promoted Miranda So, Hong Kong, to the Partner level. Both have great experience in corporate law, including M&A and corporate finance transactions.



*White & Case has hired Virginia Tam, formerly at Jones Day. Tam will be joining White & Case’s corporate team in Hong Kong, bringing with her great experience in cross-border corporate and securities work as well experience in international corporate finance.


*Eversheds has hired Nigel Stamp, former head of technology, media and communications at Morrison & Foerster’s Hong Kong office, to join their TMT practice as partner in Hong Kong. As he told ALB, “I look forward to integrating with other practice areas, and around the firm internationally, to continue building the Eversheds TMT group into the region’s leading TMT practice.”


*Morrison & Foerster has hired John Moore, former head of Herbert Smith’s US capital markets practice in their HK office. He will join MoFo’s Hong Kong office as a partner in their corporate and capital markets practice. Before working at Herbert Smith, he was an in-house counsel at Goldman Sachs. “John is on everyone’s short list of the leading U.S. securities lawyers in Hong Kong,” said Ven Tan, Managing Partner of MoFo’s Hong Kong Office. “His reputation in the highly competitive arena for IPOs is stellar, and he is equally well-known for his general corporate advisory work. He is a great addition to the firm.”



*Kirkland & Ellis have recently hired a group of partners for their Hong Kong office from Skadden ArpsLatham & Watkins and Allen & Overy. The group of partners includes corporate partners Nicholas Norris, Dominic Tsun and Li-Chien Wong from Skadden’s Hong Kong office; David Zhang, John Otoshi, and Benjamin Su, corporate partners from Latham and Ashley Young and Douglas Murning from Allen & Overy. Within their corporate practice, each partner brings their own specialty to Kirkland.  Indeed, Norris focuses on M&A for public companies; Tsun and Wong are specialized in Hong Kong initial public offerings and other capital markets transactions; partners from David Zhang, John Otoshi, and Benjamin Su are focused on outbound U.S. law capital markets transactions as it is one of the main practices of the Latham group; Ashley Young and Douglas Murning are specialized in leverage and acquisition finance. Read more about this here…


*Cadwalader hired partner Jeffrey Chen, formerly a partner at Mayer Brown JSM. This structured finance and derivatives expert will be in Cadwalader’s Asia capital markets team in their Hong Kong office. This will be Cadwalader’s first partner based primarily in their Hong Kong office, which opened in December of last year. The Asian Lawyer reported that a Cadwalader spokeswoman says that, once Chen is settled in, the firm will be looking to increase its Hong Kong headcount to about 20 lawyers within the next year.


*Clayton Utz appointed Geoffrey Shaw as a partner. Shaw, who has practiced in the Hong Kong market for over 20 years, brings significant experience in construction related arbitration and litigation, as well as alternative dispute resolution. He has acted for clients across South East Asia and has worked on some of the largest and most complex matters in the Asia-Pacific region, including advising the Hong Kong Government in relation to disputes arising out of the Chek Lap Kok new airport project, the construction of a nuclear power plant in China and a multi-billion dollar claim relating to a steel mill in Southern China.




*Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson appointed Douglas Freeman and Victor Chen as partners. Freeman will be resident in both the firm's Hong Kong and New York offices and Chen will be resident in its Hong Kong office. Freeman and Chen have a long track record of representing private equity sponsors, multinational corporations and global investment banking firms in Greater China and other Asian markets in sophisticated public and private cross-border transactions across a wide range of industries. Freeman was most recently a partner in the Hong Kong and New York offices of O’Melveny & Myers. He is admitted to the bar in New York. Chen also joins from O’Melveny & Myers where he served as counsel in its Hong Kong and Los Angeles offices. He is admitted to the bar in Hong Kong and California.

*Clyde & Co appointed Gilbert Kwok as a partner in the firm's Asia construction practice in Hong Kong. Previously a partner at Stephenson Harwood, Kwok has extensive experience in both contentious and non-contentious matters relating to the construction industry. He has advised major Hong Kong developers on projects throughout China and Asia, and has assisted various Hong Kong and international real-estate developers and contractors in the legal aspects of infrastructure, commercial, hotel, casino, industrial and factory developments in the region.


*Mallesons Stephen Jaques appointed two senior legal experts from Simmons & Simmons Hong Kong to add further depth to the firm’s debt capital markets practice in the region. Partner Sau-Wing Mak and consultant Kevin Tong will join the firm’s Hong Kong office as partners on October 2011. Mak is a market leader in the retailed structured products and derivatives field Tong has extensive experience in equity derivative and financial products, retail bonds and capital markets.

*Blank Rome appointed Ronald Sum as partner in Blank Rome Solicitors in Hong Kong within the firm’s international and maritime litigation and alternative dispute resolution group. Sum joins from the Hong Kong office of Eversheds and was previously with DLA Piper. With more than 15 years’ experience practicing law in Hong Kong, he specializes in litigation, arbitration and mediation in areas of maritime, international trade, insurance and reinsurance, product liability and product recall.

*Clifford Chance tapped a Sydney firm for leading restructuring lawyer Nick Dunstone. He joins as a partner in the Hong Kong office, strengthening the Asia Pacific practice by bringing his 14 years of experience and specialist expertise in distressed debt investment, restructuring and special situation transactions to the table. He was previously a partner at Henry Davis York in Sydney and prior to that, worked in the US firm of Cadwalader Wickersham & Taft in London. Dunstone's appointment in Hong Kong follows Asia Pacific practice leader Scott Bache's relocation to Clifford Chance's Sydney office.



*Stephenson Harwood has enhanced its construction and dispute resolution practice in Greater China with the arrival of Martin Downey as a new partner in its Hong Kong office. Downey has practiced in Hong Kong for 25 years and is recognized as a leading lawyer in the field of construction law and dispute resolution. His practice covers a broad range of construction litigation, arbitration, mediation and alternative dispute resolution in Hong Kong, Asia and internationally.

*Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher has appointed Yi Zhang and Graham Winter as partners to be based in Hong Kong. Zhang was formerly head of O’Melveny & Myers’ Hong Kong office whilst Winter will join the firm from Reed Smith Richards Butler. Over his 16 years in Hong Kong, Zhang has built a well-established, China-focused practice that includes significant foreign investment, M&A, private equity and project development transactions in China in a wide range of industries. Winter is a Hong Kong-qualified lawyer with a leading Hong Kong practice specializing in advising on complex corporate transactions, including cross-border M&A transactions, privatizations, joint ventures, private equity transactions and international corporate finance transactions. Winter has extensive experience across the Asia Pacific region, including China, Korea, the Philippines and Indonesia.



*SNR Denton has appointed Daniel Liew as corporate and project finance partner in the energy, transport and infrastructure team in Hong Kong. Liew was most recently the Asia managing partner of SJ Berwin. Bringing to the table a wealth of expertise and experience in advising acquirers, corporate sponsors, banks and other financial institutions on energy, natural resources, electricity, water, mining and metals, telecommunications, transport and infrastructure projects, Liew is well-versed in a host of specialist areas including M&As, corporate, infrastructure fund, strategic alliances, banking and project finance. Liew is bilingual in English and Mandarin as well as Malay, Hakka and Cantonese.

*Stephenson Harwood has appointed two new partners for its Greater China offices. Matthew Wong joins from Bird & Bird where he was a corporate partner. He specializes in corporate finance, capital markets, private equity, venture capital, foreign direct investments and M&As. He also advises on Hong Kong securities regulatory and compliance issues, as well as a wide range of commercial transactions. Wong has been practicing in Hong Kong since 1994 and is also a solicitor admitted in England and Wales and in Australia. ChunFai (CF) Lui joins the firm from Baker & McKenzie's Shanghai office where he was special counsel. He has wide-ranging experience in structuring, negotiating and executing M&As, joint ventures, private equity, venture capital, and ensuring antitrust and regulatory approvals and compliance. He has been advising on regulatory risk issues in China, and formulating strategies for market entries.



*Hogan Lovells strengthened its international litigation and arbitration practice with the lateral partner hire of Patric McGonigal in Tokyo. McGonigal was formerly a partner in Barlow Lyde & Gilbert's international commercial arbitration practice, leading a team in Singapore where he acted on a broad range of commercial, insurance, international trade and trade finance disputes. He has extensive regional experience conducting arbitration cases.

*Morrison & Foerster has appointed Dale Araki as a partner in the firm’s Tokyo office. He joins from O’Melveny & Myers where he was head of the Tokyo office from 1994 to 2002. Araki specializes in representing Japanese, European and US companies in a wide variety of cross-border acquisitions, investments and joint ventures. He represents buyers and sellers in acquisitions and investments, manufacturing and technology joint ventures, and restructuring transactions.



*Herbert Smith has moved Siddhartha Sivaramakrishnan, senior associate in Hong Kong, and Felipe Duque, associate in London, to their US securities team in Singapore. Both have large experience in equity capital markets.


*Stephenson Harwood appointed Peter Church OAM as Special Counsel to be based in the Singapore office and help the firm grow its business in Southeast Asia and India. A former Asian regional managing partner of Freehills, Church’s forte is in facilitating foreign investment in ASEAN and India, and assisting clients in negotiating and structuring entry and exit strategies in those markets. He has over 30 years of experience advising companies in Southeast Asia and India and was awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) for his services in developing Australian interests in these markets. Church is chairman of the AFG Venture Group, a director of the Alliance of International Corporate Advisors and was recently appointed to the board of the Singapore International Chamber of Commerce.


*Blake Dawson appointed Singapore-based George Cooper as a partner in its employment practice to lead the firm’s new regional employment law practice across South East Asia from mid October 2011. He will join the firm from Freehills where he has led its Asia workplace law and advisory practice in Singapore since 2007.

*DLA Piper appointed Troy Doyle as a partner in its Singapore office to lead the firm's restructuring and distressed investment team in Asia. Doyle is a leading restructuring lawyer with more than 13 years' experience in the Asia Pacific region. He joins from Norton Rose Australia and was previously the restructuring practice leader at Clifford Chance for South East Asia. He specializes in financial and corporate restructuring and insolvency advice, distressed M&As, distressed debt trading and other special opportunity transactions. 


*Herbert Smith has hired Philip Lee as a partner in its Singapore office focusing on debt capital markets. He joins from Allen & Overy's Singapore office. Lee has advised a range of leading global financial institutions on public and private debt capital market products, including convertible/exchangeable bonds, MTN programs, fixed income securities, capital issues and private placements.


From all of us here at Cypress Recruiting, we hope you have a wonderful Holiday season and a very happy and  healthy New Year.

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