Legal Business (UK) Rounds Up Latest Asia Legal Corporate News

Here’s all the news and moves according to legal business

The Asian market has over the past week seen investment from international law firms including DLA Piper, Fenwick & West and Ashurst, which most recently bolstered its finance practices in both Singapore and Hong Kong.

Ashurst this week hired White & Case finance partner Kate Allchurch in Singapore, as it relocated London-based finance partner Chris Tang and Sydney-based Doos Choi to Hong Kong.

Allchurch joins from White & Case’s Singapore office, which she relocated to from London in 2009. She specialises in acquisition finance, structured lending, asset-backed lending, debt buy-backs, telecoms finance, restructuring and secondary debt market transactions. Her arrival brings Ashurst’s Singapore office up to three banking partners, as well as two project finance partners.

‘Kate is a highly experienced lawyer with strong international experience and a great reputation for her work in South East Asia’s emerging markets, particularly Indonesia. Her arrival complements our existing finance practice, which already has a very strong position in Indonesia and other South East Asia-related work,’ said Matthew Bubb, Asia managing partner of the firm.

Ashurst’s Hong Kong office now has four banking partners as Doos Choi and Chris Tang join fellow partners Matthias Schemuth and Dominic Gregory. Choi specialises in acquisition finance, and investment grade and sub-investment grade corporate finance. Tang, meanwhile, is a specialist in derivatives and structured finance products.

‘Through a combination of targeted lateral hires and the relocation of some of our brightest international talents to the region we have built a very strong team across Asia, offering a full range of services in relation to bank lending, structured products, derivatives, restructuring and investment banking services, as well as dedicated banking litigation and regulatory coverage,’ said Paul Jenkins, co-global head of the firm’s finance division.

Elsewhere, DLA Piper has regrouped after a four-lawyer team that included Asia corporate head Mabel Lui left for US firm Winston & Strawn earlier this month. The firm has appointed US M&A partner Paul Chen as its new head of corporate for Asia, with Chen relocating from DLA’s Silicon Valley office to Hong Kong in June.

Chen has previous experience in the role as he was Hong Kong managing partner for the now defunct Dewey & LeBoeuf. His experience includes advising corporates and private equity funds on a mix of transactions including M&A, capital raising, investments, joint ventures, leveraged buyouts and divestitures, with a particular focus on insurance clients.

Chen’s appointment follows on from DLA’s decision last year to boost the number of US partners in Asia. The firm set up a US-led, three-partner Asia management committee in December to develop more synergies between its US and Asia offices.

Meanwhile, US technology and life sciences firm Fenwick & West has opened a representative office in Shanghai. The office will be led by partner Eva Wang, who joined the firm last year, along with four associates. Wang’s clients include US and China-based venture capital funds that invest in China, emerging growth companies based in China and the US and public companies based in China and listed on the US and Hong Kong stock markets.

Wang’s pre-Fenwick & West experience includes acting as general counsel at Spreadtrum Communications during its initial public offering on the Nasdaq stock market in 2007.

‘In response to increasing work for technology and life sciences clients based in China as well as U.S. companies doing business in China, we’re making additional investments including recruiting lateral partner Eva Wang a year ago, and now, opening an office in Shanghai and expanding the team to 20 attorneys, including those who reside in the firm’s US offices,’ said Richard Dickson, chairman of the firm.