Asia moves: Linklaters strengthens Shanghai base with two partner hires

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Linklaters has strengthened its Shanghai base with two partners hires as the firm gears up for its Shanghai free trade zone joint venture.


Corrs Chambers Westgarth has hired a four-lawyer infrastructure and projects team from Norton Rose Fulbright in Brisbane. The team is led by partner Joshua Paffey, who is particularly experienced in advising Korean companies on projects in Australia and Asia. The other three lawyers joining Corrs are special counsels Justin O’Callaghan, Scott Francis and Jennifer Barrett.

Sparke Helmore Lawyers has added two partners to its Sydney office. Litigation partner Scott McDonald and insurance partner Julian McGrath are joining from DLA Piper and HWL Ebsworth respectively. McDonald has more than 30 years commercial litigation experience, 26 of which were with DLA Piper. McGrath advises on first party property claims, professional indemnity claims, directors’ and officers’ claims and liability and products liability claims.


Linklaters has hired two partners in Shanghai as the firm gears up for its Shanghai free trade zone joint venture. Corporate partner Simon Meng and projects partner Andrew Ruff join from King & Wood Mallesons and Shearman & Sterling respectively. Prior to joining KWM in 2012, Meng was a partner of Herbert Smith’s Shanghai office. He is qualified in New York and Paris and has been handling China projects and transactions since 1994. Ruff joins a team of four partners in the China Projects team, which focuses on supporting financings from Chinese financial institutions.

JunHe has appointed construction lawyer Zhou Xianfeng as a partner in Beijing. Zhou joins from Pinsent Masons’ Chinese alliance firm Hesen. His practice focuses on construction matters, particularly in relation to infrastructure projects. The firm has also promoted 13 lawyers to partners in its latest promotion round.

Stephenson Harwood has added two partners to its Shanghai office in a bid to strengthen its ship finance and commercial litigation practices. It has appointed Vincent Xu from Ince & Co, where he was made up in 2011 and advised on non-contentious ship finance and energy matters. At the same time, the firm has relocated disputes partner Evangeline Quek from Hong Kong. She focuses on contentious shipping matters such as charterparty, cargo defence, shipbuilding, bunkering and ship financing disputes.

Hong Kong

Howse Williams Bowers has promoted Karen Lam as a partner. Her practice focuses on family law matters with an emphasis on matrimonial disputes. She joined the Hong Kong independent firm in 2012 with Linda Heathfield, who now heads up HWB’s family and matrimonial practice. The latest promotion brings the total number of HWB partners to 24.

Morrison & Foerster has hired Serena Tan as a corporate partner in Hong Kong. Tan joins from Debevoise & Plimpton and represents sponsors and investors in fund formation and fund management. She is admitted to the New York Bar and passed the PRC Bar Exam in 2005.


K&L Gates has hired Eric Sedlak as a corporate partner in Tokyo. Sedlak was previously an of counsel at Jones Day. His practice focuses on energy, infrastructure and resources; project finance and corporate M&A. He has been based in Asia for more than 20 years and had practised in Singapore and Vietnam prior to Japan.

Withers has hired senior tax adviser and zeirishi (Certified Public Tax Accountant) Shingo Iizuka in its Tokyo office. Iizuka joins the firm from Deloitte’s Tokyo team, where he was director of the private company and the global employer practices, and prior to that he served as deputy director in the Tokyo bureau of Japan’s National Tax Agency.


Akin Gump has hired expanded its Asia energy practice with the hire of partner Michael Joyce in Singapore. Joyce was previously a partner of Norton Rose Fulbright, where he headed the oil and gas group for Australia. He has relocated from Sydney to Singapore with the move. He has more than 20 years’ experience advising private sector and government clients on matters involving natural gas and oil value chains.

Linklaters has appointed Niranjan Arasaratnam as TMT partner in Singapore. He focuses on corporate, commercial and regulatory aspects of technology, media and telecommunications law. He joins from the firm’s Australian alliance firm Allens, where he was a partner for 16 years and had most recently headed the firm’s corporate practice based in Melbourne. His clients include Experian, Hutchison Telecommunications and Disney.

Rajah & Tann has strengthened its ship finance and corporate practice with two team hires. Chua Choon King joins the firm’s shipping and international trade practice as a partner from local rival TSMP Law Corporation. He is joined by his colleagues, partners Jonathan Ooi and Lim Chen Chen and two associates. In another appointment, corporate partner Sandy Foo joins the firm as a partner from Drew & Napier. She advises on M&A and capital markets transactions.

The post Asia moves: Linklaters strengthens Shanghai base with two partner hires appeared first on The Lawyer | Legal News and Jobs | Advancing the business of law.

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