Partner Moves & Promotions - 5/4/2010

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Posted on May 4, 2010 at 9:05 AM


Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP has hired Maurice Hoo as a partner and co-head of the firm’s global Private Equity practice. Hoo was a partner at Paul Hastings for five years before this and had headed the China private equity practice there. He brings with him a client base comprised of some of the world’s top equity funds and financial institutions that he helped with in investments in China and other parts of Asia. He also currently serves as counsel to the China Venture Capital Association and the China Real Estate Developers and Investors Association.

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Lovells Beijing managing partner Robert Lewis has left the firm just before the firm’s impending merger with Hogan & Hartson to join Shanghai-based AllBright Law Offices as a senior legal consultant. Foreign lawyers are legally not allowed to be partners at domestic law firms in China. He will continue to interact with his former Lovells co-workers through the Sino-Global Legal Alliance (SGLA), a referral group he helped establish three years ago. SGLA is comprised of 13 Chinese firms along with Lovells.

He will take the role of chief administrative officer at the SGLA in addition to his new role at AllBright.

Lewis said: "I am very pleased in my new roles to have the opportunity to continue to promote the original objectives of the SGLA to develop a new model for legal practice in China, melding international and domestic legal services resources and capabilities.

"In my new position with AllBright in Beijing, I will be able to leverage the competitive efficiencies of a leading domestic Chinese law firm through the national and international network of the SGLA, providing additional value for both foreign and domestic clients, particularly in certain key market segments not served by international law firms."

AllBright Shanghai managing partner Lawrence Zhu commented: "We look forward to drawing on Robert's nearly 20 years of practice experience in China with international law firms and as Asia general counsel of a major multinational corporation to help lift AllBright's international legal practice to the next level."

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Ashurst has promoted two lawyers in Hong Kong and Tokyo to partner as a part of their annual partnership promotions: Hong Kong corporate lawyer Stuart Rubin and Tokyo projects lawyer Harvey Weaver. The firm promoted 11 lawyers in total.

Ashurst senior partner Charlie Geffen commented: "This year's new partners are an extremely strong group and they have all proved their leadership credentials in a difficult market. We congratulate them and we are confident that as partners they will make a substantial contribution to Ashurst's future success."

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Linklaters has promoted one lawyer each in Hong Kong and Tokyo as part of its 2010 partnership promotions with both being capital markets lawyers: Hwang Hwa Sim in Hong Kong and Peter Frost in Tokyo. Linklaters made up 14 lawyers in total, with an additional 21 promoted to counsel.

Senior partner David Cheyne commented: "These promotions highlight our continued commitment to investing in our global practices in order to enhance the breadth and depth of expertise we offer our clients. I would like to congratulate our new partners and counsel on their promotion and look forward to working with them to lead the firm to further success."

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The CMS network’s Shanghai branch has enticed Steven Yu, an Eversheds partner, to join as the head of its Shanghai IP practice. Yu deals with business and corporate transactions, IP protection, technology licensing, international franchise and business restructuring, with a focus on technology and life science companies. He will be the seventh partner at the office.

CMS corporate partner Andrew Halper said: "For us, it is a question of assembling great talent, rather than just looking to bulk up the team for its own sake.

"Steve was simply too good to pass up, with exceptional experience in IP and competition. He has been a pioneer of competition practice in China and is a really talented corporate lawyer. I know he will do great things with us."

The CMS office in Shanghai office includes CMS Cameron McKenna and its French and German alliance firms, CMS Bureau Francis Lefebvre and CMS Hasche Sigle.

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Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft has promoted Jem Li, a corporate M&A associate, to partner in its Beijing office. Li has worked on a wide range of Asian cross-border transactions, especially large and complicated outbound M&A and JV transactions involving mining assets outside of China.

Li’s promotion is a sign of Cadwalader’s ongoing commitment to China-related work as the firm encouraged native Chinese lawyers with legal education and training in the US to take more responsibilities in client development and management of large and complicated transactions in China.

“Speaking from experience, these lawyers with such background are particularly effective in serving our clients who are PRC companies.  Lawyers with such background are also welcomed by our multinational clients who regularly seek help with better cultural understanding of their PRC counter-parties in addition to top quality legal services,” said Li.

Li remains optimistic about the future of international firms in China, even with the growing competition from domestic firms. “PRC companies are likely to continue their effort to identify and purchase assets outside of China.  These outbound activities will also generate more legal work for international law firms which have spent time and effort in the past few years building up relationship with companies in China, and which have had strong experience in serving PRC clients in cross-border deals,” he said.

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Holman Fenwick Willan has appointed James Donoghue, a partner at Blake Dawson’s Jakarta office, as a corporate and projects practice in Singapore. Donoghue’s practice focuses on the energy and resources sector, and he has advised many of the electricity privatization programs in Australia.

He commented: "I am very pleased to join an office with a team of lawyers with such long-term experience in the Asia-Pacific region and beyond. Indonesia is now the largest thermal coke exporter in the world and, with increasing demand for coal coming from India and China, the opportunities are extensive."

Holman Fenwick Singapore Managing Partner Simon Davison said: "James' significant experience in the energy and resources sector, combined with our already large practice in this area, will prove a powerful asset for clients."

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Freshfields has promoted four Asia-based finance lawyers to counsel. Middle East managing partner Joseph Huse said the new Gulf counsel will be expected to further develop the finance practice for the firm.

New counsels at Freshfields

Counsel

Office

Practice area

Don Stokes

Tokyo

Finance

William Coleman

Dubai

Finance

Marc Fèvre

Abu Dhabi

Finance

Robert Lonergan

Hong Kong

Finance


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