Category Archives: Legal

Reed Smith moves to new offices in Singapore to accommodate growing team in Southeast Asia

Global law firm Reed Smith today announced it has moved its Singapore office to a larger space in the Ocean Financial Centre building in Raffles Place. It will continue to share its office space with Formal Law Alliance partner Resource Law LLC.

The move marks Reed Smith’s continued commitment to Singapore as its Southeast Asia hub and will accommodate its growing team of diverse legal practitioners. Since establishing its presence in Singapore in 2012, and later entering into a Formal Law Alliance with Resource Law LLC in 2016, the office has grown to 57 staff, including 36 lawyers. This year alone the firm has made a number of strategic hires, including Daniel Perera into its leading Energy & Natural Resources Group and ex-mariner Joel Cockerell into its leading Shipping Group.

Reed Smith’s Singapore office remains strategically positioned to advise clients in Singapore and those conducting business throughout the region, particularly in Indonesia, Vietnam, Cambodia, the Philippines, Malaysia, Myanmar, Thailand, and elsewhere in South-east Asia. In addition, clients will continue to benefit from Reed Smith’s global network, receiving seamless legal advice from its offices across the globe.

Cooley Strengthens East Coast Litigation Group

Jonathan Kim is joining Cooley’s New York office as a partner in the commercial litigation practice. He arrives having served for more than a decade at Goldman, Sachs & Co., most recently as vice president and associate general counsel for its litigation and regulatory proceedings group.

“Cooley is focused on growing its cadre of top-tier, New York-based litigators to meet our clients’ needs in the region and globally,” said Mike Attanasio, chair of Cooley’s global litigation department. “Jonathan’s longtime experience, including several significant and diverse legal positions at Goldman Sachs, makes him a great choice for the role. With his deep litigation experience and financial services industry ties, he is uniquely positioned to advise our clients on Wall Street and beyond as they defend themselves in litigation and manage regulatory risk.”
Prior to Goldman Sachs, Kim worked as counsel for O’Melveny & Myers and was previously an associate at Simpson Thacher & Bartlett. He also clerked for two federal judges: Judge Leonard I.
Garth, US Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit and Judge Barrington D. Parker Jr., US District Court for the Southern District of New York. He received his JD from Harvard Law School and his BA from Dartmouth College.

“Cooley’s proven strength in complex litigation and its robust financial services platform for both large institutions and emerging companies are huge draws for me,” Kim said. “Along with the potency of its global brand, Cooley’s litigation practice is known for its results-oriented and client-first culture. While at Goldman, I had the pleasure of working with several of the firm’s litigators for many years as a client, and their legal acumen, problem-solving creativity and advocacy has impressed me indelibly. Suffice it to say, I am delighted to now be working alongside them as their partner, and adding to Cooley’s deep and impressive bench of litigators and legal advisers.”

Kim’s arrival follows on the heels of another East Coast securities and commercial litigator, Eric Kuwana, who recently joined Cooley as partner in Washington, DC, and New York.

Earlier this year, The American Lawyer recognized Cooley’s exceptional litigation and trial practice with an honorable mention in its biennial Litigation Department of the Year contest. Other publications have also lauded the meteoric rise of Cooley’s litigation practice. BTI Consulting Group named Cooley a Litigation Powerhouse in five categories, and The Lawyer again recognized Cooley’s litigation growth and outstanding advocacy in its annual Global Litigation 50 report. Law360 has heralded Cooley as a “go-to” firm for its litigation work, ranking it among the elite US law firms on its Litigation Powerhouse list.

Cooley Expands in Beijing With Leading Corporate Partner

Cooley is strengthening its newest office with the arrival of partner Henry Yin from Kirkland & Ellis. Based in Beijing, Yin will be a member of Cooley’s business department.

“Henry’s arrival perfectly complements Cooley’s global growth strategy,” said Mike Lincoln, chair of Cooley’s global business department. “Building out our Beijing presence is the firm’s latest step in finding next-generation leaders to continue our history of achievement across the Asia-Pacific region. We are thrilled to welcome Henry, who will be an exceptional addition to the partnership with his sophisticated Greater China corporate experience, proven dedication to clients, commercial instincts, network and enthusiasm.”

Yin focuses his practice on mergers and acquisitions – including cross‐border and outbound investments – private equity, early and late-stage venture capital and growth investments, joint ventures, PIPEs, financings, going‐private transactions and other corporate matters associated with companies from the US, China and globally. He works with clients across many industries, including life sciences, technology, film, digital media, financial services, e‐commerce, software, hardware, education, manufacturing, consumer, logistics, automotive, real estate, reinsurance, pharmaceuticals and infrastructure.

“I’ve had the great fortune of working opposite numerous Cooley partners through my years of practice,” Yin said. “The unifying culture, unparalleled momentum in targeted spaces and unique positioning for the new economy all make Cooley a very special platform. The firm’s reputation for first-class legal advice and collaborative teamwork has always been a draw, along with its preeminent global tech, high-growth industries and investment funds client base. I am eager to contribute to this dynamic platform and continue to empower innovators and investors, founders, financiers and visionaries.”

Yin, a native Mandarin speaker, received his JD from Duke University School of Law. He started his legal career at the New York office of Skadden and was most recently a partner in the Hong Kong office of Kirkland & Ellis.

Cooley expanded its Asia-Pacific presence with the launch of a Beijing office in January, following on the success of the firm’s Shanghai office, which opened in 2011. Cooley is fund formation counsel to 450+ fund organizations worldwide, including 50+ fund managers with their primary operations in China. It is the #1 law firm representing venture-backed companies going public for the last decade and advises 40% of US companies listed in Wall Street Journal’s Billion Dollar Startup Club. Cooley represents more than 6,000 high-growth private company clients.

CMS Hong Kong maintains growth momentum adding Insurance capability with hire of two leading disputes specialists to Hong Kong association

International law firm CMS is continuing its Hong Kong expansion with the appointment of two esteemed Insurance partners to associated Hong Kong firm Shirley Lau & Co. LLP. Dual-qualified Andrew Horton and Steven Wise will join the firm from RPC.

Ed Foss, Head of CMS’ Insurance & Reinsurance Group, comments: “The Insurance market is becoming increasingly global in nature and Asia is playing an important part in that, so it is vital that we continue to build out the practice to meet the needs of our clients and take on new opportunities. We are delighted that Andrew and Steven will join our associated firm in Hong Kong. They are both excellent disputes lawyers with considerable experience and knowledge of the Hong Kong insurance market. Their experience is complementary to our offering in London and internationally, particularly in Hamburg, and we see a number of synergies between our practices and clients, notably in the international trade areas.”

Andrew Horton is a highly experienced litigator and arbitration lawyer, specialising in marine insurance. Andrew regularly advises P&I clubs, international insurers, trading companies and recovery agents on disputes involving bills of lading, charterparties, marine insurance policies, P&I and FD&D claims. Andrew also specialises in cross border disputes with particular emphasis on the PRC as well as goods, banking and trade credit disputes. Qualified in both Hong Kong and England & Wales, Andrew has significant experience in global enforcement actions involving arrest of ships and injunction orders to obtain security for his clients with regard to such disputes. He is highly regarded in the market, and is ranked as a leading lawyer for Shipping Litigation in China in the Chambers Asia-Pacific and Legal 500 Asia guides.

Steven Wise is an experienced dispute resolution lawyer, specialising in shipping and international trade. A qualified solicitor in both Hong Kong and England & Wales, Steven advises on charterparties, bills of lading, commodity contracts, trade credit and shareholder disputes, and has particular expertise in complex charterparty and multi-jurisdictional disputes. His clients include ship owners and charterers, traders, port and terminal operators, P&I Clubs and commercial underwriters. Steven regularly handles cases in arbitration and court proceedings in London, Hong Kong and other regional centres, and has represented clients in mediations. He was recently appointed as a Notary Public in Hong Kong. Steven is also ranked in Chambers Asia Pacific for shipping litigation.

Stephen Millar, Managing Partner for CMS, comments: “These appointments mark the next stage in our growth story in Hong Kong. With these new additions, we are adding further firepower to our contentious practice, which has been growing steadily since our launch in Hong Kong less than two years ago. Added to our recent tie-up with Shirley Lau & Co, which has boosted our Corporate offering and allowed us to provide Hong Kong law support to clients, we have a well-rounded practice, with a team of highly skilled transactional, finance and disputes lawyers.”
Tim Elliott, CMS Hong Kong, adds: “We remain motivated by the prospects that the Asia-Pacific market offers. These developments further reinforce our commitment to the region and growing our capability in strategic areas that best serve the interests of our clients.”

Real Estate Team Joins Dechert in Dubai

Dechert LLP has strengthened its Middle East offering with the hires of real estate partner Stephen Kelly and national partner Sarah Mahood.

Mr. Kelly is a distinguished practitioner specializing in real estate development and hospitality, particularly within the Middle East, with experience in advising with respect to the full array of development, hospitality and transactional real estate matters. He represents developers and other clients in all aspects of real estate development and advises master developers, hotel operators, service providers and other players within the industry. Mr. Kelly also specialises in implementing titling structures for the most complex development projects in the region and has extensive experience of structuring community and strata title regimes, particularly in large scale master communities, mixed-use and hotel developments. Chambers and Partners quotes clients describing him as “an extremely experienced development lawyer who is able to give a well thought through perspective on the market.”

Ms. Mahood is a rising star in the Middle Eastern real estate legal market. She advises master developers, developers, hotel operators, tenants, landlords, investors and lenders with respect to all aspects of development, hospitality and commercial real estate. Ms. Mahood specialises in advising on complex sale and purchase agreements and all aspects of leasing acting for both landlords and tenants. She also has extensive experience of the structuring of complex mixed-use and hotel development projects involving strata titling and multiple ownership. Ms. Mahood is recognised in The Legal 500 as a ‘Next Generation Lawyer’ in real estate.

Dechert’s Middle East co-managing partner Chris P. Sioufi said, “We are delighted to add Stephen and Sarah’s top flight real estate experience to our Dubai team, further expanding our client offering in the region.”

Richard Jones, chair of Dechert’s global finance and real estate practice groups added “Stephen and Sarah are heavyweights in the Middle East real estate market and they enhance the firm’s ability to provide intelligent and innovative real estate advice worldwide.”

“These hires demonstrate Dechert’s firm commitment to investing in and further expanding our Middle East capability,” said Camille Abousleiman, head of Dechert’s emerging markets group, “Stephen and Sarah join a market-leading team of premier lawyers in the region.”

“I am excited to join such a dynamic firm with a real appetite to grow its services to clients in the Middle East region,” said Mr. Kelly. “Dechert is globally renowned for its strategic and commercial approach to legal advice, and I look forward to working alongside the firm’s leading real estate group.”

Dechert’s real estate group provides clients access to a responsive, interdisciplinary, multi-jurisdictional team to address all aspects of complex real estate transactions. The firm’s internationally recognized practice offers an informed approach based on extensive cross-border experience in the sector. Chambers and Partners quotes market commentators stating “for high value matters, whether in money terms or complexity, we would always use them.”

Dechert lawyers have a strong history of working with clients in the Middle East and North Africa region. With the support of the extensive global resources of an international law firm, Dechert advises local, regional and international clients on all matters of law and regulation, applying a creative, results-oriented approach to any type of project or transaction.

Burness Paull posts strong performance

Leading independent commercial law firm Burness Paull LLP is on track to meet the targets set out in its ambitious three-year growth plan.

The firm has reported a strong performance in its financial year ending 31 July 2018 – securing a ninth year of consecutive growth – posting an annual turnover of £57.6M – up 7% from £53.8M the previous year. Profit is £23.8M – up 8% from £22M on 2016/17 – and as a result all eligible employees will receive a bonus of 5%.

Commenting on the results, Burness Paull chairman Peter Lawson said: “We have delivered an excellent financial performance in what has been a choppy year for the Scottish economy. There will undoubtedly be more challenges to come as a result of the uncertain political and economic backdrop. However, there will also be opportunities for those who are prepared to be bold and adapt.”

The firm, which was named the most active dealmaker in Scotland for the third consecutive year*, has a three-year strategy aimed at delivering growth across its Aberdeen, Edinburgh and Glasgow offices, working with clients across Scotland, the UK and internationally. Over the past 12 months the firm has seen an increase in instructions across most sectors, with energy, technology and international business the key drivers.

Mr Lawson explained, “Scotland continues to produce exciting, dynamic businesses. Our international clients also tell us it is a cracking place to do business and is increasingly attractive for inward investment – more so than any region outwith London. Our future-facing global strategy involves a constant flow of focused trade missions. Every week we have boots on the ground in our key territories of US, China, Norway, Canada, India, Germany and Israel, which gives us genuine intimacy with those markets.

“These excellent results support our strategy of combining in-market focus with global reach. Clients want to work with market-leading specialists, who are regularly transacting across the jurisdictions they operate in, to form cutting-edge partnerships. That’s our sweet spot.”

The success of the firm’s international drive has been underlined by the growing number of mandates from outside the UK. A significant contributor has been the firm’s recent appointment as the sole Scottish representative in Lex Mundi, the world’s leading network of independent law firms, which has helped the firm win a 30% increase in international instructions over the past year.

In response to the increase in new business headcount at the firm grew by almost 5% over the past 12 months, with 23 new members of staff taking the overall number of employees to 505 – of which 317 are lawyers.

“The speed of change in the legal sector has never been greater. Growth will come from our agility in developing our service lines to support the changing needs of our clients both here and internationally. In particular, we anticipate further increased activity in energy, technology and international business,” continued Mr. Lawson.

“A principle of service excellence is at the core of our client engagement and we have invested heavily in people and our systems to support this, deepening our talent pool and creating operational efficiencies. A string of awards for our IP, Tech and Employment practices underlines that the strategy is paying off.”

The firm’s broad range of work highlights demonstrate Corporate Scotland’s resilience in the current political and economic climate. An upturn in inward investment into Scotland, particularly in the leisure sector where the firm saw a surge in hotels activity and the renewable energy sector – working on onshore wind projects across Scotland with a generating capacity in excess of 400MW.

Housebuilding has also performed strongly, with the firm providing advice on residential developments throughout Scotland totalling over 11,000 dwellings. Aberdeen and the wider oil and gas industry continue to bounce back, while GDPR and the development and regulation of the evolving fintech industry have offered scope for developing new service lines.

Mr Lawson added, “The changing geo-political situation and the impact of the technological revolution will generate enormous changes in the way business is conducted. Analysing the problems and the opportunities will be one thing, creating solutions will be another. We are already embracing this.

“Culture is another potent driver of growth at Burness Paull. Nurturing talent and attracting top performers from other firms is creating an environment in which people at all levels feel empowered to contribute to the growth of the firm. Six recent partner appointments, including the lateral hire of restructuring specialist Michael Thomson from Pinsent Masons, and internal promotions in financial services, corporate finance, banking and employment are testament to the effectiveness of our developing leaders programme. We are also pleased to be able to retain 23 newly qualified lawyers in the firm, representing a Newly Qualified retention rate of well over 90%.”

China’s Opening-up of its Insurance Sector & China’s Insurance Legal Framework

Ince & Co partners Fei Mao and Simon Cooper will be speaking at the International Underwriting Association of London’s event on “China’s Opening-up of its Insurance Sector & China’s Insurance Legal Framework”.

The discussion will focus on China’s insurance sector reform and the new regulations. They will also discuss China’s insurance sector’s legal framework and the legal framework of cross-border reinsurance from the Chinese and English law perspective.

Ince & Co Global Head of Yachts relocates to Monaco

International law firm Ince & Co has announced today that Andrew Charlier, Global Head of Yachts and Superyachts has relocated to its Monaco office with immediate effect.

Andrew’s relocation is part of the continued expansion and growth of Ince & Co’s yacht practice. The firm opened its Monaco office in 2011 providing legal advice to a wide range of local and international clients operating in this strategically important hub. The firm is recognised as a leading international law firm in Monaco which is renowned for its well-established international yachting community and one of the world’s leading locations for yachts and super yachts. With over 25 years’ experience, Andrew is a highly regarded transactional lawyer specialising in yachts and superyachts, business aviation and general business and finance.

Andrew Charlier, Global Head of Yachts and Superyachts, commented:

“I am very pleased to be relocating to our Monaco office where I have spent a considerable amount of time over the years. I know the local market well and this opportunity gives me the chance to work even more closely with existing and new clients and will provide a strong platform for further growth of our global yacht practice”.

Ian Cranston, Monaco Head of Office, Ince & Co, commented:

“I am delighted that Andrew is joining the Monaco office. His relocation is the latest example of the firm’s commitment to internationalise our business and focus on sectors of strategic importance to clients with interests in the region.”

Reed Smith moves to new offices in Singapore to accommodate growing team in Southeast Asia

Global law firm Reed Smith today announced it has moved its Singapore office to a larger space in the Ocean Financial Centre building in Raffles Place. It will continue to share its office space with Formal Law Alliance partner Resource Law LLC.

The move marks Reed Smith’s continued commitment to Singapore as its Southeast Asia hub and will accommodate its growing team of diverse legal practitioners. Since establishing its presence in Singapore in 2012, and later entering into a Formal Law Alliance with Resource Law LLC in 2016, the office has grown to 57 staff, including 36 lawyers. This year alone the firm has made a number of strategic hires, including Daniel Perera into its leading Energy & Natural Resources Group and ex-mariner Joel Cockerell into its leading Shipping Group.

Reed Smith’s Singapore office remains strategically positioned to advise clients in Singapore and those conducting business throughout the region, particularly in Indonesia, Vietnam, Cambodia, the Philippines, Malaysia, Myanmar, Thailand, and elsewhere in South-east Asia. In addition, clients will continue to benefit from Reed Smith’s global network, receiving seamless legal advice from its offices across the globe.

The new office has been designed by PDM, an award-winning company of JLL. With a larger conference and breakout area, Reed Smith will continue to host industry-leading events with capacity for over 100 guests.

Commenting on the office move, Barry Stimpson, managing partner of Reed Smith Singapore, said: “This is an exciting move for us which reflects our rapidly growing team and symbolises our long-term commitment to Singapore and to the Asia Pacific region. In the past six years we have established market-leading teams in our specialist sectors and industries. We look forward to growing alongside our clients as we partner with them to meet their business objectives in Singapore and the Southeast Asia region.”

Cooley Expands in Beijing With Leading Corporate Partner

Cooley is strengthening its newest office with the arrival of partner Henry Yin from Kirkland & Ellis. Based in Beijing, Yin will be a member of Cooley’s business department.

“Henry’s arrival perfectly complements Cooley’s global growth strategy,” said Mike Lincoln, chair of Cooley’s global business department. “Building out our Beijing presence is the firm’s latest step in finding next-generation leaders to continue our history of achievement across the Asia-Pacific region. We are thrilled to welcome Henry, who will be an exceptional addition to the partnership with his sophisticated Greater China corporate experience, proven dedication to clients, commercial instincts, network and enthusiasm.”

Yin focuses his practice on mergers and acquisitions – including cross‐border and outbound investments – private equity, early and late-stage venture capital and growth investments, joint ventures, PIPEs, financings, going‐private transactions and other corporate matters associated with companies from the US, China and globally. He works with clients across many industries, including life sciences, technology, film, digital media, financial services, e‐commerce, software, hardware, education, manufacturing, consumer, logistics, automotive, real estate, reinsurance, pharmaceuticals and infrastructure.

“I’ve had the great fortune of working opposite numerous Cooley partners through my years of practice,” Yin said. “The unifying culture, unparalleled momentum in targeted spaces and unique positioning for the new economy all make Cooley a very special platform. The firm’s reputation for first-class legal advice and collaborative teamwork has always been a draw, along with its preeminent global tech, high-growth industries and investment funds client base. I am eager to contribute to this dynamic platform and continue to empower innovators and investors, founders, financiers and visionaries.”

Yin, a native Mandarin speaker, received his JD from Duke University School of Law. He started his legal career at the New York office of Skadden and was most recently a partner in the Hong Kong office of Kirkland & Ellis.

Cooley expanded its Asia-Pacific presence with the launch of a Beijing office in January, following on the success of the firm’s Shanghai office, which opened in 2011. Cooley is fund formation counsel to 450+ fund organizations worldwide, including 50+ fund managers with their primary operations in China. It is the #1 law firm representing venture-backed companies going public for the last decade and advises 40% of US companies listed in Wall Street Journal’s Billion Dollar Startup Club. Cooley represents more than 6,000 high-growth private company clients.