April 14, 2021
Michelle Gon Han Kun has added Michelle Gon and Sophie Shi as partners in the Shanghai office, effective March 31, 2021. Gon has more than 30 years of experience in the US and China, and is recognized as an expert in cross-border compliance and regulatory areas. She has extensive experience representing multinationals in complicated and challenging compliance and regulatory matters. She is familiar with Chinese legal practice and deeply experienced in advising on cross-border transactions involving China, the US and Europe. Gon is also skilled in advising on IP protection, acquisition, system establishment, trade secret protection, infringement defense strategies, and litigation negotiations. Before joining the firm, she practiced with Winston & Strawn as a partner, and held senior partner roles at two other international law firms. In addition, she served as chief legal officer of a China-based high-tech enterprise, and as in-house counsel for the international division of a US-based multinational company, which has investments across the globe. On the other hand, Shi focuses on compliance, general corporate, and regulatory and governmental affairs. She is experienced in dealing with both Chinese and international legal matters, and has handled many complex cases and significant projects in a variety of areas for both international and domestic clients.   David Lam King & Wood Mallesons has strengthened its cross-border finance capability with the appointment of banking and finance partner David Lam. He brings 18 years of cross-border finance experience, coupled with a deep understanding and connectivity with clients in Hong Kong and China. Fluent in English, Mandarin and Cantonese, Lam has built an effective practice focused on cross-border loan financing outbound from China,...
March 31, 2021
London-based ‘Magic Circle’ law firm Linklaters has appointed William Liu as the next regional managing partner for Asia from 1 June, 2021. William will take over from Nathalie Hobbs whose previous four-year term in the role will come to an end in June. Hobbes will work closely with William during a handover period. William will serve in the new role for the next four-year term. University of Hong Kong-trained William joined Linklaters in 1998 and became a partner in 2008. Since 2018, William was the head of China and head of Capital Markets Asia overseeing the firm’s strategy and vision for China. He also sat on the Asia Executive Committee. William is a capital markets specialist with experience in a wide range of public debt, equity and equity-linked transactions along with private and proprietary illiquid and PIPE investments. “I am looking forward to building on Nathalie’s fantastic legacy and working with colleagues across the region to drive forward our focus on clients and culture,” William said. During his time at the Linklaters China capital markets practice, he led the firm in some high-profile regional transactions. William was the head of a Linklaters team advising the People’s Republic of China Ministry of Finance during its $US6 billion 144A/Reg S sovereign bonds offering. The deal was signed in November 2020 and attracted a record 4.5x demand of an orderbook of over $US28 billion and was Asia’s first blue bonds offering by Bank of China. For that deal, William had support from his counsel colleague Karen Cheng and managing associate Allen Zhang. Linklaters firmwide managing partner Gideon Moore recognised William can “deliver results”...
March 31, 2021
The DIFC Court of First Instance has, for the first time in its history, issued a judgement allowing the examination of witnesses resident in the UAE pursuant to two requests for judicial assistance (Letters Rogatory) from the District Court of the State of Minnesota, USA (the US Court). The judgement, issued by Justice Robert French, clarifies the scope of Rules 30.65, 30.66 and 30.67 of the Rules of the DIFC Courts (the RDC). Overview of Dispute The Letters Rogatory were issued by the US Court further to the application of a Defendant in two claims relating to, among other things, product liability of a manufacturer. The Plaintiffs in both cases claimed losses and damages as a result of an accident which occurred in Sharjah by initiating proceedings before the US Court. Given that a number of witnesses and authorities concerned with the first-hand events of the incident were resident in the UAE, the US Court, on the application of the Defendant, requested assistance from the DIFC Courts in obtaining the testimony of those witnesses and documents relating to the incident. The Defendant issued Part 8 proceedings in the DIFC Courts pursuant to Rules 30.65, 30.66 and 30.67 of the RDC without naming any defendants. RDC 30.65 and RDC 30.66 specifies wide powers for the DIFC Courts to grant assistance to foreign courts: RDC 30.65 Where an application is made to the Court for an order for evidence to be obtained in the DIFC and the Court is satisfied: (1) that the application is made in pursuance of a request issued by or on behalf of a court or tribunal...
March 17, 2021
Daryl Chew, current managing partner of Shearman & Sterling’s Singapore office has been appointed as the chairman of the Board of Directors of Maxwell Chambers. Chew succeeds Philip Jeyaretnam SC, who was recently appointed as a Supreme Court Judicial Commissioner. Under Jeyaretnam’s leadership, Maxwell Chambers, an integrated alternative dispute resolution complex located in Singapore, has grown into a leading facility providing hearing rooms. Chew acts as counsel and arbitrator in arbitrations involving a wide range of applicable laws, arbitral rules and seats, with a focus on construction, energy, M&A, joint venture and general commercial disputes. “I am honoured by the appointment, and privileged to have the opportunity to serve an institution that is not only a lodestar for its counterparts in the region and across the globe, but which also has immense significance to me as a dispute resolution practitioner in Singapore,” Chew said. According to Chew, Maxwell Chambers has, over the past decade, become an unmistakable feature in the international dispute resolution landscape, and it is now an icon for ADR practitioners, both in Singapore and abroad. “As we navigate a more complex, post-pandemic global landscape, where virtual meetings and hearings are more commonplace, I look forward to building on our solid foundations, and collaborating with management and the Board to develop a shared vision for the next chapter,” he added. He assured that Maxwell Chambers will remain singularly focused on refining its core offerings to add value and meet the diverse, evolving needs of users in the global ADR community, and that it is also committed to expanding its global footprint, adopting innovative and transformative technologies and...
March 17, 2021
Michael Gagie has been appointed as regional managing partner for Asia. In his new role, Gagie assumes executive and leadership responsibility for the group’s law firms in Hong Kong and Singapore.  He has spent the past decade working in a number of leadership roles across the group’s Asia offices in Hong Kong and Singapore. The group’s new regionally focused leadership structure for its law firms in Asia draws on the existing close working relationships between those offices, and reflects the broader move of a number of key clients and intermediary firms to a regional platform for legal, fund and fiduciary services in Asia. “I am delighted to take on this new leadership role within the Maples Group. As the economic and financial landscape in Asia continues to evolve, so too do the requirements of market participants. With our expansive legal and financial services offering, our regional focus enables us to leverage our combined resources across offices for the benefit of our clients and their businesses,” Gagie pointed out. For nearly 30 years, the Maples Group’s Asia offices have been servicing multinational clients on their investments in Asia, as well as Asia-based clients on their overseas investments. The group has a global footprint of 18 offices worldwide, and its Asia offices in Hong Kong, Singapore and Shanghai continue to grow year on year. With over 300 legal, fund and fiduciary services professionals based in the region, the group has a long-term commitment to growing its presence in Asia, and continues to garner a market-leading...
March 12, 2021
Japanese law firm Atsumi & Sakai has established an office in New York, to be formally named as Atsumi & Sakai New York. This expansion will enable the firm to provide more convenient legal services in North and South America. The New York office will be led by Bonnie Dixon, a veteran partner of the firm and the first non-Japanese lawyer to be a partner of a Japanese law firm in the post-war era. As the only Japanese law firm with offices in London and New York, an affiliated office in Frankfurt and an affiliated law firm in Vietnam, Atsumi & Sakai covers all time zones and provides legal services literally 24 hours a day. Atsumi & Sakai is a rare example of legal diversity in Japan, employing registered foreign lawyers and other foreign lawyers from 10 jurisdictions, including New York and other US states, the UK, the State of Queensland, Australia, Germany, Taiwan, India and Vietnam. Dixon represents the firm’s commitment to gender and racial diversity. Atsumi & Sakai has the highest gender diversity among the largest law firms in Japan, for which the firm has won numerous awards. A lawyer admitted in New York, Dixon will serve as managing partner of the New York office, while Rikiya Okuhara, a lawyer admitted in Japan and New York, will serve as vice-managing partner. After practising law as a partner at the New York offices of leading US law firms, Dixon returned to Japan in 2002 and joined Atsumi & Sakai in 2005. She serves clients in cross-border transactions and dispute resolution matters. Dixon will divide her time between the New York office...