ATMD Bird & Bird has appointed Sundareswara Sharma as partner and head of tax in its Singapore office. In addition to being part of the firm’s international tax group, he will also be active across the firm’s corporate and commercial groups. Sharma joins with more than twenty years experience as a tax and trusts advisor, both with the Singapore tax authorities and in private legal practice. Prior to joining the firm, he served as a district judge and adjudicator in civil litigation, and as a legislative draftsman for tax and other financial legislation. Sharma’s expertise includes international taxation, permanent establishments, withholding taxes and application of tax treaties for corporations and individuals.

Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP has strengthened its private equity funds practice with the addition of Chézard Ameer as a partner in its Dubai office. Ameer, who joins from Ashurst where he was a partner since 2007, advises on a range of European, Middle Eastern and emerging markets private investment funds, including private equity, venture capital, infrastructure and real estate funds and related carried interest and co-investment arrangements. He also regularly represents many of the MENA region’s leading sovereign wealth funds in connection with their alternative assets investment programmes. Ameer will continue to focus on representing sponsors of and investors in private investment funds in Europe, the Middle East and Asia.

King & Wood has appointed Jeff Lane as a partner specialising in corporate fraud and money laundering disputes. Lane, who joined the firm from Gall & Lane, is the Hong Kong representative of FraudNet, the International Chamber of Commerce’s network of fraud litigation specialists. He has extensive experience in international dispute resolution and commercial litigation and has conducted a number of complex multi-jurisdictional fraud and asset tracing investigations. Lane has been admitted as solicitor in the UK, Hong Kong and Australia.

Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy LLP has appointed Dieter Yih, one of Hong Kong’s leading corporate lawyers, as a partner to head the firm’s Hong Kong law practice in 2011. The development reflects a significant expansion of the firm’s 35 year presence in Hong Kong: Yih will join the firm’s US partnership in January 2011, and its Hong Kong partnership when it is established later that year. He will retire at the end of 2010 from Mallesons Stephen Jaques, where he has been a partner. Yih’s practice focuses on capital markets, corporate finance and M&A in Hong Kong and mainland China, where he has led high profile public M&A and IPOs for over a decade. He speaks fluent English, Cantonese and Mandarin.

Stephenson Harwood’s Hong Kong office has made a number of high-level appointments during recent months, including that of partners Gilbert Kwok and Karen To. Kwok joined the firm’s litigation department as its construction partner in September. Previously a partner at Li & Partners, where he founded and headed that firm’s construction group, he has vast experience in the construction industry having advised a number of major Hong Kong developers on projects throughout China and Asia, and having assisted various Hong Kong and international real-estate developers and contractors with the legal aspects of their infrastructure, commercial, hotel, casino, industrial and factory developments in the region. He has also counseled on litigation, arbitration and mediation concerning construction disputes, and is a qualified quantity surveyor who had worked in the Hong Kong SAR Government’s Architectural Services Department and an international law firm for more than 18 years.

Karen To, a former partner at Baker & McKenzie, became a partner in Stephenson Harwood’s litigation department in October. Her practice focuses on commercial litigation, especially complex, cross-border and multiple litigation cases arising from substantial corporate/commercial disputes, securities and regulatory matters. She possesses a wealth of knowledge in relation to corporate compliance issues, insurance disputes/claims, Hong Kong and PRC product liability and recalls, PRC-related disputes and insolvency/bankruptcy matters, as well as in-depth familiarity with product liability insurance issues, particularly those associated with the pharmaceutical industry.

Withers has bolstered its family law team with the appointment of one of Hong Kong’s leading family lawyers, Sharon Ser, as partner. Ser, who has joined the firm through its associated Hong Kong law firm Facey & Co, will now head the firm’s family law practice in Hong Kong, which now offers the first international cross-jurisdiction family law service in the world. Since being admitted to practice law in Hong Kong in 1987, she had been a partner at Hampton, Winter and Glynn, and is currently the vice-chairman of the Hong Kong Family Law Executive Committee. A frequent lecturer for the Law Society on family law, Ser is a Fellow of the International Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers and was previously the chairman of the Hong Kong Family Law Association (1992 – 1998).

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