Blake Dawson has appointed Peter McCullough as a partner in its direct tax practice in Sydney. McCullough joins the firm after more than 15 years as a partner at global accounting firms Ernst & Young and Deloitte, where he built a leading reputation in providing transactional advice to some of the nation’s blue chip companies and investment banks. McCullough has worked across a wide range of sectors, including financial services, manufacturing and retail, defence, property and tourism, as well as privatisations and utilities, and has also led accounts for major Australian and multinational clients. He brings to the firm a specialisation in international taxation, having had a long history of advising in-bound and out-bound-looking multinationals on Australian tax matters.

Bird & Bird has strengthened its Shanghai practice with the appointment of Weishi Li as partner. Li specialises in commercial technology, licensing and IP work, with a particular expertise in the technology, life sciences and healthcare sectors. Working closely with other partners in the firm’s mainland China and Hong Kong offices, she will play an important role helping to build the firm’s transactional and IP expertise in the region. She has extensive experience assisting multinational and Chinese companies in structuring and negotiating cross-border technology-related transactions, and has also regularly provided IP counselling to leading PE/VC funds and multinational companies in connection with investing in or acquiring technology and life sciences companies in China.

Gide Loyrette Nouel (GLN) has appointed banking and finance expert Pham Bach Duong to its Vietnam practice. Pham, who prior to joining GLN was head of legal for Standard Chartered Bank in Vietnam and the Mekong Region for almost six years, now brings his extensive experience in banking and finance law and compliance in Vietnam and Southeast Asia to the firm. He has a strong track record in loans and trade finance involving international companies operating in Vietnam, as well as Vietnamese state-owned and private borrowers, whilst also possessing in-depth experience of Vietnamese securities issuances, custody services and derivative products, and the corporate aspects of transactions involving credit institutions and governance and compliance issues. A graduate of the Sorbonne University in Paris and the Moscow State Institute of International Relations, he speaks fluent Vietnamese, English, French and Russian.

Ogier has appointed James Bergstrom as managing partner of the firm’s Hong Kong legal business, effective January 2011. Bergstrom, one of the firm’s most experienced and respected group partners, is relocating to Hong Kong from the Cayman Islands where he was managing partner of the firm’s Cayman’s legal business for eight years. He takes over from existing managing partner Duncan Smith following his retirement. Bergstrom joined the firm when Ogier and Boxalls merged in 2003 and was responsible for leading the merger. He has practised in the Cayman Islands since 1991 in the principal areas of investment funds, private equity, corporate and commercial law and business and securities regulation.

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