Allens Arthur Robinson has boosted its South-East Asian practice with the return of Rod Howell to the firm’s Singapore office after five years as an asset finance specialist partner at Clifford Chance. Howell, who is rejoining the firm in a partnership role, has several years’ experience on the ground in Asia, in addition to having worked in New York, and is highly skilled in a wide range of asset classes, including aircraft, shipping, rolling stock and infrastructure. The firm intends to strengthen its South East Asian offering and Howell will be joined by energy and resources partners Darren Murphy, who has relocated from the firm’s Perth office, Marae Ciantar, who also heads the firm’s Cambodia practice, and insurance partner Matthew Skinner who has relocated to Singapore from the firm’s Sydney office.

Bingham McCutchen LLP has expanded its investment management group in Hong Kong with the addition of Anne-Marie Godfrey as partner. Godfrey, who joins from Maples and Calder, has extensive experience advising investment managers in Asia on the establishment and regulation of hedge funds, mutual funds and private equity funds. She advises investment advisers, fund administrators, trustees and other fund service providers on investment fund-related issues, in addition to advising on European regulatory issues.

Clayton Utz has appointed leading Asia Pacific project finance lawyer Bruce Cooper as partner in the firm’s Sydney banking & financial services practice, effective as of September 2010. Cooper, who joins the firm from Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, has spent the past 18 years of his career in Asia, most recently in Hong Kong where he led Freshfields’ regional finance practice group. He also practised with Freshfields in Singapore for 14 years. Cooper is experienced on a wide range of transactions across the banking, infrastructure, project finance, energy and natural resources sectors in the Asia-Pacific region, as well as in the Caspian region, Africa and the Middle East.

Jun He has appointed Huang Rongnan as counsel effective June 2010. Huang, who is practicing from the firm’s Shanghai office, was a founding partner of Shanghai Fu Xuanjie Law Firm, and is well-known for his expertise in representing top entertainment and media companies. He has drafted media and entertainment-related agreements for many Sino-foreign jointly invested films or TV series, and also specialises in commercial litigation, arbitration and alternative dispute solutions.

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