Broad & Bright has bolstered its Shanghai practice with the appointment of Chen Yifan and Philips Ding as partners effective January 2011. They join the firm from the Shanghai office of Run Ming Law Office where they were partners. Ding’s practice encompasses M&A, private equity investment, project development and finance, as well as regulatory advice. Yifan has extensive experience in representing Japanese clients in connection with foreign direct investment and labour law matters.

Clifford Chance has appointed Patrick Zheng as partner to spearhead the firm’s China litigation and dispute resolution practice. Zheng has significant experience in international dispute resolution, particularly in international arbitration and ADR, having worked for eight years at China International Economic and Trade Arbitration Commission (CIETAC) where he handled over 300 cases. After turning to private practice, he has acted as counsel and advocate before arbitral tribunals in various systems, including CIETAC, HKIAC, LCIA, ICC, KCAB, SIAC and ad hoc under the UNCITRAL Rules. He also has an extensive track record working with many state-owned enterprises, mainland and international companies.

Eversheds has appointed structured finance and derivatives lawyer Kingsley Ong as partner in its Hong Kong banking and finance team. Ong, who has over 10 years experience at both Mayer Brown (Hong Kong and London) and Clifford Chance (London), has extensive experience in setting up securitisations, derivative products and other structured finance transactions, as well as the unwinding of complex securitisation structures and close out of derivatives, repo and securities lending contracts. He is the Secretary-General of the Asia-Pacific Structured Finance Association and is fluent in Mandarin and Cantonese Chinese.

Habib Al Mulla & Company has appointed Nicholas Diacos to head the firm’s office in Abu Dhabi to address the rapidly emerging growth in the region. Diacos is an Australian qualified banking, finance and corporate law specialist with over 28 years experience. Throughout his career, he has established and developed many successful practices across Australia and the Middle East. Most recently, Diacos launched and developed a green field office in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for another UAE law firm.

Norton Rose has appointed Charlotte Robins as a partner in the Hong Kong corporate team. Robins joins from Clifford Chance Hong Kong, where she is a consultant. With over 10 years’ experience based mainly in Asia, her practice is focused on financial services regulatory and licensing matters across the Asian region, including advising hedge funds and private equity funds on their establishment and ongoing regulatory requirements, and investment banks on legal and compliance issues.

White & Case LLP has strengthened its global project finance expertise with the appointment of Ken Hawkes as a partner in the firm’s Singapore office. Hawkes, who joins from Hogan Lovells LLP where he was head of the firm’s banking and finance practice in Singapore, has 16 years’ experience in project finance, with specific expertise in negotiating, structuring and documenting complex financing transactions in the oil and gas, power, resources and telecommunications industries. As well as Asia, he also has experience in the Middle East, South America, Africa, Australia and the Indian subcontinent.

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