Akin Gump has expanded its Asia oil and gas practice with the addition of Paul Greening as a partner in Hong Kong, effective 20 July 2015. Joining from Vinson & Elkins, Greening focuses on international energy, utilities and infrastructure projects, as well as energy-focused cross-border M&As. With an expected move to Akin Gump’s Singapore office later in the year, he will bolster the firm’s oil and gas capabilities across Asia. Greening has advised on matters involving energy-related cross-border M&A, divestitures, oil and gas contracts, project development and associated maritime law advice. He has worked on transactions involving clients, projects, companies and assets located across the Asia-Pacific, Russia, Australasia, the Americas, the Middle East, Africa and Europe. His clients have included state-owned enterprises and private oil and gas companies, project developers and private equity funds. Qualified in England and Wales, Australia (NSW) and Hong Kong, Greening received his LLB and BE, both with honors, from the University of Melbourne.

Baker & McKenzie has added Joel Greer as a new partner in its Tokyo office as of 1 July 2015. A registered foreign lawyer, Greer will be working as a key member of the Dispute Resolution practice group and will focus on international arbitration matters. He moved from Washington DC to join a major law firm in Tokyo in 2006 to handle international arbitration matters for Japanese multinationals and other major global corporations. He has advised clients in arbitrations around the world conducted under the rules of various arbitral institutions, including the International Chamber of Commerce, and his experience with matters conducted under the rules of the Japan Commercial Arbitration Association is unrivalled. He also assists clients with mediation and complex, multi-jurisdictional litigation. Greer graduated with a BA from Cornell University and received a JD from Yale Law School. He was admitted to the bars in Massachusetts and Washington DC in 2001 and 2002, respectively, and in Japan as a registered foreign lawyer in 2007.

Baker & McKenzie.Wong & Leow, the member firm of Baker & McKenzie International in Singapore, has further enhanced its strengths in India-related financing work with the appointment of Prashanth Venkatesh as local principal. He joined the firm on 1 July 2015 from a top-tier law firm in India where he was a partner in the financing group. Prior to that, Venkatesh worked at a magic circle firm in London advising on banking and derivatives and structured products in the European market. He has significant experience in India-related financing transactions, including assisting sponsors to negotiate leveraged exposure with Indian banks and financial institutions, as well as advising on the financing of road, port and renewable energy projects. He also has expertise in structuring debt instruments for non-resident clients investing in the real estate debt sector through listed and privately placed debt instruments. Additionally, Venkatesh has advised lenders on corporate debt restructurings of infrastructure companies.

Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton has added Shuang Zhao as a partner who will shortly join the firm in its Hong Kong office. Zhao joins from the Hong Kong office of Shearman & Sterling, where she has practiced for the last five years and was a partner focusing on capital markets transactions. She advises Chinese corporate clients and investment banks on capital markets transactions in the US and Hong Kong. She also assists Chinese corporate clients on a wide range of legal issues arising out of their operations in China and elsewhere. A PRC native, Zhao received her JD degree from Georgetown University Law Center in 1999. She is a New York and Hong Kong-qualified lawyer.

J Sagar Associates has added Varun Sriram as a retained partner in the firm’s Chennai office. He specialises in private equity, venture capital and domestic and cross border M&As. He has been part of transactions across diverse sectors, including healthcare, security services, hospitality, ports, telecom VAS, food & beverage, manufacturing, technology, software services, transportation & logistics, pharmaceutical, non-banking finance companies and forex broking. Sriram’s practice also extends to general corporate commercial and advisory work, including legal opinions on a variety of corporate and commercial laws. He completed his law degree in 2006 and has been in practice since. Before joining the firm, he was a partner with HSB Partners Chennai and has also worked with Economic Laws Practice Mumbai and ALMT Legal Bangalore.

Weil, Gotshal & Manges has added Charles Ching as a corporate partner in the firm’s China practice. Ching, who will be based in Shanghai, joins from Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer’s Hong Kong office where he was partner. He has wide-ranging experience advising clients on complex private equity and M&A transactions and securities offerings. Ching regularly represents corporate clients and financial investors, including private equity firms, in cross-border M&A transactions as well as in pre-IPO, cornerstone and PIPE investments and debt offerings. He is fluent in Mandarin.

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