Akin Gump has added Rizwan Kanji as a partner in its Dubai office. He joins from another large international law firm in Dubai, where he served as the lead of that firm’s global capital markets working group and as one of the deputy heads of its financial services industry focus group. Kanji’s practice focuses on debt capital markets, finance and securitisations using both conventional and Islamic finance structures. Particularly active in the Middle East and Turkey for over a decade and, more recently, in Africa, he advises investment banks, financial institutions, multilateral development banks, sovereign states, insurance companies and multinational regional corporations on high-profile transactions. Well known for his excellent client and technical skills, and his ability to structure conventional financing, as well as Shari’a- compliant sukuk, Kanji has developed a particular reputation for advising on “first of its kind” transactions. For example, he advised on the first sukuk out of Turkey, the first syndicated Murabaha financing out of Russia, the first “Blue Bond” in the world and the establishment of the largest sukuk program to date. He received his LLB from the University of Leicester and his LLM from Southampton University. He is qualified in England and Wales.
Baker McKenzie Wong & Leow, the member firm of Baker McKenzie International in Singapore, has added Xavier Amadei as local principal in its capital markets practice. Amadei, who joins from Linklaters, has extensive experience acting on cross-border equity and debt offerings, advising investment banks, issuers (including sovereigns) and shareholders throughout the Asia Pacific region. His transactional experience includes SEC-registered offerings and offerings pursuant to Regulation S, Rule 144A, as well as other private placements. He has also advised clients on matters of bribery, corruption, fraud and economic sanction regimes and on the implications of the EU Alternative Investment Fund Managers Directive. He is admitted to practise in Hong Kong, Paris and New York.
KorumLegal has expanded its capabilities and offerings with the addition of Rob Shakespeare and Tessa Whittle to their HQ team. Shakespeare joins as general manager and managing consultant for Southeast Asia, while Whittle, previously a consultant with KorumLegal, has expanded her role to head of legal, as well as managing consultant. Shakespeare and Whittle, located in Singapore and Hong Kong, respectively, bring extensive private practice and in-house legal experience. Shakespeare joins KorumLegal’s Singapore office, after spending the last three years building the Asia-Pacific corporate practice at Squire Patton Boggs in Singapore. With nearly 15 years’ experience in corporate transactions, he brings strong legal expertise and a passion to drive legal innovation, which he sees as ripe for change. On the other hand, Whittle expands her role in KorumLegal, having previously been a managing consultant working with one of KorumLegal’s key financial institution clients for the last 18 months. With over 14 years of experience advising on corporate, commercial and compliance / regulatory legal matters, she will help drive quality legal solutions and legal operations at KorumLegal.