Ant Financial Services Group has appointed Leiming Chen as global general counsel and senior vice-president, responsible for legal and compliance as well as related risk management. In his new role, Chen will lead a team of over 50 legal and compliance experts that works with Ant Financial’s domestic and international partners, as well as governments and regulators. He will report directly to Eric Jing, president of Ant Financial. Chen joins from Simpson Thacher & Bartlett where he has been a partner and the head of the China practice with clients which include China’s most prestigious companies. Qualified to practice law in New York and Hong Kong, he has extensive experience and expertise in capital markets, M&As, corporate governance and compliance. He received his JD in 1994 from Osgoode Hall Law School, York University, Toronto, Canada and graduated from Hangzhou Teachers College in 1981.

Mayer Brown JSM has further expanded its corporate and securities practice with the arrival of Rod Brown in the firm’s Singapore office in April 2016. Brown will join from Latham & Watkins in Singapore, where he was a corporate partner. He is experienced in public and private M&A, private equity transactions, restructurings, strategic investments, joint ventures and general corporate matters. Brown has acted for a number of multinationals in India, Indonesia and elsewhere in the region across a wide range of sectors, including energy and natural resources, technology, media and telecom, and hospitality, gaming and leisure.

Proskauer has added corporate finance partner Joshua M Zimmerman in Hong Kong as head of the firm’s capital markets practice in Asia. He is a recognized leader in Asian high-yield bond, liability management, leveraged finance, acquisition finance and sovereign debt transactions. Zimmerman also has significant equity experience, advising on both Hong Kong listings and SEC-registered offerings. Based in Hong Kong since 1997, he has executed transactions across the Asia Pacific region. His clients have included leading international investment banks, PE funds and issuers active in TMT, gaming, property development, natural resources, education, manufacturing, aviation and retail. He joins from the Hong Kong office of Milbank. He holds a JD from the University of Chicago Law School and an AB from Princeton University. He is a registered foreign lawyer in Hong Kong and is admitted in New York.

Reed Smith has continued the expansion of its Middle East practice with the addition of disputes and arbitration partner Bjӧrn Gehle to its UAE offices. Joining from Pinsent Masons in Dubai, Gehle has a broad contentious practice advising on cross-border disputes, including corporate, commercial and financial disputes across a range of sectors. He has a particular focus on the construction sector, where he manages large-scale infrastructure disputes and acts as counsel for some of the major international and regional corporations across the MENA region, Australia and Asia Pacific. Gehle is highly recognised as a leading figure in international arbitration. In addition to his counsel work, he maintains a significant practice as an arbitrator and is regularly appointed in arbitrations in Asia, Europe and the Middle-East.

Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom has added Chi T Steve Kwok, former resident legal adviser for the US Department of Justice (DoJ) at the US Embassy in Beijing, as a partner in the Hong Kong office. Kwok’s practice will focus on internal investigations, US regulatory enforcement matters and trial and appellate litigation in US federal and state courts. As the US DoJ’s attaché in China from November 2013 to January 2016, he represented the US in discussions with Chinese law enforcement authorities on criminal matters, particularly corruption, money laundering and fraud cases. He has lectured on cross-border joint investigations and American criminal procedure before Chinese officials and defense attorneys. Kwok was awarded the US State Department’s Meritorious Honor Award in 2015 for his work advancing the rule of law, civil society and good governance in the PRC. From 2007 to 2013, he served as assistant US attorney in the Southern District of New York. He was a member of the Securities and Commodities Fraud Task Force and the Organized Crime Unit where he secured racketeering convictions against organized crime leaders and corrupt union officials. Kwok graduated summa cum laude in 1999 from Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs and in 2002 from Yale Law School, where he was executive editor of the Yale Law Journal. He served as a law clerk at the US Supreme Court (2003-04) and the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit (2002-03). Born in Hong Kong, Kwok reads and writes Chinese and speaks fluent Mandarin and Cantonese.

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