Abhishek Rastogi and Rashmi Deshpande have joined Khaitan & Co’s indirect tax practice in Mumbai as executive director and associate director, respectively. Rastogi, a chartered accountant, was previously a director with PwC, specializing in indirect tax for close to 12 years. Prior to that he was with Ernst & Young for four years. He has worked on diverse indirect tax assignments covering service tax, customs, excise, VAT and goods and services tax, and has represented clients in indirect tax litigation matters at the Bengaluru, Chennai, Delhi and Mumbai tribunals.
Deshpande, who began her career at Deloitte, also comes to Khaitan & Co from PwC, where she focused on indirect tax for more than four years. Before this, she worked with KPMG for just under a year and BMR Advisors for three years. She has significant experience in advisory and litigation matters and has advised clients in the financial, construction and pharmaceutical sectors.
Legal news in brief
DENTONS LAUNCHES IN AUSTRALIA
Dentons recently formalized its combination with the offices of nearly century-old law firm Gadens, minus some offices, following a split within the Australian firm. The alliance means Dentons will have offices in Sydney and Perth in Australia, and Port Moresby in Papua New Guinea. Gadens in Brisbane reportedly won’t be making a name change but will be part of the Dentons network, while Gadens in Melbourne will remain as such with no ties to Dentons, which now serves 84 markets in Pacific Rim countries.
SMC SEES RISE IN CASES
The Singapore Mediation Centre (SMC) recorded the highest number of new cases filed for mediation in its 20-year history in the past year. The SMC handled 499 matters in 2016, a 72% increase over 2015. The disputes were commercial in nature, with construction and company/shareholder disputes being the most common.
“As mediation gains traction, the next phase of our work is to make mediation a viable full-time career,” said Loong Seng Onn, executive director of SMC.
ZICO LAUNCHES BRUNEI OFFICE
ZICO Law has launched an office in Bandar Seri Begawan, Negara Brunei Darussalam, effective from 1 January 2017. With the establishment of Rozaiman Abdul Rahman (RAR) as a ZICO Law member firm, the ZICO Law network now extends its reach into 16 cities across nine out of 10 ASEAN countries.
CLYDE APPOINTS HK PARTNER
Clyde & Co has appointed John Chrisman as a partner in its Hong Kong office.
Chrisman is a corporate lawyer with 28 years of experience representing companies, financial institutions and investment banks on international capital markets deals and cross-border M&A. He has worked on transactions in more than 30 countries including India.
CHANGES TO TAIWAN LABOUR STANDARDS
Taiwan’s legislature recently passed amendments to 10 provisions under its Labour Standards Acts (LSA), which took effect on 1 January 2017. The key points of the amendments are: implementation of a five-day work week; a sharp increase in wages for working on a rest day; reduction of national holidays; increase of days of annual leave; rest time between shifts; employers’ obligation to provide information on wage calculation; protection of whistleblowers’/workers’ right to file complaints; and raising fines for violations of the LSA. The amendments have significant impact on employers’ costs and arrangement of human resources.
ASHURST ASSISTS PTT WITH OIL CONTRACT
Ashurst acted for PTT Trading, the trading arm of Thailand’s leading state-owned energy firm PTT, as buyer on a five-year US$600 million oil-backed contract with PetroEcuador, Ecuador’s state-run oil company.
The Ashurst team was led by counsel Jean Woo, who was supported by partner Philip Thomson, senior associate Jessica Ham and associate Harriet Gray.
RESTRUCTURING EXPERT FOR DLA
DLA Piper announced that Andrew Payne has joined its restructuring and special situations practice as a partner in Hong Kong. Andrew is a corporate and finance lawyer with more than 10 years of experience in London and Hong Kong, focusing on special situations, bond and bank debt restructurings and private equity mergers and acquisitions.
ANJIE ADDS NEW RECRUIT
Simon Li recently joined AnJie Law Firm’s Beijing office as of counsel. His practice mainly focuses on cross-border M&A, private equity and venture capital, foreign direct investment and general corporate matters. He previously worked at Jones Day, DLA Piper and Han Kun Law Offices before joining AnJie Law Firm.
WALKERS ADDS TO CORPORATE PRACTICE
Walkers announced that Jenny Nip has joined its Hong Kong office as a partner in the firm’s corporate and investment funds group. With offshore experience and a particular focus on the Hong Kong and China markets, Nip specializes in capital market transactions, M&A and downstream private equity financing and investment deals. Nip also has expertise in advising international banks, financial institutions, leasing companies and corporations on bank finance and debt capital market transactions.
HERBERT SMITH TO OPEN IN KL
Herbert Smith Freehills is planning to launch a Malaysian office in May this year, just the second foreign firm to do so without a local affilliate. The firm has secured a qualified foreign law firm (QFLF) licence from the Malaysian Bar Council. The QFLF scheme was established in 2014, with the first licence given to Trowers & Hamlins in 2015. HSF has not finalized who will be leading and staffing the office, but said it would initially focus on transactions, disputes and Islamic finance. The office will be the firm’s ninth location in Asia, following the launch of associated offices in Jakarta and Singapore and stand-alone outfits in Beijing, Hong Kong, Shanghai, Tokyo, Seoul and Bangkok.