Legal news in brief


Bain advised on Japan buyout

Ropes & Gray and Japanese firm Anderson Mori have advised Bain Capital on its tender offer for Asatsu DK, Japan’s third-largest advertising agency. The tender offer price for 100% of the company is approximately 152 billion yen (US$1.38 billion) making it one of the largest buyouts in Japan this year.

The Ropes & Gray team was led by private equity counsel Saeko Inaba and private equity partner Tsuyoshi Imai, with support from finance counsel Ben Morris, all based in the firm’s Tokyo office. It is the fourth deal that Ropes & Gray has advised Bain Capital of late.

The firm advised Bain Capital on its US$18 billion acquisition of Toshiba’s chip business, announced on 28 September, the €2.27 billion (US$2.67 billion) sale of Carver Korea to Unilever, announced on 25 September, and the 49% sale of mushroom producer Yukiguni Maitake to a Japanese food company, which closed on 30 September.

Fiji issues green bond

Fiji has become the first emerging market to issue a sovereign green bond, raising 100 million Fijian dollars (US$50 million) to support climate change mitigation and adaption.

Green bonds are fixed income, liquid financial instruments that are used to raise funds dedicated to environment-friendly projects. At the request of Fiji’s Reserve Bank, the World Bank and the International Finance Corporation (IFC) provided technical assistance to the government in issuing the bond. The collaboration took place under a broader, three-year capital markets development project supported by the Australian government.

Prawidha MurtiPartnerOentoeng Suria & Partners
Prawidha Murti
Oentoeng Suria & Partners

OSP hires in Jakarta

Oentoeng Suria & Partners (OSP), in association with Ashurst, announces the appointment of Prawidha Murti (Wida) as a partner in its dispute resolution practice in Jakarta.

Wida joins from Makes & Partners, in alliance with Singapore’s Wong Partnership. She has more than 14 years’ litigation experience across multiple jurisdictions, and has advised international and domestic companies in sectors including oil and gas, TMT and finance.

Banking lawyer for Baker

Baker McKenzie has recruited Antony Rumboll as a partner in its corporate markets team in Sydney, following his success as a senior investment banking lawyer at UBS.

While Rumboll was with UBS, it was consistently ranked as one of Australia’s leading investment banks across equity and debt capital markets as well as M&A. Rumboll has been involved in some significant Australian corporate transactions including the Qube takeover of Asciano, the proposed Tatts/Tabcorp merger, the QR National IPO, Telstra 3 share offer, 2010 Shell/Woodside block trade and recent IPOs such as MYOB, Healthscope and Link.

CMS aligns with Holborn

CMS has announced a formal law alliance (FLA) between its Singapore office and the Singapore law practice Holborn Law. The FLA, which has received approval from the Legal Services Regulatory Authority of Singapore, will operate under the name CMS Holborn Asia.
Through the FLA, CMS said it would continue to build Singapore legal expertise in its key sectors of energy, financial services, life sciences, projects & infrastructure, real estate and technology, media & telecoms.

Freshfields partners in Tokyo spin-off

A group of Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer lawyers have set up a new law firm in Tokyo. Two Freshfields partners, a consultant and associate are founders of Vanguard Lawyers Tokyo.

The law firm, which will specialize in employment and domestic disputes, will belong to the Freshfields international association “Stronger Together”. Freshfields Tokyo partners Akiko Yamakawa, Kazuki Okada and consultant Naoki Kinami will be founding partners in the new firm, which provides advice on Japanese employment law, dispute resolution and financial regulatory matters.

FIJI adopts Model Law

Fiji’s parliament recently passed the International Arbitration Bill 2017, making the island nation the 76th state worldwide and the 24th out of 56 states in the Asia-Pacific to adopt the Model Law.

The International Arbitration Act incorporated provisions based on the UNCITRAL Model Law on International Commercial Arbitration (1985, with amendments adopted in 2006), into Fijian law. The reform resulted from a joint collaboration technical assistance project between the Asian Development Bank and the UNCITRAL Regional Centre for Asia-Pacific, aimed at reforming dispute settlement legal regimes in Pacific small island developing states.

Simmons hires in Shanghai

Simmons & Simmons recruited May Lu as a partner in the firm’s employment practice in Shanghai. Lu joins from MWE China Law Offices (an alliance with US firm McDermott Will & Emery), where she advised on labour and employment law, investigations and labour arbitrations in China. Lu’s arrival brings the number of Asia-based employment partners to four.

HKMA counsel for Norton

Norton Rose Fulbright announced Etelka Bogardi has joined the firm as a partner in the corporate practice, focusing on financial services regulation advice. Bogardi joins the firm from the Hong Kong Monetary Authority, where she was senior counsel advising on all aspects of its operations, including banking conduct and stability, supervision, policy, enforcement, monetary management and direct investment.

Cambodia tightens foreign visas

The Cambodian government has recently begun to strictly enforce visa requirements on foreign workers, particularly with regard to visa extensions, SikSiphana & Associates has warned.

The firm noted that under article 261 of the Cambodian Labour Law, passed in 1997, all foreign workers must possess a work permit and employment card issued by the Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training. The Ministry of Interior recently announced that “from now on, no foreigner may extend his or her visa to stay in Cambodia without a work permit”.

ZICO appoints Myanmar chair

ZICO Holdings has announced the appointment of Myanmar’s former deputy minister of finance, Maung Maung Thein, as executive chairman of ZICOlaw Myanmar, the group’s subsidiary, in Yangon.

The appointment underlines ZICO’s efforts to support the growth of ZICOlaw Myanmar. Maung Maung Thein’s achievements include the establishment and liberalization of Myanmar’s insurance sector and the historic commencement of the Yangon Stock Exchange in 2016. He is also known for his work in international affairs and specializations for banking and non-banking financial sectors.

Corrs dives into PNG

Australian independent law firm Corrs Chambers Westgarth has moved into Papua New Guinea to develop in the energy and resources space, with the firm making new hires and establishing an office in Port Moresby, the Global Legal Post reported. The firm has raided the offices of Allans with leading PNG resources sector specialist, Vaughan Mills, and a team joining Corrs including several lawyers and support staff. Mills developed and led Allans’ Papua New Guinea practice for nearly 20 years.