Legal news in brief

Tatva Legal opens office in AP: Tatva Legal sees promise in the Andhra Pradesh region and has opened an office in Vijayawada in proximity to its existing Hyderabad office.

Orrick exits HK market

US law firm Orrick Herrington & Sutcliffe has shut its Hong Kong office after its strategy of growing a technology and innovation practice in the city did not pan out.

The firm said it would wind down its operations by 31 August 2020, after its office lease expired, but would continue “investing in other markets in China and Asia in a manner that more directly advances our strategy”. The Hong Kong practice comprised four partners and seven lawyers and trainees.

Firms complete Tesco purchase

Linklaters acted for Thai conglomerate Charoen Pokphand Group (CP Group) on the purchase of British retailer Tesco’s businesses in Thailand and Malaysia for US$10.6 billion. Tesco was advised by Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer and Allen & Overy. The deal entails CP Group taking control of 1,965 stores Tesco operates in Thailand and 74 outlets in Malaysia.

The Linklaters team was led by partners Wilailuk Okanurak, Pichitpon Eammongkolchai, Matthew Middleditch and Nathalie Hobbs. Partners Claire Wills, Simon Weller, Keir MacLennan, Alastair Chapman and Alastair Mordaunt led the Freshfields legal team. The Allen & Overy team was led by partner Suparerk Auychai.

Jones Day promotes 2

Jones Day has admitted Singapore-based Vinay Kurien and Ben Witherall to the firm’s partnership. Kurien focuses on banking, finance and securities transactions. Witherall focuses on private equity, M&A and investment funds, and formation transactions in Asia, advising both Asian and global clients on their transactions in the region. Jones Day’s Singapore office has more than 60 lawyers and is the centre for Jones Day’s India team.

Skadden advises InnoCare IPO

Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom advised Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs (joint sponsors), UBS, China Merchants Securities, CMBI and SPDBI as the underwriters of InnoCare Pharma’s US$288 million initial public offering on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange (HKEX).

The IPO’s retail tranche was over-subscribed by almost 300 times. Trading commenced on 23 March 2020, after the first virtual listing ceremony at the HKEX in history. The Hong Kong-based team was led by partners Julie Gao, Paloma Wang, Christopher Betts, and supported by associates Nicole Yuen, Paul Mok, Lu Ma, trainee solicitor Nigel Pang with Beijing associate Xueyin Zhong.

Joint MD appointed

International legal and professional services business the Ince Group has appointed litigation specialist Loh Wai Yue as the new joint managing director of its alliance firm in Singapore, Incisive Law. Loh will serve alongside joint managing directors Bill Ricquier, who has led the firm since its inception, and Edgar Chin, who was appointed in 2016.

The new joint MD concurrently holds the title of chief representative of Ince’s Beijing office and head of China practice in Singapore, where he plays a strategic role in leading the firm’s offering in servicing Chinese enterprises internationally.

Nishimura advises Mizuho Leasing

Nishimura & Asahi directed Mizuho Leasing on its stock purchase agreement with Ricoh, a Japanese office equipment manufacturer and retailer, to acquire a partial stake in Ricoh’s consolidated subsidiary Ricoh Leasing for US$360 million, and on Mizuho Leasing’s business alliance agreement with Ricoh and Ricoh Leasing. The team representing Mizuho Leasing was led by partners Takefumi Sato, Madoka Shimada and Shigeru Sasaki.

Commissioner selected by PM

WongPartnership partner and head of litigation and dispute resolution, Andre Maniam, was appointed Judicial Commissioner of the Supreme Court of Singapore by the Prime Minister’s Office, with effect from 4 May 2020.

Maniam specializes in litigation and arbitration including commercial and corporate disputes, cross-border trade, insolvency, construction and white-collar crime. He has acted as counsel in arbitrations spanning several jurisdictions, and also sits as an arbitrator.

Hui Ye hires 3 in Shenzhen

Shanghai-headquartered Hui Ye Law Firm has expanded its Shenzhen office with the addition of three new partners – Deng Qing, Wang Wenbing and Huang Zhipeng – as part of the firm’s plans to bolster its Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macau Greater Bay Area presence.

Deng specializes in dispute resolution, banking and finance. Wang focuses on the disposal of non-performing assets, criminal defence and criminal compliance, while Huang is an expert in intellectual property and commercial litigation.

Zhong Lun promotions

Zhong Lun Law Firm recently promoted 17 non-equity partners to equity partners, all from the firm’s Shanghai, Beijing, Wuhan, Guangzhou and Shenzhen offices.

The partners cover practice areas including capital markets/securities, real estate, private equity, corporate, M&A, banking and finance, litigation and arbitration, IP, antitrust and competition law, labour law, securitization, bankruptcy and restructuring, compliance, and technology, telecoms and the internet.

MP recruited for Seoul office

White & Case has appointed private equity specialist Lee Dongho as a partner in its Seoul office’s corporate practice. Lee was formerly with Herbert Smith Freehills (HSF), where he was managing partner and head of the corporate practice.

Lee specializes in cross-border M&A transactions, investments, strategic alliances and joint ventures. Before HSF, he worked at Orrick Herrington & Sutcliffe and Paul Hastings.

KPMG Legal Thailand launches

International big four accounting firm KPMG has opened a legal unit in Thailand to complement its existing audit, tax and advisory business services in the country.

The company’s newly formed Thai legal arm has more than 50 legal staff, 25 of whom are lawyers. It aims to provide a comprehensive range of business law services including commercial and corporate law, M&A, employment law, compliance and investigation, and privacy law. KPMG launched similar legal services in Hong Kong and Shanghai last year.

Hylands hires 2 partners

Hylands Law Firm recently hired Xia Guorong and Zhu Weina as partners in its head office in Beijing. Xia has experience working as a legal manager at China Grand Enterprises, and as legal director at SOHO China. He specializes in real estate land development, land consolidation and bidding, real estate project development and construction, investment and financing of real estate development enterprises, and has extensive experience in dispute resolution.

Zhu has represented domestic and foreign clients in areas such as litigation, arbitration and investigation, and compliance matters, and has been a consultant for the World Bank since 2013.

Prudential exits Korea

Yulchon and Debevoise & Plimpton counselled American insurance giant Prudential Life on its KRW2.3 trillion (US$1.87 billion) sale of its South Korean arm to local bank KB Financial, represented by Kim & Chang. The deal marks the insurer’s exit from the South Korean market after 30 years.

Local firm Yulchon’s team was led by partners Nina Kim, Shin Hyeon Hwa, Lee Hyung Ki, Jeremy Everett, Song Sang Woo, Park Jae Woo and Christopher Mandel. KB Financial, one of South Korea’s top three banks by asset value, has both life and non-life business arms.

Indo boutique adds litigator

Local Indonesian boutique Kyora Law Firm, formerly ANC Attorneys at Law, has appointed commercial disputes expert Triangga Kamal as a partner in Jakarta. He was previously a senior associate at Hogan Lovells-associated firm Dewi Negara Fachri & Partners (DNFP).

Kamal specializes in employment issues, alternative dispute resolution, insolvency litigation, bribery and corruption. Before DNFP, he was an associate at Hiswara Bunjamin & Tandjung.

Ashurst launches new services

Ashurst recently launched Ashurst Consulting, a business line providing specialist consulting services as a value-add offering to its existing legal services. It will initially only be offered in Australia.

Ashurst Consulting will help clients to comply with the regulatory and legal frameworks in their jurisdictions, as well as operationalize laws and regulations.

New firm in Malaysia

Five former partners of Lee Hishammuddin Allen & Gledhill (LHAG), Malaysia’s second-largest law firm, have started a new firm called Rosli Dahlan Saravana Partnership (RDS). RDS comprises former LHAG partners Datuk Naban, Rosli Dahlan, Saravana Kumar, Hong Ooi Bee and Jin Ong Eu.

Macau firm hires partner

Macau law firm MdME Lawyers appointed Helena Kok as partner and head of its employment and immigration practice. Prior the Joining MdME, she was vice-president of legal at casino and hotel operator Galaxy Entertainment Group. She began her career at local firm Jorge Neto Valente.