Baker McKenzie has added senior capital markets specialist Thomas Tarala as partner to commit its strategic development for SPAC listing regimes in Hong Kong bond markets and ESG (environmental, social and governance) investments.
Tarala will advise on public offerings, private placements of debt and equity securities, and secondary offerings. He joins the firm from HNA Group (International), where he served as general counsel for five years.
Tarala has experience in equity capital markets and debt capital markets transactions, M&A, funds formation, loans, corporate restructurings, and litigation and regulatory issues. He previously worked at Hogan Lovells in London and Hong Kong and is the former head of the US Securities Practice in Hong Kong.
Tarala’s hire came as Ashok Lalwani, Baker McKenzie’s Asia Pacific head of international capital markets practice in Singapore, said that Asia had become the centre for IPO activity, as companies increasingly looked beyond their home jurisdictions to raise capital.
“Recent introduction of SPAC listing regimes in Hong Kong and Singapore along with more Chinese companies going to Hong Kong for their homecoming listings is likely to help keep the Asia IPO markets buoyant,” said Lalwani.
“On the corporate debt front, the bond market is likely to stay on its upward trajectory as companies seek to secure cheap financing ahead of expected rate rises. Amid global efforts to combat climate change, many Asia-Pacific companies are fast-tracking their ESG plans in response to increased investor demand and also the need to meet their decarbonisation targets, adding further impetus to an already growing ESG bond market in Asia.”
Considering all of these factors, Lalwani said, it would be no surprise if demand for legal services related to equity capital markets and debt capital markets increased.