Linklaters’ new regional managing partner, Nathalie Hobbs, says the firm will be looking to its strengths in the region but also reaching out in new ways to expand its presence in Asia.
Hobbs commenced a four-year term as managing partner from 1 June, taking over from Marc Harvey who will work with her to ensure a smooth transition.
She told Asia Business Law Journal Linklaters’ strengths in the region lay in M&A and finance, along with the firm’s disputes and regulatory teams.
“We will be looking to grow the business in a number of sectors, such as energy and infrastructure and TMT, across the region, and looking to participate fully in the global initiatives in relation to funds, crisis management and others,” she said. In terms of the firm’s footprint, Hobbes said her Asia team was “in a good place right now” and she was not anticipating significant changes. “We will continue to focus on our strategy in China, both in terms of enhancing our presence in the country to meet client demands and by strengthening links between our China offices and the rest of the firm to meet the needs of PRC clients looking outwards,” she said.
“Southeast Asia is also a growing area for us as the alliance with Widyawan & Partners [in Indonesia] achieves its potential and our business in Indonesia, India, Thailand and Singapore continues to expand.”
Hobbs said it was a great time to take on the role of Asia managing partner as the firm had just begun roll-out of a strategy refresh, presented to partners at a global conference in April.
“My focus is to continue to build deep relationships with our existing and potential clients, providing them with the best possible experience at all times when dealing with Linklaters,” she said. “Our people are vital to making this happen and, therefore, attracting and retaining the best people is central to this aim.
“We will be looking at ways of providing an ever better level of service to our clients, including but not only through the use of technology such as artificial intelligence … and empowering our people to grow and develop within Linklaters.”
Hobbs joined Linklaters’ London office in 1991 and specializes in cross-border leveraged finance and acquisition financing. Gideon Moore, the firmwide managing partner, said Hobbs’ “ability to understand clients’ needs and the diverse markets in which we operate in make her ideally placed to take our Asia business forward”.