The Churn

April 8, 2009 7:46 PM

THE CHURN: The Global Edition

Posted by Rachel Breitman

Zshao Linklaters has named a new Asia managing partner. Zili Shao, presently the Shanghai-based head of the Magic Circle firm's China practice, will relocate to Hong Kong to take on the regional role, effective May 1. As Asia managing partner, Shao will join Linklaters' executive committee.

He will succeed Giles White, who is leaving the firm at the end of the month to become group general counsel for Jardine Matheson, the Hong Kong conglomerate and longtime Linklaters client.

Shao joined Linklaters as a partner in 1998, launching the firm's Shanghai office the same year. He also led the firm's office opening in Beijing in 2001. Before joining Linklaters, Shao was a partner in Hong Kong and Sydney for Allen Allen & Hemsley, one of the predecessor firms to Allens Arthur Robinson.

Regarded as one of the top deal lawyers in China, Shao focuses on mergers and acquisitions and private equity investments, particularly those involving financial institutions. He led the firm's work for Citigroup in its 2006 equity investment in Guangdong Development Bank; that same year, Shao led the team representing The Carlyle Group in its acquisition of a stake in China Pacific Life Insurance Co.

--Anthony Lin

In other Churn news...

Down Under, Baker & McKenzie's Melbourne office has hired project finance partner Nicholas Grambas from Macquarie Group, where he was an executive director and, most recently, head of Macquarie Capital Funds (Middle East) based in Abu Dhabi. Grambas will focus on banking and corporate matters involving infrastructure projects. He previously had been partner at Freehills in Melbourne and at Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer and Linklaters in London. His latest move is a homecoming of sorts--he started practicing law more than two decades ago at Baker & McKenzie.

Brown Rudnick has added corporate securities partner Adam Penny to its London office. Penny was a director in the M&A group at Credit Suisse in London and was previously a senior solicitor in the corporate practice group at Ashurst. He handles complex cross-border transactions and fund-raising on deals in the U.K., Switzerland, Turkey, Dubai, the Ukraine, Kazakhstan, Russia, Bulgaria, and Slovenia.

Fulbright & Jaworski is growing its global energy, corporate, and dispute resolution practices in Asia with the addition of international arbitration counsel. Jessica Fei. She joins Fulbright as counsel from WongPartnership, where she was the head of the firm's dispute resolution practice in China.

Two and a half years after jumping from Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer to the Paris office of LeBoeuf, Lamb, Greene & MacRae (now Dewey & LeBoeuf), Eric Schwartz is joining King & Spalding as cohead of the firm's global arbitration practice and manager of the firm's new Paris office. Schwartz will handle international commercial arbitration, including disputes in civil engineering and construction, oil and gas, and information technology and telecommunications matters. He previously was a partner at Dewey & LeBoeuf. Dewey counsel James Castello is joining Schwartz and also moving to the K&S office.

Latham & Watkins is boosting its Asia practice with the addition of an office in Hong Kong. The office will launch with seven new partners: Michael Liu, Stanley Chow, Simon Berry, Kenneth Chan, Cathy Yeung, William Woo, and Jane Ng are joining from the Hong Kong office of Allen & Overy. Also, Latham London partner and executive committee member David Miles is relocating to Hong Kong. The group will focus on M&A transactions and public company takeovers; private equity transactions and joint ventures; financial services regulatory work and funds establishment; and IPOs and other capital raisings.    

Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton has added a corporate partner to its Shanghai office. Todd Bissett is joining the firm from the Beijing office of O'Melveny & Myers, where he was of counsel. Los Angeles-based Sheppard Mullin said Bissett will focus on transactions in the technology sector, spending a significant amount of time in the firm's Silicon Valley office.

White & Case has relocated an asset finance partner from London to Singapore. Sebastian Buss focuses on aviation financing and leasing transactions, areas the firm says are still growing in South and Southeast Asia. The firm said the relocation is part of its commitment to build its practice in Singapore, where White & Case is one of six foreign firms that was granted a license to practice local law last year. White & Case said at the time it would pursue a full merger with local alliance partner Venture Law; it scrapped the plan last month.

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