HSF partner boosts numbers in Singapore; China sets sights on multinational M&As

by NZ Lawyer24 Jul 2014
HSF partner leaves Melbourne for Singapore
Herbert Smith Freehills has added another partner to its Asia infrastructure and projects team with the relocation of partner Matthew Osborne from Melbourne to Singapore. The firm sees infrastructure and projects as a key growth sector in Asia and India over the next decade and the infrastructure and projects team is made up of approximately 20 partners and more than 100 lawyers across South East Asia, China, Australia, South Korea and Japan. They have expertise across all aspects of major projects in sectors as diverse as oil and gas, mining, power, nuclear, renewables, water and waste, rail, airports, ports and roads.
China takes on US and European law firms
China’s law firms are being given the training tools to enable more of their lawyers to handle multi-jurisdictional cases. The Ministry of Justice has announced that firms will be offered the additional training via the All-China Lawyers Association. The key focus is mergers and acquisitions which is a growth area and one that is currently dominated by US and European law firms. China has 20,000 law firms and 250,000 lawyers but only 30,000 that are dealing with transnational litigation. The training will include opportunities for lawyers to train overseas law firms.

Promotion for Slaughter & May associate
Slaughter & May’s Hong Kong office now has a new partner after senior associate Charlton Tse was promoted. Formerly of Latham & Watkins and Allen & Overy, Charlton will focus on corporate and investment banking clients both in Hong Kong and mainland China.
Linklaters retains 93 per cent of NQs
Linklaters usually retains a high percentage of its newly qualified lawyers but the latest figures are exceptional. From 57 trainees, the firm made 54 offers and 53 accepted; a 93 per cent retention rate. In March, Slaughters kept 95 per cent of its NQs and Taylor Wessing recently announced 91 per cent retention for the autumn.
Lend Lease promotes Mark Packer to GC
Lend Lease, the global property and infrastructure company headquartered in Australia, has promoted senior legal counsel Mark Packer to general counsel for its EMEA region. He replaces Patrick Gloyens who has left the company.
US regulators take legal action against law firms
The US Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and Federal Trade Commission and 15 states have together announced lawsuits against law firms and ‘mortgage assistance’ companies who claimed to be able to help those struggling with payments during the financial crisis. The firms said they would help borrowers to achieve lower repayments and provide relief from foreclosure. In many cases, the firms received upfront fees; itself a violation of rules, and did not provide the services they promised.