Morning Briefing: US firms extend reach into Asia Pacific

by Steve Randall07 Oct 2015
Asia-Pac, Europe boosts for US-based law firms
The US-based global law firm Latham & Watkins has appointed Yilong Du to its corporate team in Hong Kong. He joins from the local unit of a US investment bank and will focus his practice on equity capital markets transactions. The firm is growing its Asia-Pacific practice through its offices in Hong Kong, Beijing, Shanghai, Singapore and Tokyo.
Meanwhile another American firm has taken its first steps to wider operations. Littler Mendelson, which recently expanded its North American footprint by opening in Canada, has now opened its first offices in Europe. The four offices in Germany are the firm’s first outside the Americas and it is not ruling out further expansion.
Eversheds makes senior appointments to consulting arm
International law firm Eversheds has announced two senior hires for its Eversheds Consulting business. Jeff Jones re-joins from Morgan Blake, where he was head of HR operations, to run the contract resource offering for in-house compliance teams. Meanwhile Mike Booth has joined from a private business to further develop the financial services regulatory team.
Europe rules for consumers in Facebook data protection case
Europe’s highest court has agreed with an Austrian student that data transmitted to the US from Europe by Facebook does not have enough protection. Max Schrems brought the case claiming that the ‘safe harbor’ agreement which makes transmission of data easier between the two jurisdictions, also allows surveillance of that data by US authorities and does not impose any limits on that access. Authorities in Ireland, home of Facebook’s EU headquarters, will now be required to investigate.
Schrems, who started the lawsuit in the wake of the Edward Snowden revelations, says that the decision by the European Court of Justice will mean a blow to US intelligence organisations but will not cause major disruption. However Richard Cumbley, global head of the TMT practice at law firm Linklaters told NBC News: "This is extremely bad news for EU-U.S. trade," he said. "Without 'safe harbor,' [businesses] will be scrambling to put replacement measures in place."