Noble move for offshore firm's Singapore expansion

by Steve Randall17 Apr 2018

Harneys Hong Kong partner James Noble has relocated to lead the new Singapore litigation and restructuring practice at the offshore firm.

Noble has been with the firm for more than 7 years, the past 6 in Hong Kong. Prior to joining Harneys he was a senior associate at Norton Rose Fulbright in Sydney and London having started his career at Clayton Utz.

Joining Noble in Singapore is counsel Catherine D’Alton. They will be supported by associates recruited from leading Singaporean law firms, including Eugene Tan who joined from Rajah & Tann earlier this year and Amelia Tan who joins imminently from Shook Lin & Bok.

“We have been seeing a steady increase in dispute and restructuring work emanating from the Southeast Asia market in recent years and are at the stage now where we strongly believe our clients stand to benefit from having a dedicated litigation and restructuring team permanently based here,” explained Noble. “Our existing Singapore team already has a strong client base and I look forward to forging closer relationships with both new and potential clients through our newfound on-the-ground presence.”

Fair Work Act doesn’t work for employers says HSF survey
A survey of Australian businesses by Herbert Smith Freehills shows that the Fair Work Act is costly, too complex, and inefficient for employers.

The law firm has published the latest edition of its "Bargaining under the Fair Work Act Legal Guide" which brings together and expands on previous editions published since the legislation was introduced in 2009.

The firm’s second survey of businesses has found that many want to unwind agreement conditions which are unsustainable.

“Nine years on, the Fair Work Act bargaining framework is proving to be a costly burden for business, with employers increasingly struggling to find the leverage needed to secure productive bargaining outcomes,” said Rohan Doyle, a partner in HSF’s industrial relations and safety team. “As a result, businesses are facing drawn-out and complex bargaining negotiations which tie up management resources and ultimately do not result in any productivity gains.”

He added that many businesses are asking what’s in the act for them.

Among the findings of the survey:

  • 50% of organisations had to put their last enterprise agreement to two or more votes before it was approved by employees, and 14% had to hold three or more votes;
  • 55% of organisations hold, on average, more than 11 bargaining meetings to reach an agreement, with one-quarter (26%) holding 16 meetings or more.

“Developing a first-class enterprise bargaining strategy for an employer is not easy, particularly for those looking to achieve change. There is no ‘template’, but it can be done with careful and meticulous planning, having regard to operational objectives, the business’ appetite for risk, the paths to obtaining and reducing bargaining leverage, the legal boundaries, listening and understanding what employees want, and, most importantly, experience,” said Wendy Fauvel, HSF senior associate, who was co-author of the firm’s updated guide.

Six Asia Pacific counsel promotions for global firm
Thirty new Counsel and 7 professional support lawyers (PSLs) have been appointed at Linklaters across its global footprint.
Among them are 6 from Asia Pacific: Danny Kan (corporate), Matthew Worth (banking & finance), Hanwen Yu (capital markets EDM), Sherry (Jiwei) Cui (capital markets EDM) in Hong Kong, who all become Counsel; and Singapore’s Kwok Hon Yee (corporate) and Grace Wee (capital markets EDM) who become PSLs.

Fourteen of the global promotions are women and the new counsel and PSLs come from 14 offices and 10 practices.