Addleshaw Goddard Accelerates Growth in Greater China – New Hires in Hong Kong

Addleshaw Goddard is expanding its Corporate and Litigation capability in Greater China with the arrival today of Nigel Francis, former Head of Litigation and Employment at Minter Ellison, as head of its associated Hong Kong law firm operations, and the appointment of five additional senior hires.

Nigel Francis joins Brett Stewien at Addleshaw Goddard’s associated Hong Kong practice following clearance earlier this year, from the Law Society of Hong Kong, for Addleshaw Goddard to add Hong Kong to its network of overseas offices in Dubai, Oman, Qatar and Singapore. The office has grown quickly since its launch in August 2013, and will have a total compliment of 11 lawyers by the end of the year.

Last week, the firm also announced the appointment of Mike Melwood Smith, former head of DLAs Singapore office, as a consultant in its Singapore office, which now has four full-time lawyers.

Andrew Carpenter, International Division Managing Partner, said: “Our association in Hong Kong, with Nigel and Brett and their respective teams, combined with our platform in Singapore through Jamie Harrison and Mike Melwood Smith, significantly increases our capability in Asia. All our lawyers are well known in the region and their blend of market and specialist contentious and corporate skill sets provides a strong footprint in one of the few truly global international financial centres. In line with our commitment in Hong Kong and Singapore we expect to announce further senior hires in the medium term.”

“Increasing levels of business between China, the Gulf and Africa, where we have significant experience, will provide many opportunities for our Asia based teams to combine with our wider network. We are looking forward to sharing with clients the benefits of that full service, borderless capability and our in depth capabilities and experience in regions that are increasingly relevant and important to them.”

Hong Kong expansion
As well as Nigel Francis, the four most recent fee earner appointments, are:

  • James Yeung: Managing Associate, Litigation
  • Ivan Chang: Legal Director, Securities enforcement and compliance
  • Winnie Wong, Associate, Employment and Litigation
  • Dan Yang, Registered Foreign Lawyer (New South Wales, Australia), Corporate

Addleshaw Goddard’s associate firm in Hong Kong is led by Nigel Francis and Brett Stewien who have practiced there for over 25 years and 14 years respectively.

Nigel Francis is qualified in Hong Kong and England and Wales, and has been involved in major disputes cases involving Court proceedings, arbitration, mediation and regulatory tribunals, and across a range of specialist areas, including breach of contract and warranty claims, breaches of confidence and restrictive covenants, joint venture and shareholder disputes, infringements of all forms of intellectual property rights and commercial crime and fraud.

Nigel is a member of the Rules Committee of the High Court of Hong Kong and the Hong Kong Law Society Civil Litigation Committee.

Brett Stewien is also qualified in Hong Kong, England and Wales and Victoria, Australia. He specialises in cross-border M&A, investment and other corporate transactions, and has experience leading transactions across Asia, including Mainland China, Indonesia, Vietnam, Thailand, the Philippines and Malaysia. Brett has led a number of ground breaking and award-winning corporate transactions in the region. He has a particular focus on helping international companies in the life sciences, mining, energy, manufacturing and retail sectors in relation to their M&A activity.

Singapore expansion
Shipping expert Mike Melwood Smith joins as a consultant. He has extensive experience of operating in South East Asia having spent the last 20 years in the region as a partner with Richards Butlers and DLA Piper. He joined DLA Piper’s Hong Kong office in 2007, and established its Singapore offering in 2000.

He is one of the few foreign lawyers ever to appear ‘in camera’ before the Supreme Court of China in Beijing and is recognised by independent commentators as one of Singapore’s leading shipping/trade lawyers in the Asia Pacific.

He also has significant experience of operating in the GCC, having spent the last three years working for Qatargas in Doha as senior legal counsel.

Addleshaw Goddard opened its Singapore office in May 2012. It is led by international arbitration partner, Jamie Harrison.

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