Partner hires pickup for Greater China, Singapore and Tokyo law firms
Partner hires increased across Asia, including in Beijing, Hong Kong, Singapore and Tokyo.
Earlier this month, Law.com International announced that veteran intellectual property lawyer Gordon Gao has moved from elite Chinese law firm Fangda Partners to King & Wood Mallesons.
In addition, King & Wood has also hired three attorneys from Gao’s team as partners: Sherry Yao, Zhang Xuting and Cassidy Guo. All three are experts in intellectual property litigation and are based in Beijing.
Yao, who was a partner at Fangda, specializes in pharmaceutical patent cases and has represented international pharmaceutical companies, including Astellas Pharma and Celgene. She has also acted for global brands, including Amazon and Polo Ralph Lauren, in trademark infringement cases. She joined Fangda Partners in 2016.
Zhang, who was a lawyer at Fangda, is now returning to King & Wood. Previously, she was an associate with the firm for nearly four years before leaving in 2015. She litigates on intellectual property matters and also provides intellectual property advisory services.
Guo also specializes in intellectual property litigation, as well as related anti-monopoly and anti-unfair competition litigation. She represents technology companies in intellectual property litigation, including patent infringement and invalidation, trade secret and software copyright litigation, and related non-litigation matters.
“We know the KWM team very well, have encouraged each other and made common progress in our practice over the years,” Gao said in a statement. “We recognize KWM’s culture and platform, the strategic positioning of the company’s IP practice, as well as its strong market awareness and investment in cutting-edge areas. As one of the highly watched and growing fields, the practice of intellectual property has tremendous development potential.
Fangda did not respond to requests for comment on the four departures.
Japanese law firm Atsumi & Sakai has added three partners to its Tokyo office. Haruki Ito, Mitsuru Misawa, and Kazuki Ishihara joined international companies and internal roles.
Ito was an attorney at Jones Day, where he spent nearly 15 years. His practice focuses on intellectual property litigation and commercial transactions. He has particular expertise in patent litigation before Japanese courts for companies operating in the electronics, automotive, machinery and pharmaceutical industries.
Misawa advises on transactions and litigation related to the power and energy sectors. He has served as general counsel for US renewable energy firm Finallyity Global, as well as power infrastructure investment management firm Everstream Capital. Before moving in-house in 2019, he spent a total of 11 years with Japanese firms TMI Associates and Nishimura & Asahi. While in private practice, he worked in the firm’s offices in Jakarta, Singapore, Kuala Lumpur and Tokyo.
Ishihara specializes in technology and computer issues. He was previously in-house counsel at Yahoo! Japan and in 2015 joined local law firm Kubota Law Firm. He left two years later to start his own private practice, Seven Rich Law, which provided legal advice to internet start-ups and venture capital firms. With his departure, Seven Rich is now deceased.
With the new recruits, Atsumi now has nearly 100 associates. Last year, the firm opened an office in New York, which is now headed by partner Bonnie Dixon, who joined the firm in Tokyo more than 17 years ago. Atsumi has two offices in Japan and international offices in Frankfurt and London.
In Hong Kong, local law firm Howse Wiliams has hired real estate lawyer Jovanne Zee as a partner. She joins the Hong Kong office of British law firm Charles Russell Speechlys, where she was a senior partner.
At Howse Williams, Zee will be part of the firm’s property and property management practice. She advises real estate developers, private equity firms, financial institutions, multinational corporations and ultra-high net worth families on the sale and purchase, rental, licensing and security financing of commercial properties. and residential in Hong Kong.
Before joining Charles Russell Speechlys in 2021, she practiced for eight years at Stephenson Harwood.
With the addition of Zee, Howse Williams’ workforce rises to 200 lawyers, including 29 partners. The firm also recently hired former Clifford Chance consultant William Wong and former Clyde & co-lawyer Gary Chow as partners.
Also in Hong Kong, Ince hired litigator Stephen Chan as a partner. Chan comes from Reed Smith, where he was also a partner.
Chan acts on multi-jurisdictional fraud and asset tracing cases involving freezing, gagging and other urgent interim injunctive relief. He also advises on technology-related litigation, shareholder-corporate litigation and contentious employment matters.
Chan joined Reed Smith in 2019 from Hong Kong firm Oldham, Lie & Nie, where he was a partner for almost three years. He moved to Hong Kong in 2013 from New Zealand and worked two separate stints with Gall Solicitors and Oldham, Lie.
His departure leaves Reed Smith with 79 lawyers, including 29 partners in Hong Kong. The firm did not respond to a request for comment.
Elsewhere in Asia, British firm Hill Dickinson has expanded into Singapore with the hiring of Matthew Dow as a partner and Binoy Dubey as a lawyer.
Dow and Dubey join Hill Dickinson of Norwegian firm Wikborg Rein and Singaporean firm Incisive Law, respectively.
Dow advises on maritime industry litigation, including casualties, submarine cable litigation, offshore claims, and charterparty and bill of lading litigation.
He moved to Singapore with Wikborg Rein in 2019 and previously practiced for six years in the London office of Holman Fenwick Willan. His departure leaves the Norwegian firm with five lawyers, including two partners.
Hill Dickinson and Wikborg Rein have been business partners in recent years. Wikborg’s former partner in Singapore, Ian Teare, also left the firm last year to join Hill Dickinson in the UK.
Dubey is a sea captain – a licensed sailor who holds the highest rank of seafaring qualification. And like Dow, it acts on maritime litigation. It also advises on the compliance of shipping procedures.
He spent almost two years with the Singaporean firm Incisive, which is affiliated with the Singaporean firm of Ince. Prior to joining Incisive in 2020, he spent over six years at Reed Smith as an Admiralty Manager. He also previously worked as a senior claims handler and risk manager in a protection and indemnity (P&I) insurance club.
With the two new recruits, Hill Dickinson now has 13 lawyers, including six partners, in Singapore. Last year, the company lost its raw materials litigation partner, Sumeet Malhotra, to Watson Farley & Williams.