Asian Top News

Hiroshi Shimizu, Senior Vice President of Global Quality Assurance at Takata Corporation, answers questions during a U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation hearing titled “Examining Takata Airbag Defects and the Vehicle Recall Process.”  November 20, 2014.

Japan
U.S. Senators Call on Takata to Probe Air Bag Defect

By Andrew Ramonas |

The Japanese auto parts company is under pressure by politicians to initiate an independent investigation into a deadly air bag safety defect, following a news report that it covered up the problem.

Australia
Australian Firm Clayton Utz Loses Three Partners

By Tom Brennan |

Sydney partners John Elliott and David Stammers are headed to Norton Rose Fulbright and Ashurst, respectively, while Perth partner Kevin O’Sullivan declined to comment on his next role.

Australia
HSF Hires Competition Partner in Sydney

By Tom Brennan |

Liza Carver was previously a partner at Ashurst.

China, Hong Kong, India, Singapore, South Korea
Asia Deal Digest: Nov. 20, 2014

By Tom Brennan |

*HSF leads $1.2 billion transfer of power assets within state-run China Huaneng Group
*Allen & Overy, Ashurst on $2.8 billion financing of Indonesian natural gas project
*Cleary Gottlieb, Paul Hastings on Samsung SDS's $1.1 billion IPO in Korea

South Korea
Korea's Competitive Legal Market Puts Pressure on Price

By Nathalie Pierrepont |

Since free trade agreements opened the country's legal market to foreign firms in 2012, some 20 U.S. and U.K. firms have planted flags in Seoul, putting pressure on legal fees and ramping up competition between foreign and local firms.

Andrew Levander (L), David Bernick (R)

Japan
Dechert's Lateral Hires Take Lead for Troubled Takata

By Brian Baxter |

The embattled Japanese auto parts company has retained a high-powered defense team from Dechert to handle a criminal probe, congressional inquiry and class action litigation related to a growing scandal into defective airbags.

China
Report: CNOOC Severs Baker & McKenzie Ties

By MP McQueen |

The Wall Street Journal reports that CNOOC, China's state-owned oil and gas giant, cut its ties to Baker & McKenzie because of alleged conflicts of interest between an in-house lawyer and her husband, the firm's chief representative in Beijing.

China
Orrick Recruits IP Specialist from Corning in Shanghai

By Tom Brennan |

Yufeng Ma had been the director of intellectual property in Asia for the U.S. specialty glass maker.

Toyota Motor Corp.'s showroom in Tokyo.

Japan
Regulators Extend Takata Recall to Entire U.S.

By Amanda Bronstad |

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has announced a nationwide recall of cars and trucks with air bags made by the Japanese company. The recall, limited to vehicles with Takata air bags on the driver's side, came after an air bag ruptured in an incident outside a region of high humidity. The previous Takata recalls of 7.8 million vehicles were limited to those states in hot and humid climates.

China, Singapore
Ashurst Adds Beijing Partner

By Tom Brennan |

Former Clifford Chance counsel Chin Chuan Chen is relocating from Singapore to join the Silver Circle firm.

South Korea
Ropes & Gray Hires in Seoul

By Tom Brennan |

Corporate partner Hyo Young Kang makes the move from Linklaters.

Clearing Ltd.'s executive officer Charles Li.

China, Hong Kong
Hong Kong and Shanghai Debut Cross-Market Share Trading

By Nick Ferguson |

The two cities have launched a pilot trading system that gives foreign investors direct access to Chinese A-shares for the first time.

South Korea
Milbank to Launch in Korea

By Tom Brennan |

The U.S. firm has submitted an application to the country’s Ministry of Justice to open its 12th global office in Seoul.

Malaysia, United Kingdom
Norton Rose Fulbright on $2.1B Financing for Battersea Project

By Tom Brennan |

The London icon, seen in The Beatles movie Help! and on the cover of a Pink Floyd album, is being developed into a mixed-use site with luxury residences, retail shops and restaurants.

South Korea
Cleary, Kim & Chang Lead Samsung SDS IPO

By Tom Brennan |

The information technology division of mega-conglomerate Samsung Group raised $1.1 billion on the Korea Exchange.

Japan
Takata Called to Capitol Hill Over Air Bag Safety

By Andrew Ramonas |

Senators plan to put Takata Corp. under the microscope, holding a hearing on the Japanese company's air bag safety defect that allegedly caused five deaths and prompted a U.S. criminal investigation and class action lawsuits.

Indonesia
A&O, Ashurst on Financing for $2.8B LNG Project in Indonesia

By Tom Brennan |

The Donggi-Senoro plant, which is expected to launch in mid-2015, will have a production capacity of 2 million tons of liquefied natural gas a year.

Hong Kong
Simmons & Simmons Adds Hong Kong Partner

By Tom Brennan |

The U.K. firm has recruited former Edwards Wildman Palmer Hong Kong managing partner Martin Lister to join its insurance team.

China
US and China Order Up More Food Safety and Compliance

By Brian Glaser |

U.S. consumers have concerns about imports from China, and concerns that the Chinese government has about its imported food supplies need to be addressed too.

China, Singapore
Five Firms Lead CITIC-KKR Bid for Singapore's United Envirotech

By Tom Brennan |

The two investment giants are offering close to a billion dollars for a water-treatment company that has extensive operations in mainland China.

China, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia
Asia Deal Digest: Nov. 13, 2014

By Anna Zhang |

*Five firms on near billion-dollar offer by CITIC, KKR for Singapore's United Envirotech
*Jones Day, Milbank lead Philippines retailer SSI Group on its recent IPO
*Clifford Chance acts for Australia's AMP as it buys a stake in China Life Pension

China
Manufacturing, Coal Advocates Blast U.S.-China Climate Pact

By Andrew Ramonas |

An agreement between the United States and China to curb greenhouse gases isn't sitting well with leaders of U.S. manufacturing and energy industries as they brace for additional environmental regulations.

China, Hong Kong
King & Wood Mallesons Leads China Travel Service $1B Bond

By Anna Zhang |

Davis Polk & Wardwell served as underwriters' counsel to the state-owned travel agency's offer.

China, India, Russia
Are Your Brands Safe in China, India and Russia?

By Lisa Shuchman |

A company’s brands are among its most important assets. But a new survey shows that corporate executives and legal departments charged with protecting those assets consider their brands to be most vulnerable in China, India and Russia.

Australia
KWM Poaches Indie Australian Firm Managing Partner

By Anna Zhang |

Sharon Cook is leaving Henry Davis York and will join King & Wood Mallesons in February as managing partner for clients relations.

Chinese citizens wear black hoods in a performance art campaign to protest the government's mistreatment of fellow lawyer Wang Shengsheng in northern Heilongjiang province. One of the photos uploaded sarcastically reads:

China
The Global Lawyer: Two Paths to Real Rule of Law in China

By Michael D. Goldhaber |

Eschewing martyrdom, a rising generation of Chinese rights lawyers finds its voice.

Singapore
Clyde & Co Adds Singapore Marine Partner

By Anna Zhang |

Colin Ng & Partners shipping practice head Gerald Yee joined.

The Churn

France, United Kingdom, Mexico, United States
Covington Nabs MoFo Financial Services Pro, Plus More Lateral Moves

By Brian Baxter |

Covington & Burling picks up a leading consumer financial services lawyer from Morrison & Foerster, a firm that recently saw a technology transactions partner join the NBA; Gibson Dunn makes a government hire after election season; two more firms raid Bingham; and other notable hires from throughout The Am Law 200.

Hong Kong
Debevoise Recruits HSF Asia Managing Partner

By Anna Zhang |

Disputes lawyer Mark Johnson will retire to join the New York firm in Hong Kong.

India
Khaitan & Co. Hire Two Mumbai Partners

By Anna Zhang |

Former Amarchand partner Abhimanyu Bhattacharya and Bombay High Court counsel Hormaz Daruwalla both joined.

China, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Japan, Laos, Malaysia, Singapore, South Korea, Australia
Asia Deal Digest: Nov. 6, 2014

By Anna Zhang |

*Simpson, Sullivan & Cromwell on Danone's $565 million Yashili investment
*Davis Polk, Clifford Chance on China Hongqiao high-yield bond offer
*Herbert Smith Freehills on Tata Motors $750 million bond offer

Singapore
Jones Day Poaches Nabarro Singapore Head

By Anna Zhang |

Emerson Holmes is a disputes lawyer specializing in construction and infrastructure projects.

Australia
King & Wood Mallesons Adds Brisbane Partner

By Anna Zhang |

Jamie Wells moves from Allens, where he was head of national workplace and employee relations.

Malaysia, Singapore
Zico Holdings Plans Singapore IPO

By Tom Brennan |

The Kuala Lumpur-based company, which has links to Southeast Asian firm Zicolaw, is looking to raise about $11 million to fund expansion ahead of the launch of the so-called ASEAN Economic Community next year.

Indonesia
Milbank on Lion Air $1.2 Billion Engine Order

By Anna Zhang |

The Indonesian carrier is a longtime client of the firm's Singapore partner Paul Ng.

Hong Kong
Sullivan & Cromwell, Magic Circle Duo on $5.4B Hutchison Bond

By Anna Zhang |

Sullivan & Cromwell and Freshfields advise the Hong Kong conglomerate with Allen & Overy acting for the banks.

Malaysia, Singapore
Malaysia Won $1.2B Arbitration Against Singapore

By Anna Zhang |

The Southeast Asian neighbors both agreed to accept the decision and proceed with the development delayed for 20 years.

India, United Kingdom
Osborne Clarke Strikes Best-Friend Alliance in India

By Tom Brennan |

The U.K. firm is partnering with a newly created Indian outfit launched by Osborne Clarke's former India practice co-head.

China
The Rule of Law with Chinese Characteristics

By Michael D. Goldhaber, The Litigation Daily |

In the decade since The American Lawyer first profiled human rights lawyer Gao Zhisheng, the Chinese state set out to break his body and spirit. It only half succeeded.

Japan, Australia
HSF Taps Two Corporate Partners From Ashurst

By Tom Brennan |

Damian Roberts and Ian Williams will be based in Tokyo and Brisbane, respectively.

Australia
Perth Firm Lavan Legal Adds Partner

By Anna Zhang |

Employment lawyer Charmaine Tsang joins from fellow Australian firm Rockwell Olivier.

China
DaHui Hires Shanghai Partner From Skadden

By Anna Zhang |

Lincoln Zhao is an M&A specialist and also the author of a tell-all book about the uber-rich in Beijing.

Expanding Overseas? Think (and Act) Local

By Lisa Shuchman |

Companies expanding globally face multiple challenges if they do not identify the laws and regulations of each country in which they operate, a panel of lawyers said at the Association of Corporate Counsel's annual meeting.

Australia
Norton Rose Fulbright Brings on Brisbane Partner

By Tom Brennan |

Dale Rayner previously worked as a special counsel at Clifford Chance in Sydney.

China, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Japan
Asia Deal Digest: Oct. 30, 2014

By Tom Brennan |

*Magic Circle duo leads $6.5 billion Bank of China share sale
*Simmons & Simmons acts for Hong Kong's United Energy on $786 million bond program
*MoFo advises SoftBank on $627 million investment into Indian e-commerce company

David Buxbaum at Tiananmen Square in Beijing, China

China
Court Removes Attorney Who Will Be Called as Witness

By Ben Bedell |

Running afoul of the advocate-witness rule, an American lawyer based in China lost his bid to remain as counsel in a case that his China-based firm brought against a former client for unpaid fees.

India
MoFo Guides SoftBank on $627M India Investment

By Tom Brennan |

The Japanese company is buying a majority share in Indian e-commerce outfit Snapdeal.

Australia, United Kingdom
Clyde & Co Opens in Brisbane

By Anna Zhang |

The shipping firm launched its fourth Australian office with the hire of three partners from Australia's Sparke Helmore.

Singapore
Clayton Utz Recruits Property Partner in Perth

By Tom Brennan |

Former Herbert Smith Freehills partner Simon Taskunas is relocating from Singapore.

Three members of the Japanese Red Army undertook a terrorist attack on behalf of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine at Tel Aviv’s Lod airport (now Ben Gurion International) on May 30, 1972.

North Korea, United States
Terror Victims Lose Bid to Recover Funds From No. Korea

By Mark Hamblett |

North Korea's removal from a list of state sponsors of terrorism while a case claiming it provided the weapons used in a 1972 attack was pending has led the Second Circuit to refuse to allow the attachment of $378 million in funds recovered in a default judgment.

Australia
Squire Patton Adds Construction Partner in Perth

By Tom Brennan |

Brendan Reilly was most recently at Western Australian firm Allion Legal.

Supermarket Wellcome’s owner Dairy Farm International Holdings is the main rival of Li Ka-shing’s A.S. Watsons Co. Ltd. The two have a combined 62.5 percent market share in Hong Kong’s supermarket sector.

Hong Kong
New Law Takes Aim at Hong Kong’s Oligopolies

By Anna Zhang |

But the question is whether or not the so-called Competition Ordinance will succeed. Lawyers say it may not introduce significantly more competition into the local economy. In fact, the real winners may be the lawyers themselves.

The Churn

China, Japan, Australia, Spain, United Kingdom, United States
Willkie Adds Another Ex-Kirkland Partner, Plus More Lateral Moves

By Brian Baxter and Wenxiong Zhang |

Eight months after leaving Kirkland & Ellis for McDermott Will & Emery, private equity partner Leonard Klingbaum is on the move again; Greenberg Traurig hires a former California Senate leader; Weil, Gotshal & Manges adds a high-yield partner in London and other notable hires from throughout The Am Law 200.

Australia
Baker & McKenzie Hires M&A Veteran in Melbourne

By Tom Brennan |

The U.S. firm has tapped Corrs Chambers Westgarth senior partner Peter Ickeringill to join its Australian team.

Hong Kong
Magic Circle Duo on $6.5B Bank of China Deal

By Anna Zhang |

The Chinese state-owned lender sold preference shares in Hong Kong to bring its capital reserves in line with newly adopted international regulations.

China
Canadian Firm Borden Ladner Gervais Heads to China

By Wenxiong Zhang |

The firm is looking to capitalize on the growing economic ties between Ottawa and Beijing.

Singapore, United Kingdom
From the Experts: Rule Revisions From 5 Top Global Arbitral Institutions

By Kiera Gans and Amy Billing |

in the last two years, four major international arbitral institutions—the International Chamber of Commerce, the London Court of International Arbitration, the International Centre for Dispute Resolution and the Singapore International Arbitration Centre—have overhauled their procedures to try to improve functionality and make their institutions more attractive to users.

South Korea
Bae, Kim & Lee Hires Two Partners From Kim & Chang

By Anna Zhang |

Wook Rae Lee and Young Hoon Park have joined the Seoul-based firm's employment practice.

China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Singapore, Australia
Asia Deal Digest: Oct. 23, 2014

By Tom Brennan |

*Three firms on Medibank Private Ltd.'s $4.8 billion Australian IPO
*Hong Kong firm Deacons advises Chinese state-run Bohai Steel Group Co. on bond sale
*Herbert Smith Freehills acts for Energy Development Corp. on financing for Philippines' largest wind farm

Japan
HSF's Tokyo Corporate Head Leaves for MoFo

By Tom Brennan |

James Robinson is moving over to the San Francisco-based Morrison & Foerster after 15 years with Herbert Smith Freehills.

China
From the Experts: What to Do When the Chinese Government Comes Knocking

By Steve Olson and Bingna Guo |

Since becoming President and General Secretary of China's Communist Party in 2012, Xi Jinping has made fighting corruption—both in the government and in commerce—a national priority. As recent events demonstrate, a foreign passport will not deter Chinese authorities in their fight against corruption.

Singapore
Baker & McKenzie Adds a Partner in Singapore

By Tom Brennan |

Chen Yih Pong was formerly a capital markets partner at WongPartnership.

Australia
Three Firms Lead Medibank's $4.8B Australian IPO

By Tom Brennan |

The Australian government, Medibank's sole shareholder, plans to sell its entire holding in order to raise money for infrastructure investment.

Singapore
Hogan Lovells Hires Energy Partner in Singapore

By Tom Brennan |

Alex Cull makes the move after seven years with Norton Rose Fulbright.

Hong Kong
Protests Prompt Hong Kong Lawyers to Consider Beijing's Mandates

By Tom Brennan |

Tens of thousands of people have taken to the streets in recent weeks to call for electoral reform, but so far the Chinese government has yet to budge. So what recourse, if any, does the city's legal community have in its own potential disagreements with Beijing?

Hong Kong
Kirkland Recruits Hong Kong Partner

By Anna Zhang |

Private equity lawyer Gary Li is joining the office from rival Ropes & Gray.

Australia, United Kingdom
Bird & Bird to Merge With Australia’s Truman Hoyle

By Tom Brennan |

The U.K. firm is establishing a presence Down Under by acquiring the 33-lawyer technology boutique.

Shanghai, China

China
Knowles Evens Score in IP Fight With Chinese Rival

By Lisa Shuchman |

Amid claims that its client was unfairly bullied by protectionist Chinese courts, a team from Covington won a key victory at the U.S. International Trade Commission in an intercontinental patent feud involving mobile device technology.

India
US Reviewing India IP Practices, With Focus on Pharma

By Lisa Shuchman |

The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative has begun its “out-of-cycle review” of India’s intellectual property practices. Such a review could in theory lead to U.S. sanctions against India if the USTR concludes that India’s policies impede protection of intellectual property.

China, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Japan, Kazakhstan, Malaysia, Myanmar, Singapore, Australia, New Guinea
Asia Deal Digest: Oct. 16, 2014

By Anna Zhang |

*Simpson Thacher, Sullivan & Cromwell lead two Tokyo IPOs worth $2.6 billion
*Morgan Lewis guides Kazakhstan through its first dollar bond issue in 14 years
*Skadden acts on the first listing by a Malaysian company in the U.S.

Japan
Simpson Thacher, Sullivan & Cromwell on Two Japan IPOs

By Anna Zhang |

The firms led Recruit Holdings' $1.9 billion offering and that of Skylark Co., which raised $700 million.

Kazakhstan
Morgan Lewis on Kazakhstan's $2.5B Bond Offer

By Anna Zhang |

White & Case advised the underwriters on the Central Asian country's first dollar notes issuance in fourteen years.

Vietnam
Hogan Lovells Hires First Vietnam-Based Partner

By Tom Brennan |

The Anglo-American firm has recruited Allen & Overy's Jeff Olson to work from Ho Chi Minh City.

Hong Kong
Ashurst Hires Again in Hong Kong

By Anna Zhang |

Regulatory partner Ben Hammond joins from Slaughter and May's London office.

Philippines
Philippines Broadcaster Prevails in Battle With Pirate

By Sheri Qualters |

ABS-CBN Corp. has secured a $10 million U.S. judgment against a copyright and trademark infringer as an early victory in a broader court campaign against Internet pirates.

Australia
Johnson Winter & Slattery Adds Partners in Melbourne

By Tom Brennan |

Both Reynah Tang and Stewart Grieve had both worked more than 20 years at Corrs Chambers Westgarth.

Japan
Sidley Adds Asia-Focused Litigation Partner

By Patience Haggin |

Scott Nonaka joins the firm's San Francisco office from O'Melveny & Myers.

Singapore
Baker & McKenzie Adds Arbitration Partner in Singapore

By Tom Brennan |

Nandakumar Ponniya joins the Chicago-based firm after five years with White & Case.

Randall Arthur, Kobre & Kim Hong Kong partner

Hong Kong
Do Foreign Firms Need a Hong Kong Law Practice?

By Anna Zhang |

The city’s once-booming capital markets had prompted a big push into local law, but the slowdown that followed has forced at least one firm—Milbank—to reconsider. Still, others see value in the practice, though for different reasons. Here’s why.

China
Bird & Bird Recruits from DLA Piper in Shanghai

By Anna Zhang |

Ying Wang has joined the U.K. firm's employment practice.

India
Amarchand Advises IFC on $1B Indian Bond Deal

By Tom Brennan |

The International Finance Corp. sold rupee-denominated notes to fund infrastructure investments in the country.

New Guinea
Clifford Chance on Sime Darby's $1.74B Papua New Guinea Buy

By Tom Brennan |

The Malaysian conglomerate is acquiring New Britain Palm Oil in an effort to further expand its plantation business.

Australia
Clayton Utz Adds Employment Partner in Canberra

By Tom Brennan |

Jennifer Wyborn was formerly a partner at Meyer Vandenberg.

China, Hong Kong, Japan, Singapore
Asia Deal Digest: Oct. 9, 2014

By Tom Brennan |

*Five firms on Anbang Insurance's $1.95 billion purchase of the Waldorf Astoria New York
*Ashurst advises state-run PT Pertimina on $2 billion acquisition of Murphy Oil's Malaysian assets
*Herbert Smith Freehills guides Australia's Regis Healthcare on its recent IPO.

Japan
Latham Leads Starbucks' $914M Japan Buyout

By Tom Brennan |

The Seattle-based coffee giant is taking control of its Japanese operations through a buyout of its joint venture partner and the purchase of all outstanding shares.

Skadden Once Again Comes Out on Top of M&A Rankings

By Wenxiong Zhang |

Continuing on its transactional tear, Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom sat atop three separate rankings of legal advisers for global M&A deals based on total transaction value in the first three quarters of the year.

China
China's Anjie Opens in Shanghai

By Anna Zhang |

The 100-lawyer antitrust and insurance firm launches its second office with three lateral hires.

Hong Kong
Former Mallesons, Milbank Partners Launch New Hong Kong Firm

By Anna Zhang |

Corporate lawyers Dieter Yih, Larry Kwok and Conrad Chan have joined forced to start a new boutique firm focusing on mergers and acquisitions and capital market deals.

Kazakhstan
Two Am Law 100 Firms Double Down on Overseas Investments

By Nathalie Pierrepont |

Baker & McKenzie and Morgan, Lewis & Bockius are setting their sights on some far-flung horizons, setting up new outposts in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, and Astana, Kazakhstan, respectively.

China
Five Firms on $1.95 Billion Waldorf Astoria Deal

By Tom Brennan |

Skadden, Fried Frank, Greenberg Traurig, Simpson Thacher and Dentons all have roles on a Chinese company's purchase of the landmark New York hotel.

Kasia Walawska.

Cambodia
These Deals Help Save the World

By Michael D. Goldhaber |

To mitigate global warming, Ropes & Gray and Dentons have pioneered new forms of finance in the Seychelles and Cambodia.

Hong Kong
Kobre & Kim Adds Hong Kong Law Practice

By Anna Zhang |

The New York-based firm has hired partner Randall Arthur from local litigation boutique Gall.

Brunei, India, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore
Finalists Announced for The Asian Lawyer's Emerging Markets Awards

By Tom Brennan |

We've chosen a short list in 17 different categories for our inaugural awards recognizing the top matters and lawyers in Southeast Asia and India.

Singapore
Ernst & Young Enters Singapore Legal Market

By Anna Zhang |

The accounting firm has established a legal practice in the city-state through an alliance with local firm PK Wong & Associates.

Australia
HWL Ebsworth Taps Two Partners From Sparke Helmore

By Tom Brennan |

Dianne Hollyoak and Alan Girle join the firm's employment practice in Brisbane.

Australia
Corrs Chambers Westgarth Recruits in Perth

By Tom Brennan |

Rebecca Field joins the Australian firm's banking and property finance group from Ashurst.

China
Haynes and Boone Hires in Shanghai

By Tom Brennan |

The Dallas-based firm has recruited Louis Meng from Allbright Law Offices to cohead its Asia practice.

Australia
K&L Gates Adds Banking Partner in Sydney

By Tom Brennan |

Tom Lennox has moved over after a year with Squire Patton Boggs.

Vietnam
ZICOlaw Launches in Hanoi

By Tom Brennan |

The Kuala Lumpur-based firm has opened its second Vietnamese office by recruiting former Mayer Brown JSM partner Phuong Nguyen.

Malaysia
Gibson Dunn on Pertamina's $2 Billion Malaysia Buy

By Tom Brennan |

The Indonesian state-run company is acquiring 30 percent of the Malaysian oil and gas assets held by U.S. energy outfit Murphy Oil Corp.