Herbert Smith launches restructuring practice in HK

Herbert Smith joins the crowd of law firms that are building their restructuring teams by hiring Michael Barker as a partner focused on restructuring and insolvency work.

Herbert Smith has hired Michael Barker as a partner focusing on restructuring and insolvency work in Hong Kong, according to a press release yesterday.

Barker joins from Appleby in Hong Kong, where he has been a partner since 2007. Prior to that he was a partner and regional practice group head at Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, where he focused on restructurings, insolvency and other distressed situations across the Asia region. Qualified in Hong Kong, England, Wales and Bermuda, Barker specialises in advising creditors, debtors and investors on high-end, non-contentious restructuring and insolvency matters.

Barker will be responsible for launching Herbert Smith's non-contentious restructuring and insolvency practice in the China region and across Asia. In this capacity he will work closely with Hong Kong-based finance partner Alexander Aitken, as well as finance and dispute partners across the firm's regional network.

"An increasing number of financial institutions and corporates in Asia are now looking for big-ticket restructuring and insolvency advice and the timely hire of Michael will allow us to offer them precisely that," says Ashley Alder, head of Asia for Herbert Smith. "He is one of a small number of go-to lawyers in this field and our clients will benefit greatly from his expertise."

Head of finance Jason Fox adds: "The firm remains committed to growing its finance and related practices across the globe. New money finance work has lessened while restructuring and insolvency work is increasing, so it makes sense for us to focus our efforts in this area. Restructurings often also generate significant amounts of cross-practice work, (among others) for corporate and dispute resolution lawyers." 

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