Law firms add partners in Singapore

Latham & Watkins transfers two partners from London, including one M&A specialist, while Hogan Lovells hires banking lawyer Alexander McMyn from Linklaters.
Rod Brown

Latham & Watkins has boosted the capacity of its practice in Singapore by transferring two lawyers from its London office. In a release, the international law firm said corporate partners Rod Brown and Luke Grubb have both relocated to the Singapore office.

According to a source, the expansion is a clear indication of the opportunities the firm sees in Southeast Asia and especially in India. Latham & Watkins has a large India practice that is based in Singapore.

And Latham & Watkins isn’t the only law firm expanding in Singapore. In a separate announcement, Hogan Lovells said it has hired Alexander McMyn as a banking partner in Singapore. A banking specialist, McMyn will focus mainly on inbound and outbound investments involving Southeast Asia, particularly Indonesia and India. The firm has recently also transferred a series of high-profile finance partners to the same office.

At Latham & Watkins, Brown will join a 20-strong M&A practice in Singapore that represents clients on their investments and financing activities both in Southeast Asia and globally. His main focus is on cross-border public and private mergers, as well as acquisitions and joint ventures. Brown joined Latham & Watkins in December 2007 and has extensive M&A experience across a broad array of sectors, including energy, pharmaceutical, real estate, financial services, leisure, consumer products and technology.

Recent M&A deals that Latham & Watkins has worked on out of Singapore include Vedanta’s acquisition of a 58.8% stake in Cairn India, Nestle’s takeover of Chinese confectionary maker Hsu Fu Chi and the formation of a joint venture between Jurong Aromatics and eight other shareholders, with SK Group as the key shareholder, to develop, construct, own and operate an aromatics plant in Singapore. The firm is also advising Dian Swastatika Sentosa on its pending S$2.24 billion ($1.8 billion) reverse takeover of United Fibre System.

Luke Grubb

Grubb’s practice encompasses all forms of commercial technology and intellectual property matters. According to the release, he has deep expertise on all forms of outsourcing transactions and regularly advises clients on all the commercial and legal aspects of technology procurement, systems development, licensing arrangements and technology joint ventures.

His transfer to the Singapore office marks a significant geographic expansion of the firm’s top-ranked London practice, the release said. Grubb has developed a substantial practice advising clients in all sectors including financial institutions, telecommunications, entertainment, media, retail, manufacturing and e-commerce. He joined Latham & Watkins in June 2003.

“Rod and Luke add further heft to our English law corporate practice in the region,” commented Singapore-based partner Michael Sturrock, who serves as vice chair of the firm’s global corporate department. “They are hard-working, commercially astute and very talented in their respective fields. We are excited by the opportunities to further grow our corporate capability in Asia and Rod and Luke will help us further solidify our market-leading M&A practice in this dynamic region.”

Meanwhile, Hogan Lovells said its new hire has a broad practice advising financial institutions and companies on banking, structured finance and asset finance transactions. His recent experience includes advising the arrangers on the $6 billion facilities made available to Vedanta Resources for its $9 billion acquisition of Cairn India.

McMyn will form an integral part of Hogan Lovells' banking practice in Asia, working closely with Hong Kong banking partners Gary Hamp, Owen Chan and Allan Wardrop to provide dedicated coverage in Southeast Asia on acquisition and asset finance transactions, the firm said.

He joins from Linklaters in Singapore where he has been based since relocating from its London office in 2008.

"[McMyn’s] experience and expertise perfectly align with our plans to develop our international banking practice in core specialisations, across key jurisdictions,” said Matthew Cottis, global head of banking at Hogan Lovells. “In Asia, one of our priorities was to be able to meet the demand from our key clients in Singapore to provide the highest level of support for their acquisition and asset finance transactions throughout Southeast Asia, notably in Indonesia and India. Hiring a partner of Alexander's calibre gives us a strength and depth in these areas which few firms can rival.”

The new hire comes after the firm brought on board project finance partner Bruce Schulberg and relocated leading debt capital markets partner Andrew Carey to its Singapore office. The firm has also recently launched an Indonesian capability through an association with Indonesian law firm Hermawan Juniarto.

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