Linklaters has appointed Zili Shao as its new Asia managing partner with effect from May 1, 2009.
Shao succeeds Giles White who is retiring from the partnership at the end of April to become group general counsel at Jardine Matheson, one of the firm's long-standing clients in Asia.
Shao, who has been a managing partner for Greater China since 2003 and headed the firm's China practice from 1998 to 2003, is a specialist in China-related M&A, corporate restructuring and direct investments. He has worked on some of the most significant deals in China in recent years.
As Asia managing partner, Shao will join the firm's executive committee, which is responsible for the management of the firm.
Linklaters also announced that of the 18 new partners elected worldwide, three are based in Asia. Hong Kong-based Umesh Kumar is a member of Linklaters' Greater China financial markets regulatory practice. He advises financial institutions, including investment and commercial banks, asset managers and insurers, on the regulatory issues relevant to their businesses.
Another Hong Kong-based lawyer, Samantha Thompson, is a member of Linklaters' regional corporate/M&A practice. She has a strong reputation in Hong Kong in domestic and cross-border transactions, including those that require expertise in Hong Kong listing rules and, particularly, the Hong Kong takeovers code.
Tokyo-based Jiro Toyokawa has also become a partner. He specialises in corporate/M&A work and advises international clients on Japanese law transactions in Japan, as well as Japanese clients on cross-border law transactions.