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Robert Pe with Suu Kyi

The Lawyer and 'The Lady'

Tom Brennan | April 21, 2014

Since the fall of 2012, Robert Pé, a litigation and arbitration partner in the Hong Kong office of Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe, has served as senior legal adviser to Nobel Peace Prize winner and democracy advocate Aung San Suu Kyi, now a member of parliament and leader of the political opposition in Myanmar. The assignment has been the fulfillment of a longtime dream for Pé, whose father left the country formerly known as Burma 50 years ago.

Asia Deal Digest: April 24, 2014

By Tom Brennan |

* Herbert Smith Freehills and Linklaters lead on state-owned company's acquisition of Hess Oil assets in Thailand
* Cleary, O'Melveny and Kirkland on a Chinese IT company's $332 million take-private
* Willkie Farr guides a U.S. VC fund on a $250 million investment Down Under

Linklaters on $1 Billion OCBC Bond Issue

By Tom Brennan |

The Singaporean bank sold the ten-year bonds in order to raise money for general corporate purposes and to comply with new reserve requirements.

Google Lawyer Details Defense Pact With Samsung

By Julia Love, The Recorder |

Apple's trial team, led by Morrison & Foerster's Harold McElhinny, plays deposition testimony on Android indemnity agreement.

Mitsubishi Loses Appeal in Chip Design Case

By Scott Graham, The Recorder |

California's Sixth District Court of Appeal upheld a verdict against Mitsubishi Electric Inc. for breaching a non-disclosure agreement but agreed with a superior court judge that the $123 million awarded by jurors was excessive.

Herbert Smith Freehills Advises Thai SOE on Hess Buyout

By Tom Brennan |

PTT Exploration and Production Pcl. is paying $1 billion for Hess' interest in two natural gas projects in Thailand.

K&L Gates Adds Taipei Partner

By Tom Brennan |

Jim Wu headed the Taipei office for the former Preston Gates & Ellis between 2002 and 2004.

Amarchand on $1 Billion Oil India Bond Issue

By Tom Brennan |

The state-owned oil company is raising funds to repay existing debt.

Morrison & Foerster Adds Singapore Partner

By Tom Brennan |

Shirin Tang was previously a counsel in the Singapore office of Shearman & Sterling.

Asia Deal Digest: April 17, 2014

By Anna Zhang |

* White & Case and Linklaters lead on $5.85 billion Chinese mine acquisition in Peru
* Chinese retail group turns to Simpson Thacher for its takeover of a British department store chain
* Milbank advises the government of Sri Lanka on a third sovereign bond offering

HWL Ebsworth Acquires Adelaide Firm

By Tom Brennan |

HWL Ebsworth said the addition of 44-lawyer Kelly & Co would allow it to better serve clients with a presence in South Australia.

Simpson, Linklaters on Chinese Department Store Buy

By Anna Zhang |

A Chinese company is buy British department store chain House of Fraser for $804 million, with plans to open 50 stores in China.

Skadden Advises Sinopec on $5 Billion Bond Issue

By Tom Brennan |

It is the third multi-billion-dollar bond offering by the Chinese state-owned oil giant in the past year.

Three Firms on Chinese Group's $6 Billion Peru Mine Buy

By Tom Brennan |

A consortium of state-owned companies led by China Minmetals subsidiary MMG is acquiring the Las Bambas copper project in southern Peru from GlencoreXstrata.

S&R, Amarchand on Vodafone India Buyout

By Anna Zhang |

Vodafone last week paid $1.48 billion for the remaining 11 percent stake in Vodafone India Ltd. it didn’t already own, making it the first foreign telecom carrier to wholly own its Indian subsidiary.

Asia Deal Digest: April 10, 2014

By Tom Brennan |

* Shearman and Davis Polk on $3.2 billion merger of Indian generic drug makers
* Linklaters and Gilbert + Tobin advising a South African retailer on its $2 billion bid for Australia's David Jones department stores
* Chinese state food giant COFCO turns to Clifford Chance for Hong Kong grain trading acquisition

Four Firms on Woolworths' Aussie Acquisition

By Tom Brennan |

South African retailer Woolworths has offered to pay $2 billion for Australia's David Jones chain of upscale department stores.

Pinsent Masons Adds Partner in Beijing

By Anna Zhang |

Helena Chen was previously a partner in Taipei with Taiwanese law firm Formosan Brothers.

Aussie Firms on Wesfarmers' Insurance Brokerage Sale

By Tom Brennan |

U.S. insurance brokerage Arthur J. Gallagher & Co. has proposed buying the business of the Australian conglomerate for $933 million.

Yoon & Yang Adds M&A Partner

By Tom Brennan |

Do Hyung Kim was previously a partner with rival Korean firm Yulchon.

Shearman, Davis Polk on $3.2 Billion India Drug Merger

By Anna Zhang |

Indian generic drug maker Sun Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. is acquiring local competitor Ranbaxy Laboratories Ltd. from Japan's Daiichi Sankyo Co.

Sydney Employment Partner Joins DLA Piper

By Tom Brennan |

Brett Feltham was previously head of the New South Wales employment team at Hunt & Hunt.

Clyde & Co Adds Singapore Partner

By Anna Zhang |

Eugene Tan will lead the British firm's Southeast Asian construction practice.

Clifford Chance Advises COFCO on Hong Kong Acquisition

By Anna Zhang |

The Chinese state-owned food giant is buying a controlling stake in the agricultural unit of supply chain company Noble Group.

Asia Deal Digest: April 3, 2014

By Anna Zhang |

* HWL Ebsworth advises restructuring Aussie mall developer Westfield on $20 billion in loan facilities
* Slaughter and May and Freshfields on Singapore bank's proposed $5 billion Hong Kong acquisition
* Skadden guides Chinese antivirus software maker on $300 million U.S. IPO

Khaitan & Co Adds Two Partners

By Anna Zhang |

New Mumbai partner Kartick Maheshwari is joining the Indian firm from the Singapore office of White & Case, while Delhi partner Dibyanshu Sinha was most recently a senior associate with J. Sagar Associates.

Herbert Smith Freehills on $2.76 Billion Motorway Deal

By Anna Zhang |

A consortium led by Queensland state government-owned investment fund QIC Ltd. has agreed to pay $2.76 billion to build the nine-kilometer NorthConnex Motorway near Sydney.

Aussie Firms on $20 Billion Westfield Financing

By Anna Zhang |

The loans will finance a restructuring that will split the Australian shopping mall developer into domestic and international arms.

Three Partners Join Zhong Lun in Shanghai

By Anna Zhang |

The trio includes former King & Wood Mallesons and Morrison & Foerster partner Edward Li.

Norton Rose Fulbright Adds Singapore Partner

By Anna Zhang |

Sheela Moorthy was previously the Singapore corporate head for DLA Piper.

Magic Circle Firms on $5 Billion Hong Kong Bank Bid

By Anna Zhang |

Oversea-Chinese Banking Corp., Singapore’s second-largest lender, is offering to buy Hong Kong's Wing Hang Bank Ltd. in a bid to expand its reach into China.

Slaughter and May on Alibaba Offline Investment

By Anna Zhang |

The Chinese e-commerce giant is investing $692 million in Beijing-based department store operator Intime Retail (Group) Co. Ltd.

V&E Partner Moves to Latham Hong Kong

By Anna Zhang |

David Blumental previously headed Vinson & Elkins' Shanghai office, which was closed last year.

Two Partners Join Howse Williams Bowers

By Anna Zhang |

Stacy Devoy was previously a Hong Kong partner with Withers while Alison Scott was mostly recently chair of the Residential Property Tribunal in Wales.

K&L Gates Adds Beijing Partner

By Tom Brennan |

Frank Voon was previously a counsel with Allen & Overy.

U.S. Judge Rules Baidu Has Protected Right to Censor

By Tom Brennan |

A New York federal judge dismissed a lawsuit over Baidu's blocking of pro-democracy content, ruling that the Chinese search engine had a First Amendment right to control the content presented to its users.

Jones Day on Indian Government Bank Share Sale

By Anna Zhang |

The government is selling part of its stake in privately held Axis Bank to help close a budget deficit.

Asia Deal Digest: March 27, 2014

By Tom Brennan |

* Latham advising Georgina Rinehart's Roy Hill iron mine on largest project financing ever
* Clifford Chance and Freshfields on Temasek's proposed $5.7 billion investment in Hong Kong retail group A.S. Watson
* Malaysian telecom giant Axiata turns to Sidley for a major Indonesian acquisition

Skadden Opens in Seoul

By Tom Brennan |

The firm has relocated partner H. Young Shin, head of the its Korea practice, from New York to lead the new office.

Ashurst Advising German Builder on Leighton Bid

By Anna Zhang |

Hochtief Aktiengesellschaft A.G. is offering to pay $1.1 billion to increase its stake in Australian construction company Leighton Holdings Ltd.

Sidley on $865 Million Indonesian Mobile Acquisition

By Tom Brennan |

The Indonesian subsidiary of Malaysian mobile telecommunications carrier Axiata Group Bhd. is buying local rival PT Axis Telekom Indonesia from Saudi Telecom Co.

Zhong Lun, Jun He Discussing Possible Merger

By Anna Zhang |

The two Beijing-based law firms are generally considered to be among China's top three with King & Wood Mallesons. A merger between Zhong Lun Law Firm and Jun He Law Offices would create a combined firm with about 1,300 lawyers.

Clayton Utz Closes Hong Kong Office

By Tom Brennan |

The Australian firm said it has decided to focus on its home market. Its four-partner Hong Kong affiliate will carry on as a stand-alone firm.

Magic Circle Firms on $5.7 Billion Li Ka-shing Deal

By Anna Zhang |

Singaporean sovereign wealth fund Temasek Holdings Pte. Ltd. is buying a 24.95 percent stake in A.S. Watson, the retail unit of Hong Kong conglomerate Hutchison Whampoa Ltd.

Latham, A&O on $7.9 Billion Roy Hill Financing

By Anna Zhang |

The loans to develop an iron ore mine in Western Australia amount to the largest project financing ever in the mining sector.

Toyota Pays $1.2B for Misleading U.S.; Civil Claims Remain

By Amanda Bronstad |

A $1.2 billion settlement between Toyota Motor Corp. and the U.S. Department of Justice will have little direct effect on negotiations to settle remaining lawsuits over deaths and injuries associated with sudden acceleration, but could sway jurors should those cases go to trial, according to attorneys involved in those actions.

Asia Deal Digest: March 20, 2014

By Anna Zhang |

* Alibaba confirms New York IPO with Simpson Thacher at the helm
* Allen & Gledhill and WongPartnership on Temasek-led bid to acquire commodities trader Olam
* Latham leads on Indian travel site's $126.5 million Nasdaq share offering

Two Partners Join Pillsbury in Tokyo

By Tom Brennan |

Energy and infrastructure specialists Anthony Raven and Simon Barrett were previously partners in the Tokyo offices of Hogan Lovells and Simmons & Simmons, respectively.

Loeb & Loeb Adds Hong Kong Partner

By Tom Brennan |

Jae Chul Lee was previously a partner in Hong Kong with DLA Piper.

Singapore Firms on Temasek-led Olam Acquisition

By Anna Zhang |

A consortium led by the Singapore sovereign wealth fund has offered to buy outstanding shares of commodities trader Olam for around $2 billion.

K&L Gates Adds Tokyo Partner

By Tom Brennan |

Philip Hyde was formerly head of the finance practice in Hogan Lovells' Tokyo office.

Berwin Leighton Enters Myanmar Alliance

By Tom Brennan |

The firm is partnering with Yangon-based Legal Network Consultants.

Prosecutor Moves to Defense at Yoon & Yang

By Tom Brennan |

Young Kon Cho is joining the firm from the Seoul Central District Prosecutors' Office, where he was chief prosecutor.

Yulchon Adds IP Partner

By Tom Brennan |

Dong Soo Han was most recently presiding judge of the Civil Appellate Court in Suwon, and has spent 16 years as a judge in various Korean courts.

Stephenson Harwood Global Aviation Head Joins Milbank

By Anna Zhang |

Paul Ng will lead Milbank's Asian aviation practice from Singapore.

Rajah & Tann Adds Singapore Partner

By Tom Brennan |

Marae Ciantar was formerly the Singapore managing partner for Australian firm Allens.

Jingtian & Gongcheng Fined Over IPO Due Diligence

By Anna Zhang |

The leading Beijing capital markets law firm says it was fined $50,000 and ordered to disgorge $25,000 in legal fees by China’s securities regulator, which also lifted a four-month ban on IPO applications from the firm.

Asia Deal Digest: March 13, 2014

By Tom Brennan |

* MoFo advises Singapore's GLP on its $1.4 billion purchase of Brazilian warehouse space
* Chinese auction house Poly Group turns to Clifford Chance for $331 million IPO
* Davis Polk and Skadden on Tencent's strategic alliance with online retailer JD.com.

Dentons Adds Hong Kong Partner

By Anna Zhang |

Wei Guangqin was previously a special counsel at Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson specializing in corporate finance and capital markets.

Bae, Kim & Lee Brings Aboard Three Ex-Judges

By Anna Zhang |

Taeck Soo Kwon, most recently an appellate judge with the Seoul High Court, is joining the firm’s intellectual property practice. Former Seoul Central District Court judge Joo Hyae Jun and former Supreme Court research judge Il Yeon Kim will join the firm's litigation department.

New Partner Joining Berwin Leighton in Hong Kong

By Anna Zhang |

Nigel Ward was previously a Beijing partner with Norton Rose Fulbright.

Davis Polk and Skadden on Strategic Tencent Deal

By Anna Zhang |

The Chinese Internet giant's investment in online retailer JD.com could help it challenge Alibaba's e-commerce dominance.

Harneys Opening in Singapore

By Anna Zhang |

The offshore firm's global banking and finance head is relocating from Hong Kong to head the new office.

MoFo Advises Global Logistic Properties on Brazil Deal

By Tom Brennan |

The Singapore-based company is buying 34 warehouses, most of which are in Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo, from commercial real estate investor BR Properties SA.

Trilegal on $1.6 Billion Indian Power Plant Deal

By Tom Brennan |

The Indian law firm is advising a consortium of investors led by Abu Dhabi National Energy Co. on its proposed acquisition of two hydropower assets from a subsidiary of conglomerate Jaypee Group.

Asia Deal Digest: March 6, 2014

By Anna Zhang |

* Sullivan & Cromwell and Mori Hamada team for Japan Display's $3.8 billion Tokyo IPO
* Clifford Chance advises Chinese state food giant COFCO on its acquisition of a Dutch grain trader
* Skadden on planned $500 million IPO for Chinese microblogging service Sina Weibo

Clifford Chance Advises China's Cofco on Nidera Buy

By Anna Zhang |

The state-owned food giant's acquisition of a controlling stake in a Dutch grain trader is seen as driven by the Chinese government's desire to secure food supplies.

S&C, Mori Hamada on Japan Display's $3.8 Billion IPO

By Tom Brennan |

The state-backed company, which counts Apple Inc. among its customers, was created when the display divisions of Sony Corp., Toshiba Corp. and Hitachi Ltd. merged in 2011.

Rajah & Tann Recruits Hunton & Williams Team in Bangkok

By Tom Brennan |

Surasak Vajasit, Melisa Uremovic and Pakpoom Suntornvipat will all join Singapore-based Rajah & Tann as partners, taking 11 lawyers with them.

Skadden Advising Sina Weibo on $500 Million IPO

By Anna Zhang |

China's Twitter-like 'microblogging' service is seeking a U.S. listing.

Clifford Chance, Simpson Advise on Carlyle's Tyco Deal

By Tom Huddleston Jr. |

Tyco International is selling its South Korean fire protection and security unit to buyout firm Carlyle Group for $1.93 billion in cash.

Baker & McKenzie Acting for Mt. Gox on Tokyo Bankruptcy

By Anna Zhang |

Tokyo District Court has accepted the troubled bitcoin exchange’s civil rehabilitation application, in which Mt. Gox will be granted protection from creditors while it seeks a buyer.

K&L Gates Hires Sydney Partner

By Tom Brennan |

Former Henry Davis York partner Elizabeth Gray has joined the firm's investment management practice.

Herbert Smith Freehills Drops Singapore QFLP License

By Anthony Lin |

Singapore's Ministry of Law announced Friday that four other foreign firms renewed their licenses, which allow them to practice Singapore law in exchange for meeting certain local hiring and revenue targets, while one firm was given a one-year conditional extension.

Ashurst Advises China's Greenland on London Project

By Anna Zhang |

The Chinese state-owned developer has acquired a 7.75-acre site in southwest London where it plans to build a $1 billion mixed-use complex.

Asia Deal Digest: February 27, 2014

By Tom Brennan |

* Skadden guides Holland's Vitol on $2.6 billion acquisition of Shell assets in Australia
* Herbert Smith Freehills advises Chinese copper recycler on Hong Kong IPO
* Wilmer and Amarchand team for $110 million Web hosting acquisition in India

Magic Circle Firms on Harbin Bank IPO

By Anna Zhang |

The lender is the latest Chinese commercial bank to seek a Hong Kong listing to increase capital adequacy ratios in response to tighter regulatory requirements.

Curtis Mallet-Prevost Opens in Beijing

By Anna Zhang |

The new office, the first in China for the New York firm, will focus on international trade matters.

Allen & Gledhill Opens in Myanmar

By Tom Brennan |

The Singaporean firm is the latest international law firm to open an office in the newly opened economy.

HWL Ebsworth Adds Five Partners

By Tom Brennan |

The Australian firm has brought aboard new partners in Perth, Sydney and Brisbane.

Bird & Bird Enters Korea Alliance

By Anna Zhang |

The U.K. firm has signed a nonexclusive agreement with 95-lawyer Hwang Mok Park.

Japan's Largest Firm Opens in Shanghai

By Tom Brennan |

The new office is the second in China for Nishimura & Asahi, one of Tokyo's Big Four corporate law firms.

Skadden on Acquisition of Shell Australia Assets

By Anna Zhang |

Dutch trading company Vitol is buying the oil giant's refining and retail businesses in Australia.

Jones Day to Open in Perth

By Tom Brennan |

The U.S. firm has recruited former Allens partner Stephen McComish to lead the new office, which is expected to open in April.

Asia Deal Digest: February 20, 2014

By Anna Zhang |

* Weil and MoFo on Chinese consortium's $2.5 billion logistics investment
* Clifford Chance advising China's Dongfeng Motor Group on a proposed $1.1 billion investment in French automaker Peugeot
* Herbert Smith Freehills and Baker & McKenzie on $1.37 billion Aussie utility deal

Clifford Chance Advising Dongfeng on Peugeot Deal

By Anna Zhang |

China's second-largest carmaker is planning to invest $1.1 billion and take a stake in France's troubled PSA Peugeot Citroën Group.

King & Wood Founder Moves to Different Beijing Firm

By Anna Zhang |

Bai Yanchun, one of the three founding partners of the former King & Wood, has joined Commerce & Finance Law Offices as a partner.

Singapore Firm Forms Vietnam Joint Venture

By Tom Brennan |

RHTLaw Taylor Wessing has struck a deal with Vietnam's PBC Partners.

Clifford Chance on CR Land's $2 Billion Notes Program

By Anna Zhang |

The property development arm of state-owned China Resources Group is expected to use the proceeds from the issues to purchase land parcels in Beijing, Shanghai and Shenzhen.

Weil, MoFo on $2.5 Billion Logistics Investment

By Tom Brennan |

A group of Chinese investors is buying a stake in Singapore-based warehouse operator Global Logistics Properties.

Rajah & Tann Merges with Vietnamese Firm

By Tom Brennan |

The Singapore firm is combining with LCT Lawyers, a 25-lawyer firm operating in Ho Chi Minh City, Hanoi and Danang.

Baker & McKenzie Launches in Myanmar

By Tom Brennan |

Sydney partner Chris Hughes will lead the new Yangon office, the third opened in the country by a U.S. law firm.

Firms Advising on Proposed Aussie Utility Merger

By Anna Zhang |

Sydney-based AGL Energy proposed $1.37 billion acquisition of state government-owned Macquarie Generation may face a tough time winning approval from antitrust regulators.

Barristers' Chambers Opening in Malaysia

By Anna Zhang |

London's 39 Essex Street will open a new office in the Kuala Lumpur Regional Centre for Arbitration later this year.

Shearman Adds Nuclear Power Partner in Tokyo

By Tom Brennan |

George Borovas was previously head of international nuclear projects for Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman.

American Law Firm's Communications Spied On

By Marcia Coyle |

A February 15 New York Times story suggested that Mayer Brown’s communications with a client, the Indonesian government, had been monitored while the firm was assisting the foreign country in trade disputes with the United States. Those revelations may provide new impetus for the U.S. Supreme Court to revisit a 2013 decision involving the nation's electronic surveillance law.

Simpson on $1.58 Billion Alibaba Mapping Acquisition

By Anna Zhang |

The Chinese e-commerce giant has offered to buy Beijing-based digital mapping company AutoNavi Holdings Ltd.

Mid-Sized Australian Firms Announce Merger

By Tom Brennan |

Thomsons Lawyers and Herbert Geer are combining to form 310-lawyer Thomson Geer.

Hogan Lovells Adds Singapore Partner

By Tom Brennan |

Debt capital markets specialist Andy Ferris was previously a senior associate with Allen & Overy.

Asia Deal Digest: February 13, 2014

By Tom Brennan |

* Singapore's Puma Energy turns to Cleary for a $750 million notes issue in Luxembourg
* Skadden advises Chinese SOE on Alcatel-Lucent Enterprise acquisition
* Maddocks and Stikeman Elliott on the $479 million acquisition of an Aussie dairy products company

Former Partner Rejoins Jones Day as Asia Head

By Tom Brennan |

David Carden, former cohead of the firm's securities litigation practice in New York, left two years ago to become the first U.S. ambassador to the Association of Southeast Asian Nations.