Linklaters re-hires partners from Paul Weiss and Latham in Asia, boost
To encourage its private equity and financial regulatory teams, Linklaters has re-hired senior lawyers from Paul Weiss Rifkind Wharton & Garrison and Latham & Watkins. Arrivals include Linklaters' former China head, which adds-on value to private equity and financial regulation expertise.
In 2016 Betty Yap and Carl Fernandes have returned to the UK giant as partners after leaving the firm for Paul Weiss and in 2018 for Latham respectively. Yap, who held the highest position in Linklaters' China practice between 2011 and 2016, again gets connected to co-head its financial sponsor group in Hong Kong. Fernandes is likely to move to Asia after primarily re-joining the firm's financial regulation practice in London.
The hires come as the firm continues to reinforce its platform in the region. It was under the stewardship of regional managing partner and former China head William Liu, who joined into the role when mandatory Nathalie Hobbs concluded her term in June.
Connecting China, Yap excels in handling cross-border M&A, strategic investments, joint ventures, special situations transactions foreign direct investments. She spent three years in China as Paul Weiss' regional managing partner having been promoted to the role in 2019.
According to Bloomberg, the news of her departure was first announced in November, 2021, when Yap was reported to be leaving the Wall Street firm to 'hunt other career prospects'.
"Betty's widespread experience and broad range of skill, across a multitude of sectors, will supplement our existing team, reinforcing our private equity and financial sponsor capability in Asia to support our clients in attaining their strategic inbound and outbound investment objectives," said Alex Woodward, co-head of the firm's financial sponsor group.
In the meantime, Fernandes has more than 25 years of experience advising a range of financial service clients across London, Hong Kong and Australia, according to the firm. Prior to this he led the firm's Asia financial regulatory practice and worked at Linklaters in both Hong Kong and London from 2001 to 2018.
Peter Bevan, global head of financial regulation, said Fernandes' long-lasting relationships with firm clients in both Europe and Asia "will be priceless in further increasing our service offering and coverage to clients" across its present platform in both controlling landscapes.
Linklaters has made several other moves in Southeast Asia in 2021, particularly in Hong Kong. It ripped off two partners, M&A lawyer Xiaoxi Lin and leveraged finance expert Allesandro Nolet — from Kirkland & Ellis and White & Case respectively in March, 2021. It was a move that refilled its roster after previous global head of finance David Mencacci departed the firm's Hong Kong office for Milbank in January, 2021. Corporate specialist Iris Yeung and capital markets lawyer Taiki Ki, the two Hong Kong-based lawyers were upheld to its partnership in April 2021.
The firm also named Hong Kong-based partner Hwang Hwa Sim as its global head of capital markets for a four-year term. The tenure started in May 2021 after London partner Michael Voisin concluded his tenure at the end of April 2021.