A&O Tokyo chief leaves for Milbank in key projects hire for US firm

Milbank Tweed Hadley & McCloy has made a key hire in Japan with the addition of Allen & Overy (A&O) Tokyo managing partner Aled Davies.

Davies, who has worked in Japan for over 10 years and has considerable experience in banking, structured finance and project finance, recently resigned from A&O and is currently on sabbatical.

He is top ranked by Chambers and Partners for Asia-Pacific projects work, as well as projects and banking in the Japan market.

Milbank, which is well known for its project finance practice globally and in Asia, had been looking to recruit in Tokyo after one of its lead energy and infrastructure lawyers in the city, Mark Plenderleith, was hired by magic circle firm Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer in April last year.

Davies will join the US firm on 1 September and will work alongside the firm’s Tokyo head Alec Borisoff, who also specialises in project finance, and the office’s team of four associates.

In his new role Davies will continue to spend most of his time working with project sponsors, energy companies, lenders and export credit agencies in power, infrastructure, LNG, petrochemical and oil and gas projects around the world.

A&O has appointed corporate and energy specialist Simon Black as the new managing partner of its Tokyo office. The magic circle firm said: ”We confirm that Aled Davies has decided to leave Allen & Overy. We would like to thank him for the contribution he has made during his time at Allen & Overy and wish him all the best for the future.”

Milbank currently has four offices in the Asia-Pacific region in Hong Kong, Singapore, Tokyo and Beijing. The firm is also looking to recruit a new partner for its Beijing office after it emerged earlier this year that two of its longest-serving regional heads are leaving the firm.

Anthony Root, the head of Milbank’s Asian corporate practice and Greater China offices, is retiring this month, while corporate partner Edward Sun, the chief representative of the firm’s Beijing base, will leave before the end of the year to explore business opportunities.

Milbank’s Greater China practices will now be jointly led by partners Gary Wigmore, who heads up the Asia project finance group, and M&A partner Dieter Yih, who joined the firm in 2011 from Australian firm Mallesons Stephen Jaques.

Singapore corporate partner David Zemans will continue as Asia-Pacific managing partner after taking on the role around seven months ago.