Pinsent Masons boosts Asia corporate practice with four new hires

Pinsent Masons has boosted its Asia corporate practice with the hire of three partners in Singapore and another senior lawyer in Shanghai.

The UK firm, which earlier this year launched a TMT practice in Singapore, said it wants to tap more corporate deals coming from its existing clients in the energy, infrastructure and manufacturing sectors.

In Singapore, it is joined by three partners from local firm Khattar Wong, including its corporate practice head Perry Yuen and two other corporate and securities partners Kelvyn Oo and Bethia Su.

The trio, who have extensive experience in M&A and compliance issues, are expected to be joined by either four or five associates, and will be starting with the firm in February. Khattar Wong will be left with no partners in its corporate practice.

Also this week, Pinsents has hired legacy SJ Berwin’s former Shanghai office head Philipp Senff.

Originally from Germany, Senff has spent 10 years advising German corporates on M&A deals, joint ventures, risk management and compliance work in China, with a focus on automotive and manufacturing.

He is expected to boost Pinsents position in the Chinese manufacturing and industrial space.

Commenting on the hires, Ian Laing, head of the firm’s Asia practice, said: “These appointments are a real statement of intent for the firm.

“We have had 30% turnover growth in Asia Pacific for each of the past two years and are confident about our future prospects. Singapore has cemented its place as a regional hub for South East Asia, in particular Myanmar, Vietnam and Indonesia.

“Meanwhile Shanghai remains a crucial centre of manufacturing for China with strong links into Europe through Munich. We have a significant opportunity to win greater corporate work in a number of important areas.”

Pinsent Masons currently has four offices in Asia located in Beijing, Shanghai, Hong Kong and Singapore.

The latest appointments follow the hire of Bryan Tan in April last year from boutique firm Keystone Law Corporation to launch the firm’s TMT practice in Singapore, and that of M&A partners Bernd Uwe Stucken and Liu Wei from Salans in June 2012 as the firm moved to grow its Shanghai office.

Beyond its existing bases, the firm is also reviewing opportunities for a launch in Australia, and in December took on former Maddocks chief executive David Rennick to lead the initiative.

Rennick is to join as a consultant with the task of presenting partners a set of recommendations on opportunities in the market.

Related: Pinsent Masons to scope Australian market entry