Goodwin takes Paul Hastings private equity partner duo for Hong Kong office

Goodwin Procter has recruited two Paul Hastings private equity partners in Hong Kong, including former Fried Frank Harris Shriver & Jacobson Asia chief Douglas Freeman.

Freeman and fellow partner Victor Chen are making the move together after two and a half years at Paul Hastings. They joined the firm from Fried Frank in April 2015, on the eve of the closure of its Asia offices in Hong Kong and Shanghai, after also previously working together at O’Melveny & Myers.

Freeman became an O’Melveny partner in 2002 as a result of its merger with his old firm, New York-based private equity specialist O’Sullivan.

Both advise on M&A and take-private transactions involving private equity firms. In 2015, the duo represented Chinese private equity firms China Media Capital and FountainVest Partners on the sale of their shares in IMAX China Holding via a Hong Kong initial public offering. The same year, Freeman was also part of the Paul Hastings team advising Singaporean sovereign investor Temasek Holdings on its purchase of a stake in Korean retailer Homeplus.

Hong Kong is Goodwin’s only office in Asia, where the firm primarily covers two markets – China and India. The private equity practice in Hong Kong is a vital part of the firm’s international offering, which covers the entire lifecycle of client investments – from fund formation to investments and exits, according to office head Yash Rana.

“Doug and Victor… are joining our platform at a time when we are seeing increasing client demand for local, cross-border, in and outbound support on Asia transactions, as well as interest from investors seeking more specialised sector experience,” Rana said.

This past summer, Goodwin launched a summer associate programme targeting Chinese-speaking law students in the US. The goal was to create a pipeline of associates who will eventually join the firm’s Hong Kong office.

Goodwin now has 14 lawyers in Hong Kong, including five partners.