Former Vinson & Elkins partner David Blumental has joined Latham & Watkins’ Hong Kong office.

Blumental specializes in cross-border energy and natural resources transactions and has participated in many of Vinson & Elkins’ representations of Chinese state-owned oil companies in overseas acquisitions.

In 2011, he was one of the lead partners that advised China National Offshore Oil Corp., or CNOOC, on its $3.47 billion acquisition of shale oil and gas project from Chesapeake Energy Corp. The same year, he also represented China Petroleum and Chemical Corp. Ltd., also known as Sinopec, on a $3.5 billion acquisition of Brazilian assets from Portuguese oil and gas company Galp Energia SGPS S.A. In 2010, he acted for Sinopec on its $7.1 billion acquisition of Brazilian assets of Spain’s Repsol YPF S.A., which was represented by Latham & Watkins.

Blumental will be based in Hong Kong but will spend time in Shanghai and Beijing seeking to expand Latham & Watkins’ practice representing Chinese energy companies.

He joined Vinson & Elkins in 1997 from the Beijing office of Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom and launched the former’s Shanghai office in 2005. Blumental relocated to Hong Kong last July when Vinson & Elkins decided to closed its Shanghai office and consolidate its China practice in Beijing and Hong Kong.

According to its website, Latham & Watkins has about 45 lawyers in Hong Kong. Globally, the firm has over 2,100 lawyers in 32 offices.

Email: azhang@alm.com.