Friven Yeoh, Sidley Austin
Friven Yeoh, Sidley Austin (Andrew Zinn)

Former O’Melveny & Myers Hong Kong managing partner Friven Yeoh has left to join Sidley Austin.

Yeoh, an arbitration lawyer, brings with him two disputes counsel Yan Zhang and Desmond Ang. Fluent in Mandarin Chinese, the team specializes in advising on cross-border disputes involving Chinese entities.

Yeoh has been a partner at O’Melveny since 2009 and was appointed managing partner of the Hong Kong office in March 2015 following predecessor David Johnson’s returning to the firm’s Century City office.  

Following Yeoh’s departure, O’Melveny has appointed litigation partner Denis Brock—who joined from King & Wood Mallesons in 2014—as Hong Kong managing partner.

The arrivals of Yeoh, Ang and Zhang follows the exit of Sidley’s former Hong Kong litigation head Charles Allen to Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe earlier this year. Asia managing partner Thomas Albrecht said that the combination of more cross-border disputes and heightened regulatory scrutiny has increased demand among the firm’s clients for lawyers who are well-versed in international arbitration, cross-border litigation and regulatory and enforcement matters. “Friven and his team check all of those boxes and their Mandarin fluency is increasingly attractive to our client base,” said Albrecht.

Yeoh is the second Asia-based office managing partner to leave O’Melveny this year. In June, former Shanghai managing partner Li Qiang left the firm for DLA Piper alongside former corporate counsel Stewart Wang who’s now a partner at DLA.

The firm has seen significant decline in Asia-based lawyer headcounts in recent years. In a statement, O’Melveny maintained that having large on-the-ground staffing in any one office is no longer the firm’s focus and that it supports clients across a global platform.

Email: azhang@alm.com

Former O’Melveny & Myers Hong Kong managing partner Friven Yeoh has left to join Sidley Austin .

Yeoh, an arbitration lawyer, brings with him two disputes counsel Yan Zhang and Desmond Ang. Fluent in Mandarin Chinese, the team specializes in advising on cross-border disputes involving Chinese entities.

Yeoh has been a partner at O’Melveny since 2009 and was appointed managing partner of the Hong Kong office in March 2015 following predecessor David Johnson ’s returning to the firm’s Century City office.  

Following Yeoh’s departure, O’Melveny has appointed litigation partner Denis Brock—who joined from King & Wood Mallesons in 2014—as Hong Kong managing partner.

The arrivals of Yeoh, Ang and Zhang follows the exit of Sidley’s former Hong Kong litigation head Charles Allen to Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe earlier this year. Asia managing partner Thomas Albrecht said that the combination of more cross-border disputes and heightened regulatory scrutiny has increased demand among the firm’s clients for lawyers who are well-versed in international arbitration, cross-border litigation and regulatory and enforcement matters. “Friven and his team check all of those boxes and their Mandarin fluency is increasingly attractive to our client base,” said Albrecht.

Yeoh is the second Asia-based office managing partner to leave O’Melveny this year. In June, former Shanghai managing partner Li Qiang left the firm for DLA Piper alongside former corporate counsel Stewart Wang who’s now a partner at DLA.

The firm has seen significant decline in Asia-based lawyer headcounts in recent years. In a statement, O’Melveny maintained that having large on-the-ground staffing in any one office is no longer the firm’s focus and that it supports clients across a global platform.

Email: azhang@alm.com