Ashurst has hired three partners in Asia and Australia to boost its corporate practice in the region.
In Hong Kong, the firm hired former Linklaters China capital markets partner Chik Pui Hong. Chik relocates from Linklaters’ office in Beijing, where he had been a partner advising Chinese companies on listings, offerings and related transactions on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange. Last year, he represented Hong Kong-listed Chinese insurer PICC Property and Casualty Co. on a $4 billion acquisition of shares in Hua Xia Bank Co. Ltd. from Deutsche Bank AG. In 2015, he also advised China International Capital Corp. as the financial adviser to the $26 billion merger between state-owned trainer makers China CNR Corp. and CSR Corp. Ltd.
Chik joined Linklaters from Baker McKenzie’s office in the Chinese capital in 2012. He had practiced at the U.S. firm since 2000 and became a partner in 2007. Earlier in his career, he practiced at legacy Herbert Smith and legacy Johnson Stokes & Master.
His arrival at Ashurst follows closely the departures of former Hong Kong managing partner Lina Lee and fellow partner Jonathan Hsui to Allen & Overy in September. Lee and Hsui both have Hong Kong exchange-related practices similar to Chik’s. Betting on Chik’s work with the Chinese state-owned sector, Ashurst hopes to unlock a new set of state-owned enterprise clients in China. Chik will work alongside Hong Kong-based Asia corporate practice head Stuart Rubin, who covers the U.S. law aspect of equity capital market deals.
Last October, Ashurst appointed Hong Kong debt capital markets partner Nigel Pridmore as Asia practice head after former Asia managing partner Matthew Bubb stepped down earlier in the year. Pridmore joined the firm in Hong Kong in 2014 also from Linklaters, where he was based in the London office.
For Linklaters, Chik’s exit follows a spate of China-focused partners that left the firm’s Hong Kong and Beijing offices in 2015 and 2016. Notable departures included corporate partners Betty Yap and Judie Shortell , who both joined Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison; finance partner Thomas Ng , who left for Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer; M&A partners Christopher Kelly and Peggy Wang, who both joined White & Case; finance partner David Irvine , who went to Kirkland & Ellis; and corporate partner Teresa Ma, who retired from the firm.
In Melbourne, Ashurst recruited M&A partners John Brewster and Shane Kyriakou from Clayton Utz and Herbert Smith Freehills, respectively. Brewster had been with Clayton Utz since 2007, having made partner in 2015. Kyriakou, a legacy Freehills partner, has a specialty in advising deals in the energy and infrastructure sector.
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