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Hogan Lovells Adds to Mongolia Office
The Asian Lawyer
Hogan Lovells has relocated a corporate partner from London to its office in Ulaanbaatar, the capital of Mongolia.
Chris Melville, who became a partner at legacy firm Hogan & Hartson in 2009, will be the firm's second partner in the resource-rich country, which borders China and Russia.
Melville joined Hogan's London office from the former Lovells in 2007. While at Lovells, he spent two years -- 1999 to 2001 -- in Russia, and has since focused heavily on Russia-related deals. He has advised Moscow investment company Onexim Group on deals including its $13.2 billion sale of a stake in MMC Norilsk Nickel to Russian aluminum company UC Rusal in 2008 and its $200 million acquisition of the New Jersey Nets basketball team in 2010.
Hogan Lovells' regional managing partner for Asia and the Middle East, Crispin Rapinet, said Melville's experience in emerging markets such as Russia would help the firm develop its practice in Mongolia, which is undergoing a mining-driven economic boom.
Melville joins partner Michael Aldrich, who relocated from Hong Kong to Ulaanbaatar in 2009 on secondment to Mongolian firm GTs Advocates. The two firms entered into a formal association the following year, and GTs became a full branch of Hogan Lovells in August 2011.
Australia's Minter Ellison and Allens Arthur Robinson have since launched offices in Ulaanbaatar. DLA Piper; Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher; and Clyde & Co have all entered into associations with Mongolian firms.