King & Wood Mallesons has recruited partners in New York and Tokyo as the Sino-Australian legal giant continues to expand globally.
The firm has brought on Cahill Gordon & Reindel counsel Jun Kang as a partner for its tax group in New York, while picking up corporate partner Ryunosuke Ushijima from Miyake, Ushijima & Imamura, a Tokyo-based firm where he was a name partner.
King & Wood Mallesons has also relocated to Tokyo disputes partner Patric McGonigal, who joined the firm earlier this year in Singapore after having previously worked at U.K. firm Hill Dickinson in London.
Kang has spent the past 15 years at Cahill Gordon, where he was promoted to counsel in 2011. Before joining the firm in 2003, he worked in-house in Beijing at Chinese state-run oil giant China National Offshore Oil Corp., commonly known as CNOOC.
A specialist in U.S. and international tax work, Kang is experienced in corporate tax structuring, with a focus on M&A deals and capital markets transactions. In 2016, he was part of a Cahill Gordon team that advised Bermuda-based insurer Arch Capital Group Ltd. on its $3.3 billion buyout of Greensboro, North Carolina-based mortgage insurer United Guaranty Corp. from American International Group Inc.
King & Wood Mallesons’ New York office has its roots from legacy Chinese firm King & Wood, which opened the outpost on the eve of the financial crisis in September 2008, a few years prior to its combination with Australia’s Mallesons Stephens Jaques.
With the addition of Kang, King & Wood Mallesons now has five partners in New York. Last year, the office hired banking partner Eli Han, a former associate at Davis Polk & Wardwell, as well as corporate partner Laura Luo, a former partner at Winston & Strawn in Shanghai. In March, ex-Dechert banking counsel Richard Mertl also joined the firm in New York.
McGonigal, who will lead the international dispute resolution practice at King & Wood Mallesons in Tokyo, specializes in alternative dispute resolution, international arbitration and commercial litigation. He joined Hill Dickinson in London two years ago from Hogan Lovells in Tokyo, where he had joined that global legal giant in 2011 and led its Tokyo international disputes team. McGonigal was previously a partner at Barlow Lyde & Gilbert, a firm he left just before its merger with fellow U.K. outfit Clyde & Co.
Ushijima handles cross-border transactions, disputes and antitrust matters. He first joined his former firm in 1997 and made partner in 2002. Last year, Ushijima became a name partner at what is now Miyake & Partners, a name the firm officially adopted in July.
The Tokyo office of King & Wood Mallesons, also from legacy King & Wood, opened in 2005. The outpost expanded in 2016 with five Japanese lawyers: corporate partners Yuki Sato and Yoshiki Tsurumaki, disputes partner Yasutaka Keno, intellectual property counsel Junichi Yamazaki and labor and bankruptcy counsel Motoki Kondo. All but Sato also worked at Miyake & Partners.
Earlier this year, King & Wood Mallesons promoted Cui Wenying to partner in its corporate group and relocated her to Tokyo from Beijing. King & Wood Mallesons now has 20 lawyers, including eight partners, in Tokyo.
Elsewhere in the world, King & Wood Mallesons recently bolstered its financial services regulatory expertise in London after welcoming aboard Withers partner Alix Prentice. The firm’s London office, which has a new local leader in litigation partner Darren Roiser, also benefited from the additions of foreign investments specialist Mark Schaub and arbitration and white-collar expert Meg Utterback, both of whom relocated from Shanghai.
In early 2017, King & Wood Mallesons’ European arm entered administration in the U.K. in what was then the largest-ever law firm collapse in the country. The ill-fated unit was a relic of King & Wood Mallesons’ combination with London-based SJ Berwin in 2013. King & Wood Mallesons subsequently relaunched a new European and Middle East arm led by a group of remaining partners, including Roiser. A year ago this month, the firm sent partner Wang Rongkang from Shenzhen to London to lead its rebuild in Europe and the Middle East.