NEW YORK � Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy has opened its ninth office, in Beijing.

The 550-attorney firm has been active in Asia since the 1920s and, in 1977, established offices in Hong Kong and Tokyo.

New York-based Milbank, Tweed currently has 40 attorneys in Beijing, Hong Kong, Singapore and Tokyo who practice New York and English law.

In the past year and a half, Milbank, Tweed has worked on more than 50 deals worth $40 billion across mergers and acquisitions, capital markets, project finance, acquisition finance, transportation and asset finance, and other practices in 12 countries throughout Asia.

Milbank Tweed Chairman Mel Immergut said in a statement that China’s explosive growth along with increasingly complex transactions led to the decision to open an office in Beijing.

Anthony Root, head of Milbank Tweed’s corporate practice in Asia, is partner-in-charge of the Beijing office.

In addition to Root, partner Edward Sun will be based full time in the Beijing office. Sun’s practice focuses on M&A, private equity, capital markets and distressed debt transactions.


HARTFORD, CONN. � Former Greenwich, Conn., attorney Roland Hicks was sentenced last week to 37 months in prison for embezzling over $1.2 million from clients and defrauding investors in a business called “LawWeb.”

The sentence imposed by U.S. District Court Judge Ellen Bree Burns on a single count of mail fraud was the top of the range of imprisonment stipulated by the parties when Hicks pled guilty on June 21.

Hicks, 49, was a practicing attorney in Greenwich in 2000 when he incorporated LawWeb Inc., a startup Internet business that was to offer online private placement variable life insurance, according to documents filed in the case.

Hicks convinced “seemingly sophisticated” people to invest in his company, and misrepresented the business’ assets in purported balance sheets he sent to the investors, Assistant U.S. Attorney Paul Murphy wrote in court papers. Eventually, Hicks sent investors a shareholder buyout agreement that included checks with the amount of their investment plus a premium. Those “buyout” checks were worthless, and Hicks admitted in his plea bargain that he used the investors’ money for his own personal use.

Holding himself out as an attorney with expertise in trust and estate law, Hicks took over $2.2 million from one client who instructed Hicks to fund an annuity for his wife as part of a property settlement in a pending divorce, court papers revealed. Hicks admitted that he converted at least $1 million of the client’s money for his own personal use. Some of the money he used as a down payment on a house, according to Murphy.

Connecticut Law Tribune