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Norton Rose is opening an office in Bangkok after recruiting a new managing partner as part of a fresh drive into South East Asia. The firm has snapped up corporate finance specialist Phillip John, who joined the firm from Simmons and Simmons in Hong Kong, to lead the office as managing partner. He is known to have long-standing experience in the region and to be involved in some substantial power project work. Joining him in Bangkok will be two Norton Rose associates and three locally-qualified Thai lawyers. The team will focus on corporate finance, banking, projects and capital markets work. Norton Rose has been extremely active in the region recently. The team acted for Thai companies KR Precision and GSS Array on bringing in strategic investors from overseas and is acting for longstanding client Hong Kong Bank on its proposed acquisition of Bangkok Metropolitan Bank. These transactions were completed before the opening of the new office. Paul Giles, managing partner of Norton Rose’s practice in Asia, says that the decision was client-driven, and taken in response to the firm’s track record in the region. “Our clients are keen for us to expand our presence in Asia. “We are also looking very closely at Tokyo and will be re-opening in Hong Kong on April 1 2002. We are extremely optimistic about our prospects”, he says. Norton Rose has a long-standing presence in Asia. It opened its Singapore office in 1982 and has had a strategic alliance with Indonesian firm Lubis Ganie Surowidjojo for five years.

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