Christopher Stephens, the former Asia managing partner for Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe, will be leaving the firm at the end of the year to become general counsel for the Asian Development Bank.
Stephens, who is the senior partner in San Francisco-based Orrick’s China offices, specializes in energy and infrastructure projects. Last year, he advised Vietnamese power company Thang Long Thermoelectric JSC on a $645 million joint venture project with Chinese company Wuhan Kaidi Electric Power Co. Ltd.
Providing financing for similar projects is one of the main missions of the Manila-based ADB, which is modeled after the World Bank. Backed by 67 member nations, the bank had loans outstanding or committed of $78 billion at the end of 2011. Just in the past week, the ADB agreed to provide loans for a waste treatment project in China and an upgraded transport corridor in Bangladesh.
Stephens will relocate from Hong Kong to Manila early next year. As the bank’s general counsel, Stephens will lead a department of 40 lawyers in 14 offices advising on the bank’s grants and financing deals. He will also advise the board of directors on legal issues and oversee the legal support for the bank’s general operations and activities.
He will succeed as general counsel Jeremy Hovland, a longtime ADB lawyer and official who has retired.
Stephens joined Orrick as a partner in 2005 from now-defunct Coudert Brothers, whose Hong Kong office Orrick took over. He had served as head of the Asia finance practice for Coudert and became head of the China practice for Orrick upon joining that firm. He served as Orrick’s Asia managing from 2007 to 2010.
He moved to Hong Kong with Coudert in 1996. Earlier in his career, he worked at the former New York firm Whitman Breed Abbott & Morgan, which merged with Chicago’s Winston & Strawn in 2000.
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