Fangda Partners has recruited international arbitration partner Olga Boltenko in Hong Kong to launch an investor-state arbitration practice for the Chinese firm.
Boltenko specializes in public international law and investor-state dispute resolution, especially advising on matters related to the nations of the former Soviet Union. Fangda said the firm aims to help Chinese clients manage and respond to risks while investing in countries along the route of the Belt and Road Initiatives, a $1 trillion project by Chinese President Xi Jinping to build a new infrastructure and trade links between China and Eurasia.
Boltenko joins from CMS, where she was Hong Kong-based counsel. Boltenko is also on the standing committee of the Hong Kong representative body of the International Chamber of Commerce as chairwoman of the commercial law and practice committee.
She joined CMS in 2016 when the firm opened its Hong Kong office, which focuses on international arbitration and asset finance work. In May, CMS entered into an association with a Hong Kong law firm set up by former Troutman Sanders partner Shirley Lau, which enables the office to have a full-service corporate offering.
Previously, Boltenko practiced at Clifford Chance in Singapore, King & Wood Mallesons in Hong Kong and White & Case in Paris.
Shanghai-based Fangda’s Hong Kong office was opened in 2012 by Peter Yuen, a former litigation partner at Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer. The office focuses on mergers and acquisitions and on investment-related disputes.
Boltenko’s appointment comes as Hong Kong is positioning itself as a regional hub for international arbitration, especially those related to China’s Belt and Road Initiative. Last month, Hong Kong chief executive Carrie Lam said that Hong Kong is uniquely positioned as a leading center of international legal and dispute resolution services, thanks in part to the city serving as a bridge between China and the rest of the world.