Baker McKenzie has appointed Ai Ai Wong, a corporate principal in the firm’s Singapore office, as its new Asia Pacific chair.

Wong has been on Baker McKenzie’s global executive committee since 2016, and previously held other leadership positions, including head of the Singapore office’s corporate and securities practice and chair of the Asia Pacific private equity group.

She joined Singaporean firm Wong & Leow in 1996 and made partner in 1998. Baker McKenzie formed a joint law venture with the local firm in 2001 and now operates in the city-state as Baker McKenzie Wong & Leow.

A mergers and acquisitions specialist, Wong led the Baker McKenzie team in 2016 advising Liechtenstein-based private bank LGT Group Foundation on an acquisition of Dutch bank ABN AMRO Bank N.V.’s $20 billion worth of private banking business in Asia and the Middle East.

Wong succeeds Gary Seib, who has held the position since 2016 and will return to his commercial litigation practice in Hong Kong full-time. Seib will also step down from his position on the firm’s global executive committee, where the Asia Pacific is represented by two partners. Michael Wong, a corporate principal in the Taipei office, will take his place in the seven-member global committee.

The global executive committee also includes two representatives from the Europe, Middle East and Africa region, two from North America, and one from Latin America. The firm’s London-based global chair, Paul Rawlinson, was a member of the committee until this month when he temporarily stepped down following health issues caused by exhaustion. The committee’s Latin America representative, Bogota partner Jaime Trujillo Caicedo, is filling in for Rawlinson as the firm’s acting chair.

Ai Ai Wong will work alongside other members of the firm’s Asia Pacific regional council; in addition to Michael Wong, council members also include Hong Kong and China managing partner Milton Cheng, Australia managing partner Anthony Foley, Indonesia member firm HHP Law Firm managing partner Timur Sukirno, Taipei office managing partner Justin Liang, Philippines member firm Quisumbing Torres employment partner Gil Zerrudo, Bangkok office managing partner Wynn Pakdeejit, Tokyo office managing partner Jeremy Pitts, and Sydney-based Asia Pacific managing director Chris Freeland.

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