Photo: Diego M. Radzinschi/ALM

Global accounting firm KPMG has bolstered its legal services arm in Australia with the hire of Norton Rose Fulbright Sydney-based partner Zein El Hassan, who led the firm’s Australia financial services risk advisory team.

El Hassan’s practice focuses on financial services and markets regulation, including superannuation, insurance, wealth management and consumer credit licensing. He also advises on regulations related to new technologies in the financial services industry such as blockchain.

Before joining Norton Rose Fulbright in 2012, El Hassan had been a partner at Australian firm Clayton Utz since 2002. Previously, he was a partner at Corrs Chambers Westgarth and an associate at the legacy Mallesons Stephen Jaques.

KPMG Law now has 13 partners in Australia between Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane, advising on mergers and acquisitions, capital markets, financial services and regulatory, real estate, technology, employment, and tax dispute resolution.* Stuart Fuller, the former global managing partner of King & Wood Mallesons, leads KPMG Law in the Asia-Pacific region, including Australia.

In Asia, KPMG has a 30-lawyer firm in Taiwan and is preparing to launch a 20-lawyer firm in Hong Kong and a 25-lawyer firm in Shanghai.

Globally, KPMG has 1,800 lawyers across offices in 75 countries. The auditor is aiming to almost double head count in its legal services arm to more than 3,000 lawyers in the next few years, U.K. legal services head Nick Roome told Law.com’s London-based affiliate Legal Week.

*Correction 1/7: A previous version of this story stated there were currently 13 partners in Australia between Sydney and Melbourne. There are 20, including in Brisbane. A correction has been made to reflect that. We regret the error.

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