Seoul, South Korea.

Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy has hired project finance partner David Gartside from Sidley Austin’s Singapore office. He will relocate to Seoul to head the firm’s Korea practice.*

Gartside advises projects sponsors, developers, lenders and export credit agencies on financing deals, especially on energy and infrastructure projects. In 2016, he was part of the team that advised Aboitiz Power Corp., one of the Philippines’ biggest power producers, on its acquisition and the financing of a $1.2 billion stake in two local coal-fired power plants from Blackstone Group.

In the same year, he also represented China Merchants Bank as lead arranger of a $1.2 billion loan in relation to the privatization of Chinese conglomerate Dalian Wanda Group’s property arm, Dalian Wanda Commercial Property Co. Ltd., from the Hong Kong Stock Exchange.

Before joining Sidley in 2016, Gartside was with White & Case, which he joined in 2013 as counsel and was promoted to be a local partner in 2015. He also practiced at Allen & Overy’s Tokyo office for six years, during which he seconded to the Export-Import Bank of Korea’s financial advisory department in Seoul for a year and a half.

Gartside will replace project finance partner Young Joon Kim, a Milbank lifer who joined in 1983 and launched the Seoul office in 2015. Kim retired from the firm at the end of 2018 and will become a fellow at Harvard University’s prestigious Advanced Leadership Initiative program, focusing on women’s education in the developing world. According to Milbank’s website, senior associate Brian Youn, who specializes in projects work, is currently the sole lawyer in Seoul.*

Meanwhile, the departure leaves Sidley’s Singapore office with 10 partners. The U.S. firm currently operates in Singapore under the city-state’s Qualifying Foreign Law Practice (QFLP) license, which allows it to practice certain aspects of local law. Sidley is among nine firms whose QFLP licenses are due to expire in 2020.

*Updated 1/8: This story has been updated with additional information that Gartside will relocate from Singapore to Seoul to head the firm’s Korea practice, replacing Young Joon Kim who has left the firm.

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