Ashurst has expanded its corporate practice in the Asia-Pacific region, making three senior hires in Sydney and Singapore.
Former King & Wood Mallesons partners Greg Golding and Robert Hanley join the Sydney office, while Michelle Phang joins to co-lead the corporate transactions practice at Ashurst’s Singapore formal law alliance.
Golding specializes in contested public company takeovers, reconstructions and capital raising. He advised Australian shopping mall giant Westfield Corp. on a $16 billion takeover by Franco-Dutch mall giant Unibail-Rodamco SE, which was completed in June last year.
Golding was with King & Wood Mallesons for more than 36 years but left in August 2018 to set up his own firm, Nero Corporate Law, in Sydney.
Hanley focuses on private M&A and restructuring transactions. In July 2018, he advised Toronto-based human resources management firm Morneau Shepell Inc. on a $325 million acquisition of London-based employee assistance program provider LifeWorks Corp. Ltd.
Hanley was the former London head of King & Wood Mallesons and MinterEllison. He was most recently a partner in London at Seyfarth Shaw, which he joined in the beginning of 2014—not long after King & Wood Mallesons merged with U.K. outfit SJ Berwin (which eventually collapsed in early 2017).
The hires come as the Australia corporate team had its busiest year on record in 2018, said Ashurst’s Australia corporate head Phil Breden in a statement. In July, the firm advised television network Nine Entertainment Co. on a $1.6 billion takeover of newspaper publisher Fairfax Media Ltd., creating the Australia’s biggest media company, and represented Canadian real estate investor Oxford Properties Group on a $2.4 billion takeover of Sydney-based Investa Office Fund in December. Breden added that the firm has ambitions to continue to grow the practice in the near future.
In Singapore, Phang joins the firm’s formal law alliance Ashurst ADTLaw from local firm Shook Lin & Bok where she was a partner. She specializes in public takeovers, cross-border acquisitions and joint ventures and regulatory compliance. Early last year, Phang advised Singapore-based logistics company TVS Asianics Supply Chain Solutions Pte. Ltd. on the acquisition of freight forwarding and contract logistics business Pan Asia Logistics Singapore Pte. Ltd.
Phang had spent a decade at Shook Lin & Bok. Previously, she had a two-year stint at Taylor Wessing’s London office.
Ashurst’s Singapore formal law alliance, formed in 2017 with local boutique firm ADTLaw, is allowed to provide local law advice in various areas, including litigation, through ADTLaw.