Nigel Francis of YTL/courtesy photo

Addleshaw Goddard’s former Asia head, Nigel Francis, has joined Hong Kong firm YTL as a senior consultant.

A litigation and employment specialist, Francis joined Addleshaw Goddard in 2013 to help launch the U.K. firm’s Hong Kong office, together with former DLA Piper corporate partner Brett Stewien; Stewien left Addleshaw Goddard in 2017 to launch a boutique firm with a pair of former Baker Botts lawyers.

Francis led the firm’s Asia practice until he was succeeded by legacy Berwin Leighton Paisner’s Asia head Bob Charlton last May.

Previously, Francis was a partner at MinterEllison for more than six years and headed the Australian firm’s disputes and employment practice in Hong Kong. Before that, he trained and practiced at legacy Herbert Smith for more than two decades, having first joined the firm in London in 1982. He made partner in 1991 in Hong Kong and headed the Asia telecommunications, media and technology practice.

In the past, Francis acted for roast goose restaurant operator Yung Kee, casino operator Crown and Hong Kong-based lubricant manufacturer Total Lubricants on commercial litigation and employment law matters.

At YTL, Francis reunites with disputes head James Yeung, who was an associate of Francis’ for about a decade at both Addleshaw Goddard and MinterEllison.

“A lawyer of Nigel’s caliber would be welcomed by any firm, and we are delighted that he has chosen to join our young but aspiring firm as he recognizes our vision and ambition,” said Yeung in a statement.

YTL was founded in 2014 by Alfred Leung, a former corporate associate at Morrison & Foerster. The firm has one other partner—Stewart Wong—three consultants and an associate focusing on corporate transactions and dispute resolution.

Last August, YTL formed an association with China’s Beijing DHH Law Firm.

In a statement, Francis said he was impressed by YTL’s plans for future expansion. ”I am very grateful to James and his partners at YTL for the opportunity to join the firm,” he said. “I look forward to working with James again and hopefully contributing to the growth and development of the firm.”

Related Stories:

Beijing DHH Forms Hong Kong Association as Chinese Firms Continue Expansion

Former Baker Botts Lawyers Launch Hong Kong Boutique

Evolutionary, Not Revolutionary: Addleshaw Goddard’s Asia Growth Plan