Paul Hastings has relocated corporate partner Neil Torpey, moving him from New York to Hong Kong where he will take over as office chair following the departure of Steven Winegar.
Winegar, a former capital markets partner, joined firm client Ping An Insurance Group, a Chinese state-owned insurance giant, in September as international general counsel. Winegar is a former Goldman Sachs managing director specializing in U.S. securities law, and had led Paul Hastings’ Hong Kong office since 2015.
With the move, Torpey, who has been a full-time corporate partner in New York since 2013, returns to a management position he held for over a decade. A Paul Hastings veteran since 1990, he first moved to Hong Kong in 2002 as the U.S. firm opened in the city by merging with local firm Koo & Partners. Torpey led the office until 2013, when he moved back to New York.
He specializes in private equity transactions and related corporate finance deals. Last year, he represented Canadian private equity firm Novacap Investments Inc. on a sale of Maine-based IT service provider Oxford Networks.
The rest of the firm’s management team in Hong Kong is unchanged, according to Torpey. Capital markets partner Ren Zhaoyu, who served as vice chair of Hong Kong during Winegar’s tenure, continues in that role. Hong Kong partner Raymond Li is chair of Paul Hastings’ China practice.
Torpey said that in addition to Paul Hastings’ existing strength in real estate, private equity, mergers and acquisitions, and Hong Kong capital markets work, he is looking to broaden the firm’s platform in finance, restructuring and compliance. Paul Hastings also expects growth in U.S. listings work in 2019, he said.
Paul Hastings has had several office chairs in Hong Kong since 2013.
In 2016, Paul Hastings was a legal adviser, together with Latham & Watkins, on a listing application sponsored by JPMorgan that was returned by the Hong Kong Stock Exchange. Former capital markets partner Sammy Li represented Chinese pharmaceutical company Shenhua Health Holdings Ltd., while JPMorgan Securities (Far East) Ltd. acted as sole sponsor. At the time, JPMorgan was the first global investment bank in Hong Kong whose sponsored listing application was returned by the exchange.
Li, who left the firm for Hogan Lovells soon after the Shenhua incident, was himself a former Hong Kong office chair, having taken over in 2014 from Torpey’s successor and real estate partner Derek Roth after Roth relocated to Los Angeles.