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Asia round-up: HFW enters association in Shanghai as Simmons hires former Dentons head for Singapore

Holman Fenwick Willan (HFW) and Simmons & Simmons have made moves to boost their presence in Asia, with HFW entering a formal association with Shanghai firm Wintell & Co, while Simmons expands its financial markets practice in Singapore, hiring Dentons’ former managing partner.

Following approval by the Shanghai Justice Bureau, HFW has formalised its partnership with Wintell, which will enable the firm to practice domestic law. Shanghai-based Wintell has more than 20 partners and nearly 100 lawyers across Guangzhou, Tianjin, Ningbo and Zhoushan. The firm specialises in shipping, insurance and corporate law.

After working with Wintell for many years, HFW says its Shanghai office will come together with the firm to ‘take advantage of the strong client base of each firm, combining HFW’s international footprint with Wintell’s local Chinese law expertise to provide clients with enhanced on the ground service.’

Meanwhile Simmons has appointed Dentons’ former managing partner of its Singapore office Matthew Cox, to its financial market practice. Denton’s Singapore office was closed in early 2015 after the announcement of its combination with one of China’s biggest law firms, Dacheng, which at the time of the pairing formed a 6,600-lawyer giant operating under a Swiss verein structure.

With almost 16 years’ experience, Cox has a particular focus on international structured trade and commodity finance and financings into emerging markets.

Head of Simmons’ financial markets group in Asia Rolfe Hayden said: ‘As opportunities for international trade increase, Matthew’s expertise will greatly enhance opportunities for our clients and our current offering in trade finance while complimenting experience across our international financial markets team.’