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Asia round-up: Olswang and Bird & Bird build offerings while Slaughters Hong Kong partner Hyman retires

The past week has seen changes for several UK-headquartered firms in Asia with Olswang appointing a new Asia managing partner and Bird & Bird making two lateral partner hires, as corporate partner Neil Hyman retires from Slaughter and May‘s Hong Kong office.

TMT firm Olswang has appointed a new Asia managing partner with corporate partner Andrew Stott taking over from Rob Bratby who headed the region for past four years. Olswang confirmed that Bratby will return to the London office to ‘take up a global telecoms and emerging markets role’. Bratby joined Olswang from US firm Mayer Brown as partner in 2008 where he worked in the City for almost four years before relocating to Singapore in 2012.

Olswang’s new Asia head Stott has been with the firm since 2002 and advises companies, financial institutions and individuals on international public and private M&A, investment deals and strategic joint ventures. Stott also has experience in working on multi-jurisdiction transactions across Europe, North America and Asia. His new role will take effect from 1 May 2016.

Olswang chief executive Paul Stevens commented: ‘We look forward to welcoming Rob back in London. His return to the UK was part of the firm’s plan from the outset, and we are very grateful to Rob for helping to build a robust and client-centric business in Singapore from which our team can grow further.’

Elsewhere, Slaughter and May Hong Kong corporate partner Hyman is due to retire from the partnership on 30 April. Hyman joined the firm in London in 1986 and was made a partner in the corporate practice in 1995. He then transferred to the firm’s Hong Kong office in 2001.

Some of his recent transactions include advising Oversea-Chinese Banking Corporation on its $4.95bn acquisition of Wing Hang Bank; and representing international healthcare group Bupa on the acquisition of Quality HealthCare Medical Services, the largest private clinic network in Hong Kong, for $355m, from Fortis Healthcare.

Meanwhile, Bird & Bird is building its Asia Pacific teams with two new dispute recruits as Jonathan Choo joins from Olswang, and Robert Rhoda joins from RPC.

According to the firm, the ‘appointments represent a major boost to the firm’s rapidly growing Asia-Pacific dispute resolution group’ and places the firm ‘among the strongest arbitration teams in the Asia-Pacific region covering both contentious and non-contentious work’.

Choo will be based in Singapore and previously headed Olswang’s Asian arbitration and dispute resolution practice and also co-headed the international arbitration group. He has experience of a range of significant disputes and arbitrations both in Singapore and overseas.

Rhoda joins from RPC’s Hong Kong office, where he was a member of the commercial disputes group focusing on international arbitration. Rhoda has experience of high-stakes international arbitration matters, as well as advising on commercial litigation and regulatory matters in both London and Hong Kong.