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‘Steadily building’: Debevoise ramps up Asia practice with Sullivan corporate hire

In a rare move, Debevoise & Plimpton has picked up Hong Kong based corporate partner William Chua from US elite firm Sullivan & Cromwell.

Chua joins Debevoise in a bid to strengthen the firm’s transactional capabilities in Asia, and to complement its private equity funds practice in the region. Part of Chua’s role will be to reinforce the firm’s growing strategic M&A practice in financial services and other sectors.

Chua has been a partner at the Wall Street firm for 13 years and previously led its Beijing office. With experience in private equity, M&A, finance and capital markets, including takeovers, leveraged buyouts, going private transactions, divestitures and spinoffs, he has practised in Asia for over 15 years and is dual-qualified in New York and Hong Kong. He also has a finance and capital markets practice, including debt and borrower-focused acquisition and leveraged finance, and IPOs.

According to the firm, Chua’s addition will allow Debevoise’s Asia practice to offer a ‘one-stop-shop’ to private equity clients. ‘We are steadily building on our market-leading capabilities in the region,’ said Debevoise presiding partner Michael Blair. ‘William brings us deep transactional experience in Asia combined with the cultural background and language abilities that our clients need.’

Chua’s arrival represents the latest in a series of moves in Asia for Debevoise. In 2014, the firm converted its Hong Kong office to become a local practice, while later that year, Debevoise recruited Mark Johnson as a partner in the Hong Kong office. Johnson joined from Herbert Smith Freehills, where he was a partner for over 20 years.