Norton Rose is continuing to fuel its Asian expansion with key partner level transfers. This time it has brought in a further two partners, from its offices in Perth and Dubai, to Hong Kong.
The arrival of corporate partners Andrew Abernathy and Shaun McRobert from Dubai and Perth respectively has increased the number of Hong Kong office partners to 16. This follows the January transfer of Melbourne-based dispute resolution partner Peter Cash to Singapore.
Abernathy (pictured left) joined the firm in 2008 from New Zealand top-tier firm Bell Gully and has since been working for key Gulf clients, most recently the shareholders of a Bahraini finance consortium on their share sale to the Unicorn Investment Bank last year. Abernathy said his transfer is intended to meet a growing demand for dual English and US-qualified lawyers in Hong Kong.
McRoberts' meanwhile, is expected to bring in Chinese energy & resources clients, having jointly led the Deacons team on the US$1.32bn Sinosteel – Midwest acquisition in 2008. “Hong Kong is a logical extension for our resources business following our merger,” he said.
The merger has also simplified partner transfers compared to the previous arrangement with Deacons Hong Kong. “I think its working a lot better now, while we’re not fully financial integrated we’ve got a much better synergy with Norton Rose than previously,” said McRobert (pictured right). “We do see the Deacons [Hong Kong] guys on a regular basis.”
The moves indicate the firm’s Asia market strategy of matching regional industry demand with supply by transferring key talent from the firm’s Australian operations (formerly known as Deacons). The group’s deputy chief executive Don Boyd has told ALB many more transfers to Asia will come from Australia.
David Stannard, the firm’s partner in charge of Asia, said: “Hong Kong will play a critical role in the expansion of Norton Rose’s operations in Asia. Andrew and Shaun bring to the practice further expertise in corporate finance which is a good fit to the existing capabilities of this key practice area for this office.”