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KPMG expands Asia Pacific legal capabilities, opens an affiliated law firm in Hong Kong

KPMG expands Asia Pacific legal capabilities...

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The KPMG Global Legal Services network is pleased to announce that it has expanded its legal capabilities in Asia Pacific by establishing a new law firm in Hong Kong, known as SF Lawyers. 

SF Lawyers is the newest member of the KPMG’s Global Legal Services network. It will initially commence operations with four senior hires and two senior associates joining either now or over the next few months, and with plans for around 20 lawyers in the first year. The four senior hires are Shirley Fu, Rodney Chen, Leo Tian and David Murray, and they will be supported by Alex Ma and Sherman Wong as senior associates. Brief details of the senior hire profiles are included below. An additional launch of legal services in Shanghai is expected in 2019.

Honson To, Chairman of KPMG Asia Pacific and China, says: “We warmly welcome SF Lawyers as the newest member of the KPMG Global Legal Services network, which has grown by 30 percent in 2018 alone, and has significant growth ambitions just beginning to be realised across the Asia Pacific region.”

“With increased global connectivity and the digitalisation of many business functions, SF Lawyers will be uniquely positioned to deliver on the needs of both domestic clients (including going outbound) and multinational clients entering or transacting in the Chinese market. Working in conjunction with KPMG, SF Lawyers will provide clients with legal services in key areas such as M&A and deals, and infrastructure projects. It will also offer technology enabled legal services, while leveraging significant investments in robotics, artificial intelligence and other technologies developed globally and in China through the KPMG Digital Ignition Centre.”

“The firm will also help provide clients with global legal solutions, leveraging our legal services practices across 76 jurisdictions, together with KPMG’s presence in 154 countries around the world”, To adds. 

SF Lawyers will be operating in association with KPMG Law in Australia, which is led by Stuart Fuller, the former Global Managing Partner of King & Wood Mallesons.  Fuller has recently moved to KPMG where he occupies the role of Asia Pacific Regional Leader for Legal Services. 

Fuller says: “We are excited about the association between KPMG Law in Australia and SF Lawyers in Hong Kong, which is reflective of the increasingly important trade and business flows between the two jurisdictions. We are not trying to be a traditional law firm. Our approach is different, with a focus on offering our clients integrated global legal advice and solutions, where we are able to work seamlessly with existing KPMG clients who are looking for local and multijurisdictional counsel. As someone who has lived and worked in Hong Kong for 6 years, I am proud to see SF Lawyers as the newest entry to the network in Asia.”

 

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About Us

SF Lawyers is an independent law firm operating in Hong Kong. It is in association with KPMG Law. Both SF Lawyers and KPMG Law are members of the KPMG Global Legal Services Network. Each firm is a legally distinct and a separate entity and describes itself as such.

KPMG is a global network of professional services firms providing Audit, Tax & Legal and Advisory services. It operates in 154 countries and territories and has 200,000 people working in member firms around the world. The independent member firms of the KPMG network are affiliated with KPMG International Cooperative ("KPMG International"), a Swiss entity. 

PROFILE OF SENIOR HIRES

Shirley Fu, Principal, SF Lawyers

Shirley has extensive experience in complex corporate and commercial transactions in China and across Asia, joining us from Harney Westwood & Riegels. She advises on all types of transactions, including mergers and acquisitions, private equity investments, restructurings and joint ventures, as well as on full range of corporate matters, including constitutions, corporate governance, directors’ duties and shareholders’ rights. She also has experience in initial public offerings, take-privates, bond issues, investment fund formation and other banking and capital market transactions. Shirley has worked with a wide range of clients, which include Chinese state-owned, privately owned and international enterprises, financial institutions, private equity firms, asset managers, Hong Kong and US listed companies.  

She is a qualified lawyer in Hong Kong, New South Wales Australia, England & Wales, and New Zealand. Her legal career began back in 2004 with KPMG’s tax and legal department in Sydney, before she relocated to Hong Kong where she spent over four years in premier offshore law firms (Harney Westwood & Riegels and Maples & Calder) and more than seven years at top tier international law firms (including DLA Piper). She was key part of the team which was awarded “Offshore Law Firm of the Year” by ALB Hong Kong Law Awards, China Law & Practice Awards and IFLR Asia Awards from 2014 to 2017. Many of the deals which she worked on are high-profile and high-dollar-value transactions and have received industry recognition and acclaim.

 

Rodney Chen, Proposed Principal, SF Lawyers

Rodney will join SF Lawyers after completing a 9 year career as the Principal Legal Adviser for MTR Corporation where he headed and managed multiple bid and delivery teams (both legal and commercial) in the pursuit of international rail-related projects and investment opportunities for MTR in Europe, Australia and Canada. He has also been involved in the recent railway extension projects that MTR has delivered and completed in Hong Kong including the High Speed Rail network.

Rodney is a recognised international expert in major infrastructure projects, drawing upon his dual civil engineering and legal qualifications, and his experiences with both MTR Corporation and several years at top tier international law firms in both Australia and Hong Kong, as well as his experience gained as a practising civil engineer. 

Rodney’s achievements include being the winner of the 2015 HK ALB In-House Counsel of the Year award (as well as being a finalist in 2014), and as a key part of the team which was awarded the HK ALB In-House Construction Team of the Year from 2010 to 2014.

Rodney is a qualified lawyer in both Hong Kong and in New South Wales, Australia. 

 

David Murray, Proposed Principal, SF Lawyers

David will join SF lawyers after spending 12 years as a senior in-house lawyer in two different Big 4 accounting firms. He is very experienced both locally and internationally in contractual and commercial matters as well as regulatory matters and also, given his time in Big 4 accounting firms, in combining and integrating legal and accounting knowledge to deliver practical business solutions. He has specialisation in anti-money laundering, privacy, employment and IT/Intellectual property matters. He has extensive skills in cross border mergers, restructurings and joint ventures and alliances. 

David is a qualified lawyer in Hong Kong, New South Wales, Australia and New Zealand. David was admitted as a lawyer in 1998 and practised in various law firms in Sydney, generally in the areas of litigation, regulatory and employment matters, until moving in-house to a Big 4 accounting firm in 2006 to lead a team of lawyers and over the course of the following two years lead the integration of the Australian, New Zealand and Indonesian partnerships to create an integrated regional structure. He was then part of the global team that integrated this structure into an Asia Pacific structure. David then moved to Hong Kong in 2012 to take the role of Head of Legal to lead the establishment of the in-house team of KPMG China. During his time in the role, until November 2018, he was involved in matters across the PRC, Macau S.A.R. and Hong Kong S.A.R, which covered the subject matters already mentioned above. His role also required extensive engagement with lawyers across the global network and some knowledge of laws in these other jurisdictions.

 

Leo Tian, Proposed Registered Foreign Lawyer, SF Lawyers

Leo will join SF Lawyers after completing a 13 year career with major US law firms Shearman & Sterling, Faegre Baker Daniels and Paul Hastings in Hong Kong, Shanghai and Beijing, where he has been advising large multinational companies, private equity funds, investment banks, Chinese state-owned and private clients on a wide range of transactions, including inbound and outbound cross-border mergers and acquisitions, foreign direct investment, greenfield projects, establishment and disposal of complex joint ventures and regulatory compliance matters. He works with high profile clients in various industries including semiconductor, technology, media and entertainment, luxury brands, and a range of key services sectors. He has been recognised by Legal 500 Asia-Pacific for both 2016 and 2017, and with transactions he worked on being recognised as the “Deals of the Year”.

Leo is admitted in the State of New York, has passed the PRC bar, and is a registered foreign lawyer in Hong Kong. He is a native Chinese and speaks fluent Mandarin and local dialects.

© 2021 KPMG Huazhen LLP, a People's Republic of China partnership, KPMG Advisory (China) Limited, a limited liability company in China, KPMG, a Macau partnership and KPMG, a Hong Kong partnership, are member firms of the KPMG global organisation of independent member firms affiliated with KPMG International Limited, a private English company limited by guarantee. All rights reserved.

The KPMG name and logo are trademarks used under license by the independent member firms of the KPMG global organisation.

For more detail about the structure of the KPMG global organisation please visit https://home.kpmg/governance.

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