Leading global law firm Herbert Smith Freehills has announced the partner team that will launch its new Malaysia office in May 2017.
The office will be led by partner Peter Godwin, Head of Disputes, Asia, supported by corporate partner and Malaysian native Vik Tang, and corporate partner Glynn Cooper.
The Kuala Lumpur office is also part of the firm's ongoing expansion of its Islamic finance practice, with the new office expected to make a major contribution to, and work regularly with, the firm's existing practices around the world.
A senior Islamic finance lawyer will join the Kuala Lumpur team shortly, and Middle East managing partner Zubair Mir and Nasser Al-Hamdan, Global Head of Islamic finance, will work in the city on a regular basis.
"Our Kuala Lumpur team is looking forward to opening in the coming months and working with our existing and new Malaysian clients and with the wider legal community," said Peter.
"We will be able to better support Malaysian businesses, as they expand at home and abroad, and assist our international clients with operations and investments in Malaysia."
"Peter is one of our most experienced partners in Asia Pacific and a leading legal practitioner, who keenly understands the needs of our clients," said Justin D'Agostino, Managing Partner, Asia & Australia.
"I'm delighted that he, Vik and Glynn will be leading our new initiative in Malaysia, and building on our successful 20-year working relationship with Malaysian clients."
Read more about our new office and team in Kuala Lumpur
Following the award of a Qualified Foreign Law Firm licence from Bar Council Malaysia earlier this year, the firm's new office is expected to open in May 2017, subject to final regulatory and administrative processes, and will provide advice on transactions, disputes and Islamic finance. It will be Herbert Smith Freehills' ninth office in Asia and the 27th office in its global network.
The Malaysian office is the firm's next step in the expansion of the firm's Southeast Asia practice, which from May will operate from four of the region's most important business centres – Singapore, Jakarta, Bangkok and Kuala Lumpur – handling matters for clients in all 10 ASEAN nations from these offices.
The Kuala Lumpur office will be led by disputes partner Peter Godwin, who most recently spent 15 years in the firm's successful Tokyo office, with the last six years as office managing partner. He will continue to run the firm's Asia Disputes practice from Kuala Lumpur.
Peter has extensive experience in litigation, arbitration and other forms of dispute resolution. He advises Asian and international companies on complex disputes in a numbers of areas, including construction, energy, IP, IT, employment, joint ventures, fraud, telecommunications, international trade, banking and insolvency.
Vik Tang advises Asian and international clients on complex public and private M&A, private equity and joint ventures. He has over 16 years' experience in complex cross-border M&A transactions in the UK, Europe, Asia and the Middle East. A native Malaysian, Vik is fluent in Bahasa Malaysia.
Prior to his relocation to Kuala Lumpur, Vik was seconded to Hiswara Bunjamin & Tandjung, Herbert Smith Freehills' associate firm in Jakarta, and previously worked in the firm's Singapore office. He also spent a year on secondment to Morgan Stanley in London.
Glynn Cooper advises clients on complex cross-border transactions, particularly in the infrastructure and related sectors (including transport, energy and resources) and in the financial institutions sector. His practice covers M&A, joint ventures, corporate restructurings and the investment aspects of project developments. From his base in Kuala Lumpur, he will assist the firm’s Malaysian and global clients with outbound investments from Malaysia and inbound investments into Malaysia.
Prior to his relocation to Kuala Lumpur, Glynn practised in London and in Australia. He joined Herbert Smith Freehills in Australia from a leading firm in London, where he advised on some of the largest and most complex transactions ever undertaken in the UK and globally. Glynn is admitted to practice in England and Wales and in Queensland, Australia and is a registered foreign lawyer in Malaysia.
Herbert Smith Freehills' relationship with Malaysia dates back over 20 years, and the firm is honoured to have counted the Government of Malaysia and key Malaysian companies and institutions as its clients, as well as many international companies investing in Malaysia.
Malaysia is the latest expansion of the firm's global platform, following the opening of new offices in New York in 2012; in Berlin, Frankfurt and Seoul in 2013; in Johannesburg (and the addition of a foreign law alliance with Singapore law firm Prolegis) in 2015; and in Riyadh** and Düsseldorf in 2016.