The practice comprises some 600 partners, lawyers and staff in nine offices across the region, offering corporate, capital markets, finance and disputes advice to local and international clients.
"Herbert Smith Freehills' Asia practice is growing at a rapid rate," said CEO Justin D'Agostino. "May knows our business and our people, and is the ideal candidate to lead the team to further success.”
"An excellent lawyer, popular with clients and colleagues alike, she has worked in a number of our Asian offices and London and is an outstanding role model for diversity and people development in our business," said Justin.
May is one of the leading arbitration practitioners in the Asia market, and will continue her work for clients as her principal focus, alongside her new role and responsibilities.
“It’s a privilege to succeed Justin as leader of this talented team,” said May. “We’ve achieved so much in recent years, and invested in our people and our platform across Asia.”
“As Asia emerges from lockdown, our business will build on that growth to create an even stronger, more adaptable team to respond to the market.”
May Tai specialises in international arbitration. She is a CEDR accredited mediator, an arbitrator in the HKIAC List of Arbitrators, a member of the CIETAC HK panel of arbitrators, and Committee Member of the SIAC Users Council for Hong Kong.
A graduate of Somerville College, University of Oxford, May joined Herbert Smith Freehills as a trainee in 2001, and became a partner in 2010. She has been based in Greater China since 2009, spending 18 months in Shanghai, three years in Beijing and four years in Hong Kong. She was appointed managing partner of the firm’s China practice in 2017.
May is based in Hong Kong but has also practised in the firm's London, Singapore and Tokyo offices. She speaks Chinese (Mandarin and Cantonese), Bahasa (Malaysian and Indonesian), and English, and is qualified in England and Wales and Hong Kong.