Aussie to lead firm’s corporate practice in Asia

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Herbert Smith Freehills has appointed Aussie corporate heavy-weight Lewis McDonald as regional head of the firm’s corporate practice in Asia. McDonald succeeds Austin Sweeny, who held the position for four years.

McDonald is the managing partner of the firm’s Seoul office – a position he was appointed to when the office first opened in 2013.

“Alongside my role as Head of our Asia Corporate practice, I will be looking to maintain my practice advising Asian companies, primarily Korean and Japanese companies, on outbound energy & infrastructure investments,” McDonald told Australasian Lawyer.

“Asia is a region that is still growing and where many of the future powerhouse global corporates are located. It is a very exciting time to be in this region during this period of change and disruption.”

McDonald said the firm will continue to focus on innovation, investing in key Asia markets and the core skills of lawyers within the region to support it.

“We have a fantastic group of partners and lawyers across the region who are well placed to adapt to these changes and thrive and I'm looking forward to leading them during this time,” he said.

“We will stay close to the markets where our clients are investing to ensure we have knowledge, intelligence and connections that are relevant and useful.  We will expand our inbound capabilities in Southeast Asia to support this.”

Global corporate head Scott Cochrane said McDonald’s experience in the Asia market make him an ideal pick for the role.

“In his six years as a partner, Lewis has established a formidable reputation with clients as an energy law practitioner, whilst also launching a brand new office in Korea and coordinating our energy team around the region,” he said.

Commenting on his appointment, McDonald said he looks forward to leading the team during such an exciting growth period.

“It is an honour to be given the opportunity to lead our Asia corporate team at this time,” he said. 
“I am looking forward to leading the practice during a time of growth and innovation to deliver the very best services to our Asia-based clients and those clients investing into the region.”
 

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