Morgan Lewis expands in Asia with recruits from another global firm

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A major American firm has expanded its team in Asia, bringing in new partners in Hong Kong and Singapore from another global firm.

Morgan, Lewis & Bockius has welcomed partners Karun Cariappa in Singapore and Helen Fok in Hong Kong. Both partners moved from Simmons & Simmons.

The double partner hire in Asia comes after Morgan Lewis made a major move last month in London, bringing in partners Mark Geday, Nicholas Moore, and Tomasz Wozniak from Herbert Smith Freehills (HSF). Geday is currently the London private equity practice head at HSF and the trio are regulars the firm’s Moscow office.

With the two new hires, the American giant has recruited another practice head. Cariappa was the joint head of Simmons & Simmons’ India practice.

“This region is a major priority for our firm, and having Karun and Helen on board deepens our capabilities to serve clients in this thriving part of the world,” said Jami McKeon, Morgan Lewis chairwoman.

Suet-Fern Lee, a partner in Singapore and chair of the firm’s international leadership team, said that Cariappa is an “ideal addition” to the firm’s cross-border transactional team in Singapore.

“He deepens our capabilities to serve companies throughout Asia, especially those with interests in India,” she said.

Qualified in England and Wales and in India, he regularly works with corporate issuers and investment banks. His practice focuses on securities offerings such as initial public offerings, follow-on offerings, private placements, bond offerings, and bond restructurings across Asia.

Fok also strengthens the firm’s capabilities in the region, said Louis Singer, who leads Morgan Lewis’ investment management practice.

“Conduct of business and compliance remain key considerations for financial institutions, and Helen’s experience in this area will be of great value to our clients in Hong Kong and throughout Asia,” he said.

Fok works with financial institutions, banks, asset managers, hedge fund managers, custodians, exchanges, alternative trading platforms, and sovereign wealth funds on regulatory conduct matters. She is a specialist in all matters under the Securities and Futures Ordinance and the Banking Ordinance of Hong Kong.