Weil picks two to lead in Asia

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Weil, Gotshal & Manges has named two senior partners to take the helm of its Asia operations.

Hong Kong partner Tim Gardner and Shanghai partner Charles Ching will lead the firm in Asia as its longtime Asian managing partner, Akiko Mikumo, stepped down at the end of the year and retired from the firm.

Mikumo, who led the firm in Asia since 2007, will become a fellow at Harvard University’s Advanced Leadership Initiative Program. She will focus on issues with social impact.

Mikumo was with the firm for 35 years and moved to Hong Kong from New York when she became Asian managing partner. She spearheaded the launch of the Shanghai office in 2007 and was key to the launch of the firm’s London office in the late 1990s.

Gardner and Ching, who both specialise in private equity and M&A, have been in transition to leadership roles since they joined the firm in 2015. Gardner moved from US giant Latham & Watkins, while Ching came from Magic Circle outfit Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer.

The leadership reshuffle follows other similar moves from global giants in Asia in 2017. Last year, Norton Rose Fulbright named partners Psyche Tai and Yu-En Ong as Hong Kong and Singapore managing partners, respectively, after former North Asia head Phillip John retired and former South Asia head Jeff Smith stepped back to become a consultant.

Freshfields also picked Georgia Dawson as its new Asia-Pacific managing partner, succeeding Robert Ashworth who led the firm in the region for six years.

Linklaters also named Nathalie Hobbs as its next Asia managing partner after Marc Harvey returned to London.

In 2017, Hogan Lovells also picked a new Asia and Middle East managing partner after Patrick Sherrington announced plans to retire this year. Miguel Zaldivar, who hails from the firm’s Miami office, will take over the role.

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