New Singapore managing partner Alex Wong and Middle East practice group head Samaa Haridi
Hogan Lovells has ushered in a series of practice and industry group appointments that see the creation of a Middle East practice group and a new Singapore managing partner.
The changes come as Miguel Zaldivar officially takes over from Steve Immelt as the firm’s CEO, becoming the only AmLaw 50 law firm leader of Hispanic American origin, according to the firm.
The changes — which Zaldivar said were designed to sharpen the firm’s emerging markets focus — see New York-based arbitration partner Samaa Haridi appointed to head the firm’s new Middle East practice group while energy and infrastructure specialist Alex Wong replaces Stephanie Keen as Singapore office managing partner.
Keen, in turn, takes up the expanded role of regional lead for the Asia-Pacific corporate and finance practice group.
Leadership of the firm’s Latin America practice group — which Zaldivar co-founded — also changes hands with Mexico City office managing partner Juan Francisco Torres Landa taking over from Bruno Ciuffetelli and Jose F. Valdivia.
“I have been looking at some of the ways we go to strategically do more for our clients in emerging markets as well as industry sectors and think these changes will streamline our abilities and enhance our opportunities,” said Zaldivar.
Other changes see Dr. Frederick Ch’en take on the newly created role of office administrative partner for the Tokyo office — providing support to office managing partner Lloyd Parker who is regional managing partner for Asia-Pacific, one of three new regions created by Zaldivar as part of a shake-up of the firm’s structure designed to streamline decision-making.
Among sector group changes is the appointment of London-based partner Charles Brasted to replace London head of competition Angus Coulter as group manager for the global regulatory practice while London colleague Sharon Lewis has seen insurance added to her existing finance and investment sector group remit.
The other new sector and practice area appointments are:
- Asher Rubin (Baltimore) — health and lifestyle
- Detlef Hass (Munich) — manufacturing, energy and industrials
- Patrick Ayad (Munich) — mobility and transportation
- Mark Brennan (Washington DC) — technology and telecoms
- Ari Fitzgerald (Washington DC) — communications
Under a simplified structure unveiled by Zaldivar in April, the firm has been divided into three regions — Americas, EMEA and Asia Pacific — and three practice areas: corporate and finance; litigation, arbitration and employment; and global regulatory and IPMT.
In May, Herbert Smith Freehills’ new chief executive, Justin D’Agostino, created a streamlined six-person executive board and divided the firm into two regions in a bid to create a nimbler leadership structure.