Baker McKenzie names new Asia Pacific chair

Global executive committee member and senior IP lawyer Shih Yann Loo succeeds Michael Wong

Shih Yann Loo Image courtesy of Baker McKenzie

Baker McKenzie has appointed Hong Kong-based IP partner Shih Yann Loo as its new Asia Pacific chair. 

Loo took up the new position on 21 October and succeeded Michael Wong, who has returned to his corporate and tax practice in the firm’s Taipei office at the conclusion of his two-year term. 

Baker McKenzie said Loo would continue his role as a member of its global executive committee while serving as Asia Pacific chair. A veteran of the firm, Loo first joined in 1993 in Hong Kong and subsequently rose to lead its IP group in cross-border litigation and enforcement in Hong Kong and mainland China.

His other leadership roles with the firm include being part of the management team that set up its joint operation in China with FenXun Partners in 2015, an effort that was led by current global chair Milton Cheng and was a first-of-its-kind collaboration. He also served on the committee that oversees Baker McKenzie's offices and businesses across eight jurisdictions in the Asia Pacific region.

Cheng said he was “delighted” to welcome Loo to his new role, adding: “I am confident that he will continue to drive our firm's growth in Asia Pacific and collaborate with other executive committee members to address the needs of our clients and our people around the world.

"I would also like to thank Michael for his leadership and contributions to our executive committee over the past four years as we navigated through a period that has seen much uncertainty, challenge and change.” 

The firm’s latest round of leadership changes also saw Wong step down from the firm’s executive committee last month at the end of his four-year term alongside Dallas-based corporate partner Michael Santa Maria. They have been succeeded by San Francisco-based international commercial partner Joyce Smith and Bangkok-based corporate and M&A partner Peerapan Tungsuwan.

A recent addition to Bakers' ranks in Asia Pacific was arbitration lawyer Ronald Sum JP, who joined in Hong Kong in September with two associates from Addleshaw Goddard after Addleshaws announced earlier in the year that it was exiting the city. Sum has served since 2021 as a Law Society of Hong Kong council member after the establishment slate he was on defeated a rival grouping in controversial elections.  

Baker McKenzie also bolstered its partnership in the region in the summer, with Asia Pacific dominating the firm’s 52-strong promotions round for its international network. 

The firm’s APAC revenue rose 3.3% in year to 30 June against firmwide revenue growth of 5.5%, a decrease on the 7.8% achieved in 2020/21 but nonetheless enough to push the firm to a new record of $3.3bn.  

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