Clifford Chance targets Singapore's digital transformation drive with top-level hire from Norton Rose Fulbright

NRF's former global tech co-head to lead Magic Circle firm’s 600-strong tech group in Asia-Pacific

Stella Cramer Image courtesy of Clifford Chance

Clifford Chance (CC) has hired a global co-head of technology at Norton Rose Fulbright (NRF) in Singapore, as the firm positions itself to take advantage of the city-state’s expected growth in complex digital and transformational technology projects.

Stella Cramer has joined CC as a partner to lead the firm’s tech group in Asia Pacific, where she has worked for more than 15 years. Ranked Band 1 by Chambers, she brings extensive experience in complex digital and transformational technology projects, platform collaborations and technology transactions to her new firm, including disruptive technologies such as AI and blockchain. 

She also advises clients on global data compliance programmes, the commercialisation of data and high-profile cyber incidents and serves on specialist advisory committees covering the regulation of data, blockchain and AI in Singapore and regionally.

Connie Heng, regional managing partner for Asia Pacific, commented, "We are delighted to welcome Stella to lead our tech group in APAC. Technology is having a transformative effect for our clients regardless of industry, and Stella's deep knowledge and track record of excellence will take our technology offering in APAC to the next level."

Cramer has joined CC after eights years at NRF, where she served in a number of leadership roles including Asia head of fintech and co-head of IP and technology for EMEA. Before that she spent several years in-house at ANZ Bank and standard Chartered, where she focused on technology, data and digitalisation projects across multiple jurisdictions.

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Clifford Chance’s tech group has more than 600 lawyers globally and is co-chaired by Singapore-based Paul Landless, London’s Johnathan Kewley and Devika Kornbacher, a tech and IP partner who joined the firm in New York last summer from Vinson & Elkins. 

Recent work for the tech group in Singapore includes advising JP Morgan and SBI Digital Asset Holdings on its first industry pilot under the Monetary Authority of Singapore's Project Guardian, a collaboration with the financial industry to explore the potential of applications in asset tokenisation. 

CC’s Singapore managing partner, Valerie Kong, who was appointed to the role last October, said: "With Singapore's efforts in driving digital innovation across industries, as announced in the 2023 Budget, we will continue to see market-first matters led out the region.

“Stella's undisputed deep experience in Singapore, combined with our market-leading transactional and financial regulatory practices, means we are well-positioned to support Singapore's ambition and the expected growth in complex digital and transformational technology projects to be undertaken by clients in the region, she added. 

In the past year CC has also boosted its tech group in London with the hires of IP partner Don McCombie and TMT partner Zayed Al Jamil from Ashurst and Norton Rose Fulbright respectively. IP litigators Tobias Hessel and Stefan Richter joined in Düsseldorf last December from Dutch IP boutique Hoyng Rokh Monegier, and in the same month consultant Clarive Yue, who advises clients on data protection issues across Asia Pacific, moved over from Bird & Bird.

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