Herbert Smith Freehills opens construction and infrastructure hub in Malaysia

Partner Craig Shepherd will lead hub from firm’s existing Kuala Lumpur office

Herbert Smith Freehills (HSF) has launched a construction and infrastructure hub in Kuala Lumpur as the firm continues to expand its Asia coverage.

The new infrastructure hub will be located in the firm’s existing Malaysia office, which includes disputes, transactions and Islamic finance. Veteran partner and construction dispute resolution specialist Craig Shepherd will lead the new hub. HSF originally opened its Kuala Lumpur office in 2017.

Shepherd said: “The firm already handles the most complex construction and infrastructure disputes, both in Asia and globally, and the hub will further coordinate and focus that expertise. Working with the firm's energy, projects, project finance, infrastructure and TMT teams, we will be able to support our clients at every stage of their projects, from inception to disputes.”

Shepherd has been with HSF for almost three decades, starting his career in Hong Kong in 1995 and becoming a partner in 2000. He relocated to the UAE in 2008 before returning to Asia with his Kuala Lumpur posting this year. His disputes expertise includes power and water projects, transport, energy and digital infrastructure.

He will work closely with Singapore disputes partner Daniel Waldek and a team of eight disputes lawyers and three paralegals in Kuala Lumpur, providing support to disputes specialists across the Asia region and globally.

Simon Chapman QC, HSF’s Asia head of disputes, said: “Asia’s projects and infrastructure markets remain strong, with Chinese, Japanese and Korean companies driving much of the investment within Asia and outbound into Europe, Latin America and Africa. Craig’s construction disputes expertise and experience with clients through time in our Tokyo, Dubai, Hong Kong and London offices makes him the ideal choice for this new role.” 

The opening of the infrastructure hub follows a number of recent hires in Asia, including Singapore-based project finance partner Rupert Baker and capital markets partner Xavier Amadei who joined in February, and commercial litigation partner Rachael Shek who joined in Hong Kong last December.

Other firms have also been increasing their presence in the region in recent weeks. Earlier this month, DWF announced a tie-up with Hong Kong boutique firm Hauzen, while at the end of April, Greenberg Traurig hired a trio of energy and infrastructure lawyers from Hogan Lovells ahead of its planned Singapore office launch – the US firm’s fourth in the region.

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