HFW hires Winston & Strawn's Shanghai managing partner in double Asia move

Corporate partner Brinton Scott is joined by former Cooper Standard in-house counsel Danielle Peng

Corporate partner Brinton Scott joins HFW in Shanghai

HFW has made a double hire in Shanghai with the arrival of corporate partner Brinton Scott and of counsel Danielle Peng to further boost its offering in China.

Scott was previously managing partner of US firm Winston & Strawn’s Shanghai practice, and brings with him more than two decades of experience in the country. His practice spans all forms of commercial and corporate work, as well as associated fields such as IP, employment, investigations and insolvency.  

Peng, meantime, joins from US car components manufacturer Cooper Standard, where she was senior legal director overseeing the company's legal affairs in China, Korea, India, Japan and Singapore – all of which are key markets for HFW. The move reunites her with Scott, having previously worked together at Winston & Strawn and Herbert Smith Freehills before that.

Nick Poyder, HFW’s Shanghai managing partner, said: “[Scott is] one of the most experienced international lawyers in China – he's a true seasoned veteran – and Danielle is a skilled practitioner, who adds another dimension thanks to her considerable in-house experience.”

He added: “Together, they give a real boost to our corporate and M&A practice – particularly in supporting multinational organisations with their inbound [Chinese] investments, to complement our existing strength in advising [Chinese] companies domestically and abroad.”

HFW is no stranger to China, having operated there since 1978. Prior to opening its own office in Shanghai, it had a formal association with local firm Wintell & Co under the auspices of the Shanghai Free Trade Zone’s rules.

Those networks – and the firm’s sectoral strengths in insurance, aviation, and shipping – were plus points for Scott, who said the chance to expand the firm’s corporate practice was decisive in making the move.

“What [HFW’s] been doing recently in corporate has really got a lot of people's attention – it now has significant teams on the ground in Shanghai and Hong Kong, and I'm excited to be part of that continued growth,” he said, adding that the chance to work with aviation head and HFW's sustainability partner Giles Kavanagh and his team “feels like I’m coming home”.

Brinton’s arrival is HFW’s third senior hire from US firms in Asia in recent months, having hired Reed Smith’s former Singapore managing partner Peter Zaman in January and Singapore disputes specialist Dan Perera in February. Wing Cheung, Locke Lord’s former Hong Kong managing partner, also joined the firm back in November 2019.

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