Linklaters announces new Singapore leadership

Melvin Sng named office’s first senior partner while Jonathan Horan succeeds Christopher Bradley as national managing partner
Headshots of Melvin Sng and Jonathan Horan

Melvin Sng (left) and Jonathan Horan Images courtesy of Linklaters

UK law firm Linklaters has announced new leadership for its more than 100-lawyer strong Singapore office. 

Dispute resolution lawyer Melvin Sng has been named the office’s first senior partner, while capital markets specialist Jonathan Horan has become national managing partner. The new roles were effective as of 1 May. 

Sng, who also serves as the senior partner of the firm’s dispute resolution practice in Asia and as co-head of the firm’s restructuring and insolvency practice in the region, joined Linklaters back in 1999 from Simmons & Simmons. 

As senior partner he will be responsible for deepening Linklaters’ relationships with clients and key stakeholders in the region whilst working with Horan in his role overseeing the firm’s strategy for Southeast Asia.

Sng said his appointment as senior partner was a reflection of Linklaters’ standing in Singapore as the city-state increasingly serves as a centre for dispute resolution.  

“We currently have 17 partners in our Singapore office and will continue to grow our presence here to serve our clients across Southeast Asia,” he said, adding: “I look forward to working closely with Jonathan whose appointment as national managing partner showcases the strength of our capital markets practice in Singapore and its importance as a financial centre, and more specifically as a fintech hub, for the Asia region.”  

Horan will serve four years as national managing partner and succeeds Christopher Bradley, who has held the role since 2016 and will be retiring later this year after 25 years with the firm.

Horan is a partner in Linklaters’ capital markets team and brings more than 15 years of experience working across Asia from the firm’s offices in Singapore and Hong Kong, prior to which he was at Herbert Smith Freehills. He advises underwriters, issuers, investors and trustees on a range of capital markets products and Linklaters said he is increasingly involved in the development of digital asset fundraising, advising Asia-based digital offerings, securities issuers and platform operators.

During his term as national managing partner Horan will also sit on the firm’s Asia executive committee, which is responsible for management decisions that help shape the firm’s strategy across the region.  

The leadership announcements follow Linklaters hiring partner Joel Seow from US rival Morgan Lewis & Bockius in Singapore in January to set up an investment funds practice.

Linklaters’ global head of investment funds, Silke Bernard, said at the time that Seow “will be invaluable in helping us to establish a strong investment funds practice in Asia, working alongside our regulatory, corporate and finance practices to meet the growing demand from our clients and deliver best in class service”. 

The firm’s Singapore office is ranked Band 1 by Chambers Asia-Pacific for banking & finance, capital markets, employment and corporate/M&A. 

Seow’s move to Linklaters came just a month after the firm re-hired its former China practice head Betty Yap from Paul Weiss Rifkind Wharton & Garrison and Carl Fernandes from Latham & Watkins to bolster its private equity and financial regulatory teams in Asia. Yap moved back to the firm to co-head its financial sponsor group in Hong Kong, while Fernandes is expected to relocate to Asia after initially re-joining Linklaters’ financial regulation practice in London. 

Last month Linklaters also bolstered its corporate offering in Japan with the hire of Ashurst’s Tokyo M&A and Asia insurance sector lead Tracy Whiriskey


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