Linklaters makes twin Hong Kong partner hires to boost corporate and banking teams

Xiaoxi Lin joins from Kirkland & Ellis and Alessandro Nolet joins from White & Case

Hong Kong strengthens its position as an arbitration seat for Chinese matters Shutterstock

Magic Circle firm Linklaters has made a double partner hire in Hong Kong with the arrival of M&A lawyer Xiaoxi Lin and leveraged finance expert Alessandro Nolet.

Lin joins the firm’s corporate practice from Kirkland & Ellis, while Nolet joins the firm’s banking practice from White & Case. 

Lin brings with him extensive experience in private equity, focusing on buyouts and growth capital investments. Nolet, meantime, focuses on advising banks and financial institutions, private equity funds and corporates on banking, finance and restructuring transactions.

Notably, Nolet's arrival restocks the firm's Hong Kong leveraged finance capability following the recent departure of former global head of finance Davide Mencacci and banking and finance counsel John Bona for Milbank in Hong Kong.

Nathalie Hobbs, Linklaters’ Asia managing partner, said: “These significant hires reflect our commitment to strengthening our focus on funds – PE, infrastructure and others – in Asia. Xiaoxi and Alex bring their extensive experience to bolster our client service offering for our global and regional private equity and banking clients.”

Lin started his career as an associate at Davis Polk & Wardwell in 2009, working in its New York, Beijing and Hong Kong offices before joining Kirkland & Ellis as a partner in 2015. 

Sophie Mathur, Asia head of corporate, said: “We are pleased to welcome Xiaoxi into our corporate practice. He has an impressive track record and an established reputation as a private equity specialist with financial sponsors in Asia.”

Nolet rejoins Linklaters having started his career at the firm as an associate in 2004 before moving to Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton in 2010, becoming a senior attorney in 2015. He exited the US firm to join White & Case in Milan as a partner in 2018.

Philip Badge, Asia head of banking, said: “We are delighted to welcome back Alex to our banking practice; it’s always a pleasure to have a well-liked former colleague return to the firm. During Alex’s time in Hong Kong he developed strong relationships with Asia based clients which he has continued to nurture from Milan. We look forward to building on those connections and working with Alex to further develop our existing relationships across the region.”

A number of top firms have been seeking to strengthen their Asia transactions capabilities in recent weeks. Davis Polk last month hired ex-Freshfields equity capital markets partner Jason Xu in Beijing, in part because of his experience advising on deals in Hong Kong. Milbank, meanwhile, hired Clifford Chance's Asia co-heads of private equity, Andrew Whan and Neeraj Budhwani, alongside Linklaters' Mencacci and Bona, completing a quarter of partner-level hires targetted at private equity and M&A more broadly.

Earlier this month, Linklaters named Hong Kong-based partner Hwang Hwa Sim as its global head of capital markets for a four-year term.

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