17 Jan 2022

Linklaters secures Morgan Lewis partner to launch Singapore funds practice

Addition of Joel Seow follows double partner hire in Hong Kong last month

Joel Seow Image courtesy of Linklaters

Linklaters has hired a partner from US rival Morgan Lewis & Bockius to set up an investment funds practice in Singapore, its third Asia partner lateral in a month.

Joel Seow brings experience advising sponsors in Asia on the establishment of private investment funds across asset classes and jurisdictions, with a particular focus on private equity, venture capital, real estate and infrastructure, as well as hedge funds and special situations funds.

Linklaters’ global head of investment funds Silke Bernard described Soew as “an established practitioner in the global funds space”, adding that his experience “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”.

Seow has worked in investment funds practices in both London and Singapore and has moved to Linklaters after almost three years at Morgan Lewis, which he joined as a partner after five years at Sidley Austin. Earlier, he also had stints as an associate at Clifford Chance and Dechert and was a trainee at Singapore firm Rajah & Tann.

As well as advising sponsors in relation to fund formation, his practice also focuses on representing limited partners on investments in private funds and advising on regulatory and licensing issues relating to fund management under Singapore law.

Seow’s move to Linklaters comes 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. 

At the start of this month, the firm also launched a Dutch Supreme Court litigation practice with the addition of Bart Fleuren as counsel from local firm De Brauw Blackstone Westbroek. Linklaters, which has had a dispute resolution practice in the Netherlands since 2010, said the new offering meant it could provide clients with a ‘one stop shop’ for the for the most challenging litigation matters at every state court in the country.

Other international firms to make strategic hires in Singapore recently include Cooley, which earlier this month added Tim Pitrelli as its first capital markets partner in the city-state from the investment banking division of Goldman Sachs. Another was fellow US firm King & Spalding, which last November boosted its Singapore M&A team with the hire of Parveet Singh Gandoak as a partner from Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom.

A number of firms have also chosen to set up shop in the city-state over the past year, including India’s Cyril Amarchand Mangaldas and Khaitan & Co and US firms Orrick and McDermott Will & Emery, with the latter gaining an on-the-ground presence in Asia once again with the launch. 

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