McDermott hires Latham's power industry group co-head as Asia transactions chair in Singapore

Clarinda Tjia-Dharmadi comes aboard following firm's relaunch in the city-state last year

McDermott Will & Emery has hired Latham & Watkins’ former global power industry group co-chair, Clarinda Tjia-Dharmadi, to lead its Asia transactions practice in Singapore. 

Tjia-Dharmadi joins the firm as a partner after more than two decades at Latham, where she was a partner in its finance practice. In her new role, Tjia-Dharmadi will work as part of McDermott’s project development and finance team to build its energy and infrastructure practice in the region. 

The appointment comes just five months after McDermott opened in Singapore and in the process regained an on-the-ground presence in the region, having lost it in 2020 when it transferred its Shanghai joint venture office to Chicago rival Winston & Strawn. 

McDermott added Squire Patton Boggs’ former Singapore co-managing partner Ignatius Hwang and infrastructure partner Merrick White from King & Spalding in the run up to the launch. Both relocated to the Singapore office from London and were joined by a three-lawyer team from Squire in September.

Tjia-Dharmadi is a leading legal figure in the Indonesian oil and gas sector, having advised clients including oil majors, foreign investors and the Indonesian government on some of the country’s largest oil and gas, LNG and petrochemical projects. 

She has advised sponsors, developers and lenders on a number of projects in the sector since the inception of Indonesia’s Independent Power Producer programme, the firm said. She also has regional experience in markets including Singapore and Japan, where she has been involved in structuring and completing cross-border joint ventures, M&A and private entity investments for US and other international clients on multi-jurisdictional structured transactions. 

Michael Poulos, McDermott’s partner in charge of firm strategy, said: “Clarinda has outstanding experience in driving some of the largest project development and finance transactions in Asia and will take a lead role in driving our corporate practice going forward. As one of the top professionals in her field, she will be instrumental in helping our clients achieve their objectives across this thriving region.” 

Tjia-Dharmadi’s arrival brings McDermott’s lawyer headcount in Singapore to nine, made up of five partners, two counsel and two associates. 

McDermott is not the only international firm moving to build its energy offering in Singapore recently. Last August US firm Orrick opened an office in the city-state helmed by Jon Thursby, a former Watson Farley & Williams partner who specialises in the development and construction aspects of offshore wind and other large-scale renewables projects.

And the week before Latham & Watkins had also invested in energy capabilities in Singapore by picking up an energy and infrastructure partner trio from Shearman & Sterling and Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer.


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