Reed Smith adds aviation finance partner in Singapore from Milbank

Newly-minted partner Hui Ling Teo arrives as US firm moves to ‘significantly’ grow its partner headcount in Asia

Hui Ling Teo Image courtesy of Reed Smith

Reed Smith has bolstered its aviation finance offering in Singapore with the addition of a new partner from Milbank, the latest in a string of hires for the top 30 US firm in Asia as it moves to build its presence in the region. 

Hui Ling Teo has joined the firm’s transportation industry group after seven years at Milbank, prior to which she was at Stephenson Harwood and Baker McKenzie Wong & Leow. She brings expertise in pre-delivery purchase financing, large portfolio trading and financing, M&A, restructuring and insolvency, as well as alternative investment structures and has led transactions in excess of $2.8bn. 

Kyri Evagora, Reed Smith’s Asia-Pacific managing partner, said: “Hui Ling is another exciting addition for our firm in Asia in an area representing one of our firm’s core strengths, namely transportation and asset finance.”

The Pittsburgh-based firm said it had significantly grown its Asia partner headcount since the start of last year and now has more than 150 lawyers across its four offices in the region in Singapore, Hong Kong, Shanghai and Beijing. Among the new arrivals was Simon Spells, who joined in Singapore in January last year from Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner to lead its aviation team in Asia. 

“Hui Ling is a proven market leader," Spells said. “She has advised on some of the largest deals in the industry during her career to date, and her experience and abilities will prove a huge asset to our clients.” 

Teo added: “Reed Smith’s transportation team is among the very best in the world. The firm has an impressive global platform and a collaborative approach. I am very pleased to be joining and look forward to helping further to grow the aviation practice in Asia.”

Reed Smith posted revenue growth of 9.6% to hit $1.44bn in 2021 against profit per equity partner (PEP) growth of 13.4% to reach $1.74m.

The firm’s latest Singapore hire follows a raft of international firms opening doors in the city state amid its rise as a global economic and legal centre. 

At the end of last month Charles Russell Speechlys confirmed its intention to launch there next year and the week before top 10 Spanish firm Pérez-Llorca announced it was opening there to make good on its plan to have a physical presence in the global financial capitals of London, New York and Singapore and to have a hub from which to develop across the Asia-Pacific region. 

Earlier last month US law firm Goodwin Procter relocated private investment funds partner Greg Barclay from its other Asian base in Hong Kong to chair its new Singapore office, while Mayer Brown said it was significantly expanding its presence in the city-state through a joint venture with local firm PK Wong & Nair.

Other firms to launch in Singapore since the start of last year include US heavyhitters like McDermott Will & Emery, Greenberg Traurig and Orrick Herrington & Sutcliffe, all of which have opened shops focused on energy & infrastructure, as well as leading Indian firms Cyril Amarchand Mangaldas and Khaitan & Co and London-based arbitration boutique Three Crowns.

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