08:44, January 08 552 0

2018-01-08 08:44:16
BLP boosts Asia presence with Mayer Brown partner hire

Berwin Leighton Paisner (BLP) has continued to strengthen its AsiaPac presence with the hire of Mayer Brown real estate partner Mark Stevens.

Stevens will join the firm’s Hong Kong office after spending nearly 15 years as a partner at Mayer Brown JSM.

This is BLP’s second partner hire from Mayer Brown JSM in six months, after Andrew MacGeogh arrived in the summer to be the firm’s head of Asia real estate and infrastructure as well as global head of its hotels group.

Stevens said: “Clients are looking for advice on increasingly complex and global private equity and M&A transactions. I’m looking forward to joining a firm that has a strong commitment to providing clients with a premium global real estate.”

BLP also brought dispute resolution partner Gavin Margetson in from Herbert Smith Freehills to join its Singapore office.

MacGeoch said: “Offering market leading real estate, private equity and M&A advice to existing and prospective clients is a key part of our real estate strategy in Asia. Mark is a seasoned lawyer with a reputation for first class client service, and we are delighted to have him on board.”

Data gathered for The Lawyer Asia Pacific Top 100 report shows that Stevens is joining the 37th-largest international firm in the region by partner size. At the time of publication, BLP had 15 partners in AsiaPac compared to Mayer Brown’s 79. This made Mayer Brown the region’s tenth-largest international firm.

BLP is understood to be in late stage conversations with US firm Bryan Cave over a merger which would create a near billion-dollar law firm. Despite having offices in Hong Kong and Shanghai, Bryan Cave did not appear in the top 50 largest international firms in AsiaPac by partner number.

The firm has five partners between the two offices with two of those partners, Evan Yee-Fan Chuck and Nicole Simonian, splitting their time between Shanghai and Los Angeles.

The merger is expected to go through which would create a combined AsiaPac presence of more than 20 partners from the two legacy firms.