27 June – LAWFUEL – The Law News Network – Linklaters is pleased to …

27 June – LAWFUEL – The Law News Network – Linklaters is pleased to announce the appointment of a further four lawyers to its rapidly expanding structured finance and securitisation practice in Asia. All follow Paul Kruger who joined the Linklaters partnership in early June 2005. Kruger was formerly head of Clifford Chance’s Asian capital markets group.

Mary Matson is considered one of the leading securitisation lawyers in Asia. She joins Linklaters in Hong Kong as Head of Securitisation with over 10 years’ experience in acting for arrangers, originators and trustees in the securitisation of various Asian assets in Hong Kong, Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, Singapore and other parts of Asia.

Paul Chu joins Linklaters in Hong Kong as a managing associate. Chu has been a key member of this close-knit team for over five years with a period at CSFB in Hong Kong as in-house counsel supporting the Derivative Structuring Group and as a banker with the Asian Securitisation Group.

Further new joiners from Clifford Chance include Edith Au Yeung who joins Linklaters in Tokyo as a managing associate. Edith has been at the forefront of the RMBS market in Korea and has been involved in some of the leading securitisation transactions in Asia. In addition, Lora Lam will be joining Matson and Chu in Hong Kong over the coming weeks.

Linklaters’ strengthened structured finance and securitisation practice will enable the firm to better serve its clients across Asia. The practice dovetails neatly with the firm’s market leading capital markets practice and covers China, Hong Kong, Japan, Korea, Singapore, Taiwan and elsewhere in Asia.

Simon Davies, Linklaters managing partner – Asia, said:
“I am delighted that Paul Kruger and the rest of his team have joined us in Asia. The appointments demonstrate the strength and cohesiveness of the team and our commitment to lead the market in securitisation and structured finance.

“We have been steadily increasing our global capability in the securitisation and derivatives/structured finance area under Julian Davies and Michael Voisin in London. We hired Gary Barnett from Shearman & Sterling and Adam Glass from Sidley Austin in New York. Asia needed to catch up. In Japan, recent joiners, Mitsuhiro Yasuda and Akihiro Wani, are market leaders in structured finance. Paul Kruger’s appointment, along with his team, further enhances our client offering in Tokyo, in Hong Kong and across the rest of Asia.”

Paul Kruger stated:
“I am very pleased to bring my colleagues on board at Linklaters. We have worked closely together for many years on some of the most exciting and innovative deals in the market. We are particularly strong as a team and this is well known by our clients. We look forward to serving clients as part of Linklaters – the leading international law firm in Asia.”

For further information, please contact Susan Byrnes on 852 2901 5216 or [email protected] or Sarah Peters on +44 (0)20 7456 2153 or [email protected]

Notes to editors

Linklaters is a law firm which specialises in advising the world’s leading companies, financial institutions and governments on their most challenging transactions and assignments. With offices in major business and financial centres, we deliver an outstanding service to our clients throughout the world.

Linklaters’ international capital markets practice provides an integrated multi-jurisdictional service across the full spectrum of our clients’ needs for legal services. We are a leading law firm for advice on complex and innovative issues at the forefront of the international capital markets.

Linklaters’ structured finance specialists have extensive experience and expertise in securitisation structures throughout Asia, Europe, and the Americas. We advise across the full spectrum of securitisation work, handling all the major asset classes, and have advised on some of the highest profile transactions of recent times.

Linklaters is widely recognised as the market leader in capital markets in Asia, having been multi-awarded ‘Asian Capital Markets Law Firm of the Year’ by IFLR and Asian Legal Business, and ranked in the top tier of firms in this area by all benchmarking surveys. Recent work in Asia includes:
– FORTUNE REIT: This was the first cross-border REIT in Asia by way of an international offering of Units by FORTUNE REIT, which used the funds to acquire five retail shopping malls in Hong Kong.

– Bankers Trust as Trustee: US$350,000,000 residential mortgage backed securitisation of Bank of America originated mortgages.

– American Express Bank Limited, Hong Kong Branch: Hong Kong’s first personal loan securitisation: US$200 million securitisation of personal loan receivables originated by American Express Bank.

– SILAS: joint winner of Best Japanese Securitisation 2003 at the Structured Finance International Awards.

Linklaters has appointed five partners in Tokyo in the last six months; the latest being Hidehiro Utsumi, a lawyer and tax expert specialising in cross-border transactions, who joins from leading Japanese firm Nishimura & Partners. This follows Linklaters’ merger with the practices of Mitsuhiro Yasuda and Akihiro Wani in Japan on 1 April 2005 – the first merger of its kind, following a change in the law to allow multi-national partnerships in Japan. Akihiro Wani is referred to as the “derivatives king” and Mitsuhiro Yasuda is “rated at the top for consumer finance-related securitisations”, according to the current edition of Chambers Global.

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