SAN FRANCISCO–LAWFUEL – Law Firm Newswire – Heller Ehrman LLP, a law firm with 650 attorneys and 14 offices internationally, announced that Nick Seddon, who led the expansion of DLA Piper’s practice in Asia, is planning to join Heller Ehrman in early Summer as the firm’s Regional Managing Shareholder. The move positions Heller Ehrman for continued expansion in Asia, where the law firm has seen steady growth since opening its Hong Kong office in 1993.
Until recently, Seddon was DLA Piper’s Managing Director for Asia, a role he assumed in 2004. Under his leadership, DLA Piper’s practice in the region expanded 300% and grew from four to six offices.
“Based on his past success in Asia and Europe, we are confident that Nick will rapidly expand our Asia practice consistent with maintaining the highest quality,” said Heller Ehrman’s Chairman, Matthew Larrabee. “Our confidence is based on Asia’s explosive growth and what we are seeing as opportunities, not only in the areas of international dispute resolution and corporate, venture financing and real estate transactions, but also in the intellectual property area.”
As Regional Managing Shareholder, Seddon will follow Jonathan Palmer, who is completing a successful three-year term in Asia and will be returning to the U.S. later this year.
“Heller Ehrman has become a formidable competitor in Asia during Jon’s tenure,” said Larry Keeshan, a shareholder and Heller Ehrman Executive Committee member responsible for international practice matters. “The practice in Asia is now integrated with our other offices more than ever before. We’re handling more cross-border matters for clients between Asia and the U.S.”
Heller Ehrman has more than 30 attorneys in Asia. In 2007, more than 100 U.S.-based clients purchased legal services from Heller Ehrman’s Asia practitioners. Conversely, lawyers in the firm’s nine U.S. offices have represented more than 50 Asia-based clients. After successfully opening its Hong Kong office in 1993, Heller Ehrman established offices in Singapore in 1994 and Beijing in 2004.
In January 2008, Heller Ehrman opened an office in Shanghai, strengthening the firm’s presence in the region and extending one of its key core practices – intellectual property – further into Asia. In addition to its existing capabilities in advising foreign multinationals facing IP protection issues in China, Heller Ehrman has expertise with U.S.-based IP disputes, including International Trade Commission (ITC) proceedings, which increasingly involve China-based companies.
Heller Ehrman also has a highly regarded dispute resolution practice in the region. The firm has represented important regional clients in high-stakes international disputes, such as U.S.-listed, on-line gaming company, Shanda Interactive Entertainment; vitamin C giant, Jiangsu Jiangshan Pharmaceutical Co.; and the global telecommunications company, Huawei. The firm also has a growing transactional practice in Asia. In recent months, Heller Ehrman has represented clients in several important deals, including Fairmont Hotels and Resorts in connection with the operation of the Shanghai Peace Hotel.
Seddon qualified as a solicitor in the U.K. in 1984 at Needham & James, where he became a partner at age 27 and head of the Corporate Group in 1990. In 1993, Needham & James merged with what was then DLA. Seddon’s corporate practice focused on entrepreneurial growth businesses, including technology companies. He also represented many of the U.K.’s top private equity firms on deals ranging from development capital investments in wholesalers to buyouts of cutting-edge software developers.
In 1995, Seddon was appointed Managing Partner of DLA’s Birmingham office and, over the course of four years, the practice in that office doubled in size. In 1999, Seddon became Chief Executive Officer of Europe’s largest independent computer games developer. In 2003, Seddon returned as Managing Partner of DLA’s Edinburgh office, which encountered significant growth during his tenure. Seddon became Managing Director of Asia for DLA Piper in 2004.
About Heller Ehrman LLP
Heller Ehrman LLP has 650 attorneys and professionals in 14 offices worldwide – Anchorage, Alaska; Beijing; Hong Kong; London; Los Angeles; Madison, Wis.; New York; San Diego; San Francisco; Seattle; Silicon Valley; Shanghai; Singapore; and Washington, D.C. Heller Ehrman represents a wide range of industry leaders, from entrepreneurial, technology-driven enterprises to established, multinational conglomerates. The firm’s core values are Excellence, People, Teamwork, Innovation, Community and One Firm. For more information, visit www.hellerehrman.com.