DLA Piper Boosts Asia Employment Expertise with Appointment of Leading Practitioner Pattie Walsh as Regional Head

Asia (LAWFUEL) – DLA Piper today announced that Pattie Walsh will join the firm in early August as partner and head of its Asia employment practice along with Alison Smith, a senior associate. Their impending arrival will bring additional expertise in multi-jurisdictional employment work and significant boost to DLA Piper’s well-established, expanding corporate practice in Asia.

Pattie and Alison will be joining a team of over 250 lawyers in DLA Piper’s global employment practice which has extensive experience in handling complex, sensitive employment-related matters, including multi-jurisdictional collective and class actions. The team is one of the largest in the world and focuses on supporting the strategic aims of clients in the management and re-organisation of their people resources.

Pattie is a well-respected lawyer, having advised a diverse range of clients including multinationals across Asia and particularly Hong Kong and China. She brings insights on legal and compliance issues related to companies’ employment activities in the region, spanning all aspects of employer protection (confidential information, intellectual property rights, managing serious misconduct and enforcing post-employment rights) as well as employers’ privacy obligations and rights, and managing legal risks and compliance issues. She provides in-depth knowledge of new legislation in the region to employers.

Pattie will lead DLA Piper’s Asia employment practice, focusing on multi-jurisdictional employment work as well as staffing issues arising from mergers and acquisitions, other re-organisations, and out-sourcing situations across Asia. She is also highly experienced in contentious work related to claims in the Hong Kong Labour Tribunal and High Court.

Alison, who joins Pattie to reinforce DLA Piper’s regional employment practice, also brings specialist knowledge on non-contentious and contentious employment law matters including multi-jurisdictional employment law issues. She has experience advising clients of all sizes, from large to small corporations, as well as individuals. Alison is also adept at handling High Court claims and general disputes matters.

“Pattie has an impressive track record of employment expertise, good market relationships and multi-jurisdictional experience which will be an excellent fit for DLA Piper and its clients. I am confident that, as a team, Pattie and Alison will further drive the growth of our employment capabilities. They are invaluable assets for our multinational clients across the region as well as Asian companies and will play a significant role in our Greater China practice,” said Mabel Lui, Greater China Head of Corporate of DLA Piper.

“Pattie’s joining is an example of how we are strategically building our practice to add quality and significant strength to our existing global capabilities in Asia. We are delighted that Pattie and her team will be joining us to give us a leading employment practice in Asia,” said Alastair Da Costa, Asia Managing Director of DLA Piper.

“DLA Piper specifically sought out Pattie because of her reputation and experience. With Pattie and her team on board, we can further enhance our overall standing as a leading legal services provider in Asia, seamlessly connecting with a global team of over 250 employment lawyers around the world,” added David Bradley, Global Head of Employment of DLA Piper.

“It is a testimony of DLA Piper’s vision, focus and teamwork that the firm has been able to build such an admirable corporate team in Asia in a relatively short space of time,” said Pattie. “What also draws me to DLA Piper is its international footprint and proven global capabilities to offer counsel on high profile cross-border matters. These provide dynamic opportunities to broaden my practice, contribute my experience as well as learn from an exceptional team. I really look forward to being part of the firm’s ambitious growth plans in Asia.”

Pattie and Alison have worked extensively with major telecommunications companies, luxury goods companies and global investment banks. They join DLA Piper from Minter Ellison where Pattie was head of employment, Greater China, and Alison was a senior associate.

Pattie is a solicitor in Hong Kong and England and a barrister of England & Wales. She earned her LLB Southampton University, UK and LLM from Leicester University, UK. She is a leading lawyer in Asia Pacific Legal 500 and Chambers Asia and a frequent speaker at conferences, commentator with media and has written and published numerous articles. Pattie is the author of Hong Kong Employment Law – A Practical Guide published by CCH which was recently re-released following the success of the first edition published in 2007. Alison Smith was co-author of this book.

Alison is a solicitor in Hong Kong and England & Wales. She earned her LLB (First class Hons) from the University of Kent, UK. She has been invited to present at numerous seminars and actively writes for a range of publications.

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