Baker Mckenzie Hires Seasoned Private Equity Partner Derek Poon In Hong Kong As The Firm Expects Increased PE Deals Across Greater China, Southeast Asia, Japan And South Korea.

Legal News & Analysis - Asia Pacific - Hong Kong - Private Equity

1 June, 2020


Baker McKenzie has hired seasoned private equity partner Derek Poon from Kirkland & Ellis in Hong Kong, as part of the Firm's continuous efforts to bolster its bench strength in Hong Kong and its transactional capabilities in Asia Pacific.


Derek brings with him significant experience in advising private equity firms, investment banks and major corporations on a wide variety of corporate matters, including public and private M&A, private equity, joint ventures, real estate private equity and distressed M&A transactions. He has worked on several significant transactions in Hong Kong, Mainland China, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, India, Australia, ASEAN countries as well as on outbound deals into Europe and North America. He is admitted to practice in England & Wales, Hong Kong and New York and qualified as a solicitor in New South Wales, Australia (non-practicing). 


"The Covid-19 pandemic has crippled many companies' operations resulting in a heightened demand for liquidity. With the record levels of dry powder globally that are waiting to be deployed, we can expect to see a resurgence of investment activities, particularly involving private equity sponsors, real estate and credit funds, with the epicentre of that activity likely to be across Greater China, Southeast Asia, Japan and South Korea," David Allen, Chair of Baker McKenzie's Global Private Equity Practice, said. "Derek's experience and knowledge of the industry and the Asian market not only complements our global practice well, but also provides us with an opportunity to further strengthen our financial sponsor service offerings and meet our clients' growing needs as they seek investment opportunities across Asia Pacific. We are thrilled that Derek is joining us."


Steven Sieker, Managing Partner of the Firm's Hong Kong office, added, "Derek's appointment further demonstrates our Firm's commitment to growing our transactional capabilities in key financial centres globally, including Hong Kong. Derek's track record combined with his strong relationships with many of the key private equity houses and financial institutions makes him an exciting addition to our team in Hong Kong. His joining will no doubt help us deepen our relationships with existing and new clients."


On his appointment, Derek Poon said, "I am excited to be joining Baker McKenzie. The Firm's bench strength across practice areas in the Asia Pacific region and its ambition and commitment to become a formidable player in the mid-to-large cap private equity and transactional M&A space is particularly attractive to me. I am thrilled to work with my colleagues in Hong Kong, Singapore and across the global platform to further develop and grow our Private Equity Practice. Likewise, I look forward to assisting clients with their investments across Asia and Australia/New Zealand."


Derek's appointment follows a series of strategic hires across the region, which includes leveraged finance Partner Kenneth Ching and media and entertainment lawyer Lex Kuo in Hong Kong, M&A Partner Addy Herg in Kuala Lumpur and Corporate Partner Lance Sacks in Sydney. These appointments are a testament to the Firm's commitment in bolstering its bench strength and transactional capabilities in Asia Pacific so that it continues to deliver top-tier legal services to clients.


Additional key hires were also made across Baker McKenzie's other key money centres in the last 12 months, including: M&A lawyers Leif KingLisa Fontenot, Derik Liu and Lawrence Lee in Silicon Valley; leveraged finance and private equity lawyer Andrew Sagor and Wall Street M&A lawyer Mark Mandel in New York; capital markets lawyers Rob Mathews and David Becker and M&A/ Private Equity lawyers Adam Eastell and Justin Hutchinson in London, in keeping with the Firm’s strategy to grow its transactional practice in key global money and business centers.