Walkers has transferred senior funds attorney Laura Rogers from its Hong Kong office to build its team in Singapore.
Ms. Rogers has worked on a range of corporate transactions in Hong Kong and Singapore in her more than seven years as an attorney in Asia.
She specialises in hedge funds, private equity funds, and providing general corporate advice.
Before joining Walkers in Hong Kong – which employs about 20 lawyers, she worked at Allen and Overy in London in 1999, moving with the firm to Hong Kong in 2001.
‘Laura brings valuable expertise in all aspects of funds work, as well as specific experience working in Southeast Asia,’ said Ashley Gunning, joint managing partner of Walkers’ Singapore office and head of the investment funds group..
‘Despite, or even because of, the current economic climate, we are still seeing a number of new fund launches in Singapore, both from existing and new players in the market,’ he said. ‘It is now more important than ever that funds are structured from the start with contingencies for stressed market conditions. Walkers’ clients receive the benefit of the expertise our team has accumulated working with clients around the world in these more turbulent times.’
‘With the investment funds industry at such a critical stage, it is a particularly exciting time to join the new office in Singapore,’ Ms. Rogers said.
‘I am very much looking forward to getting down to business and helping our clients navigate…difficult conditions. With the right approach and the modern innovative techniques we have at our disposal to manage illiquidity, I am confident that we can deal with any situation arising as a result of these uncertain markets.”
‘Liquidity issues and extreme levels of redemption requests for funds are… less severe in Asia than the US and Europe have encountered,’ said Mr. Gunning, ‘However, we anticipate these problems may arrive in Asia in due course if markets continue to deteriorate. It is quite possible that the impact in Asia will be less severe than it has been elsewhere because Asian funds tend to be less leveraged and generally have less complex investment strategies than funds in, for instance, the US. However, in anticipation of challenging times we wanted to be sure we had the right team in place.’
Walkers anticipates that investment funds clients in Asia may soon face the same types of issues of illiquidity, restructuring, and potential liquidation of funds the firm has seen with its clients in Western markets and is adding staff to ensure clients in Singapore are well served.
Walkers said it anticipated an increase in offshore legal work in Singapore, particularly distressed hedge funds, debt restructuring and public-to-private deals.
Walkers’ Singapore office, offering both British Virgin Islands and Cayman Islands legal services opened last month.