Hogan Lovells, the UK-based global law firm, is launching a new Australian operation in July this year. It has hired Nicky Lester as head of the banking and finance practice and Tim Lester as head of a corporate finance practice that, according to the firm, will have a “particularly strong” focus on energy, natural resources and infrastructure.
Both new hires were previously at Allens, a law firm with offices in Australia and Asia. Nicky Lester was leader of that firm’s banking and finance practice while Tim Lester was a partner in the corporate finance practice and was also sector head in Japan. The latter was also formerly at Hogan Lovells, where he was a managing partner in the firm’s Tokyo office.
In a statement, Hogan Lovells said the hires will deepen and strengthen the firm’s connections with Asia and would “lead to market opportunities from Australian entities extending their operations into emerging markets such as Africa”. It would also “allow the firm to leverage opportunities from cross-border trade flows to and from Australia from South East Asia, Japan and China”.
The firm also said its Australian offices – to be located in Sydney and Perth – would build on its strength in highly regulated and complex industries and pointed to its “deep roots” in Washington DC with regulators and government bodies.
“Growing our Asia practice is a central part of Hogan Lovells’ core strategy,” said Patrick Sherrington, regional managing partner for Asia & the Middle East at Hogan Lovells, in the statement. “Our high quality banking and finance team and our commitment to key growth sectors, such as infrastructure, energy and natural resources is central to that.”