Bird & Bird is pleased to announce that Justin Walkey has relocated from London to Hong Kong to Chair its China operations. Justin has made the move in order to focus on the future development of the firm’s rapidly expanding China practice, which has grown its headcount by more than 25% in the past six months.
Justin has been with Bird & Bird for over 20 years and is a long-standing member of its Global Board. He is also founder of its world renowned Sports Sector Group and has wide-ranging experience of the corporate, commercial and regulatory aspects of the media, sports and entertainment industries. Justin’s extensive experience in the sports sector is ideal as many of Bird & Bird’s international sports and media clients have a strong presence in Asia.
Justin Walkey said: “In addition to focusing on growing our presence in China, I will also work closely with Alban Kang, Managing Partner of ATMD Bird & Bird in Singapore, to spearhead Bird & Bird’s growth plans for the Asia Pacific region. We will be looking to build our presence in jurisdictions where the firm has derived significant work for clients, but does not yet have offices. We will also continue to strengthen and build on our relationships with local law firms across the region.”
David Kerr, CEO, Bird & Bird said: “The firm’s investment in the Asia Pacific region is an integral part of our international strategy and continued commitment to our clients. I have worked with Justin for a long time and am very confident that he will further expand and build on the excellent platform that we have in the region. Our ultimate goal is to ensure our service continues to evolve and remains innovative and cutting edge to meet the ever changing needs of our clients in the region and worldwide.”
Matthew Laight, who is well-known for establishing Bird & Bird’s first class intellectual property practice in the region, recently stepped down from the role of Managing Partner for Hong Kong and China, after a 12 year spell in the role. Matthew continues to be a member of the Global Board of the firm.
Bird & Bird has ambitious growth plans for the Asia Pacific region and since January 2012 has made nine senior lateral hires and internal appointments across its offices in Hong Kong, Shanghai and Singapore. In addition to Justin’s relocation, the firm has appointed John Chiu as Chief Operating Officer for China and welcomed Xia Chao, John Koh, Richard Keady, Pádraig Walsh, David Renton, Lorraine Tay, Catherine Mun and Marcus Chow to its partnership.