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Gibson Dunn opens office in Singapore

Firm's first office in the region will serve India, and Southeast Asia.

Global law firm Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher has announced the opening of its office in Singapore, the firm's first office in Asia. The firm will launch the new office with Jai Pathak and three partners from Jones Day's Singapore office, Emad Khalil, John Viverito and Saptak Santra.

Pathak joined the firm earlier this year and focuses on crossborder transactions with an emphasis on India and other parts of South and Southeast Asia. Pathak will serve as the partner in charge of the Singapore office and lead the firm's efforts in the Asia Pacific region.

The new office, which will have US, English and Indian law capabilities, will focus initially on cross-border M&A, energy & infrastructure finance-including project finance, real estate, private equity, capital markets transactions, finance and restructurings. ?From Singapore, we will be positioned to assist our clients in all of South and Southeast Asia, including India,? said Ken Doran, managing partner of Gibson Dunn, in a statement.

Khalil was formerly the co-head of Jones Day's Global Projects Practice. Khalil's practice encompasses a wide range of corporate transactions, including mergers and acquisitions, private equity, capital markets, banking and finance.

Viverito's practice focuses on infrastructure projects with an emphasis on energy, structured and project finance and cross-border M&A. He practiced with Jones Day in Singapore and Baker & McKenzie in Thailand. He also has extensive experience with real estate transactions, including acquisitions and dispositions, financings, development projects and real estate funds.

Santra practices in the areas of lending and structured finance, project finance, acquisition finance, asset finance and restructurings, with focus on the infrastructure, energy and real estate sectors. Prior to his tenure at Jones Day in Singapore, he practiced with Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer in both London and Singapore.

Gibson Dunn now has a total of 15 offices, including Los Angeles, New York, Palo Alto, London, Munich and Dubai.

Debevoise promotes two in Paris, three in New York
Global law firm Debevoise & Plimpton has announced the promotion of five lawyers, including Felicia Henderson, a private equity lawyer in the Paris office. Henderson was promoted to the title of international counsel. Her practice focuses on advising corporations and private equity funds in cross-border mergers, acquisitions, joint ventures and other strategic transactions. She is also regularly involved in IPOs and other equity offerings, high yield and convertible debt offerings and private placements of securities representing issuers, underwriters/lead managers and institutional and individual selling shareholders. Henderson joined Debevoise in 1997 and practiced in the New York office until her 2001 transfer to the Paris office. The firm also promoted Gaëtan Verhoosel, also currently based in the firm's Paris office, to the title of international counsel as well. Verhoosel is a member of the litigation department and focuses on international commercial and investment treaty arbitration and cross-border litigation. Prior to joining Debevoise in 2002, Verhoosel served as a legal advisor to the World Trade Organization in Geneva, Switzerland. The firm also promoted and Nicola Port of the New York litigation department to international counsel. Finally, Erik Bierbauer and Erich Grosz in the litigation department of New York were promoted to counsel.

King & Spalding opens Abu Dhabi office
King & Spalding has announced the establishment of an office in Abu Dhabi, having received all regulatory approvals needed to open a law office in Abu Dhabi. Angus McFadden, a counsel in the firm's construction and projects practice, will reside in Abu Dhabi. The firm said it plans to add at least one partner and several senior and other lawyers to the Abu Dhabi office in the near future. ?Abu Dhabi represents our third office in the Middle East, our thirteenth worldwide location and the eighth new office we opened since January 2007,? said Robert Hays, chairman of King & Spalding. This latest move follows the expansion of King & Spalding's Middle East practice in April 2007 with the hiring of three senior lawyers in the Middle East ? finance partner Michael Dunphy in its Riyadh office, and, in its Dubai office, mergers and acquisitions counsel Elias Chedid and private equity and funds counsel Jonathan Law. Among the clients for which King & Spalding has handled matters in Abu Dhabi are Mubadala Development Company and Gulf-Cap Group, which the firm represented in its $446m acquisition of drilling service company Dalma Energy in July 2007.

Simpson Thatcher to open office in Brazil
Simpson Thacher & Bartlett has confirmed it will open an office in Sao Paulo, according a recent report from magazine The Lawyer. The new office will be launched by the New York partners Todd Crider and Jaime Mercado and will be staffed by five lawyers based in the office full time. Crider told the magazine: ?Brazil's deal environment and execution have changed dramatically over the last five years. Previously we were able to serve clients in Brazil from New York, but with the deal dynamics driven by mostly locally based investment banking teams, in my view, firms without a local presence are likely to be increasingly disadvantaged.? The new office will focus primarily on private equity, M&A, capital markets and project finance. Crider added that capital market activity had increased dramatically in recent years, prompting investment banks and law firms to focus more heavily on the region.

Covington names new head of European
corp. practice London-based Covington & Burling has announced that Mike Kingston has joined the firm as partner and head of the firm's European corporate practice. Kingston will be based in London. Kingston's career spans over 30 years with Magic Circle firms in mergers and acquisitions and equity capital markets. As well as working in London, Kingston spent seven years developing an international corporate and commercial practice while based in Paris in addition to shorter periods in Hong Kong and Singapore. His experience includes representing listed companies for takeovers, mergers and equity issues and offerings, and private companies for acquisitions and disposals, joint ventures and other business combinations, both pan-European and in Asia. He has worked with corporate clients, investment banks and private equity funds among others. ?As the head of the corporate practice in Europe, Mike joins a strong team of M&A and private equity lawyers in our London office,? said Timothy Hester, chair of the firm's management committee.

Lowenstein Sandler taps Intel vet
for Silicon Valley office New York-based Lowenstein Sandler, has announced the opening of a Silicon Valley office to be led by Kathi Rawnsley, who leaves Intel Capital to lead the office. Rawnsley was most recently Intel Capital's regional counsel for the US and Canada, and throughout 2007, acting general counsel for the firm, where she worked for nine years. During Rawnsley's tenure as acting GC at Intel Capital, the firm invested some $639 million in 166 deals, according to a statement on the appointment from the firm. ?Who better to lead our expansion into Silicon Valley than the highly regarded senior counsel of a legendary Silicon Valley tech company? Kathi's national reputation and leadership ability fit perfectly into Lowenstein Sandler's long term growth strategy and we are honored to have her transition from being our client and friend to becoming a member of our firm,? said Edward Zimmerman, chair of Lowenstein's tech group. The firm also opened a Boston office in November, with Sarah Reed at the helm. Reed had been the general counsel of Charles River Ventures for the eight years prior to joining Lowenstein. Rawnsley is joined in the new Lowenstein office by Brad Arington, who worked with Ms. Rawnsley at Intel Capital for five years and then served as counsel to the Digital Health Group at Intel for the last three years. Lowenstein also recently added Lawrence Spector to Lowenstein's Tech Group, practicing in the firm's New York office. Prior to joining Lowenstein Sandler, Spector was a partner in Fulbright & Jaworski's New York office, which he joined immediately following law school in 1984.