UK: Lovells Expands Corporate Practice In Hong Kong, With Lateral Hire Of Corporate Specialist William Hay
Last Updated: 16 August 2001

William Hay, formerly General Counsel for GE Capital Asia Pacific and then of listed ICG Asia Limited, is joining Lovells as a partner based in the firm's Hong Kong office. William's arrival marks the continuing expansion of the firm's corporate practice in Hong Kong and in Asia.

William was the first general counsel for GE Capital in the Asia Pacific region. During his five years at GE, he directed many of GE's significant transactions throughout the region and expanded the legal department to include over 30 lawyers based in Australia, China, Hong Kong, Thailand and the Philippines. At ICG Asia (the Hong Kong-listed subsidiary of Internet Capital Group, Inc., a leading US internet business incubator, and Hutchison Whampoa Limited). William managed all legal and regulatory affairs and supervised US$70 million in investments in business-to-business internet companies in Hong Kong, Singapore, China and Australia. Before moving to Hong Kong, William spent 13 years in private practice on Wall Street, specialising in acquisitions and finance transactions. He is qualified in New York and Hong Kong.

Lovells has a long-standing commitment to its corporate practice in Asia. Its significance continues to grow in the light of regional economic developments including China's forthcoming membership of the World Trade Organisation. William's transactional experience in the region will be a key factor in the firm's development of its corporate and finance practice from Hong Kong, and in reinforcing Lovells' position as a formidable force in the local and regional legal marketplace. William's expertise in distressed debt auctions in Thailand and Korea will also be invaluable in tapping into opportunities arising in response to structural reforms and further changes to the legislative and regulatory framework on distressed debt in China, Indonesia and other Asian nations.

Commenting on William Hay's election, Allan Leung, managing partner Hong Kong, said:

"William brings an insider's extensive working knowledge of corporate transactions throughout the region and strong relationships with financial intermediates. He has particular expertise in venture capital, investment funds and acquisitions and has managed investments and divestitures of financial service companies and asset portfolios in Australia, China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Korea, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Taiwan and Thailand. He also has leading experience in the technology sector. His extensive first-hand experience in some of the key corporate and finance law work areas in Asia and on Wall Street will complement and sustain Lovells' push to be the major provider of legal services to its strong corporate and finance clientele throughout the Asia region."

William Hay added:

"It is exciting to go back into private practice, particularly with the prospect of doing more big-ticket transactional work Asia-wide - principally in the areas of venture capital, private equity, acquisitions, distressed debt, workouts and investment funds - in my new role.

What drew me to Lovells was its international full-service practice and the depth of its resources in and commitment to Asia. With five offices in the major financial cities in Asia, Lovells provided the best opportunity to use my experience as part of its fast-growing practice in the region."

Notes for Editors

  • William Hay (49) is admitted in New York and Hong Kong. He received his J.D. magna cum laude from Harvard Law School in 1982. Prior to this, he was a Visiting Scholar at the National Taiwan University and completed his A.M. in Chinese History at Harvard University.

He worked with major US law firms in New York before moving to Hong Kong to join O'Melveny & Myers as senior counsel in 1994. He joined GE Capital Asia Pacific in 1995 in Hong Kong as General Counsel for the region and then moved to join ICG Asia Limited as General Counsel in 2000. William is fluent in spoken and written Chinese.

  • Private equity and venture capital work is also a growth area for Lovells in Asia. William's knowledge in structuring and implementing private equity and venture capital investments throughout the Asia region will complement the existing depth and breadth of the firm's practice. In particular, his experience in organising four private funds with $300 million under management, and closing numerous venture capital investments in all significant countries in Asia, will strengthen the regional know-how and capabilities within Lovells' Asian offices.
  • Lovells has been in Hong Kong for nearly 20 years, and provides dedicated legal services in the following broad practice areas: banking and finance; business restructuring and insolvency; commercial and regulatory, corporate finance; China; construction; e-commerce, IT and telecommunications; intellectual property; litigation; mergers & acquisitions; private equity; property; project finance; structured finance and securitisation. Lovells is the sole Hong Kong member of the Pacific Rim Advisory Council (PRAC), a unique strategic alliance within the global legal community consisting of 30 major independent law firms, each with substantial presence and expertise in the pan-Asian region.

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