Reed Smith has appointed Hong Kong-based global corporate practice co-chair Denise Jong as Asia-Pacific managing partner, effective Jan. 1, 2018.

Jong trained with Reed Smith in London as a trainee and was promoted to partnership in 1998. Throughout her career, she has advised on corporate transactions and investments in Greater China and Southeast Asia, such as Dalian Wanda Group’s $4.5 billion privatisation of Dalian Wanda Commercial Properties last year. She will continue to service clients alongside her new management role.

Jong succeeds Roger Parker, who is stepping down after 18 months in the role to become a senior counsel at the firm. Before his role as Asia-Pacific managing partner, Parker was the managing partner for Europe, Middle East and Asia from 2007 to 2016, during which he guided the firm through a period of expansion, including the merger of Reed Smith and Richards Butler in 2007; office openings in Shanghai, Singapore and Astana in 2012, and Frankfurt in 2015; and more recently, Reed Smith’s alliance with Singaporean firm Resource Law last year.

“We are indebted to Roger for his leadership of the firm’s European and Asian practices over the last decade,” said global managing partner Sandy Thomas. “Roger is highly regarded by our people, our clients and the market, and we look forward to continuing to benefit from his experience as he takes on a new role as senior counsel to the firm.”

Denise Jong adds, “Reed Smith’s practice in Asia has grown considerably over the past decade thanks to Roger’s leadership and the commitment of our partners throughout the region to our shared vision. I look forward to continuing to grow the practice in line with the firm’s business needs and using my experience of working in the region to ensure Reed Smith is able to best serve its clients.”

Jong is the second partner to hold the Asia-Pacific managing partner position, which was newly created in August 2016 alongside the managing partner positions for Americas and Europe and Middle East, in a move to provide greater focus on geographic responsibilities.

Reed Smith is No. 18 in the ALB Top 50 largest law firms 2017 with 135 lawyers in Asia, including 44 partners.