Watson Farley & Williams has hired a second energy partner in Singapore from U.S. law firm McDermott, Will & Emery in the form of Clarinda Tjia-Dharmadi.

Her hire comes barely weeks after Merrick White made the move. Their departures mean McDermott now has only one Singapore partner listed on its website - U.S. securities expert Siddhartha Sivaramakrishnan – who appears to be splitting his time between Singapore and London.

Tjia-Dharmadi, who served as McDermott’s Asia transactions head, had joined the firm from Latham & Watkins, where she spent 22 years and once held the role of global co-chair of Latham's Power Industry Group. She specialises in project development and finance and advises developers, sponsors, commercial lenders, multilateral agencies, export credit agencies and governments on Asian power, oil and gas, petrochemicals, infrastructure, and mining projects. Tjia-Dharmadi has particular expertise in the Indonesian power and renewables space.

At WFW, Tjia-Dharmadi will be part of the seven-partner Global Energy Sector Steering Group and be directly responsible for leading on the strategic expansion of the firm’s existing energy practice across the wider Asia-Pacific region.

Speaking of White and Tjia-Dharmadi’s hires, Henry Stewart, co-head of WFW’s Global Energy Sector practice said in a statement: “I am thrilled to welcome Merrick and Clarinda to WFW. Their experience and expertise across the energy sector is second to none and will transform our offering in Asia and be instrumental in helping our clients achieve their objectives in this thriving region.”

McDermott had relaunched its physical Asia presence in 2021 with an office in Singapore after hiring Ignatius Hwang from Squire Patton Boggs, and White. Shortly thereafter, it added more lawyers from Squire Patton Boggs, led by transaction specialist Alfred Chia, Sivaramakrishnan from Herbert Smith Freehills, and Tjia-Dharmadi from Latham.

That was followed in 2022 by the addition of a four-lawyer investigations and compliance team from Sidley Austin led by partners Yuet Ming Tham, the former head of Asia-Pacific and Singapore managing partner at Sidley, and Shu Min Ho. Tham joined McDermott as APAC head.

However, within a few months, Tham and Ho returned to Sidley. Then, last year, Hwang left the firm to establish his own practice, Magellan Law, and Chia exited as well.



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Watson Farley & Williams has hired a second energy partner in Singapore from U.S. law firm McDermott, Will & Emery in the form of Clarinda Tjia-Dharmadi.