U.S. law firm Goodwin Procter has made its first Hong Kong partner hire in 2023 with the addition of debt finance attorney Stephen Howard from White & Case, where he was a local partner.

Howard advises clients on capital structures focusing on leveraged finance, direct lending, equity margin financing and bank/bond transactions across Asia, Goodwin said in a statement.

Howard, who joined White & Case in 2016, boasts a client list that includes the Bank of China, Deutsche Bank, Australia and New Zealand Banking Group and China CITIC Bank International.

He becomes Goodwin’s second partner hire in Asia this year, following the addition of private investment funds specialist Matthew Nortcliff as a partner in Singapore from CMS.

The departure of Howard from White & Case comes during a year that has seen the firm lose a string of partners across Asia. Jon Bowden, Tabitha Saw, and local partner Peiwen Chen left White & Case in Singapore to join Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, Morrison Foerster, and Herbert Smith Freehills, respectively. Keisuke Imon joined Watson Farley & Williams to open its Tokyo office, while Seoul local partner Sarah Park, a project finance specialist, joined K&L Gates in Singapore.

In Hong Kong, Greater China disputes leader Melody Chan left for Allen & Overy, but that office has also welcomed two partners this year, restructuring pro Sophie Lyall and disputes attorney Wilfred Ho.

Goodwin now has 11 partners in Hong Kong, while White & Case has 15.



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