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HFW continues Asia-Pacific expansion with triple Singapore Partner hire, 25 January 2018

24 January 2018

HFW has continued to expand its fast-growing Asia-Pacific business with the addition of three partners to its longstanding Singapore office: Finance partner Siri Wennevik, projects and energy partner Alistair Duffield and corporate partner Ivan Chia.

The hires further strengthen the firm’s presence in the region, following its launch in Indonesia in November 2017 and a series of other senior recruitments. HFW has now added six partners in Singapore over the past 12 months, and has more than 100 lawyers across six Asia-Pacific offices, including 58 partners.

Siri joins HFW from Wikborg Rein, where she was previously Singapore managing partner. Her practice covers a broad range of shipping and offshore finance and commercial transactions for Norwegian, Chinese and international clients, with a particular focus on asset, project and cross-border financings. Her arrival bolsters HFW’s international ship and offshore finance practice in the region, after partner John Forrester relocated to Singapore from the firm’s London office and senior associate Manik Verma joined from Watson Farley & Williams, both in August 2017.

Alistair has more than 25 years’ experience in South East Asia, advising mining, energy and natural resources companies on M&A transactions and the structuring, development and financing of major projects. His practice also covers ports and infrastructure work, and spans the entire Asia-Pacific region, including Singapore, Indonesia, Myanmar and Mongolia. Alistair was formerly a partner at White & Case, and was Berwin Leighton Paisner’s managing partner for South East Asia and co-head of its mining and natural resources group. He left BLP in 2015 to establish a strategic legal risk consultancy and a legal recruitment business. Alistair returns to HFW, where he spent almost eight years as a partner from 2003 and also headed the firm’s mining group.

Ivan joins the firm from Watson Farley & Williams. His practice covers a range of corporate transactional work across the energy and transport sectors. Ivan is expert in renewable energy matters and has advised on approximately 1,000 MWs of onshore wind farm projects in Asia Pacific. He also advises clients on marine-related corporate work, including local joint ventures for liquid natural gas and floating regasification projects. Ivan is dual-qualified in Singapore and England and Wales.

Alistair and Ivan will join the firm in February, subject to local approvals.

HFW now has 18 partners based in Singapore. The firm’s Global Senior Partner Richard Crump is also based in Singapore full-time, having relocated from London in 2014.

HFW first established an office in Singapore in 1990 and in 2015 entered into a formal law alliance with AsiaLegal LLC.

The latest additions follow the relocation of London admiralty and crisis management partner Toby Stephens to Singapore in August 2017, and the recruitment of aerospace partner Ling Lui from Hogan Lovells in September 2017.

The hires come amid a period of sustained international expansion for the firm. HFW entered into formal associations with Chinese firm Wintell & Co in 2016 and with Jakarta-based Rahayu & Partners in November 2017, and completed a fully-integrated transatlantic merger with Houston-based Legge Farrow in January 2017. The firm enhanced its Australian construction capability in November 2017 with the hire of partner Alex McKellar and associate Jarrod Gutsa from Macpherson Kelley Lawyers.

HFW Global Senior Partner Richard Crump said:
“These hires reflect another significant step in the continued development of the firm’s practice in Singapore and Asia Pacific, which is a strategic priority for the firm.
“Siri gives us even greater critical mass in ship finance across the region, where clients will benefit from our global regulatory and litigation expertise, while Ivan will help grow our renewables offering. We’re also extremely pleased to welcome Alistair back to the firm. He is vastly experienced and will be a real boost for the office.
“We will continue to target further international growth opportunities as part of being the world leader in the aerospace, commodities, construction, energy, insurance and shipping sectors.”

HFW Singapore Managing Partner Mert Hifzi said:
“It’s a really exciting time for HFW in Singapore. The office has almost doubled in size over the last five years, and Siri, Ivan and Alistair add considerable strength to our existing transactional capability, where we’re seeing substantial growth in client demand across Asia-Pacific. We launched a finance practice in Singapore 18 months ago, and now have a team of four partners and a consultant. Things are looking very positive.”


HFW is a leading global law firm in the aerospace, commodities, construction, energy, insurance and shipping sectors. The firm has almost 600 fee-earners, including 180 partners, based in 18 offices across the Americas, Europe, the Middle East, Asia and Australia. HFW prides itself on its deep industry expertise and its entrepreneurial, creative and collaborative culture.


HFW’s Singapore office operates throughout Asia Pacific and has particular expertise in Indonesia matters. The team handles a broad range of contentious and transactional matters, including admiralty and crisis management, aviation, commodities, corporate finance and capital markets, energy and natural resources, insurance, international arbitration, shipping and shipbuilding, and trade.