Growth of employment practice in Asia

17 Aug 2017

International law firm Simmons & Simmons has today announced the appointment of Matthew Durham, as a partner* in the firm’s award-winning China employment practice, based in Shanghai.

Matthew trained with Simmons & Simmons and qualified as a solicitor with the firm in 1998. He previously worked in the firm’s Shanghai office for many years, becoming a consultant in 2009. He now rejoins from Winston & Strawn where he was a partner based in its Shanghai and Beijing offices. Matthew has lived and worked in Shanghai since 1999 and has extensive experience advising international clients on labour, employment and corporate law issues in China.

Clients he advises sit across a diverse range of sectors, including pharmaceuticals, retails and insurance, and he assists on all issues surrounding labour, including employment questions, separations, union matters, stock options and incentive schemes.

Matthew’s rejoining is part of an expansion which Fiona Loughrey, head of employment in Asia, expects to result in a total of at least five new lawyers joining the Asia employment team in the period of August to December 2017. This growth will continue to strengthen the market leading international employment practice of the firm. The Asia based employment lawyers work as an integrated unit, supporting an international client base across the region.

Julian Taylor, the firm’s international head of employment, commented: “Matthew’s extensive experience in labour issues, especially in mainland China, will undoubtedly help us to continuous to expand Simmons & Simmons’ employment practice in Asia Pacific. His long track record of advising firms and corporations on complex issues will add significant capability to address the employment and labour needs of our clients in the region.”

Fiona Loughrey, head of employment in Asia, added: “Matthew’s rejoining is an extremely welcome development; he will be a valuable addition to our employment team. His experience across such a broad range of sectors, including pharmaceutical and medical devices, demonstrates our commitment to our sector focus as a firm.”

On his move, Matthew said: “Having worked as a consultant at Simmons & Simmons previously, the opportunity to rejoin such an international firm is particularly attractive to me. I have closely observed the practice’s growth and expansion since its establishment by Fiona in 1999 and becoming part of such a strong employment team in the Asia Pacific region provides a very exciting opportunity.”

Simmons & Simmons has been established in mainland China for over 30 years and maintains an enviable client base across its Asia offices. Its award-winning employment team is the largest of its type among international firms in Hong Kong and China. Clients include international investment banks, other financial institutions, government agencies and multinationals. The firm is well known for its experience in the most complex and strategic employment matters, with high-quality, award-winning lawyers, led by undisputed market-leaders.

The firm recently expanded its Greater China corporate and commercial practice with partner Michael Chin joining from Hogan Lovells in July 2017 and Jingyuan Shi being promoted into the partnership as of 1 May 2017.

*Subject to standard regulatory approvals.

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