Global firm Herbert Smith Freehills hires Rupert Baker back as a partner in Singapore

Baker brings specialist Asia project finance expertise to the firm

Global firm Herbert Smith Freehills hires Rupert Baker back as a partner in Singapore

International law firm Herbert Smith Freehills has hired Rupert Baker as partner, adding specialist Asia project finance expertise as part of its broader expansion of that practice within the region.

A firm alumnus, Rupert is returning to Herbert Smith Freehills after a two year hiatus with SoftBank Group Corp. where he worked as senior counsel and head of legal, project finance & energy.

In his new role, Baker advises sponsors, investors and financiers on all aspects of project financing in Asia Pacific. This includes financing greenfield projects and brownfield asset refinancing as well as financing related aspects of secondary market acquisitions. 

"Building our project finance capability is crucial as our clients rapidly embrace renewable power and new infrastructure opportunities in Asia, accelerated by climate change and the pandemic," said Adrian Cheng, regional head of the firm's Asia finance practice.  "Rupert's project finance and cross-border experience will perfectly complement the firm's existing strengths in renewable energy and infrastructure."

Asia managing partner, May Tai added: "Rupert's hire is another important step in our ongoing expansion in Asia, and particularly Southeast Asia, adding further expertise in project finance, projects and infrastructure to meet client demand.

"His strong commercial background and recent industry experience help Rupert understand our clients' needs in multiple regions and sectors, including investment along the main Asian and Australian corridors. We are glad to have him back on the team."

The expansion of the project finance team within Asia is a priority for Herbert Smith Freehills, with additional hires to support that growth expected in the first half of this year.

Baker previously worked with Herbert Smith Freehills from 2010 to 2019, first as a solicitor and then as a senior associate, working in the firm's Perth, Sydney and Tokyo offices, including on secondments with both SoftBank Group Corp. and Fotowatio Renewable Ventures.

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