Firm bans "Dear Sirs"

“Dear Sirs” banned by global law firm… Ashurst loses five Asia-Pac partners… US firm opens first Asia Pacific office… Dentons commits to promote women in arbitration… New global chair for McDermott…

Firm bans "Dear Sirs"
“Dear Sirs” banned by global law firm
Global law firm Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer has banned the use of “Dear Sirs” in its communications and documents.
The magic circle firm has taken the move as a “relatively small” but “significant” move designed to highlight how the language used in legal communications may alienate clients and peers.
A Freshfields’ associate in London discovered that in recent IPO activity the exclusive use of “Dear Sir(s)” was widespread among law firms, banks and corporates.
 
Ashurst loses five Asia-Pac partners
Ashurst has lost a number of partners from its Asia Pacific offices including Singapore managing partner Shaun Lascelles and Hong Kong managing partner Lina Lee.
Lascelles departure follows that of finance partner Nigel Ward to Paul Hastings; while Lee is joined in moving to Allen & Overy by corporate partner Jonathan Hsui.
Singapore corporate partner Keith McGuire has also left the firm to join PwC Legal.
 
US firm opens first Asia Pacific office
American law firm Vedder Price has opened its first office in Asia Pacific as it expands its international capabilities. The firm recently celebrated its 60th anniversary and has five US offices and one in London, UK.
The new Asia Pacific office is in Singapore and has been established by equity partner Ji Woon Kim who has relocated from New York. It will initially focus on the firm’s transportation finance practice.
Solicitor Lev Gantly has also joined the new office, relocating from London, and there are plans to expand with lateral hires.  
 
Dentons commits to promote women in arbitration
A pledge to promote equal opportunities for women in arbitration has been signed by the international arbitration practice at Dentons. The Equal Representation in Arbitration Pledge’s signatories commit to taking action to encourage the appointment of women as arbitrators on an equal opportunity basis.
 
New global chair for McDermott
McDermott Will and Emergy has elected Ira Coleman as its new global chairman replacing co-chairs Jeffrey Stone and Peter Sacripanti following their 8-year tenure.
Coleman is head of corporate and transactional at the international firm, which has an office in Seoul and a strategic alliance in Shanghai.

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