New Asia Pacific PE head among quartet hire at White & Case

Most in-house teams expect to increase AI spending… Ashurst makes fourth Asia Pacific partner hire of 2019…

New Asia Pacific PE head among quartet hire at White & Case

A team of four private equity partners has jumped ship from Ropes & Gray to White & Case in Hong Kong.

They include leading private equity lawyer Daniel Yeh who becomes head of private equity in Asia Pacific.

"The strong growth trajectory for private equity deal activity in Asia-Pacific is set to continue, and the arrival of our new partners is another milestone in the ongoing expansion of our capabilities in the region," said White & Case partner Chris Kelly, who leads the Firm's mergers & acquisitions practice in Asia-Pacific.

Yeh is joined by partners William Fong, Steven Sha, and Paul Tang.

“The exciting addition of a private equity-focused four-partner team sends a strong message to the market that we're determined to grow our role advising leading private equity clients on their most important Asia-Pacific deals,” added John Reiss, head of global M&A.

Most in-house teams expect to increase AI spending
The expansion of the use of artificial intelligence in the legal profession has been examined in major new study.

Analysts at Ari Kaplan Advisors carried out the study on behalf of UK-US firm Seal Software and found that 37% of law department leaders at (mostly) Fortune 100 companies said they are already using AI for analysis and review of contracts and agreements, and half expect their spending on contract AI to increase this year.

Along with the most common uses for AI, 91% are applying it to risk assessment, sourcing and contract management, followed by compliance and procurement at 82%. With data privacy of paramount importance, 55% of respondents who use contract AI identified GDPR and similar regulatory mandates among its leading use cases.

“These statistics point to expanding investment by corporate legal departments in contract analysis and extraction solutions. Ulf Zetterberg, CEO and co-founder at Seal Software, commented. “Many companies are achieving impressive results using contract AI across common use cases, from data extraction and procurement to applications in financial services and regulatory compliance, and there are even more dramatic changes ahead.”

Among those not currently using AI, 47% said they expect to be within the next year. But respondents expressed concern about the impact on human roles from the implementation of greater automation.

Ashurst makes fourth Asia Pacific partner hire of 2019
Ashurst has continued to add to its Asia Pacific headcount with the hire of q new partner in Singapore.

Waltter Kulvik joins the corporate transactions practice from Sidley Austin. He began his career at Gibson Dunn in London before moving to Singapore.

He specialises in cross-border M&A and corporate work, with a focus towards infrastructure, power and real estate asset classes. His practice also involves joint ventures, in particular acting for Asian clients on joint ventures with western businesses, reorganisations and restructurings as well as venture capital.

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