Global, sector-focused law firm HFW has continued to expand its fast-growing Greater China transactional practice with the hire of senior partner Brinton Scott and of counsel Danielle Peng in Shanghai.
Brinton joins HFW from Winston & Strawn, where he was Shanghai Managing Partner, while Danielle was Legal Senior Director, Asia Pacific, at US automotive systems and components company Cooper Standard. Brinton was previously Shanghai Managing Partner and China practice head at Barlow Lyde & Gilbert (now Clyde & Co).
HFW launched a transactional practice in Shanghai in 2019 with the hire of a team from Squire Patton Boggs and the relocation of experts from its London and Singapore offices. The firm then strengthened its offering by bringing in a large corporate finance team from Locke Lord in Hong Kong, led by the US firm’s Office Managing Partner Wing Cheung and partner Matthew Wong.
Nick Poynder, Shanghai Office Head, HFW:
“I am very pleased to welcome Brinton and Danielle to HFW. Brinton is one of the most experienced international lawyers in China – he’s a true seasoned veteran – and Danielle is a skilled practitioner who adds another dimension thanks to her considerable in-house experience. Together, they give a real boost to our corporate and M&A practice – particularly in supporting multinational organisations with their inbound PRC investments, to complement our existing strength in advising PRC companies domestically and abroad.
“We’ve been fortunate to bring in some fantastic corporate lawyers in China over the past few years and feel that we’re building something really special here. We remain deeply committed to the market and plan to continue to expand to ensure we’re offering our clients the best possible service.”
Brinton has worked in China for almost 25 years and is the current Chairman of the Legal Committee of The American Chamber of Commerce in Shanghai. He advises large multinational corporations and investment funds on the full spectrum of corporate matters including M&A, FDI, joint ventures, restructuring, investigations and white collar crime, employment, IP, and technology. Brinton has experience across a wide range of sectors, including insurance, aviation, retail, healthcare and automotive.
Danielle advises multinational corporations on cross-border M&A and FDI, including due diligence, deal structuring, and the drafting and negotiation of acquisition agreements, as well as general corporate, compliance, government and regulatory matters in China. At Cooper Standard, she led all of the company’s legal affairs in China, Korea, India, Japan and Singapore.
Brinton and Danielle previously worked together at Winston & Strawn and Herbert Smith Freehills.
Brinton Scott, Partner, HFW:
“HFW has been part of the Greater China legal market for a long time and has an outstanding reputation for litigation and its sector expertise in areas such as aviation, insurance and shipping. But what it’s been doing recently in corporate has really got a lot of people’s attention – it now has significant teams on the ground in Shanghai and Hong Kong, and I’m excited to be part of that continued growth.
“HFW’s position as a world leader in insurance presents very strong synergies with my practice, and the firm’s large international network – both across Asia and globally – will be a great benefit to my clients.
“I’m also looking forward to working again with Danielle – she’s a fantastic lawyer and HFW getting her on board is a real coup. Add the fact that I know quite a few of the HFW partners from my time at Barlows [HFW hired BLG’s global aviation team in 2011] and it feels like I’m coming home.”
HFW has operated in Greater China for more than 40 years, having been one of the first international law firms to open an office in the country, in 1978.
In 2016, it became only the second international law firm to establish a formal association with a Chinese firm under the Shanghai FTZ rules, with Wintell & Co.
HFW now has 78 lawyers in Greater China, including 21 partners, and is a market leader in aviation, commodities, construction, energy and resources, insurance, shipping, commercial litigation, corporate and finance.