Continuing the expansion of its global footprint in energy and international arbitration, King & Spalding announced today that it has applied for government permission to open an office in Singapore to serve as the regional hub for its work in both disciplines.
The new office will be managed by Philip R. Weems, who will also continue as head of King & Spalding's global energy practice from his new Singapore base. A recognized authority on LNG-related matters who has worked in Asia, including Indonesia, for nearly three decades, Weems served as managing partner of King & Spalding's Dubai, Riyadh and Abu Dhabi offices from 2007 until earlier this year. He is past president of the Association of International Petroleum Negotiators.
Joining Mr. Weems in Singapore will be partner Daniel R. Rogers, an international transactions lawyer with extensive experience on major projects in Asia, and international arbitration specialist John Savage, who has joined the firm as a partner from Shearman & Sterling where he most recently served as vice chair of international arbitration and headed its Asia disputes practice.
An expert in international commercial arbitration who has worked extensively in Asia and the Middle East, Mr. Savage has experience across a range of sectors, including energy and chemicals, as well as with large construction and infrastructure disputes. He also has substantial investment treaty arbitration experience, which complements King & Spalding's highly regarded work in investor-state arbitrations.
Mr. Rogers's practice centers on the development, project financing and operation of energy-related infrastructure and transportation projects and transactions.
The opening of an office in Singapore is the latest in a series of strategic moves by King & Spalding to invest and grow in key global markets, industries and legal disciplines. Last fall, the firm opened an office in Paris after having recruited Eric A. Schwartz, a top arbitration lawyer and former secretary general of the International Court of Arbitration, and James Castello, another arbitration expert. In June, it announced the hiring of a five-lawyer energy transactions team in London led by partners Garry Pegg and Hywel Jones from Hogan Lovells, as well as the opening of an office in Geneva concentrating on international trade matters. In April, the firm also added energy lawyers Timothy M. Burbury and Leroy Levy to its offices in Abu Dhabi and Dubai, respectively.
Singapore will be the eighth office outside the United States opened by King & Spalding, which is consistently ranked among the top energy and arbitration practices in the world. Among other accolades, the firm's international arbitration practice won the 2010 Chambers USA Award of Excellence and was ranked No. 2 in Focus Europe's arbitration scorecard in 2009 and 2008. The firm took top honors in the project finance, infrastructure and energy category as the best U.S. law firm at the 2010 International Legal Alliance Summit and a King & Spalding oil tank storage development deal in Latin America was named Project Finance's best refinancing in 2009.
King & Spalding has named Samuel M. Matchett chair of the firm's diversity committee. Mr. Matchett will be responsible for continuing to improve and implement the firm's diversity strategies, working with minority and female attorneys on specific development and advancement plans, and working with practice group leaders to ensure execution of diversity strategies.
Mr. Matchett is a labor and employment partner in the firm's business litigation practice group. His practice focuses on employment relationship matters, with an emphasis in labor and employment law litigation in both state and federal courts, governmental agencies (Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs) and arbitration tribunals.