Mayer Brown promotes and recruits

Mayer Brown has promoted three new partners in Hong Kong and London and a counsel in Dubai, also recruiting a new counsel in Singapore.

Raymond Yang and Jason Leung in Hong Kong and Sam Prentki in London have been promoted to the partnership, while Patricia Ugalde Revilla becomes counsel in Dubai. The promotions take effect from the start of next year. The news follows the arrival last month of Kate Apostolova as counsel in Singapore from Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer.

Yang is acting for a Chinese mining company in a US$480 million investment treaty claim against Ecuador filed last month, and has worked on a London-seated UNCITRAL arbitration over an unconventional gas production-sharing contract.

He is triple-qualified in mainland China, Hong Kong and England and Wales and has handled Hong Kong and CIETAC arbitrations, as well as arbitration-related cases in Chinese courts.

Yang joined Mayer Brown almost a decade ago and was promoted to counsel in 2020. Before that, he worked at Grandall Law Firm in China.

He studied at SOAS in London, the University of Melbourne and the University of Hong Kong. He speaks Mandarin, English and Cantonese. He is a fellow and council member of the Hong Kong Institute of Arbitrators, and also sits on the panel of arbitrators of the Shanghai International Arbitration Centre and other Chinese institutions.

Yang tells GAR he feels “proud and privileged” to join Mayer Brown’s partnership and will continue to be a “bridge between the firm's global platform and its Greater China offices”.

Leung focuses on construction, engineering and real estate disputes. He has represented clients in disputes over an airport extension project in the Middle East, an Indian solar power plant and a Chinese thoroughbred training centre.

He is admitted in Hong Kong. He studied civil engineering before gaining a master’s degree in arbitration and dispute resolution, both at the University of Hong Kong.

Leung tells GAR he is grateful to all his “colleagues, mentors, clients and friends” and plans to continue using his “technical engineering background and legal skills” to help clients on their projects.

Prentki acted for Luxembourg entity Belenergia in an Energy Charter Treaty claim against Italy relating to reforms to its solar power industry. He helped to secure an ICC award in favour of a Thai company over the construction of a biomass boiler.

He joined Mayer Brown’s London office in 2019 after nearly 12 years at Watson Farley & Williams. Between 2009 and 2015, he practised from WFW’s Bangkok office, appearing in cases under the rules of SIAC, the HKIAC, the Kuala Lumpur Regional Centre for Arbitration (now known as the AIAC) and the Thai Arbitration Institute.

He speaks Thai, French and Spanish.

Ugalde Revilla was part of the team that represented a Canadian real estate investor in a NAFTA claim against Mexico, which led to a landmark award worth US$47 million holding the state liable for a denial of justice. She has worked on several power disputes, including ICC claims against the Dominican Republic and Argentina, and has a focus on Spanish and Latin American disputes.

A Spanish national, she joined Mayer Brown in 2015 after five years at Uría Menéndez in Madrid. She studied law at the University of Amsterdam and Comillas Pontifical University. She is admitted to the Paris and Madrid bars and speaks Spanish and French.

Raid Abu-Manneh, global co-head of the firm’s international arbitration group, describes the promotions as “excellent news” and says they “reflect the continued strong growth” of Mayer Brown’s arbitration offering.

Apostolova joined last month after nearly eight years at Freshfields in Singapore, where she was a senior associate. Before that, she worked at Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton.

She was part of the Freshfields team that successfully defended Chinese state-owned entity CNOOC against a US$340 million UNCITRAL claim relating to a gas field in the East China Sea. She also defended Vietnam in an investment treaty claim concerning property expropriation.

She is chair of the Asia-Pacific subcommittee for the Equal Representation in Arbitration Pledge, a regional head at arbitral institution Delos and an executive committee member of Young SIAC.

She is admitted to New York and England and Wales.

Head of Mayer Brown’s international arbitration group in Asia Yu-Jin Tay tells GAR, “The diversity and geographical distribution of this group of rising stars reflect Mayer Brown’s strong growth in energy arbitrations, investment arbitration as well as construction and infrastructure disputes.”

This year, Mayer Brown hired Kay-Jannes Wegner as partner in the Singapore office from Kim & Chang. William Ahern was made counsel in Paris, while its Brazilian associate firm Tauil & Chequer promoted Gustavo Scheffer to the partnership.

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