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WFW announces eight new partner promotions for 2016

3 May 2016

International law firm Watson Farley & Williams (“WFW”) has promoted eight lawyers to the firm’s partnership in the 2016 round of promotions, bringing the firm’s total number of partners to 149. The appointments will be effective from 1 May 2016 and involves lawyers in four of the firm’s 14 offices.

Three new partners have been promoted in London, two each in Hamburg and Singapore, and one in Athens.

The 2016 promotions are as follows:

Shawn Er – Asset Finance Group, Singapore

Shawn’s wide ranging cross-border finance expertise encompasses asset finance (most notably ships and offshore oil and gas assets), Islamic finance, acquisition finance and general bilateral and syndicated corporate lending. He also has considerable experience in ECA financing, infrastructure finance, receivables finance and debt restructuring. He is dual qualified in both England & Wales and Singapore.

Dr. Christian Finnern – Asset Finance Group, Hamburg

Christian acts for ship-owners, managers, investors and other market participants in the maritime industry on all aspects of maritime law. His practice comprises transactional work with a focus on investments in the maritime industry as well as representation in insolvency and enforcement proceedings and contentious matters. Christian also has broad experience in advising international and domestic banks on all matters of ship finance.

Hetan Ganatra – Real Estate Group, London

Hetan advises on a broad range of commercial real estate matters, including complex acquisitions, development, management and disposals of all types of commercial property. He acts for institutional investors, funds, developers and tenants (including corporate occupiers and hotel operators).

Vassiliki Georgopoulos – Asset Finance Group, Athens

Vassiliki specialises in shipping finance and other non-contentious aspects of shipping such as sale and purchase transactions and shipbuilding contracts, as well as in the yachting industry. She also acts for a wide variety of banks and other financial institutions, as well as private and public ship owning entities, on the structuring and restructuring of loan transactions.

Chien Herr Lee – Asset Finance Group, Singapore

Chien Herr, advises on mergers and acquisitions-related financing and asset financing (including ship financing and debt restructuring). He also has expertise in development and trade finance and is currently focused on the financial technology sector.

Lucy Shtenko – Asset Finance Group, London

Lucy acts for major international banks, financial institutions and ship-owners and operators on ship finance transactions and has a broad range of experience advising on complex financing structures, sale and charter-backs, distressed debt transactions and debt restructurings. She also has extensive experience in the aviation finance sector.

Gary Walsh – Asset Finance Group, London

Gary specialises in asset finance in the maritime sector, acting on behalf of international banks and owners. Previous transactional highlights include acting for the BG Group in relation to the unwinding of the existing financing of six LNG vessels and the subsequent US$960m sale and leaseback of the LNG vessels to the GasLog group.

Dr. Andreas Wiegreffe – Employment Group, Hamburg

Frequently recommended as a leading employment lawyer by JUVE magazine, Andreas advises German and international companies on all individual and collective labour law issues, as well as representing clients in employment court proceedings.

Chris Lowe, Managing Partner, comments: “I am delighted to welcome such highly talented individuals to the WFW partnership. All have the technical knowledge and steadfast commitment to superior client service that underpin our continuing growth and success”.

Lothar Wegener, Managing Partner, adds: “All of our new partners are extremely capable lawyers who will be great assets to our business. Spread across the UK, Europe and Asia as they are, our 2016 promotions also reflect WFW’s thoroughly international nature”.