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WFW expands Hotels & Hospitality practice into Asia Pacific14 March 2021

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"The team spirit at WFW is one of the best in the industry as it combines integrity, deep knowledge of the legal and commercial matters and very good spirit among the team players."Legal 500 UK, 2021

Watson Farley & Williams (“WFW”) is delighted to announce a major expansion of the firm’s Hotels & Hospitality practice in the Asia-Pacific region, with the arrival of a new team of four senior lawyers, who will be based in Singapore and Sydney, led by Partner Robert Williams. All were previously at Withers Worldwide.

This represents a significant step forward for WFW, involving as it does a major expansion of the firm’s highly regarded Hotels & Hospitality practice into the dynamic Asia-Pacific region, as well as a new presence in Sydney that will focus on this sector.

Robert is a recognised expert across the Asia-Pacific region in hotel and resort M&A, investment and structuring as well as management contracts and operating leases, co-ownership schemes, franchising, hotel operating platforms and joint ventures.

Partner Lada Shelkovnikova is highly regarded by the hotels industry in APAC and beyond and joins WFW in Singapore. She specialises in all aspects of hotel M&A and operator appointments, branded residences arrangements and serviced apartments in the region. Lada also has extensive experience acting in-sector in the Middle-East, having spent several years at a leading UAE law firm in Dubai.

In addition to Robert and Lada, Consultant Chris Greiner and Special Counsel Kate Switajewski in Sydney have also joined the firm.

WFW Managing Partner Chris Lowe commented: “Our new team gives our Hotels & Hospitality practice a greatly expanded presence on the ground in the Asia-Pacific region, where many of our international clients are based. This complements our existing practice in the region which includes Hong Kong, Singapore, Thai and Vietnamese law capability, as well expanding our existing excellence in-sector in EMEA and the US. I’m delighted to welcome Robert, Lada, Chris and Kate to the firm”.

WFW Global Real Estate Sector Head Felicity Jones added: “The addition of Robert and Lada and their team is an exciting and timely opportunity which ensures that WFW’s Hotel and Hospitality team is even better placed to support its international client base across the globe as the industry deals with disruption to the existing models and risk stack, resolves current issues and moves to restructuring and M&A opportunities. I look forward to developing with them the exciting new dimension their Asia-Pacific expertise brings to our global offering”.

Robert, who will be leading WFW’s Asia-Pacific hotels and hospitality practice and driving its expansion said: “Lada and I are excited to be joining WFW, in particular given the firm’s global leadership, focus and track record in our sector. We look forward to making our contribution to WFW’s global Hotels and Hospitality offering.  Joining WFW enhances our team’s regional coverage, with the ability to better service the Thailand, Vietnam and Middle East markets through offices in Bangkok, Hanoi and Dubai. We will continue to partner with and closely support all our clients and further expand our hospitality teams in Sydney and Singapore in the coming months”.

WFW’s Hotels & Hospitality practice is recognised for its excellence by leading legal directory Legal 500 UK 2021, which reported clients as saying that “the team spirit at WFW is one of the best in the industry as it combines integrity, deep knowledge of the legal and commercial matters and very good spirit among the team players”.

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