People Moves

International Law Firm Expands Asian Wealth Planning Practice With Three Hires

Vanessa Doctor Asia Correspondent 6 December 2013

International Law Firm Expands Asian Wealth Planning Practice With Three Hires

Withers adds to its Singapore and Hong Kong wealth planning practice with three appointments.

Withers, the international law firm with a vast financial services practice, has expanded its Asian wealth planning business with three new hires.

Karen Lai, Connie Yik Kong and Suzanne Johnston have been appointed to the company's growing wealth planning service for high net worth individuals. Johnston and Yik Kong join the Singapore office to assist HNW individuals and their families with international estate and tax planning needs. Johnston brings six years of experience working with London law firms to the role, while Yik Kong relocates from the firm's New York office, where she assisted in tax planning, estate planning and administration.

Joining the Hong Kong office in Karen Lai, who relocates from London. In this new role, Lai will advise on trust structures, tax and succession planning for international clients and their families, particularly on matters concerning trustees and charities. She also advises on contentious trust and succession disputes.

Asia's HNWI population continues to expand, with collective wealth reaching $3.68 million in 2013, up almost 10 per cent on the previous year, according to the latest Asia-Pacific Wealth Report by Capgemini and RBC Wealth Management.

Withers' wealth planning practice in Asia now consists of 16 lawyers, recently bolstered by the appointment of Michelle Chow in Hong Kong to focus on charity and philanthropy law, and the promotion of Philip Munro and Fernando Gandioli as Singapore-based partners to the wealth planning practice. The firm has been operating in Hong Kong since 2008 and opened in Singapore in 2012.

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