Baker McKenzie has appointed Michael Wong, a special senior consultant at its office in Taipei, to the role of Asia Pacific chair, in addition to his continuing role as global executive committee member. Hong Kong-based partner Shih Yann Loo, who heads the firm’s IP ground in cross-border litigation and enforcement in Hong Kong and China, has also joined the firm’s global executive committee for the first time.
Loo and Wong will serve as Asia Pacific representatives on the executive committee – the firm’s most senior leadership team of eight members – with responsibility for developing and implementing global business strategy and managing the firm’s day-to-day business across 77 offices in 46 countries. Both lawyers’ new positions took effect during the firm’s annual meeting, which was held virtually on October 14-28, 2020.
Wong is the first Taiwanese to be elected as chair of the Asia Pacific Regional Council, a governing body that is charged with setting regional strategy for the firm’s 17 offices in 12 jurisdictions in Asia Pacific. He is also the first Taiwanese to be elected to the global executive committee, a role he took up in October 2018, and succeeds Ai Ai Wong who served on the firm’s global executive committee from 2016 to 2020 and was the Asia Pacific chair from 2018 to 2020. Ai Ai Wong will return to practice and be based in Singapore.
Loo has a long-standing career with Baker McKenzie. He joined the firm’s Hong Kong office in 1993 and, during his 27 years with the firm, he has played a key role in implementing the firm’s China strategy, including as part of the management team that led the establishment of Baker McKenzie FenXun (FTZ) Joint Operation Office in 2015. Through the joint operation office, the Firm has been able to assist clients with their legal needs across China, including in the Greater Bay Area.
Loo has also served on the committee that oversees Baker McKenzie’s offices and member firms in Mainland China, Hong Kong, Singapore, Indonesia, Malaysia, Korea and Vietnam, and has led the firm’s IP group in cross-border litigation and enforcement in Hong Kong and mainland China. He is consistently recognized as a leading lawyer in his field by legal directories and trade publications.
“2020 has been an eventful year,” said Michael Wong. “While no economies could escape the impact of Covid-19, Asia’s relative success in containing the pandemic will see Asia more likely to rebound a lot quicker than the Western economies, further shifting the center of economic activities to this region.”
“The dispute between US and China, however, is likely to continue for some time, which could have a damaging effect on both economic recovery and business activities. As businesses charter a course through this uncertain period and reorganize their supply chains and operations in light of disruption from the pandemic, rising nationalism and digitalization, we remain committed to standing by our clients and providing them with the services they need as they transform their business operations and get ready to rebound in the post-pandemic economy,” Wong added.