The strategic hire paves the way for Baker McKenzie to seize the growing disputes work in the Greater Bay Area

Baker McKenzie continues to grow its bench strength and capabilities in Hong Kong by hiring veteran arbitrator Ronald Sum JP as partner. Ronald will bring a team, composed of associates Plato Cheung and Beryl Wu, with him. This latest hire further bolsters the Firm's bench strength in Hong Kong, following the recent hire of partners Thomas Tarala and Victoria Lloyd.

Ronald joins the Firm from Addleshaw Goddard where he led its Arbitration Practice in Asia. His practice covers all areas of dispute resolution, specializing in China related matters, international arbitration, cross border disputes, complex commercial disputes, sports related disputes, insurance and reinsurance.

Ronald is highly regarded in the international arbitration arena, and has acted as both counsel and arbitrator in administered arbitration proceedings in Hong Kong, Mainland China, Singapore, Australia, London and the United States. In addition to being an accredited arbitrator and mediator of various institutions — including the Hong Kong International Arbitration Centre (HKIAC), China International Economic and Trade Arbitration Commission (CIETAC), and Shanghai International Economic and Trade Arbitration Commission (SHIAC) — Ronald also sits on the Hong Kong Government Advisory Committee on the Promotion of Arbitration and the Hong Kong Steering Committee on Mediation. He is also an Investor State Mediator under the China and Hong Kong Closer Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA). Ronald is qualified as a solicitor in Hong Kong, England and Wales, and Australia, and has passed the Greater Bay Area (GBA) legal professional exam.

"Ronald is an outstanding practitioner with entrenched relationships with Hong Kong government authorities and Chinese private and state-owned enterprises. His joining not only will help deepen and broaden our China client base, but also position Baker McKenzie well to seize more disputes work, which is expected to rise as businesses explore the opportunities presented by the GBA," said Steven Sieker, managing partner of the Firm's Hong Kong SAR and China offices.

Steven continued: "As Hong Kong continues to fulfill its role as an international legal and dispute resolution center in the Greater Bay Area development plan as well as China's 14th Five-Year Plan, we also hope to play our part. The onboarding of Ronald and his team not only bolsters our ability to offer GBA-focused clients first-class dispute resolution services, but also demonstrates our support of the national policies in utilizing Hong Kong's strengths as a springboard to the GBA. We look forward to welcoming Ronald, Plato and Beryl to our Firm."

Nandakumar Ponniya, Asia Pacific chair of the Dispute Resolution Practice, said: "Ronald adds to our ever-growing Dispute Resolution Practice. Ronald's deep international arbitration experience not only complements our regional practice well but also gives us added depth in the GBA to provide clients with practical and commercial solutions through our cross-border and cross-jurisdictional platform, offering a holistic and thoughtful approach to local issues with the benefit of regional and global expertise and experience."

Cynthia Tang, Head of the Dispute Resolution Practice for Hong Kong SAR, added: "International arbitrations are becoming increasingly complex. The experience that Ronald brings, combined with his knowledge of the Chinese market and understanding of the business, will no doubt be of significant value to our clients and will further solidify our market-leading position.”

For his part, Ronald said: "I am excited to be joining Baker McKenzie. The Firm's enviable global platform and strong presence in Hong Kong offers me the ideal platform to further expand my practice. I look forward to working with my colleagues in Hong Kong, the Mainland, and across Asia and globally to further grow our Dispute Resolution Practice, and to guide our clients through all aspects of major disputes."

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