Wright is a specialist telecoms lawyer and brings experience of commercial as well as regulatory practice to her new position.

She has advised the UK government on the development of its telecommunications policies, including advising it on the hugely successful UK auction of 3G licenses last year. She has also spent a year seconded to the UK telecom regulator where she gained first-hand experience of developing a strong regulatory environment.

This should prove useful as her firm is advising the Hong Kong government on its telecommunications policies, not least its rather idiosyncratic approach to 3G licensing. Nevertheless, she believes that having strong regulatory experience adds huge value when advising corporate clients. And she believes that will be true even in the relatively unregulated markets of Asia.

Commenting on the appointment, Michael Liu, head of Allen & Overy's Asian corporate practice said: "The growth in our workload across the range of CMT-related matters has been impressive and Claire's arrival will allow us to consolidate and build on our leading position."

Apart from advising on regulatory issues, Wright's knowledge of the technical aspects of telecoms will ensure she is in demand for pre-financing risk assessments and she also expects to be busy in the coming mobile consolidation that the market is forecasting in Asia.