William Hay, the first general cousel of the financial services arm of GE in Asia, is joining Lovells as a partner based in their Hong Kong office. He will work in the corporate and finance practice and have responsibility for the firm's business throughout the region.

During his time at GE Capital, Hay worked closely on distressed debt auctions in Thailand and Korea and that experience will be carried on in his new position. In particular, Lovells expects to work on similar distressed debt mandates in China and Indonesia and will use Hay's expertise to win mandates in these areas.

Hay also worked at ICG Asia - the subsidiary of Internet Capital Group and Hutchison Whampoa - where he worked on the firm's many private equity investments. Allen Leung, Lovell's managing partner for Asia commented that Hay has particular expertise in venture capital, investment funds and acquisitions as well as investments and acquisitions of financial services companies and asset portfolios.

"His extensive first-hand experience in some of the key corporate and finance law work areas in Asia and on Wall Street will complement and sustain Lovell's push to be the major provider of legal services to its strong corporate and finance clientele throughout the Asia region," says Leung.

Commenting on his move, Hay said: "it's exciting to go back into private practice, particlarly with the prospect of doing more big ticket transactional work Asia-wide."