Aaron Goach has joined Merrill Lynch's Office of the General Counsel in Hong Kong as a vice president. He will report directly to Jonny Roskes in Hong Kong and to Jennifer Taylor in Singapore who runs the Asian in house legal team at the bank.

Goach is a trained US securities lawyer who started his career with blue chip New York firm Winthrop Stimson. In 2000 he upped sticks, left the Big Apple and moved to Hong Kong where he joined Freshfields as an associate, working in the US corporate practice with such luminaries as Tim Steinnert, Joe Sevack and Josh Zimmerman.

However in September last year, he decided to put his legal career on hold while indulging his entrepreneurial tendencies. He left Freshfields to go into business with his brother in law setting up an English language call centre in the Philippines called Magellan Solutions. That business is going well but Goach has ceased his involvement in it. The siren call of the financial market was too much to withstand and he was persuaded to return to the fold with the in house position at Merrill Lynch.

"At Freshfields, I was involved in more transactions with Merrill Lynch than with any other house," he says. "Over the years, I developed a respect for the professionalism of the Merrill Lynch deal teams. I have high regard for Merrill Lynch bankers and lawyers and now I am delighted to count them as colleagues."

Described by ex-colleagues as a talented lawyer and very personable to work with, he joins a firm that is roaring on all cylinders. The firm has had a great start to the year in the equity markets doing deals for ONGC and Temasek. Its pipeline also contains some choice mandates for deals such as the IPOs of Air China, China Power International, Shenhua Group and most recently Dongfeng Motors.