With the Asia region earmarked as a huge area of future growth, Heller Ehrman White & McAuliffe LLP has announced two senior appointments in its Hong Kong and Beijing offices.

In Hong Kong, Jonathan Palmer will relocate from Heller Ehrman's Seattle office to strengthen its litigation and alternative dispute resolution practice in the region. He arrives in Hong Kong as shareholder, Heller Ehrman's terminology for partner, and will draw on his experiences on complex business dispute resolution and litigation.

Additionally, Palmer's dispute resolution practice has included consumer class actions, insurance coverage, securities, environmental and trust litigation, as well as real estate, construction, licensing, trade secret and other business disputes. He has been with Heller Ehrman in Seattle since 1996.

Across the border, the firm has also announced that Yang Ing Loong will be based in its Beijing offices and lead its ADR practice. Yang's hire is described by Heller Ehrman as the beginning of a series of developments in China, which will include a series of further expansions in the near term.

Yang was most recently a former senior dispute resolution partner and head of Allen & Gledhill's (Singapore) China practice, a firm that he has called home since 1999. Before joining Allen & Gledhill, he was a partner at Singapore firm Lee & Lee from 1992 and for five years was state counsel and deputy public prosecutor in Singapore. Yang's career has also included serving as Singapore's representative to the Working Group of the United Nations Conference on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL) in Vienna, Austria in 1990.

"We expanded our Asia practice last August by adding 12 leading dispute resolution lawyers to our Hong Kong office and now Yang Ing Loong will help us extend our strong ADR practice from Hong Kong to Beijing and Singapore," says Barry S. Levin, chairman of Heller Ehrman. "Hong Kong, Beijing and Singapore are the three most important arbitration centers in Asia, and with alternative dispute resolution gaining in popularity throughout Asia, these jurisdictions are the preferred venues."

Cassin adds, "We see an opportunity for continuing to develop a robust international dispute resolution practice here in Asia. With talented attorneys like Jon and Yang Ing Loong we are positioned to be one of the leading dispute resolution firms in the region."

The firm has been on a poaching spree of late. In August 2004, Heller Ehrman nabbed Denton Wilde Sapte's Hong Kong managing partner and his entire litigation and dispute resolution team. It followed that in June 2003 by hiring 19 lawyers from local Hong Kong firm Siao Wen & Leung.