Another quarter and another of the 'magic circle' law firms from the UK announces a new managing partner for its Asian operations. This time it is Linklaters, which has appointed Simon Davies to the top job in the region.

Davies has moved to Hong Kong from Tokyo and has spent the last three months getting established. He takes over from Andrew Roberts who has been in the position for four years. While Roberts ran the firm's Asian operations (including Japan) from Singapore, Davies will run the show from Hong Kong

Davies has spent the last four years in Tokyo after spending four years in Hong Kong. He has been involved in corporate finance, M&A and capital markets work.

During his time in Tokyo, he was involved in transactions including Japan Telecom's group reorganization and non-core disposals, a series of disposals for Daiei Corporation, Allied Domecq acquisition of the whisky business of Jinro. He also worked on the IPOs of Lawson and Softbank Investment Corporation as well as some of the first REITs in Asia.

"Simon has a wealth of knowledge and understanding of the region having worked in Hong Kong and Tokyo for over eight years in total. His expertise in corporate finance coupled with his management experience makes him ideally suited to lead the firm in Asia," says Andrew Roberts.

Roberts will return to the United Kingdom with Linklaters and will re-establish his capital markets practice. He is understood to be keen to start working again with clients while relinquishing his management duties.

Davies' appointment comes two months after rival firm Allen & Overy announced the appointment of Brian Harrison to be its new Asian managing partner, replacing Chris Roberts. That move came two months after it was announced that Perry Noble was to take the top regional job at Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, replacing the long serving Ruth Markland (see related article below).

Commenting on his new role, Simon Davies states, "Linklaters remains the dominant force among the region's leading law firms having topped the first half year M&A Asia financial and legal advisor league tables. Going forward, we will continue to build on the success of our China practice and on the strength of our Tokyo office."