Former DLA Piper Hong Kong-based partner Jolyon Ellwood-Russell has joined Simmons & Simmons.

Ellwood-Russell will remain in Hong Kong and work alongside fellow DLA partner Richard McKeown. He will also work closely with other Asia-based partners Dan Marjanovic in Singapore and Yongmei Cai in Beijing.

Ellwood-Russell specialises in debt finance (including banking, acquisition finance and project finance) and structured trade and commodity finance. He is also recognised for his work in the financing of infrastructure and renewable energy projects and has experience working with major cross-border debt financing transactions in China, Asia and Europe.

The move is Ellwood-Russell’s first appointment outside of DLA Piper: he spent 15 years there climbing the ranks from trainee to trade finance partner. “It took a lot to persuade me to leave as I was successful in building up a practice from scratch,” he tells GTR.

Touching on his immediate aims at the new firm, he says: “The majority of work that I do is on the bank-side, but the market is moving, and it’s not just banks that are involved or offering finance for trade and commodities – we can service hedge funds and alternative debt providers too.”

Jonathan Hammond, head of the firm’s financial markets group, says: “Jolyon’s appointment is a significant addition to our continued growth in Hong Kong (and our focus in Asia as a whole) as well as for financial institutions as one of our five key sector priorities.”