Life sciences expert Yuet Ming Tham has joined Sidley Austin with her team of three lawyers after just five months at McDermott Will & Emery in Singapore.
Tham confirmed his move in a post on his LinkedIn profile. She returns to Sidley in the same capacity as when she left the company in April.
“I have returned to Sidley Austin as Global Co-Chair White Collar: Litigation and Government Investigations along with the entire team, and look forward to reconnecting with old friends and clients,” her post read.
Tham joined McDermott as Asia Pacific Managing Partner and Global Co-Chair of the firm‘s Government Investigations and Compliance Practice. The move led her to relocate to Singapore where she managed as an office managing partner.
“It was the opportunity because I’m the head of Asia, so I’m going to be part of the steering committee, which means I really have the opportunity to play a very strategic role and make the difference,” Tham said in an interview with Law.com International in April. “For me, that’s what made the difference, being able to shape the culture and the strategy for Asia, because I know what our customers need here.”
She was later joined by former Sidley lawyer Shu Min Ho and associates Margaret Huang and Sam Johnson. Ho, who previously practiced at Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer for seven years before moving to Sidley in 2019, joined McDermott as a partner while the latter two joined as solicitors. All three are currently still listed on McDermott’s website.
Tham is recognized for its expertise in the healthcare and life sciences sector. She advises on regulatory matters, government investigations and compliance, including the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. His regulatory and compliance work includes corporate investigations, compliance advisory work, anti-money laundering, sanctions, environment, health and safety, and data privacy.
At the time of his arrival, Michael S. Poulos, McDermott’s strategy partner, said Tham and his team were a perfect fit for the company, strengthening its healthcare and white-collar practices with a particular focus on companies in Asia and Europe.
Tham joined Sidley Austin in Hong Kong ten years ago as a partner and as Asia Pacific Head of Investigations and Compliance practice. She was promoted in 2018 to Global Co-Head of the Firm’s White Collar, Government Litigation and Investigations Group. Previously, she was also a partner in the Hong Kong office of DLA Piper, where she was responsible for the life sciences practice in Asia and responsible for the regulatory compliance and investigations group in Asia.
McDermott currently has 15 lawyers in its Singapore office, including Ho, Huang and Johnson. The company relaunched in Asia with an office in Singapore last year after pulling out of Asia by closing offices in mainland China and Seoul in 2020 and 2019, respectively. The company hinted at an opening in Tokyo and in December hired Maxwell Fox, intellectual property partner of Jones Day, which is based in Tokyo and Los Angeles.
Since launching in Singapore, McDermott has also made other high profile hires including Clarinda Tjia-Dharmadi of Latham & Watkins, Ignatius Hwang of Squire Patton Boggs, Merrick White of King & Spalding and Siddhartha Sivaramakrishnan of Herbert Smith Freehills. .
Sidley and McDermott have been contacted for comment.