Leading international law firm Clifford Chance has announced the appointment of Valerie Kong to be Singapore’s new Office Managing Partner effective 1 October 2022. She will be taking over from Kai-Niklas Schneider who will focus on his practice and his Financial Investors role on the firm’s top strategic decision body, the Executive Leadership Group.
Originally from Singapore and a partner in the office’s Corporate practice since 2014, Valerie specialises in M&A advising financial investors and multinational corporations on their minority investments and majority acquisitions in the Southeast Asia region, as well as portfolio divestments and strategic joint ventures. She brings excellent leadership experience having held many positions within the firm globally, including since 2019 as a member of the Partner Selection Group, which is responsible for making recommendations on partner promotions and partner hires globally. She also has previously served on the Asia Pacific Leadership Group and the Singapore Leadership Group.
Global Managing Partner Charles Adams said, “I am delighted to appoint Valerie as Managing Partner of the Singapore office. I am confident her leadership experience and deep market knowledge will pave the way for the firm’s continued success in Singapore and the entire Southeast Asia region. I also want to thank Kai for his excellent work as office head and look forward to his continued valuable knowledge and insight on our global leadership team as revenue from Financial Investors has nearly doubled over the last seven years.”
Asia Pacific Regional Managing Partner Connie Heng added, “We are so excited for Valerie to take on this new role. She adds a strong voice to our dynamic and diverse leadership team in Asia Pacific. Valerie also has a deep understanding of the Southeast Asia region which is a huge benefit to our clients and our practice.”
Valerie said, “I am honoured and excited to be taking on this role for the firm. We have an impressive track record advising clients for more than 40 years in Singapore and work hard to anticipate needs and exceed expectations. I have been part of the growth journey over the past 20 years and look forward to further strengthening our market leading practice. I am equally passionate about our team and people, and will continue to foster a culture of inclusion and collaboration which I believe is key to our continued success.”
Valerie first started as an intern in the Singapore office in 1999 during her second year of university. She then joined the firm in London in 2002 as a trainee and subsequently moved to the Singapore office where she became a partner in 2014. She is admitted as a solicitor in England & Wales and in Singapore. She graduated from the University of Cambridge with a BA in Law (first class honours).
Kai has served as Singapore Managing Partner since 2016 when he oversaw growth of the office as a hub for Southeast Asia and the establishment of Create+65 the firm’s first innovation lab which is supported by the Singapore Economic Development Board.
Kai is a US qualified lawyer with more than 20 years of specialist experience in the funds sector advising clients on the formation of and investment in a wide variety of private investment funds. An active member of the investment funds community, Kai co-chairs the Executive Committee of the Singapore Funds Industry Group (SFIG), is a member of the Advocacy Subcommittee of the Singapore Venture Capital & Private Equity Association and the Singapore Executive Committee of the Alternative Investment Management Association (AIMA).