Life sciences expert Yuet Ming Tham has rejoined Sidley Austin with her team of three lawyers after a five-month stint at McDermott Will & Emery in Singapore.
Tham confirmed her move in a post on her LinkedIn profile. She returns to Sidley in the same capacity as when she departed the firm in April.
“I have returned to Sidley Austin as Global Co-Chair-White Collar: Government Litigation and Investigations with the entire team, and look forward to reconnecting with old friends and clients,” her post reads.
Tham joined McDermott as Asia Pacific managing partner and global co-chair of the firm’s government investigations and compliance practice. The move saw her relocate to Singapore where she led as office managing partner.
“It was the opportunity because I’m head of Asia so I’m going to be part of the management committee which means I really have the opportunity to play a very strategic role and to make a difference,” Tham said in an interview with Law.com International in April. “That, for me, was the one that made a difference, to be able to shape the culture and strategy for Asia, because I do know what our clients need out here.”
She was then joined by former Sidley counsel 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 counsel. All three are currently still listed on McDermott’s website.
Tham is renowned for her expertise in the healthcare and life sciences sector. She advises on regulatory issues, governmental investigations and compliance, including the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. Her regulatory and compliance work includes corporate investigations, compliance advisory work, anti-money laundering, sanctions, environmental, health and safety and data privacy.
At the time of her joining, Michael S. Poulos, partner in charge of McDermott’s strategy, said that Tham and her team were a great fit for the firm, bolstering its healthcare and white-collar practices with their particular focus on companies in Asia and Europe.
Tham joined Sidley Austin in Hong Kong a decade ago as a partner and as the Asia Pacific head of the investigations and compliance practice. She was promoted in 2018 to global co-head of the firm’s white collar, government litigation and investigations group. She was previously also a partner in the Hong Kong office of DLA Piper, where she was head of the Asia life sciences practice and head of the Asia regulatory compliance and investigations group.
McDermott currently counts 15 lawyers in its Singapore office including Ho, Huang and Johnson. The firm relaunched in Asia with a Singapore office last year after pulling out of Asia by shuttering its mainland China and Seoul offices in 2020 and 2019, respectively. The firm has alluded to an opening in Tokyo and in December hired Jones Day intellectual property partner Maxwell Fox, who is dually based in Tokyo and Los Angeles.
Since its launch in Singapore, McDermott has also made other high-profile hires including that of Clarinda Tjia-Dharmadi from Latham & Watkins, Ignatius Hwang from Squire Patton Boggs, Merrick White from King & Spalding and Siddhartha Sivaramakrishnan from Herbert Smith Freehills.
Sidley and McDermott have been contacted for comment.