Global law firm Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer has appointed Robert Ashworth for the role of Asia managing partner.

Ashworth succeeds current regional head Simon Marchant, who will be returning to the firm's London office.

Ashworth, who is currently Asia corporate head, a role he has held since 2000, will assume the new role on Feb. 1, 2011, for a term of four years. He has about 16 years of experience and specializes in corporate law, particularly cross border M&A, capital markets, securities and private equity.

He recently advised Anheuser-Busch on its $739 million takeover of Harbin Brewery - China's first contested takeover; Citicorp on the sale of Cable & Wireless' stake in PCCW; Eaton Corporation on the public takeover of Hong Kong's Senyuan International Holdings; Goldman Sachs on the $899 million dual listing of Hutchison Telecom on the Hong Kong and New York Stock Exchanges; Sun Life Financial on its $456 million purchase of the Hong Kong-based insurance and financial planning businesses from Commonwealth Bank of Australia (this is the largest acquisition of a life insurer in Hong Kong), and NTT DoCoMo on the acquisition of a minority stake in Hutchison Telephone.

According to Will Lawes, a senior partner at Freshfields, Ashworth has a good experience working in China and was an important part of the team that has developed our corporate practice there.