Richard Watkins advises private equity and corporate clients on M&A, joint venture, and other strategic transactions with an Asia-Pacific nexus.

Mr. Watkins combines extensive experience across a broad range of deal types with a depth of understanding of local markets to guide clients on:

  • Cross-border mergers and acquisitions, ranging from buyouts to minority investments, both public and private
  • Investing and raising growth capital
  • Consortia and joint ventures 
  • Structured and downside-protected quasi-equity investments

He works closely with Latham colleagues worldwide to structure innovative solutions that utilize the latest legal technology and integrate market-leading advice from across the global platform.

Mr. Watkins’ experience spans both buy side and sell side in a variety of industries, particularly real estate, asset management, tech and digital infrastructure, healthcare and life sciences, and consumer goods.

Drawing on his prior experience in London and Moscow, Mr. Watkins provides pragmatic, commercial advice that reflects his experience guiding clients through evolving geopolitical and economic conditions.

Mr. Watkins serves on the firm’s Global Mentoring Committee.

Mr. Watkins’ representative experience includes advising:

Private Equity

  • Searchlight Capital Partners on the acquisition of a minority stake in Synergy Marine Group, a Singapore-based owner and operator of tankers and ships for transportation
  • TPG on a number of matters, including the: 
    • Sale of all its shares in Singapore Life Holdings Pte Ltd (Singlife), to one of Singlife’s substantial shareholders, Sumitomo Life Insurance Company
    • Acquisition of a controlling stake in Malaysia’s Asia Pacific University of Technology and Innovation, a premier private university
    • Acquisition of an 80% stake in Greenfields Dairy, the Southeast Asia-branded dairy business, from Japfa Ltd, alongside Northstar
    • Combination of SingLife with Aviva Singapore in a transaction that valued the combined Singlife and Aviva Singapore entities at SGD3.2 billion and marked one of the largest deals in the insurance sector in Southeast Asia and the largest in Singapore, as part of a consortium comprising TPG, Singapore Life (SingLife), Sumitomo Life Insurance Company, and others
    • Joint investment with VTB Capital in the largest private equity investment in a Russian business at the time, in Lenta Ltd. (Russia’s leading grocery/hypermarket chain), in which shareholders led by Svoboda Corporation, sold a 44% holding to TPG, the European Bank of Reconstruction and Development, VTB Capital and, in an LBO structure, a Cyprus subsidiary of Lenta for US$1.14 billion, as well as advising Lenta Ltd on a number of finance and M&A matters, including its London IPO*
  • Warburg Pincus on a number of matters, including its: 
    • Joint venture with ARA Asset Management Group on the acquisition of a majority stake in the LOGOS Property Group, an Australia-based logistics real estate development platform
    • Joint venture between affiliates of Warburg Pincus and Becamex IDC to form BW Industrial Development Joint Stock, a Vietnam-based developer of institutional-grade industrial and logistics properties
    • Establishment and growth of an Asia self-storage platform, comprising seed assets, joint ventures, and bolt ons
  • Permira on acquiring, as part of a consortium with regional Asian PE house Affinity Equity Partners and Korean corporate GS Retail, German-listed DeliveryHero’s Korean food delivery business, trading in Korea as Yogiyo

Emerging Companies

  • Princeton Digital Group, a Pan-Asia data center company, on its US$350 million late-stage venture capital investment from Mubadala Investment Company, Warburg Pincus, and Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan Board
  • Circles Asia Pte. Ltd., a pan-Asian MVNO operator and telecommunication service provider, on its Series F financing
  • Tencent on the US$1 billion Series H financing into Bundl Technologies (dba Swiggy), an India-based provider of a food ordering and delivery platform

Corporate M&A

  • Evolution Data Centres on its:
    • Joint venture agreement with Central Pattana PCL, one of the largest property developers in Thailand, to design, build, and operate a state-of-the-art carrier-neutral data centre in central Bangkok
    • Joint venture with Megawide to build, operate, and develop data centers in the Philippines and Thailand 
  • Coca-CoIa İçecek on a number of matters, including its:
    • US$300 million acquisition of a minority stake in a Pakistan bottling company
    • US$54 million acquisition of a minority stake in a Jordan bottling company 
    • Acquisition of a 57.118% sale stake in Coca-Cola Bottlers Uzbekistan from The State Assets Management Agency of the Republic of Uzbekistan (UzSAMA)
  • ARA Asset Management Limited (ARA), the largest real assets manager in Asia Pacific, on its:
    • Strategic merger with ESR Cayman Limited, a leading Asia Pacific-focused integrated new economy real estate platform comprising logistics and data centers headquartered in Hong Kong. Awarded Deal of the Year at PERE Global Awards 2021
    • US$1.3 billion joint buyout, with Sumitomo Mitsui Finance and Leasing, of Kenedix, one of Japan’s leading real estate fund managers
    • US$500 million equity round of financing, in which Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation was the lead investor
  • Vingroup Joint Stock Company and its subsidiaries on a number of matters, including:
    • The VND4.7 trillion (~US$203.1 million) GIC-led consortium investment in VMC Holding Business Investment Joint Stock Company, the parent of Vinmec International General Hospital JSC, Vietnam’s premier private hospital developer and operator 
    • The joint venture between Vincommerce, a consumer retail unit of Vingroup that operates supermarkets, convenience stores, and farms, and Masan Consumer to create VCM Services and Trading Development Joint Stock Company, a Vietnam-based vertically integrated retail business
    • Vincommerce’s raising of capital in a US$500 million investment by a GIC-led consortium
  • The Coca-Cola Company on a number of matters, including:
    • Two-stage acquisition (following auction) of C.H.I Limited, the leading Nigerian producer and seller of juices, dairy products, and snacks, from Tropical General Investments Limited
    • Business combination to form a new multi-exchange listed bottler, Coca-Cola European Partners, creating the world’s largest independent bottler of Coca-Cola products. Awarded The American Lawyer’s Global M&A Deal of the Year: Europe*
  • O-I Glass on selling its Australia and New Zealand glass packaging business unit to Australia’s Visy Industries in a deal valued at over A$730 million
  • StorHub on a number of corporate matters and acquisitions, including acquiring:
    • A 51% stake in Ministorage China Limited, a Hong Kong holding company of several self-storage facilities in the PRC
    • Tokyo Reise Co. Ltd and Reise Co. Ltd., two Japan-based self-storage companies

*Matter handled prior to joining Latham

Bar Qualification

  • England and Wales (Solicitor)
  • Hong Kong (Solicitor)


  • MA in Modern History, University of Oxford, 2009
  • LPC, College of Law, 2007
  • GDL, The College of Law, 2006

Languages Spoken

  • English