Skip to main content

Profile hero

Robert Ashworth


Corporate advisory and governance | Financial services | Insurance | Mergers and acquisitions | Private capital |

Robert is ranked as one of the only four M&A lawyers in Hong Kong in the inaugural edition of IFLR 1000’s Asia Best Lawyers (2020).

IFLR 1000

Profile details

About Robert Ashworth

Robert is Freshfields' global co-head of M&A. Prior to that, he was Asia Managing Partner of the firm for 7 years.

He specialises in all forms of M&A and private equity work. Robert is known for board level advice on corporate finance and governance matters. Robert has over 25 years’ experience in Asia and led on many of the region’s most high profile transactions. He has a particular reputation in tech, where he advises PayPal, Apple, Uber and the CK Hutchison Group, as well as representing global financial institutions such as Prudential, SunLife and ScotiaBank.

Robert has won numerous legal accolades and awards throughout his career, including Dealmaker of the Year in 2012 and 2014, Managing Partner of the Year in 2012, International Law Firm Leader of the Year in 2016, International M&A Lawyer of the Year at the Asia Legal Awards 2018 and IFLR’s Asia Best Lawyers 2020. He was also included among Asian Legal Business' 'Asia's Top 15 M&A Lawyers 2021'.


Recent work

  • PayPal on its acquisition of GoPay, making PayPal the first foreign payments platform licensed to provide online payment services in China.
  • Scotiabank on the disposal of its 49% interest in Thanachart Bank to TMB Bank as part of the merger between Thanachart Bank and TMB Bank (Thailand’s largest-ever banking merger).
  • Astra International, a subsidiary of Jardine Matheson, on its series investments in Gojek, an Indonesian technology platform.
  • Blackstone on its acquisition of a majority stake in Maldivian Air Taxi and Trans Maldivian Airways, both Maldives-based seaplane operators.
  • Colgate Palmolive on its acquisition of Laser, the leading toothpaste brand in Myanmar.
  • Hutchison Whampoa on its US$5.6bn strategic alliance between AS Watson and Temasek.
  • Manulife on its US$1.2bn bancassurance partnership with DBS throughout Singapore, Hong Kong, China and Indonesia.
  • Starbucks on the US$1.3bn buy-out of its East China business.
  • InterContinental Hotels on its acquisition of Regent Hotels and Resorts.


  • King’s College, University of London, UK
  • Solicitor in Hong Kong, and England and Wales