Legal Business Blogs

Asia: Mayer Brown to form local JV in Hong Kong as Cleary takes Shearman partner

Mayer Brown‘s Asia arm is in the final stages of forming an association with the Hong Kong office of Chinese firm Jingtian & Gongcheng, subject to regulatory approval from The Law Society of Hong Kong, while Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton has hired Shearman & Sterling capital markets partner Shuang Zhao.

Mayer Brown confirmed ‘the two firms would continue to operate as separate entities, and they are not contemplating a merger or combination’. Under the arrangement, Mayer Brown JSM will provide office space and other resources to secondees from Jingtian in Hong Kong.

Top-ranked for capital markets work in Beijing in The Legal 500, the association will provide Jingtian’s China-based clients access to legal services provided by Mayer Brown JSM lawyers in Hong Kong. ‘The firms intend to work together to explore ways to better serve their respective clients through their cooperative efforts,’ said the firm.

‘We look forward to forming an association in Hong Kong with Jingtian & Gongcheng, one of China’s most prestigious law firms,’ said chairman Paul Theiss. ‘This is an exciting development for the clients of both firms.’

Meanwhile, Cleary Gottlieb has taken experienced Shearman capital markets partner Zhao in Hong Kong, bringing its Hong Kong office up to 36 lawyers and five partners, which it has built since the launch of a local law practice in Hong Kong in 2011.

Zhao, a PRC native, is New York and Hong Kong-qualified and has practised at Shearman in Hong Kong for the last five years.

‘Shuang adds deep China-based expertise and experience to our already internationally recognized global capital markets practice,’ said Cleary managing partner Mark Leddy.