Norton Rose Fulbright (NRF) has recruited a team of five lawyers from Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson’s disputes practice in Hong Kong in the wake of the latter’s decision to pull out of Asia in January.
Former Fried Frank partner Alfred Wu joined the firm’s disputes group this month alongside consultant Philip Nunn and associates Muriel Cheng, Anita Fong and Kevin Hong. Nunn joins the firm as a senior consultant.
NRF’s Hong Kong disputes team is led by Camille Jojo, and the hires takes the total number of partners to six. The new recruits bring with them experience in general commercial and construction disputes, and contentious regulatory issues. Clients they have represented in investigations and actions/prosecutions include the Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission, Stock Exchange of Hong Kong, Financial Reporting Council and Companies Registry as well as assisting in undertaking internal control reviews and FCPA and SEC related investigations.
NRF’s head of dispute resolution and litigation for Europe, the Middle East and Asia commented: ‘Globally we have seen a significant increase in the demand for dispute resolution services, and our team is growing to meet this demand. Hong Kong is a key hub for China, and Asia as a whole, and Alfred’s team will bring valuable additional resources to our offering.’
The firm’s head of North Asia, Phillip John, added: ‘Chinese companies have been using Hong Kong extensively as a platform and springboard for investments in overseas markets. With recent market volatility, we expect to see more dispute work from these corporations in Hong Kong. Alfred and his team will bolster our capabilities for China and Hong Kong disputes and arbitration work and deepen the resources that we can offer to clients in the region.’
In January Fried Frank confirmed it was shutting its Hong Kong and Shanghai offices, leaving the firm without an outpost in Asia. The decision affected 33 employees, of which all but one sat in the Hong Kong office. All of the employees were discussing their options in regards to relocating to other offices within the firm, although most were expected to enter redundancy consultations.