Legal Business Blogs

Asia round-up: Stephenson Harwood formalises Guangzhou association as A&O makes FinReg play

Stephenson Harwood has formalised its association with Chinese law firm Wei Tu, while Allen & Overy has made a key hire into its finance practice in Hong Kong.

Having first entered an association with local firm Wei Tu in December 2014, Stephenson Harwood made its relationship with Guangzhou-based Wei Tu official by establishing an association permitted under a free trade agreement, Closer Economic Partnership Arrangement (CEPA), between mainland China and Hong Kong. The association means Stephenson Harwood can practise Chinese law through Wei Tu.

Wei Tu is led by former Stephenson Harwood shipping lawyer in Guangzhou Xianming Lu. The association will be called ‘Stephenson Harwood – Wei Tu (China) Association’, and is formed under the CEPA arrangement which allows localised international firms in Hong Kong to gain a PRC law capacity through association.

Stephenson Harwood managing partner for Greater China Voon Keat Lai said the association was an important step forward.

Lai added: ‘In choosing the firm with which to partner, one of our fundamental priorities was to ensure that clients could confidently expect the same standards of advice and service as they would from Stephenson Harwood. Xianming Lu is in a strong position to do this, having worked for the firm for a number of years previously.’

Meanwhile, Allen & Overy has hired Charlotte Robins into its regulatory practice from Norton Rose. Robins is both Hong Kong and England & Wales qualified and departs Norton Rose after being a partner for five years.

The global head of the firm’s regulatory practice Bob Penn said knowledge of multi-jurisdictional regulatory matters is what wins the firm strategic roles on headline deals.

He added: ‘A&O is one of the few firms that offers top-tier expertise combined with local depth spanning the US, Europe, Asia Pacific and the Middle East. The addition of Charlotte further enhances our position as a leading adviser to global financial institutions on complex, multi-jurisdictional financial services matters.’