Four years after launching its association in the city, RPC is to formally combine with its local alliance firm Smyth & Co in Hong Kong.
The firm has applied for a name change with the Hong Kong Law Society, aiming for a completion date of 1 May. The move will end the association and permit RPC to deliver local legal advice under its own brand and complete the integration, operating as a Hong Kong law firm in the city.
RPC launched as Smyth & Co in Hong Kong in 2013 with five partners, recruiting litigation lawyer David Smyth as senior partner from Clyde & Co.
Recent months have seen RPC’s newly-elected managing partner James Miller and senior partner Rupert Boswall qualify in Hong Kong as part of the process of integrating the new firm under Law Society rules. Hong Kong law meant RPC was required to launch as an association, waiting at least three years before it could complete a formal tie up and rebrand as RPC.
In its Asian practice, the firm has recently made moves to expand its corporate offering. The team has grown to nine partners, including hiring corporate partner Janney Chong, who joined from Sidley Austin on 1 March. Chong is an IPO specialist, acting on 30 Hong Kong IPOs.
Smyth & Co also recently hired M&A and private equity lawyer Jeremy Cunningham as a partner from Mayer Brown in November 2016.
Last year, RPC secured a tie-up with Singaporean firm Premier Law. The Singapore offering, which trades as RPC Premier Law, sees the firm concentrated on banking and financial dispute resolution, M&A, insurance and marine work.
LB100 firms, including Taylor Wessing and Osborne Clarke, have also moved into Hong Kong in recent years, with both launching local associations in 2015 and 2016 respectively.