Bumpy road for US firms in Asia as Reed Smith, Cleary and Shearman lose out to local players

Bumpy road for US firms in Asia as Reed Smith, Cleary and Shearman lose out to local players

China and Hong Kong are becoming increasingly challenging places for the global elite as the competition for talent from local shops intensifies. Among the most recent victims were Reed Smith, Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton and Shearman & Sterling, which lost out to Australian firm MinterEllison, King & Wood Mallesons (KWM) and Fangda Partners respectively.

A six-partner disputes team of David Morrison, William Barber, Nathan Dentice, Alex Kaung, Eddy So and Desmond Yu quit Reed Smith’s Hong Kong base over what Asia-Pacific managing partner Denise Jong described as client conflict issues. They will join MinterEllison at the beginning of next year. Continue reading “Bumpy road for US firms in Asia as Reed Smith, Cleary and Shearman lose out to local players”

Asia focus: Gordon Dadds breaks international duck in Hong Kong while HFW adds Korea expertise

Asia focus: Gordon Dadds breaks international duck in Hong Kong while HFW adds Korea expertise

Ambitious listed law firm Gordon Dadds has launched its first overseas office in Hong Kong, as HFW bolsters its Korean capability with a London hire.

Gordon Dadds has been in acquisitive form since listing on the Alternative Investment Market (AIM) last August, and has now turned its mind to international expansion after gaining approval to practise English law in Hong Kong. Continue reading “Asia focus: Gordon Dadds breaks international duck in Hong Kong while HFW adds Korea expertise”

Asia calling: Linklaters and CMS confirm local law capability in Shanghai and Hong Kong

Asia calling: Linklaters and CMS confirm local law capability in Shanghai and Hong Kong

Recent announcements from Linklaters and CMS have provided a fillip to international firms looking to gain a surer footing in China.

Linklaters announced in May that it had finally received the green light to practise Chinese law through a joint operations agreement with Shanghai outfit Zhao Sheng Law Firm. Continue reading “Asia calling: Linklaters and CMS confirm local law capability in Shanghai and Hong Kong”

Looking east: Linklaters gets long-awaited Shanghai approval as CMS launches Hong Kong association

Looking east: Linklaters gets long-awaited Shanghai approval as CMS launches Hong Kong association

Linklaters and CMS Cameron McKenna Nabarro Olswang have shown Asia is still high on the agenda of global law firms after each made moves to expand their presence in the region.

The Magic Circle firm announced today (21 May) its lawyers will be able to practise local law in the Shanghai Free Trade Zone (FTZ) through a joint operations agreement with local firm Zhao Sheng. FTZ rules allow international players to tie-up with domestic firms and practise local law. Continue reading “Looking east: Linklaters gets long-awaited Shanghai approval as CMS launches Hong Kong association”

Addleshaw Goddard recruits legacy BLP Asia head

Addleshaw Goddard recruits legacy BLP Asia head

As the inevitable fallout from the $900m Bryan Cave/Berwin Leighton Paisner (BLP) tie-up continues, Addleshaw Goddard is following up on its Asia ambitions by announcing the hire of legacy BLP regional head Bob Charlton.

Based in Hong Kong, Charlton will lead Addleshaws’ Asia-Pacific operations, with firm-wide managing partner John Joyce telling Legal Business the firm is looking to triple the size of its regional capability. He added the firm would look to grow from four to at least 12 partners, spread across its Hong Kong and Singapore branches, and did not rule out adding further bases in the region. Continue reading “Addleshaw Goddard recruits legacy BLP Asia head”

Addleshaw Goddard seeks material Asia growth with former BLP region head hire

Addleshaw Goddard seeks material Asia growth with former BLP region head hire

Addleshaw Goddard has brought in the former Asia head of legacy Berwin Leighton Paisner as it looks to triple the size of its presence in Asia.

Bob Charlton is joining Addleshaws after leaving BLP, now Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner (BCLP) following its US merger in February, where he was the legacy firm’s head of Asia since 2014. Charlton previously held a similar role for DLA Piper in the region. Continue reading “Addleshaw Goddard seeks material Asia growth with former BLP region head hire”

After an expansive 2017, Norton Rose Fulbright starts year with Asia pullback

After an expansive 2017, Norton Rose Fulbright starts year with Asia pullback

Norton Rose Fulbright (NRF) made headlines in 2017 by pulling off mergers in the US and Australia, but 2018 has started with the firm retrenching internationally, closing in Kazakhstan and Abu Dhabi while Paul Hastings raided its Japanese corporate team.

NRF Tokyo head of corporate, M&A and securities Eiji Kobayashi joined Paul Hastings’ Japanese base in mid-January, with a four-person team, including two associates, one paralegal and one secretary, to follow him a few weeks later. Continue reading “After an expansive 2017, Norton Rose Fulbright starts year with Asia pullback”

HFW strengthens Singapore with South East Asia triple play

HFW strengthens Singapore with South East Asia triple play

Energy and shipping specialist HFW has made a major play in its longstanding Singapore office, bringing in a trio of partners from rivals in the region.

HFW now boasts an 18-partner office in Singapore following the arrivals of finance partner Siri Wennevik, projects and energy partner Alistair Duffield and corporate partner Ivan Chia, taking the firm’s total partner additions in the region to six over the last year. HFW now has over 100 lawyers and 58 partners across its six Asia-Pacific branches. Continue reading “HFW strengthens Singapore with South East Asia triple play”

Bumpy start to 2018 for Norton Rose Fulbright as Japan corporate head departs and two offices close

Bumpy start to 2018 for Norton Rose Fulbright as Japan corporate head departs and two offices close

While 2017 saw Norton Rose Fulbright (NRF) further expand its global footprint through two mergers in the US and Australia, the new year has begun with the firm losing out internationally with Paul Hastings recruiting its Japan head of corporate and NRF closing its Abu Dhabi and Kazakhstan offices.

Paul Hastings confirmed Eiji Kobayashi has joined its Tokyo office today (12 January), with his four-person team, including two associates, expected to join him in the coming weeks. Continue reading “Bumpy start to 2018 for Norton Rose Fulbright as Japan corporate head departs and two offices close”

International round-up: Mayer Brown launches in Japan as Mills & Reeve cements European ties

International round-up: Mayer Brown launches in Japan as Mills & Reeve cements European ties

Mayer Brown will open a new office in Tokyo next year after hiring the former head of Ashurst’s Tokyo office.

Rupert Burrows, Ashurst Tokyo’s former managing partner, will lead a new team at Mayer Brown as it looks to expand its offering in Japan in 2018. Continue reading “International round-up: Mayer Brown launches in Japan as Mills & Reeve cements European ties”