Hogan Lovells and Mayer Brown have announced significant international recruitment today (9 December). Hogan Lovells has improved its disputes practice with the hire of Baker & McKenzie’s Hong Kong head of international arbitration James Kwan, while Mayer Brown has hired a three-lawyer team from Clifford Chance (CC) in Frankfurt to expand its M&A and restructuring practice.
King & Wood Mallesons departures continue as Ashurst hires Hong Kong corporate heavyweight Joshua Cole
King Wood & Mallesons (KWM) is to lose senior corporate partner Joshua Cole from its Hong Kong office to Ashurst.
Third party financier Harbour Litigation Funding (HLF) has opened an office in Hong Kong to meet a rise in class actions in the Asia Pacific region.
In a fillip to its international arbitration practice, Shearman & Sterling has hired the US Department of State’s Jeremy Sharpe (pictured) in London and Nils Elisasson in Hong Kong from Nordic firm Mannheimer Swartling.
Linklaters has suffered senior exits in two key financial centres, with former German international board member Eva Reudelhuber departing for Gleiss Lutz in Frankfurt and Davis Polk & Wardwell hiring capital markets partner Jon Gray in Hong Kong.
Tony Lin argues that Asia’s small and politicised litigation market won’t deliver on the hopes many international law firms are pinning on it
Asia dispute resolution is happening. At least that’s what one might surmise from recent moves in the market out here in Hong Kong. In the past few months, New York’s Debevoise & Plimpton recruited litigation heavyweight Mark Johnson from Herbert Smith Freehills (HSF), while O’Melveny & Myers hired Denis Brock from King & Wood Mallesons. Several other UK and American law firms have relocated experienced disputes partners to the region.
SLATER & GORDON SPENDS £637M ON QUINDELL’S PROFESSIONAL SERVICES DIVISION
Australian law firm Slater & Gordon signed a £637m deal, plus a sum contingent on client settlements, for Quindell’s professional services division. The firm expects the purchase to boost its share of the £2.5bn UK personal injury market from 5% to 12%.
Michael Liu, who was co-head of Latham & Watkins‘ Greater China practice and was formerly managing partner of its Hong Kong office, has led a seven lawyer move over to US rival Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft.
MARKET VIEW – ARBITRATION
Following a high-profile internal squabble, the CIETAC is going global. Yu Jianlong, the institution’s secretary general, tells Clyde & Co partner Patrick Zheng why Hong Kong was its first port of call
Patrick Zheng, Clyde & Co: With a growing number of arbitral institutions around the world, why should a party use the China International Economic and Trade Arbitration Commission (CIETAC)?
Yu Jianlong, CIETAC: Founded in 1956, CIETAC is the oldest international arbitration institution in China. With more than half a century’s development, it is also among the busiest arbitral centres in the world. We recommend that a party uses CIETAC arbitration due to the fact that it offers a number of advantages. Firstly, the CIETAC rules are similar to those of all the major arbitration institutions, thereby offering parties the most autonomy possible. In addition, we have over 300 foreign arbitrators from more than 40 jurisdictions; in international or foreign-related cases, parties may agree on the nationality of the arbitrators. Secondly, CIETAC is independent of any government agencies in China, and CIETAC arbitrators do not represent any parties. Thirdly, most CIETAC cases are concluded within six months after the tribunal is constituted, meaning that our arbitration fees are relatively low compared to other major international arbitration institutions. Finally, CIETAC offers the unique combination of arbitration with mediation – a combination which not only resolves disputes, but also renews positive business and personal relations between parties.
Ambrose Lam, president of the Hong Kong Law Society since May last year, was forced to resign on 19 August after a vote of no confidence was issued in response to his recent support of a Beijing white paper that raised issues over Hong Kong’s judicial independence. Hong Kong lawyers turned out in force on 14 August to an extraordinary general meeting (EGM), where 2,392 lawyers cast a vote of no confidence in the president. Just 1,478 lawyers voted against the motion, despite law firms reporting pressure from clients on the mainland not to pass the motion.