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Allen & Overy has been instructed by the Hong Kong regional government to advise on the restructuring of economic institutions.Its first project is to give legal advice on the merger of the territory's stock exchange, futures exchange and three clearing houses.The five bodies will be merged into a single market operator called Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing Limited. It will be a profit making entity listed on the Hong Kong stock exchange.A&O is also being instructed by the Hong Kong government on a legal and regulatory framework for other market reforms, but it will not comment on these.Michael Liu, corporate partner, is leading the A&O team. The lawyers in his unit include Stanley Chow, Simon Berry, Eva Tam, William Woo, Vivian Lui, and Elizabeth Bowes.Banking partner Mark Sterling and litigation partner Jonathan Hitchin are also part of the team.Michael Liu says: "We are extremely pleased to have been appointed to advise on probably one of the most meaningful projects in Hong Kong going forward into the next millennium."The instruction from the government follows an expansion drive by the Hong Kong office of A&O.Litigation partner Andrew Jeffries was shipped out from the London office this month, and lateral hires have not been ruled out (The Lawyer, 15 November).
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