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Baker & McKenzie's China arm has been left looking for a raft of senior IP lawyers after Jones Day snatched a team of four in Hong Kong.
Jones Day scooped three partners and one of counsel, taking the firm's Chinese IP practice to 20 lawyers.
Barbara Mok, managing partner of Jones Day's Hong Kong office, said the new recruits will help the firm compete against bigger firms in China.
"The IP group on a worldwide basis is quite large, but given our growing presence in China the IP group here isn't as large as those of some of our competitors," she said. "Most of the clients are multinational companies and currently the practice is more patent-focused, but with the new hires we'll have a more full-service IP practice."
Partners Peggy Cheung, Anita Leung, Chiang Ling Li and of counsel Helen Tang are the lawyers joining Jones Day.
Cheung's practice focuses on trademark and patent registration in China; Leung and Ling Li specialise in the commercialisation of IP, including licensing agreements, franchising and sponsorship; and Tang concentrates on the management of trademark portfolios across China.
The moves come as both foreign and Chinese companies drive an increasing demand for IP services in Asia.
Mok said: "There's more and more foreign investment in China and what's core for the value of the business is the protection of IP rights. China's been attacked for not giving sufficient protection.
"There are also these young Chinese entrepreneurs and inventors that will team up with foreign investors - they'll also need IP services."