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SPECIALIST technology firm Bird & Bird has joined the ranks of practices opening in Asia by unveiling its first office outside of Europe in Hong Kong.
The 32-partner firm has moved communications and sports lawyer Vivien Crook out as resident partner in charge of the office. Prior to the move, Crook had been working on a two-year sabbatical with Standard Chartered in India.
Newly-qualified solicitor Corinna Yu, who did her articles with Bird & Bird in London, has also transferred. Four other solicitors, including partners David Ayers and Hilary Pearson, have registered to practice in the region. But Crook said there were no plans to bring them to Hong Kong.
Proposals to open the office were originally agreed after the firm secured a substantial caseload from a telecommunications client working in the region. But Crook said additional clients have since shown interest and the office will have a varied client base.
"We have quite a large number of international and multinational clients, all of whom have expressed interest in our having an office here," said Crook. "It seemed a natural thing to do if there was strong client demand."
Senior partner David Harris said the area offered "tremendous potential" for the firm, in particular its telecommunications and IT practice.