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Baker & McKenzie has appointed a new partner to its Hong Kong IP department.
Joseph Simone moves to the US firm from Hong Kong-based Johnson Stokes & Master. He worked at partner level within the firm, but was unable to become officially appointed due to local regulations.
Baker & McKenzie's Hong Kong IP practice head Robert Arnold says: "We really are quite chuffed to get Joe. He's probably the number one or number two China IP practitioner in the world."
Simone has previously worked at Baker & McKenzie but left in 1992.
Arnold says: "Joe started with us in the China group with a focus on IP, but the group is much the same as it was when he left."
Simone's move is strategic. He sees the race to capture Far East IP markets as a case of survival of the fittest, in terms of capturing new work and new staff.
Simone says: "The larger firms that don't have an established IP practice are going to have a devil of a time building credible, long-term practices.
"I was personally considering leaving Asia because of my inability to find good assistants. I think the smaller players are going to have to pick up the juniors who are coming up through the ranks."
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