CC hires Simmons HK litigation head

Simmons & Simmons is losing its Hong Kong head of litigation to Clifford Chance.

Jonathon Crook, who specialises in general commercial litigation and arbitration, insolvency and regulatory disputes, is joining the firm’s insolvency and restructuring practice.

He has acted for clients including the Securities and Futures Commission, the Stock Exchange of Hong Kong, the BSC Group and Clarion Capital Asia.

Simmons’ senior partner Bill Knight says: “I think Jonathon wants to go and do some other more specialist work, liquidation work, at Clifford Chance. We don’t do a lot of that.”

His departure leaves Simmons & Simmons with around 60 lawyers in the Hong Kong office, including 11 partners.

At Clifford Chance he replaces insolvency partner Andrew Robinson, who moved to food, drinks and tobacco client Philip Morris earlier in the year.

The head of insolvency and restructuring at Clifford Chance Mark Hyde says: “I was out in Hong Kong for a fair while and during the time I was there Andrew became a partner. Like a lot of lawyers out there he had two strings to his bow, he did both insolvency and intellectual property.

“Jonathon has more of an insolvency bent and specialist litigation bent. It’s important still in the current climate to have dedicated resources in insolvency and he is a known commodity in the local market. It’s not as if we are moving someone out of London, he can hit the ground running.”

The Hong Kong practice has been busy in the last year handling a number of large corporate collapses and near-collapses.

Hyde worked on the Peregrine investment bank liquidation, the liquidation of telecoms company GITIC HK and the workout of Fujian Enterprise and Fujian ITIC.