China’s Fangda hires Freshfields partner to spearhead Hong Kong office

Leading Chinese law firm Fangda Partners has appointed Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer litigation partner Peter Yuen to launch its planned Hong Kong office.

Yuen joined Freshfields in 1996 and has been a partner in Hong Kong since 2007.  His practice focuses on commercial disputes, ranging from China-related business disputes, regulatory and corporate compliance related investigations, banking, IP and professional negligence litigation.

Dual-qualified in England and Wales and Hong Kong, Yuen is experienced in representing clients before the High Court in Hong Kong, court proceedings in China and arbitration proceedings in a variety of venues.

Fangda is known for advising on cross-border corporate transactions, particularly in capital markets, M&A and private equity investment into China. It also has a strong litigation and arbitration practice, with 12 of the firm’s 37 partners focusing primarily on dispute resolution.

One of the high-profile cases the firm is currently advising on is retired NBA superstar Michael Jordan’s trademark case in China (23 February 2012).

Yuen’s appointment will mark a starting point for the firm’s international expansion. Fangda is set to launch its Hong Kong office in June 2012 – its first presence outside of mainland China. The firm currently has 37 partners and 160 lawyers in Beijing, Shanghai and Shenzhen. It will be the 14th Chinese firm to have an office in Hong Kong.

Freshfields has been reinforcing its Hong Kong litigation capability with both relocations and promotions. Most recently, Freshfields promoted Hong Kong-based litigation lawyer Georgia Dawson to partner and relocated two senior litigation partners, Lucy Reed and Geoff Nicholas, to Hong Kong from New York and London respectively (21 February 2012).

Yuen’s joining Fangda comes shortly after Zhong Lun announced the appointment of former Freshfields Shanghai partner Carl Cheng (19 April 2012).

The trend of international law firm partners joining Chinese firms took off in 2010 when Clifford Chance partner Rupert Li left the firm to become international managing partner at King & Wood Mallesons legacy firm King & Wood (7 May 2010).

Beijing-headquartered Jun He is another Chinese firms that has recently gained a partner from international firms. The firm hired Gide Loyrette Nouel’s Beijing-based global partner Warren Hua as a M&A and project finance partner. 

PRC firms in Hong Kong

Firm Head office Year opened
China Law Office Beijing 1997
King & Wood (now King & Wood Mallesons) Beijing 2006
Jun He Beijing 2006
Chen & Co Shanghai 2006
Guangdong Huafa Guangzhou 2007
Duan & Duan Shanghai 2007
Grandall n/a 2008
Jinmao Shanghai 2009
Guantao Beijing 2009
Dacheng Beijing 2010
D&S Guangzhou 2010
Zhong Lun Beijing 2010
Hylands Beijing 2011