Chinese firms continue expansion into Hong Kong

It’s nearly 14 years since Hong Kong (HK) returned to Chinese sovereignty, but so far there are only 20 Chinese firms have opened an office in the special administrative region.

Yun
Yun Kriegler

Beijing-headquartered Longan is the latest to join the party teaming up with local firm Hui & Lam to launch in the jurisdiction.

Legacy King & Wood was the first to put down roots in HK back in 2005, but interest in the region is growing. Several leading Chinese firms, including Jingtian & Gongcheng, have expressed an interest in expanding into HK.

As a result competition between the expanding Chinese firms and their international counterparts is increasing. In 2012 Shanghai-based Fangda Partners turned to Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer litigation partner Peter Yuen to launch its HK office. It continues to hire partners and associates from international firms, including corporate partner Andrew Lui from Edwards Wildman Palmer and capital markets counsel Arnold Pang from Shearman & Sterling.

Fangda isn’t alone. Earlier this year Zhong Lun hired Dechert’s HK managing partner Basil Hwang as a partner in its associate firm Boughton Peterson Yang Anderson.

This is one trend that is likely to snowball.

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